Atlanta Elder Abuse Lawyer
Nursing Home Neglect and Elder Abuse Attorneys in Atlanta, GA
The number of Atlanta residents who are over the age of 60 has quadrupled since 1970. As the population of senior citizens grows, so does the problem of elder abuse and nursing home neglect. One in six seniors is abused or neglected. Criminal charges for elder abuse in Georgia have increased by 500% since 2010. But criminal charges are rarely filed against businesses that are responsible for harming their elderly residents. While every elderly individual should be treated with respect, residents of nursing homes and other eldercare institutions are too often injured through abuse or neglect. Skilled Nursing Facilities states that Georgia only has a 2.9 rating out of 5 for quality care in nursing homes. Our Atlanta elder abuse attorney helps elderly victims who have suffered injuries all across Georgia. Contact us today to get your free consultation.
What Is Elder Abuse?
Any act of physical, emotional, or financial mistreatment of a senior constitutes elder abuse. Elder abuse can be committed by in-home caretakers, or by institutions that care for elderly residents, including nursing homes, personal care homes, and assisted living facilities.
Sexual assaults, punching, and burning are examples of physical abuse, but patient neglect also has serious physical consequences for residents of nursing homes and other senior care facilities. Allowing a resident to sit in the same position all day can cause pressure ulcers and dangerous blood clots. In addition, a blood clot can be the cause of fainting spells, according to WebMD.
Failing to monitor the diet and water intake of elderly patients results in dehydration and malnutrition. Neglecting to turn bedridden patients leads to painful sores and deadly infections. Allowing patients to sit or lie in their own waste also causes life-threatening infections.
Nursing homes have an obligation to monitor a patient’s health and to assure that patients take medications as prescribed. Overworked staff members too often fail to notice a patient’s symptoms until a health condition has become unmanageable. They dispense the wrong dose of a patient’s medication, administer the wrong medication, or forget to give patients their prescribed medications.
Why Do Nursing Homes Neglect Their Patients?
Many Atlanta nursing homes and eldercare facilities are owned by corporations that operate in many states. A recent study found that large for-profit nursing home chains maximize their profits by minimizing their staffing levels. That problem is the number one cause of nursing home neglect: understaffing.
Understaffing is when instead of hiring enough qualified staff members to meet the needs of patients, nursing homes reduce their costs by relying on low-paid aides who lack the training of licensed nurses. Compounding the problem of hiring unqualified aides, nursing homes cut corners even further failing to hire enough aides to serve their patients adequately.
Elderly patients suffer serious injuries when one aide tries to do the work of two. An aide who tries to move a patient from a bed to a wheelchair without help places the patient at risk of falling and fracturing fragile bones. Moving a patient requires a Hoyer lift. The federal government and state law require that a Hoyer lift be operated by two people. But oftentimes aides do it alone. That is dangerous. We once represented a woman’s surviving children after a nursing home staff member tried moving a woman on her own and in the process dropped the poor woman on her head which resulted in a brain hemorrhage. What made it worse was that the nursing home staff tried covering the mistake up by doctoring the books! Through very meticulous work and after dozens of motions, we proved the error and we won.
Federal regulations require nursing homes receiving Medicare funding to have a registered nurse on staff for 8 hours a day, every day of the week. Nursing homes regularly violate even that minimal standard. Studies show that nursing homes falsely report their compliance with regulations or only have a registered nurse on duty when they know that an inspection will occur.
Nursing homes that place profits over people often fail to train or supervise their aides. Out of frustration, some overworked aides physically abuse their patients. They are particularly likely to abuse difficult patients, including those with dementia — the patients who are most in need of understanding staff members.
Companies that provide in-home caretakers also fail to provide proper training and supervision. Sometimes they hire caretakers with criminal records. Sometimes they hire caretakers who were fired from other jobs because they abused their clients.
The abuse and neglect of vulnerable patients is physically and psychologically devastating. Elderly victims are entitled to compensation when they suffer serious injuries due to abuse or neglect. The state of Georgia is working to make its system better, as AJC states that the CEO of the Georgia Health Care Association is working to improve the lives of those in nursing homes. While that is going on, there are still elderly victims being mistreated every day. Contact our team of Atlanta personal injury lawyers to see if you have a case.
How Does Tobin Injury Law Help Victims of Elder Abuse?
Our Atlanta elder abuse attorney wants to help victims of elder abuse recover their dignity and hold wrongdoers accountable for their shameful actions. We also want to give family members the satisfaction of knowing that they are holding institutions accountable for abuse and neglect. When government regulators are lax, lawsuits are the best way to change the conduct of nursing homes and other businesses that provide eldercare. Businesses that maximize profits by neglecting patients are motivated to protect patients when they must pay a heavy price for their bad behavior.
What Elder Abuse Cases Does Tobin Injury Law Handle?
We help elderly victims of serious physical and emotional injuries caused by abuse and neglect. Elderly patients who have been sexually assaulted, who fractured a hip in a fall, who were hospitalized with malnutrition or infected pressure ulcers, or who suffered a stroke because of medication errors are among the clients our firm helps.
We also represent families who are seeking justice after an elderly family member died due to patient neglect or abuse.
Contact Tobin Injury Law to Speak to an Experienced Atlanta Elder Abuse Lawyer
Our Atlanta elder abuse law firm represents abuse and neglect victims in the metro Atlanta area and across Georgia. Our lawyers are available to answer your questions at no charge, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us at 404-JUSTICE (404-587-8423) to speak with our Atlanta elder abuse attorney, email us, or use our online contact form.