The mistreatment of older people by nursing homes is a gross abuse of power. Awareness of elder abuse is on the rise because of the impending increase in the elderly population in the coming years. Yet, cases of nursing home abuse continue to arise and continue unnoticed, without investigation or legal action.
If you have a loved one in an elderly care facility who you suspect has been hurt, an Alpharetta nursing home abuse lawyer could help. Consulting legal counsel can be vital to taking mitigatory and investigatory steps and obtaining recovery. An experienced personal injury attorney could help you and your loved one seek compensation for the harm committed against them in a nursing facility.
The definition of elder abuse is typically an act or omission, intentional or unintentional, that harms an older person. Importantly, neglect is a common type of nursing home abuse that occurs when nursing homes fail to supervise, care for, treat, or otherwise look after their residents. Alpharetta elder abuse victims may suffer from any one of the below manners of abuse, as described below.
The causes of elder abuse at nursing homes range from lack of individual care, internal protocol, inadequate nutrition, and substandard facilities. Staffing issues are also common, including insufficient training and vetting for psychological problems among staff, work-related stress and burnout, long hours, and low pay. However, these do not excuse elder abuse.
Proving liability in an elder abuse case hinges around proving that the nursing home entity, whether the business itself or one or more staff members, was negligent. Proving negligence requires that a plaintiff, the person bringing the lawsuit, fulfill four elements.
First, a plaintiff must show that the nursing home owed a duty of care to the elder abuse victim. This could be the duty to provide safe facilities, adequate supervision, or an environment free from harassment.
Second, a plaintiff must demonstrate that the nursing home breached that duty by acting or failing to act in some way. Third, the act or omission must have caused the injury complained of. Proving causation can require the input of expert testimony.
An expert witness is a person trained, experienced, or credentialed in a particular field. In a nursing home abuse case, this could be a medical professional, or someone familiar with nursing home practices such as an academic or a person familiar with nursing home administration or abuse.
An Alpharetta nursing home abuse attorney could help hire and work with an expert for their client’s case. Since experts can be expensive to hire, an attorney’s management and oversight can help minimize costs.
Fourth, a plaintiff must prove that they were damaged or harmed by the nursing home’s negligence. This could be in the form of physical or psychological injuries sustained by the person abused. If successful, a plaintiff could obtain damages for consequent medical expenses, physical pain and emotional anguish suffered.
Watching a loved one suffer at the hands of a person who is supposed to be caring for them can be traumatic. A nursing facility should provide care and support to your loved one, not mistreat them and break your trust.
Fortunately, you may have legal recourse. An attorney could appreciate the hardship you and your family are enduring and help you remedy the situation. Schedule a consultation with an Alpharetta nursing home abuse lawyer today to discuss your case.