Are you afraid that your loved one was neglected or abused in a Lilburn nursing home? If so, you are not alone. We are here to help you learn about nursing home abuse and neglect so you know your rights and can take steps to fight back. We provide information here to help answer your questions but if you still have questions or concerns please call us to talk about your situation. We are available to help you.
It is helpful to know the difference between abuse and neglect. Abuse is intentional harm that is caused to someone. Neglect is unintentional but can still be just as serious. An example of neglect may be when a caregiver fails to adequately change a catheter. An example of abuse is when someone hits or knocks down someone else on purpose. Abuse and neglect are both harmful to your loved one and should not be tolerated.
The facility injured my loved one. Can I sue?
Injuries may occur in nursing homes due to abuse or neglect. When that happens, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the nursing home. Nursing homes are required to provide adequate care and take steps to ensure the safety of residents. If they do something wrong that results in an injury they could be held responsible for the medical costs and other damages that resulted.
In order to file a lawsuit on behalf of another person you must be legally authorized to do so. For instance, if your loved one passed away, the lawsuit must be filed on behalf of the deceased’s estate. This can only be done by the executor or administrator of the estate.
How much does a nursing home neglect lawyer cost?
Many people don’t consider filing a lawsuit because they think that a nursing home lawyer may be too costly. In many instances, nursing home attorneys take cases of abuse or neglect on contingency. That means that you won’t need to pay for the attorney up front. You will agree to pay for the attorney’s fees from the money you receive at the conclusion of your case.
There are other expenses that are often associated with legal work. For example, you will need to obtain medical records from any hospital or doctor where your loved one received care. These and other expenses may also be paid for by the attorney as long as you pay for them when your lawsuit is over. These costs can be paid directly from the proceeds of the lawsuit or settlement.
We are Schenk Smith, your Lilburn nursing home lawyers.
We understand how difficult it is to learn that your loved one was abused or neglected in a nursing home. We are here to help you learn more about nursing home abuse and neglect and provide you with the necessary information you need to take action on behalf of your loved one. Our website is filled with information such as blogs, videos and podcasts. Take some time to view the information.
Once you have looked at our online tools you may still have some questions. If so, we are happy to discuss the details of your particular situation with you at any time. We will come to you, wherever you are located. Whether you are near Stone Mountain Park, Zoo Atlanta Playspace or the Southeastern Railway Museum, we are ready to help.
Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect in Lilburn, Georgia- What you need to know.
Lilburn, Georgia is located in Gwinnett County and has a population of 12,481 residents. Of those, 11.905 are aged 65 and older. Nursing home abuse and neglect occurs here in Lilburn as it does elsewhere.
Are there specific symptoms of abuse?
If your loved one suffered abuse in a nursing home they may be unwilling or unable to report the problem. If you notice any of these symptoms or if something seems wrong, you may want to investigate to determine the cause of the problem. There are some symptoms of abuse that you may look for in your loved one.
- Unexplained bruises: If you notice bruises, welts or abrasions on your loved one they may be due to abuse. Nursing homes should inform you of any situation where your loved one was hurt. If they didn’t inform you either they don’t know about it or they are avoiding a situation of abuse.
- Change in behavior: Your loved one may be suffering in silence and might be afraid to report an incident of abuse. You might notice that your loved one has become more withdrawn or possibly more combative. This type of sudden change might be cause for alarm and may signal abusive conditions.
- Diminished mental capacity: Abuse can also trigger mental conditions to come to the forefront. If your loved one has suffered serious abuse or a traumatic situation it may cause a degradation of mental capacity. Your loved one may suddenly seem unable or unwilling to communicate or might start exhibiting odd behaviors that are uncharacteristic.
Are there injuries that are most common in nursing homes?
Some injuries are more common in nursing homes than others. Some of the most common injuries occur because of neglectful care. Common injuries include:
- Fractures: Fractures and broken bones are particularly common due to falling. As we age our bones become thinner and more brittle. This means that even a minor fall could result in a fracture. The most common fractures among elderly in nursing homes are broken hips. Hip fractures are, unfortunately, quite serious and may require surgical replacement. This means that your loved one could be bedridden for a long period of time, making him more susceptible to other medical conditions.
- Malnutrition: Many older individuals need help during mealtime. Others may have a reduced appetite due to medications they take. It is up to the nursing home staff to ensure that residents get an adequate caloric intake on a daily basis. Malnutrition can lead to a variety of medical issues such as organ failure, memory problems and more. The body’s immune system will be compromised and this may make the individual more susceptible to infections and illnesses.
- Pressure Ulcers: Also known as bedsores, these sores start small but can take their toll on an elderly person’s health. Pressure ulcers develop in places where there is continual rubbing on part of the body such as occurs on the heels, elbows and tailbone against bed linens. They often develop because a person is immobile and unable to move on his own. It is up to the nursing home staff to reposition the resident every few hours. If this isn’t done, pressure ulcers can develop. Once they appear they must be treated aggressively or they worsen and could become infected.
Why would a nursing home commit abuse?
Abuse may occur for a variety of reasons. Sometimes a nursing home employee is overstressed and underpaid and simply cannot handle the demands of residents. Other times the nursing home staff member doesn’t care about a resident and might be abusive. Abuse typically falls under one of these categories:
- Physical abuse: Physical abuse may happen because of impatience or stress. Most people think of physical abuse as hitting or punching but it can also include other things. For example, a caregiver may be frustrated with a resident who won’t stay in bed so restraints are used to tie the person down.
- Sexual abuse: An elderly nursing home resident might be an easy target for sexual abuse. This can happen because a resident is unable to defend against it and might be afraid or unable to report the abuse. Sexual abuse can be performed by a staff member, another resident or even a visitor.
