Martinez Nursing Home AbuseAbuse and neglect in nursing homes is a major problem. When facilities cut costs, personalized attention to residents is reduced. This website offers advice for what to do if someone you love has been injured due to harm in a long-term care facility. Please contact as at any point to discuss the details of your specific situation.

If a nurse or staff member has injured your loved one, they have committed nursing home abuse or neglect. Abuse includes intentional damage done to a resident, such as hitting a patient or embarrassing them in front of other residents. Neglect, on the other hand, results from failing to do something that would have kept a resident from harm. Whether in a case of neglect or abuse, your loved one’s safety was violated.

The nursing home injured my loved one. Can I file a suit?

You are entitled to file a lawsuit if a settlement cannot be reached through negotiation. Each person must make a decision that makes the most sense for them and their loved one. But the advantage of a lawsuit is that a jury will decide the amount of money you are owed by the facility, and the court will mandate that you are paid this amount if the suit is successful.

If you are not already authorized to act on your loved one’s behalf, you will need to file paperwork to in order to be eligible to file a lawsuit. This will take the form of power of attorney, guardianship, or conservatorship.

Should you decide to file a lawsuit, we are dedicated to getting you the compensation your loved one deserves.

How can I afford an attorney?

Cost is a primary concern for many people considering whether to hire a lawyer to help their loved one. Most lawyers who litigate cases of nursing home abuse don’t get paid unless they win your case, which is known as contingency. Thus, they have extra motivation to work on your behalf than a lawyer who is paid hourly. Should you decide to pursue a lawsuit, you and the attorney will agree on the percentage the attorney will receive in the event of a successful suit.

You should know that other significant costs will be involved with filing a lawsuit apart from the lawyer’s fees. Securing complete medical records, sometimes from multiple facilities, and other services such as expert testimony, can add up to thousands of dollars. You’ll also need to factor in arbitration and court fees. Most nursing abuse and neglect lawyers will pay these charges up front, allowing you to reimburse them upon winning the suit.

We are Schenk Smith, your Martinez nursing home abuse lawyers.

Rather than covering multiple legal areas, Schenk Smith has chosen to concentrate solely on nursing home law. Our attention is not divided in many directions—our passion and expertise is completely focused on helping you fight nursing home abuse and neglect.

Before becoming a lawyer, founding attorney Will Smith worked throughout Georgia nursing homes as a CNA for nearly ten years. He knows firsthand the signs of abuse and neglect and what facilities must do to protect residents. This personal experience in nursing home environments has influenced Smith Schenk’s commitment to prosecuting nursing homes that fail to protect your loved ones.

Please take a minute to peruse our FAQ video library, blog, and video podcast covering current issues in nursing home care. Once you’ve taken a look, feel free to schedule a free consultation at any time—we’ll come to you to discuss your case. Whether you live around the corner from Bowen Pond, up the street from Casa Bella, or near Reed Creek, we’re here to help.

Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect in Martinez, Georgia – What you need to know.

Martinez, Georgia is located in Columbia County and has a population of 35,795 residents. Of those, 12% are aged 65 and older. Sadly, in Martinez like in other Georgia cities, neglect and abuse occur often.

Are there symptoms of neglect?

Neglect is not always as apparent as abuse, but there are still symptoms. You likely know your loved one better than anyone, and you will be aware if something seems “off.”

Neglected residents may display a lack of basic hygiene, which may result in symptoms such as body odor, bad breath, or overgrown nails. Physical and oral hygiene are both critical to overall health, as well as self-esteem. Patients who are not bathed frequently may be more likely to develop bedsores, UTIs, or infections such as C. difficile. Normally sociable residents who take pride in being well groomed may be embarrassed by their appearance and avoid company. They may show signs of irritability or depression.

A dirty or cluttered living space can be very hazardous to a resident. The facility should ensure that spaces are left clean and free of trip hazards. If your loved one has mobility limitations and has fallen down, it may be a sign that they were trying to do something by themselves when they should have had assistance.

Sudden weight loss or illness may also indicate neglect. Many patients follow very specific diets and can become malnourished if they receive the wrong meals. Malnutrition is especially likely to occur when a nursing home is experiencing a period of high traffic and individualized needs are not being met by staff. Medication regimens can also be interrupted when nursing home staff are caring for many patients at once.

Which nursing home injuries are the most common?

