Mobile Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers
Alabama’s trusted personal injury team
The subject of nursing home abuse and neglect is not one we ever want to discuss, but it is a reality in our world and one that is unfortunately increasing as our elderly population increases. The Baby Boomer generation was the largest in U.S. history, and the aging of this group is creating massive shifts in the elderly population of this country, in the economy and society. The rapidly expanding elder population is leading to an increasing need for more nursing homes.
At Mezrano Law Firm, you can trust that we have your best interests at heart in everything we do. With more than 40 years of combined legal experience, our personal injury legal team has earned a reputation for the care and attention we offer to our clients, while still being tough and tenacious when required. If you have a loved one who is being abused, we are here to be your advocate for justice. We will hold those responsible for their injuries accountable.
What does nursing home abuse and neglect look like in Alabama?
The Alabama Department of Public Health reports that the elderly population of Alabama is expected to grow by 82.4 percent between 2010 and 2040, which will add 542,061 elderly people to the population. As people grow older, many will suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Elderly people who are frail and suffering from dementia are unfortunately the most vulnerable to abuse and neglect.
Most nursing homes in Alabama receive federal funding from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). There are federal health and safety standards that nursing home which receive federal funding must comply with or they can be fined. ProPublica has developed a tool that consumers can use to compare nursing homes in their state based on the deficiencies cited by federal healthcare regulators, and it tracks the penalties levied on a nursing home for the past three years.
- According to Nursing Home Inspect, the average fine for Alabama nursing homes is 56.8K
- There have been about .41 serious deficiencies per nursing home
- There were 12 payment suspensions throughout the state. (TX had the highest at 249, and RI had the lowest at one.
What is nursing home abuse and neglect?
When we entrust our loved ones to the care of a nursing home or an assisted living facility, we expect them to be cared for and protected. However, that is not always the case. Sometimes, nursing home residents are subject to terrible treatment. The following are examples of different forms of abuse and neglect that can take place in nursing homes:
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) lists the following as examples of elder abuse:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Confinement or isolation
- Passive neglect, which is the failure of a caregiver to provide an elder with food, clothing, shelter or medical care
- Willful deprivation
- Financial exploitation
The NCOA reports that about one in ten Americans over age 60 have experienced some form of elder abuse, and estimates can range as high as 5 million elders being abused each year. Elder abuse is woefully underreported with one study estimating that only about one in 14 cases of abuse are reported to authorities.
What are the legal rights of nursing home residents?
CMS, the federal healthcare agency with oversight for nursing homes that receive federal funding has published this list of nursing home residents’ rights and protections under federal law. Nursing homes are required to list these items and give all new residents a copy of this list:
- The right to be treated with dignity and respect.
- The right to be informed in writing about services and fees before you enter the nursing home.
- The right to manage your own money or to choose someone else you trust to do this for you.
- The right to privacy, and to keep and use your personal belongings and property as long as it doesn’t interfere with the rights, health, or safety of others.
- The right to be informed about your medical condition, medications, and to see your own doctor. You also have the right to refuse medications and treatments.
- The right to have a choice over your schedule (for example, when you get up and go to sleep), your activities and other preferences that are important to you.
- The right to an environment more like a home that maximizes your comfort and provides you with assistance to be as independent as possible.
What are some signs of nursing home abuse or neglect?
An article in NextAvenue.org lists the following six signs of nursing home neglect to look out for if you have a loved one in nursing home care:
- Poor personal hygiene. Lack of personal hygiene may be one of the first and most visible signs that nursing home staff are not attending to a loved one’s needs every day.
- Unsanitary living conditions. When you walk the halls of a nursing home there should not be any pronounced, negative odors in the air. The place should be clean, and the residents should be clean and have good hygiene.
- The appearance of malnutrition. A study published in the National Library of Medicine estimates that about 20% of nursing home residents had some form of malnutrition.
- Loss or lack of mobility. The nursing home should make sure that the staff helps residents to move, be active and exercise as much as possible.
- Unexplained injuries. Broken bones, bruises or head injuries might indicate that a resident is being abused or neglected.
- Psychological issues. A nursing home resident who is being abused might show fear of their caregivers and be reluctant to talk about what is happening to them.
One thing you can do when you have a loved one in a nursing home is to visit as often as possible and make some of your visits unannounced. Another thing you can do is to make sure that you report any sign of abuse or neglect to the appropriate authorities.
How to report elder abuse in Alabama
The Alabama department of Senior Services in Montgomery has published The Elder Abuse Protection Toolkit, which is full of information and resources for preventing elder abuse and neglect.
Alabama Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection:
- Adult Abuse Hotline: 1-800-458-7214
Alabama Department of Public Health:
- Abuse in a nursing home: 1-800-356-9596
- Abuse in an assisted living facility: 1-866-873-0366
Elder Justice and Advocacy Program:
- Phone: 334-242-5743
- Toll-Free: 877-425-2243
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reports can be made anonymously
How much does It cost to hire a nursing home abuse lawyer?
At Mezrano Law Firm, we accept nursing home abuse cases on contingency. This means that you do not pay attorney fees until we have recovered compensation for you. So, you can enjoy the benefit of working with an experienced Mobile nursing home abuse lawyer, but you do not have to pay for it up front. We get paid a percentage of your settlement or jury verdict.
If you have a loved one who is being mistreated in a nursing facility, you don’t have to worry about coming up with the money to pay for a lawyer first because we advance the costs of your case. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.
Trusted representation for victims of nursing home abuse and negligence
After learning that your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect at a nursing home, you may be wondering about what your legal options are. At Mezrano Law Firm, we are here to fight for justice for your loved one. You may schedule a no obligation consultation at one of our offices by calling 205-206-6300 or filling out our contact form to discuss your case with a compassionate Mobile nursing home abuse lawyer today.
If you have a case, you have a lawyer. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you.