Dalton Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Nursing homes are extremely important institutions that many elderly people rely upon. A person may entrust an elderly parent to the care of a nursing home facility with the expectation that he or she will receive better care than at home. Unfortunately, some residents of nursing homes experience abuse and neglect.

A person who has been abused or neglected in a nursing home may strongly benefit from meeting with a determined personal injury attorney. A family member often may act as an advocate for an elderly person who has received the abuse and could potentially pursue a lawsuit on his or her behalf. Contact a Dalton nursing home abuse lawyer to learn about potential legal options.

What Duty of Care is Owed by Nursing Home Facilities?

A nursing home owes its patients a safe and healthy environment that cares for their individual needs. The home is required to provide for the physical and mental well-being and the safety of all its patients, including who and how it hires staff and how it trains them. It also includes how many people it employs to care for the patients in its facility.

The legal duty of nursing homes comes from a few different sources, beginning with the general law of negligence and medical malpractice law. It also comes from regulations, including federal and state regulations that govern nursing homes. Each of these sources provides an aspect of duty of care that every nursing home owes its patients.

What are the Signs of Potential Abuse in Nursing Homes?

Georgia statute §31-8-81, outlaws the abuse of elders who remain in long-term care facilities including nursing homes, assisted living communities, and at-home care. Typically, abuse of an elder means any intentionally or grossly negligent act or lack of action that caused injury to a resident. Examples of these acts include assault, battery, the failure to provide treatment, care, or sexual harassment.

Additionally, it is also generally considered illegal to exploit elders within a nursing home. Exploitation could include any effort to coerce, harass, or deceive the elder for the caretaker’s profit or advantage. A Dalton nursing home abuse lawyer can provide an explanation of what actions committed upon an elder constitute either negligence or exploitation.

When to Notify the Department of Community Health

If elder abuse is discovered within a nursing home, the Department of Community Health must usually be notified of the abuse. According to Georgia statute, §31-8-82, the following persons (among others) have an obligation to notify the Department if elder abuse is suspected:

  • Any physical or occupational therapist
  • Day-care personnel
  • Emergency Medical Technicians
  • Long-term care managers or employees
  • Clergy members

The initial notification of the suspected abuse can be reported to the Department either in person or on the telephone. The duty to notify the Department often requires that a written report be submitted to the Department no later than 24 hours after the initial notification. The report must typically contain the name and address of the person making the report, the elder involved, contact information for the nursing home, and the nature and cause of the injury.

Who Could be Immune to a Nursing Home Liability Claim in Dalton?

In most cases, an abused elder or their legal representative has the right to obtain in-depth information about who specifically was involved in the abuse from the Department. This is generally helpful when bringing a lawsuit against a nursing home for monetary damages, especially when facing a potentially aggressive immunity defense from a nursing home facility.

Additionally, Georgia statute § 31-8-85 stipulates that if an agent of the nursing home reported abuse they committed to an elder to the Department, they may be exempt from liability for their actions. The services of a Dalton nursing home abuse lawyer can be instrumental in preserving an elder’s claim of abuse if immunity defenses are ever posed.

Calling a Dalton Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

Learning about the abuse of an elderly family member or loved one can be incredibly difficult. A person may not know how to proceed or if he or she should file a claim against the nursing home facility. Often, the court system may seem quite confusing and could frustrate a person if he or she attempts to file a claim alone. Schedule an appointment with a Dalton nursing home abuse lawyer. A dedicated attorney could review the case and help you determine your next steps. Call today to get started.

Dalton Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer