Helping Injured Residents of Lawrenceville Nursing Homes
Older adults are some of society’s most vulnerable members, and many seniors need specialized care in a long-term care facility. Unfortunately, these individuals can be the target of abuse and neglect if they reside in nursing homes and extended care facilities. Due to their age, some elderly people can’t protect themselves. Those who suffer from dementia may not even recognize the abuse they are suffering, but the injuries that result are still very real, often resulting in financial, physical, and mental losses. All loved ones should watch for certain signs and indications that often accompany nursing home abuse and neglect of nursing home residents.
If you suspect that your loved one’s injuries resulted from abuse or neglect in a nursing home or extended care facility, there are legal options available to you. Lawrenceville Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can assist you in investigating your claim of nursing home abuse and, if necessary, filing a complaint with the Georgia Department of Human Services’ Division of Aging Services.
We can also assist you with filing an insurance claim or lawsuit in the state civil court system to pursue the just and fair monetary compensation that your loved one deserves for their physical and emotional injuries. Please give our Lawrenceville nursing home abuse lawyers a call today to learn more about how we can assist you with your nursing home abuse and neglect legal action.
Who Commits Acts of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
Anyone who works at a nursing home or extended care facility may commit an act of abuse or neglect against a patient. Individuals who commit these acts include doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, dietitians, physical therapists, service providers, and administrators employed by the nursing facility.
If you suspect that a specific staff member or members are abusing or neglecting your loved one who resides at a nursing home or extended care facility, the Lawrenceville nursing home abuse lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm may file a legal claim or lawsuit against not only the negligent or abusive staff member but also the supervisor and the nursing home itself.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect and Who Are the Victims?
Abuse and neglect in the nursing home context can take on various forms and can affect anyone who resides in a nursing home the number of nursing home abuse cases could surprise you.
Some of the most common types of nursing home abuse include:
- Verbal abuse of a patient – Verbal abuse of a nursing home patient may involve making direct threats to the patient or otherwise coercing the patient to do something that they do not want to do. Verbal abuse also includes making demeaning remarks to a nursing home resident.
- Sexual abuse of a patient – Sexual abuse of a nursing home patient includes sexual harassment, sexual advances, touching, fondling, or penetration committed by a nursing home staff member against the patient’s wishes.
- Physical abuse of a patient – Physical abuse of a nursing home patient may involve a staff member striking the patient or otherwise touching the patient in a manner that a reasonable person would find objectionable.
Another common form of abuse in the nursing home setting involves neglecting a patient while they reside at the home or long-term care center.
Like abuse, nursing home neglect can take on a variety of forms, including:
- Failure to provide the resident with proper medical care – Nursing homes and extended care facilities have a duty to provide residents with appropriate care and treatment at all times. This treatment includes meeting all of the patient’s medical needs on time and responding promptly to patients’ symptoms and complaints. When nursing homes fail to provide patients with the proper medical care required, this failure can be deemed negligent.
- Medication errors – Nursing homes are responsible for ensuring that patients receive the proper medication in the appropriate dosage and at the correct time. If nursing home staff provide patients with the wrong medications or in the wrong dosage, serious medical complications, including death, can result. The same is true when nurses dispense a drug to which the patient is allergic.
- Failure to keep the facility clean – Nursing home residents deserve to live in a safe and clean facility. When nursing home staff fail to clean patients’ rooms regularly, or when bed linens are not routinely changed, germs can spread and potentially lead to patient illness. When nursing home floors in patients’ rooms and hallways are not inspected and cleaned regularly, slip-and-fall accidents may occur.
- Failure to regularly bathe patients – Nursing home staff must wash patients frequently. When patients do not receive frequent baths, they can develop infections and become ill.
- Failure to properly supervise a patient – Some nursing home patients, especially those who suffer from dementia, require more supervision than others. When nursing home staff fail to monitor patients properly, the patients run the risk of injury from slip and fall accidents. In some instances, these residents may even inadvertently leave the facility.
- Failing to address a patient’s symptoms – When a nursing home resident complains about a specific symptom, such as pain in a particular area of the body, nursing staff must address the patient’s symptoms quickly. Failing to respond to patient symptoms can lead to a more serious medical complication and even the patient’s untimely death.
- Failing to monitor a patient’s medical condition regularly – In addition to promptly addressing a patient’s symptoms, nursing home staff must also treat patients’ medical conditions regularly. This treatment includes performing check-ups and checking a patient’s vitals regularly.
