legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Alabama Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
You likely have the legal right to file a compensation claim.
Your loved one has a right to receive proper medical treatment, care, and protection in an eldercare home.
Helping Families Take Legal Action after Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
Elder home victims harmed through neglect or abuse should contact the Alabama nursing home abuse lawyers at the Nursing Home Law Center (800) 926-7565 today. Let’s discuss filing a compensation claim during an initial free consultation.
Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse Is Prevalent in Alabama
Medicare and Medicaid investigators regularly inspect and survey every Alabama eldercare center to identify violations, citations, and deficiencies. The investigators follow up on complaints filed on behalf of loved ones by family members, friends, and concerned employees.
According to the federal agency's statistics, fifty-five (twenty-four percent) of the 228 caregiving facilities rated in Alabama have fallen below the national average because they provide substandard care.
A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help Hold Nursing Homes Accountable
Victims harmed while residing in an eldercare facility should contact the Alabama personal injury attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center at (800) 926-7565 to discuss filing a compensation claim during an initial free case consultation.
The Nursing Home Reform Act Protecting Eldercare Residents
The Nursing Home Reform Act and Alabama state law provides private causes of action if an elder care home resident's rights have been violated.
These rights include the right to be free from physical or mental abuse, involuntary seclusion, and any consumption of chemicals not related to the resident's medical symptoms.
Patients also have the right to receive respect in their care and treatment, but unfortunately, this right is often violated in negligence cases.
Professional Negligence Claims Against Physicians and Other Professionals
Under Alabama statutory authority, elder care administrators must provide care that meets a strict standard of care.
Nursing home administrators must have a license issued by the Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators.
Also, nursing home employees and administrators are under the following duties of care:
- Check patients for skin breakdown
- Prevent malnutrition in patients
- Prevent dehydration in patients
- Protect patients from accidental falls
- Administer the proper medication at the appropriate times
- Maintain sanitary conditions in the long term care home
- Thoroughly screen prospective nursing home employees for any adverse history
Nursing home employees deviating from providing the established standard of care could face civil consequences. The victim might assert a claim of professional negligence against the staff, facility, or others.
Filing a claim or lawsuit against nursing home professionals based on negligence usually requires following the Alabama Medical Liability Act and providing expert witness testimony to support the accusation.
Nursing home abuse lawyers can help build a case to show that a nursing home's violation of care was likely to cause the resident's injury or death.
Nursing Home Abuse Claims & the Adult Protective Services Act Protecting Elder Care Residents
In Alabama, Section 38-9-7 of the Adult Protective Services Act makes it unlawful for any person to "abuse, neglect, exploit or emotionally abuse" any protected person. The law defines protected persons as those living in senior living facilities, mental institutions, developmental centers, and other care facilities.
A crime of emotional abuse is considered a misdemeanor, while all other crimes involving physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and exploitation might be felonies. Nursing home neglect lawyers can help you file a complaint against the appropriate person today that might have caused you harm or injury.
The Alabama Department of Human Resources will then investigate any report made that involves elder abuse, neglect, exploitation, or other harm to protected adults in care facilities.
Speak with an Alabama Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Toda
A nursing home abuse attorney can assist any victim of inadequate elder care. Feel free to call a lawyer to speak with them about your loved one's legal rights.
Our nursing home neglect and personal injury attorneys are here to help families and residents throughout the State of Alabama, including in:
Call (800) 926-7565 Toll-Free for a No Obligation Consultation
Holding Caregiving Facilities Accountable
Family members placing a loved one in a nursing center expect nurses to provide quality care around-the-clock to ensure the patient's health and well-being.
In many incidences, the family is assured that loving, dedicated caregivers will continuously provide all necessities. Even with that assurance, pressure ulcer developments in eldercare facilities are an all-too-common occurrence.
Unfortunately, nursing center administrators often put profits ahead of providing quality care by cutting the staff member roster.
