Elder Abuse | Atlanta Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Near Me

LEGAL REPRESENTATION TO PROTECTED YOUR LOVED ONES

Our aging loved ones deserve the highest quality care, with their comfort and safety taking top priority. Whether assistance is provided by nursing home staff or a caregiver, we expect that those hired to help have our loved ones’ best interests at heart. But this is often not the case. Unfortunately, elder abuse is far too common in our community, with those entrusted to provide care taking advantage of their position.

If you suspect that your loved one is suffering abuse at the hands of nursing home staff or other caregivers, it’s important to pursue legal action immediately. An Atlanta elderly abuse attorney here at Ross Moore Law can fight for compensation on your loved one’s behalf, advocating for them at every turn. Attorney Ross Moore and his legal team will take the time to get to know your unique situation so that we can provide legal representation worthy of a serious case like yours.

WHY CLIENTS CHOOSE ROSS MOORE LAW

Here’s why locals choose our Atlanta elderly abuse attorneys:

  • Millions recovered for clients through verdicts and settlements
  • Award-winning legal representation
  • A history of highly satisfied reviewers of our personal injury law firm 
  • Meticulous, diligent, and personalized approach to each accident claim
  • Contingency fees – you don’t pay unless we win!

At Ross Moore Law, our skilled personal injury law firm near you can help your family navigate the days ahead. Our Atlanta elderly abuse attorneys will take the time necessary to understand every single aspect of your case before gathering evidence to strengthen your personal injury claim. This deep devotion to clients best positions your case for success and maximizes your chances of receiving a fair settlement. 

ATLANTA ELDERLY ABUSE ATTORNEY NEAR ME | ATLANTA ELDERLY ABUSE LAWYER NEAR ME

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ELDER ABUSE CASES ARE ON THE RISE

Georgia’s elderly population is growing rapidly, a trend seen in many states across the nation. With more baby boomers retiring each year, many nursing facilities have taken on more residents/patients than they can handle. These overpopulated facilities are typically understaffed, and employees are often inadequately trained and/or improperly supervised. Another big problem is that, because they need workers so badly, facilities may not perform a thorough background check before hiring them.

The sum of these factors can be dangerous, with the equation often equaling substandard living conditions. Sadly, this has become more the norm than the exception. There are more than 350 nursing homes in Georgia, and less than 20 show up on the U.S. News & World Report’s list of best nursing facilities in the country. By contrast, nearly 30% of Georgia nursing homes receive a one-star (out of a possible five) rating, and dozens more appear near the bottom of the list with only two or three-star ratings.

In fact, nursing home facilities across the state are routinely cited for various violations, and most of them are doing very little to address these issues. Here at Ross Moore Law, our nursing home abuse lawyers find it outrageous that so many of our honored elders are subjected to neglect and abuse. Because we all have aging loved ones, we can imagine how horrific it would be to learn that they were treated with anything less than dignity and respect. 

That said, our Atlanta elderly abuse attorneys take these cases personally, and we make it our mission to ensure that those responsible are held fully accountable.

HOW DOES MY NURSING HOME RATE? (POOR TO HIGH SATISFACTION)

To find out the rating of the nursing facility that is housing your loved one, go to https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/


COMMON SIGNS TO RECOGNIZE FOR ELDER ABUSE

Elder abuse is not always physical and may not result in visible injuries. Make sure that you keep an eye on your loved one and take note of behaviors that seem out of the ordinary. Remember that problems can stem from emotional abuse or even financial exploitation, as well as physical mistreatment. Watch for these common symptoms of abuse or neglect:

  • Bruises or sprains
  • Fractures
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme hunger
  • Injured mouth, genitals, or anus
  • Uncharacteristic withdrawal or anxiety
  • Abnormal financial transactions

Elderly individuals are typically very hesitant to report abuse, which is understandable. Many of them assume that no one will believe them, but if no action is taken to rectify the situation, abuse will likely continue. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) says that only one out of every 14 cases of elder abuse are ever reported. With this in mind, it is most often up to family members to recognize that abuse may be occurring and to take appropriate action.

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WHO ARE THE PERPETRATORS OF ELDERLY ABUSE?

