How does a nursing home abuse lawsuit work?

Most lawsuits begin when the resident’s lawyer prepares a demand package, which explains the charges and includes any relevant documentation and evidence relevant to the claim. The package includes documents including medical records (primary care, hospital and nursing home), witness statements, and expert testimony, as well as the amount of money the client is requesting for damages.

Once the facility reviews the package and conducts an investigation of their own, they assess whether it will be worthwhile to them financially to settle rather than go to court. If the value of the potential lawsuit is less than the amount demanded, both sides will likely try to reach a settlement. If not, the case will proceed to court.

Most lawyers working in nursing home abuse and neglect law work on contingency rather than charging hourly rates, meaning that they will not get paid unless they win your case. This makes hiring a lawyer to help with your case a less risky option that it might be otherwise.

Is filing a lawsuit my only option?

You may not need to file a lawsuit to get results on your case. Taking a claim to court can be time-consuming and expensive. Both parties assume risk when a lawsuit is filed, so achieving a financial settlement is a better option in many cases.

That said, many nursing homes will fight claims to the bitter end, denying responsibilities for residents’ injuries. It often takes a lawsuit—or an ultimatum that one will be filed if restitution is not made—to get results.

We are Schenk Smith, your Moultrie nursing home lawyers.

You won’t find information on our website about custody or real estate law. That’s because we concentrate on long-term care facility law only. This singular focus allows us to be as knowledgeable as possible about developments in abuse and neglect laws in order to help you fight for your loved one’s rights.

We’re extremely passionate about protecting nursing home residents—a passion that stems from founding member Will Smith’s experience working in nursing homes throughout Georgia prior to becoming a lawyer. Our clients know that we’re there for them through every stage of the legal process.

Browse our website to discover video FAQs on topics ranging from bedsores to resident-on-resident abuse, our video podcast, and our blog. If you’d like to chat with us, give us a call for a free consultation. Whether you’re near Reed Bingham State Park, the Museum of Colquitt County History, or the Colquitt County Arts Center, we’ll come to you.

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

Moultrie, Georgia is located in Colquitt County and has a population of 14,457 residents. Of those, 12.2% are aged 65 and older. As in other parts of the state, nursing abuse and neglect is common here.

Do I need power of attorney to act on my loved one’s behalf?

The legal status required to file a lawsuit in a case of abuse or neglect depends on the specific situation. In cases of wrongful death, the family of the deceased may automatically make a claim for the full value of the resident’s life—in other words, the estimated value of the years the resident was likely to have remained alive. To create an estate on behalf of the resident—which can be used to file a claim for funeral expenses and pain and suffering—the family will file a petition with the probate court (see probate court section below).

Power of attorney—or, in some cases, guardianship or conservatorship—is needed to act on the behalf of a resident who is still living. Typically the resident will have designated someone, often a close family member, to act on their behalf if they are unable to do so. It is best to ask your loved one to choose this representative while they are still able to do so, so that any potential legal action issuing from an abuse or neglect claim will not be delayed due to having to file paperwork.

How should nursing homes prevent residents from falling?

Falling is the leading cause of injuries in nursing homes. Because residents frequently have diminished vision, mobility, or cognitive ability—or some combination of these problems—they are more likely to fall than the general population.

Long-term care facilities are obligated by law to be as risk-free as possible for elderly residents. Low lighting and slippery floors should be remedied right away. Freshly cleaned floors should be clearly marked and residents should be assisted when passing near them. Lightbulbs should be replaced as soon as they burn out.

Personalized care plans are also essential to ensuring that patients do not fall. Knowing a resident’s physical limitations, cognitive abilities, and daily routines will help staff customize care to prevent them from falling. If a resident falls frequently when getting out of bed, positioning their bed so it’s low to the ground and installing guard rails is a good precaution. Disoriented residents often attempt to wander away from the premises of the facility, somewhat successfully. Once outside, their environment is uncontrolled and will contain many falling hazards. Staff should ensure that residents do not leave the building without supervision.

What should I do to get my loved one into another nursing home?

Research, research, research. Talk to friends with loved ones in local facilities, search online, and request literature. Online resources such as the Nursing Home Compare Website compare nursing homes all over the country according to criteria such as staffing and quality measures.

Once you’ve got your short list, call the facilities to schedule visits. Ask if you can take a tour so you can really get a feel for the environment—the atmosphere, the food, the rooms. Don’t be shy about asking any question you might have—particularly about resident safety. Find out the nurse-to-resident ratio and ask to see as much of the facility as possible. Find out if there are activities for the residents and observe whether staff seem engaged and pleasant. If you still feel positively after having seen a facility in person, this may be a good choice for your loved one.

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

If your loved one was severely injured or passed away at a Moultrie, 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 serve as liaisons between residents and facilities. The Georgia Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman trains ombudsmen to mediate conflicts between facilities and residents. If either party requests it, they are authorized to visit nursing homes to investigate a matter further.