If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of one or more of these forms of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact a knowledgeable Lawrenceville nursing home abuse attorney at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm as soon as possible. Our legal team will promptly investigate the circumstances and assist you with filing a legal claim against the nursing home, so you can pursue monetary compensation on your loved one’s behalf.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Nursing Home Abuse
Numerous signs and symptoms often accompany nursing home abuse and neglect. That being said, not all residents are aware that they are the victims of abuse or neglect. This is especially true among nursing home residents who do not have family members and friends nearby who are looking out for them and making sure the facility is meeting the patient’s needs.
When it comes to physical or sexual abuse of nursing home patients, common symptoms include the following:
- Injuries on a patient’s body – Mysterious injuries that appear on a nursing home patient’s body, such as cuts, lacerations, abrasions, and bruises (when the patient has not fallen or otherwise injured themself recently) are often a telltale sign that physical or sexual abuse is taking place.
- Bleeding or discharge – Bleeding or discharge around a patient’s vaginal area may signify that the patient is the victim of sexual abuse at a nursing home or extended care facility.
- Changes in mood – Individuals who are the victims of physical or sexual abuse in a nursing home often exhibit noticeable mood swings and may even become socially withdrawn and isolated. Victims may also seem disinterested in activities that they used to enjoy.
In addition to these physical and sexual abuse symptoms in the nursing home context, other symptoms that typically accompany neglect include the following:
- Unpleasant odors – Unpleasant odors in a patient’s room or coming from the patient may be a sign that the patient’s room is not receiving regular cleanings, the patient is no longer being bathed or changed daily, and that the nursing home is not doing its job of properly caring for a patient.
- Bedsores – Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are very serious afflictions that occur when a patient remains in the same position and location for extended periods of time. Bedsores are especially common among nursing home residents confined to their beds and wheelchairs. These pressure ulcers may also signal uncleanliness at the nursing facility.
- Mysterious bruises, scrapes, cuts, and lacerations – Bruises, scrapes, cuts, and lacerations may be a sign that a patient has fallen (possibly repeatedly) and that the nursing home is not properly caring for or supervising the patient.
- Illnesses – When nursing home staff do not provide their patients with the proper medications or when the facility is unclean, patients can develop serious illnesses that may lead to premature death.
If your loved one resides in a nursing facility or long-term care center and exhibits one or more of these conditions, your loved one may be the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect. If you suspect that this might be the case, you should reach out to a Lawrenceville nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible. If necessary, your lawyer can file a complaint with the state and may also file a claim for monetary compensation against the nursing home (and possibly against the nursing home’s insurance company as well).
Defendants in Lawrenceville Nursing Home Abuse Cases
Nursing home employees, and even nursing homes themselves, are held to a reasonableness standard of care. For example, nurses are held to a standard of hypothetical care equivalent to that of a nurse who is acting reasonably under the same or similar circumstances. When a nursing home employee acts unreasonably under the circumstances, and this leads the patient to develop an injury or illness, then you may file a claim or lawsuit directly against the negligent employee.
If the nursing home employee acted within the scope of their employment at the time the alleged negligence occurred, you may directly assert a legal cause of action against the nursing home. In addition, there may be a valid legal cause of action that exists against the nursing home for negligently hiring or retaining a problematic employee (such as one disciplined in the past for negligence but was not fired from their position). Finally, a nursing home may be deemed negligent for failing to adequately supervise employees to make sure that they comply with all of their duties.
When it comes to filing a claim or lawsuit against a nursing home employee or against a nursing home itself, the experienced Lawrenceville nursing home abuse lawyers at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm will be sure to name all potentially responsible parties as defendants and file your claim or lawsuit promptly and well within the applicable statute of limitations for the state of Georgia.
Lawrenceville Nursing Home Negligence FAQ
People rely upon extended care facilities like nursing homes to provide their loved ones with the care and attention that they require in their old age. Sadly, however, good care is not always a given, and individuals who reside in nursing homes are frequently abused and neglected by staff members and others.
Often, nursing home residents who are most vulnerable to this type of mistreatment are those who have Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. These individuals are less likely than others to know that they are being neglected or abused and might not report it to a family member.
Various signs and symptoms often accompany nursing home neglect and abuse. If you have noticed any of these signs and you believe that your loved one is a victim of abuse or neglect at a nursing home, speak with a Lawrenceville nursing home negligence lawyer at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm right away.
Our legal team can help you submit a complaint to the Georgia Department of Human Services’ Division of Aging Services. We can assist you with filing a claim or lawsuit against the nursing home on behalf of your loved one and pursuing the monetary compensation and damages they deserve.
What are some common forms of Lawrenceville nursing home abuse and neglect?
