If your loved one was abused or neglected in a nursing home you aren’t alone. Unfortunately, it is a problem that occurs all too often. There are some things you can do to fight back if your loved one suffered an injury or passed away. Our website provides you with the information and tools you need so you can take steps to remedy the situation. We have tried to answer as many questions as possible but we know you still have concerns. If so, you can feel free to give us a call to personally discuss the matter. We are here to help.

There are differences between nursing home abuse and neglect. Abuse is an intentional act that causes injury to a nursing home resident. For example, hitting a resident would be considered abusive. Neglect is unintentional conduct, although it still results in an injury. For instance, failing to assist a resident who then falls and suffers an injury could be negligent. Neither type of action should happen to your loved one in a nursing home.

When is it appropriate to sue?

When your loved one has been hurt or abused in a nursing home your first thought is of their safety. Then, you need to consider the appropriate action to take in your particular situation. In many cases, that means filing a lawsuit against the nursing home. It is important to file a lawsuit as soon as possible after the injury occurred.

The law limits the time to file a lawsuit, which is generally two years after the incident occurs or is noticed. However, do not wait until the time limit is almost up because there is some work to be done before the lawsuit can be filed. For example, you will need to get legal authority to obtain medical records and to file a lawsuit on behalf of your loved one or the estate. These things can take some time to accomplish. It is also important to note that the longer you wait the more difficult it may be to gather the proof you need to prove an incident of abuse or neglect.

Should I use a camera to capture abuse?

Georgia is a one party consent state. That means that you only need one person’s permission to make a recording. Your loved one would have to provide permission to allow the use of a camera. The camera may record many different activities, even some embarrassing moments of your loved one throughout the day. Additionally, even with a camera you may not capture wrongdoing, even if it occurs.

Therefore, it may not something you want to do. If you have reason to believe that your loved one is being abused or neglected there are a few steps you can take. First, report the problem to nursing home management and possibly to the police. Move your loved one from the nursing home to prevent further harm. Then, contact an attorney to discuss your legal options.

We are Schenk Law, your Sugar Hill nursing home lawyers.

Our lawyers are passionate about helping those who were harmed in nursing homes and their families. Many of these people are unable to have a voice of their own and often nursing home abuse or neglect goes unreported. We are here to help you learn about how to handle a situation where your loved one suffered an injury because of nursing home abuse or neglect. We provide information here on our website to help you learn more. We know you may have more questions and we are here to provide you with answers.

You can contact us whenever you want to discuss your particular case. In fact, we will come to your location to meet with you, wherever you are located near Robinson Park, Lanier Museum of Natural History or the First Baptist Church of Sugar Hill. Our dedicated lawyers have experience with all types of nursing home abuse, neglect or wrongful death claims.

Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect in Sugar Hill, Georgia- What you need to know.

Sugar Hill, Georgia is located in Gwinnett County and has a population of 20,889 residents. Of those, 9.10% are aged 65 and older. Nursing home abuse and neglect occurs in all locations, including in Sugar Hill.

How can I spot the types of nursing home abuse?

It is helpful to know how to spot the types of nursing home abuse because in many instances your loved one may not tell you about the problem. Sometimes they may not realize that they are being mistreated while other times they simply may not want to cause problems and they could fear retaliation if they report abuse. Some of the most common types of nursing home abuse include:

  • Physical abuse: This may include hitting, punching, kicking, restraining or any other type of assault. The common signs of this type of abuse are the presence of physical injuries such as bruises, abrasions, cuts and broken bones that are unexplained.
  • Sexual abuse: Sexual abuse does occur in nursing homes. Sometimes it happens because a resident is unable to stop it or put up resistance. The signs of sexual abuse may be ripped or soiled undergarments or bed linens, vaginal bleeding, and emotional changes. If your loved one is the victim of a sexual assault they may be ashamed to tell you about it.
  • Emotional abuse: Emotional abuse can be the outcome of a verbally abusive situation. A caregiver or staff member might berate, yell, swear or scold your loved one. This type of behavior can cause a resident to shut down emotionally, or they may have outbursts or become withdrawn.

Are bedsores dangerous?