Federal and state law requires that facilities prevent common risks to residents in long-term care facilities. Some of the most frequent problems are slipping and falling, getting bedsores, and becoming injured when wandering unsupervised from a facility.

Since vision and coordination worsen with age, the elderly are likely to slip and fall. Obstacles in living areas can be very dangerous, and residents at high risk of falling should have guardrails installed on their beds. Falling is a serious danger for residents, leading to head injuries, broken bones, and sometimes even death.

Residents of nursing homes can easily get bedsores, or decubitus ulcers, which are injuries to the skin and tissue that occur when a resident is in one position for a long period. It’s particularly likely to occur when a patient is bedridden or in a wheelchair. It may also be more likely to happen if a resident is incontinent. Most bedsores can be avoided by ensuring that residents are repositioned frequently and kept clean and dry.

Residents suffering from dementia or other cognitive disorders may become disoriented and be unsure of where they are. With frequent movement in and out of a facility, residents sometimes walk out without being noticed. Many hazards may surface once they are out of the relative safety of the nursing home. Residents may wander away into any number of dangerous areas—busy streets, bodies of water, or uneven paving that could lead them to trip and fall.

Why is neglect so prevalent nowadays?

It’s heartbreaking to realize that a resident could be neglected in a facility meant to keep them safe. But neglect is unintentional and usually occurs when a nursing home is unable to provide consistent care due to a variety of factors. Financial difficulties can lead to insufficient training of staff or understaffing, both of which can result in negligence.

Just like any other business, nursing homes must make money to survive. They may take shortcuts in hiring or training that is not adequate for the needs of the residents in the facility. Staff are often overworked, given more tasks to complete than is possible in a day. Somewhere along the line, quality of care is sure to falter. Two patients’ medication regiments will be confused, or a staff member won’t have time to both help a patient with bathroom care and remove trip hazards from their apartment.

When a facility doesn’t put an appropriate level of resources into its staffing, employees either have too much work or work for which they have not received proper instruction. This frequently leads to staff members becoming frustrated and seeking employment elsewhere. Then the staff must be replaced, a process that costs money which could have gone into existing staff and training resources.

My loved one was hurt in a Martinez nursing home – What do I do next?

If your loved one was severely injured or passed away at a Martinez, Georgia nursing home, then we recommend that you act as soon as possible to protect your loved one’s rights.

First, report the incident to the appropriate Georgia authorities

Georgia Department of Community Health

The Georgia Department of Community Health’s Healthcare Facility Regulation investigates nursing homes for neglect and abuse. Their offices also regulate and certify nursing homes in Georgia.

You can file a complaint with the Georgia Department of Community Health, Healthcare Facility Regulation online by clicking this link. Here is additional contact information:

Georgia Department of Community Health, Healthcare Facility Regulation

Complaint Hotline:       (800) 878-6442

Complaint Fax:             (404) 657-5731

Georgia Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman

Ombudsmen improve communication between residents and nursing homes. They trained and authorized to enter nursing homes at either party’s request to mediate conflicts.

You can file a complaint with the Georgia Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman online by clicking on this link. Here is additional contact information:

East Ombudsman Program

135 Hoyt Street
Athens, GA 30601-2646

Telephone:      (706) 549-4850

Fax:                  (706) 227-8337

You may also report physical assault or abuse to local law enforcement

If your loved one was the victim of neglect or abuse at a nursing home, you may wish to file a police report. If the facility is found to be responsible, they may have charges brought against them by the Augusta Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

For abuse occurring in a Martinez, Georgia nursing home, report the crime to the City of Martinez Police Department or to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department.

City of Martinez Police Department

525 Henrietta Street

Martinez, CA 94553

Telephone:      (925) 372-3440

Columbia County Sheriff’s Department

2273 County Camp Rd
Appling, GA 30802

Telephone:      (706) 821-2300

Augusta Judicial District Attorney’s Office

535 Telfair St
Augusta, GA 30901

Telephone:      (706) 821-2300

Find another facility for your loved one.

If someone you love has been harmed in a long-term care facility, you’ll certainly want to relocate them. Do some research to learn which facilities are well reviewed, which take Medicare and Medicaid, and which you’ll be able to get to easily. You can compare facilities you’re interested in by using the website of the US Centers for Medicaid Services (CMS), which ranks every federally funded facility in the country and according to categories such as nurse-to-patient ratio and inspection statistics.

