If your loved one is suffering or has suffered from nursing home abuse or neglect at a Dallas nursing home, know that they are not alone. Both abuse and neglect occur frequently across Georgia nursing homes. That is why at Schenk Smith, we have dedicated all of our skills and resources to helping elderly residents and their loved ones fight back against nursing homes. Once you’ve visited our site, please give us a call so that we can discuss your case. We’re here to help you.
Neglect and abuse occur often, even though they are different. Neglect usually happens when a nursing home staff member fails to provide a reasonable standard of care. When a nurse fails to follow the diet set forth by a resident’s physician, then they have committed an act of neglect. Abuse is quite different, because it is usually an intentional act that is done with the intent to harm. The abuse can come from either a nursing home staff member or another resident. Neither neglect or abuse should ever occur in any nursing home.
Filing suit on behalf of your loved one.
If your loved one has suffered from some form of nursing home neglect or abuse, then it is within your right to file a suit on behalf of your loved one, as long as they are unable to represent themselves. Residents who are incapacitated, or unable to represent themselves, will need third party representation. Often times the Probate Court in the county of the nursing home resident may appoint a guardian to represent a resident who is unable to represent themselves.
If you wish to file a suit on behalf of your loved one, you will usually need a power of attorney, which then gives you the right to pursue legal action against the nursing home. In situations like this, your best option is to contact an attorney, in order to see what your best legal options are.
Is filing suit my only option?
Filing suit means to file a lawsuit. It means to file a document called a Complaint for Damages, with the court that requests damages to be paid by the defendant for the defendant’s negligent conduct. When a nursing home breaches the standard of care that is expected of them under Georgia law, then they are obligated to compensate the injured victim for the damages.
Filing suit is not your only option. Before a suit is ever filed, your attorney will prepare a demand package which will contain evidence and documents from the investigation that was conducted by your attorney. The demand package will also contain a specific amount in exchange for a promise to not pursue the suit.
The demand package will then be sent to the attorneys of the nursing home, and they will then conduct their own investigation. Once that is complete, the nursing home and their attorneys will usually counter with a much lower amount. When that occurs, both parties will enter into negotiations. If a settlement cannot be reached, then your next best option will be to file the lawsuit. Even though the case will then go to trial, the chance for a settlement still exists, as settlements are usually reached during trial.
We are Schenk Smith, your Dallas nursing home lawyers.
At Schenk Smith we strictly focus on one area of law which is nursing home law. We do not practice any other form of law, nor are we interested in representing any other type of client other than elderly residents who have suffered from some form of nursing home abuse or neglect.
Our passion for helping elderly residents and their loved ones comes from our founding attorney, Will Smith. Besides serving as a Marine, Will Smith served as a CNA in Georgia nursing homes for nearly a decade before becoming an attorney. His discipline and passion for helping elderly residents resonates throughout our firm.
When you visit our site, you will come across countless videos, podcast episodes, and blog articles which are all designed towards assisting those who are looking to pursue a lawsuit against a negligent nursing home. Once you’ve had the chance to visit our site, please give us a call so that we can schedule you a free consultation to discuss your case. It doesn’t matter where you live. Whether you’re by Sweetwater Creek State Park, Cobb County Youth Museum, or the Marietta Museum of History, we’ve got you.
Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect in Dallas, Georgia – What you need to know.
Dallas, Georgia is located in Paulding County, which has a population of 12,622 residents. Of those residents, 11.70% are aged 65 and older. Like in other nursing homes around the state of Georgia, neglect and abuse occur frequently.
If I ask questions, does that put my loved one at risk?
This is a question we get asked often. Families are usually concerned about revenge being enacted on their loved ones. The fear of retaliation is usually the number one reason why abuse goes unreported. Truth is, most often, both neglect and abuse will continue until some form of action is taken.