At first, bedsores may look harmless but they can easily worsen and become dangerous and life-threatening. Bedsores are categorized by severity. The sooner a bedsore is treated the more likely it is that your loved one will have a full recovery. There are four stages of bedsores:

  • Stage I: A pressure sore starts as a small, painful red mark. It may be itchy and warm to the touch. It may appear on areas of the body that are in contact with bedding or medical tubing such as the heels, elbows and tailbone. If noticed in stage I, treatment is often successful.
  • Stage II: In stage II the skin breaks open and pus may develop. The area may be red and swollen. The sore needs to be treated and covered with a light dressing. The doctor should examine the sore and provide a treatment plan.
  • Stage III: The sore is deeper, reaching lower layers of skin. The area may be filled with pus and may appear as a crater. Antibiotics are necessary to fight off infection, which is common with bedsores.
  • Stage IV: The sore reaches deeper into the tissues, tendons and muscles and could even reach the bone. The area might be infected and could be red and filled with pus. Wounds of this nature are very serious and require immediate medical attention.

Who is held liable for the nursing home abuse?

More than one party may be held liable for nursing home abuse. For example, a staff member might be liable for committing an abusive act and the nursing home might be responsible because they allowed it to occur in their facility.

  • Staff member: If an employee abuses your loved one that person could be liable for the injuries. Just like an assault that occurs in any other location, the person who performed the negligent act is accountable. In addition, the police may make an arrest and criminal charges may be filed against the person by the District Attorney.
  • Another resident: Sometimes abuse happens at the hands of another resident in the nursing home. This may be the case with sexual abuse, for example. The resident who perpetrates the abuse is responsible for his actions and could face criminal charges for the wrongdoing.
  • Nursing home: The nursing home itself is a company and can be held responsible. In fact, nursing homes are have a legal duty to provide a safe place for residents at all times. The nursing home managers and staff members must take steps to ensure that abuse does not occur anywhere within their facility.

My loved one was hurt in a Sugar Hill nursing home- What do I do next?

If your loved one was severely injured or passed away at a Sugar Hill, 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

You also have the option to file a complaint about the nursing home with the Georgia Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman. The ombudsman program is a statewide group of trained advocates. They work to help resolve complaints and problems between nursing home residents and nursing homes. They are allowed to go into nursing homes to ask questions in order to try to resolve the complaint.

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:

Eastern Region – Georgia Long-Term Care 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

In situations where your loved one was the victim of an assault or other criminal behavior you might report the incident to the police. They will investigate the matter and in some situations charges may be brought against a staff member or other by the District Attorney’s Office: Gwinnett Judicial District.

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

City of Sugar Hill Police Department

5039 West Broad Street

Sugar Hill, GA 30518

Telephone: (770) 945-6716

Gwinnett County Sheriff

2900 University Pkwy

Lawrenceville, GA 30043

Telephone: (770) 619-6500

District Attorney’s Office: Gwinnett Judicial District

75 Langley Dr.

Lawrenceville, GA 30046

Telephone: (770) 822-8400

Find another facility for your loved one.

Sometimes it may be best to relocate your loved one to another facility. This is particularly important when your loved one has suffered a serious injury or abuse. It is helpful to visit the facility to take a tour and see whether it seems good. That may not be enough. It is also a good idea to check into the ratings of nursing homes and to find out whether they have had any reported problems or violations. The United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provides an online tool that is helpful for comparing nursing homes. They compile data from nursing homes across the country and provide star ratings. They include ratings of quality of care, nurse to resident ratio, inspection scores and more.

Click here to go to the Nursing Home Compare Website.

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

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

If your loved one was hurt in a nursing home you will need to gather the necessary medical records. Medical records will help to prove when and where the injury occurred and may also indicate how the injury happened. These records are available from all sources where your loved one received medical are including the primary physician, hospital and nursing home. The nursing home may try to diminish their responsibility and might try to blame the injury on a preexisting condition. Therefore, medical records become an essential part of your claim.

Medical records are protected by federal and state privacy laws. The records are only available to those who have legal authority. A spouse, sibling or child cannot simply ask for medical records for their loved one. The only person allowed to obtain medical information on behalf of another is someone who is legally appointed through durable power of attorney, a health directive or legal guardianship.

