We put much trust in nursing home staff to care for the residents and keep them safe. But there is always the risk that they do not do their job correctly, putting your elderly loved one’s life in danger. One way that it can happen is when the senior manages to leave the facilities and gets lost or harmed in an accident.
If this ever happens to an elder relative, you can fight for their rights and receive compensation for any injuries they suffered. The office of Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has Savannah wandering and elopement lawyers who can guide you throughout the entire claim procedure. You can call us for more information.
Wandering and Elopement in Nursing Homes
Wandering is a type of behavior wherein a resident roams about within the nursing home unsupervised. They may be on a different floor, or another section of the home. If left alone, an elderly resident might get in accidents such as slipping or falling down the stairs.
Elopement is the next level of wandering. It is when the resident manages to leave the premises without anyone’s knowledge, much less supervision. Eloping can put them in even more danger than just roving around the nursing home, as they could also get caught in traffic collisions, kidnapped, assaulted, or die from thirst, hunger, or lack of medication.
Both wandering and elopement usually occur in residents with dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, or other disorders that affect their cognitive functions; however, it can also happen to elders of relatively sound mind but are stressed, bored, or have some other unaddressed needs. It is the caretaker’s responsibility to attend to their charge and supervise them, especially if they have mental impairments. The nursing home must also ensure that they have sufficient security measures to prevent such incidents from happening.
Georgia’s Protective Measures Against Elder Neglect
Georgia Code § 31-8-122 states that all nursing homes in the state must comply with the Bill of Rights for nursing home residents. In general, an elderly resident has the right to receive the appropriate level of care for their physical or mental condition. Caretakers should not discriminate against elders based on race, gender, religion, and so forth. Residents also have the right to have privacy, meet with loved ones, and accept or refuse medical treatments.
In Georgia, the law views elder neglect as the failure to provide services to the point that it can endanger or is already harming the elder’s physical or psychological well-being. If anyone has reason to suspect or has evidence of it, they must report to the Department of Community Health. Reporting allows the local authorities to investigate the matter. You can also report the abuse or neglect yourself with the Department of Human Services, Division of Aging Services.
A Savannah wandering and elopement lawyer has already familiarized themselves with state laws and can explain them to you in further detail. If you need assistance with suing the nursing home or caretaker, you can call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. The team can provide the legal support you need during this distressing time.
For a free legal consultation with an wandering and elopement lawyer serving Savannah, call (800) 842-6336
How Attorneys Can Help with Wandering and Elopement Cases
Although negligent nursing home caretakers can face considerable criminal sentences, you may also want to consider filing a civil lawsuit against them. By doing so, you and your elder loved one can receive compensation for the expenses and other damages incurred, such as medical expenses, trauma, and even the cost of moving to a new care facility.
A Savannah wandering and elopement lawyer can help find the evidence you need to ensure that you reach the settlement you want.
Determine Other Possible Parties Involved
Though the designated caretaker holds liability for allowing the resident to wander off, other staff or even the entire nursing home may also play a part in the incident. For example, another worker might have witnessed the wanderer but did not do anything to stop them. The facility may also lack the security crew or equipment to monitor the home’s entry and exit points.
To help you secure a win in your case, the Savannah wandering and elopement lawyer may conduct their investigation and check if there were others to blame for the occurrence. They can also help you find out if the nursing home personnel have also committed other acts of negligence or abuse against your elder loved one.
Ensure You Comply with Claim Time Limits
When filing lawsuits, you usually have a statute of limitations, which are filing deadlines that claimants have to follow if they want the court to entertain their case. A wandering and elopement lawsuit is no different, but determining your time allowance can get complicated. This case can involve personal injury, malpractice, or even wrongful death claims, which all usually have a limit of two years in Georgia. However, the statute timer can pause for some exceptions, such as when the accused party leaves the state.
Savannah Wandering and Elopement Lawyer Near Me (800) 842-6336
We Help Get Justice for Your Loved One
Finding out that your elderly loved one got lost and hurt because of their nursing home’s negligence can be a harrowing experience for you and your loved one. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm sympathizes with your pain and can fight to bring the responsible parties to justice. Our Savannah wandering and elopement lawyer can assist with forming your lawsuit and speak on your behalf at court.
For any concerns, you can call our firm.