Many of Alabama’s most vulnerable citizens rely on institutions in Birmingham and across the state for their day-to-day care. These facilities have a sacred trust placed in their hands, and when they don’t respect it as they should, they can be held financially liable for the consequences. Tragically, this happens all too frequently, especially as the quality of the institutional care industry has declined markedly over the past decade.
If you are visiting this page, you are likely concerned that your loved one suffered harm in an institutional, residential, rehab, or nursing home facility. What happened was wrong, and the attorneys with Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP want to make it right. We are actively investigating abuse and neglect injuries in these facilities and can put our considerable resources to work on your behalf. Contact us today at (205) 324-1212 for a free consultation with a Birmingham institutional abuse lawyer at no upfront cost or obligation.
Why do I need an institutional abuse lawyer?
Time is of the essence in the aftermath of institutional abuse, and a lawyer can help you act quickly to protect your rights. Critical evidence like incident reports, medical documentation, and surveillance footage may be in the hands of the facility that allowed the abuse to happen. And without this evidence, you could struggle to substantiate your case. An attorney can recover and secure this vital material before it can be lost or destroyed.
Furthermore, these institutional care facilities are often owned by large corporations that protect their reputations and their profits with powerful legal teams. Without experienced representation of your own, you could find yourself severely outmatched in your fight for the justice and accountability you and your loved one deserve.
At Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP, we are proud to stand up for those hurt by institutional abuse and neglect. The people we represent are not just clients – they are our friends and neighbors. Our legal team thoroughly investigates cases of institutional living abuse and neglect, and we call on our substantial resources to help us turn the evidence we uncover into the most robust cases possible. We aren’t afraid to go up against big defense teams at the negotiating table or in court, and our reputation of success speaks for itself.
So contact us immediately if you believe your loved one has been the victim of abuse in an institutional, residential, rehab, or nursing home facility in Birmingham or Jefferson County. Our lawyers provide a 100% free valuation of your case when you call (205) 324-1212.
Signs of Institutional Abuse
The best way to identify institutional abuse is to be attentive to your loved ones’ behavior and well-being. The following telltale physical signs might suggest that your loved one has suffered abuse in an institutional setting:
- Broken bones
- Hand and face injuries
Not every indicator of abuse leaves a physical mark. Some are psychological or behavioral, such as:
- Sudden mood swings or personality changes
- Nervousness around certain people or groups
- Requesting to be put in a room by themselves for long periods of time
Who is Most at Risk for Abuse
Sadly, the people most in need of special care are also at greatest risk of abuse, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that people with disabilities are up to 10 times likelier to suffer from violence, neglect, or abuse than the rest of the population. Furthermore, the Department of Justice (DOJ) reports that about 10% of those 65 and older will suffer some form of abuse in a given year.
The power disparity between caregivers and those in need of care plays a role in this abuse. People with disabilities who live in institutional settings depend on their caregivers for support, including assistance with basic, everyday physical needs. These same caregivers tend to be the source of abuse, forcing the victim to choose between ongoing harm and an uncertain future.
Cases we Handle
Abuse can take many forms. At Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP, we are prepared to help those who’ve suffered:
- Physical Abuse— When staff physically abuse, assault, or mishandle the residents in their care, those residents may suffer serious injuries, such as fractures, lacerations, sprains, internal bleeding, traumatic brain injuries, or spinal cord injuries. Unexplained cuts, bruises, or broken eyeglasses are common signs of physical abuse.
- Neglect— Some facilities simply fail to provide the necessary assistance to residents. Inattentive staff put residents at risk of being injured in falls, taking incorrect medications, overdosing on medications, or simply living in unacceptable conditions. Look for signs of possible malnutrition which may indicate your loved one has not been given proper meals.
- Brain Bleed– Elderly residents are especially at risk for head injuries like concussions, traumatic brain injuries, and brain bleeds, which can have severe long-term repercussions.
- Falls–The facility and staff have a responsibility to evaluate every resident’s fall risk and provide the appropriate supervision, support, and assistive devices necessary to keep them safe. Failure to do so can make them liable for the consequences.
- Dehydration– It’s the staff members’ job to monitor residents’ fluid intake, even when residents cannot alert them to their needs. Dehydration is dangerous at any age, but in this higher-risk population, it can lead to hospitalization.
- Malnutrition– The results of inadequate nutrition can be devastating, whether or not it was intentional. The facility’s staff is supposed to make sure the residents in their care are properly fed.
- Spinal Fusion Injuries– Older residents who’ve undergone spinal fusion surgery need special care. A nursing home and its staff could be to blame for injuries that result from their failure to provide this care.
- Insufficient Medical Care– When a resident’s injury goes untreated or their mental or physical decline goes unnoticed, their caregivers have put their overall health and well-being in jeopardy.
- Preventable Accidents– When you chose to place your loved one in the care of a particular facility, you trusted the staff and administration to care for them and protect them from harm. If your loved one was injured in an accident that should have been prevented, you may be entitled to significant compensation.
Your Family Could Be Owed Compensation
Victims of institutional abuse often face lifelong repercussions from their traumatic experiences. An experienced institutional abuse lawyer in Birmingham can help you demand compensation for all that your loved one suffered, which could include money for the following:
- Medical expenses and rehabilitation costs
- Therapeutic and counseling expenses
- Legal fees
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
Every case is different. An experienced attorney can give you a better idea of what you could be entitled to after carefully reviewing yours.
Contact Us Today for Help
The experienced Birmingham personal injury lawyers with Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP have been helping injury victims throughout Alabama for more than two decades. We understand the tremendous toll that institutional abuse takes, not only on victims themselves but on their entire family.
If your loved one was abused or injured at an institution in the greater Birmingham, Alabama, area, get in touch with us immediately. We understand you may be under a lot of emotional strain, especially wondering how you are going to pay for the medical bills related to the abuse your loved one suffered. Don’t worry: you won’t have to pay anything unless we win your case.
Call our Birmingham institutional abuse attorneys at (205) 324-1212 or contact us online for a free consultation. We’re ready to review your case, advise you on your options, and explain how we can help you in your fight for accountability and justice.