Elder abuse may occur at the hands of:

  • Nursing home staff
  • In-home care staff
  • Family members
  • Friends and acquaintances

4 TIPS FOR PREVENTING ELDER ABUSE AND NEGLECT IN NURSING HOMES

With so many Georgia nursing facilities rated at or near the bottom, there is very little reassurance that your loved one will receive quality care in this state. If it is absolutely necessary for your aging loved one to move to a nursing home, it is crucial to take proactive steps to ensure their safety.

  • Visit often.
    Nursing home patients who do not receive frequent visitors are the most likely to be abused. So, one of the most important things you and your family can do to prevent abuse from happening is to show up and visit your loved one on a regular basis. We understand that everyone is busy, but working out a regular visit schedule could potentially prevent a dangerous situation from developing. Be sure to make some unexpected visits as well, so you will be less predictable to the facility staff.
  • Stay engaged.
    When you visit your elderly loved one, check in with their caregiver and other staff, as well as with the facility supervisor/director. Ask them detailed questions and express any concerns that you have. Communicate to them that you want to be directly involved in your loved one’s care and let them know what your expectations are. When the nursing home staff sees that you are actively engaged, they will be far more motivated to give your loved one the quality of care they deserve.
  • Document everything.
    Whenever you visit, take detailed notes about the facility’s conditions, your loved one’s physical state and behavior, comments of the caregivers and staff, and any observations you make. It is also a good idea to snap some photos on your cell phone to supplement your notes. Here in Georgia, it is illegal to install a hidden camera in a nursing home, so this is probably not an option. However, you can still make sure your visits are well documented.
  • Take action if you suspect elder abuse.
    If things do not seem right or you notice clear signs of elder abuse, take action immediately to get your loved one out of danger. If this is truly an emergency situation, call 911 and report it to the police. Otherwise, you can report nursing home abuse to the Georgia Department of Community Health by calling 1-800-878-6442. Next, get in touch with a skilled nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss your legal rights and options.

HOW TO FILE ELDERLY ABUSE OUTSIDE OF A NURSING HOME 

(ABUSE BY FAMILY, FRIENDS, ACQUAINTANCES, CAREGIVERS)

  1. Report family, friend, acquaintance, or caregiver abuse: Any person who suspects or knows of abuse of an elder or disabled adult who does not live in a nursing home or personal care home should report it. Make the report to the Adult Protective Services (APS) Unit of the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) in the county where the victim lives. 
    • You can call APS at 1-866-55AGING or file a report online.
    • Upon receiving a report, APS must conduct a prompt, thorough investigation. APS will provide or arrange for protective services with the victim’s consent if the investigation shows that the adult needs them. 
      • Services may include: 
        • help to get medical care or better housing; 
        • counseling a caregiver; 
        • finding adult day care; 
        • seeking a protective order; or, 
        • in cases where the victim is incompetent, asking a court to assign guardianship.
        • APS can refer you to legal services, help you apply for public assistance, assist you in managing your affairs and even arrange a safe place for you to live.
    • If anyone interferes with an investigation or with provision of protective services, a petition can be filed in court seeking access to the elder. If there is clear and convincing evidence, the court can order that protective services be provided to the elder and prohibit interference with those services. The hearing usually will be held between 5 and 10 days after the petition is filed. If there is an immediate danger to the elder, the petition can be filed immediately and the court can issue an immediate order, known as an ex parte order. The order will allow immediate access to the elder to determine his or her well-being.
  2. Report to Law Enforcement or Seek a Protective Order: Under Georgia law, family violence is a crime. Family violence is certain kinds of crimes between people who have a certain kind of connection to each other. The people must be connected to each other as: 
  • past or present spouses, 
  • parents of the same child, 
  • parent and child, 
  • stepparent and stepchild, or 
  • other persons living or formerly living in the same household. 

The kinds of crimes include:

  • battery, 
  • assault, 
  • stalking, 
  • criminal damage to property, 
  • unlawful restraint, 
  • criminal trespass or 
  • any felony.

Any adult may file a petition for the victim in the superior court for the county where the abuser lives. The petition should ask for a protective order. Petitions may be based on one or more acts of family violence. Within ten days of filing, a hearing will be held to determine whether family violence exists.

If family violence does exist, the judge can issue a protective order keeping the abuser from threatening or harming the victim for up to one year. A temporary protective order can be granted before the hearing if the court thinks the victim is in danger. Anyone who violates this order can be arrested.

