Deciding to place a loved one in someone else’s care full-time is one of the hardest things for any family to go through. It can be devastating to even imagine that your family member might be mistreated by the people entrusted with their safety. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is all too common across the United States, impacting thousands of families and causing uncountable losses every year.
If you believe your loved one has experienced mistreatment of any kind in an assisted living facility or nursing home, a Cobb County nursing home abuse lawyer could help you take appropriate action. After ensuring your family member is safe from any further neglect or abuse, your dedicated personal injury attorney could work tenaciously to demand compensation for every form of harm you and your family suffered due to this unacceptable situation.
How Elder Neglect Happens
While it may seem hard to imagine, it is not unheard of for nursing home and assisted living facility staff members to engage in intentional physical, emotional, financial, and even sexual abuse of patients under their care. In other situations, well-intentioned and hard-working nurses are simply overwhelmed by insufficient staffing and a lack of support from facility administrators and owners. This often results in unconscionable harm to vulnerable residents.
As a Cobb County nursing home neglect attorney could affirm, these situations are often complicated by how difficult it can be to identify that abuse or neglect is happening at all. Even the most attentive family members may miss physical marks that are not easily visible, and residents themselves may be too cognitively impaired—or too frightened of retribution—to clearly communicate what they are going through.
Because of this, it is crucial to pay close attention to conditions in a loved one’s nursing home, and bring up any concerns immediately with staff members or law enforcement authorities in emergency situations.
What Does Nursing Home Mistreatment Look Like?
Anyone who notices a nursing home resident showing any of the following symptoms should investigate if abuse or neglect is occurring:
- Unexplained bruising, lacerations, or injuries from falls;
- Sudden changes in personality or mood;
- Changes in attitude around a particular staff member;
- Pronounced hair and/or weight loss;
- Unsanitary living conditions; and
- Glassy eyes, mouth sores, and other signs of malnutrition or dehydration.
A lawyer could provide assistance in investigating these potential abuses.
Options for Addressing Elder Abuse and Neglect
Whether a nursing home resident’s mistreatment is intentional or inadvertent, the facility responsible for their care can and should bear financial liability for any harm they allow their residents to experience. Depending on the circumstances, a nursing home abuse lawyer in Cobb County could help an impacted resident or their family demand restitution for additional medical expenses, lost enjoyment of life, physical and emotional suffering, and wrongful death damages like funeral expenses and loss of companionship in the event the abuse leads to a resident’s premature death.
In addition, a court may elect to impose punitive damages upon defendants in cases that involve egregious or wanton misconduct. However, unless the case involves intentional attempts to cause harm, Official Code of Georgia § 51-12-5.1 limits the maximum value of punitive damages in any type of civil claim to $250,000.
Speak with a Cobb County Nursing Home Abuse Attorney About Legal Options
Managing a civil lawsuit based on nursing home neglect or abuse is no small task, especially while you are also dealing with the emotional toll of mistreatment. If you are currently dealing with this unthinkable situation, help is available from dedicated legal professionals who could fight to secure a fair case result on your behalf.
A Cobb County nursing home abuse lawyer could explain your rights and options further during a private consultation. Schedule yours by calling today.