Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit Guide

As we care for our aging loved ones, we expect that they will receive the highest level of care and respect in nursing homes. Unfortunately, there are times when this expectation is not met, leading to potential nursing home abuse or neglect. Let's go over everything that a nursing home abuse lawsuit covers.

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Call us at (205) 654-8146 24/7 to arrange to speak with a personal injury lawyer about your case, or contact us through the website today.


What is Nursing Home Abuse?

Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit Guide

Abuse in nursing homes refers to any situation in which a nursing home resident is subjected to harm through intentional actions or neglect by caregivers or nursing home staff. There are various forms of abuse in nursing homes that can occur, which are usually categorized as follows:

Physical Abuse

This is typically the most obvious form of abuse and involves any kind of physical harm caused to the resident, including hitting, slapping, pushing, or improperly using restraints.

Emotional or Psychological Abuse

This type of abuse is not as easily detectable as physical abuse but can be equally harmful. It includes actions such as yelling, threatening, humiliating, isolating, or ignoring nursing home patients.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse involves any non-consensual sexual contact with the resident. It can include touching, rape, or forcing the resident to watch explicit material.

Financial Abuse

Financial Abuse involves the illegal or unauthorized use of a resident's funds or assets. It may involve theft, fraud, or manipulation to get the resident to hand over money or property.


This involves failing to provide the necessary care for the resident to live a safe and healthy life. It can involve not providing adequate food, water, medication, medical care, or assistance with personal hygiene.

What To Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse

In Alabama, the Alabama Department of Senior Services is tasked with investigating claims of nursing home neglect or abuse. If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, it's crucial to report it immediately and consult with an experienced nursing home abuse law firm.

Recognize the Signs of Abuse or Neglect

Before any legal action can occur, it is important to be aware of the signs of nursing home abuse or neglect. These may include:

  • Unexplained injuries or illnesses
  • Malnutrition or dehydration
  • Fear or anxiety around certain staff members
  • Changes in behavior or mood
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Unsanitary living conditions

Document the Abuse

Once you suspect abuse or neglect, begin documenting everything related to the case. This includes:

  • Medical records
  • Pictures of injuries or unsanitary conditions
  • Notes of conversations with your loved one, staff, and other residents
  • Any changes in financial circumstances, especially unexplained expenditures

Report the Abuse

Next, report the abuse to the proper authorities. In Alabama, you should report it to the Alabama Department of Senior Services and to the local law enforcement if the situation is severe or immediate action is required.

Consult with a Nursing Home Attorney

Contact an experienced nursing home negligence or abuse attorney at Mezrano Law Firm. Our team can help you understand your legal rights, navigate the legal system, and work to protect your loved one.


Once engaged, our nursing abuse lawyers will begin a thorough investigation of the alleged abuse. We will gather evidence, interview witnesses, review medical records, and consult with experts as needed.

Filing the Lawsuit

After the investigation, if we find enough evidence to support the claim of abuse or neglect, we will file a nursing home abuse lawsuit. The complaint will outline the allegations and ask for specific relief, such as monetary damages.


During the discovery process, both sides will exchange information related to the case. This might include witness testimonies, expert opinions, and other evidence.

Settlement Negotiation or Trial

Many nursing home abuse cases are resolved through settlement negotiations without the need for a trial. However, if a fair settlement cannot be reached, we are prepared to take the case to trial. Our goal is to ensure the best possible outcome for you and your loved one.


After the trial, if the judgment is in your favor, the long-term care facility will be ordered to compensate for the damages caused. If the judgment is not in your favor, there may be options to appeal the decision.

Legal Rights of Nursing Home Residents

In Alabama, as well as in the rest of the United States, nursing home residents have certain rights that are protected by law. These rights are established by both federal and state statutes to ensure the wellbeing of all nursing home residents. The rights include:

1. Right to Be Fully Informed:

Residents have the right to be fully informed of the available services and the charges for each service. They must also be informed about facility rules and regulations, including a written copy of residents' rights.

2. Right to Complain:

Residents have the right to present grievances without fear of retaliation and have their complaints promptly resolved.

3. Right to Participate in One's Own Care:

Residents have the right to participate in decisions about their medical treatment, including the right to refuse medication and treatment.

4. Right to Privacy and Confidentiality:

Residents have the right to privacy in all aspects of their care. This includes privacy in their medical care, personal care, and during visits. Residents also have the right to confidential treatment of their personal and medical records.

5. Right to Dignity and Respect:

Residents have a right to be treated with consideration, respect, and dignity, including freedom from mental and physical abuse, corporal punishment, involuntary seclusion, and physical and chemical restraints.

6. Right to Visits:

Residents have the right to receive visitors of their choosing at the time of their choosing, provided that the visit does not infringe upon the rights of other residents.

7. Right to Make Independent Choices:

Residents may make personal choices, such as what to wear and how to spend free time.

If a nursing home violates these rights, a nursing home abuse lawyer near me can file a lawsuit. If you suspect that a nursing home is infringing on the rights of a loved one, consult an experienced attorney experienced in nursing home abuse cases, such as those at the Mezrano Law Firm, who can provide guidance based on your specific circumstances.

