If your family member is the victim of nursing home abuse, you should consult a nursing home abuse lawyer in Athens, GA. Your family member may be entitled to compensation for the mistreatment. A lawyer can help you pursue a claim against the nursing home and protect your loved one’s rights.
Common Misconceptions About Nursing Home Abuse
When people place their family members in nursing homes, they likely do not expect for them to get treated poorly. Unfortunately, however, nursing home abuse can happen. Here are some common myths about nursing home abuse:
- If there are no physical signs of abuse, your family member is fine. When thinking about nursing home abuse, many people imagine physical signs, like bruises, cuts and broken bones. However, just because your family member is not exhibiting physical signs, does not mean he or she is not experiencing abuse. Many types of abuse, like emotional abuse and financial exploitation, don’t come with obvious signs.
- If your family member doesn’t complain, nothing happened. Unfortunately, not all nursing home residents talk about the abuse they have endured. They may be too ashamed or scared to admit what happened. That’s why it is important to be aware of the signs of nursing home abuse and take legal action yourself.
- Nursing home staff members commit abuse because they’re stressed. It is true that working at a nursing home can be stressful at times. Staff members often work long hours and have to look after many residents. However, that is not an excuse to commit abuse.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Not all nursing home residents report abuse, so it is important to be aware of the signs. Here are a few signs a nursing home abuse lawyer in Athens, GA wants you to know about:
- Your family member has bruises, burns, cuts or other physical injuries.
- Your family member seems more depressed, angry or anxious than normal.
- Your family member has poor hygiene.
- Your family member has unusual activity in his or her bank account.
- Your family member has suddenly lost a lot of weight.
- Your family member has unexplained STD’s.
- Your family member has bedsores.
How To Reduce the Possibility of Abuse in a Nursing Home
Moving a loved one into a nursing home can be a frightening thought. Not only will the individual be away from family, friends and their home environment, but family members also have to trust strangers for the care and safekeeping of the elderly or disabled individual. Unfortunately, the fear of nursing home abuse is also real. Though a nursing home abuse lawyer in Athens, GA can help if you believe a loved one has been a victim of abuse, you can take steps to reduce the possibility of abuse by taking some of the following steps.
Do Your Homework
When the time comes to choose a nursing home, there could be several facilities in the area to consider. Carefully research each home to determine which one will best fit your loved one’s needs. There are several public resources that divulge safety records and compliance information, and you can find this information by visiting the Department of Health and Humans Services website. Look for any official complaints but also check out social media or review sites for another perspective. Past allegations could also help support a case opened by Norris Law on your behalf.
Visit the Facility
Never put your loved one in a facility without taking a thorough tour of the place. While you go through the nursing home, take notes. Speak to the staff about their experiences and why they have chosen the field. Spend time with the administrator to ask specific questions about operations. Look at the facility’s equipment and upkeep to see how it may impact your loved one’s condition. Don’t be afraid to ask about things that appear to be red flags. You are wanting the best care and you have a right to know how your loved one will be treated.
Talk To the Primary Care Physician
If you have decided on a facility or you need some insight, talk to your loved one’s primary care physician. It’s possible that he or she will have a recommendation based on past interactions with other elderly patients or physicians. They can also give you some help on what kind of injuries or conditions to look for that may signal abuse is taking place. Noticing the first signs of abuse is important for taking action as quickly as possible, and the Norris Law office can help you bring a claim against the facility.
You shouldn’t have to worry about your loved one’s care when they are in a nursing home, but it is a sad reality for many. Working with a nursing home abuse lawyer in Athens, GA can help you seek compensation if your loved one becomes a victim of abuse.
4 Types of Nursing Home Abuse
If a loved one is in a nursing home, you may sometimes begin to see signs of possible abuse. Whether you notice a change in your family member’s personality or an increase in bruises or odd markings, there are many different ways that signs of abuse can manifest.
Knowing some common types of nursing home abuse can help you determine how to help your elderly loved one.
One of the most subtle forms of abuse is neglect. From preparing food to taking medications on time, there are many tasks that elderly people struggle to complete on their own.
If a caretaker is purposefully withholding help or neglecting someone in their care, then you may need a nursing home abuse lawyer in Athens, GA, such as Norris Law. This lack of attention to basic bodily functions or necessary treatments can leave your loved one ill or injured.
