Nursing Home Injury Lawyer Atlanta
A Georgia nursing home injury can happen to you or a loved one. Choose what happens next.
Of the more than 27,000 residents who occupy Georgia nursing homes and assisted living facilities, the vast majority of them are in good hands. However, as the population ages and more and more people rely on the services of nursing homes, we are seeing more cases of nursing home abuse and neglect. Horrific cases of nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect occur far more often than many people might realize.
If a loved one has fallen victim to nursing home abuse or neglect, count on Gary Martin Hays & Associates for vigorous, legal representation in your nursing home injury case. Call 1-800-898-HAYS right now. Our experienced injury attorneys know how to gather all the relevant facts. We can collect medical records and interview witnesses. We're not intimidated by nursing homes - or their insurance companies.
Types of nursing home injuries
While sexual assault in nursing homes generally makes headlines, there are hundreds of other less sensational cases of nursing home injuries involving dehydration, bed sores, falls, or inadequate staffing. These cases are important to the families and victims - and they matter to us, as well. Find out more information by clicking on the following links:
If you have any reason to suspect that a loved one in a nursing home has been injured due to the reckless or negligent conduct of another resident or by nursing home staff, we urge you to contact our firm. Even if you are not sure what is happening, we may be able to help put your mind at rest or direct you to an appropriate authority.
When a nursing home patient who is shown to be prone to falls is not properly managed, the risk of broken bones and even traumatic brain injury becomes severe. The Annals of Internal Medicine reports that roughly 1,800 nursing home deaths occur each year in this country due to falls.
Don't let another day go by wondering if the insurance company will compensate your loved one who had a nursing home fall. Call Gary Martin Hays & Associates today at 1-800-898-HAYS to get the wheels of justice turning in your favor. We won't back down from the challenge when defending our clients' rights.
A fall risk assessment is part of the intake process for every nursing home patient in Georgia. Failure to follow a patient's fall prevention protocol constitutes a form of nursing home neglect. Sometimes, inadequate staffing is a contributing factor. A resident who calls for assistance moving from one room to another may get no response and attempt to move on his or her own, leading to a fall.
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At Gary Martin Hays & Associates, we understand how to fight insurance companies who try to take advantage of bed sore injury victims. If you have questions, we're ready to answer them-and we're fully ready to take aggressive action on your behalf. Call 1-800-898-HAYS today.
Nursing home regulations establish clear guidelines for preventing bed sores on patients known to be at risk, such as any patient who is unable to reposition themselves. If you suspect your loved one may be suffering from bed sores, check their heels, the back of the head, shoulder blades, and buttocks, where bed sores caused by nursing home neglect often first appear.
Bed sores are wounds that occur due to lack of blood flow to certain areas of the body, as may occur with a bedridden or wheelchair bound resident who is not repositioned every two hours as required by law. Bed sores are a sign of nursing home neglect.
The continued and unrelenting pressure on certain areas of the body decreases circulation, robbing the skin in these areas of oxygen. Bed sores can easily become infected - a potentially fatal condition.
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Nursing home malnutrition has the potential to directly contribute to a patient's death. It is the legal responsibility of the nursing home to determine how able patients are to feed themselves if hungry - simply bringing food to the room is not enough. Malnutrition is a form of nursing home neglect that can lead to a rapid decline in health or even death.
Signs of malnutrition include:
- Clothes become noticeably looser
- Appearance of weight loss
- Dentures no longer fit
- Sudden loss of hair or healthy teeth
- Non-dementia related confusion
- Sunken eyes
- Slow healing of minor cuts / bruises
We have found through experience that malnutrition in nursing homes is often linked to inadequate staffing. The nursing home may be liable for the mistreatment of patients on a broad scale.
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Dehydration is a form of nursing home neglect that can lead to serious health problems for the victim. Low blood pressure and other conditions resulting from severe dehydration can be life threatening. For elderly nursing home residents, whose sense of thirst may already be compromised and who may be taking medication that makes them especially susceptible to dehydration, even moderate exposure to the effects of dehydration may cause any of the following adverse side effects:
- Low blood pressure
- Tachycardia (racing heart)
As the elderly lose mobility, they may avoid drinking in order to minimize trips to the bathroom, or to avoid being embarrassed by incontinence. In cases of nursing home abuse, staff members may deliberately withhold fluids in order to avoid changing adult diapers and bed sheets, or escorting patients to the bathroom.
If your loved one shows any of the following symptoms, he or she may be suffering from dehydration:
- Skin tenting in the forehead
- Dark or concentrated urine
- Sunken eyes
- Dry mouth, skin and nasal passages
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A nursing home prescription error may be difficult to detect, but families can look for signs. For example, a resident who is always asleep during visits, regardless of the time of day, may be a sign of a prescription error.
In some cases, nursing home prescription errors are the result of some kind of nursing home neglect, such as when one patient is given another's medicine accidentally. Some prescription errors may rise to the level of nursing home abuse. For example, a nursing staff member might deliberately over-medicate a patient to make him or her more compliant.
Nurses who are over-worked due to inadequate staffing may negligently mix up prescriptions and give a resident the wrong medication. If the patient's medical history and other prescriptions are not checked appropriately, they may suffer from severe side effects or drug allergy symptoms.
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An assault on a nursing home patient may leave a black eye or other visible signs or cause injuries that the patient complains about or cannot be ignored. Too often, though, a nursing home assault becomes part of a pattern of other abuse, including psychological abuse. If your loved one appears to have a severe fear reaction to a certain patient or staff member, you may want to contact an expert in elder.
Some nursing home assault cases involve a staff member. In some cases, another resident or a visitor to the nursing home may be causing harm. Regardless of who is committing the assault, the nursing home itself may be responsible for failing to keep the patient safe from harm.
The abuse of the elderly will not stop unless victims stand up for their rights and the public demands justice. Has your loved one complained of abuse? Do you suspect something is wrong, but don't know how to proceed? You can turn to us for help.
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One difference between catastrophic injury sustained in a nursing home and other forms of nursing home injury, such as malnutrition, is that it typically stems from a single event rather than a pattern of conduct.
Strict regulations are in place at both the state and federal level to prevent this type of nursing home neglect, yet it does take place. Major injury events in nursing homes may involve a burn injury, broken bones, or permanent loss of mobility. A negligent security matter that leads to wandering or elopement by a resident may result in that person being hit by a car.
Types of catastrophic injury from nursing home abuse
Catastrophic nursing home injuries we have seen include:
- Loss of speech
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of use of hands
- Permanent confinement to wheelchair