There are numerous nursing homes, assisted living centers, and rehabilitation facilities in Alabama. When you put your loved one into one of these facilities, you trust that the care will be professional. Unfortunately, there are nursing homes that do not set the proper standard of care, are plagued by understaffing, or fail to hire qualified staff members. Sometimes nursing home staff members physically abuse or sexually abuse residents. If your loved one is injured because of physical abuse in a nursing home, you should consult Foley nursing home negligence lawyer Whit A. Thomas.Bringing a Claim Based on Physical Abuse
Sometimes nursing home staff covers up nursing home negligence, including physical abuse. Nursing homes must follow numerous rules and regulations to maintain a certain standard of care. Unfortunately, they do not always institute the appropriate procedures, and they are often understaffed for the number of beds that they provide.
Physical abuse happens all too often in nursing homes. It involves using physical force or violence that causes injuries, pain, bodily harm, and other types of impairment to the victim. Physical abuse against the elderly may include assault or battery. Signs of physical abuse can include unexplained fractures, wounds, bite marks, welts, bruises, discoloration, scratches, or burn marks. Sometimes physical abuse manifests to visitors as changes in behavior, depression, or weight loss. Physical abuse may occur prior to or in conjunction with chemical restraints and overmedication. Sometimes an elderly victim will not only have inadequately explained injuries but also become submissive around abusive staff members. Your loved one as well as nursing home staff should be able to adequately and consistently explain signs of physical abuse. It is possible that a resident is being physically abused when there are untreated injuries that cannot be adequately explained, and you should seek legal counsel.
You may be able to recover damages by bringing a nursing home negligence lawsuit under the Alabama Medical Liability Act of 1975. This code section specifies the burden of proof that applies under the Act. The plaintiff’s attorney needs to offer expert testimony to establish what the standard of care was and how it was breached. In any lawsuit for injuries or a wrongful death, whether in tort or in contract, against a health care provider for a breach of the standard of care, the plaintiff must meet the burden of showing by substantial evidence that the health care provider failed to use reasonable diligence, skill, or care, as used by other similarly situated health care providers who are working in the same area of practice.
It may be possible to allege civil causes of action for assault and battery against the staff member who abused you. Elder abuse is also a crime. In Alabama, elder abuse in the second degree is a class B felony that may be charged when an elderly person is intentionally neglected or abused, such that it causes physical injuries. It can also be charged when there is reckless neglect or abuse of an elderly person, and the neglect or abuse caused serious physical injuries to the elderly person. It may also be charged when there is reckless abuse, neglect, or emotional abuse of any elderly person, and the perpetrator has previously been convicted of elder abuse or neglect in the third degree in any court.
Compensatory damages may be recovered for injuries but not for a wrongful death. In a lawsuit against a health care provider due to a breach of the standard of care, the trier of fact is supposed to assess and itemize past damages, future damages, and punitive damages if applicable. Future damages are not supposed to be reduced to present value.Get Advice from a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Foley
Experienced Foley attorney Whit A. Thomas can analyze the facts of your nursing home abuse case and vigorously advocate for your rights. Our firm prides itself on keeping an open line of communication with clients at every turn in their case. We proudly represent nursing home residents and their families in cases based on physical abuse, bedsores, and other instances of abuse or negligence throughout Southern Alabama, including in Foley, Orange Beach, Summerdale, Elberta, Robertsdale, Loxley, Fairhope, Lillian, Gulf Shores, and Daphne, along with other areas of Baldwin, Mobile, Escambia, and Monroe Counties. Call (251) 943-9330 or contact us through our online form.