My mother is in a nursing home and the staff is rude to her, they don’t change her clothes regularly and her nails and hair are not kept up. Can I sue the nursing home to make them treat my mother better?

I would not recommend filing a lawsuit based on the facts presented. Most claims against nursing homes are considered a professional malpractice action. This means that a professional person, e.g., a nurse, a doctor, or other medical professional, has done something that falls below the standard of care for that profession. These cases are very expensive because they require expert witnesses, depositions (many of them out of state) and other expenses that are not generally part of a standard negligence action. Therefore, an attorney must weigh the potential amount a jury might award for the damages suffered by the nursing home patient against the amount it would cost to bring the professional malpractice claim. Generally, when a nursing home patient has not suffered some catastrophic injury, such as the loss of a limb, loss of life, or significant loss of quality of life, it would not be cost-efficient to bring a professional malpractice claim because the client will spend more money bringing the lawsuit than a jury would award. Another way to seek justice is to notify the Georgia Long-Term Care Ombudsman of the situation so that they may investigate and take action, if necessary.

The foregoing answer is not legal advice and is merely a general overview. You are advised to consult a lawyer to address your specific situation. For further information about our firm, go to aa-legal.com. You are also invited to contact me about the foregoing or to submit your questions to me at steve@aa-legal.com.

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