If your loved one has suffered from abuse or neglect at a Stockbridge nursing home, understand that they are not alone. Both neglect and abuse occur in various nursing homes around the state of Georgia. That is why at Schenk Smith we have dedicated all of our efforts and tools to helping elderly residents who are pursuing lawsuits against negligent and abusive nursing homes. After 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. We’re here to help you.
Both neglect and abuse occur quite often in Georgia nursing homes. Neglect usually stems from when a nursing home staff member fails to follow the procedures set forth by a resident’s physician. It could be as simple as failing to follow a resident’s specific diet. Abuse on the other hand is an intentional act that is done by a nursing home staff member or resident, with the intent to harm. Regardless if it is neglect or abuse, neither should ever be accepted.
The facility injured my loved one – When should I file a lawsuit?
If the facility injured your loved one and you are wondering whether to file a lawsuit, it is in your best interest to first contact an attorney in order to discuss your claim. Nursing homes are required under Georgia law to provide a safe and hazardous free environment. This means making sure each resident is properly cared for, especially if they require some specific attention or treatment. Failure to do so, will leave the nursing home liable, which is why it is important to file a lawsuit immediately.
Under Georgia law, you have two years in order to file a suit against a nursing home. After two years you will be unable to pursue your claim. That is why in the event of an injury, it is important to contact an attorney so that they can begin an investigation immediately. A lot of times, nursing homes will try to place the blame of the injury on your loved one. That’s why it is important to have legal representation, so that you can protect your loved one’s rights and pursue a lawsuit.
Will I have to pay for a lawyer up front?
Some lawyers work based off an hourly fee, which can prove to be quite costly. But fortunately there are lawyers who work off a contingency fee. This means that your attorney will not be paid until a verdict or settlement in your favor has reached. When that decision is reached, they will receive a percentage that is agreed upon beforehand.
During the process of pursuing a lawsuit, you may face other fees such as court fees, and medical fees that need to be paid to medical experts in exchange for their professional opinions and testimony. Usually attorneys working on a contingency fee will pay for these costs up front, and will then collect their money after the trial or settlement.
Having an attorney who works off a contingency fee is a great way to go. An attorney’s payment will be dependent on the outcome of your case, which means they’ll dedicate all of their efforts and skills to make sure that the outcome is one in your favor.
We are Schenk Smith, your Stockbridge nursing home lawyers.
At Schenk Smith we are 100% dedicated towards helping elderly residents who have suffered from nursing home abuse or neglect. We do not represent any other type of clients, nor do we practice any other form of law. We are solely focused on helping elderly residents recoup what is rightfully theirs.
The passion for nursing home cases resonates throughout our firm. This largely stems from our founding attorney Will Smith, who besides being a Marine, also served as a CNA for nearly a decade across nursing homes in the state of Georgia.
When you visit our site, you will come across countless videos, podcast episodes, and blog articles which are all dedicated towards helping elderly residents and their loved ones. After you’ve had the chance to view all of our resources, please give us a call so that we can schedule your free consultation and discuss your case. It doesn’t matter where you live, we’ll come to you. Whether you’re by the Panola Mountain State Park, the Georgia State Museum of Science and Industry, or the Collins Hill Aquatic Center, we’ve got you.
Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect in Stockbridge, Georgia – What you need to know.
Stockbridge, Georgia is located in Henry County and has a population of 27,692 residents. Of those residents, 9% are aged 65 and older. Like in other nursing homes around the state of Georgia, neglect and abuse occur frequently.
What are the types of nursing home abuse?
Unfortunately abuse is quite common in nursing homes. There are four major types of nursing home abuse which are:
The most common form of abuse if physical, which can usually be noticed when a resident has an unexplained bruise, cut, welt, or is bleeding. When these signs are evident, then chances are some form of physical abuse has taken place. Psychological or emotional abuse, and sexual abuse are more difficult to uncover. Signs that these have taken place will usually be evident when a resident becomes distant and emotionally unavailable. Residents at time become very apprehensive due to psychological abuse, so they may become anti-social, and they’ll likely try to avoid others. Financial abuse is rare but still occurs. Financial abuse usually occurs when a resident’s personal belongings continue to go missing. This means that either a staff member or another resident is stealing.
What are bedsores and how do they occur?
Bedsores, which are also known as pressure ulcers or decubitus ulcers, are an injury to the skin and underlying tissue. According to the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel, there are three causes of pressure ulcer wounds which are:
- Prolonged pressure to the skin
- Shear force
- Habitual friction
There are also certain circumstances that may exacerbate bedsores and increase their development, which are:
- Skin moisture
Each one of these circumstances combined with some form of pressure and immobility, will often lead to the formation of bedsores. Some nursing home residents are more susceptible to bedsores than others. That is why nursing homes are required to assess the risk of bedsores for each patient, while making sure the proper preventative steps are in place.
Who is responsible for nursing home abuse?
Whether nursing home abuse stems from a staff member or another resident, the nursing home will be held liable for it. Under Georgia law, each nursing facility is responsible in making sure that each resident is given a reasonable standard of care, which means that abuse should never occur.
When a staff member conducts any form of abuse on a resident, they may face disciplinary action, fines, and sometimes even jail time. The nursing home may also be held responsible, and it too will face possible fines, and at times may even be closed down.
