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Nursing Homes Nationwide Receive Lower Quality Scores

As a result of sweeping changes made in nursing home evaluation standards, many nursing home facilites nationwide are facing a drop in quality ratings. The poor ratings come as no surprise to advocates for the elderly, who have long decried the under-staffing of nursing homes and the overuse of anti-psychotic drugs on the elderly.

A drop in ratings will mean trouble for some nursing homes, which tend to tout their high quality ratings to potential residents in marketing materials. Officials in charge of the quality ratings and Nursing Home Compare website emphasize that the toughened quality standards do not necessarily signal a widespread decline in quality of nursing homes, but serve to encourage continuous improvements in elder care.

Officials Crack Down on Anti-Psychotic Drug Usage in Nursing Homes

The five-star quality rating system, which is used by nearly 1.5 million consumers each year, was recently updated to account for facilities’ use of anti-psychotic drugs. These medications have been shown to pose serious health risks for the elderly, especially for patients with dementia.

While the use of these drugs is often necessary for patients with conditions such as schizophrenia and Tourette syndrome, many facilities give these strong anti-psychotic drugs to patients who do not need them.

Nursing home resident advocates have long criticized the use of these powerful anti-psychotic drugs on the elderly. They claim that facilities use these medications to drug patients rather than provide adequate staffing and care for patients.

Many Nursing Homes Nationwide Lose Five-Star Rating

Due largely in part to the tougher standards regarding anti-psychotic drug usage, the average quality-of-care rating for nursing homes nationwide plummeted from 4.18{feda45885e261fa14202848ec0416fdb5a1c332b072331bc4b7a4cd461f32529} to 3.3{feda45885e261fa14202848ec0416fdb5a1c332b072331bc4b7a4cd461f32529} on the five-star ranking scale. A total of 61{feda45885e261fa14202848ec0416fdb5a1c332b072331bc4b7a4cd461f32529} of facilities nationwide saw a decrease in quality-of-care scores.

The more accurate rating system has also made it more difficult for facilities to earn and maintain the much sought-after five star rating, with 1,200 nursing homes losing their five-star accreditation this year.

About Nursing Home Abuse Experts, Moraitakis & Kushel

At Atlanta legal firm Moraitakis & Kushel, our team has extensive experience representing the families and victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. Our experienced team works hard on the side of victims of nursing home abuse, and always remains up to date on the latest developments and regulations in the industry.

While many efforts have been made to improve the safety of nursing homes nationwide, the elderly population still suffers a tragic amount of abuse and neglect in these facilities.

Listed below are a few resources to help educate consumers about the various forms nursing home abuse and neglect may take:
Neglect and Bed Sores
Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes
Unexplained Falls and Deaths
Dehydration and Malnutrition

To meet with the team at Moraitakis & Kushel for a consultation about nursing home abuse, please call our office at 404-445-1411 or 800-688-2357, or fill out our convenient online contact form.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Atlanta

Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP is a leading nursing home abuse law firm in Atlanta dedicated to protecting your elderly loved ones. Your choice of a nursing home abuse lawyer in Atlanta is crucial to get proper protection and just compensation for your nursing home abuse case.

Identifying Nursing Home Abuse

Atlanta law partners Nicholas Moraitakis and Glenn Kushel are top nursing home abuse attorneys in Georgia, and have the comprehensive knowledge of nursing home abuse and neglect law necessary to represent your family in court.

Nursing home abuse may have occurred in a nursing home with any of the following circumstances:

  • Unexplained broken bones or wounds or signs of blunt force trauma
  • Pressure sores, unexplained weight loss, or significant changes in behavior
  • Patients left unattended for long periods of time
  • Failure of staff to respond to calls for help
  • Dehydration or malnutrition, or unexplained weight loss
  • Among others’€

Other legal issues may also arise to constitute medical malpractice, such as the switching of medications. An expert nursing home abuse lawyer in Atlanta is important to help ensuring your family has the legal protection it needs in the areas of nursing home abuse and neglect law, as well as medical malpractice.

How to Deal with Nursing Home Abuse

It is a complicated and emotional decision when a friend or loved one needs nursing home care. We understand. Even when we do our best to make the most careful choice, there is no guarantee of the quality of care our family member will receive at a long-term care facility. It is heartbreaking when the trust is broken and our loved ones are not taken care of properly. We want to represent you as yournursing home abuse lawyer in Atlanta to hold those responsible for abuse or neglect, and to prevent this tragedy from occurring to other families.

Reach Out to Us for Help

We have two convenient numbers to serve you. Dial 1-800-688-2357 toll-free, or in Atlanta call 404-445-1411 for a free consultation. Call today to connect with a highly qualified nursing home abuse lawyer in Atlanta.

