If your loved one has suffered from abuse or neglect at a Woodstock nursing home, know that you are not alone. Neglect and abuse occur quite frequently in various Georgia nursing homes. That’s why we’ve designed our site with countless videos, podcast episodes, and blog articles that will help you in your efforts of pursuing lawsuit. After you’ve checked out our website, please give us a call so that we can schedule a free consultation and discuss your case. We’re here to help you.
Unfortunately nursing home neglect and abuse occur quite often. Neglect usually occurs when a nursing home fails to provide a reasonable standard of care that is required of them by law. Neglect is often an unintentional act that that causes an injury to a resident. Abuse on the other hand is an intentional act that is done by a nursing home staff member or another resident with the intent to harm. Neither neglect or abuse should ever be tolerated.
The facility hurt my loved one – Should I file a lawsuit?
If your loved one has been hurt due to the facility, then you may be able to sue the nursing home for neglect. Nursing homes are required by law to provide a reasonable standard of care. This means that nursing homes and their staff need to provide a safe and hazard free environment.
When a nursing home fails to do so, then they may be held liable, and you may be able to pursue a lawsuit. For example, if your loved one was injured by bed rails in their nursing home, then you may be able to sue the nursing home for neglect. Bed rails are inherently unsafe, especially for residents who are frail, elderly, or suffer from certain conditions. In these instances, nursing homes need to avoid using bedrails whenever possible, because their risks usually outweigh the benefits.
The same applies for nursing home surroundings. If a nursing home does not provide a safe environment, and your loved one slips and falls due to a wet and slippery floor, then the nursing home may be held liable, and it is within your right to pursue a lawsuit.
How do I afford a nursing home neglect lawyer?
Luckily most nursing home neglect lawyers will work off a contingency fee. This means that unless there is a settlement or a verdict in your favor, you won’t need to pay anything upfront. Their contingency fee will also include any other payments that may be required such as court costs and fees for medical experts.
Your attorney will usually receive a predetermined percentage of the recovery, at the time a settlement or a verdict is reached. There is a big advantage in hiring a lawyer who works off a contingency fee. This is because they will technically have ‘skin in the game’. What this means is that their payment will be contingent on them getting the results you’re looking for. Rather than hiring a lawyer who works on an hourly basis, it is better to hire a lawyer who works off a contingency fee, because that means that they are all in, with regards to reaching a settlement or verdict in your favor.
We are Schenk Smith, your Woodstock nursing home lawyers.
Our efforts are 100% dedicated towards nursing home cases. We only represent elderly residents who have suffered from neglect or abuse in their nursing homes. We do not practice any other form of law, nor are we interested in practicing any other form of law.
Our passion for helping nursing home residents comes from our founding attorney Will Smith, who was a CNA in Georgia nursing homes for a decade, before becoming an attorney. His passion for helping nursing home residents, resonates throughout our firm. Which is why we dedicate all of our efforts to helping you and your loved one’s pursue and win lawsuits against nursing homes.
When you visit our site you can watch over 200 videos, listen to plenty of podcast episodes, and you can read plenty of blog articles that will assist you in your efforts. After you’ve had the chance to check out all of our resources, please give us a call to schedule a free consultation, so that we can go over your case. It doesn’t matter if you live by the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, Barrington Hall, or the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History, we’ve got you.
Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect in Woodstock, Georgia – What you need to know.
Woodstock, Georgia is located in Cherokee County, and has a population of 27,964 residents. Of those, 11% are aged 65 and older. Unfortunately elderly neglect and abuse occurs quite frequently around nursing homes in the state of Georgia.
How do I spot the signs of neglect?
