Huntsville Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
The elderly deserve the best from nursing homes and rarely get it. Unfortunately, in many instances, the elderly are neglected and suffer injury or death.
That’s why our Huntsville nursing home abuse lawyers are here to help. We take nursing home abuse and neglect cases seriously and have significant experience in this area of the law.
Our job is to get to the bottom of what happened. To find answers. To uncover the truth.
How We Handle Nursing Home Abuse and Negligence Cases
Our nursing home abuse lawyers evaluate these cases with a team of experts to see if medical negligence occurred. Here’s our process for evaluating a nursing home abuse or neglect case:
- Schedule a free consultation to explain the process and the Alabama nursing home laws
- Obtain all medical records and, if applicable, the death certificate
- Collect photos of the injuries and any other relevant evidence
- Compile the ADPH deficiency data on the at-fault nursing home
- Compile the CMS staffing data on the at-fault nursing home
- Have our client and other witnesses write out their recollection of what occurred
- Obtain a nursing home consulting expert witness to review the records, photos, and written statements
If our expert believes the nursing home violated the standard of care and this caused injury or death, then we pursue the case.
We review the case for free and we only get paid if we take the case and win. We aggressively litigate these cases until we expose the root cause of the neglect and are able to achieve financial compensation for the harm suffered.
How Are Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Paid?
If we do not win the case, we do not get paid. Therefore, there is no financial risk to you by having our nursing home abuse lawyers review your case.
Like other types of personal injury claims, our attorneys are paid on a contingency fee basis. Additionally, we also recoup our costs, such as expert witness fees and filing fees, from the settlement or verdict.
We Have Experience Handling Cases Against Nursing Homes
Attorney Tommy Siniard has handled the most nursing home injury and death cases of any attorney in north Alabama. For that reason, in the Huntsville legal community, he is considered one of the best nursing home lawyers in Alabama.
The attorneys of Siniard Law have reached successful settlements in hundreds of cases against north Alabama nursing homes.
Types of Nursing Home Injuries
The most common cases of neglect we see involve
- bedsores (i.e. pressure ulcers)
- fractured bones
- head injuries
By far the most preventable injury/complication are “bedsores” or pressure ulcers. Failure to reposition the patient is the primary cause of this injury. Listen to more about nursing home pressure ulcers:
Why So Many Injuries Happen in Nursing Homes
In our experience, the neglect isn’t because of bad nursing. Rather, the neglect results from the corporations that own and manage nursing homes who put profit over patient safety.
Nursing homes reduce the amount of nursing personnel in the nursing home to make a higher profit. When there are not enough nursing personnel for the number of elderly patients, then many preventable injuries and deaths occur.
It is not the nurses and nursing assistants who are negligent. It is the for-profit corporations that run these facilities. Our job is to make them pay when they forget what’s most important — the health and safety of the elderly. — Tommy Siniard
The 6 Steps to Take if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
If you suspect nursing home neglect or abuse, there are 6 steps you should take:
- Remain calm: Do not let your emotions cause you to do something you will regret.
- Gather evidence: Take pictures and videos. Obtain medical records and other relevant documents.
- Ask for a meeting: talk with the Director of Nursing at the nursing home to demand answers.
- Contact the AL Department of Public Heath: file a complaint on the ADPH website
- Contact the Ombudsman Program.
- Call a nursing home attorney.
For more details on these 6 steps, read our full article about the Six Steps.
Our Complete Guide to Nursing Home Abuse
Whether you are looking to find the best nursing home or looking to take legal action against one, we are the right resource of information related to nursing homes. If you suspect your family member is suffering nursing home abuse or neglect, read our Complete Guide to Nursing Home Abuse. It provides all of the information you need to know to take action.
How to Know Which Nursing Homes Are the Worst?
Read this helpful article to find out how to determine which nursing homes are best and which ones you should avoid. They are not all created equal and you need the best care for your loved one.
Nursing Home FAQs:
How do you prove nursing home negligence?
The first thing to do is obtain the patient’s medical records from the nursing home. In addition to the medical records, any photos, videos, and notes will likely be helpful. In Alabama, an expert witness must review the nursing home records and other evidence to determine whether the nursing home breached the standard of care. Generally speaking, a breach of the standard of care is similar to a healthcare provider making an “F” on their report card. We have a network of nursing home expert witnesses who review cases for our firm to determine whether there was a breach of the standard of care.
What should I do if I suspect the nursing home is abusing my mother or father?
Take all the pictures you can. Obviously, pictures are more powerful than words, whether it’s bruising, signs of dehydration, or that huge “goose egg” on your mother’s head. It’s possible that someday those photos could be compelling evidence in court. After you get photos, we always recommend you immediately notify the nursing home administrator or the director of nursing (“DON”) of your concerns. The. next step is to notify the Alabama Department of Public Health and fill out a complaint. Lastly, you should contact an attorney who handles nursing home abuse cases.
Are nursing home arbitration agreements enforceable?
It depends on who signed it and whether the patient was mentally competent at the time of the signature. The agreement will be enforceable if the patient signed the arbitration agreement and was competent. Conversely, it will not be enforceable if the patient signed it and was incompetent. If the patient’s family member signed the arbitration agreement on behalf of the patient, then whether it will be enforceable depends on whether the family member had a power of attorney and also depends on the competency of the patient.
What is nursing home arbitration?
Arbitration is a process that is both similar to a trial but different in many aspects. Like a trial, you present evidence about the case and get to make arguments. However, in arbitration, there is no judge and no jury. The arbitrator makes all decisions in the case – who wins, who loses, and whether the money will be paid or not. An arbitrator is a neutral third party (usually an older attorney or retired judge) that decides all of the issues in the case.
What nursing home injuries are usually the result of neglect or abuse?
The most common nursing home injury we see is what many people call “bedsores.” Medically speaking, “bedsores” are referred to as pressure ulcers, decubitus ulcers, or, more recently, pressure injuries. Pressure ulcers occur when a nursing home patient is not properly repositioned or is not provided adequate nutrition. The area surrounding the tailbone is the most common area of the body where a pressure ulcer develops. This is called a sacral pressure ulcer.
Other common injuries that result from nursing home negligence include broken bones and head injuries from falls, medication errors that cause health complications, and dehydration.
I’m not sure I want to file a nursing home lawsuit, but can I report a nursing home to law enforcement for their failures?
Absolutely. If you believe there has been nursing home negligence or abuse, you should contact the Alabama Department of Public Health to report a complaint. To fill out a report, go to the Alabama Department of Public Health’s reporting website. After that, the ADPH will notify you of the results.
Are there any laws about what nursing homes have to do for patients?
Yes, there are many such regulations. Federal and state regulations govern how nursing homes care for patients. If the nursing home does not follow these regulations, there is a strong argument to be made by a nursing home negligence lawyer that the nursing home was negligent. The regulations are found in 42 CFR § 483.