New Legislation Calls for More Registered Nurses in Nursing Homes

Illinois Representative Jan Schakowsky-D introduced House Bill 5373, or the Put A Registered Nurse in the Nursing Home Act, on July 31st after learning that more than 1,500 (about 11%) nationwide nursing homes do not employ at least one 24-hour registered nurse. Ms. Schakowsky’€™s legislation would require all nationwide nursing homes that receive Medicaid or Medicare to employ a direct-care registered nurse 24-hours per day, seven days per week.

The astonishingly low number of registered nurses employed by nursing homes offers some insight into the poor care some seniors receive at elder care facilities. Though many nursing homes employ licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistants to care for their patients, registered nurses account for the highest classification of certified caregivers. Registered nurses are additionally the only classification licensed to evaluate and assess a patient’€™s condition.

According to nursing home studies, many patients experience fewer instances of abuse and neglect when a 24-hour registered nurse is available, including decreased urinary tract infections, fewer hospitalizations, and fewer bedsores.

So why are registered nurses so scarce in an environment that requires the highest quality of care? Several reports indicate it is partially because of the difference in pay between working in a nursing home versus working in a hospital, where registered nurses make close to $70,000 or more annually. A second reason is due to location: some nursing homes are in rural areas which makes it difficult to staff a registered nurse throughout a 24-hour period.

Our team of legal experts will be watching the development of this new legislation to help our clients understand more about elder care in nursing homes.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP

If you or someone you love has been abused or neglected while in the care of a nursing home, contact our legal team at Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP in Atlanta, Georgia.

Our team of legal experts combines more than 70 years of experience to help you and your loved ones find justice. Schedule your free consultation in our Atlanta area office by calling (404) 261-0016 or toll free at 1(800) 688-2357 to learn how we fight for the rights of those who can’€™t defend themselves.

What You Need to Know About Pressure Sores and Nursing Home Abuse

While nursing home negligence can be a silent crime, pressure sores are a highly visible and painful sign of neglect. Nursing home abuse and neglect are serious issues facing elderly loved ones. If your loved one receives pressure sores in their senior care facility, it may be time to seek legal assistance.

Moraitakis & Kushel, L.L.P. in Atlanta, one of the city’€™s top elder abuse law firms, knows that nursing home abuse and negligence can be difficult to identify. Our team has created a helpful guide to bedsores and nursing home negligence.

What are Pressure Sores?

Pressure sores, also known as bedsores, decubitus ulcers, and pressure ulcers, are skin injuries that result from laying too long in the same position. Without frequent movement, bony areas like the elbows, heels, hips, or tail bone place a large amount of pressure on the skin and can create an injury.

How are Pressure Sores Caused?

Pressure sores are caused by a large amount of continuous pressure to the skin that limits blood flow. When pressure is combined with friction, sores are more likely to develop. Generally, bedsores develop when someone continually sits or lies in the same position.

Who is at Risk for Bedsores?

Seniors who are sedentary or bedridden are more likely to experience pressure sores. When people in hospitals and nursing homes cannot move, they are at higher risk of developing pressure ulcers. Other factors, like skin thinning with age, wheelchair use, and poor health, can contribute to bedsore development.

Are Pressure Sores Dangerous?

Not only are pressure sores painful, they can also lead to serious infections and health complications. It’€™s important for loved ones with pressure sores to seek medical attention before the pressure sores worsen.

Taking the Next Step with Moraitakis & Kushel

If your loved one experiences pressure sores in their senior care facility, contact the nursing home abuse attorneys at Moraitakis & Kushel, L.L.P. Our team helps families find justice for nursing home abuse and negligence.

Call Moraitakis & Kushel, L.L.P at 800-688-2357 to schedule a consultation with our Atlanta legal team.

Facility & Staff Face Charges in Nursing Home Abuse Investigation

ABC News reported that arrest warrants were issued for 21 employees of the Alzheimer’s Care of Commerce in Northeast Georgia. These employees now face more than 70 charges, including cruelty to people 65 or older, abuse, and neglect, among others. In several instances, acts of physical abuse were documented, and revealed that staff members struck patients residing at the Alzheimer’s Care of Commerce.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation continued their three-month probe for additional evidence of nursing home abuse by obtaining a search warrant. While searching, authorities found that bed sheets had been used to restrain patients, patients had been struck or hit with water, and several employees had prior felony convictions ranging from manslaughter to drugs. Among the suspects is the center’s owner as well as former and current employees.