Understaffing might cause a severe problem when the facility must meet the increasing demand for nursing home beds. The lack of quality nursing staff often leads to neglect by overworked nurses and nursing aides.
Taking Legal Steps to Hold a Medical Facility Accountable
Nursing facility management and caregivers have an ethical and legal obligation to protect every patient in their care. If the staff fails in their duties, nursing home residents could suffer deadly pressure wounds.
Did you, a family member, or friend recognize the initial stages of loved ones' developing skin breakdown?
Contact professionals now to ensure that they receive the best treatment for deadly wounds.
Use the form here to contact reputable AL bedsore lawyers from the list below to stop the neglect of your loved one in cities including:
Nursing Center Abuse Injury FAQs
Here are the answers to some questions that families ask about the nursing home neglect and elder abuse to which their loved one may have been subjected.
Many eldercare facilities are inadequately staffed throughout the United States with sufficiently trained Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, and Certified Nursing Assistants. Some abuse cases involve negligence, where the staff fails to provide personalized patient care.
According to the National Institutes of Health, nine out of every ten assisted-living facilities and nursing centers in America are understaffed where one aid might be responsible for providing care for thirty or more individuals.
Unfortunately, most cases involving nursing home abuse go unreported. Often, the abuser is a trusted individual like a nurse, nursing assistant, nursing home employee, another resident, family, visitor, or friend.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) identifies the four types of neglect to include:
- Physical neglect including depriving the patient of needs like food, shelter, medication, and clothing
- Medical neglect by the nursing staff repeatedly refusing to provide medical treatment for a patient's ongoing condition that could lead to severe injuries or death
- Supervisory neglect when the staff responsible for providing care do not supervise the patient to ensure they remain safe in their environment
- Emotional neglect where the staff deprives the resident of their emotional needs, including a positive attachment with others and forming relationships through social interaction
According to the National Institutes of Health, state and federal laws protect nursing home patients from improper transfers and unfair discharges from their facility.
Medicare regulations restrict facilities transferring patients to other skilled eldercare centers or discharging them from the facility unless:
- The assisted living center is closing
- The facility resident fails to pay their medical bills
- The discharge or transfer to another facility is required for the resident's well-being, safety, or health
- The nursing center patient's condition has declined, and the facility can no longer meet the resident's needs
- The nursing home resident's condition has improved significantly so the facility is no longer medically necessary
The U.S. National Library of Medicine defines patient neglect as "the failure of a designated caregiver to meet the needs of a dependent." In many cases, patient safety is compromised when the nursing home staff neglects the resident's needs.
Other forms of nursing home negligence include:
- Leaving patients unattended at critical times
- Failing to provide patient's routine baths and showers on schedule or upon request
- Chronically failing to administer prescribed medications per the doctor's orders
- Keeping the resident's room cluttered and unclean
- Not reporting the patient's injuries, illness, or hazardous event to family, physicians, or medical staff
- Depriving the patient of the necessities of life, including sufficient water, food, shelter, and proper hygiene
- Allowing the patient to remain lying or sitting in their feces and urine
- Unexpected weight loss caused by neglect
- Ignoring or dismissing the patient's complaints
- Failing to answer the resident's call lights promptly
Victims of abuse could sue the caregiving facility or medical team if they acted negligently, recklessly, or with the intent to harm others. In some cases, the patient dies by the action or inaction of a Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse, or Certified Nursing Assistant.
Surviving family members who lost a loved one through a wrongful death could file a civil lawsuit seeking compensation for all damages, including hospitalization costs, medical expenses, pain, suffering, loss of companionship, funeral costs, and burial expenses.
The good news is that families of nursing home residents do not need to pay anything upfront to file lawsuits for neglect and elder abuse. Of course, this does not mean that your lawyer works for you for free.
However, it does mean that you are not responsible to pay your nursing home abuse attorney out of your pocket.