Nursing home abuse and neglect in and around Lawrenceville often come in a variety of forms. Nursing home abuse can involve a staff member physically, sexually, or verbally abusing an innocent patient. Physical abuse of a nursing home patient includes slapping or striking the resident or inappropriately touching the resident.
Sexual abuse of a resident can consist of making unwanted sexual advances on them, as well as penetrating, touching, or fondling the resident. Finally, verbally abusing a nursing home resident can involve threatening a patient with harm or directing demanding or insulting remarks to the resident.
In addition to abusing a nursing home resident, staff members and other nursing home employees can neglect a patient and fail to provide them with the necessary care and attention that is needed. For example, nursing home staff will fail in attending the patient’s medical and physical needs, including meals. Failing to provide the proper care to a patient also includes failing to bathe them regularly, resulting in pressure sores and unpleasant odors surrounding the patient.
Nursing homes also engage in negligence when they fail to maintain cleanliness in their facilities. They can fail to regularly clean patient rooms or adequately maintain patient bathrooms and common areas, including hallways where residents walk. When these nursing home areas are not maintained regularly, it significantly increases the chances of a resident falling.
Nursing homes are also negligent when they do not take the proper measures to monitor patients and respond to their needs promptly. Nursing homes are responsible for treating patients’ symptoms and responding to complaints, including chest pains and other common symptoms of heart attack and stroke. Nursing home staff should also be sure to take patients’ vitals, including their blood pressures, regularly, especially if the individual is a high-risk patient.
In addition to providing patients with around-the-clock care, nursing homes are responsible for ensuring that patients receive the correct medications, in the proper dosages, at the correct times of day. When nursing homes make serious medical errors, and a patient is injured or becomes ill as a result (or suffers some other avoidable medical complication), the nursing home can be liable for negligence.
Finally, nursing homes are responsible for adequately supervising their patients. When nursing homes fail in this regard, residents are more prone to falling injuries that can lead to serious complications, including broken hips, traumatic head and brain injuries, along with injuries to the back and spinal cord.
Nursing homes must take special care to ensure that residents with dementia and others with serious cognitive impairments receive the proper care and assistance that they require while residing in a nursing home.
If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of abuse or neglect while residing in a nursing facility, and your loved one suffered an injury or illness as a result of this negligence, you should speak with the knowledgeable Lawrenceville nursing home negligence attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm today. Our legal team can help you pursue a legal complaint or file a lawsuit against the offending nursing home for negligence.
Who can be held responsible for abusing or neglecting a nursing home patient in Lawrenceville?
Many different employees can abuse or neglect nursing home patients. First and foremost, the nurses are responsible for ensuring that patients receive the proper medications at the proper times and that they receive the correct medication in the correct dosage. When a medication error occurs, resulting in patient injury or illness, the responsible doctor or nurse can be held accountable.
In addition, nursing assistants are responsible for many of the day-to-day care needs of nursing home residents. When they act unreasonably, such as failing to properly care for a patient or respond to a patient’s health needs, and an injury results, the nursing assistant and the nursing home itself can be liable for negligence.
Other individuals who can be responsible for nursing home abuse or neglect include the following:
- Nursing home maintenance staff
- Kitchen staff, including dietitians
- Physical therapists
The experienced Lawrenceville nursing home negligence attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can assist you with taking the necessary legal action against a negligent nursing home employee, staff member, or the nursing home itself.
How can I tell if my loved one might be a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect in Lawrenceville?
Individuals who reside in nursing homes are often socially isolated from their family members and friends. Consequently, if nursing home abuse or neglect is occurring, it is not always evident right away. However, there are some signs and symptoms for which you should be on the lookout.
One common sign of nursing home neglect is resident mood swings, especially when the resident never exhibited such mood swings in the past. When a staff member abuses a nursing home resident, the resident is more likely to become socially withdrawn and less talkative and interactive with others.
Unpleasant odors around the nursing home resident are another common sign of nursing home neglect. These unpleasant odors can be the result of infrequent bathing or lack of cleanliness in the resident’s room. Moreover, nursing home residents suffering from abuse or neglect can become ill more frequently than other residents, resulting from the patient not receiving the proper medication or receiving an improper medication dosage.
Victims of nursing home abuse or neglect can also have bruises and other marks on their bodies. These other marks can include lacerations, abrasions, and cuts. In the worst possible scenario, these marks indicate the nursing home resident is a victim of physical or sexual abuse at the hands of a nursing home staff member or another resident.
Finally, a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect can develop one or more bedsores. These sores, which are also sometimes referred to as pressure ulcers, typically appear when staff fails to regularly bathe or turn a patient. These sores are especially prevalent among nursing home residents confined to a wheelchair or bed for a significant time.
