The high rates of neglect and abuse in nursing homes a source of concern for anyone with a loved one residing in such a facility. The quality of care in nursing homes deteriorates when facilities are understaffed or fail to provide good training. This website will help answer a wide range of questions about legal action you can take in response to abuse or neglect at a long-term care facility. Please call us at any time to discuss the specific details of your situation.
If a facility employee has harmed a resident, they are guilty of nursing home abuse or neglect. Abuse occurs when an employee of the nursing home knowingly harms a resident—such as by screaming at them or restraining them without a medical order to do so. Neglect, on the other hand, is unintentional, occurring when a nurse or staff member fails to prevent a resident from incurring harm due to negligence.
The facility hurt my loved one—When should I file a lawsuit?
You are entitled to file a lawsuit against a facility when a settlement cannot be reached through negotiation. Each situation is different, and the process of filing a lawsuit can be lengthy. But the advantage of a lawsuit is that a jury will decide on an amount of money you are owed by the facility, and the court will demand that the facility pays this amount if the suit is successful.
If you are not already authorized to act on your loved one’s behalf, you will need to submit paperwork to in order to be able to file a lawsuit. This will take the form of guardianship, medical directive, power of attorney, or conservatorship documentation.
Should you decide to file a lawsuit, we are dedicated to getting you the compensation your loved one deserves.
How much do you cost?
When debating about whether to hire a lawyer, cost will certainly be on your mind. If you hire us to litigate your case of nursing home abuse, we won’t get paid unless we win your case. This payment scenario is known as contingency, and it helps make lawyers even more accountable to their clients. If you decide to work with us, we will work together to determine what percentage we would receive if our suit is successful.
We can also help you afford other fees associated with a lawsuit. Securing complete medical records from all facilities that have treated your loved one, acquiring expert and witness testimony, and paying court and arbitration fees can add up. We will cover these costs on the front end and be reimbursed if we win the lawsuit for you.
We are Schenk Smith, your Chamblee nursing home lawyers.
If you’ve found our website, it is likely because you are concerned that someone you love has been mistreated in a long-term care facility. When you browse our client reviews, video FAQs, and blog posts, you’ll see that the only kind of law we handle is nursing home abuse and neglect. Our singular focus on this one area has allowed us to accrue a tremendous amount of expertise and experience in long-term care abuse and neglect law.
We’re driven by our passion to protect residents in long-term care facilities—a passion that began with founding member Will Smith’s experience working in nursing homes throughout Georgia before he was a lawyer. Our clients know that our desire to protect their loved ones’ welfare is genuine.
Browse our website to discover video FAQs on topics ranging from sepsis to power of attorney, our video podcast, and our blog. Give us a call at any time for a free consultation. Whether you live near the APEX Museum, close to the Malibu Grand Prix Family Entertainment Center, or up the road from the Georgia Aquarium, we’re ready to fight for the rights of your loved one.
Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect in Chamblee, Georgia – What you need to know.
Chamblee, Georgia is located in Dekalb County and has a population of 27,862 residents. Of those, 6.6% are aged 65 and older. Unfortunately, in Chamblee and many other cities in Georgia, neglect and abuse are common.
What are the categories of abuse?
Emotional abuse is the most commonly reported type of abuse in nursing homes. Emotional abuse includes the deliberate infliction of mental distress or pain on an resident through verbal or nonverbal acts. Examples can be embarrassing a resident in front of others, yelling at them, or trying to manipulate them. This kind of harm can be difficult to detect because emotional abuse does not usually leave physical evidence, and if there was no witness it may not be clear abuse occurred. Still, emotional abuse can lead physical or behavioral changes in a resident, such as weight loss or self-isolation.
Another frequently reported form of abuse is physical abuse. When a patient has a cut or bruise they cannot explain, this may be a sign of physical abuse. Bloody, stained, or torn linens or clothing are definite signs that something may be wrong. Physical abuse can also cause residents to behave differently, sparking volatile emotional states or fear of certain staff members. Sexual abuse is a common form of physical abuse as well. Undergarments worn inside out or a disheveled appearance may indicate that sexual abuse has taken place.
