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Birmingham Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

When people move their loved ones into nursing homes or assistive care facilities, the expectation is that they are competently cared for. Unfortunately, errors made by nurses, doctors, and other staff can result in serious injury or even death for residents.

Birmingham nursing home abuse lawyers work with the estates of people who have been harmed by the negligence or intentional abuse of nursing homes in Alabama, to obtain the compensation that they deserve. When personal injury lawyers talk with prospective clients, they ask many questions including:

  • What does a nursing home abuse claim mean?
  • Is there anything that the State of Alabama can do?
  • What can an attorney do to help?

Nursing Home Abuse Laws in Alabama

Nursing home abuse in Alabama can be separated into two main categories. The first is when an employee intentionally abuses a resident. Examples of these torts include:

  • Assault,
  • False Imprisonment, and
  • Verbal Abuse

A second, more common version is the concept of negligence. Negligence, simply put, is when a person has a responsibility to protect another person, and when they fail to do so, cause harm to the other person. There are five elements of a negligence claim that a Birmingham nursing home abuse attorney can help prove:

  1. Duty – Duty is created when a person has a responsibility to protect another person. All nursing homes have this responsibility when a patient becomes a resident.
  2. Breach – A breach can occur when the duty to care for another person is broken. This can be through either taking an action leading to harm, or failing to prevent foreseeable harm. Examples here can include not turning a patient often enough so that bedsores set in, or not frequently bathing the residents.
  3. Cause – The plaintiff must show that the breach of the duty of care caused the injuries.
  4. Scope – The injuries need to be foreseeable. When a person has a protected status in a nursing home, a failure to properly care for them can certainly cause injury.
  5. Damages – The plaintiff must have a physical injury.

Additionally, the negligent nursing home employee might not be the only defendant. Through the concept of agency, the nursing home administration may also be liable. Birmingham nursing home abuse attorneys will examine all aspects of a loved one’s case to determine:

  • Should the claim be filed against the employee or the company?
  • Should the claim be for an intentional act or negligence?
  • Do the injuries rise to the level of negligence?

Criminal Violations

It is important to remember that elder abuse is a crime as described in Alabama Code 38-9-7. Any individual who is accused of abusing or neglecting a protected person may be prosecuted under this statute. Therefore, if someone suspects abuse, an initial step should be to contact the police. However, this will only create a criminal case.

To obtain compensation, a civil case must be filed as well. Criminal cases and civil cases are handled separately, even if the facts are identical. Regardless, a criminal conviction under the statute may be used as evidence in a civil trial.

Additionally, Alabama has set up a procedure where the State will investigate an alleged abuse that takes place in nursing homes. While this process will not prove dispositive in either criminal or civil court, it can be an effective piece of evidence if the investigation uncovers a pattern of abuse.

Let a Birmingham Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Assist You

Whether your loved one was injured due to negligent care or malicious abuse, Birmingham nursing home abuse attorneys are here to help. Lawyers are familiar with the requirements for filing and pursuing a successful nursing home abuse claim and work to guide you every step of the way.

We will take care of everything from investigating the alleged abuse, to consulting with doctors, to filing the complaint in court, to litigating the trial. The statute of limitations for these cases is only two years after the abuse is discovered so time is of the essence. Do not delay; contact our firm today.