Nursing Home Abuse in Alabama
It's sad to say, but nursing home abuse in Alabama occurs all too frequently. These older Americans, who are among our nation's most vulnerable, are often the target of physical abuse, mental abuse, financial abuse and neglect. Unfortunately, elder abuse—and Alabama nursing home abuse in particular—often goes unreported. That's because the abuser is often a caretaker and signs of abuse, such as bruises or broken bones, may be attributed to the person's failing health. If you suspect that a loved one is an abuse victim, you should immediately contact an Alabama nursing home abuse attorney for legal assistance.
Types of Alabama Nursing Home Abuse
Alabama elder abuse and nursing home abuse can include:
- Physical abuse: Physical abuse includes any physical actions designed to injure, intimidate or kill someone else. It can include hitting, shoving, pinching, twisting limbs and even drugging, restraining or confining the elderly.
- Sexual abuse: A subset of physical abuse, sexual abuse includes non-consensual sexual contact, including sexual assault and rape. In some instances, a sexual abuse victim may consent to sexual contact because they have mental incapacity and don't understand what they are agreeing to.
- Verbal abuse: Also known as mental abuse or psychological abuse, verbal abuse can include yelling at a nursing home resident, threats of violence or intimidation, ridicule and blaming the victim for their actions or injuries.
- Financial abuse: Financial exploitation is among the most common types of Alabama elder abuse. Often the elderly will trust others to handle their finances and then find that their money has been misused. The elderly are also susceptible to financial scams, identity theft, investment fraud and phony pleas for charitable donations.
- Healthcare abuse and fraud: Many elderly are enrolled in Medicare, and unethical healthcare providers take advantage of the elderly by performing unnecessary tests and billing for medical equipment and services that are never provided.
If you or a loved one suspects you're a victim of nursing home abuse, Alabama nursing home abuse attorneys can help you take legal action to stop the abuse and punish the abuser.
How an Alabama Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help
Physical abuse, verbal abuse, financial abuse and sexual abuse are all crimes—regardless of the age of the victim. And suspected abuse should be reported to Alabama law enforcement authorities as soon as possible. However, simply reporting the crime doesn't guarantee that the abuser will be charged, tried and found guilty of abuse.
Even if law enforcement is investigating the suspected nursing home abuse, civil remedies are also available if you, a family member or a loved one has suffered Alabama nursing home abuse. Your Alabama nursing home abuse lawyer can guide you through the process of filing a civil lawsuit against the abuser and the nursing home facility. There are a couple reasons to consider a civil lawsuit, even if prosecutors are pursuing criminal charges.
First, it is more difficult for an accused abuser to be found guilty in criminal court than it is to win a civil lawsuit against an accused abuser. That's because criminal guilt requires the judge or jury to believe the abuser is guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt." To win a civil nursing home abuse lawsuit, on the other hand, the plaintiff only needs a "preponderance of the evidence" as proof in a civil lawsuit. Your Alabama nursing home abuse lawyers can explain these requirements in more detail.
Second, even if the abuser is found guilty of criminal abuse charges, the victim will not be compensated. In order to recoup financial losses or payment for medical treatment required as a result of the abuse, you will have to file a civil lawsuit against the suspected abuser. Abuse victims may also be able to collect punitive damages, which are designed to punish the abuser for his or her actions. A nursing home abuse attorney in Alabama can help estimate how much an abuse victim could expect to collect in a civil lawsuit.
Finding & Hiring Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys in Alabama
As soon as you suspect that a loved one has been a victim of abuse, you should hire a nursing home abuse lawyer in Alabama. When hiring an attorney, you want someone who has experience representing nursing home and elder abuse victims, and has handled cases similar to yours. This expertise will prove invaluable when presenting evidence to law enforcement and filing a civil case against the abuser.
If you don't know where to find an Alabama nursing home abuse lawyer, then you've come to the right website. That's because Attorneys.com offers a free service which can connect you with nursing home abuse lawyers in Alabama—whether you live in Huntsville, Birmingham, Mobile or elsewhere in the state. To use our service, complete the form on this page or phone us at 877-913-7222. We'll ask you a few simple questions designed to help connect you with a suitable lawyer. Then we'll quickly provide you with the name of a local lawyer. You can call the lawyer immediately or you can expect to receive a call from the attorney within two business days.