According to the results of a Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee study, more than 30% of nursing homes in the United States alone received citations for nearly 9,000 accounts of abuse over a two year period. Nursing home neglect and abuse issues reported include:

‘€¢ Inadequate medical care
‘€¢ Dehydration
‘€¢ Malnutrition
‘€¢ Preventable accidents
‘€¢ Bedsores
‘€¢ Inadequate sanitation
‘€¢ Unhygienic conditions

In more than 1,600 documented nursing home abuse violations, patients were found to be in serious danger, some patients to the extent that their lives were in jeopardy. Still in other situations, staff members were accused of sexual and/or physical abuse while changing or bathing residents. Reports also included employees declining aid for those residents who were being abused by other residents.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Many abused elders won’t report the nursing home neglect or abuse to family or police. Signs that could indicate abuse include:

‘€¢ Significant changes in behavior
‘€¢ Pressure sores
‘€¢ Dehydration or malnutrition
‘€¢ Patients left unattended for excessive periods of time
‘€¢ Failure of response for calls of assistance

If you notice these, or any other unusual signs, your loved one may be experiencing nursing home abuse at the hands of their caregivers.

Contact the Atlanta Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers of Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP

Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP is a personal injury law firm that stands up for the rights of those who cannot defend themselves. Call Atlanta nursing home abuse attorneys Nicholas C. Moraitakis and Glenn E. Kushel at (404) 261-0016 or toll free at 1(800) 688-2357 to schedule your initial free consultation.

Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP Ranked Among 2013 “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News

Those of us at Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP are proud to announce that we have been ranked among the 2013 “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News and Best Lawyers. We are listed as a Tier 1 law firm for our personal injury litigation – plaintiffs practice.

The list, released by U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers, provides a comprehensive view of the U.S. legal profession that has been unprecedented both in the range of firms represented and in the range of qualitative and quantitative data used to develop the rankings.

The third edition of these rankings features law firms that have consistently received impressive performance ratings by clients and peers. Achieving a high ranking is a special distinction that signals a unique combination of excellence and breadth of expertise.

The rankings, presented in tiers, showcase more than 10,000 law firms ranked nationally or by metropolitan region. Firms were ranked nationally in one or more of 80 legal practice areas and by metro or state in 118 practice areas. One €œLaw Firm of the Year’€ is named in 79 of the nationally ranked practice areas.

The mission of €œBest Law Firms’€ is to help guide referring lawyers and clients €” from the country’€™s largest companies requiring corporate legal advice to individuals seeking counsel regarding personal legal issues.

Visit our practice areas page for more information about the services we offer at Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP or call (404) 261-0016 to schedule your free consultation today.

Learn More About Unexplained Death in Nursing Home Cases

When a loved one passes unexpectedly, or takes a sudden turn for the worst, it’€™s important to ask questions. While legal action can’€™t make up for the loss of a loved one, a wrongful death or nursing home abuse claim can help hold negligent facilities or parties responsible.

The elder abuse lawyers at Moraitakis & Kushel, L.L.P. recommend researching suspicious or unexplained deaths at nursing homes. While facilities are required by law to report resident accidents and incidents, unfortunately, some nursing home try to hide the truth. Sometimes legal intervention through a wrongful death or nursing home abuse claim is the best way to discover what happened to an elderly loved one.

The experienced nursing home abuse attorneys at Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP have years of experience helping Atlanta area families find justice for senior loved ones.

Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Our team knows the different signs of common nursing home wrongful death situations, such as:

  • Malnutrition or dehydration
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Bedsores
  • Physical abuse
  • Medical malpractice
  • Medication errors
  • Wandering off

Atlanta Legal Expertise for Unexplained Death in Nursing Homes

The skilled lawyers at Moraitakis & Kushel, L.L.P. in Atlanta, Georgia, provide families with more than legal help. Our team advocates for nursing home abuse and negligence victims to find justice in these difficult situations, and has a proven track record of getting results.

Every death can be explained and has a cause. If your loved one experienced an unexplained death in their nursing home, contact Moraitakis & Kushel, L.L.P. Our lawyers work with families to find answers to difficult nursing home abuse and negligence questions.

Call Our Law Team for Legal Advice Concerning Nursing Home Abuse

Schedule a consultation with the Moraitakis & Kushel, L.L.P. legal team in Atlanta by calling 800-688-2357.

Jury Awards $15M in Fatal Car Crash

The parents of a young man killed in a car crash won a jury award of more than $15 million. Their son and the other members of a wedding party were slammed from behind by a speeding drug representative from AstraZeneca. The rep had a long history of speeding and other traffic violations.

The verdict included $10 million for the life of Kaleo Hewlett (age 22), the best man in the ceremony, and $5 million for his pain and suffering before dying. The jury assessed Hewlett as €œan exceptional young man’€.

The driver of the other car admitted liability before the trial. AstraZeneca’€™s last offer before the trial was a $4.5 million settlement.

The crash occurred in August 2008 while Hewlett and four other passengers were riding in a Kia following a wedding at the Mormon Temple in Atlanta. The group was on their way to the reception. The Kia was traveling at 15 to 20 miles per hour, while the oncoming Ford Sedan, driven by Richard Brown, slammed into its rear end. According to the black box recorder and accident reconstruction, Brown was driving at 70.2 mph.

