Until the 1980s, nursing homes were considered to be a last resort for families with elderly parents. If you put your loved one in a nursing home, you were thought of as cold and uncaring. People didn’t even like to use the word nursing home in front of their loved ones. It would bring up thoughts of fear and depression. For this reason, there wasn’t a whole lot of media surrounding nursing homes. This means, as a Roswell injury attorney can tell you, that a lot of cases of nursing home abuse went unnoticed.
There are some people who absolutely love what they do. They become nurses because they like taking care of people. Ideally, everybody who works at a nursing home would feel this way. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in the field who feel unappreciated and underpaid. This can lead to resentment and frustration when it comes to doing their job.
Most of couldn’t imagine hurting an elderly person. Who would want to take advantage of or abuse someone who is old and frail? Sadly, there are people out there who don’t share this point of view. They don’t like their jobs so they take it out on the patients. They either intentionally hurt their patients or they sit by while their charges get hurt.
Your Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Will Get Your Family Justice
Nursing home abuse can go unnoticed for months or even years. We used to hear about cases where patients were allowed to sit in their own waste, developing bedsores and infections. We didn’t often hear about nursing staff or aides who went out of their way to hurt their residents. This is happening more and more. It may not mean that more people are being abused. It just means that we are now learning about it when it happens.
It’s hard enough putting our parents or loved ones in a nursing home. It’s a decision that we grabble with for months before finally deciding to do it. The last thing we think we’ll have to worry about is finding out someone is abusing our loved one. Getting a phone call like that is unimaginable. Sadly. It happens all the time in Georgia.
If you get a phone call that your mom is dad is in the emergency room, you need to do a few things. The first thing you need to do is go check on your parent. The second thing you need to do is contact a Roswell nursing home abuse lawyer.
You are Going to Want to Do a Few Things to Protect Your Loved One
- Get your loved one moved to a different facility. Your nursing home abuse lawyer can help you with this. He can contact the social worker or case worker and request a transfer.
- Document your parent’s injuries. Take pictures of any bruises or obvious injuries.
- Get documentation from the emergency room physicians of any injuries or illnesses.
- Contact the nursing home administrator and let him know your loved one will not be returning to his facility.
Make sure you let the nursing home know that you’re aware of what’s going on. They may not even know about the abuse. They may try to cover it up once it becomes apparent. Make sure you put your concerns in writing and deliver it to the nursing home administrator. The nursing home should then receive a phone call from your nursing home abuse lawyer. They will probably try to cover up any evidence of abuse, however, you do want them to know you’re aware of what’s happened.
What Types of Abuse Do Roswell Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Handle?
There are many different types of nursing home abuse. Sometimes, the abuse is done by a staff member. It can also be caused by another resident. Either way, your nursing home abuse lawyer will also want to hold the nursing home responsible. The nursing home administrator is responsible to make sure all the residents are safe. If they fail to do this, they will be deemed negligent.
The nursing home administrator may claim she is not aware of the abuse. Even if this is the case, your nursing home abuse lawyer can prove that they should have been aware. What people don’t realize is that even a cursory inspection of a nursing home resident would reveal evidence of nursing home abuse. Elderly people bruise easily. It’s not hard to tell when an older person has been physically abused.
Over time, certain nursing homes get a reputation for being known for abuse. Your Roswell nursing home abuse attorney may know if your loved one’s home is one of these. He has handled many nursing home abuse cases in the past, including:
- Physical AbuseThis type of abuse involved any type of force being used against a nursing home resident. It usually involves slapping, punching, kicking, and shoving. There are also less obvious types of abuse such as over-medicating, using painful restraints, and dropping a patient.
- Sexual AbuseIt’s horrible to imagine this happening to your loved one, but sexual abuse does happen in nursing homes. It can be at the hands of staff or other residents and it doesn’t always involve actual sex with the patient. It can be forcing the patient to watch pornography or having sex in a patient’s room while they are in there. Roswell nursing home abuse attorneys will make sure all parties are held responsible for sexual abuse of the elderly.
