Answers to your pressing questions about filing a nursing home lawsuit
In the United States, nursing home abuse is a common problem that residents grapple with. If you suspect that someone is abusing your loved one in a nursing home, you should speak with an experienced abuse lawyer immediately.
In the meantime, get the answers to the most frequently asked questions about nursing home abuse lawsuits below.
What is considered nursing home abuse?
Nursing home abuse can include physical violence such as a staff member hitting a nursing home resident. However, residents may also face verbal abuse such as threats or berating. Another form of abuse is neglect. You may notice that your loved one isn’t being bathed or fed often enough.
How do you report abuse in a nursing home?
If you believe that your loved one is being abused in a nursing home, make sure to contact the Georgia Department of Community Health. Contact their Healthcare Facility Regulation division at (800) 878-6442. Another hotline to call if you suspect abuse is (404) 657-5728. You should also contact the Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services to report elder abuse by calling 1-866-55AGING (+1 866-552-4464) and pressing 3.
Also, contact the Georgia Long Term Ombudsman Program to file a complaint. You may also want to contact the Office of the Attorney General at (404) 651-8600 or fill out a consumer complaint form. You should also speak with a supervisor, a social worker, the director of nursing and the administrator.
How long do you have to file a lawsuit against a nursing home?
In Georgia, you have 2 years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit against the nursing home. There are also several important deadlines you must avoid missing.
How much is a nursing home wrongful death settlement?
Wrongful death settlements for nursing homes can vary but are often in the millions or tens of millions of dollars. The age of the deceased is factored into the likely settlement. For example, settlements in Georgia for wrongful death cases involving children have been worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
One challenge you might face is calculating all of the damages you have suffered as a result of your loved one being abused at a nursing home. It’s much easier to do this with the help of a trained lawyer.
What can you sue a nursing home for?
You are able to sue the nursing home if:
- Your loved one was placed in a dangerous or hazardous situation
- The nursing home had negligent hiring practices
- Your loved one received substandard care
- A nursing home staff member financially exploited your family member
- The nursing home did not properly supervise the caregivers
You may sue a nursing home whenever you have evidence that your loved one has been abused or neglected.
How do you prove nursing home abuse or negligence?
One of the more difficult challenges is how to prove abuse or neglect. You will likely want to consult with an attorney who will help you gather evidence to support your case of nursing home abuse. Nursing homes are required to follow regulations. Sometimes, when it fails to follow a particular regulation, this can be used as evidence that the nursing home was neglectful.
For example, if your loved one became injured because they fell, there may have been prior incidents where a nursing home patient fell and an administrative law judge may have found that the nursing home facility violated a regulation.
You may also notice that your loved one has become withdrawn. You may notice bruises, cuts or scrapes. Your loved one might smell terrible or may look like they’re not well-fed. You might notice that your caregiver is not suitably dressed for the temperature. There might be bugs and a filthy room. All of these are signs of neglect or abuse.
Is it hard to sue a nursing home?
Suing a nursing home can be difficult because it is not always obvious what went wrong. You may need an autopsy to identify the cause of death in a wrongful death case. The evidence you need may be incomplete and the nursing home staff may even take steps to destroy or conceal evidence. Therefore, you’ll need to contact an attorney as soon as possible before evidence disappears.
Do I need to hire a nursing home abuse lawyer?
To win your case, you will need access to strong evidence. A nursing home abuse lawyer has access to key evidence that may be lost otherwise such as surveillance footage, caregiver schedules and keycard data. Keycards keep track of who was in a room at a particular moment and allow you to determine which caregiver was directly responsible for the acts of negligence.
For this reason and more, your chances of winning your case improve when you choose to hire an attorney with a successful track record.
Will my case go to trial?
Your case may need to go to trial if you or your attorney are unable to reach a settlement when negotiating with the nursing home. Reaching a settlement is the ideal outcome because you will avoid expensive court fees. If you have an experienced trial attorney by your side when negotiating a settlement, the nursing home is more likely to assume that you will be willing to go to trial and may not take a hardline stance when negotiating with you.