Abuse in nursing homes can happen in several ways. While there are times when the abuse is physical, other types of abuse can occur, including sexual and emotional abuse. If a caretaker is negligent and does not provide the proper level of care to a senior who needs assistance, the lack of care can also be considered elder abuse. In some instances, caretakers take advantage of their patients. They may access a patient’s funds without their permission while using the money to lavish their luxurious lifestyles.
When elderly people are supposed to be cared for by professional caretakers and they do not receive that care, elder abuse is often taking place. When a resident of a nursing home becomes the victim of abuse, the victim has the right to file a claim against the attacker and the nursing home with help from an experienced nursing home abuse attorney. At the Shrable Law Firm, our personal injury lawyers care about our clients. We will fight to make sure justice is served for our clients who have had to experience such traumatic situations at the hands of people who were trusted to care for them.
Table of Contents
Understanding the Neglect and Abuse of the Elderly
Abuse of an elderly person is defined as several things. It starts with domestic incidents. For example, someone who is related to the elderly person may be abusing them, such as their significant other, child, or even distant relative. A caregiver who lives in the home may also be guilty of neglect and elder abuse based on his or her actions. Institutional incidents are also common and would include incidents of neglect and abuse that occur in a facility, such as a nursing home or hospital. The purpose of a class-action lawsuit is to hold the company responsible for its breach of contract and its mistreatment of the people who resided in the facility and were there to regularly receive high-quality care.
How Does Financial Abuse Happen to an Elderly Person?
Some elderly people are exploited because of their conditions and their inability to understand certain things that are going on around them. Unfortunately, people who take on positions to care for these individuals may decide to help themselves to a patient’s funds, which is never acceptable. An elderly person could lose money to a caretaker without realizing it because that elderly person is unable to check his or her bank statements or even look up different types of financial information.
There are several ways in which financial abuse can happen. An individual who has access to the elderly person’s bank account may access funds, sending themselves money or spending the money on something without getting the elderly person’s permission. In some cases, the individual will engage in fraudulent activities or scams to make the elderly person believe they are paying for something specific when that is truly not happening.
When a senior is being abused financially, they can lose their assets and everything they have worked hard for over the years. And, they might not even realize they have lost everything until it is too late because the person who was responsible for overseeing their finances took advantage of them and spent the money on themselves.
Why Is It Necessary to Hire a Columbus GA Attorney When Nursing Home Abuse Occurs?
Seniors are amongst some of the most vulnerable people. Many aging people no longer have the best recollection of events that have taken place in the past. If their memory is cloudy and their judgment is poor, it becomes that much easier for caretakers to take advantage of them. While the caretakers are not always related, there are times when relatives take advantage of their aging loved ones. They may have bad intentions and are hoping to gain access to money that belongs to their elderly relative.
It is important to come forward with evidence of elder abuse as soon as it happens. Victims need to hire an experienced nursing home abuse attorney in Columbus, GA, to help with the process of pressing charges against those who have committed acts of elder abuse, even if they are related to the victim. Without help from an attorney, those who have committed such acts may do everything in their power to try to avoid getting into any trouble. They might even use an elderly person’s poor memory and health conditions as a reason to claim that the accusations made against them are completely false.
Why Would a Caretaker Claim That the Allegations Are False?
A caretaker may say that the allegations against them are false because they want to avoid responsibility and the consequences that come along with elder abuse, such as prison time and fines. They will often claim that the elderly person allowed them to take the money or that the elderly person is fabricating stories and lies out of spite. If the patient has a condition that impacts their memory, such as dementia, it may be hard for him or her to prove that the allegations are true. However, that is the reason why it is necessary to hire an elder abuse attorney in Columbus.
Making Accident Claims
If an elderly individual has bruises, scrapes, and marks on their body, those marks may have been caused by a caretaker who was being abusive. When confronted with allegations of abuse, the caretaker might claim that the elderly person fell on the ground or hurt themselves in some other way. They will likely deny doing anything to cause the marks on the elderly patient.
Using the Self-Defense Strategy
Those that take advantage of the elderly will often stoop low enough to make claims of self-defense against the elderly. They might come up with stories where they claim that their elderly patient was being abusive toward them, so they had to do what they did to defend themselves. Although it may sound ridiculous, it has happened in the past, and it will likely be used as a defense strategy again in the future. Because the attackers try to do anything in their power to get out of trouble, victims of elder abuse must contact an attorney immediately.
