An entire industry is devoted to providing the elderly and others who need assistance with housing, medical treatment, nutrition, hygiene, and companionship. There are well over 200 elder care facilities in Alabama, and close to 50 right here in Birmingham. Before selecting a nursing home, you likely researched many of them, hoping to find the one that would provide the best care for your loved one.
Tragically, many nursing homes are understaffed, mismanaged, and run by people who put profit ahead of those in their care. Sadly, elderly ones are often neglected or abused during this time in their life when they deserve rest and care. At Norris Injury Lawyers, we are outraged to hear reports of nursing home abuse in Alabama.
If your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, our legal team is here to assist you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our nursing home abuse attorneys. Call us 24/7 at (800) 477-7510, start a live chat with us, or fill out the online consultation form.
How a Birmingham Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help
If you know or suspect that your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, you may be feeling saddened, angry, and unsure of who to turn to for help. Do not keep silent about what is happening. Inform the nursing home administrator of your suspicions and consider contacting the authorities as well. This should prompt an official report and investigation into the matter.
Another step you can take to protect your loved one is to contact a nursing home abuse attorney. You can be sure that the nursing home facility will have its own team of lawyers on its side, so you must have legal representation on your side working for you.
When you turn to a personal injury lawyer for help, he or she will:
- Gather information: Your lawyer may gather medical records, eyewitness testimony, photographic evidence, and other information needed to build a strong and successful case. Once all the facts have been established, the legal team can begin building the strongest possible personal injury case for your loved one.
- File a claim: There is a statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in Alabama. Your lawyer will make sure that everything is filed correctly and on time.
- Negotiate a settlement: The majority of nursing home abuse cases are settled out of court during the negotiation process. Our nursing home abuse lawyers are skilled negotiators and know what is needed to obtain maximum compensation for our clients.
- Go to trial: If a fair settlement agreement cannot be reached during the negotiation stage, your Birmingham nursing home abuse case may need to be taken to trial. Your nursing home abuse lawyer will represent you in court and present your case to a judge and jury.
At Norris Injury Lawyers, we understand how emotionally devastating nursing home abuse can be for victims and their families. That is why we do everything in our power to make the claims process as easy as possible for our clients. Contact us today to schedule a free review of your case.
What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home staff have an obligation to provide elderly and disabled residents with a high level of care. It is the duty of nursing home administrators to be aware of the needs of each individual in the facility and see to it that there are adequate staff and supplies available to properly care for everyone.
When Birmingham nursing home facilities neglect or abuse the very residents they are entrusted to care for, the individuals responsible should be held accountable for their actions. A nursing home abuse attorney from Norris Injury Lawyers can help you pursue justice and financial compensation for your elderly loved one.
The following are different types of elder abuse and warning signs that loved ones should be alert to.
A nursing home staff member is being abusive whenever using intentional, inappropriate force on a resident. Physical abuse can be life-threatening and cause emotional trauma, especially since nursing home residents are usually already in a fragile state.
Examples of physical elder abuse include:
- Improperly medicating
- Improperly restraining
Family members should be alert to the following signs that their elderly loved one may be experiencing physical abuse:
- Unexplained injuries and recurring injuries
- Bruises, broken bones, burns, abrasions, or other physical signs of abuse or restraint
- Malnutrition, dehydration, or sudden weight loss
- Broken glasses or hearing aids
- Medical staff refusing to leave you alone with your loved one
When nursing home staff or others act in a way that causes emotional pain and suffering to an elderly person, this is emotional abuse.
Examples of verbal, emotional, and psychological abuse include:
- Insulting and ridiculing
- Blaming or scapegoating
- Treating or talking to the patient as if a child
- Embarrassing the patient in front of others
- Isolating the patient, keeping him or her from talking to others or going outside
- Restricting the patient’s access to food, water, or the restroom
Sadly, emotional abuse is difficult to identify and often goes unreported. Family members should be alert to the following signs of psychological abuse:
- Differences in behavior around certain staff members
- Low-self esteem
- Loss of interest in favorite activities
- Soothing behaviors such as rocking back and forth or thumb sucking
- Changes in eating or sleeping schedule
Seniors may need the help of others to care for their finances. This is especially true in cases of Alzheimer’s or dementia. Unfortunately, not all those who have their trust may have their best interests at heart.
Examples of financial exploitation include:
- Using a senior’s credit cards
- Stealing cash or valuables
- Coercing a resident to change his or her will or power of attorney
- Forging signatures on checks or documents
- Opening a line of credit in the nursing home resident’s name
If family members don’t check the status of their loved one’s finances, seniors can be financially exploited for years. They could lose their entire life savings and no longer be able to afford nursing home care or basic living expenses.
Be alert to the following signs your loved one is being taken advantage of financially:
- Unpaid expenses
- Unusual charges to bank accounts or credit cards
- Having a new “best friend” at the nursing home
- Expensive gifts being given to nursing home staff members, visitors, or residents
- Anxiety or fear when discussing finances
Sexual predators may target seniors with physical or mental disabilities. They may be unable to give consent or protect themselves from an assault. Acts of sexual abuse may be committed by nursing staff members, visitors to the home, or fellow residents.
Sexual abuse is any form of unwanted romantic or sexual conduct being displayed toward the nursing home resident and could include:
- Sexual assault
- Unwanted touching
- Sexual harassment
The following could be signs your loved one has been sexually abused:
- Change in mood or behavior
- Bruises on the thighs or genital area
- Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases
- Reoccurring urinary tract infection in females
- Bleeding from anus or genitals
Signs of Birmingham Nursing Home Neglect
Elder abuse does not always come in the form of actions; sometimes it may be the failure to act. Nursing home negligence is usually a result of overworked staff members and understaffed facilities.
Neglect of nursing home residents may be intentional or unintentional. Signs of neglect may include:
- Rapid weight loss or gain
- Changes in mood or behavior
- Unsanitary or unsafe living conditions
- Poor hygiene
- Improper administration of medications
- Broken bones or fractures from falls
- Pressure sores from failing to move the senior regularly
Damages Recovered in Birmingham Nursing Home Abuse Cases
The personal injury lawyers at our law firm believe that there is no excuse for nursing home abuse and neglect. If your elderly family member has been victimized, our experienced nursing home lawyers can help you file a claim against all negligent parties.
We will help you pursue compensation for damages such as:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- The cost of relocating to a different nursing facility
- Compensation for exploited finances
- Loss of enjoyment
If the nursing home abuse and neglect your loved one suffered was so severe that he or she passed away, then you may be entitled to recover wrongful death damages. This could include compensation for funeral costs, burial expenses, and other losses.
Schedule a Free Case Review
If your loved one has been a victim of abuse, neglect, or mistreatment in a nursing care facility, contact Norris Injury Lawyers for immediate legal assistance. We can help you protect the rights of your elderly family member and hold all negligent parties liable for their actions.
Our nursing home abuse attorneys take clients on a contingency fee basis, and we offer all of our clients our No Fee Guarantee®. This is our promise that if we don’t win your case, you don’t owe us anything.
To take your first steps toward obtaining justice for your loved one and your best chance at obtaining maximum compensation, contact us today to schedule your free case review. Call us 24/7 at (800) 477-7510, fill out the online evaluation form, or start a live chat with a member of our legal team to get started.