Brown had already gotten 15 speeding tickets since 1995, 12 of which he got after joining AstraZeneca in 1999.

Wrongful Death Cases at Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP

At Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP, we have the knowledge and experience you need to win the compensation you deserve. Our skilled attorneys have won numerous settlements in wrongful death cases.

As a family member of someone whose life was cut short in a tragic accident, you probably have mixed’€”and very strong’€”emotions about pursing a wrongful death suit. Although nothing can undo the tragic turn of events, we will seek damages in your suit for medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and loss of earning potential. We are here to for the memory of your loved one.

Call (404) 445-1411 to schedule your free consultation today. You pay no attorney’€™s fees unless we obtain a settlement or win a jury award on your behalf.

Injured Marta Bus Rider Wins $29,000 Settlement

A man injured as he walked through a moving MARTA bus recently won a $29,000 settlement. Yet his lawyer had doubts about the case. Two-thirds of the potential jurors answered “yes” when asked if they were suspicious of clients who file lawsuits. To make matters worse, MARTA had been fighting the case for over two years, leaving at least one juror certain that MARTA had to be in the right.

Fortunately for the client, Carlton Williams, his lawyer, Steve Goldman agreed to forge ahead with the case. Williams was originally awarded $300,000 in damages, but the sum was decreased because the jury decided Williams was 22{feda45885e261fa14202848ec0416fdb5a1c332b072331bc4b7a4cd461f32529} responsible for his accident. Accounting for appropriated liability and pre-judgement interest, Williams walked away with nearly $240,000.

Goldman said he offered to file Williams’ claim for $50,000 before the trial. MARTA made a counter offer of only $7,500.

The incident occurred in October 2010 just after Williams boarded a bus on Covington Highway near Memorial Drive. Williams, then age 57, claimed the bus driver did not give him enough time to reach a seat. As the driver went into a turn, Williams was hurled back, then thrown right across the first row of seats, across a few other passengers, and into the window.

The driver’s testimony that he was not supposed to wait an extra second or two for a rider to take a seat seemed to be the key to the verdict.

Public Transportation Accidents at Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP

MARTA is funded by taxpayers and is therefore obligated to maintain all buses, trains and facilities it operates. This means if you slip and fall due to rainwater not being moped up or sustain an injury from using stairs or equipment left in disrepair, you may be entitled to a negligence settlement.

At Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP, we can file a claim on your behalf for monetary damages, such as lost wages, medical and hospital costs. We will also consider future expenses associated with reconstructive surgeries, the loss of your quality of life and earning potential.

If you or a loved one was seriously injured in any kind of public transportation accident, please contact us (404) 261-0016 or at 1-(800) 688-2357. Your first consultation is free.

How to Find the Best Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyer

If you have been the victim of a tractor trailer accident, you may realize you can encounter many difficulties trying to get compensation for your injuries and suffering. If you or someone in your family has had to deal with the horror of a tractor trailer accident, the first thing to do is find a qualified trucking and tractor trailer accident attorney.

Top Tips for Choosing a Tractor Trailer Accident Lawyer

At Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP, in Atlanta, Georgia, we understand what it takes to get you the compensation you deserve for any suffering you have accrued as a result of a tractor trailer accident or wreck.  Here are some important tips you can use to find the right attorney should you or a member of your family finds themselves the victim of a trucking accident:

  • If you have a lawyer that you already know or use, ask them for a recommendation. If they do not specialize in trucking and tractor trailer accidents, they may be able to refer you to someone who does. At Moraitakis & Kushel, we are proud of our expertise in representing victims of trucking and tractor trailer accidents.
  • Make sure that the lawyer you are considering works on contingency. This means that you shouldn’€™t have to pay them anything unless they win your case. A reputable lawyer will give you an honest assessment of the likelihood of a successful judgment, so contingency should not be a problem for someone willing to take the case. We are proud to work for our clients on contingency here atMoraitakis & Kushel, LLP.
  • Get as much information on your potential lawyer as possible. A site like Martindale.com is a good place to start. This widely recognized resource measures the effectiveness of lawyers based on the Martindale-Hubbard rating system, an industry standard for the legal field. At Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP, we have garnered a perfect 5 out of 5 rating from our peers in the legal field. That means that other lawyers and legal professionals have recognized our commitment to excellence, and have expressed it as such.

These tips will help you finding the right attorney to guide you and your family through this confusing and trying time. You’€™ve been victimized, and the insurance agency representing the trucking company will do everything they can to alleviate themselves of legal culpability for causing you harm.

Call Our Team at Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP

Let the trucking law experts at Moraitakis & Kushel in Atlanta, Georgia, get you the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering. Call us at 404-445-1411 or 1-800-688-2357 for your free consultation today.