Nursing Home and Elder Abuse Attorney in Atlanta
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there were an estimated 15,600 nursing homes nationwide in 2014. At that time, these facilities had an estimated 1.4 million residents, and we trust these facilities to take care of those who can no longer take care of themselves. These are not just numbers on a page or names on a list. These people are our mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters. They are the family members that we looked up to as children, and they are the people in our lives that we would do anything to protect. Unfortunately, not every nursing home facility or health care provider that renders care to the elderly performs their duties in an ethical safe manner.
For example, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), 14,258 of the 188,599 complaints recorded in the National Ombudsman Reporting System (NORS) involved abuse, gross neglect, or exploitation. Moreover, the NCEA has indicated that there was a study conducted in the state of New York that found that an estimated 260,000, which equals roughly 1 in 13, older adults were victims of at least one one form of elderly abuse in that state in 2010. In Georgia specifically, the Department of Human Services has described abuse of older and disabled adults as one of the most undetected and underreported problems in the United States. As such, if you suspect a person or facility of abusing your loved one, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Types of Nursing Home and Elder Abuse
Whether you suspect elder abuse from a healthcare provider or a nursing home facility, there are certain types of injuries that are common signs of abuse and neglect. Moreover, it is important for you to understand that the elderly are more prone to sustaining injuries during day to day activities, but abuse often manifests itself in a pattern of injuries. Thus, when one of these injuries occurs, you should investigate the circumstances of the injury and talk with your loved one about how they were injured.
- Bed sores
- Cuts, Bruises, Welts, and other injuries that are indicative of being intentionally inflicted
- Skull and bone fractures
Signs of Psychological Abuse
As family members, we typically know our loved ones better than anyone, and we also have a natural ability to tell when something has changed in our mother, father, or sibling’s demeanor. Rapid changes in a family member’s personality and emotions can be indicative of abuse. As such, you should be cognizant of these common symptoms associated with psychological or sexual abuse:
- Avoiding eye contact
- Behavior that indicates feelings of fear or hopelessness
- Sudden mood swings
- Violent behavior towards others
- Acting withdrawn when your loved one used to be outgoing
Criminal Laws Regarding Elderly Abuse in Georgia
There are both criminal and civil remedies for victims of elderly abuse and their families in the state of Georgia. Often, elder abuse can cause a great deal of pain to the victim, and given the different forms that elder abuse can take, you should always evaluate all of your legal options with the guidance of a nursing home and elderly abuse attorney. Under O.C.G.A. § 16-5-101, it is a crime for a person that is charged with caring for an elderly or disabled person to deprive an elderly or disabled person of health care, shelter, or necessary sustenance to the extent that the health or well-being of such person is jeopardized.
Violating this section of the Georgia code can result in the caretaker being charged with elder neglect, which is a felony in the state of Georgia and is punishable by 1 to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $50,000, or both. Moreover, other provision of Georgia’s criminal statutes can be violated by an abuser depending on the type of abuse that occurred such as assault, battery, rape, etc.
Civil Laws Regarding Elderly and Nursing Home Abuse
In the arena of personal injury, a large portion of the claims initiated center around negligence. However, in an elder neglect case, the manner in which you and your attorney initiate the suit will depend on the type of abuse that occurred and how the abuse was committed. Negligence is defined under O.C.G.A. § 51-1-2 as a failure to exercise the degree of care that an ordinary prudent person would exercise in a similar situation, and gross negligence is defined under O.C.G.A. § 51-1-4 as a failure to exercise a degree of care which even an inattentive person with common sense exercises under the same or similar circumstances.
Acts of both negligence and gross negligence involve carelessness, but the individual committing the act does not purposely intend to harm their victim. Certain types of elderly neglect or nursing home abuse can qualify as negligence or gross negligence depending on how the abuse occurred. However, some types of abuse fall under a completely different category known as intentional torts.
Intentional Tort Laws in Georgia
When an individual commits a crime, they can be liable both criminally and civilly. In the instance of elder abuse, certain types of abuse can be prosecuted criminally, and the offender can be sued for damages incurred by the victim. Moreover, the abuser’s criminal conviction can also be used against them in the victim’s civil claim. This is a common scenario in abuse cases involving assault, battery, rape, or sexual assault. Moreover, an employer can be held liable for the actions of their employee as long as the employee is within the course and scope of their employment in Georgia under the doctrine of respondeat superior, which applies in negligence cases and intentional tort cases. This means an abuse victim can potentially seek compensation for their injuries from both the abuser and the nursing home facility that employed the abuser.
Nursing Home and Elder Abuse in Atlanta, GA
Finding out that your loved one has been abused can leave you feeling angry, overwhelmed, and confused, which is why you should always consult with a elder abuse attorney if your loved one has been an abuse victim. At Cambre and Associates, our team of nursing home abuse attorneys are dedicated to seeking the justice and compensation your family member deserves for their injuries. Don’t face this difficult time alone. Call our office today for a free consultation to find out how an elder abuse lawyer can help you.
These types of scenarios can result in serious neck injuries, contact our team of neck injury attorneys today and get the representation and compensation you deserve.
Other Practice Areas
- Car Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Bicycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Lyft & Uber Accidents
- Taxicab Accidents
- Bus Accidents
- Public Transportation Vehicle Accidents
- Premise Liability
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Medical Malpractice
- Wrongful Death
- Dog Bite
- Workers’ Compensations
- Product Liability
- Professional Negligence
Click here to learn more about our practice areas.