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HOW TO FILE ELDERLY ABUSE INSIDE OF A NURSING HOME

(ABUSE BY STAFF)

If you suspect nursing home abuse, follow these steps immediately:

  1. Report abuse to the Long-Term Care Ombudsman in your area. You can call or file a complaint online. Reports are confidential. The ombudsman will then investigate your complaints, working on behalf of the nursing home resident.
  2. Report abuse to your Atlanta elderly abuse attorney. In addition to providing trusted legal advice, your attorney can help investigate the suspected abuse and gather evidence to strengthen your claim.

COMMON TYPES OF ELDERLY ABUSE

The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), define elder abuse as “an intentional act or failure to act that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult.” Elder abuse comes in several forms, including the following:

  • Physical Abuse
    This includes any physical interaction that is intended to inflict pain or harm, such as hitting, slapping, pushing, burning, and more.
  • Sexual Abuse
    Any forced sexual contact between an elderly person and another person is considered sexual abuse
  • Emotional Abuse
    Emotional or psychological abuse includes any behavior meant to cause distress, like name-calling, isolation, intimidation, property damage, and more.
  • Negligence
    Neglect is common in nursing homes, with residents’ basic needs – such as food, water, hygiene, medical care, etc. – not being met.
  • Financial abuse
    In some cases, nursing home staff and management have access to residents’ money and personal information. Abusing this power or stealing from residents is a form of abuse.

GEORGIA STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR ELDERLY ABUSE & NURSING HOME ABUSE CLAIM

2 YEARS

The state of Georgia generally imposes a two-year window in which you can bring a personal injury claim. If your loved one suffered abuse, neglect, or exploitation while living in a nursing home, then your case will likely be considered part of the personal injury category for litigation.

ATLANTA NURSING HOME ABUSE LAWYER NEAR ME | ATLANTA NURSING HOME ABUSE ATTORNEY NEAR ME

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ELDERLY ABUSE STATISTICS

These alarming statistics prove the sad fact that elderly abuse is incredibly prevalent.

  • Around 1 in 6 people 60 years and older have experienced some form of elderly abuse in community settings during the past year.
  • The rates of elderly abuse are high in facilities like nursing homes and long-term care facilities, with 2 in 3 staff members admitting to abusing residents in the past year.
  • Rates of elderly abuse of older people increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Abuse can cause severe physical injuries and make a life-long psychological impact.
  • The global population of people aged 60 years and older will more than double, from 900 million in 2015 to about 2 billion in 2050.
  • An increase in elderly abuse worldwide is predicted as many countries’ aging populations grow.

FAQS | COMMON ATLANTA ELDERLY ABUSE QUESTIONS

What is elderly abuse?
Elderly abuse refers to a caregiver’s intentional or negligent action that causes harm or puts an older adult at risk. This includes physical, sexual, financial, and emotional abuse, as well as neglect. Legislation to prevent elderly abuse is in place nationwide, but many instances of abuse and neglect go unreported.

What are the effects of elder abuse?
Older adults who have suffered abuse have a 300% higher risk of death than those who have not been mistreated. In addition to the physical impacts, estimates show that financial abuse costs elderly Americans $2.6 billion to $36.5 billion each year. While elderly people are more likely to report financial abuse than any other kind, it is likely that many cases still go unreported.

What are the five major consequences of elder abuse?
Consequences. Abuse of older people can have serious physical and mental health, financial, and social consequences, including, for instance, physical injuries, premature mortality, depression, cognitive decline, financial devastation, and placement in nursing homes

Are there criminal penalties for the abusers?
Yes, most states have penalties for those who abuse their older residents. We are seeing more and more law enforcement officers and prosecutors receive training to detect elder abuse and ensure justice is done. For more details, check the Elder Abuse Guide for Law Enforcement (EAGLE) website to find state-specific elder justice laws.

How does a person make an elder abuse report?
If danger is immediate and life-threatening, call 911 right away. Never hesitate to contact the authorities if you suspect your loved one is in danger. You can also contact your local Adult Protective Services office or Long-Term Care Ombudsman. For more information, check the Eldercare Locator online or call 1-800-677-1116.

Who is a mandated reporter?
Mandated reporters are professionals who are legally required to report suspected abuse during the performance of their duties. See the EAGLE State Mandated Reporting page for your state’s specific statutes.