A long-term care facility may also be the site of financial exploitation. In this type of abuse, staff may manipulate a resident into signing checks or documents, steal money or possessions, or forge a resident’s signature. When facilities don’t enforce proper background checks for or supervise staff adequately, this kind of abuse is more prevalent.
What are bedsores and how are they prevented?
Bedsores, an extremely common problem in long-term care facilities, are injuries to the skin and tissue that result from a person remaining immobile for a long period of time. They are also referred to as decubitus ulcers, pressure sores, and pressure ulcers. Residents who are on bed rest or in wheelchairs are particularly likely to develop bedsores because they do not change position frequently. Incontinence can further increase the risk of bedsores. Bedsores can progress through four stages, the last of which can be extremely serious. By stage four, bedsores have reached a point of irreversible damage and can lead to dangerous infections such as sepsis or cellulitis.
It is likely that some bedsores will always exist in a given facility—up to ten percent of a nursing home’s residents may have them at a given time. But most bedsores can be prevented with proper care, and their progress can certainly be halted before the damage reaches a dangerous stage. Frequent repositioning of patients who are on bedrest or in a wheelchair is imperative, as is keeping the resident’s skin clean and dry. Patients who are incontinent should be monitored closely for bedsores. Equipment such as reduced-friction mattresses can also help reduce the risk of bedsores.
Who is responsible for my loved one’s injuries?
The answer to this question will always depend on the individual situation. Sickness and injury among residents do not always result from injury and neglect on the part of a nursing home. After all, nursing home residents are vulnerable to ailments due to their advanced age. They are less resilient than younger people, and their immune systems are likely weaker.
When charges of abuse or neglect are brought against a nursing home, the nursing home officials will often insist that the injury or sickness happened independently of the facility. If you suspect that this is not the case, you’ll need as much evidence as possible to prove your case if you wish to file a lawsuit. Full medical records will help determine whether or not the facility is responsible, as will witness and expert testimony. When a lawyer brings a demand package to a long-term-care facility on behalf of a resident and their family (a precursor to a lawsuit), they will often conduct their own investigation into who, if anyone, was responsible for the resident’s injury.
My loved one was hurt in a Chamblee nursing home – What do I do next?
If your loved one was severely injured or passed away at a Chamblee, Georgia nursing home, then we recommend that you act as soon as possible to protect your loved one’s rights.
First, report the incident to the appropriate Georgia authorities
Georgia Department of Community Health
The Georgia Department of Community Health’s Healthcare Facility Regulation investigates nursing homes for neglect and abuse. Their offices also regulate and certify nursing homes in Georgia.
You can file a complaint with the Georgia Department of Community Health, Healthcare Facility Regulation online by clicking this link. Here is additional contact information:
Georgia Department of Community Health, Healthcare Facility Regulation
Complaint Hotline: (800) 878-6442
Complaint Fax: (404) 657-5731
Georgia Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman
Ombudsmen help resolve issues between residents and nursing homes. You may wish to lodge a complaint with the Georgia Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman to benefit from their services. Ombudsmen may visit a facility to mediate in a situation of conflict.
You can file a complaint with the Georgia Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman online by clicking on this link. Here is additional contact information:
1743 Hardin Avenue
College Park, Georgia 30337-2059
Telephone: (678) 378-2934
Fax: (404) 768-8512
You may also report physical assault or abuse to local law enforcement
If someone you love has suffered neglect or abuse in a long-term care facility, you may want to file a police report. If the facility is found responsible for the injury to the resident, the Stone Mountain Judicial District Attorney’s Office may bring criminal charges against them.
City of Chamblee Police Department
3518 Broad Street
Chamblee, GA 30341
Telephone: (770) 986-5005
Dekalb County Sherriff’s Department
4415 Memorial Drive
Decatur, GA 30032
Telephone: (404) 298-8100
Stone Mountain Judicial District Attorney’s Office
556 N McDonough St, Ste 700
Decatur, GA 30030
Telephone: (404) 371-2561
Find another facility for your loved one.
Depending on the extent of injury your loved one has suffered, it may be wise to relocate them to a new facility. You’ll need to find one that takes Medicare and Medicaid, is welcoming and safe, and is conveniently located. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provide a website to help you compare every facility in the country that is federally funded. This excellent resource provides details on criteria such as staff quality and inspection scores.