Your lawyer is only compensated if you are successful in your lawsuit and you receive financial compensation. In other words, there is no fee unless you win.
Nursing home abuse attorneys can still file a court action for abuse and neglect even if your loved one is no longer here. Then, your lawsuit would become one for wrongful death.
You would receive compensation for the pain and suffering and everything else that your loved one experienced at the hands of nursing home staff before they died.
Then, your family would receive compensation for what they lost from the death of their beloved family member.
It is difficult to say how much the average case is worth, nor can we make any guarantees. What we can tell you is that the harm to your loved one will be compensated.
A court would consider each of the individual elements of the damages before assigning a dollar value to the case. You would receive compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and trauma
- Medical bills
- Wrongful death if the neglect or abuse resulting in your family member's passing
- Punitive damages (these are reserved for extreme cases where the nursing home's abuse or neglect has been egregious and awful. If the jury slaps the nursing facility with punitive damages, it can greatly increase the size of your verdict)
Physical assault and sexual abuse might leave evidence like bruises, cuts, and lacerations. However, emotional abuse signs are often less apparent when the damage involves rejection, threatening, insults, blaming, neglecting, isolating, manipulating, punishing, degrading, humiliating, or fear, shame, and guilt.
Emotional abusers are usually expert manipulators who intentionally neglect respectful boundaries. However, not all cruelty is easily identifiable by friends and family wanting to protect a loved one.
Emotional abuse might involve putting the victim down, calling them names, cutting off from access to others (social isolation), or limiting the victim's financial decision-making powers.
Deficiencies Encountered in AL Nursing Homes
Unfortunately, many nursing homes have received public attention for the inadequate care provided in their nursing homes and deficiencies. There are about 24,885 caregiving facilities in operation, according to a 2008 University of California-San Francisco research study.
Over thirty-three percent of nursing homes in the study had hazards in the environment that potentially could harm residents more prone to accidents.
In Alabama, several statutes govern nursing home negligence claims, including Chapter 20 of Title 34 for Nursing Home Administrators, Chapter 34 of Title 34 for Assisted Living Administrators, and the Adult Protective Services Act. Nursing homes must also abide by the strict requirements under the federal Nursing Home Reform Act.
Elder Abuse Lawyers Throughout Alabama
Contacting an aggressive advocate for your loved one is essential to protect their health, dignity, and rights to quality healthcare.
A skilled Alabama neglect law firm can offer a free case review to discuss facts and describe all available legal options to pursue a case and stop neglect.
Call us today or contact us through the contact form to schedule a free consultation. There is no charge to speak with our law firm.
Call us at (800) 926-7565 Toll-Free for a No Obligation Free Consultation
Nursing Home Negligence Statute of Limitations
- 2 Years with Occurrence Rule. (Section 6-2-38 (l))
- Malpractice – 2 years with Discovery Rule (if discovered after 2 years,
- then 6 months from discovery). Children under four have until their
- eighth birthday to file a claim, with a maximum of 4 years. (Section 6-5-482 (a))
- Punitive damages cap – capped at three times compensatory damages or $1,500,000, whichever is greater. (§6-11-21)
Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
- 2 Years (Section 6-2-38-(a))
None. All damages for wrongful death actions are considered punitive damages, not compensatory or actual damages. (§6-11-21)
Wrongful Death Statute of Limitations
- 2 Years (Section 6-2-38-(a))
- None. All damages for wrongful death actions are considered punitive damages, not compensatory or actual damages. (§6-11-21)
State Resources and the Relevant Alabama Departments
- AL Department of Public Health
- Division of Health Care Facilities – AL regulatory agency responsible for licensing/certifying Nursing Homes
- Nursing Home Care State Law Nursing Home Administrators (Title 34 (Professions and Businesses) – Chapter 20 (Nursing Home Administrators))
- Assisted Living Administrators (Title 34 (Professions and Businesses) – Chapter 34 (Assisted Living Administrators )