Huntsville Nursing Home Lawyers
While seniors have the right to be free from neglect and all forms of abuse, the truth is that elder neglect and abuse is rampant across the nation. Everyone wants to assume the best about physicians, nurses, and other nursing home staff. In nursing homes and assisted living centers, at least one staff members is not properly caring for an elderly patient. It is not something anyone wants to admit occurs in their community. However, it is bound to happen.
If you are a senior who has been harmed while living in a nursing home or you have an elderly loved one who was injured or killed by elder abuse or neglect, contact our Huntsville nursing home lawyers at Belt & Bruner, P.C. to learn more about your rights and your options for seeking compensation for your injuries and punishing wrongdoers.
Elder Rights in Nursing Homes
Seniors do not lose their rights as they age and become less physically and/or mentally capable of taking care of themselves. Moving into a nursing home for assistance and care is not a suspension or revocation of their rights. Instead, elderly individuals maintain their right to:
- Be treated with respect
- As much independence as possible
- Manage their own money and finances
- Be free from discrimination
- Receive appropriate medical care
- Be free from neglect and abuse
If nursing home residents’ rights are being violated in any way during their time in a nursing home, they also have the right to complain. They may make a complaint with the facility, and if their situation does not change, they can move on and filing a complaint with state authorities. If they have been or are continuously being harmed, elderly nursing home residents also have the right to an attorney to determine their legal options.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
There are many ways nursing home staff members can neglect or abuse elderly patients. However, there are some common types of nursing home abuse and neglect that seniors often experience that leads to physical and psychological injuries:
- Emotional abuse- This may involve both nonverbal and verbal behavior, such as name calling, that causes the victim emotional distress and/or mental anguish.
- Physical abuse- Abuse can go beyond words. In nursing homes, it often becomes physical. Staff members may hit, kick, shove, restrain, and spit on their elderly patients, causing physical injuries, pain, and emotional suffering.
- Sexual abuse- Both male and female seniors are at risk for sexual harassment, non-consensual sexual contact, and sexual assault. The risk is particularly high when an elderly person is immobile in any capacity, or has difficulty speaking.
- Financial abuse- Nursing home staff members may improperly take control of a senior’s money, assets, or real estate through coercion, fraud, or force.
- Neglect- Staff members may fail to take care of senior’s basic needs, including providing food and water, maintaining their personal hygiene, cleaning their living quarters, and providing necessary and appropriate medical care. Neglect can lead to both physical and psychological injuries.
Common Nursing Home-Related Injuries
When elderly nursing home residents are abused or neglected, they often experience common nursing home injuries such as:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Serious infections
- Bed sores
- Cognitive impairments
Seniors who are abused can see their condition quickly and drastically worsen. For example, seniors with diabetes who do not receive appropriate care may face a greater risk of nerve damage, a reduction in eye sight, and amputations. Elderly nursing home residents may also experience new injuries that are unrelated to their previous medical conditions. For instance, despite only suffering from age-related physical weakness and limitations, a preventable fall could lead to a broken hip, resulting in a great deal of pain and additional mobility difficulties.
These injuries can greatly alter your life or the life of your elderly loved one, so it is vitally important to retain the counsel of Belt & Bruner P.C.’s Huntsville nursing home lawyers.
Medical Malpractice in Huntsville Nursing Homes
Elder abuse and neglect often coincide with medical malpractice. The physicians who treat elderly patients in nursing homes have a legal duty to uphold the medical standard of care, defined by Alabama’s Medical Liability Act. Section 6-5-548(a) states that health care providers must “exercise such reasonable care, skills, and diligence as other similarly situated health care providers in the same general line of practice” would in similar circumstances.
When a senior is injured because a physician fails to provide adequate medical care, they or their family should speak with a Huntsville medical malpractice lawyer about filing a medical malpractice claim.
Elderly individuals who are harmed by neglect, abuse, or medical malpractice can seek compensation for their physical, psychological, and financial injuries. This compensation may include but is not limited to:
- Medical expenses
- Physical pain
- Mental aguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Calculating the value of a nursing home claim can be difficult. If you are unsure of how to value and total your damages after being hurt by negligent care or abuse, contact our Huntsville nursing home lawyers at Belt & Bruner, P.C. as soon as you can.
Alabama Wrongful Death Law
In many cases, elder neglect, abuse, or medical malpractice do far more than harm seniors. Instead, they lead to the senior’s early death. If you lost a loved one due to the neglect or abuse they received at a nursing home, contact Belt & Bruner, P.C.’s Huntsville wrongful death lawyers right away. Alabama does not allow family members to file wrongful death claims; this is the job of the personal representative for your loved one’s estate. The state also has a number of other nuances surrounding wrongful death law. Let us help you understand your rights and options in this situation.
Let Our Huntsville Nursing Home Lawyers Help You
Whether you are a senior who has suffered at the hands of a nursing home staff members or you lost a loved one to nursing home neglect or abuse, our Huntsville nursing home lawyers at Belt & Bruner, P.C. want to help you seek justice. We will thoroughly review your situation and go over your civil rights, including the possibility of filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
We will also go over criminal charges nursing home staff members or owners may face in regard to your injuries or your loved one’s death. Depending on the other person’s actions, we may notify state or federal prosecutors. They may choose to charge the responsible party with a misdemeanor or felony.
To learn more about your rights in regard to elder abuse or neglect occurring at a nursing home during a free case consultation, contact our Huntsville nursing home lawyers through our online form, or by calling 256-513-6848.