Chattanooga Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Lawyers
More than 2 million people live in nursing homes across the United States. For far too many families, nursing home abuse and neglect are significant concerns. The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is often difficult, and to discover signs of abuse or neglect can be devastating.
If you know of or suspect abuse or neglect of an elderly person in a nursing home or other long-term care facility, our law firm is here to help correct this injustice. Our Chattanooga injury attorneys are prepared to help you take decisive legal action to identify those responsible and put a stop to the mistreatment once and for all.
You deserve answers, compensation, and justice, and we will help you go after it.
Nursing homes and their employees need to be held accountable, and attorney Scott N. Davis has the experience to seek compensation and justice from the responsible parties on your behalf. Attorney Davis has taken over 200 cases the entire way through trial and will do the same in your case if necessary.
Contact Davis Firm, LLC, now for a free claim review and advice about your legal options.
How Our Attorneys Can Stand Up for You and Your Loved One
Maybe your loved one is not receiving appropriate care, and you feel like your voice will not be heard on your own. Our firm has the necessary experience to help you get the results you are looking for and to protect your loved one from further abuse and neglect.
Scott N. Davis, the firm’s founder, has encountered many cases of neglect and abuse in nursing homes and is prepared to fight for you and your loved one to have the dignity that everyone deserves.
Attorney Davis is a well-respected negotiator, and he will treat your case with the care and attention it requires. In many cases, a settlement is the best way to resolve a nursing home abuse or neglect case. This can result in fair compensation for your loved one and can put a stop to the abuse for other residents moving forward. If necessary, Attorney Davis will not be afraid take your case to trial. Whichever way your case needs to proceed, our firm is prepared to handle the process.
When you need a Chattanooga nursing home abuse and neglect attorney, our firm is prepared to assist whether in Tennessee or Georgia.
How to Report Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
In the case of an emergency, call 911. If there is any doubt that prompt attention is required, call 911.
Before you report nursing home abuse and neglect, make sure to have as many details as possible about the situation so that you can help protective services workers to come to the best conclusion about how to handle the situation.
In Tennessee, Adult Protective Services can be reached any time by calling 1-888-APS-TENN or 1-888-277-8366. Additionally, in Tennessee, you can also make an online report to Adult Protective Services using the form provided at https://reportadultabuse.dhs.tn.gov.
Regarding institutional abuse in a Tennessee nursing home or long-term care facility, contact the Tennessee Long-Term Care Ombudsman at 615-837-5112.
In Georgia, nursing home abuse or neglect can be reported by phone or online. Call 877-55AGING or 1-866-552-4464. Go to https://aging.georgia.gov/report-elder-abuse to fill out a form reporting suspected abuse or neglect.
Please note that in Tennessee, all individuals are required to report suspected elder abuse.
In Georgia, required reporters include:
- Residents and others
- Physical therapists
- Nursing personnel
- Social work personnel
- Employees of a public or private agency engaged in professional health-related services to elder persons or adults with disabilities
- Employees of a financial institution
- Law enforcement personnel
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) defines elder abuse as “acts that may lead to or actually harm a vulnerable elder person.” These acts can be intentional or based on neglect, and they occur when they are committed by a caregiver or other “trusted” individual.
Examples of elder abuse include:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional or psychological abuse
- Financial exploitation
- Sexual abuse
There are overall signs of abuse and more specific signs of particular types of abuse. More information about each is below.
Overall signs of abuse – This involves types of behavior that an older adult might display to show that they’ve been abused. These behavioral signs include:
- Withdrawing from others or regular activities
- Depressive symptoms
- Anger or agitation
- Making up stories that do not make sense regarding how an injury occurred
- Refusing to answer questions
Physical abuse – This involves any action that causes a person to be injured or experience physical harm. It can come about through hitting, kicking, burning, or otherwise physically harming someone. Another more subtle form of abuse is the administration of drugs that were not prescribed to the patient, sometimes called chemical restraint.
Although some injuries are not visible, many times they are. Pay particular attention when someone does not want a doctor to look at his or her injuries. Look out for:
- Unexplained injuries that have not been treated. This could include cuts, bleeding, or bruising or any other type of injury.
- Sprains or broken bones. This could be possible if the person is no longer to perform activities that the individual was able to perform before.
- Recurring injuries that are strange or unexplained injuries happening over and over again.
