How to Report a Nursing Home in Georgia

Choosing the right nursing home for a loved one requires extensive research and preferably recommendations from people close to you. With the population of elderly Americans expected to reach 87 million by 2050, finding the right nursing home for a loved one is one of the most important things you can do. However, all the research in the world might not reveal a record of abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

Every year in the United States, state and federal government agencies respond to nearly five million reports of elderly abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Hundreds of thousands of cases go unreported. Older Americans suffering from dementia or a type of physical impairment are especially vulnerable to abuse. If a loved one has suffered abuse and/or neglect while living in an assistive care facility, you need to know how to report a nursing home in GA.

Contacting an experienced nursing home abuse attorney can help you report the abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation experienced by a loved one. At Morgan & Morgan, our team of personal injury lawyers that specialize in nursing home abuse cases helps clients report abuse, neglect, and exploitation to the proper government agencies. We also work closely with our clients to determine the best course of legal action. Knowing how to report a nursing home in GA can be the difference between your loved one receiving monetary damages and walking away from a case without reaching a favorable settlement.

Schedule a free case evaluation with one of the nursing home abuse lawyers at Morgan & Morgan to learn more about how to report a nursing home in GA.

What Is Nursing Home Abuse?

Nursing home abuse refers to the harm inflicted on a resident by one or more members of a facility’s staff. The abuse can constitute physical, emotional, and psychological acts that produce negative long-term consequences for the victims. A nursing home can face charges of abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation for a large number of reasons, including failing to provide adequate healthcare, the lack of training of the staff, and screening prospective employees improperly.

The State of Georgia grants nursing home residents a long list of rights. Unfortunately, whether nursing home residents get to enjoy those rights depends on how well the state regulates each facility. The most basic right granted to nursing home residents involves the right not to deal with any kind of abuse. Nursing home abuse can take on several forms that include mental, physical, and emotional abuse, as well as neglect, and exploitation. When you learn how to report a nursing home in GA, you also learn how to identify the different types of abuse.

What Are the Common Causes of Nursing Home Abuse?

Nursing homes in GA are legally obligated to prevent the abuse of elderly residents. However, far too many nursing homes fail to prevent the cause of abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

Understaffed Workforce

The lack of qualified nursing home employees forces nursing homes to delegate more work than should be delegated to each member of the team. An understaffed workforce can cause workers to miss the signs of abuse, as well as neglect the healthcare needs of residents. Understaffed workforces have become a major issue during the pandemic, as an increasing number of nursing home employees have quit their jobs.

Lack of Training

Dealing with an understaffed workforce causes some nursing home managers to cut corners when it comes to training employees. If members of a staff do not receive proper training, then the risk of abuse, neglect, and exploitation increases dramatically. Not only do new employees require extensive training, but veteran members of a staff require ongoing training to learn the latest techniques for interacting with residents and the new regulations enacted at both the state and federal government levels.

Below Average Compensation

Some nursing home facilities run on tight budgets, which means management has to find a way to reduce costs and generate more revenue. The first area where many nursing home managers reduce costs concerns labor expenses. Paying workers below-average wages attract job candidates that do not possess the skills and experience required to interact with elderly residents. Nursing homes that reduce wages for current workers face the possibility of damaging employee morale. An “I no longer care” attitude can place residents in harm’s way.

Poor Leadership

You can have the most experienced and talented nursing home staff and still encounter abuse issues because of the poor leadership qualities exhibited by members of the management team. Nursing homes require leaders that demonstrate compassion and empathy, as well as a strong ability to create and implement highly effective elderly care initiatives. Nursing home managers that do not accept accountability for the performance of a facility cannot expect employees to feel any responsibility for the well-being of residents.

What Are the Types of Nursing Home Lawsuits?

Before you report a nursing home in GA, you have to determine the type of lawsuit you plan to file for your loved one to receive monetary damages.

Abuse
Committing intentional acts of violence against a nursing home resident represents the basic definition of an abuse civil lawsuit. Physical abuse can include kicking, punching, and pushing an elderly resident. Emotional abuse covers intimidating acts like taunting and yelling. To file a successful nursing home abuse lawsuit, you have to gather and organize enough convincing evidence.