- Emotional AbuseThis may actually be the most common type of elderly abuse. We say “may” be the most common because it is hard to detect. Many older patients are not able to communicate as well as they’d like. It can be hard for them to let us know that they are suffering. Emotional abuse can be verbal or non-verbal. Here are examples of each type of emotional abuse:
- Verbal – There can be obvious types of verbal abuse. There can also be more indirect forms of verbal abuse. Verbal abuse usually involves:
- Yelling at the patient
- Blaming the resident for things they didn’t do
- Calling the resident horrible names
- Humiliating the resident
- Threatening the patient
- Non-Verbal – This type of abuse is hard to detect. It can just as harmful to the resident as physical abuse. It is just harder for your nursing home abuse lawyer to prove. Examples of non-verbal abuse include:
- Ignoring the patient or pretending you don’t hear their needs
- Saying and doing things to purposely scare the patient
- Keeping the resident from visiting with family and friends
Your Roswell nursing home abuse attorney is going to have to gather evidence to prove the abuse. It is not an easy task. He will be dealing with nursing home staff who are reluctant to divulge information. Other residents aren’t always helpful because they may not be able to communicate what they have seen. Residents are also afraid that if they do say anything, they will be abused as well.
Your Roswell Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Will Get Your Loved One the Compensation They Deserve
How do you place a price on a person’s dignity? It can be hard, at first, for your nursing home abuse lawyer to evaluate your case. At least with physical abuse, you can determine the extent of your loved one’s injuries. With emotional abuse, however, it’s a lot harder to determine damages. Either way, your nursing home abuse lawyer is going to make sure the nursing home is held responsible.
Nursing home abuse cases present a challenge because the victim is your loved one – not yourself. You may feel like you’re handling a case involving your child rather than a grown adult. This is because a lot of nursing home residents are not legally competent to handle their own affairs. Also, people who abuse the elderly typically abuse patients who aren’t able to tell anybody what’s going on. This means that a lot of victims can’t tell their family members what’s going on.
If you are acting as power of attorney for your mom or dad, you can raise legal claims on their behalf. Your mom or dad will be the plaintiff. However, you’ll be the one dealing with the Roswell nursing home abuse attorney. If your loved one is capable of handling their own affairs, they can meet with the nursing home abuse lawyer themselves.
What Types of Damages Can a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Get Your Loved One?
If your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, you’re going to want to be compensated Your Roswell nursing home abuse attorney will file a claim for damages against the nursing home. Here are the main types of damages involved in nursing home abuse cases:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Costs of additional medical care
- Out of pocket expenses for transfer to different nursing home
- Compensation for any personal property taken or damaged
- Mental pain and suffering
Damages in a nursing home abuse case are a bit different than they are with typical negligence cases. Very rarely will you claim lost wages in a nursing home abuse case. This is because plaintiff is elderly and on social security. Damages, for the most part, will be limited to pain and suffering.
There are also cases where the abuse causes damages for medical bills. If, for example, your loved one is physically injured and needs surgery, there will be costs for this. If a nursing home employee dropped your parent, they could break their hip and if this happens, they will require surgery and physical therapy. A lot of this may be covered by insurance or Medicare. However, all out of pocket expenses need to be covered by your settlement.
A jury would have to determine pain and suffering in a nursing home abuse case. Georgia does allow pain and suffering. It doesn’t break this down into physical pain and mental pain. It will depend on what your nursing home abuse lawyer can prove.
How Your Roswell Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Will Prove Damages
Your nursing home abuse lawyer is going to advise you to file a claim against the nursing home’s insurance. Depending on the circumstances, you may also have to file a claim against the caregiver’s insurance. Nurses and doctors carry malpractice insurance. However, there are a few issues with this:
- Malpractice insurance usually doesn’t cover intentional acts
- There are limits on malpractice insurance
- Most caregivers who abuse patients aren’t required to carry any insurance
For these reasons, it’s really important that you file a claim against the company’s insurance policy. They may be willing to pay the claim. If this is the case, great. However, this is not always the case. They may be eager to settle the claim just to avoid the negative publicity. Your Roswell nursing home abuse attorney is going to remind them of this.
Contact a Roswell Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today
If your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, you must contact a Roswell nursing home abuse attorney today. You are going to be busy taking care of your loved one. You won’t have the time or patience to deal with the insurance company and the defendant.
The initial consultation with your Roswell nursing home abuse attorney is absolutely free. You’ll have an opportunity to discuss your case and see how best to proceed. Whether or not you bring your loved one to this initial consultation is up to you. You can even see what your Roswell nursing home abuse attorney suggests. It may cause more trauma and this is something you want to avoid.
An experienced Roswell injury attorney will fight to get you the compensation your family deserves. In general, juries are very sympathetic to victims of elder abuse. If your case goes to trial, you may be awarded a very high settlement. You have the right to trust that the nursing home staff has your loved one’s best interests at heart. Let your Roswell nursing home abuse lawyer hold them accountable for this abuse!