Sexual abuse – This occurs when the person is forced to have sexual contact that he or she does not want to engage in with another person. This type of abuse can range from forcing the older person to watch illicit videos to forcing the person to engage in sexual acts or raping the individual. Pay particular attention to the following signs:
- Bruising, especially near breasts or the genital area
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Bloody or disturbed clothing, particularly underwear
- Bleeding from the genital area
Psychological or emotional abuse – This involves actions that can hurt an older person emotionally. Perhaps the person is threatened or yelled at or ignored or everything he or she does is controlled. When this type of behavior toward an older person happens over and over, it can create psychological damage Look for the following signs of this type of abuse:
- The person acts frightened or withdraws
- Behavioral changes that are unexplained
- The person rocks back and forth sucks on a thumb or mumbles to him or herself
- Signs of depression or confusion
- Trouble sleeping
Financial abuse – This occurs when an older person’s financial situation or property is exploited. Someone might use an older person’s bank accounts or credit or debit cards to obtain money or items or services without the person’s permission.
Sometimes, a person will impersonate the victim, forge signatures, or force the victim to change documents, such as a will or power of attorney documents. Older people can also be taken advantage of by being billed for services or goods they never received or being cheated by being charged too much for home repair or other services. Scams are another way that people prey on older individuals. Signs may include:
- Money that goes missing
- A person who is suddenly in the older person’s life and may be taking advantage of the older person
- Legal or financial documents that have been changed or go missing
- Signatures that appear as if they have been forged
- Unpaid bills, utility service that is shot off, or eviction notices
Neglect – This occurs when someone in a position to provide care does not attend to the person’s needs. Sometimes, a caregiver may withhold food, water, clothing, or medications. At other times, neglect means that the caregiver does not help the older person with personal hygiene, paying bills, or attending to an older person’s other needs. In extreme cases, the older person may be completely abandoned. Signs to pay attention to include the following:
- Not being clean or having dirty clothes or hair that is not taken care of
- Weight loss or not being hungry
- Missing or broken items the person needs to function such as dentures, glasses, hearing aids or a walker
- Having sunken cheeks or eyes or other signs of poor circulation
- Not having basic necessities, such as food, water, or heat.
Types of Compensation Available to Your Family
What types of compensation are available in nursing home abuse and neglect cases? As a general rule, two types of compensation, or damages, may be available. These include economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are things that a specific dollar value can be placed on to determine how much compensation should be paid. They include services or items with specific dollar amounts, such as medical expenses, loss of income, and specialist fees.
Non-economic damages are something that is much harder to put a dollar figure to, because they do not come with a bill attached. However, they are real losses and can result in significant compensation. They include things such as pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and the pain that comes with the loss of a loved one if that is part of your case.
In some cases, punitive damages may be available, which are a way to send a message to nursing homes that deplorable abuse and neglectful behavior are not to be tolerated. Punitive damages may help to deter other nursing homes from allowing abuse and neglect conditions to come about in their facilities. Punitive damages are amounts over and above regular economic and non-economic compensation.
Statute of Limitations on Nursing Home Abuse Claims
A statute of limitations is a fancy way of saying how long you have to bring a lawsuit. It is a specific time period that is measured based on when the abuse or neglect occurred. In different states, there are different time frames to keep in mind.
In Tennessee, the statute of limitations is generally one year from the date of the abuse or neglect. This means that in Tennessee, you must act quickly if you suspect abuse or neglect of a loved one.
In Georgia, the deadline is two years from the date of the abuse or neglect. Again, although the time frame is slightly longer, you will want to act quickly to prevent further abuse or neglect.
Please contact us to determine how long you have in your particular case. In the event an exception applies, you may have a longer period of time to file a case against a party who has wronged your loved one.
What to Do If You Suspect Abuse or Neglect
If you suspect abuse or neglect of an elderly person, the first step is to try to talk in private with the person who may be in trouble, if possible. Sometimes you may find that there are perfectly acceptable explanations for why things seem off, but many times a person may avoid talking to you, which is in itself a sign of abuse. If a person will not answer your gentle questions about something possibly being wrong, it could be a sign that some type of abuse or neglect is occurring and they are intimidated about talking with you about it.
If you think abuse or neglect is happening, contact the appropriate agency to make them aware of the situation. You should have as many details available as possible as to why you believe abuse or neglect is happening.
Hire an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorney to help you take action. While the thought of a loved one suffering from abuse or neglect is inconceivable, it does happen. You don’t have to accept this, nor should you allow the abuse to continue. With the help of our compassionate and aggressive Chattanooga personal injury attorneys at Davis Firm, LLC, you can put a stop to this treatment on behalf of your loved one and anyone else under the facility’s care.
Get Started on Your Case NowCall Us at 423-756-3591
Contact Us Today for Assistance with a Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Claim
When your loved one has been the victim of abuse or neglect at the hands of those who you trusted to care for them, don’t wait to take legal action. With more than 25 years of experience, attorney Scott N. Davis has the skill and knowledge you want on your side when taking on a nursing home facility.
Together, we can put a stop to this mistreatment, not just for your loved one, but also for current and future residents in the facility. We are available 24/7, so call us or reach out to us online to schedule a free, confidential consultation today.