Wrongful Evictions From Nursing Homes
According to the American Council on Aging, inadequate and involuntary discharge planning or wrongful eviction from nursing homes is a problem across the country. Nursing home discharges and transfers occur for many different reasons, but sometimes they happen because a resident needs more care than the nursing home is able to give. If your loved one was subject to a wrongful eviction from a nursing home in Georgia, you should consult the Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers at Van Sant Law. You may be entitled to compensation for any injuries or losses sustained as a result of a wrongful event. Federal law restricts the ability of nursing homes to evict residents.Wrongful Evictions From Nursing Homes
There are two types of discharge from a nursing home: voluntary and involuntary. When a nursing home resident agrees that it is time to leave a nursing home, there is a voluntary discharge. However, there are circumstances in which a nursing home resident does not agree with the discharge and needs further care, and this is an involuntary discharge or eviction. Nursing homes may target residents for eviction for improper reasons, such as signs of dementia-related aggression or retaliation for family members’ complaints about the treatment that they are receiving, or because they require more care.
It is traumatic for a vulnerable resident to go through a wrongful nursing home eviction. Residents have been left at their family's homes without warning or left at homeless shelters or in waiting rooms, and these actions can result in injuries or illnesses. If you or a loved one was injured as a result of a wrongful eviction from a nursing home, you may be able to recover damages.Federal Guidelines
A nursing home’s failure to abide by the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 may be evidence of negligence. These federal guidelines include protection against unlawful evictions and transfers. There are several specific circumstances in which federal law permits nursing home facilities to evict residents. These include when the resident endangers the health or safety of others in the facility, the resident does not require the nursing home’s services anymore, the resident does not pay for care, the nursing home is shutting down, or the nursing home cannot satisfy the resident’s needs.
Sometimes, nursing homes try to involuntarily discharge a resident because they no longer have Medicare coverage. Involuntary discharge may also occur because the nursing home wants to put higher-paying residents in their beds. Residents who pay privately or who are on Medicare pay more than those on Medicaid, and a nursing home that puts profits ahead of patient care may prefer to take those patients.Procedures for Eviction
Even when the circumstances are appropriate for an eviction, a nursing home needs to follow proper procedures for an eviction to be lawful. When a nursing home is discharging a resident, it needs to provide written notice of the discharge to both the resident and their family or guardian.
The written notice needs to specify the reason for the discharge, the place to which the resident will be discharged, and contact information for the long-term care ombudsman in the area. Unless there is an emergency, written notice needs to be received a minimum of 30 days before the date of discharge.
A nursing home resident who is being pressured to leave or threatened with eviction can take certain measures. It may be possible to file an appeal with the long-term care ombudsman immediately after receiving the discharge notice. A nursing home resident cannot be discharged if there is a pending appeal. It may be appropriate to file an application for Medicaid. Someone waiting for Medicaid approval cannot be turned out of the nursing home while the application is pending.
If a loved one was injured or died as a result of a wrongful eviction, it may be possible to recover damages for any losses suffered in a nursing home negligence lawsuit.Contact an Experienced Atlanta Attorney
If you were injured by a wrongful eviction from a nursing home in Georgia, you should talk to the seasoned personal injury attorneys at Van Sant Law. As an adapting and safety-conscious law firm, we can sign you up electronically without face-to-face interactions if needed, but we can also visit you in your home. We have offices in Atlanta, Alpharetta, Athens, Cumming, Duluth, Lawrenceville, and Gainesville, and our lawyers represent clients throughout Georgia. Call us at 855-GA-INJURY or complete our online form.