In some cases, the staff at a nursing home may take advantage of older people’s income and savings. This can happen because the elderly are more likely to trust scams or people in charge of them in some specific cases.
Whether someone tries to forge checks in your loved one’s name or takes money from a purse or wallet, this form of abuse can seriously impact the quality of an elderly resident’s life. Looking for a nursing home abuse lawyer in Athens, GA may help you if you are in this situation.
Constantly taunting or yelling can leave anyone feeling withdrawn and afraid. This form of abuse may not seem obvious at first, but can grow in intensity over time. Humiliation and verbal threats from staff are unhealthy ways to try to control elderly residents.
If you notice your loved one acting more withdrawn or notice that he or she seems to avoid giving direct answers, it could mean emotional abuse is happening. Contacting a nursing home abuse lawyer in Athens, GA, like Norris Law, could be an option.
Odd bruises and unexplained marks on your elderly love one’s body may come from physical abuse. Not only can this cause serious health issues for a resident, but it can also be deadly in extreme circumstances.
Restraining someone against his or her will is also a form of physical abuse. Older people may have to deal with staff who do not respect their personal boundaries or autonomy. A nursing home abuse lawyer in Athens, GA can likely give you more information on what to do next if you do see abuse happening.
How Can A Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Help You?
Now that you’ve identified some of the signs of nursing home abuse, you’re probably wondering how a nursing home abuse lawyer in Athens, GA could help you and your family?
Well, a nursing home abuse lawyer will be able to take legal action if an adult has been harmed while living in a nursing home.
A lawyer has the experience and knowledge about the laws involving nursing home abuse. The nursing facility had the legal obligation to care for the victim and because they were unable to do that means they have breached their legal obligation. A lawyer will be available to you to give you the understanding that you’ll need to better understand your case and to guide you through the legal process.
When filing a lawsuit against a nursing home, a nursing home abuse lawyer in Athens, GA like one from Norris Law will be able to demonstrate that:
- Nursing home staff members harmed a resident through negligence and/or intentional acts of violence.
- The resident suffered long-term or permanent injuries to staff members’ actions on the resident.
- The financial compensation that will be needed for a resident and their family to heal or treat the victim.
One of a lawyer’s responsibilities is to legally represent you and your family and to ensure that you get the outcome that’s deserved so that you and your family can continue your lives and move on from the abuse and negligence that took place. Having a skilled and focused lawyer could increase your chances to get the financial compensation that will ensure that you won’t have a financial worry for the future.
A nursing home abuse lawyer in Athens, GA will be available to you to guide victims through the legal process and to help them receive financial compensation for the harm that they’ve suffered. With a nursing home, an abuse lawyer on your side gives the victim a better shot at receiving compensation.
No one wants to suffer or see their family member suffer through the rest of their lives because of negligence on the behalf of a staff member or the facility as a whole. At Norris Law, our lawyers understand the rules that nursing homes must follow to make sure that the well-being of their residents is being met. Sadly, nursing home abuse happens too often and nursing homes break the rules that they are supposed to abide by.
This can be an overwhelming time for you and your family member. You trusted the nursing home to take care of your loved one and instead your loved one was harmed. You shouldn’t feel guilty about that – it’s not your fault that you trusted a facility to do what they legally agreed to.
The first step that you should do is seek the justice that you are owed. And that means, speaking with a lawyer who has spent their career learning and practicing law that involves nursing home abuse and negligence.
To get a better understanding of your situation you should reach out to a nursing home abuse lawyer in Athens, GA. Call to schedule a consultation with Norris Law.
If you believe that your loved one has suffered abuse in a nursing home, you should schedule a consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer in Athens, GA as soon as possible to discuss your case. At Norris Law, our lawyers are ready to help you.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer, Athens, GA
No one wants to look for a nursing home abuse lawyer in Athens, GA, but if you have to then you should know what to look for. These types of cases are painful in ways a standard car accident just isn’t. This is a sensitive subject that takes a specific lawyer to deal with, and they need to have the right mix of qualities and experiences to ensure you get the most favorable outcome.
How do you know that you are going to get a quality lawyer though? Below are the qualities that every nursing home abuse lawyer should have.