What happens after reporting elderly abuse to the APS?
If Adult Protective Services deems the nursing home or care facility in violation of state elder abuse laws, it will assign a dedicated caseworker to investigate. In emergency cases, this will usually occur within 24 hours. If crisis intervention is needed, the caseworker will direct the victim accordingly. If the claim is unsubstantiated, most APS agencies will collaborate with other community agencies to obtain the care services that the older person needs. Note: the elderly person has the right to refuse any suggested services unless they have a legal guardian or have been declared incapacitated by the court.

Is elderly abuse a crime?
Yes, elder abuse is considered a crime here in Georgia. Under state law, it is a felony to intentionally exploit, inflict physical pain, sexually abuse, cause mental distress, or deprive an elderly person of essential services.

What is the criminal penalty for abusers inflicting elderly abuse?
Elder abuse laws vary from one state to the next. Some states have increased penalties for abusers, and many law enforcement officers and prosecutors are now being trained to investigate claims of elder abuse and hold perpetrators accountable.

Does the State of Georgia enforce damage caps for personal injury claims?
In 2010, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled against damage caps for personal injury claims. That means that there is no limit to the compensation that can be recovered. However, there is a cap of $250,000 on punitive damages.

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ABOUT ATLANTA, GEORGIA 

Our vibrant city is unlike any other, with its rich history and thriving culture setting it apart. Founded in 1837, Atlanta has overcome challenges over the decades, starting with the rebuilding it endured after being burned to the ground by General Sherman in 1864. The phoenix remains the city’s symbol, representing its residents’ strength and perseverance. 

Atlanta was named the Peach State’s capital shortly after in 1868, the fifth city to earn the title. It remains the capital today, with a booming population of more than half a million residents. Our dynamic city is known for the major role it played in the South’s Civil Rights Movement, with inspiring leaders pursuing progress at all costs. Atlanta continues to embody diversity in every regard, stimulating a unique arts and culture scene. Atlanta residents can also claim “the world’s busiest airport,” with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport serving as a major travel hub. Our beautiful city is beyond compare, and our Atlanta elderly abuse attorneys couldn’t be prouder to call it home! 

TRUSTED RESOURCES IN THE ATLANTA AREA – FULTON COUNTY:

If injured in Atlanta, you’re in good hands. Atlanta, GA offers some of the best medical professionals to support you back to good health. Plus, we offer a diverse legal system and investigators ready to protect you in Fulton County. Plus, their diligence only strengthens your legal case. 

Here are some helpful resources for accident injury victims in Atlanta, GA: 

Atlanta Hospitals

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta – Egleston Hospital
1405 Clifton Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30322

East Point VA Clinic
1513 Cleveland Ave #300, Atlanta, GA 30344 

Emory University Hospital Midtown
550 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30308

Grady Health System
80 Jesse Hill Jr Dr SE, Atlanta, GA 30303

Northside Hospital Atlanta
1000 Johnson Ferry Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30342

Piedmont Atlanta
1968 Peachtree Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30309

Select Specialty Hospital – South Atlanta Medical Center
1170 Cleveland Avenue 4th Floor, Atlanta, East Point, GA 30344

Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center
303 Parkway Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30312

Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center South
1170 Cleveland Ave, Atlanta, GA 30344

Atlanta Police Stations/Departments

Atlanta Police Department Headquarters
226 Peachtree St, Atlanta, Georgia 30303

Atlanta Police Department Zone 1
2315 Donald Lee Hollowell Pkwy NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

Atlanta Police Department Zone 2
3120 Maple Dr NE #300, Atlanta, GA 30305

Atlanta Police Department Zone 3
880 Cherokee Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30315

Atlanta Police Department Zone 4
1125 Cascade Cir SW, Atlanta, GA 30311

Atlanta Police Department Zone 5
200 Ted Turner Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30303 

Atlanta Police Department Zone 6
2025 Hosea L Williams Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30317

Atlanta Courthouses

Atlanta City Court
150 Garnett St SW, Atlanta, GA 30303 

Fulton County Civil Court
185 Central Ave SW, Atlanta, GA 30303

Fulton County Courthouse
136 Pryor St SW, Atlanta, GA 30303

Magistrate Court of Fulton County
185 Central Ave SW, Atlanta, GA 30303

Municipal Court of Atlanta
150 Garnett St SW, Atlanta, GA 30303

Supreme Court Clerk
244 Washington St SW UNIT -5, Atlanta, GA 30334

Superior Court
2 M.L.K. Jr Dr SE, Atlanta, GA 30334

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