This is why it is important to immediately obtain an attorney if you feel your loved one has suffered from neglect or abuse. Retaining a nursing home neglect lawyer to investigate and shed light on the situation can help protect your loved one. It is much harder for a nursing home to get away with crime, when they know that someone is watching, investigating, and reporting everything they find.
My loved one is a fall risk – What should the nursing home do?
If your loved one is a fall risk, it is the nursing home’s duty to make sure that proper safety measures are in place at all times. If your loved one needs assistance walking, moving, or getting out of bed, it is important for you to observe your loved one’s caregivers, to make sure that they are aware and attentive of your loved one’s needs.
If the nursing home staff fails to help your loved one move, or are careless or unsafe when helping your loved one move out of and into bed, there may be a good chance that your loved one has fallen due to caregivers’ neglect.
Falls are a common problem in nursing homes, which often lead to emergency room visits. Elderly residents are usually physically weaker and more vulnerable to injuries, which makes the consequences of a fall much more serious. It is on the nursing home to make sure assessments are done on each one of their residents in order to know which are more prone to falls.
What is a good website to research other nursing homes?
Nursing homes will usually receive ratings from family members of elderly residents that have either lived or are currently living in a facility. Reaching out those that have some type of experience with a nursing home is the first route you should take when researching potential facilities.
A great website to visit would be the one from the Georgia Department of Human Services. This site will provide valuable information as well as ratings on various nursing homes within the state of Georgia. When researching nursing homes, it is important to find out the pros and cons for those facilities that you see have potential. You want to find out different things from those facilities such as their nurse-to-resident ratio, inspection scores, how many times they’ve been fined, and if they’ve faced any major cases that involve some form of abuse or neglect. It is also important to find out if the nursing home is fully staff with well-trained caregivers.
My loved one was hurt in a Dallas nursing home – What do I do next?
If your loved one has been injured, abused, or has passed away at a Dallas, Georgia nursing home, then we highly advise you to act immediately, in order to protect their rights.
First, report the incident to the appropriate Georgia authorities.
Georgia Department of Community Health
The Healthcare Facility Regulation division is part of the Georgia Department of Community Health. This division investigates cases of nursing home neglect and abuse against elderly residents. They also regulate and certify nursing homes in the state of 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
Another route to take is through the Georgia Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman. The Ombudsman group consists of individuals who are dedicated towards resolving cases between elderly residents and nursing homes. The Ombudsman are also authorized by Georgia law to enter nursing homes and ask questions.
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:
4080 Mundy Mill Road
Oakwood, GA 30566
Telephone: (770) 538-2685
Fax: (770) 538-2696
You may report physical assault or abuse to local law enforcement
If your loved one has been injured due to an assault at a Dallas nursing home, we highly advise you to file a police report immediately. Depending on the severity of the crime, criminal charges may be brought against the perpetrator by the District Attorney’s Office: Paulding Judicial District.
Police Department of Dallas, Georgia
120 Main St
Dallas, GA 30132
Telephone: (770) 443-8100
Paulding County Sheriff’s Office
247 Industrial Way N
Dallas, GA 30132
Telephone: (770) 443-3010
Paulding County District Attorney’s Office
280 Constitution Blvd
Dallas, GA 30132
Telephone: (770) 443-7561
Find another facility for your loved one.
If your loved one is suffering from nursing home neglect or abuse, then it may be in your best interest to find a better suited facility. When you begin your search for a new facility, it is important to conduct walkthroughs at the potential new facilities. During these walkthroughs, it is imperative to ask as many questions as possible, in order to get a feel for the facility and the staff itself. Another tool to use is the Nursing Home Compare website, which is operated by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). This site has ratings for every nursing home in the county that receives federal funding. These ratings are based off several factors, including quality, inspection scores, and nurse-to-resident ratios.
For your convenience, a list of all nursing homes located in Dallas, Georgia is located below, along with their contact information and inspection scores.
Get the medical records from the hospital and the nursing home.
