Kudos to the federal government for implementing a simplified approach to evaluating nursing homes. Unfortunately, the streamlined ratings expose Georgia’s nursing homes for being inadequately staffed. According to a recent U.S. News and World Report Article, Georgia lags behind every other state except Louisiana in the percentage of nursing homes in the state that are adequately staffed and properly caring for patients and inadequate staffing and lack of proper staff training are two of the biggest contributors to nursing home malpractice that I am aware of.
This is not surprising, considering the horrific accounts of neglect, abuse and mistreatment that are reported about many Georgia nursing homes, mental institutions and treatment facilities. Not only is there not enough staff to care for the residents, many times the staff members that are on duty do not possess the training and skills to properly carry out their duties. This leads to inattentiveness, mistakes and, ultimately, inadequate care. Nursing home residents deserve better than this. They are our loved ones. They have worked their entire lives and, at this stage of their life, they deserve to be cared for adequately and to be treated with dignity and compassion at all times (not just when family and friends are in their room visiting). I have lobbied for a law that would require all nursing homes to have video-tape surveillance in all general areas so that anyone can see the care and treatment being recieved by the residents at all times. This would be a huge advancement and would provide a good bit of transparency to the nursing home industry. Of course, the nursing home industry wants not part of this. Why? Because it would provide accountability for much of the sub-standard care that is provided in nursing homes today.
Nursing home lawsuits involve the same legal standards as most other personal injury cases: Duty, breach, causation and damages. In order to prevail, the plaintiff in a nursing home abuse lawsuit must show that the nursing home owed the plaintiff a duty, that the duty was breached; and that the breach caused the damages that the plaintiff is complaining of in the lawsuit. The difference in nursing home cases, is that the plaintiff must submit an affidavit with the original complaint from an expert opining that at least one act of malpractice has occurred and providing the basis for that opinion.
Robert J. Fleming is an experienced attorney who has been handling nursing home abuse, wrongful death cases, dental malpractice, bus accidents, car accident cases and premises injury cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years. He practices in and around the Atlanta area including handling lawsuits in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, Cobb and other counties and nearby cities including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a nursing home and would like quality legal representation, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.