Nursing home neglect has always been a problem in Alabama. However, nursing homes have been hit particularly hard during the coronavirus pandemic. Deaths caused by nursing home neglect have surged in the last two years. Some nursing homes have failed to provide residents the care they need. Some victims have died as a result of aspiration because they were not getting help eating meals. Others have died of dehydration or from infections due to poor hygiene.
Many nursing homes are not allowing visitors because of the threat of the coronavirus, making it difficult for family members to check in on their loved ones at nursing homes. Experts have said that tens of thousands of elderly residents in nursing homes have died from neglect and sorrow during the coronavirus pandemic. More specifically, a nursing home expert who studied these fatalities found 40,000 excessive deaths beyond the normal rate of fatalities in nursing homes between March 2020 and November 2020.
The Difference Between Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home abuse and neglect are two different occurrences. Sometimes people assume that nursing home abuse only involves physical injuries caused by doctors or nurses intentionally hurting vulnerable victims. However, nursing home neglect is a type of abuse, as well. Nursing home neglect happens when a staff member fails to care for a nursing home resident. The staff member may not intend to harm the resident but could be careless, forgetful, or negligent by failing to do their job properly. Even an unintentional type of nursing home neglect can cause serious injuries. For example, failing to provide a resident’s diabetes medication on time could cause kidney failure or death.
Types of Nursing Home Neglect
There are many different types of nursing home neglect. However, every nursing home neglect case involves a staff member failing to meet a residence’s reasonable health care and safety needs. Medical neglect may include the following:
- Failure to provide medication when needed
- Improper medical care for existing health problems like dementia or diabetes
- Not regularly moving immobile seniors, putting them at risk of bedsores
- Not reporting signs of illnesses or infections to doctors or nurses
- Failure to keep residents clean and wearing clean clothes
- Failure to aid with toileting
- Failure to ensure residents receive enough food and water
- Failure to supervise residents who have difficulty walking
- Failure to supervise residents who have difficulty eating on their own
- Emotional or social neglect
Who is Legally Responsible for Nursing Home Neglect?
Nursing homes have a duty to use reasonable care to keep their residence safe from harm. When a resident has neglected a nursing home, the resident has a right to bring a lawsuit against the nursing home. In many cases, victims bring a lawsuit against the nursing home itself for negligent hiring or negligent supervision of employees.
If the nursing homes fail to provide a safe living space, they would be liable for any injuries that result. It is also possible that there could be a third party who is liable for your loved one’s injuries. For example, if a transportation company negligently dropped your loved one, causing a broken hip while transporting him from the nursing home, they may be liable.
When Can I Sue for Nursing Home Neglect?
If your loved one has been neglected in a nursing home, causing injuries or death, it is wise that you reach out to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Depending on the facts in your case, you may be able to file a lawsuit. Taking legal action in a nursing home neglect case is important. Not only will it allow you to pursue financial compensation to cover your damages, but it will also hold a nursing home accountable for their neglect. In Alabama, victims of other people’s negligence have a right to bring a personal injury lawsuit. Victims can seek economic and non-economic damages for their injuries.
Contact a Skilled Alabama Nursing Home Lawyer Today
At Heninger Garrison Davis, we have a proven track record of success in nursing home neglect cases. Our personal injury lawyers Advocate diligently for our clients so they can recover the compensation they deserve. We also offer new clients a free consultation to ask questions and discuss their cases without a financial obligation. Contact Heninger Garrison Davis today to schedule your free initial consultation.