It’s deeply unfortunate how often neglect and abuse occur in nursing homes. When facilities cut costs, they often also cut quality of care. This website is designed to help you take action if someone you love has been injured due to abuse or neglect in a long-term care facility. Feel free to call us as well to talk through the details of your specific situation.
If a staff member or nurse has caused an injury to your loved one, they are guilty of nursing home abuse or neglect. Abuse occurs when an employee of the nursing home knowingly harms a resident, either physically, financially, emotionally, or sexually. Neglect, in contrasts, stems from an employee failing to do something that would have protected a resident from harm. Both abuse and neglect are unacceptable.
The facility injured my loved one—Can I file a suit?
You may certainly file a lawsuit if a settlement cannot be reached. While this decision is unique to every family, a lawsuit can help you find out the amount of money you are owed by the nursing home, as this is decided by a jury. Even better, the court will make sure that you are paid, which is not a given without a lawsuit.
If you choose to file a lawsuit, you will need to file paperwork to in order to be eligible. This authorization will give you either durable or general power of attorney, guardianship, or conservatorship.
We are dedicated to getting you the compensation your loved one deserves.
What if I don’t want to file a suit?
Filing a lawsuit is not your only recourse when your loved one has been harmed in a nursing home. In fact, there are many cases in which a settlement is preferable to both parties. When you file a claim with a nursing home, they will evaluate whether it will be more advantageous to them financially to settle rather than get drawn into a lawsuit. Often, the facility will pay the amount you demand if it is not larger than what it would cost them to go to court.
In other cases, however, a facility will insist that they are not responsible for the resident’s injuries, and will resist settlement. At times a lawsuit, or the threat of one, is the only action that will result in compensation from the nursing home.
We are Schenk Smith, your Evans nursing home lawyers.
Rather than striving to be a jack-of-all-trades legal firm, Schenk Smith has chosen to master nursing home law. Our attention is not divided among multiple legal areas—we handle cases of nursing home abuse and neglect only. Our passion for protecting the elderly is real.
Before becoming a lawyer, founding attorney Will Smith was a certified nursing assistant working in Georgia nursing homes for nearly ten years. He knows firsthand the procedures long-term care facilities must follow to keep residents safe. This inside knowledge of nursing home environments has made Smith Schenk committed to prosecuting nursing homes that fail to protect your loved ones.
Please take a minute to read some of our blog posts and get your FAQs answered in our video library. Once you’ve looked around, feel free to schedule a free consultation at any time—we’ll come to you to discuss your case. Whether you’re located near Jamaica Estates, around the corner from Blanchard Park, or off Old Belair Road, we’ve got you covered.
Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect in Evans, Georgia – What you need to know.
Evans, Georgia is located in Columbia County and has a population of 29,011 residents. Of those, 12% are aged 65 and older. In Evans as in other Georgia cities, neglect and abuse are not uncommon.
Are there specific signs of neglect?
Neglect does not always announce itself as loudly as abuse, but you can still learn to spot the signs. You will notice if your loved one does not seem to be benefitting from his or her usual regimens. Perhaps they have been given too much or too little medication, or a staff member has cut corners with oral hygiene. Maybe their living space is cluttered, with trip hazards scattered around the floor.
If your loved one is usually well dressed and groomed, an unkempt appearance may indicate that something is off. Daily hygiene is critical to maintaining good health. You may notice that their breath smells bad or their clothes are dirty. None of these things should be happening. These problems may also lead to behavioral changes, such as depression or irritability.
Does your loved one seem to have lost weight or stamina? They may need be on a special dietary regimen that a staff member has overlooked. Needs vary quite a bit among residents, so staff must pay attention to the medical and dietary needs of each one. When facilities are understaffed, attention to specifics may go by the wayside.
Which nursing home injuries are most common?
Federal and state law requires that facilities prevent common risks to residents in long-term care facilities. Some of the most frequent problems are contracting bedsores, slipping and falling, and becoming injured when wandering unsupervised from a facility.
Residents of nursing homes can get bedsores, or pressure ulcers, very easily due to their limited mobility. It’s particularly likely to occur when a patient is bedridden and is not repositioned frequently enough, especially if they are incontinent. Most bedsores can be avoided by following the guidelines of The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which mandate that residents’ skin be checked for damage every day.
Poor eyesight and coordination are common with age, and they can lead to more frequent falls among seniors. Obstacles in living spaces can be very hazardous, and residents at high risk of falling must have their beds positioned low to the ground with guardrails. Falling is a serious danger for residents, who may have to endure lengthy recoveries or even pass away as a result.
Residents may become disoriented and be unsure of where they are, thinking they are in a place where they lived in the past. With frequent traffic in and out of a facility, residents sometimes slip out without anyone noticing. Because the environment outside is uncontrolled, they may be exposed to environmental factors such as extreme temperature, water, or uneven sidewalks that can put them in danger.
Why does neglect happen so much?
It’s hard to imagine that a resident could be neglected in a facility meant to keep them safe. But neglect happens unknowingly when a nursing home is unable to provide consistent care due to a variety of factors. Financial problems can lead to understaffing or insufficient training of staff, both of which can lead to dangerous neglect.
Just like any other business, nursing homes are concerned with the bottom line. They may allocate only a certain amount for staff or training that is insufficient for truly addressing the needs of the residents in the facility. Staff are often overworked and tasked with performing the workload of more than one person. Multitasking among these individuals leads to mistakes because they are unable to keep various regimens straight.
