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Nursing Home Negligence

Atlanta Lawyers Assisting Elderly Victims

Nursing Home AbuseWhen you place a loved one in a nursing home, you may anticipate that they will receive better care from nursing home staff than from you. To protect patients, federal and state regulations govern the way in which nursing homes run, covering issues like staffing and patients’ rights. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes follow these important regulations. Nursing homes may be understaffed, or the staff may not be properly trained in how to care for an elderly or disabled person. They are run for profit, and sometimes profits are put ahead of patient care. There are situations in which a nursing home hires staff members without doing a background check. If you or a loved one was injured at a nursing home, you should discuss your case with the Atlanta nursing home negligence lawyers at Van Sant Law.

Nursing Home Negligence in Georgia

Elderly and disabled people must rely heavily on medical and personal care staff in nursing homes. Among other things, nursing home operators should provide a safe environment and take reasonable steps to protect patients from injuries by installing safety rails, non-slip flooring, and adequate lighting, and by developing appropriate protocols. When nursing home residents are neglected or abused, a nursing home may be held accountable for their injuries. Nursing homes can also be held liable for the wrongful death of a resident.

Elderly people with dementia or disabilities are at elevated risk of harm when living in nursing homes. Warning signs of abuse and neglect include infected bedsores, unexplained broken bones and sprains, head injuries, medication errors, dehydration, malnutrition, and poor hygiene. Some residents who have been abused or neglected may complain openly (and should be taken seriously); however, others may withdraw, suffer agitation, or cry frequently.

Liability for Nursing Home Negligence

A nursing home negligence attorney in Atlanta can help pursue damages under a theory of negligence or professional negligence. There are also instances in which a violation of the Georgia Nursing Home Bill of Rights or the federal Nursing Home Reform Act may come into play.

A nursing home can be held accountable for many forms of negligence. These may include failing to use safety measures on the beds, inadequate training of staff, failing to maintain appropriate records, failing to follow a resident care plan, failing to protect residents from falls or elopement, or failing to provide appropriate hygiene for residents. Abuse may involve hitting, kicking, slapping, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, lack of adequate medical care, illnesses left untreated, improper use of physical or chemical restraints, failing to protect a patient from other patients, and lack of fall prevention measures. For example, you may be able to hold a nursing home responsible if your elderly mother had a bedsore that was left untreated and therefore progressed to stage IV and then sepsis. Similarly, if your elderly father was overmedicated with anti-psychotics that were contraindicated for his dementia because the anti-psychotics made it easier for the staff to control him, and he died as a result, an Atlanta nursing home negligence attorney can help you pursue wrongful death damages.

Rights Under State and Federal Laws

The Georgia Nursing Home Bill of Rights guarantees certain protections for nursing home residents, many of which involve dignity and privacy. Also, skilled nursing facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid must follow certain regulations regarding quality of care, accurate resident assessments, quality of life, and dignified self-existence. Under the federal Nursing Home Reform Act, nursing homes must provide residents with specific services, such as periodic assessment, access to a full-time social worker when the facility has more than 120 beds, access to dietary and pharmaceutical services, and access to nursing and rehabilitation services. The nursing home should create a comprehensive care plan for each resident.

Retain a Nursing Home Negligence Attorney

If you or a loved one was harmed by nursing home negligence, you should discuss what happened with the seasoned personal injury lawyers at Van Sant Law. We represent clients throughout Georgia from offices in Atlanta, Alpharetta, Athens, Cumming, Duluth, Lawrenceville, and Gainesville. We can sign you up electronically without face-to-face interaction when needed, but we can also visit you in your home. Call us at 855-GA-INJURY or complete our online form to discuss your case with a nursing home negligence lawyer in Atlanta or beyond.

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