Why Is Elder Abuse Happening?
Abuse against the elderly is happening for several reasons. While it is never the right thing to do, there are different reasons why an elderly person may be suffering at the hands of someone who is supposed to provide the best care possible.
Negligence in the Workplace
When living in a nursing home, abuse that happens will often occur due to negligence. Caretakers may not have received proper training and are not sure how to provide an adequate amount of care to the patient. Caretakers may be neglecting patients by not paying enough attention to them or meeting their needs. When there is a lack of training, some caretakers may end up getting upset and overwhelmed, which can lead to physical and emotional abuse against seniors living in the home.
In addition to negligence involving workers, residents of the nursing home can file lawsuits against the nursing home for negligence if they fall or get hurt in some other way while living at the facility. Nursing homes have the responsibility of providing safe and comfortable living quarters for the elderly. They need to keep an eye on everything that is going on inside and outside the property. If there are any safety hazards or concerns, those issues needed to be addressed immediately to prevent the elderly from getting hurt. When issues are not handled and residents get hurt, it is due to negligence on behalf of the nursing home and its owners.
In some situations, negligence occurs because one resident caused harm to another resident. The nursing home may be held responsible if something like this does happen. The reason the nursing home would be held responsible is that it should know of any incidents involving residents and it should make it a priority to carefully monitor all residents to prevent accidents from happening. If residents are not routinely monitored, one resident could end up getting into the room of another resident and causing harm to that individual.
Class-action lawsuits are occasionally brought against nursing homes. These lawsuits involve a large group of residents who may have experienced unfair and inadequate treatment. Those living at a specific nursing home may have ended up with bedsores and multiple health issues, including dehydration and sudden, unexplainable weight loss. Residents may have been dehydrated and losing weight because they were not receiving food or beverages often enough.
What Do You Do If You Need to Report Nursing Home Abuse That Is Happening in Georgia?
If you suspect that nursing home abuse is happening in Georgia, there are several steps you can take to report it. There are laws in the state that make elder abuse a crime with serious consequences. You can report the abuse anonymously by calling 1-866-552-4464. If you are going to report the abuse, make sure to do it on a weekday because then is when the hotline is open. However, you can also contact our law office. Shrable Law Firm can answer your call at any moment, whether you are calling on a weekday, weekend, early in the morning, or late at night. We are here to help. We want you to call us at your earliest convenience to report allegations of abuse and make us aware of the situation.
What Happens When a Lawsuit Gets Filed Against a Nursing Home?
Once a claim is made against the nursing home, the nursing home will be aware of the situation and will then need to take action. The steps involved may include firing those accused of the abuse, performing an investigation to get more information, and then offering a settlement to the victim(s) involved. If the settlement offer is not nearly enough to cover the cost of medical expenses and the mental and emotional abuse that the patient has endured, Shrable Law will take it to trial. We are not afraid to take things in front of a judge where we will plead your case and provide all the facts surrounding the numerous instances of abuse that you or a loved one have endured while residing in a nursing home.
We are prepared to fight for the client’s rights in Columbus, Georgia. No one deserves to experience abuse at the hands of a caretaker or anyone else for that matter. We perform a full investigation and do our research to provide only the most important and useful information, including a plethora of evidence that may be used against the nursing home and some of its employees. Some of the things we will do after taking on a case for an elderly client who has experienced elder abuse include:
- Contacting medical experts to get information on the different injuries sustained by the victim
- Obtain information from the nursing home facility, including surveillance footage that might available
- Review and make copies of the patient’s medical records
- Talk with employees who work at the facility and may have witnessed things that were going on
- Review footage that was taken with a nanny cam
- Talk with any other witnesses who noticed the abuse
- Review the elderly person’s financial records for proof of mismanaged funds
- Come up with an average cost of medical expenses based on injuries sustained by the victim
We take these steps because fighting for justice is important to us.
How Do I Take Action If I Believe My Loved One Died From Abuse at a Nursing Home?
If you think your loved one was a victim of abuse while living at a nursing home facility, contact our law office immediately. We will begin the investigation right away. Although your loved one may no longer be around to fight for justice, you can fight for justice on his or her behalf and file a wrongful death lawsuit to receive compensation for everything that happened. We can sue the nursing home for the abuse, pain and suffering, punitive damages, and expenses.
If someone you know and care about is a victim of elder abuse, the Shrable Law Firm wants to help. Call our injury law firm for your free consultation today!