If your loved one resided in a Sugar Hill nursing home at the time the injury occurred it is likely that one of the hospitals listed below has medical records for your loved one. Once you have legal authorization you may make a request to the ‘Release of Information’ Department at the hospital. Here is the contact information for these departments:

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

When a person is alive they are able to file lawsuits on their own behalf. When someone passes away, that legal right remains with the person’s estate. Only those who have been granted legal authority to act on behalf of the estate can file lawsuits and attend to other important issues. In order to file a lawsuit an estate must first be established. To establish an estate the deceased’s spouse or other relative may be able to file a petition with the Probate Court in the county where the person passed away.

If your loved one passed away it is important to make sure that you set up an estate as soon as possible. A representative will be appointed to handle all of the affairs of the estate and to make any legal decisions on behalf of the deceased. This representative is called an executor or an administrator. That person has the right to file a lawsuit on behalf of the estate.

Click here for the Probate Court of Gwinnett County.

Gwinnett County Probate Court

75 Langley Dr.

Lawrenceville, GA 30046

Telephone: (770) 822-8250

Nursing Homes in Sugar Hill, Georgia

If you are searching for a local nursing home you know that they aren’t all the same. Here is a list of nursing homes in the Sugar Hill, Georgia area along with their relevant information. This information comes from the CMS Nursing Home Compare Website.

Salude – The Art Of Recovery

(770) 904-3222

601 North Holt Parkway
Suwanee, GA 30024

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

Number of Beds: 64

Number of Residents: 62.8

RN hours per resident per day: 1hr 12min (GA Avg: 24 min)

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

Staff Rating: 4 out of 5 (Above Average)

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

Most Recent Health Inspection Date: 02-02-2017

Number of Health Citations: 0

Average Number of Health Citations in Georgia: 3.2

Number of Complaints in previous 3 years resulting citation: 0

Federal fines in previous 3 years: 0

The D Scott Hudgens Center For Skilled Nursing

(770) 932-3472

3500 Annandale Lane
Suwanee, GA 30024

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

Number of Beds: 32

Number of Residents: 30.7

RN hours per resident per day: 23min (GA Avg: 24 min)

Health Inspections Rating: 3 out of 5 (Average)

Staff Rating: 4 out of 5 (Above Average)

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

Most Recent Health Inspection Date: 07-09-2017

Number of Health Citations: 3

Average Number of Health Citations in Georgia: 3.2

Number of Complaints in previous 3 years resulting citation: 0

Federal fines in previous 3 years: 0

Pruitthealth – Lanier

(770) 614-2800

2451 Peachtree Industrial Blvd
Buford, GA 30518

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 (Below Average)

Number of Beds: 117

Number of Residents: 90.2

RN hours per resident per day: 35min (GA Avg: 24 min)

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

Staff Rating: 2 out of 5 (Below Average)

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

Most Recent Health Inspection Date: 11-02-2017

Number of Health Citations: 0

Average Number of Health Citations in Georgia: 3.2

Number of Complaints in previous 3 years resulting citation: 2

Federal fines in previous 3 years: 2 ($28,785 fine on 09-29-2016; $2,013 fine on 05-11-2017)

Why Choose Schenk Law as your Nursing Home Lawyers?

There are many attorneys and law firms in the United States. We understand that you have many choices to pick from. We would like you and your family to consider our firm for the representation of your loved one’s nursing home case. Here are few reasons we think we can be of help:

  • Compassionate: Our attorneys truly care about the elderly and their families. We want to help those have been unnecessarily hurt due to abuse or neglect in a nursing home. Our attorneys are members of senior citizen advocacy groups and one of our founding attorneys, Will Smith, was a CNA at Georgia nursing homes for a decade.
  • Experienced: We focus strictly on nursing home lawsuits. We know the laws and are experienced in dealing with nursing homes and their attorneys. We have obtained millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients over the last two years.
  • Knowledgeable: Our firm wants to educate you about nursing home abuse and neglect. We have published hundreds of blogs, videos and weekly podcasts. Our website is a useful resource center where you can find out what you need to know in order to take action on behalf of your loved one.

Sugar Hill Nursing Home Abuse lawyers

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