Alabama Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer | Belt, Bruner & Barnett Personal Injury Lawyers

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Alabama Nursing Home Abuse & Negligence Lawyers

When your elderly relative goes to live in a nursing home, you hope for the best. It is always a tough decision, and the only way you can make it is to believe they will receive better care at the facility than in their own home or with a family member.

It is heartbreaking if you begin to see signs that your loved one is not well taken care of. It is also enraging to believe that someone would neglect or intentionally hurt your relative who has few resources to care for or defend themselves.


In this situation, while you are dealing with so many questions and emotions, the best thing you can do is contact a nursing home abuse lawyer. Here at Belt, Bruner & Barnett, P.C., we are ready to put our decades of experience to work for you and your elderly loved one. If your relative has been a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, we are here to fight for the justice and compensation they deserve under the law.

To discuss how we can help you and your relative, contact us via our online form or call (205) 933-1500 to schedule a free consultation.

Nursing Home Residents’ Rights

If you have a loved one living in a nursing home or other elder care facility, you and they should know that they have many nursing home residents’ rights, including but not limited to:

  • The right to privacy
  • The right to be treated with respect
  • The right to be free from discrimination
  • The right to receive necessary and appropriate medical care
  • The right to manage their own money and finances
  • The right to participate in activities
  • The right to be free from neglect and abuse
  • The right to have relatives or representatives involved in their care

Whenever these rights are violated, your loved one has the right to file a complaint and seek to have the situation remedied. You can go to the nursing home administration about any of these issues. If you feel the situation is not appropriately addressed, you can move on to state authorities.

If you believe the situation is not quickly addressed and your loved one continues to be harmed, or your loved one has already suffered a serious injury, then your best next step is to call a nursing home attorney at Belt, Bruner & Barnett, P.C. We will review your situation and guide you through the process of taking care of your elderly relative and pursuing justice for them.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse

Neglect typically arises from careless or reckless care by nursing home staff. Meanwhile, nursing home abuse is intentional conduct. Nursing home staff members may subject your loved on to these common types of nursing home abuse and neglect:

Physical Abuse

This encompasses causing a senior physical trauma and pain through force or chemical means. Physical abuse may involve hitting, kicking, physically restraining, and chemically restraining the resident. It may also coincide with physical neglect, such as not keeping a resident clean or forcing them to live in a dirty and unsafe environment.

Sexual Abuse

All non-consensual sexual contact and sexual harassment constitute sexual abuse. Also, elderly individuals who are mentally incompetent or incapacitated cannot consent to sexual activity, making any sexual conduct with a caregiver unlawful.

Psychological Abuse

This involves verbal and nonverbal conduct that causes the elderly resident consistent and/or extreme emotional distress. Psychological abuse may include ignoring the resident, calling them names, demeaning and belittling them, and isolating them from family members and friends.

Financial Abuse

Staff or administrators may improperly handle, steal, or fraudulently obtain a resident’s funds or other property. Nursing homes may financially abuse residents by over charging them or implementing fraudulent fees. Staff members may financially abuse a senior by manipulating or influencing the resident to give them money or personal belongings, like valuable jewelry.

If there is any evidence that your loved one has suffered due to abuse at a nursing home, schedule a time to speak with a nursing home abuse lawyer from Belt, Bruner & Barnett, P.C., right away. We will review what you know about the situation and advise you on the next best steps, which may include filing a lawsuit or taking information regarding illegal activity to the police.