If the abuse is resident-to-resident abuse, then the nursing home may still be held liable. Nursing homes are required to conduct assessments on each and every resident in order to see which residents are prone to violence. Failure to do so often leads to some form of resident-to-resident abuse, which means that the nursing home may be held liable.
My loved one was hurt in a Stockbridge nursing home – What do I do next?
If your loved one has been injured, abused, or has passed away at a Stockbridge, 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 Georgia Department of Community Health has a division known as The Healthcare Facility Regulation, which investigates cases of nursing home neglect and abuse. This division also regulates and certifies nursing homes within 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
The Georgia Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman is another route that you can take. The Ombudsman consists of individuals who are dedicated towards resolving cases of nursing home neglect and abuse. They are also authorized by law to enter nursing homes and ask questions, in order to seek answers.
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 Ave
College Park, GA 30337
Telephone: (678) 378-2934
Fax: (404) 768-8512
You may report physical assault or abuse to local law enforcement
If your loved one has suffered injuries due to an assault from a nursing home staff member or a fellow resident, then you should file a police report on their behalf immediately. Depending on the severity of the crime, criminal charges may be brought against the perpetrator by the District Attorney’s Office: Flint Judicial District.
Police Department of Stockbridge, Georgia
4545 N Henry Blvd
Stockbridge, GA 30281
Telephone: (770) 288-8239
Henry County Sheriff’s Office
120 Henry Pkwy
McDonough, GA 30253
Telephone: (770) 228-7100
Henry County District Attorney’s Office
Courthouse Sq, 2nd Floor, W Tower
McDonough, GA 30253
Telephone: (770) 288-6400
Find another facility for your loved one.
If your loved one has suffered from abuse or neglect at their nursing home, then it is in your best interest to find a better suited facility. While looking for better options, it is important that you conduct walkthroughs and ask as many questions as possible, in order to get a feel for the facility and their staff. Another tool to use is the Nursing Home Compare website which has been created by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This site has ratings for every nursing home in the county that accepts 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 Stockbridge, Georgia is located below, along with their contact information and inspection scores.
Get the medical records from the hospital and the nursing home.
If your loved one has been injured due to neglect or abuse, then it is extremely important that you obtain their medical records immediately. The reason you need to do this as quickly as possible is because nursing homes will usually stop at nothing to place the blame on your loved one. For example, if your loved one suffered a fracture due to a slip and fall over a wet surface, then chances are the nursing home will claim that the fracture was there before the fall. Regardless if the evidence indicates the opposite, nursing homes will usually deny any responsibility.
In order to protect your loved one’s rights, you need to obtain their medical records, but State and Federal laws prevent third parties from obtaining those records without the proper written authorization form. That form can be either a power of attorney, a healthcare directive, or guardianship paperwork.
If your loved one has been injured at a Stockbridge nursing home, then chances are their medical records will be at one of the hospitals listed below. After you’ve obtained the proper written authorization, 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.
Your loved one’s right to pursue a lawsuit is still valid even if they’ve passed away. A deceased person’s right to pursue a lawsuit is handed over to the Estate. For example, the plaintiff will go from being “John Doe” to “The Estate of John Doe”. In order for the lawsuit to be filed, the Estate will first need to be created. 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 predicament, then it is important that you setup an Estate immediately for your loved one. In doing so, you will need to appoint a personal representative, who is often referred to as an Executor or Administrator. This personal representative will then act on behalf of the Estate, and will make all the decision with regards to the lawsuit.
Henry County Probate Court
99 Sims St
McDonough, GA 30253
Nursing Homes in Stockbridge, Georgia
Every nursing home has their own pros and cons, making each of them different. Below is the nursing home located in Stockbridge, Georgia, along with pertinent information about it. This information is taken from CMS’ Nursing Home Compare Website.
1050 Hospital Drive
Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 (Average)
Number of Beds: 89
Number of Residents: 82.3
RN hours per resident per day: 46min (GA Avg: 24 min)
Health Inspections 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: 05-26-2017
Number of Health Citations: 3
Average Number of Health Citations in Georgia: 3.2
Number of Complaints in previous 3 years resulting citation: 1
Federal fines in previous 3 years: 0
Why Choose Schenk Smith as your Nursing Home Lawyers?
When you begin searching for an attorney you will come across various options to choose from. While you have plenty of options, we would like for you to consider us as the best choice to represent you and your family. Here are a couple reasons why we think we’d be the best choice for you:
- Singular Focus: Practicing only form of law makes us more knowledgeable on nursing home cases. It also allows us to stay on top of any changes in law that may pertain to nursing home cases. We do not practice any other form of law, so if you choose us, you’ll know that all of our efforts, skills, and knowledge will be geared towards making sure you receive the verdict or settlement you’re looking for.
- Top Notch Rating: Our attorneys have been selected as Georgia Super Lawyer Rising Stars. This is just one of many reasons why we are the best Google reviewed law firm in Georgia that focuses on nursing home cases.
- Selective yet Still Dedicated: Even though we offer everyone a free consultation, we are selective with the cases we choose. But being selective allows us to be fully prepared to see the cases we choose all the way to trial. This has resulted in millions in verdicts and settlements in the past two years, which is why our clients think very highly of us.
If your loved one was injured or died in a Stockbridge, 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.