Do you suspect that your parent or loved one was abused or neglected in a Milton nursing home? We are here to assist you in resolving the situation and provide the resources necessary to protect the rights of your loved one. Utilize the resources we provide on our website or call us for helpful guidance.
Your loved one may be a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect. Abuse is considered an intentional act such as hitting a resident or improperly restraining someone. Neglect encompasses a wide range of unintentional actions such as failing to supervise a resident who falls or the failure to adequately reposition an immobile resident. Regardless of the reason, your loved one should not suffer harm due to these types of actions in a nursing home.
The facility injured my loved one. Can I file a lawsuit?
Your loved one was injured due to abuse or neglect in a lawsuit. You certainly want to pursue every possible avenue to obtain justice for your family member. It is possible to pursue a lawsuit if you have the proper authority to do so. Not every family member is allowed to take legal action on behalf of a loved one.
You must have legal authority to file a claim through durable power of attorney, general power of attorney or guardianship in order to proceed with any type of legal action. You must obtain legal authority before you can file a lawsuit for your relative. If your loved one is deceased you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit on your own behalf.
However, even if you have legal authority you may not have to go forward with a lawsuit. In fact, this may be an option that you take if you cannot resolve the situation through other means. Your attorney will work to facilitate a satisfactory resolution. However, if the nursing home is unwilling, the case may require court action.
How much will filing a lawsuit against a nursing home cost?
If your elderly parent was injured due to nursing home abuse or neglect you may need to file a lawsuit. A nursing home case can be complex but it doesn’t have to be costly to the person who files the claim. In general, an attorney works on nursing home cases on a contingency basis. This means that they don’t need to be paid up front.
Instead, the attorney will be paid his fees once a settlement is made. This can be extremely helpful because most people don’t have the funds to secure an attorney for this purpose. Contingency allows you, the family of the victim, to be able to seek justice on behalf of your loved one.
In addition to attorney’s fees, there are other costs associated with lawsuits. For example, medical records must be ordered, witnesses must be deposed and testimony has to be gathered from expert witnesses. There are also other costs such as filing fees and court costs. In many cases, the attorney will pay these fees on your behalf and allow them to be paid from the settlement.
We are Schenk Smith, your Milton nursing home lawyers
We are here to help you resolve the issues of nursing home neglect or abuse and protect the rights of your loved one. We don’t handle any other types of cases so we are completely familiar with all types of nursing home injuries. Our clients are people just like you, who suffered a serious injury and simply want to get the compensation they deserve.
We are passionate about the subject of nursing home abuse and neglect. One of our firm’s founders, Will Smith, worked firsthand in the Georgia nursing home industry as a certified nursing assistant for ten years. We believe that our senior citizens should be treated properly and we are proud to be advocates for nursing home residents who otherwise do not have a voice.
If you are located anywhere in Milton such as near Atlanta National Golf Club, Crooked Creek or Crabapple, we are here to help. Review the information on our website and then give us a call. Schedule a consultation so we can assist you in resolving this difficult and serious situation.
Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect in Milton, Georgia- What you need to know.
Milton, Georgia is located in Fulton County and has a population of 32,661 residents. Of those, 11% are aged 65 and older. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect occur here as they do in other cities in Georgia.
Are there certain signs of neglect?
Nursing home neglect can occur with few immediate signs. Often times your loved one may be hesitant to report a problem or might be unable to do so due to their medical condition. There are some signs of neglect that you or others may notice.
- Change in Behavior: Your loved one may become more withdrawn or less talkative than usual. Don’t just chalk it up to a bad mood. Your loved one might be suffering in silence, afraid to say anything about the neglect for fear of being further mistreated.
- Unexplained Bruises or Injuries: You may notice a bruise or other injury that was not reported. Your loved one may not even realize that the injury wasn’t reported or that the injury was due to neglect. For example, a resident falls while walking without assistance and breaks his hip. The nursing home may tell you that the resident fell but does not offer any further explanation. The nursing home may be responsible for neglect because they failed to provide assistance.
- Unkempt Appearance: Residents in nursing homes often require help for performing their daily personal tasks such as brushing their teeth, bathing and brushing their hair. If your loved one is being neglected he may show signs that he is not getting the help he needs with his personal duties.
You know your loved one better than anyone does. If you notice a change in their appearance or behavior you might suspect neglect.
Nursing home injuries – Which are most common?
Nursing home residents may suffer from a variety of injuries. Nursing home injuries can be prevented with adequate care and supervision.
- Pressure Ulcers: One of the most common injuries is a pressure ulcer. These painful wounds are sometimes called bedsores or pressure sores. They begin as small red marks where something is continually rubbing on the skin. They can quickly worsen and develop into serious injuries that break the skin and may become infected.
- Broken Bones: Falls are the number one most common cause of injuries to senior citizens in the United States. A fall in a nursing home can cause serious injuries including broken bones and lacerations. A fractured hip is among the most reported injuries from a fall and may require surgery. The resident’s health may suffer as they try to recover from this type of problem.
- Medication Mistakes: Most people over the age of 65 take some type of prescription medication to treat a medical condition. Many people take several or more prescriptions on a daily basis. The nursing home is required to monitor and distribute medication properly and ensure that residents take the correct dosage. A medical emergency can occur when a resident is provided with the wrong medication, too much of the medication or when they fail to receive their prescribed medications.
Why is nursing home neglect so prevalent?
Nursing home neglect is an unfortunate problem that occurs all too often. There may be many reasons that neglect takes place.
- Inadequate Staffing: The facility may have inadequate staffing, which is a problem in a large number of nursing homes. The staff might be overworked and could take shortcuts in providing care to residents. Sometimes a nursing home might try to stretch resources rather than spend more money to hire caregivers.