Neglect
Failing to deliver the most fundamental services to a nursing home resident defines a neglect case. Neglect can come in the form of failing to provide proper hygiene and forgetting to give the right medications at the correct times.

Exploitation
Exploitation does not produce any visible signs of abuse, nor does it typically cause pain and suffering. A nursing home resident that becomes a victim of exploitation does not know about the acts of exploitation. Examples of exploitation by a nursing home include stealing money out of a resident’s bank account and using a resident’s credit card to make personal purchases.

Medical Malpractice
Most nursing home residents must receive some type of healthcare while they live at a facility. Medical malpractice refers to a healthcare provider committing one or more mistakes that harm a resident. From failing to diagnose a disease to making a serious error during surgery, a loved one that suffered from medical malpractice needs the legal support of an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

Negligence
Negligence concerns the failure to take appropriate action or the violation of a standard code of ethics that leads to the harming of a nursing home resident. To prove negligence, your legal counsel must prove four legal elements. First, the nursing home must have a duty of care to protect a resident. Second, the nursing home breached the duty of care. Third, the nursing home must have caused harm to the resident. Finally, the harm suffered by a nursing home resident must have resulted in financial losses.

Wrongful Death
A wrongful death that happened at a nursing home can lead to the filing of both civil and criminal charges. The criminal charges filed can include battery and intentional homicide. A judge hearing a wrongful death civil lawsuit has the legal power to award a substantial amount of money for punitive damages. If you have a wrongful death case that involves a nursing home, speak with one of the personal injury lawyers from Morgan & Morgan.

How to Report a Nursing Home in GA

Georgia has established a procedure for you to report a nursing home in GA. If you recognize the signs of abuse, neglect, and /or exploitation, act with a sense of urgency by filing a complaint with the right Georgia government agency. You have a limited amount of time to file a complaint, as well as file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages.

The quickest way to file a complaint against a nursing home is to file it online with the Department of Human Services of Aging Services. You also can report nursing home abuse by calling the Department of Human Services of Aging Services Central Intake Office at 404-657-5250 if you live in Atlanta. If you live outside of the greater Atlanta metro region, call 866-553-4464. Dealing with a loved one facing nursing home abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation can take a significant toll on you and your family. You should contact the local ombudsman who becomes your advocate for a loved one that faces abuse. Contact the Office of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman at 404-463-8383 or 888-454-5826.

How Do I Find the Best Nursing Home Abuse Attorney?

The last step for knowing home to report a nursing home in GA is to contact a highly-rated nursing home abuse lawyer. You have to conduct research that reveals the following credentials.

Experience Getting Positive Results

A nursing home attorney might claim to have several years of experience litigating abuse cases. Nonetheless, the number of years is not as important as the number of cases won by a nursing home abuse lawyer. At Morgan & Morgan, we have compiled an impressive record for more than 30 years of getting our clients the compensation they deserve for suffering from nursing home abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

Responsive Communication

Nursing home abuse cases are usually emotionally charged cases. Learning about a loved one’s abuse can trigger a wide variety of strong, negative emotions. The last thing you want is to work with an attorney who fails to respond to your emails, text messages, and phone calls promptly. Responsive communication represents one of the most important traits possessed by a nursing home abuse lawyer.

Specializes in Litigating Nursing Home Abuse Cases

The legal counsel that you hire to represent a loved one for a nursing home abuse case should specialize in handling similar cases. Some attorneys claim to specialize in a particular legal practice only to have a resume that consists of general litigation skills. Make sure any lawyer on your shortlist of candidates specializes in practicing Georgia nursing home abuse law.

Positive Online Reviews

Positive online reviews should not be the most important factor that helps you choose the right nursing home abuse attorney. Instead, positive online reviews should support the research you have conducted on each of the litigators on your shortlist.

Contact Morgan & Morgan

The nursing home attorneys at Morgan & Morgan charge legal fees on a contingency basis. This means you do not have to pay upfront legal fees for one of our lawyers to handle your case. A contingency fee arrangement consists of your Morgan & Morgan attorney charging a percentage of the monetary damages awarded to you by a civil court judge.

Learn how to report a nursing home in GA by scheduling a free case evaluation with one of the nursing home abuse lawyers from Morgan & Morgan.

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