For your convenience, a list of all nursing homes located within Chamblee, Georgia is located below, along with their contact information and inspection scores.
Get the medical records from the hospital and the nursing home.
To prove that the nursing home is responsible for your loved one’s injuries, you will need authorization to access all of their medical records. Nursing home records in particular often reveal evidence of neglect. Because privacy law prevents access of patient information without authorization, you will need guardianship, healthcare directive, or power of attorney rights to get the records.
If a resident was injured at a nursing home in Chamblee, Georgia, he or she likely received treatment at an area hospital. You can contact the medical records request department for hospitals in the Chamblee area using the following information:
- DeKalb Medical North Decatur, (404) 501-1000
- Emory Hospital, (404) 778-9729
- Grady Memorial, (404) 616-1000
Begin the probate process if your loved one has passed away.
When an individual passes away, their rights do not disappear. If your loved one suffered a wrongful death, someone else can act on their behalf through as the executor, or administrator, of their estate. To establish an estate, you’ll need to petition the probate court in the county where the resident passed away.
An executor makes decisions on behalf of the person who passed away. This person, who is most commonly a spouse or close relative, will handle all legal decisions for the person following their death. If you have not already designated a person in your family to be the executor, you will need to do so now.
Dekalb County Probate Court
556 N. McDonough St
Decatur, GA 30030
Telephone: (404) 371-2000
Nursing Homes in Chamblee, Georgia
No two nursing homes are alike, and the quality of care in different facilities can vary dramatically. The following is a list of nursing homes in the Chamblee, Georgia area, along with details on each. This information is taken from CMS’ Nursing Home Compare Website.
3535 Ashton Woods Drive, NE
Atlanta, GA 30319
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 (Much Above Average)
Number of Beds: 157
Number of Residents: 146
RN hours per resident per day: 32min (GA Avg: 34min)
Health Inspection Rating: 5 out of 5 (Much Above Average)
Staff Rating: 3 out of 5 (Average)
Quality Measure Rating: 4 out of 5 (Above Average)
Most Recent Health Inspection Date: 01-13-2017
Number of Health Citations: 0
Average Number of Health Citations in Georgia: 3.2
Number of Complaints in previous 3 years resulting in citation: 0
Federal fines in previous 3 years: 0
1500 S Johnson Ferry Road
Atlanta, GA 30319
Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 (Below Average)
Number of Beds: 165
Number of Residents: 122
RN hours per resident per day: 21min (GA Avg: 34min)
Health Inspection Rating: 1 out of 5 (Much Below Average)
Staff Rating: 3 out of 5 (Average)
Quality Measure Rating: 5 out of 5 (Much Above Average)
Most Recent Health Inspection Date: 11-09-2017
Number of Health Citations: 0
Average Number of Health Citations in Georgia: 3.2
Number of Complaints in previous 3 years resulting in citation: 48
Federal fines in previous 3 years: 2 ($218,433 on 01/21/2016; $594,680 on 11/09/2016)
Why Choose Schenk Smith as your Nursing Home Lawyers?
There are so many lawyers in the Atlanta area. What makes us stand out from the pack?
- This Is All We Do. If you choose us to represent you in a case of neglect or abuse, you’ll benefit from our expansive knowledge about this particular area of the law. Because we take cases only in this area, your case will benefit from the full breadth of knowledge we’ve gleaned from this singular focus.
- Glowing Reviews. Our customers are grateful for the personalized attention and expertise we bring to each case. We know how painful cases of neglect and abuse can be, and we are dedicated to helping. Check out some of our reviews to learn more. We have the strongest Google reviews of any nursing home abuse law firm in the Atlanta area.
- Rising Stars. Founders Rob Schenk and Will Smith have been awarded Rising Stars status for their advocacy in the area nursing home neglect and abuse. In addition to legally defending your loved ones, we disseminate information about the needs of nursing home residents to the greater community. With our weekly Nursing Home Abuse Podcast, we explore topics affecting the lives of the elderly throughout the state and nationwide.
If your loved one was injured or died in a Chamblee, Georgia nursing home, please call us at Schenk Smith (678) 823-7678 for a free consultation. You can also check out hundreds of video FAQs on our website.