Nursing home neglect occurs when a nursing home fails to give their residents the proper attention and care they need. Common signs of neglect include:
- Poor Hygiene
- Unexplained Injuries
- Changes in Behavior
- Unsafe/Unsanitary Living Conditions
These common signs of neglect often occur when a nursing home doesn’t have enough staff on hand, or hasn’t trained their staff properly. Nursing home staffs are required and responsible for helping their residents with:
- Brushing Their Teeth
- Clipping Their Nails
- Changing Their Clothes
A lack of any of these will usually result in neglect. Malnutrition is another sign of neglect and usually occurs when a nursing home fails to give its residents the individualized care or diet that they require.
Unexplained bruises or broken bones are also signs of neglect, because sometimes they are the result of an elderly resident trying to do something (such as going to the bathroom) without proper assistance.
Nursing Home Injuries – Which are the most common?
The most common injuries in nursing homes are:
- Broken Bones
These injuries can result from either negligence or abuse. If neglect occurs, a resident will usually suffer some type of injury. For example, bruises and broken bones can be the result from a nursing home failing to provide a safe and hazard free environment. If a nursing home does not keep their floor clean and free of debris, then chances are one of their residents will eventually trip over the debris and hurt themselves. Cuts, bleeding, and welts can occur from a resident walking into a point object, because they weren’t assisted during their movement.
Physical abuse occurs frequently, and usually leads to some type of bruising, and sometimes can even lead to broken bones. Unfortunately abuse occurs in various Georgia nursing homes, so the injuries that result from abuse are quite common.
Why does this type of neglect happen?
Neglect often happens due to a nursing home failing to provide a reasonable standard of care that is required and expected of them under Georgia law. This usually happens when a nursing home fails to hire enough staff members, or fail to hire the right staff members.
Dealing with elderly residents every day requires lots of patience as well as a commitment to detail. Medical instruments need to be properly sterilized and cleaned before they are used on a resident. If a nursing home staff member fails to properly clean a medical instrument, then chances are some type of injury will occur. This is usually the result of a staff member being lazy, not caring, or simply not knowing.
That’s why nursing homes need to make sure that their staff is filled with properly trained nurses. On top of that, nursing homes need to conduct assessment tests for each of their residents, so that they are aware of any necessary specialized treatment for certain residents. Failure to do, usually leads to some form on neglect.
My loved one was hurt in a Woodstock nursing home – What do I do next?
If your loved one has suffered from some type of abuse or neglect at a Woodstock, Georgia nursing home that has resulted in an injury or even led to death, then we advise you to take action immediately. The sooner you act, means the sooner you’ll be able to protect your loved one’s rights.
First, report the incident to the appropriate Georgia authorities.
Georgia Department of Community Health
The Healthcare Facility Regulation is a division of the Georgia Department of Community Health, which investigates cases of nursing home abuse and neglect. This same division also regulates and certifies 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 option you can use is the Georgia Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman. The Ombudsman program helps resolve complaints between residents and nursing homes. This program is 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:
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 assaulted and has suffered injuries from a nursing home staff member or another resident, then it is within your right to file a police report immediately. Depending on the severity of what occurred, criminal charges may be brought against the perpetrator by the District Attorney’s Office: Blue Ridge Judicial District.
Police Department of Woodstock, Georgia
Woodstock, GA 30188
Telephone: (770) 592-6000
Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office
498 Chattin Dr
Canton, GA 30114
Telephone: (678) 493-4200
Cherokee County District Attorney’s Office
90 North St, Ste. 390
Canton, GA 30114
Telephone: (770) 479-1488
Find another facility for your loved one.
It is within your right to find a better suited nursing facility for your loved one, especially if they’ve suffered some form of neglect or abuse. When you begin conducting your search, you should conduct walkthroughs at the facilities you’re looking at. While conducting walkthroughs, it is imperative that you ask as many questions as possible, so that you can get a feel for the nursing home and their staff. Another tool to use is the Nursing Home Compare website which is operated by the United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This site gives nursing homes a rating based off a 5-star system. The 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 within Woodstock, Georgia is located below, along with their contact information and inspection scores.
Get the medical records from the hospital and the nursing home.
