We do not know how prevalent neglect and abuse are in our nation’s nursing homes. As the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) acknowledges, employees working with the elderly may not notice any signs of abuse due to a lack of awareness or a lack of training to identify signs of abuse. The victim may hesitate to report the abuse on their own because they may not want to be subject to more abuse, lack the ability to communicate that they are being abused, or do not want to put the employee’s position in jeopardy.
Thousands of Americans who lived in nursing homes and other long-term residential care communities in 2014 submitted reports of negligence or abuse. In addition, researchers believe the real scope of the problem is more significant.
If you have observed that your loved one has unexplained cuts, bruises, or burns, then there could be a problem with abuse at the nursing home. Whether the wounds have been self-inflicted, caused by another resident, or caused by a staff member, their existence shows that the nursing home is not giving your loved one the care and attention they need.
An Atlanta unexplained bruises or cuts or burns lawyer with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you get to the cause for your loved one’s injuries. Our attorneys charge no upfront costs and work on contingency, which means you do not pay us anything until we recover a favorable judgment or settlement on your behalf.
For your free consultation and to begin the legal process to hold the negligent party accountable, call our offices at (800) 842-6336 today.
Nursing Home Rights
Both the state and federal governments grant the rights to which residents of nursing homes are entitled. One of them is being free from physical abuse or harm.
Specifically, the federal government gives residents the right to be free of abuse and other types of unfair treatment. Facilities are prohibited from using physical abuse or inflicting any other type of pain. They are also barred from employing people with histories of abuse or neglect and must quickly report allegations or suspicions of abuse.
In addition, it is mandatory under 42 CFR §483.12 for all nursing homes to give all the residents the proper care and services in order for them to be physically, mentally, and psychologically healthy.
If your loved one has been suffering any unexplained bruises, cuts, or burns, there is a chance that the nursing home is failing to meet this standard of care.
Legal Actions for Unexplained Bruises or Cuts
Georgia offers those who believe their loved ones are being abused and neglected in a nursing home two paths to addressing the issue. Victims or their loved ones can submit a grievance with the state or pursue a lawsuit. If necessary, the part can complete both actions.
Investigating a Report and Filing Grievances
The first step in Georgia’s investigation process, as O.C.G.A. §31-8-83 explains, is to file a report through the Department of Community Health. The DCH will review this report and look into the complaint and gather evidence, visit the victim, or hand the case over to law enforcement as needed.
Residents of nursing homes have protections under a state bill of rights, and you have the right to file a grievance if you feel your loved one’s rights are violated under O.C.G.A. § 31-8-124. If you do not agree with the nursing home’s response, you can turn to the state’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman (LCTO). During this step, submit a complaint with the LCTO. The resident or the ombudsman has the option of asking for a hearing with the Georgia Department of Community Health (GDCH). This hearing must occur within 45 days.
If, after the hearing, it is determined that the nursing home violated the law, the facility has a specified period of time to correct the error. If the nursing home does not, the state will charge it with civil penalties, according to O.C.G.A. § 31-8-126.
Filing a Lawsuit
It is important to note that while going this route may force the nursing home to address the underlying issue, it does not and should not preclude you from receiving justice for your loved one. If nothing else, an Atlanta unexplained bruises or cuts or burns lawyer will seek to learn the truth about what caused your loved one’s injuries. They can also seek compensation for the pain and suffering your loved one has endured, as well as any medical bills and other expenses stemming from the injuries.
These cases are about negligence. The nursing home owes your loved one a responsibility to ensure their safety, and bruises, cuts, and burns can tell us that they have breached that responsibility through their own inaction or other related behaviors. Call the offices of Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today so we can help you hold them accountable for their actions.
Georgia sets a two-year statute of limitations from these cases, meaning you have two years from the date of recognizing the injury to file your case, according to O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33. If you do not file your case within these two years, you can risk your chances of filing at all. As a result, you may not be able to pursue compensation. However, there can be exceptions to the statute of limitations, depending on your case’s circumstances.
For a free legal consultation with a Unexplained Bruises Cuts Burns Lawyer serving Atlanta, call (800) 794-0444
Let Us Help Your Loved One
Our elders deserve dignity and comfort in nursing homes. If your loved one has suffered abuse in a nursing home facility, an Atlanta unexplained bruises or cuts or burns lawyer with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to help. Our legal team never shies away from tough cases, and we will always fight for justice for the most vulnerable. Call our offices today at (800) 842-6336 for more information about your loved one’s legal options.