Personal injury lawsuits always involve determining the duty of care that the defendant owed to the plaintiff and whether or not the defendant was acting in compliance with that duty of care at the time of the accident. If the personal injury lawsuit involves a vehicular accident, then the duty of care is that both drivers must obey traffic laws and exercise reasonable caution when driving. In the case of a premises liability suit, the business owner has a duty to make sure that his or her place of business is free of safety hazards, although safety regulations for places of business vary from one industry to another. In a medical malpractice suit, the doctor has a duty to identify and respond appropriately to signs of illnesses and complications from treatments and to be aware of and inform patients of the risks involved with any treatment. In some cases, when a patient in a nursing home suffers a preventable illness or injury, the patient’s family has grounds for a nursing home abuse lawsuit.
What Georgia Law Says About Requirements for Nursing Home Care
There is a popular saying in the legal profession that most of the laws that affect your daily life are state laws, as opposed to federal laws, and nursing home regulations are no exception. The section of Georgia law that deals with the care that nursing homes in our state are required to provide is Chapter 111. If you see that the care that your family member is receiving in a nursing home does not conform to one of the standards set for nursing home care, alert the administration of the nursing home immediately. It is also a good idea to seek professional legal advice at the first signs of trouble.
Georgia’s nursing home regulations go on for many pages, so it is not possible to list all of them in a single blog post. These are some of the nursing home regulations that are likely to be an issue in nursing home abuse lawsuits.
- Each nursing home patient is entitled to receive two hours of nursing care in a 24-hour period. The nursing home must schedule enough nursing staff members to work each shift so that they can meet this requirement. The nurses on the staff can have various kinds of nursing credentials, but at least one out of seven nurses on the nursing home staff must have a credential of Registered Nurse (RN) or higher.
- The time between meals should not be more than five hours during the day. The time between dinner and breakfast must not exceed 14 hours. Snacks should be available to patients between meals.
- After a physician or dietitian assesses the patient’s dietary needs, the nursing home must provide meals that fulfill those needs.
- The nursing home must draft and follow policies for medical and dental emergencies and for infection control.
- Nursing home staff must immediately notify the patient’s physician if the patient has an adverse reaction to a prescription drug. They must also immediately notify the physician in the event of a prescription error. This rule applies whether it was an error on the part of the doctor prescribing the medication (such as if the doctor prescribed a higher dose than what is safe for the patient) or on the part of the nursing staff in administering the medication.
- The nursing home staff may not physically restrain or seclude a patient except with a physician’s orders to do so. If the nursing home staff restrains or secludes the patient on an emergency basis, they must contact the physician immediately to discuss the matter.
- Each patient in a nursing home must have his or her own bed. Its mattress must be at least 36 inches wide and at least four inches thick.
- Nursing home staff must not reuse disposable supplies intended for a single use.
Contact Schneider Hammers About Nursing Home Abuse Cases
It can be very difficult for patients in nursing homes to speak up for themselves when they are not receiving proper care. If you suspect that your family member is being mistreated in a nursing home, do not wait to get legal advice about how to protect him or her. Contact an attorney at Schneider Hammers in Atlanta, Georgia to discuss whether you have grounds for a nursing home abuse lawsuit.