- Psychological abuse: Psychological abuse can take the form of belittling, yelling or swearing at a nursing home resident. For example, a staff member may become irate when a resident soils the bed linens and might take out their frustration on the resident.
- Financial abuse: Nursing home residents usually have few belongings but they might have access to their checking accounts. A staff member might steal funds from an unwitting resident on the guise of helping him manage his bank account or pay bills.
My loved one was hurt in a Lilburn nursing home- What do I do next?
If your loved one was severely injured or passed away at a Lilburn, 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
Another option that is available is to file a complaint with the Georgia Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman. This program operates statewide and offers a resource to advocate on your behalf. If you have a complaint of abuse or neglect the ombudsman will work to resolve the dispute. They are fully trained and are authorized to go into nursing homes to 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:
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 suffered physical abuse, criminal assault or was the victim of any other unlawful acts, you may want to file a report with the police. A determination will be made as to whether criminal charges will be brought by the District Attorney’s Office: Gwinnett Judicial District.
City of Lilburn Police Department
76 Main St. NW
Lilburn, GA 30047
Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office
2900 University Pkwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Telephone: (770) 619-6500
Gwinnett County District Attorney
75 Langley Dr.
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
Telephone: (770) 822-8400
Find another facility for your loved one.
If your loved one suffered abuse or neglect it is understandable to consider finding another facility. This can be a tedious process because you want to be particularly cautious. If your loved one is still undergoing treatment for an injury the search can be even more important. Certainly you will want to visit the nursing home to get a first-hand look. However, this alone won’t always be enough to protect your loved one.
A nursing home may look fine but it could have had violations and complaints. The United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provides a useful online tool that you can use to compare nursing homes. They compile data from nursing homes across the country and include ratings for each one. They also provide useful information such as the nurse to resident ratio, the number of violations the facility has had and inspection scores, among other things.
For your convenience, a list of all nursing homes located within Lilburn, Georgia is located below, along with their contact information and inspection scores.
Get the medical records from the hospital and the nursing home.
When you have a complaint of abuse or neglect you will need to gather medical documents to help prove your case. These records can help show when the injury was first treated and details about the injury that could be useful to your case. The nursing home will often try to disprove your case and may try to state that your loved one’s injury occurred prior to entering their facility. One of the only ways to provide proof for your case is with medical records.
These medical records should be obtained from the personal physician, hospital where treatment occurred and the nursing home itself. Privacy laws do not allow others to obtain personal medical records. Even a spouse, sibling or child cannot simply request this type of information.
In order to obtain medical records you will need to have legal authority to act on behalf of your loved one. This requires you to have durable power of attorney, a health directive or legal guardianship. If your loved one was hurt while residing in a Lilburn nursing home they may have been treated at one of the hospitals listed below. With proper authorization you can file a formal request to the ‘Release of Information’ Department at the hospital to obtain medical records. Here is the information for these departments:
- Gwinnett Medical Center: (678) 312-1000
- Northeast Georgia Medical Center – Braselton: (770) 848-8000
- Eastside Medical Center: (770) 979-0200
Begin the probate process if your loved one has passed away.
When a person is alive they are able to file lawsuits on their own behalf and are the named plaintiff. Once someone passes away, they are still able to file a lawsuit through their estate. A lawsuit that is filed after a loved one’s death is filed on behalf of the loved one’s estate. A spouse, sibling or other family member cannot simply file a lawsuit. Only someone with legal authorization is allowed to act on behalf of the estate.
The first thing to do is to establish an estate. Generally, the living spouse or other relative can petition the Probate Court of the county where the person passed away. It is important to set up the estate as soon as possible so that important decisions can be made. A person will be appointed to oversee the estate and act on its behalf. This person is the administrator or executor. This person has the legal authority to retain an attorney and file a lawsuit.
Gwinnett County Probate Court
75 Langley Dr.
Lawrenceville, GA 30046
Telephone: (770) 822-8250
Nursing Homes in Lilburn, Georgia
If you are looking for a nursing home you need to consider important information. The Lilburn nursing homes are listed below and provide ratings and other details. This information was obtained from the CMS Nursing Home Compare Website.
788 Indian Trail Road
Overall Rating: 1 out of 5 (Much Below Average)
Number of Beds: 152
Number of Residents: 133
RN hours per resident per day: 29 min (GA Avg: 24 min)
Health Inspections Rating: 1 out of 5 (Much Below Average)
Staff Rating: 3 out of 5 (Average)
Quality Measure Rating: 3 out of 5 (Average)
Most Recent Health Inspection Date: 11-16-2017
Number of Health Citations: 6
Average Number of Health Citations in Georgia: 3.2
Number of Complaints in previous 3 years resulting citation: 6
Federal fines in previous 3 years: 2 ($4,713 fine on 01-08-2016; $75,353 fine on 10-27-2016)
Why Choose Schenk Smith as your Nursing Home Lawyers?
Our focus is on nursing home abuse and neglect cases and no other types of legal cases. We would like to let you know several reasons why we think our firm is a good fit for your legal needs.
- Experience: We have the experience necessary to efficiently resolve your nursing home case. We understand nursing home cases and our attorneys know the current laws so we can provide insight into case value and efficient representation.
- Passion: Our attorneys are passionate about nursing home residents. We provide blogs, videos and a weekly podcast to give you the latest information you need about nursing home abuse and neglect. One of our founding attorneys, Will Smith, was a CNA for ten years in Georgia so we understand nursing homes.
- Results: In the last two years we have gotten millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients. We are the best Google-reviewed law firm in Georgia that focuses on nursing home cases. Our clients have provides some great feedback and many say that we treat them like family.
If your loved one was injured or died in a Lilburn, 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.