Risk Factors for Abuse

Certain risk factors can make someone more vulnerable to becoming the victim of elder abuse. Those include:

  • DementiaSocial isolation or lack of social support
  • History of trauma such as domestic violence or sexual assault
  • Severe functional impairment or poor physical health
  • The elderly person’s own propensity towards aggression or anger
  • Understaffing
  • Caregivers with mental health or substance abuse issues or who are over-worked
  • Inadequate training for staff
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Warning Signs of Abuse and Neglect

According to the Alabama Department of Senior Services, common warning signs of abuse and neglect include:

  • Physical abuse– Injuries such as cuts, scratches, bruises, burns, sprains, or broken bones, that are unexplained or inconsistent are symptoms of physical abuse. Overmedication and unreasonable restraints may also be signs.
  • Emotional/psychological abuse– Anxiety, depression, or changes in mental status, as well as sudden changes in behavior such as lack of eye contact, agitation, or withdrawal from normal activities, are signs of emotional/psychological abuse.
  • Sexual abuse– Symptoms of sexual abuse are usually consistent with signs of emotional abuse. Other indicators include STIs and fear of being left alone with staff.
  • Neglect– Sudden weight loss, bedsores, dehydration, malnutrition, frequent infections, poor hygiene, unfriendly or hostile interactions with staff are signs of neglect.
  • Financial abuse– Unusual activity including large cash withdrawals, transfers between accounts, switching or closing accounts, or unpaid bills are signs of financial abuse. Using an elderly person’s possessions or belongings without permission or having them sign legal documents without understanding or forging their signature are also indicators.

Injuries Your Loved One May Suffer in a Nursing Home

Some of the most common nursing home injuries due to neglect and abuse include:

  • Falls
  • Lacerations
  • Muscles sprains and strains
  • Bone fractures
  • Head injuries and concussions
  • Cognitive impairments, such as confusion
  • Infections, including UTIs and MRSA
  • Pressure ulcers/bedsores
  • Asphyxiation/choking
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Burns
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

All of these injuries and others increase the risk of early death. Even a seemingly minor injury, particularly if it not properly diagnosed and treated, can take months or years off your loved one’s life. Also, during your relative’s final years, suffering from neglect and physical abuse will significantly decrease their quality of life and happiness.

Contact our nursing home attorneys when your loved one has suffered an injury while living at a nursing home and you believe it may be the result of negligence or abuse. We want your relative to live in a healthy and safe environment, free from unnecessary injuries. We will thoroughly review their situation and determine next steps.

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Suing a Nursing Home for Negligence

Call us immediately if you believe your loved one was injured or suffered a medical condition because of nursing home neglect or abuse. We will thoroughly investigate the situation and gather evidence of the negligence and/or abuse perpetuated by one or more staff members at the facility. We will also look for evidence of unlawful activity by the administrators or owners of the facility or of their knowledge of the neglect or abuse and failure to correct the issue. We will use this evidence to establish that the nursing home failed to maintain the legally required standard of care, and that the lack of appropriate care caused your loved one harm.

By proving the nursing home was negligent in caring for your relative, we will pursue compensation, including:

  • Medical costs
  • Physical pain
  • Mental anguish
  • Disfigurement
  • Physical impairment
  • Reduced quality of life

Nursing Home Wrongful Death Cases

Nursing home neglect and abuse may have led to your loved one’s death. An older person already in frail health may not be able to recover from an injury like a broken hip or MRSA infection. If you believe your loved one passed away because of neglect or any form of abuse, do not hesitate to contact our nursing home wrongful death lawyers.

We have years of experience handling both nursing home negligence claims and wrongful death cases. We will thoroughly review your situation and advise you on the validity of a wrongful death claim. If it appears carelessness, recklessness, or intentional misconduct caused your relative’s death, then we can guide your family through the wrongful death claim process.

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How Our Alabama Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Can Help You

If your family member has been injured due to abuse or neglect by nursing home staff, our experienced elder abuse attorneys at Belt, Bruner & Barnett, P.C., can help. We have more than 65 years of collective personal injury experience and are proud of our work standing up for the rights of nursing home residents across Alabama.

We can help your family seek compensation for injuries that were the result of nursing home abuse and neglect and fight to make sure your loved receives the high-quality care they deserve. Contact our Alabama personal injury lawyers at (205) 933-1500 to get your free consultation today. With offices in Birmingham, Huntsville, and Montgomery, our Alabama car accident attorneys can help you at a location nearest you.