Our Atlanta personal injury attorneys at Ashby Thelen Lowry know the in-home healthcare industry has grown exponentially in Georgia and nationwide over the past decade. And for good reasons.

Many people prefer to receive care in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes. Being surrounded by familiar surroundings, personal belongings, and loved ones can contribute to well-being and security. In addition, home healthcare allows individuals to maintain greater independence and autonomy compared to institutional care settings such as nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Patients can retain control over their daily routines, activities, and lifestyle choices.

Home Healthcare Abuse

Because of the popularity of home healthcare resources that offer in-home healthcare services for adults, seniors, and children, including respite care, companion care, and skilled nursing care, there are over 16,500 businesses that employ over 53,000 people in the industry just in Georgia.

What is the Definition of a Georgia Home Health Agency?

According to the Georgia Department of Community Health, a Home Health Agency (HHA) is an agency or organization that:

  • Is primarily engaged in providing skilled nursing services and other therapeutic services.
  • Has policies established by a group of professionals (associated with the agency or organization), including one or more physicians and one or more registered professional nurses, to govern its services.
  • Provides supervision of the services mentioned above by a physician or registered professional nurse.
  • Maintains clinical records on all patients.
  • Is licensed under State or local law or has approval as meeting the standards established for licensing by the State or locality.
  • Has, in effect, an overall plan and budget for institutional planning.
  • Meets the federal requirements in the interest of the health and safety of individuals furnished by the HHA.
  • Meets additional requirements as the Secretary finds necessary for the effective and efficient operation of the program.

Unfortunately, the rise in home healthcare agencies in Georgia also leads to less oversight, potentially resulting in patients being abused by those overseeing their care. In these cases, the question becomes, “Who’s liable for home healthcare abuse?”

Who Is Liable for Home Healthcare Incidents, Injuries, or Fatalities in Georgia?

Determining liability for home healthcare abuse in Georgia requires carefully examining the facts involved and can vary depending on the circumstances of the abuse and the parties involved.

Generally, several parties may be held liable for home healthcare abuse, including, but not limited to:

  • Individual Caregivers or Nurses

If the abuse is committed by an individual caregiver or nurse employed by a home healthcare agency or hired directly by the patient, that individual may be liable for their actions.

  • Home Healthcare Agencies

Home healthcare agencies may be held liable for the actions of their employees if the abuse occurred within the scope of employment. This is known as vicarious liability or respondeat superior. Additionally, if the agency fails to screen, train, or supervise its employees properly, it may be liable for negligence.

  • Third-Party Contractors

Sometimes, home healthcare services may be provided by third-party contractors rather than directly employed caregivers. If abuse occurs in these situations, liability may depend on the contractual agreements and relationships between the parties involved.

  • Medical Professionals or Facilities

If the abuse involves medical malpractice or negligence, such as improper medication administration or neglect of medical needs, the healthcare professionals or facilities responsible for overseeing the patient’s care may be liable.

Victims of abuse or their families may choose to pursue legal action against one or more parties responsible for the abuse to seek compensation for damages and hold them accountable for their actions. We can help.

Contact our skilled home healthcare abuse attorneys and support team at Ashby Thelen Lowry at (404) 777-7771 to schedule a free consultation. This will ensure your rights are protected so you can make informed decisions about the direction of your claim.

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