In the event that your loved one is injured at a Dallas nursing home, it is extremely important to obtain their medical records as soon as possible. Nursing homes will usually stop at nothing to place the blame of the injury on your loved one, rather than accepting responsibility. For example, if your loved one suffers a broken bone due to a slip and fall over a wet surface, the nursing home will likely try to claim that their bone was already broken before the fall, even if the evidence indicates that is not case.
In order to protect your loved one’s rights, you need to obtain their medical records as soon as possible, because those will have valuable information on the hospital visit, and they’ll show who the primary physician was. It is also important to obtain the medical records from the nursing home, since those at times will show signs of neglect or abuse.
Due to state and federal privacy laws, third parties will first need to obtain the proper written authorization form, in order to obtain their loved one’s medical records. Those forms will usually be either a power of attorney, a healthcare directive, or guardianship paperwork.
If your loved one was injured at a Dallas nursing home, then their medical records will likely be located at the hospital listed below. Once you’ve obtained the proper written authorization form, your next step will need to be to make a request to the Release of Information Department of the hospital.
Begin the probate process if your loved one has passed away.
If your loved one has passed away, their right to pursue a lawsuit still remains valid. A deceased person’s right to pursue a lawsuit is handed over to an Estate in the event that they pass away. For example, the plaintiff will go from being “John Doe” to “The Estate of John Doe”. For the lawsuit to be filed, the Estate will first need to be established. This means that the surviving spouse, child, or relative will need to petition the Probate Court of the County in which the deceased has passed.
If you’re currently dealing with this situation, it is important to setup the Estate as soon as possible. When doing so, you will need to appoint a personal representative who if often referred to as an Executor or Administrator. This person will then act on behalf of the Estate, and will make all the decisions with regards to the lawsuit.
Paulding County Probate Court
280 Constitution Blvd, Rm. 2009
Dallas, GA 30132
Nursing Homes in Dallas, Georgia
Every nursing home has their own differences, with some being better suited for certain residents. Below is the nursing homes located in Dallas, Georgia, along with relevant information about it. This information is taken from CMS’ Nursing Home Compare Website.
600 West Memorial Drive
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 (Much Above Average)
Number of Beds: 182
Number of Residents: 169.2
RN hours per resident per day: 22min (GA Avg: 24 min)
Health Inspections Rating: 3 out of 5 (Average)
Staff Rating: 4 out of 5 (Above Average)
Quality Measure Rating: 5 out of 5 (Much Above Average)
Most Recent Health Inspection Date: 05-25-2017
Number of Health Citations: 4
Average Number of Health Citations in Georgia: 3.2
Number of Complaints in previous 3 years resulting citation: 0
Federal fines in previous 3 years: 0
Why Choose Schenk Smith as your Nursing Home Lawyers?
When you begin your search for an attorney, you will encounter plenty of options to choose from. Even though you have plenty of options, we would like for you to consider us as the best choice to represent you and your loved ones. Here are a couple reasons why we think we should be your top choice:
- Resourceful: Our firm has over 200 videos and over 100 blogs dedicated to nursing home law. We also host a weekly podcast to help educate the public. Our attorneys attend and lead legal education seminars dedicated to nursing home cases, plus they are members of senior citizen advocacy groups.
- Award Winning: Schenk Smith is the best Google reviewed law firm in Georgia that focuses on nursing home cases. But that’s not all, our attorneys have also been selected as Georgia Super Lawyer Rising Stars. These are just a couple reasons that our clients hold us in high regards, which you can see for yourself by checking out our client testimonials.
- Singular Focus: We do not practice any other form of law, nor do we represent any other type of client. Dedicating all of our efforts and knowledge to nursing home law, allows us to be more knowledgeable to any changes that may pertain to nursing home cases. This type of dedication has resulted in millions in verdicts and settlements for our clients in the past two years.
If your loved one was injured or died in a Dallas, 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.