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How to Find the Best Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in Alpharetta, GA
Making the choice to put your loved one in a nursing home is very difficult. Many people wish they could take care of their families on their own instead of having someone else do it. Unfortunately, this isn’t always an option. Caring for someone, especially if they have medical or other difficult issues, is expensive and time-consuming. It can also be incredibly emotionally taxing. While in an ideal world, a family member would care for their loved one on their own, but it simply doesn’t happen that way much of the time.
We are often faced with the question of finding the right nursing home. We’ve all seen the news reporting nursing home neglect and abuse. The last thing we want for our loved one is to suffer at the hands of the people that are entrusted to care for them. When it turns out that you chose a place where your beloved family member ends up getting neglected and/or hurt, it can be enraging.
Fortunately, Morgan & Morgan is here to help. If you believe your loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse, we can help make sure you get the justice and compensation you and your family deserve. Morgan & Morgan has dedicated and experienced nursing home abuse lawyers in Alpharetta, GA, and we’d be happy to connect you with one. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for a free and confidential case evaluation.
Finding the Right Lawyer
Anytime you have to hire a lawyer, it can be scary and intimidating. You want to make sure you hire the right lawyer – someone who truly cares about you and your case. At the same time, you want to ensure that you find a lawyer who has the necessary resources to defend your case to the best of their ability. When you’re searching for a lawyer, it’s important to know what to look for before you choose a firm or an attorney. The following are some important questions to consider:
1. Do you want a large or a small firm?
Some people are more comfortable with a large firm because they presumably have more money and more resources. Others prefer the more intimate feel of a smaller or “boutique” firm. One worry of going with a larger firm is that you’ll get lost in the shuffle. However, when you find the right firm, this won’t happen.
2. Do you want a lawyer who charges on a contingency fee basis?
One of the significant factors in choosing a lawyer is usually their fees. We all know that lawyers can be expensive – but they don’t necessarily have to be. Most personal injury lawyers and those who take on nursing home abuse cases work on a contingency fee basis. This means they don’t get paid unless they win or settle your case. When your case is won, your attorney gets paid from the compensation you are awarded in the trial or from the settlement. It’s usually around 30 to 40 percent of your awarded damages. While this might sound like a lot, it’s important to realize that you don’t have to pay anything upfront or out of your own pocket. If you’d prefer an attorney who charges a flat fee or an hourly rate, you could look for this as well, but it’s less common in this particular field of law.
3. How much control do you want over your case?
Many people want to let their lawyer handle every aspect of the case – to the greatest extent possible. Others want constant updates and need to be involved in all of the decision-making processes to the extent that the lawyer feels it’s appropriate. Before hiring nursing home abuse lawyers in Alpharetta, GA, it’s a good idea to consider which you prefer. Once you decide, you can speak with prospective attorneys and see how they handle their cases. You can let them know exactly how involved in the case you would like to be and see what their thoughts are about that.
How to Find Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in Alpharetta, GA
Now that you know what you’re looking for in a lawyer or a firm, it’s time to pick one. If you’re lucky enough to know a qualified attorney who can help you, you can start there. However, most people probably don’t know a nursing home abuse lawyer specifically. The following are some ways you can find a qualified attorney:
1. Ask Friends and Family
Ask your friends and family members if they know any attorneys who handle this type of case. When you work with someone that people you know can vouch for, it can make the situation much more comfortable. If you don’t know anyone with good attorney recommendations, you can see if your friends and family members will ask their colleagues if they know any lawyers.
2. The Internet
If you can’t find a lawyer through a personal recommendation, your next best option is to start checking online. You can search on Google, or you can search on other lawyer-specific sites. Once you find a few that sound like they might be a good fit, you can start setting up consultations to speak with them.
3. Set Up Multiple Free Consultations
Almost all nursing home abuse lawyers in Alpharetta, GA will offer a free consultation. Once you’ve found a few lawyers through your research, you should set up as many of these as possible. It won’t cost you anything except a little bit of your time. This is a great way to see if you and the lawyer or firm are a good fit for each other. At this meeting, the lawyer can also tell you if they are interested in taking your case. Lawyers who work on a contingency fee basis won’t take every case – they have to be somewhat selective because if they can’t win, they can’t get paid.
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What Is the Statute of Limitations?
If you or a loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse, you have to file a lawsuit in a specified amount of time, or you’ll be unable to recover any compensation. In Georgia, this deadline is usually two years. In some situations, the statute of limitations needs to be researched more carefully, so it’s always a good idea to contact nursing home lawyers in Alpharetta, GA to ensure that you don’t miss the deadline to file your claim.
What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse is a complex issue, and one that might not always be readily apparent. Ideally, you’d like to visit your loved one often in a nursing home, but this isn’t always possible. This means you might not always notice abuse right away if you’re going long periods of time without seeing your family member. Also, some of the signs of abuse can be quite subtle. Some of the most common signs of nursing home abuse include the following:
- Injuries – broken or fractured bones, bruises, and scratches that can’t be accounted for
- Rapid weight loss
- Unusual change in behavior, such as not wanting you to come visit as much anymore or not wanting to talk to you on the phone
- Unsanitary and unclean conditions
- Bed sores
- Signs of malnutrition
While some of these issues could be easily explained, if something seems off, you should do something about it. Trust your gut. Speak with a lawyer who can then help you speak with the staff at the nursing home. Try to speak with your loved one if they’re willing.
Is There Anyone I Can Report the Abuse To?
In addition to calling nursing home abuse lawyers in Alpharetta, GA, you can report the abuse to the police or a state agency. In Georgia, that agency is Georgia’s Adult Protective Services. They will speak with you and document what’s going on. They are not a first responder so they will not show up at the nursing home when you call. If you’re looking for help right away and believe your loved one is in serious danger, you should consider calling the police.
Why Is Nursing Home Abuse So Common?
While we’d all love to believe that nursing home abuse never happens, that simply isn’t true. It’s a widespread issue. That’s not to say that it happens everywhere, and all nursing homes are bad, but it’s definitely a fairly common problem. Part of the issue is that nursing homes are notoriously understaffed, and their workers are often underpaid. This leads to workers who don’t really care about their job, and even if they do, they might not have time to treat each patient the way they deserve and need to be treated.
Is It Difficult to Sue a Nursing Home?
In some circumstances, yes, it can be quite difficult to sue a nursing home and prove that they were abusive or neglectful. It can be complicated to show who was responsible for any injuries your loved one suffered, especially if you weren’t aware of the abuse right away. You may not even know when the abuse happened, which makes it quite difficult to determine who was responsible. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t sue a nursing home; just be aware that it can be challenging. When you hire the right nursing home abuse lawyers in Alpharetta, GA, they’ll do everything in their power to make this as easy as possible for you.
Morgan & Morgan Is Here for You
At Morgan & Morgan, we truly understand the devastation you’re facing if a loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse. We want to do everything we can to help. We have attorneys throughout the United States, so if you’re looking for nursing home abuse lawyers in Alpharetta, GA, we can assist you. Our goal is to ensure that you and your loved ones get the justice you deserve. Entrusting a loved one’s care into the hands of someone else is an important decision, and it’s unconscionable that someone would use that as an excuse to abuse or neglect them. Let us help. Contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free and confidential case evaluation.