Alabama Nursing Home Abuse & Negligence Lawyers
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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. If you begin to see signs that your loved one is not well taken care of, it is heartbreaking. It also is enraging to believe that someone would neglect or intentional hurt your relative who has few resources to take care 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, 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.
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 receive necessary and appropriate medical care
- The right to be free from discrimination
- 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 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, 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.
What Is Considered Nursing Home Neglect?
While elder abuse encompasses intentional conduct, which the abuser knows or reasonably should know will harm the senior, neglect is not always intentional. Nursing home neglect commonly arises when nursing home staff are careless or reckless in properly caring for their facility’s residents.
Neglect can arise in a variety of ways, such as neglect of a senior’s basic needs or personal hygiene. Staff members may not make sure that all residents have the appropriate amount of food and water throughout the day. Even if the residents are provided three meals a day, not ensuring they receive enough fluids can lead to dehydration, which in turn can cause or worsen serious medical conditions. Staff members may not help residents remain as clean as they should by failing to bathe them, brush their teeth, or do their laundry. Workers also may not maintain a clean and safe environment.
Another form of neglect is medical neglect, during which residents do not receive appropriate medical care. This could entail a lack preventative care, such as seniors going long stretches of time without checkups. It could also include residents not receiving their prescribed medications.
Neglect may also involve a lack of social interaction or emotional support. Residents have the right to participate in activities and to be treated with kindness. If residents are consistently ignored, yelled at, or deprived of social activities, then they may suffer significant psychological harm.
If you notice any signs that your loved one is not receiving the care they need and is suffering physically or emotionally because of it, contact our nursing home neglect lawyers at Belt & Bruner, P.C. today.
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 financial 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, 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.
Injuries Your Loved One May Suffer in a Nursing Home
Some of the most common nursing home injuries due to neglect and abuse include:
- Muscles sprains and strains
- Bone fractures
- Head injuries and concussions
- Cognitive impairments, such as confusion
- Infections, including UTIs and MRSA
- Pressure ulcers/bedsores
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 greatly decrease their quality of life and happiness.
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, contact our nursing home attorneys. 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.
Suing a Nursing Home for Negligence
If you believe your loved one was injured or suffered a medical condition because of nursing home neglect or abuse, call us immediately. We will thoroughly investigate the situation and gather evidence of the neglect 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 negligence in caring for your relative, we will pursue compensation, including:
- Medical costs
- Physical pain
- Mental anguish
- 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. This is not unexpected, as an elderly person already in frail health may not be able to recover from an injury like a broken hip or a 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.
Let Our Nursing Home Attorneys Help You
If there are any signs that your elderly loved one is being neglected or abused while living at a nursing home or other care facility, call us at Belt & Bruner, P.C. immediately. We are here to guide you through the process of protecting your loved one, ensuring they receive appropriate care, and holding nursing homes responsible for substandard care. If there is evidence that neglect or abuse led to your loved one suffering an injury or passing away early, then we can guide you through a personal injury or wrongful death claim.