Top Qualities Every Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Has
You need to know that you are putting your case in good hands. It is simple as that and if you are just starting out looking for a lawyer it can be daunting. There are so many out there that it may seem impossible to find the right lawyer for you and your needs. Here is what every lawyer should have:
- They Know Athens, GA
You want someone who knows the laws not only in your state but in your area well. Having a lawyer who’s an expert in local laws is an asset. Knowing the area is going to prove to be key as they most likely have prior knowledge of the nursing home. They may know some of the workers or have a loved one in the home themselves. Knowing the people involved makes it easier to get information that can prove to be vital to your case.
- They Have Dynamic Skills
Sadly nursing home abuse cases vary considerably. Was it neglect? Was it sexual abuse? Was it forceful handling? You need a lawyer who can deal with any of these things. If your lawyer doesn’t have the skills to defend a variety of cases then you’re out of luck. You may find someone you enjoy working with but if they don’t have the skills for your case then they might not be right for the job. Always ask about what their outcomes are for cases and if they know what they are doing. Also ask if they can handle anything that comes their way, no matter what horrors come up during the investigation.
- They Have Experience
You want a lawyer that has experience, simple as that. You also need someone that has handled cases similar to yours. An experienced lawyer is going to be likely to have a favorable outcome in handling your case. They will know how to get the information they need and be able to handle a complex investigation if needed. You don’t want them floundering for information that is difficult to get. You also want someone who has a favorable outcome in cases. How many do they win?
Finding the right lawyer for you can be difficult. However, if you follow the list above then finding the right nursing home abuse lawyer in Athens, GA, like the team Norris Law, should be much easier.
What constitutes nursing home abuse?
As an Athens, GA nursing home abuse lawyer can explain, nursing home abuse usually entails mistreatment by caregivers who harm the resident in a physical, mental, or financial way. Abuse behavior may include purposeful or unintentional harm that causes the victim trauma, injury, a medical emergency, or fatality. Abuse from a caregiver has become rampant in the last few years, as more baby boomers go into their retirement years. As the team from Norris Injury Law has seen, the cause of abuse often stems from understaffing, burnout, improper training, and people with inherent maliciousness.
How does nursing home abuse present itself?
Nursing home neglect and abuse can entail a myriad of behaviors. Even though the incidents are in fact crimes, many times they go unreported, especially if the victim cannot communicate what has happened or continually lives in fear of worsened treatment if they speak up. Ultimately, there is no excuse for nursing home abuse, regardless of if the facility is understaffed or burnt out. If you suspect that your loved one is being mistreated, now is the time to take action for their protection.
Can you give me examples of signs to watch out for?
Forms of nursing home abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Substandard medical care that causes health decline.
- Assault and battery from punching, slapping, kicking, beating, pinching, shaking, or making threats.
- Sexual assault related to sodomy, rape, or inappropriate touching.
- Prolonged or continual deprivation of water and food.
- Unauthorized or excessive use of restraints and chemical sedatives.
- Medication mistakes that cause negative reactions or other health conditions.
- The development of bedsores due to not being supported properly in a seated or lying position, or not being moved frequently enough.
- Financial exploitation involving unapproved transactions and access to the resident’s finances.
How can I identify that abuse is happening?
It’s important to keep in mind that abuse could be occurring without your knowledge and without signs being present. It’s possible that your loved one is afraid to speak out, out of fear that they will be treated even worse by the perpetrator. You may have to do some investigating yourself, or hire a legal team to do that for you. Common signs of nursing home neglect and abuse include malnutrition and dehydration, bedsores, infections, fall injuries, wandering away from facility, unexpected weight loss or weight gain, not wanting to speak in front of certain people, unexplained injuries, appearing emotionally upset or scared, isolating from visitors, and living in unsanitary conditions.
When is it necessary to move my relative?
In some situations, family members may have to move their relative to a new location and out of harm’s way. Your Athens nursing home abuse lawyer can oversee this process to make sure that no further harm is caused to your loved one in the meantime. Once the facility and its employees become aware of a possible nursing home abuse claim being filed against them, it will be imperative that your relative is removed before then so they aren’t vulnerable to more incidents of abuse.
If you are concerned about your loved one’s welfare while living or staying at a nursing home facility, now is the time to get help. An Athens nursing home abuse lawyer from Norris Injury Law is read to take your call.