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All we want for our aging parents and loved ones is for them to be taken care of and treated with dignity in their golden years. Sadly, not all nursing homes and in-home aides entrusted with this responsible take their duty to the elders in their care seriously, resulting in abuse and neglect.
No family should ever have to go through the pain of nursing home or elder abuse. If you suspect your loved one is suffering abuse in a nursing home or under the care of an in-home aide, you may have options. At Morgan & Morgan’s Savannah office, our attorneys can explain to you the rights of nursing home residents, any legal actions you may be eligible to take, and how you can stop the abuse.
If you decide to file a lawsuit against the facility, you may be able to recover compensation for losses related to the abuse, including pain and suffering and medical expenses. Furthermore, you may be entitled to punitive damages or additional compensation, awarded to punish the nursing home and discourage them and other homes from engaging in similar activities.
If you believe your loved one is being abused, neglected or exploited in a nursing home or by an in-home health aide, we can help. Please fill out our free case evaluation form to learn what a Savannah nursing home abuse attorney may be able to do for you.
What Constitutes Nursing Home Abuse?
According to the Georgia Division of Aging Services, there are several forms of abuse that a senior citizen can be put through including:
Physical abuse: The use of physical force to coerce or to inflict bodily harm.
Emotional abuse: This abuse involves tactics, such as insults, harassment, intimidation, isolation or threats that cause significant mental or emotional anguish.
Sexual abuse: Any kind of sexual behavior directed towards an at-risk adult without the person’s full knowledge and consent.
Financial abuse: The illegal use of a person’s resources for the benefit of another person such as, stealing cash, signing checks, false representation and other means to gain access to an victim’s monthly government checks.
Neglect: This abuse occurs when a caregiver refuses to provide essential services such as food, water, medical care or shelter to the senior citizen. It is important that you know the possible warning signs that your loved one might be the victim of abuse. Drastic changes in the person’s behavior or emotional state such as agitation, apathy, withdrawal, or fear may be the first indicator that something is wrong.
In-Home Care Abuse
In some cases, families may elect to provide their loved one with in-home care instead of placing them in a nursing home. This choice may be for financial or personal reasons, or because they fear their elderly relative may be abused or neglected in a nursing home. Unfortunately, elder abuse and neglect can occur with in-home care providers, as well.
Talking to your family member periodically about the care they are receiving can be helpful in finding evidence of abuse or neglect. If they do not speak, or you think they fear to speak honestly, your loved one may be a victim of abuse or neglect. If this is the case, look for traditional signs of abuse and neglect which are seen in nursing homes.
Liability and Compensation
Who Can I Sue?
There are several parties who may be held responsible for injuries resulting from abuse or neglect in a nursing home. Parties which may be responsible for the injuries may include the nursing home, nursing home staff, the owner of the facility, and government agencies who failed to regulate the home properly.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
If your loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home, you may be entitled to compensation for damages sustained as a result. Compensation to which you may be entitled can include economic damages to cover medical, financial, and any other tangible injuries sustained. You may also be entitled to non-economic damages to cover pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other intangible losses.
How Can an Attorney Help?
Our Savannah nursing home abuse attorneys can help determine whether you can take legal action against the nursing home where the suspected abuse or neglect is occurring. Our lawyers may first wish to speak with your loved one and request that he or she undergo an evaluation by a family doctor to identify any signs of abuse or neglect.
If we suspect your loved one is being abused, we may launch an investigation into the nursing home and its employees to determine whether the facility negligently cared for its residents. If you decide to sue the nursing home, we will draft a complaint and file it in court. The complaint will outline the facts and allegations of your case, as well as the compensation you are seeking, and is the official start of your lawsuit.
The nursing home may offer you a settlement to avoid the expense and uncertainty of a jury trial. Our Savannah attorneys have years of experience handling these cases and can determine whether the settlement adequately covers your losses. If any of these offers are too low, we can negotiate with the nursing home for a higher amount. If we cannot reach an agreement with the home, we will take your case to trial, where a judge and jury will decide on the merits of your case.
The attorneys in our Savannah office are experienced trial lawyers with a history of success in the courtroom. We are not afraid to take negligent nursing homes to court to hold them accountable for abusing and/or neglecting their residents. At the conclusion of a jury trial, the plaintiff may be awarded punitive damages, which are intended to punish the defendant and deter other nursing homes from engaging in similar abusive conduct.
Contact a Savannah Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today
While no amount of money can erase the physical and emotional damage your family member may have suffered, it can help pay for medical bills, therapy sessions, and other expenses to help your loved one regain normalcy in his or her life. To have an experienced Savannah nursing home abuse attorney review your claim, please fill out our free case evaluation form today.