- Insufficient Training: Nursing home staff may not be adequately trained. Improper training can lead to a number of serious problems such as injuries due to neglect or abuse. Staff turnover is often high in nursing care facilities and caregivers may not be provided with the information they need to perform their duties.
- Improper Management: Management at nursing home facilities may be lacking. The managers might not provide workers with the tools and information they need to properly complete their tasks. Further, inadequate supervision causes workers to be lax in their duties. A culture of poor work ethics can develop among workers in facilities, which can make it difficult for qualified workers to provide high quality care.
All of these issues can work together to create a facility that is more likely to provide neglectful or abusive care. It can be difficult for poorly run nursing homes to attract high quality caregivers.
My loved one was hurt in a Milton nursing home- What do I do next?
If your loved one was severely injured or passed away at a Milton, 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 handles complaints of nursing home abuse and neglect. They investigate the matter and provide a resolution. They also oversee regulations and certifications of Georgia nursing homes.
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
The Georgia Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman is an alternative option for filing a complaint. The ombudsman includes advocates for nursing home care and have representatives located across the state. Their job is to help resolve complaints between nursing home residents and nursing homes. They are fully trained and authorized to work with nursing homes to advocate on your behalf.
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:
225 Cameron Road
McDonough, GA 30253
Telephone: (404) 627-1057
Fax: (404) 627-1064
You may also report physical assault or abuse to local law enforcement
If your loved one was abused, injured, neglected or suffered an injury due to unlawful activities in a nursing home you may file a police report to document the situation. Your report will be investigated and if warranted, charges will be made against the nursing home or staff members by the District Attorney’s Office: Atlanta Judicial District.
City of Milton Police Department
13000 Deerfield Parkway
Milton, GA 30004
Telephone: (678) 297-6300
Fulton County Sheriff’s Office
185 Central Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30303
Telephone: (404) 612-5100
Office of the Fulton County District Attorney
136 Pryor St.
Atlanta, GA 30303
Telephone: (404) 612-4981
Find another facility for your loved one.
If your loved one was injured in a nursing home you should not wait to take action. It may be best to choose another nursing facility for your loved one. This is particularly important when the neglect or abuse is an immediate threat. You may be afraid that you won’t be able to locate a safe nursing home facility. It is a good idea to visit the nursing home, ask questions and do your own inspection. If it doesn’t seem right to you it is best not to pursue that particular facility.
To help you find a suitable facility you can use an online tool to compare nursing homes. The Nursing Home Compare website offers helpful information and is provided through the United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The CMS website provides data on all nursing homes in the United States and rates them using a five-star system. They base ratings on many factors such as quality of care, nurse to resident ratio, inspection scores and others.
Get the medical records from the hospital and the nursing home.
The most important part of any nursing home abuse or neglect case is the resident’s medical records. The medical reports will provide essential information about the history of particular medical problems including such things as when they first began, when they were reported and how they were treated. Very often elderly residents may suffer from a variety of medical maladies. It is imperative to be able to show that a specific incident of abuse or neglect caused the problem or contributed to the person’s failing health.
Nursing homes may try to say that the resident’s condition was preexisting, even in cases where the injury obviously occurred while under their care. For this reason you must obtain the medical records independently of the nursing facility. You must have the proper authority to request medical records because of state and federal privacy laws. You will need to have written power of attorney through a legal document such as a living will or healthcare directive or have legal guardianship.
If your loved one resided in a Milton nursing home at the time of injury it is likely that you may obtain medical records from one of the hospitals listed below. Once you have proper authorization you can request medical records formally. The request should be made to the “Release of Information” department at the hospital where your loved one was treated. Here is the contact information for these departments.
Begin the probate process if your loved one has passed away.
While your loved one is alive he or she has the legal right to file their own lawsuit. However, if your loved one has passed away that does not end. The right to file a lawsuit is handled by the person’s estate. For instance, while living, a person files a lawsuit under his own name. Once deceased, the lawsuit is brought by the estate of the person.
Generally, a person’s estate must be established in order to file a lawsuit on their behalf. A surviving spouse or other relative may create an estate by petitioning the Probate Court of the County where the deceased person passed away.
An estate must be set up and a personal representative must be named. This person, called the executor or administrator is allowed to act on behalf of the person’s estate. The executor is able to make important decisions regarding the estate including the decision to file a lawsuit on behalf of the deceased. It is important to begin the probate process as soon as possible because the law limits the time to file claims in certain types of cases.
Fulton County Probate Court
136 Pryor St. SW, Ste C-230
Atlanta, GA 30303
Telephone: (404) 613-4070
Why Choose Schenk Smith as your Nursing Home Lawyers?
Your loved one was abused or neglected in a nursing home and you need help from an attorney. There are many law firms to choose from so how can you make the choice? There are plenty of reasons that we think we would be an excellent choice to represent you as you seek justice.
- Focus: Our law firm focuses entirely on nursing home abuse and neglect cases. That’s all we do so you know we have experience. Our clients think so, too. We are the best Google reviewed law firm in Georgia that handles nursing home cases.
- We Answer All of Your Questions: We know you have a lot of questions and concerns. That’s why we provide you with all of the answers. Our website is filled with information that will help you understand nursing home abuse and neglect and what to do about it. Our video podcast is just one of our online resources and is posted weekly to educate the public.
- Dedication: Our attorneys are dedicated to providing our clients with the representation they deserve. We understand the needs of our clients and we want to make sure that senior citizens who were neglected or abused in nursing homes are heard.
If your loved one was injured or died in a Milton, 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.