Who Can File a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit in Alabama?

Filing a lawsuit for nursing home abuse often depends on the specific circumstances of the case. In general, the following parties may be able to file a lawsuit in cases of nursing home abuse:

1. The Victim

If the nursing home resident is mentally competent and capable of initiating legal action, they have the right to file a lawsuit themselves.

Family Members

If the nursing home resident is not capable of initiating legal action—due to mental incapacity, severe physical limitations, or fear—family members may often file a lawsuit on their behalf.

Legal Guardian or Conservator

If a legal guardian or conservator has been appointed for the nursing home resident, that individual typically has the legal authority to file a lawsuit on the resident's behalf.

Executor or Administrator of the Estate

If the nursing home resident has passed away, the executor or administrator of the resident's estate can file a lawsuit for wrongful death if the death was due to abuse or neglect.

Who Can Be Held Responsible for Nursing Home Abuse?

Nursing home abuse can arise from various sources, and several parties could potentially be held responsible in a nursing home abuse lawsuit. Identifying all parties responsible is critical to ensure justice for the victim and prevent future abuse. The following parties may be held responsible for nursing home abuse:

1. Nursing Home Staff

ndividual staff members may be held liable if their direct actions, such as physical abuse or neglect, lead to harm. This can include nurses, nursing assistants, therapists, and any other members of the staff.

Nursing Home Management

The management of the nursing home could be held liable if they fail to properly hire, train, or supervise their staff. They could also be held accountable if they fail to maintain safe and sanitary conditions, do not provide adequate medical treatment, or otherwise neglect their duty of care to the residents.

Nursing Home Owners

The owners of the nursing home can be held responsible for abuse if it can be demonstrated that they failed to provide adequate resources for resident care, including staffing, equipment, and facilities. They could also be liable if they failed to ensure proper policies and procedures to prevent abuse and neglect were in place and enforced.

Third-Party Contractors

If the abuse was committed by a contracted third-party, such as a physical therapist or a visiting doctor, they could potentially be held liable.

Pharmaceutical Companies

In some cases, if medication contributed to the harm, the pharmaceutical company could potentially be held accountable, especially if there was a failure to communicate known risks or side effects.

How To Prove Nursing Home Abuse

Proving nursing home abuse can be a complex task and typically involves demonstrating the following key elements:

1. Duty of Care

First, you must establish that the nursing home or caregiver owed a duty of care to the resident. In most cases, this is straightforward to prove, as nursing homes have a legal obligation to provide a safe environment and proper care to their residents.

2. Breach of Duty

Next, you must demonstrate that the nursing home or caregiver failed to meet this duty of care. This could be through actions that they took (such as physical abuse) or actions they failed to take (such as neglect).

3. Causation

You must then show that this breach of duty directly caused harm to the resident. This can often be the most challenging part of a case, as it involves demonstrating that the abuse or neglect was the direct cause of the harm, not an underlying health condition or another factor.

4. Damages

Finally, you must show that the resident suffered damages as a result of this harm. This could include physical injuries, medical bills, emotional distress, or other forms of harm.

Evidence that can help to prove nursing home abuse might include:

  • Medical records showing unexplained injuries or health issues
  • Photographs of injuries or poor living conditions
  • Testimony from witnesses, including other residents or staff
  • Expert testimony from medical professionals or elder care specialists
  • Records or documentation of previous complaints or issues at the facility

Statute of Limitations for Nursing Home Lawsuits in Alabama

The statute of limitations for filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit typically falls under personal injury law, which means you generally have two years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit.

However, exceptions may apply depending on the specifics of the case. For instance, if the abuse was not discovered right away, the court might allow the lawsuit to be filed within a certain period from the date the abuse was discovered (or reasonably should have been discovered).

Damages You Can Pursue in a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit

In a nursing home abuse lawsuit, several types of damages can typically be pursued to compensate the victim for their losses. These damages can be categorized into economic, non-economic, and in some cases, punitive damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are losses that arise from an injury or harm to another’s property, business, or finances. Economic damages include:

  • Past medical expenses (related to the accident)
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Repair costs for damaged property

Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are types of damages in personal injury cases that cannot be quantified or measured. These include:

  • pain and suffering
  • emotional distress
  • inconvenience
  • destruction of one's quality of life
  • scarring or disfigurement

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are a type of legal damages that a court will award in order to punish the wrongdoer for egregious misconduct or to set an example for other potential violators. They are generally in addition to any other compensatory damages that were awarded.

Special Damages

Special damages, also known as consequential damages, are those that do not occur directly from a breach but are considered a consequence of that breach. They include economic losses such as lost profits or the cost of repair or replacement. They may also include other losses such as emotional distress due to the breach.

Contact Mezrano Law Firm Today

Our consultations are always FREE, contact us today.

FREE Consultations 

Call us at (205) 654-8146 24/7 to arrange to speak with a personal injury lawyer about your case, or contact us through the website today.

Free Consultation

Contact Us Today

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