When a facility doesn’t prioritize staff and training, staff members are left with either too much work or work for which they have not received proper instruction. This leads to frustration and, often, high turnover. Then the staff must be replaced, a procedure which diverts funding from existing staff and training resources.
My loved one was hurt in an Evans nursing home – What do I do next?
If your loved one was severely injured or passed away at a Evans, 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 are mediators between residents and nursing homes. They are authorized and trained to enter nursing homes at either party’s urging to resolve conflicts.
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:
135 Hoyt Street
Athens, GA 30601-2646
Telephone: (706) 549-4850
Fax: (706) 227-8337
You may also report physical assault or abuse to local law enforcement
If your loved one was the victim of abuse, neglect, or wrongful death at a nursing home, you may file a police report. If the facility is found to be responsible, the Augusta Judicial District Attorney’s Office may bring criminal charges against them.
For abuse occurring in a Evans, Georgia nursing home, report the crime to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department.
Columbia County Sheriff’s Department
2273 County Camp Rd
Appling, GA 30802
Telephone: (706) 821-2300
Augusta Judicial District Attorney’s Office
535 Telfair St
Augusta, GA 30901
Telephone: (706) 821-2300
Find another facility for your loved one.
You’ll definitely be searching for a new facility for your loved one if you learn that they’ve suffered abuse or neglect. Spend the time to do research and get recommendations from others. Learn which nursing homes take Medicare and Medicaid, which have the best client reviews, and which are most convenient in terms of location. Compare potential facilities using the US Centers for Medicaid Services (CMS), which lists every federally funded facility in the country and ranks them according to various criteria.
For your convenience, a list of all nursing homes located within Evans, Georgia is located below, along with their contact information and inspection scores.
Get the medical records from the hospital and the nursing home.
You will need the medical records of a resident to show proof that the facility was responsible for their injuries. These may include records from the nursing home as well as any other medical facilities the resident visited. 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.
Your loved one—if injured at a nursing home in Evans, Georgia—was likely treated at an area hospital. You can contact the medical records request department for hospitals in the Evans area using the following information:
- University Health Care System Evans Campus, (706) 854-2222
- Evans Surgery Center, (706) 868-3110
- Prompt Care & Occupational Medicine Centers, (706) 854-2222
Begin the probate process if your loved one has passed away.
A person’s rights do not go away when they become deceased. If your loved one suffered a wrongful death, you can still take legal action on their behalf through an estate. To do so, you’ll need to petition the probate court in the county where the resident passed away.
An estate needs an executor to make decisions on behalf of the person who passed away. This person—usually a 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.
Columbia County Probate Court
1956 Appling Harlem Rd
Appling, GA 30802
Telephone: (706) 541-254
Nursing Homes in Evans, Georgia
When searching for a new facility for your loved one, you’ll want to find one that’s close, well-staffed, and trustworthy. You’ll also need to verify that they take Medicare and Medicaid. Take some time to browse the website created by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which rates every federally funded nursing home in the country. You’ll find nursing homes in your area ranked by criteria such as quality of care, staff-to-resident ratio, and inspection scores.
When you’ve found a facility that seems like a good fit, make a trip before making any decisions. Make sure they live up to the appearance they portray online. Speak with the residents and staff, if you can to get a feeling of the atmosphere. Ask for a tour so you can take note of different aspects of the facility, and if personnel seem disgruntled and unfriendly, consider a different facility.
561 University Drive
Evans, GA 30809
Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 (Average)
Number of Beds: 149
Number of Residents: 136
RN hours per resident per day: 23min (GA Avg: 34min)
Health Inspection Rating: 3 out of 5 (Average)
Staff Rating: 3 out of 5 (Average)
Quality Measure Rating: 4 out of 5 (Above Average)
Most Recent Health Inspection Date: 04-28-2017
Number of Health Citations: 3
Average Number of Health Citations in Georgia: 3.2
Number of Complaints in previous 3 years resulting in citation: 1
Federal fines in previous 3 years: 0
4275 Owens Road
Evans, GA 30809
Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 (Below Average)
Number of Beds: 50
Number of Residents: 54
RN hours per resident per day: 19min (GA Avg: 34min)
Health Inspection Rating: 2 out of 5 (Below Average)
Staff Rating: 1 out of 5 (Much Below Average)
Quality Measure Rating: 5 out of 5 (Much Above Average)
Most Recent Health Inspection Date: 09-03-2017
Number of Health Citations: 1
Average Number of Health Citations in Georgia: 3.2
Number of Complaints in previous 3 years resulting in citation: 3
Federal fines in previous 3 years: 1 ($2,013 on 06-03-2017)
Why Choose Schenk Smith as your Nursing Home Lawyers?
- Customer Reviews. We have many satisfied customers, whose reviews you can check out here. We have the strongest Google reviews of any nursing home abuse law firm in the state of Georgia.
- We Know Nursing Home Law. Our solitary focus is nursing home abuse and neglect law. We are incredibly experienced and knowledgeable in this area—in fact, our founding attorney spent ten years as a CNA in Georgia nursing homes prior to becoming a lawyer.
- Rising Stars. Founders Rob Schenk and Will Smith have made the coveted Rising Stars list for their dedication to advocating against nursing home neglect and abuse. In addition to legally defending your loved ones, we educate about the needs of nursing home residents. 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 Evans, 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.