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Nursing Home Injury

Atlanta Nursing Home Injury Lawyer

Georgia Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

Today in our society, the elderly and the mentally ill can be the most endangered as it pertains to crimes and abuses committed to them. In the U.S over 35 million people are over the age of 65. Many of these citizens would end up residing in a nursing home.

The American Medical Association released a report in 2002. In this report, Georgia was considered a “critical state” as it pertained to abuses in the nursing home. These claims have since escalated at a disturbing rate since then and now. In addition to this, Georgia remains to be the third lowest state for Medicaid reimbursement for elderly care of v.s  other states. With all this being said Medicaid is usually the primary source of payment for three quarters of its residents. Looking at these ratios, many facilities reduce the amount of available staff which results in diminished care levels. These are the main reasons why claims for abuse in nursing homes are so much.

People injured from nursing home care abuse may present a legal claim toward the owner of the facility. If the person involved was killed, his or her family may file the claim on the deceased’s’ behalf.

Indications of Neglect or Abuse

Do you or someone you know reside in a nursing home? If so the here are some possible signs of nursing home neglect or abuse:

  • Broken Bones
  • Malnutrition
  • Pressure sores
  • Dehydration
  • Pneumonia
  • Poor hygeine

Communication with nursing home facilities will give a lot of insight as far as the types of treatment and care the patient should receive. If these levels of care prove to be unsatisfactory, you should begin to investigate. If you speculate that injuries are a result of nursing home abuse or neglect, you should contact an attorney.

Long-Term Care Facilities

When thinking about the care a loved one will require it all depends on the specifications of facility they will reside in. In Georgia there are 3 categories of long-term care; intermediate care facilities, personal care homes, and nursing facilities. The department of human resources monitors and regulates these types of homes. These homes are licensed, certified and registered by the Office of Regulatory Services. In addition to this, The Dept. of Human Resources has records that are maintained and available to you.

A personal care facility can be any place where food, housing and personal services for at least two adults residing there are rendered. These adults must not be related to whoever owns the facility. Most of the time people living in a personal care facility won’t require medical supervision or nursing services.

If there are medical referrals, intermediate care homes can help on that basis. If needing an intermediate care home, nurses would overlook care for the resident. Most likely the resident is mobile, does not use catheters, and is efficient in feeding themselves. An adept nursing care facility will admit clients with referrals for continued supervision or rehabilitation.

Federal Regulations and Laws

The government proposed the Nursing Home Reform Act in 1987. This act legislates a demand for particular rights required for those residing in nursing home care facilities. This act basically states that residents have a right to receive respect in the way they are cared for and treated. They have a right to be given knowledge of all services being provided and all fees paid for these services. They have a right to keep track of their money or have someone else to do this for them. They have a right to privacy in their care, and confidentiality in the usage of their medical records. Patients should be informed about their treatment, care, medications and the free will to choose their own doctor.

All care facilities receiving Medicare or Medicaid reimbursements are required to be compliant with all of these regulations. These homes are inspected regularly and certified to enable their federal funding.

DHR also has certain regulations for these types of care facilities. Ga. Comp. R. and Reg. § 290-5-39. These laws have clear set forth standards that can provide proof as a form of evidence for negligence if not followed correctly. In retrospect, nursing homes can also use these laws to prove that care standards were not in any way violated.

Nursing Home Abuse or Negligence Types

Professional Negligence: In this type of suit, the defendant most likely will be a medical care provider or a nurse. For this type of complaint, the plaintiff accuses the defendant of failure to provide and execute an adequate amount of care and skill that would be required when working for these types of care facilities.

Ordinary negligence:

Nursing homes may be liable on cases of negligence for acts of omission that don’t involve professional negligence. In example, a nursing home can be found liable for ordinary negligence for injuries like slip and falls, fires, or defective facilities. An expert testimony may not be a requirement in these cases; however the plaintiff must be able to prove a substantial amount negligence that caused their injuries.

Injuries resulting from a third party:

Usually, a premise owner or a business owner is not held responsible for acts of violence that happen on their premises. Georgia courts uphold a unique relationship for residents who reside in long-term nursing care facilities. Residents who have the propensity to harm themselves or others must be well supervised. Facilities have a responsibility to protect their residents from other dangerous residents. If this is violated in any sort, a nursing home could be made liable.

Breach of Contract:

A cause or an action may become merited if any contracts involving the patient are not valid

Class Actions:

The Federal Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 paved the way for class action lawsuits. Overall nursing care facility neglect and abuses like dehydration, bedsores, and malnutrition, enabled more strict regulations.  Class action suits involve a large group rather than individual suits filed for injuries incurred personally.