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:

South Ombudsman Program

335 West Society Avenue

Albany, GA 31701

Telephone:      (229) 432-1124

Fax:                  (229) 446-7899

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

When a resident is harmed due to abuse or negligence in a nursing home, you may wish to file a police report. If the police determine that the facility was at fault, the Southern Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office may bring charges against them.

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

City of Moultrie Police Department

128 1st Street SW

Moultrie, GA 31768

Telephone:      (229) 985-3131

Colquitt County Sherriff

200 Veterans Parkway North
Moultrie, GA 31776

Telephone:      (229) 616-7430

Southern Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office

101 East Central Avenue, Suite 222

Moultrie, GA 312768

Telephone:      (229) 616-7476

Find another facility for your loved one.

Try to find another facility for your loved one if you suspect that they are being harmed. When your loved one has already had a negative experience in long-term care, you may be understandably tentative about the next facility. Do lots of research—read reviews, talk to people in your network, and most importantly, visit the facilities you’re considering. The US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services (CMS) offer a valuable resource for easily comparing nursing homes online: the Nursing Home Compare website. Criteria such as inspection scores and staff quality are ranked on a five-star scale.

Click here to go to the Nursing Home Compare Website.

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

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

In order for your case to be considered for a settlement or lawsuit, you’ll need to have evidence of the damage done to your loved one. You’ll need records from the nursing home and any relevant doctor or hospital visits. Neglect is sometimes detected in the records from the nursing home itself.

Acquiring this documentation will require that you receive a healthcare directive, guardianship designation, or power of attorney, as all medical records are protected by medical law. If your loved one was injured in a facility in Moultrie, they likely visited one of the hospitals listed below. Make a formal request to the Release of Information Department at the relevant hospital (contact information listed below).

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

Even if your loved one has passed away, you can still sue on their behalf. To become the plaintiff in a potential lawsuit, you’ll need to become the executor or administrator of an estate in your loved one’s name. To do so, file a petition with the Probate Court of Colquitt County.

Click here for the Probate Court of Colquitt County.

9 South Main Street, Suite 108
Moultrie, GA 31768

Telephone:(229) 616-7415

Nursing Homes in Moultrie, Georgia

Comparing nursing homes? Here is a directory of the facilities in Moultrie, Georgia, with detailed specs on each. This information is taken from the CMS Nursing Home Compare Website.

Pruitthealth – Magnolia Manor

(229) 985-3422

3003 Veterans Parkway S

Moultrie, GA 31788

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

Number of Beds: 100

Number of Residents: 88

RN hours per resident per day: 48min (GA Avg: 34min)

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

Staff Rating: 2 out of 5 (Below Average)

Quality Measure Rating: 5 out of 5 (Much Above Average)

Most Recent Health Inspection Date: 05-18-2017

Number of Health Citations: 1

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

Pruitthealth – Sunrise

(229) 985-7173

2709 S Main Street

Moultrie, GA 31768

Overall Rating: 1 out of 5 (Much Below Average)

Number of Beds: 60

Number of Residents: 53

RN hours per resident per day: 20min (GA Avg: 34min)

Health Inspection Rating: 2 out of 5 (Below Average)

Staff Rating: 1 out of 5 (Much Below Average)

Quality Measure Rating: 4 out of 5 (Above Average)

Most Recent Health Inspection Date: 11-22-2017

Number of Health Citations: 2

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

Cobblestone Rehabilitation And Healthcare Center, LLC

(229) 985-3637

101 Cobblestone Trace, SE

Moultrie, GA 31768

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

Number of Beds: 59

Number of Residents: 53

RN hours per resident per day: 37min (GA Avg: 34min)

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

Staff Rating: 3 out of 5 (Average)

Quality Measure Rating: 4 out of 5 (Above Average)

Most Recent Health Inspection Date: 06-29-2017

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

Pruitthealth – Moultrie

(229) 985-4320

233 Sunset Circle

Moultrie, GA 31768

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

Number of Beds: 68

Number of Residents: 65

RN hours per resident per day: 18min (GA Avg: 34min)

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

Staff Rating: 1 out of 5 (Much Below Average)

Quality Measure Rating: 5 out of 5 (Much Above Average)

Most Recent Health Inspection Date: 10-26-2017

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?

  • Sole area: The only kind of law we do is nursing home abuse and neglect. As you will see from our video FAQs, podcast, and blog, our knowledge in this area is immense and constantly developing. We are genuinely passionate about this topic, a dedication that stems from founding attorney Will Smith’s work as a CNA in nursing homes before he became an lawyer.
  • Influencers: In addition to our legal work, we raise awareness about issues facing elderly populations with our blog and video podcast, which we broadcast from our office. We have been awarded “Rising Stars” by the Super Lawyers legal recognition program for our advocacy work.
  • Just Ask Our Clients. One of our clients recently commented, “Schenk Smith treated me like a family member.” We go the extra mile to be accessible and fight hard for our clients. Our Google reviews are the best of any nursing home abuse law firm in the state of Georgia.

Moultrie Nursing Home Abuse lawyers

If your loved one was injured or died in a Moultrie, 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.