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Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Immediately Investigated Despite Backlog, Officials say

Nursing homes in Georgia have been in the news lately as unaddressed nursing home complaints have created a large backlog. The Gwinnett Daily Post reports that the Department of Community Health has a backlog of approximately 140 unaddressed nursing home complaints from residents, family members, and others. However, the Commissioner of Community Health has stated that despite the backlog, reports of abuse and neglect are still being investigated immediately. Officials claim that the number of nursing home complaints has risen nationally due to a recent push for self advocacy and that this, combined with the high job vacancy rate among Georgia’s nursing home surveyor workforce, is to blame for our state’s current backlog of nursing home complaints.

How to Report Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Georgia

If you suspect that nursing home abuse or neglect has occurred, be sure to report it immediately. Mistreatment of the elderly can sometimes be hard to detect, but the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse’s website provides a helpful list of indicators which include:

  • Poor personal hygiene,
  • Bruises,
  • Animal or insect infestations,
  • Bedsores,
  • Isolation from others, and
  • Nightmares or difficulty sleeping.

Even if you do not have any proof and simply suspect that something fishy is going on, it is important that you report your suspicion to the proper authorities so that an investigation can be launched. Your first step should be to call 911 if someone needs immediate help, and then contact Georgia Adult Protective Services by calling 1-800-552-4464 to file a report. Anyone who suspects abuse or neglect is encouraged to file a report and is immune from liability as long as their report was filed in good faith. Next, you should contact a local nursing home abuse and neglect attorney.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Nursing home caregivers are responsible for the health and wellbeing of the residents that they care for. Many caregivers are compassionate and dedicated to their work, but unfortunately some fall short of the standard of care that they have a legal duty to provide. If a caregiver’s negligent or reckless actions harm an elderly resident in their care, then that resident is legally entitled to sue the caregiver, and likely the nursing home that employed the caregiver, as well.

In Georgia, mistreated elders (or their families on their behalf) can file a personal injury lawsuit claiming nursing home negligence or abuse for up to two years after the alleged mistreatment took place. Successful personal injury plaintiffs may be awarded compensatory damages, non-economic damage up to $350,000, and punitive damages up to $250,000. While monetary compensation may not be able make up for the injustice that you and your family suffered, filing a personal injury lawsuit will help ensure that the responsible parties are punished for what they have done.

Need Legal Advice?

If you know or suspect that nursing home mistreatment has taken place in Georgia, contact the experienced personal injury lawyers at the Angell Law Firm, LLC without delay. Our experienced lawyers are committed to holding negligent or reckless caregivers accountable for their actions and we have almost 20 years of trial experience successfully representing our clients. For assistance, call our Atlanta office at (770) 217-4954.

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