If you are visiting your loved one at a nursing home and you happen to notice one or more of these symptoms, speak with an experienced Lawrenceville nursing home negligence lawyer at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm as soon as possible. Our team of attorneys can investigate the circumstance and take legal action on your loved one’s behalf against the nursing home or a nursing home staff member.
What is the duty of care owed by Lawrenceville nursing homes to residents?
People often admit a loved one to nursing facilities when the loved one can no longer care for themselves. Consequently, individuals rely upon nursing facilities to care for their loved ones properly and to look out for their needs. Unfortunately, however, nursing homes sometimes fail in this regard.
Generally speaking, nursing homes hold themselves to a reasonableness standard. Employees of nursing homes also hold themselves to this standard. For example, a nurse must act in the same way that a hypothetical ‘reasonable nurse’ would act under the same or similar circumstances.
Whenever a nursing home or nursing home employee breaches the applicable standard of care, and the patient suffers an injury, illness, death, or some other complication, the nursing home resident is entitled to pursue monetary compensation for everything they went through. This compensation comes in the form of monetary damages.
To pursue and recover damages, the injured patient or the patient’s attorney must demonstrate that the nursing home staff member (or the nursing home itself) acted unreasonably under the circumstances and, as a direct result of this negligence, the patient suffered one or more injuries or illnesses.
If you believe that your loved one is a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, our legal team can investigate the circumstances on your behalf. We can also help you prove all of the legal elements of your claim and pursue monetary compensation on behalf of your loved one.
In some cases, the nursing home resident’s lawyer will bring an expert on board to the case to help prove these legal elements.
What damages are recoverable in Lawrenceville nursing home negligence cases?
Victims of nursing home abuse and neglect have the legal burden of proof in any negligence lawsuit filed in the Georgia court system. Assuming that the injured patient can prove all of the legal elements of their claim, the patient can be eligible to recover damages for the injuries suffered.
Specifically, the patient can recover monetary compensation for all of the medical treatment, including medical procedures, that they endured as a result of the nursing home’s negligence, as well as compensation for any costs the patient had to pay out-of-pocket.
In addition to these economic damages, the injured nursing and patient can file a claim for non-economic damages. This compensation reimburses injured patients for all of the pain and suffering, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of use of a body part that resulted from the injury or illness connected to the nursing home’s negligence.
In some nursing home abuse and neglect cases, the injured patient can be eligible to file a claim for punitive damages. The primary purpose of a punitive damage award is to punish the wrongdoer and to act as a precedent, thereby discouraging others from acting similarly in the future.
What can your Lawrenceville nursing home lawyers do to help?
We help nursing home victims and their families in several ways.
Some of the most important include:
- Determining whether you or your loved one has a valid claim
- Accurately assessing victims’ damages and drafting a compelling demand letter
- Attempting to negotiate a settlement
- Filing a lawsuit and trying the case
- Reporting the facility to the Division of Aging Services
Our nursing home abuse lawyers take all of our cases on a contingency fee basis. This fact means that you will never have to pay anything for our legal services unless we recover compensation on your behalf.
If your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, the knowledgeable Lawrenceville nursing home negligence attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can assist you with making your claim for damages. We will attempt to settle your case favorably with the nursing home’s insurance company. However, if the insurance company is unwilling to offer your loved one the compensation they deserve, we welcome the opportunity to litigate your case in the Georgia court system, and if necessary, try your case before a jury in court.
Pursuing Monetary Compensation in a Nursing Home Abuse Case
Nursing home abuse and neglect can lead to serious medical complications, injuries, illnesses, and other damages for victimized nursing home residents. Victims of nursing home abuse or neglect may be eligible to pursue compensation for all related medical bills, pain and suffering, lost quality of life, mental and emotional distress, and loss of the use of a body part.
If the nursing facility’s negligence resulted in a loved one’s premature death, then the surviving family members may bring a wrongful death claim against the nursing home. As part of a wrongful death claim, the surviving family members may pursue compensation for the loss of the decedent’s companionship.
Talk to an Experienced Lawrenceville Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer About Your Legal Matter Today
The skilled team of attorneys at Brauns Law Accident Injury Firm can assist you in filing a formal complaint against a Lawrenceville nursing facility or members of the facility’s staff and pursuing monetary compensation for injuries that your loved one sustained while residing in a nursing home. For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced Lawrenceville nursing home abuse attorney, please give us a call at (678)-647-1314 or contact us online for more information.
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Brauns Law, P.C.
892 legacy park Dr.
Lawrenceville, GA 30043