It is imperative to get your loved one’s medical records immediately if they’ve been injured. The reason you need to obtain them quickly is because nursing homes will stop at nothing to place the blame for an injury on your loved one, rather than accepting responsibility. Even if the evidence is stacked against them, the nursing home will usually deny. For example, if your loved one suffers a broken bone due to a slip and fall that was caused from an unsafe environment, the nursing home will try to claim that the bone was already broken before the fall.
To help build your loved one’s case, you will need their medical records. Their medical records will show who the caring physician was, and will also show information with regards to the hospital visit. It is also necessary to obtain the nursing home’s medical records, since sometimes those records will show signs of neglect or abuse from the nursing home.
In order to obtain your loved one’s medical records, you will first need to obtain the proper written authorization. State and Federal privacy laws prevent third-parties from viewing or obtaining medical records without the proper written authorizations. The written authorization will usually come in the form of a power of attorney, guardianship paperwork, or a healthcare directive.
If your loved one has been injured at a Woodstock nursing home, then chances are their medical records will be located at one of the hospitals listed below. Once you’ve obtained the proper written authorization, your next step will need to be to file a request to the Release of Information Department at the hospital.
Begin the probate process if your loved one has passed away.
Your loved one’s right to pursue a claim doesn’t vanish if they’ve passed away. A deceased person’s right to pursue a lawsuit is handed over to an Estate. For example, the plaintiff will go from “John Smith” to “The Estate of John Smith”. The Estate first needs to be established in order to file the lawsuit. In order for this to happen, the surviving spouse, child, or relative will need to petition the Probate Court of the County in which the deceased has passed.
If you are currently in this predicament, then you need to setup the Estate immediately. In doing so, you will need to appoint a personal representative, who is often referred to as an Administrator or an Executor. This personal representative will then make all the decision with regards to the lawsuit, on behalf of the Estate.
Cherokee County Probate Court
90 North St, Ste. 340
Canton, GA 30114
Nursing Homes in Woodstock, Georgia
There are no two nursing homes alike, as each have their own pros and cons. Below you’ll find information for a nursing home located in Woodstock, Georgia, along with pertinent information about it. This information is taken from CMS’ Nursing Home Compare Website.
105 Arnold Mill Road
Woodstock, GA 30188
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 (Above Average)
Number of Beds: 171
Number of Residents: 124
RN hours per resident per day: 27min (GA Avg: 34min)
Health Inspection Rating: 4 out of 5 (Above Average)
Staff Rating: 2 out of 5 (Below Average)
Quality Measure Rating: 4 out of 5 (Above Average)
Most Recent Health Inspection Date: 08-24-2017
Number of Health Citations: 0
Average Number of Health Citations in Georgia: 3.2
Number of Complaints in previous 3 years resulting in citation: 0
Federal fines in previous 3 years: 0
Why Choose Schenk Smith as your Nursing Home Lawyers?
During your search for an attorney you will come across tons of attorney’s to choose from. We understand you have options. Even though you have various 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 you should consider us:
- Sole Dedication: We do not represent any other types of clients other than elderly residents that have suffered from nursing home neglect or abuse. Focusing in one area makes us more knowledgeable about changes in law that may pertain to nursing home cases. This has given us plenty of experience, which is why we are able to provide insights on case values in an efficient manner.
- Results Driven: Our firm is selective with the cases that we choose, even though we offer everyone free consultations to discuss their case. But being selective, means that we are completely dedicated in seeing your case all the way through trial. Our clients will deal almost exclusively with an attorney and not a case manager. Our client testimonials show why we are highly regarded, and why they think of us as family.
- Recognition Amongst Our Peers: Our attorneys have been selected as Georgia Super Lawyer Rising Stars. This is just one reason why we are the best Google reviewed law firm in Georgia that focuses on nursing home cases.
If your loved one was injured or died in a Woodstock, 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.