When thinking about nursing home abuse, we often think in just those terms: about "abuse." However, the reality is that nursing home residents are in danger of more than just active abuse- you also have to worry about neglect from poorly trained and paid nursing home staff members.
Our nursing home abuse lawyers are trained to handle cases involving a huge range of abuse and neglect charges. We understand the legal and medical dynamics in these cases and know how to successfully pursue legal actions against the operators of these nursing homes.
If your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect in an Atlanta, Georgia area nursing home, please call Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance, PC today at 404-662-3552 for a free consultation.
Medical Malpractice in Nursing Homes
The simple reality of age is that elderly Americans usually have a great need for medical care. This is to be expected. And nursing homes are expected and obligated to provide for their residents' medical needs.
Normally, we tend to think of medical malpractice as a kind of pro-active error. A doctor nicks an surrounding tissue during an operation or mis-diagnoses an illness. And these types of things certainly (and tragically) happen in nursing homes.
However, nursing home residents are also endangered by medical neglect. Often, facilities try to cut corners and costs, endangering the lives of their residents.
Examples of medical malpractice in nursing homes includes:
- An utter lack of trained, educated and experienced medical personnel, including doctors and registered nurses
- Medication errors
- Failure to follow a doctor's order- even the most skilled, conscientious doctor can't help a patient if the facility staff fails to adhere to his or her recommendations
- Mis-use or abuse of medical restraints
- "Traditional" medical malpractice, such as a missed diagnosis or a botched procedure
Regardless of the specifics, medical malpractice is unacceptable in a nursing home.
Nursing home staff members are in a position of great power. This is true even of the orderlies who take care of facility residents in their rooms. Residents are largely at the mercy of staff members and depend on them throughout their day-to-day lives.
It has always been a tragic reality that some people, when placed in a position of power, will exploit that power to engage in despicable and deplorable sexual abuse. Sadly, this is also the case in nursing homes.
In a sexual abuse case, the abuser is obviously criminally responsible for his or actions. However, it's worth examining in more detail the role of the facility administration in these horrific cases.
Administrators are responsible for the actions of their employees. Nursing home administrators obviously do not encourage or condone sexual abuse, but there are trade-offs involved when staffing a facility. Administrators will often try and cut costs by hiring cheaply available applicants who lack necessary skills or, in extreme cases, even possess criminal records. And facilities are often under-staffed, which makes it easier for an abusive employee to continue exploiting a victim.
Sexual abuse can have devastating, long-term physical and psychological consequences. Those responsible for this abuse must be held accountable for their negligence and misconduct.
When you entrusted your father, mother, grandfather or grandmother to the care of a long-term care facility, you rightfully expected that he or she would be treated according to acceptable standards of care. Unfortunately, many nursing home facilities lack properly trained staff or even proper staff levels. This results in serious danger to residents.
Examples of the sorts of depridations suffered as a result of neglect include:
- Decubitus ulcers and bed sores
- Wandering from facilities
People without experience in the long-term caregiving field (either as caregivers, as administrators, as policymakers or as attorneys) are often shocked to hear that residents of long-term care facilities are often found to have suffered from dehydration or malnutrition. Keeping a vulnerable, weak person properly hydrated and fed may seem to be a fundamental assumption for caregivers.
Slip-and-fall injuries are among the most common in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, yet care providers routinely fail to protect patients from falls. Preventing these falls requires dedicated staff member who are willing to put in the effort required to monitor residents and keep them safe.
We have investigated dozens of nursing home injury cases and have recovered recent awards of $3.5 million, $2 million and $1.2 million. Our extensive experience in handling nursing home cases means we have the skill to fully investigate cases, determine their full financial value and fight for the best possible result.
Elderly nursing home residents are uniquely vulnerable to financial exploitation and manipulation. And because many of these residents lack significant financial resources, they are uniquely harmed by this exploitation.
Our nursing home abuse lawyers are as concerned with financial exploitation as they are with physical abuse. We are prepared to do the hard work needed to make your loved one whole again.
Most nursing home employees are ethical and honest. But cases across the country have made clear that too many employees and administrators are willing to exploit residents for financial gains.
Nursing home employees are often poorly paid, and unethical staff members see their charges as supplemental income. They steal from residents and use physical and emotional manipulation to force residents to hand over credit card information, checking account numbers and cash.
Exploitation from nursing home administrators is usually more subtle and "white collar" in nature. Administrators will sometimes over-charge residents for services and expenses or siphon off money from a resident's Social Security and pension payments.
Tracking down all of the leads in these cases takes persistence, skill and experience. Our nursing home abuse lawyers possess all three traits in abundance. We understand how to perform the difficult work of finding and proving financial abuse. And we understand how to navigate the legal system on behalf of our clients.
If you're a resident of Columbus, Augusta, or the Atlanta, Georgia area and an elderly loved one has suffered any form of abuse at a nursing home, our lawyers can help. Please call Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance, PC today at 404-662-3552 or contact us for a free consultation.