Click here to go to the Nursing Home Compare Website.

For your convenience, a list of all nursing homes located within Martinez, Georgia is located below, along with their contact information and inspection scores.

Get the medical records from the hospital and the nursing home.

To demonstrate that your loved one’s injuries resulted from abuse or negligence in their care facility, you will need to have access to their medical records from the nursing home and any other medical facilities that have treated them after the alleged abuse took place. Because privacy law prevents access of patient information without authorization, you will need guardianship, healthcare directive, or power of attorney rights to get the records.

If the resident was harmed at a nursing home in Martinez, Georgia, they were likely treated at a nearby hospital. You can contact the medical records request department for hospitals in the Martinez area using the following information:

University Primary Care(706) 228-2565

University Hospital(706) 595-1411

Begin the probate process if your loved one has passed away.

A person’s rights are not forgotten after they are deceased. If your loved one was injured at a long-term care facility, resulting in their death, you can still fight for them legally by establishing an estate on their behalf. To do this, petition the probate court in the county where the nursing home was located.

An estate needs an executor, or administrator, to take legal actions. This person, typically a relative, will handle all legal decisions for the person following their death. If your family has not already designated this representative, you will need to do so at this point.

Click here to begin the probate process with the Columbia County Probate Court.

Columbia County Probate Court

1956 Appling Harlem Rd
Appling, GA 30802

Telephone:      (706) 541-254

Nursing Homes in Martinez, Georgia

Not all nursing homes are equal. The following is a list of nursing homes in Martinez, Georgia, with details provided on each. This information is taken from CMS’ Nursing Home Compare Website.

The Place at Martinez

(706) 863-6030

409 Pleasant Home Road

Augusta, GA 30907

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 (Average)

Number of Beds: 100

Number of Residents: 76

RN hours per resident per day: 13min (GA Avg: 34min)

Health Inspection Rating: 4 out of 5 (Above Average)

Staff Rating: 2 out of 5 (Below Average)

Quality Measure Rating: 1 out of 5 (Much Below Average)

Most Recent Health Inspection Date: 09-07-2017

Number of Health Citations: 0

Average Number of Health Citations in Georgia: 3.2

Number of Complaints in previous 3 years resulting in citation: 0

Federal fines in previous 3 years: 0

Harrington Park Health and Rehabilitation

(762) 222-7200

511 Pleasant Home Road

Augusta, GA 30907

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 (Much Above Average)

Number of Beds: 50

Number of Residents: 47

RN hours per resident per day: 1hr 9min (GA Avg: 34min)

Health Inspection Rating: 5 out of 5 (Much Above Average)

Staff Rating: 4 out of 5 (Above Average)

Quality Measure Rating: 2 out of 5 (Below Average)

Most Recent Health Inspection Date: 05-26-2017

Number of Health Citations: 0

Average Number of Health Citations in Georgia: 3.2

Number of Complaints in previous 3 years resulting in citation: 0

Federal fines in previous 3 years: 0

Why Choose Schenk Smith as your Nursing Home Lawyers?

The world is your oyster when it comes to choosing a lawyer. Why should you pick us over any other lawyers handling nursing home abuse and neglect?

  • Advocacy and Law. In addition to our legal work, we also educate the general public about issues in nursing home care through our weekly video podcast, blog, and video FAQ library. Our advocacy work was recognized with a Rising Stars designation from the Super Lawyers legal recognition program.
  • Our Clients Say It Best. Of Schenk Smith, a recent client wrote, “They made themselves accessible, replied to all questions, and were patient and excellent advocates.” This is a perfect description of how we aim to be. We and are currently the best Google-reviewed law firm with focusing solely on nursing home abuse in Georgia. Our reviews speak for themselves.
  • We Only Handle Nursing Home Abuse. Some law firms cast a wide net, claiming expertise in many areas. We focus in one area and one area only: nursing home abuse. We are here to help you fight for the rights of your loved one. In fact, our founding attorney, Will Smith, spent ten years working as a certified nursing assistant in Georgia nursing homes before attending law school.

Martinez Nursing Home Abuse lawyers

If your loved one was injured or died in a Martinez, Georgia nursing home, please call us at Schenk Smith (678) 823-7678 for a free consultation. You can also check out hundreds of video FAQs on our website.