Alabama Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Lawyers
If you have a loved one who has been injured in a nursing home, then you may have various legal claims to file in asserting your loved one’s legal rights. Your loved one has a right to receive proper medical treatment, care and protection in a nursing home facility. Legal claims may be asserted on behalf of your loved one for negligence, wrongful death, negligent hiring or supervision, an intentional tort, loss of consortium, or a third party responsibility claim.
Medicare regularly inspects and surveys each Alabama nursing home to identify violations, deficiencies and follow up on complaints filed by family members, friends and concerned employees. According to the statistics maintained by the federal agency, fifty-five (24%) of the 228 nursing facilities rated in Alabama have fallen below the national average because the staff provides substandard care. If your loved one was injured or died unexpectedly while residing in an Alabama nursing facility, we encourage you to contact the Alabama nursing home abuse attorneys at the Nursing Home Law Center at (800) 926-7565 to discuss your claim for compensation during an initial free case consultation.
Deficiencies Encountered in Alabama Nursing Homes
Unfortunately, Alabama nursing homes have received public attention for the inadequate care provided in their nursing homes and deficiencies. There are about 24,885 nursing facilities in operation according to a 2008 University of California-San Francisco research study. This study showed that in 18 percent of all nursing homes in 2008, there was a deficiency in quality of life and housekeeping for residents. In addition, 18 percent of all nursing homes in Alabama had deficiencies in the urinary or incontinence care provided for residents. Over 33 percent of nursing homes had hazards in the environment that made residents more prone to accidents.
In Alabama, several statutes govern nursing home claims. These statutes are 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.The Nursing Home Reform Act Protecting Residents of Alabama Nursing Homes
The Nursing Home Reform Act provides for private causes of action in the event that a nursing 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, nursing home 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. In addition, nursing home employees and administrators are under the following duties of care:
- Check patients for bed sores
- 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 nursing home
- Thoroughly screen prospective nursing home employees for past negative history
When a nursing home employee has deviated from meeting his or her standard of care, then a plaintiff may assert a claim of professional negligence against him or her. If a plaintiff brings a claim of negligence against nursing home professionals, then he or she must provide expert witness testimony to support these claims under the Alabama Medical Liability Act. A nursing home attorney can assist in building a case to show that a nursing home’s violation of care was likely to cause the injury or death of a nursing home resident.Nursing Home Negligence Claims & the Adult Protective Services Act Protecting Residents in Alabama Nursing Homes
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. Protected persons are considered to be residents of nursing homes, mental institutions, developmental centers and other care facilities. A crime of emotional abuse is considered a misdemeanor, while all other crimes involving abuse, neglect and exploitation may be felonies. If your loved one has suffered from any of these types of abuse, then a nursing home injury lawyer can assist you in initiating a complaint against the appropriate person today. The Alabama Department of Human Resources will then investigate any report made that involves neglect, abuse, exploitation or other harm to protected adults in care facilities.Speak with an Alabama Nursing Home Attorney Today
If your loved one has been the victim of inadequate nursing home care, then an Alabama nursing home attorney can assist you today. Feel free to call a lawyer to speak with him or her about the legal rights of your lived one. Our attorneys are here to help families and residents throughout the State of Alabama in such areas as:
To prevent the development of a bedsore, bedridden and wheelchair-bound patients need to be moved every two hours while kept clean and dry. If not, prolonged pressure to an area will create noticeable fluid-filled blisters and red spots in the first stages of a developing pressure sore. When left untreated, the skin can develop an infected open wound leading to serious life-threatening consequences.
If you or a loved one developed a pressure sore in an Alabama nursing home or hospital we invite you to contact the Alabama bed sore attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC for a free case review. Our attorneys have an unparalleled track record when it comes to prosecuting bed sore lawsuits. Contact our firm for a free review of your case today.A bedsore, also referred to as pressure sore, pressure ulcer or decubitus ulcer, can quickly develop on the skin when an individual remains in the same position for too long. This is because prolonged pressure to the area, especially on bony prominences like the ankles, hipbones, shoulder blades, and buttocks, can cause the skin to become red and tender from inflammation.
Nursing home patients are most at risk for developing bedsores if the staff is negligent in providing the basic standard of care. It is the responsibility of the medical staff to ensure that the patient does not remain in bed or in a seated position for extended time without repeated repositioning or turning to relieve the pressure.
This is because pressure to an area on the body restricts blood flow circulation, which stops necessary oxygen and nourishment from reaching skin tissue. Without relieving the pressure, the sore can begin to develop in as little as two hours.
In some scenarios, nursing home patients have existing medical conditions and circulation problems making the development of bedsore inevitable. Even so, quality medical care by a knowledgeable staff providing adequate attention and appropriate treatment can prevent a developing sore (Stage I) from advancing to a serious condition.
Severe advanced cases of bedsore developments are usually the result of inattention and negligence when nursing staff does not assist the patient lying in moisture from their own sweat, urine or feces. A Stage I or Stage II can quickly advance to Stage III or Stage IV where the wound becomes open exposing muscle and bone, making the sore susceptible to infection.
When a family places a loved one in a nursing home, they expect the facility 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 and dedicated caregivers will continuously provide all necessities. Even with that assurance, bedsore developments in nursing facilities are an all too common occurrence.
Unfortunately, in some facilities, nursing home administrators put profits ahead of providing quality care by providing only minimal staff. Because of the increasing demand for nursing home beds, many facilities are overcrowded and understaffed. The lack of quality caregivers often leads to neglect, by overworked nurses and nursing aides.Steps to Avoid Developing Bedsores
When a bedsore is allowed to develop and become infected, it can often create permanent damage to the area and life-threatening infection. With proper care, serious bedsores can be avoided if the admitting and nursing staff takes certain steps that include:
Properly identify patients at risk for bedsore development when admitted to the facility.
Provide proper padding and appropriate bedding to alleviate pressure on the patient’s skin.
Follow a strict schedule to turn or reposition bedridden or wheelchair-bound patients at least one time every two hours.
Debride or cut away dead tissue from the sore to stop it from advancing to a critical stage.
The caregivers and management in nursing home facilities have an ethical and legal obligation to protect every patient in their care. If the staff fails in their duties, nursing home patients can suffer serious life-threatening bedsores.
If a family or friend recognizes their loved one is developing a bedsore, it is essential to contact professionals experienced in providing the best treatment for these kinds of wounds. Use the form here to contact a reputable Alabama bed sore lawyer from the list below to stop the neglect of your loved one in cities including:
Contacting an aggressive advocate for your loved one is essential to protect their health, dignity and rights to quality health care. Skilled Alabama nursing home neglect law firms offer a free no obligation initial consultation to discuss facts and describe all available legal options to pursue a case and stop the neglect now.
- LTCCC Report Legal Advocacy Resources
- University of Alabama Law School Nursing Home Resource
- AL DHR
- UC Study
Statute of Limitations
- 2 Years with Occurrence Rule. (Section 6-2-38 (l))
- Medical 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 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)
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)
Division of Health Care Facilities – Alabama’s regulatory agency responsible for licensing/certifying Nursing HomesNursing 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 )