Birmingham Lawyers for Poor Sanitation in Nursing Homes
Have you or someone you love suffered abuse at the hands of a nursing home? Were you injured by poor sanitation practices or substandard care? If so, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries by filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
The Birmingham nursing home abuse attorneys of Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP have been helping residents of North Central Alabama get money for their injuries for over two decades, and they know how to assist victims of nursing home abuse. Call us today at (205) 324-1212 for a free consultation, and let us help you determine if you’re owed restitution for poor sanitation at a nursing home.
What is Poor Sanitation in a Nursing Home?
One of the common forms of nursing home abuse is neglecting sanitation. Nursing home staff members are charged with maintaining a sanitary environment for residents, and if they neglect this duty, serious injury can result. This neglect is exacerbated by the frail condition of many nursing home residents, who may be physically or mentally unable to maintain their own personal hygiene without assistance. Immune systems weakened by age or illness are not able to fight off infection as easily as younger immune systems, and even a slight lapse in sanitation procedures in a nursing home can lead to bacterial and fungal infections, or worse.
Neglecting sanitation can lead to the following injuries and illnesses:
- Staph infection
- Fungal infections
What Are the Causes of Poor Sanitation in a Nursing Home?
There are several causes for poor sanitation in a nursing home, such as:
- Poor sanitation practices. Staff must be trained in proper methods to clean up spills, handle food, and help residents with their own hygiene. If they do not follow these procedures correctly, whether through negligent failure to perform their tasks or because they’re overloaded with work and cannot get to all their daily chores, injury or illness can result.
- Poorly trained staff. If the staff is not trained in proper sanitation practices, bacteria can build up in residents’ rooms and common areas and cause infections or illness.
- High staff turnover. Nursing homes are difficult places to work, and a high turnover rate is common. If the newly trained staff isn’t given proper instructions in cleaning the facility and the residents, poor sanitation can result.
- Lack of staff. According to the CDC, there are over 1.3 million Americans in approximately 15,600 nursing homes in the country. That’s an average of about 83 people per facility, and that number continues to grow. If the administrators are not able to keep adequate staff on hand to manage the residents, sanitation can be neglected.
What Areas of a Nursing Home Are Prone to Poor Sanitation?
The most obvious is restrooms. Many nursing home residents require assistance getting to and from the toilet, and accidents are common. If restrooms are not cleaned and disinfected regularly, germs and bacteria can build up and cause illness.
Another common hot spot is the nursing home’s kitchen. Like any commercial kitchen, this area must be cleaned at least once a day, and the staff must adhere to basic food safety procedures like wearing gloves to prepare food or hairnets covering their heads. If the staff is not trained properly, doesn’t adhere to local ordinances concerning food safety, or is too busy to clean properly due to a high workload, sanitary practices can be neglected.
Lastly, common areas can be prone to lack of sanitation. Any area where people gather and multiple hands touch multiple surfaces needs regular attention and disinfection. Neglecting sanitation in a common area can lead to illness for multiple residents.
What Should I Do if I Spot Unsanitary Conditions in a Nursing Home?
Here are some steps you can take to make sure unsanitary conditions in a nursing home are not allowed to persist:
- Notify staff or administrators. If this is the first time you’ve noticed sanitation problems, advise the staff and administrators and give them a chance to correct the problem. We all get overworked, and there’s a good chance the oversight was just that, an oversight only.
- Contact the nursing home ombudsman or family council. If the problem is not corrected in a short time, the next step is to contact the local ombudsman or family council. An ombudsman is a representative that acts as a liaison between residents, their families, and administration. Most nursing homes have either a volunteer ombudsman or hire one for their staff. You can also see if there is a family councillat the facility. This is a group of family members that meet regularly to discuss concerns or relay problems to the nursing home management with a unified voice.
- Contact your local APS and remove your family member from the facility. If the staff is given time to correct the sanitation issue, but it isn’t resolved to your satisfaction, it may be time to report the abuse and remove your family member from the nursing home. If your family member suffered abuse or neglect due to poor sanitation, it’s likely that other residents have suffered as well. Consider contacting Alabama Adult Protective Services and reporting the abuse as soon as possible.
- Retain legal counsel. If you or your family member was injured or suffered illness due to poor sanitation, it’s imperative that you hire a lawyer right away and begin reviewing your options for seeking compensation.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Poor Sanitation Nursing Home Abuse?
In a word, yes. Seeking compensation for injuries or filing a lawsuit against the nursing home for damages may seem extreme, but if you or a family member suffered due to another party’s neglect, you are owed restitution, and entering this information into the public record may prevent others from suffering the same fate.
Here are some reasons why hiring an attorney for your nursing home abuse case is important:
We know nursing home abuse. It’s an unfortunate fact that nursing home abuse is very common. The growing elder population means that abuse is growing more prevalent every year. A reputable attorney that’s familiar with nursing home abuse claims can help you build a claim that is solid, fact-based, and supported by evidence. We can also help you avoid novice mistakes and ensure that your claim is not rejected on a technicality.
We do all the work. When you hire an attorney for your nursing home abuse claim, you’re not just getting carefully worded letters or information on the law. You’re getting an advocate, someone to support you through a difficult time. Dealing with a vulnerable family member being neglected by the very people that were charged with their care is a terrifying experience, and we allow you to focus on what’s important to you while we build your claim, gather evidence, interview witnesses, and negotiate settlements. We work hard, so you don’t have to.
Insurance adjusters can be tricky. When you demand compensation for injuries sustained due to nursing home abuse, the claim will be handled by the nursing home’s insurance company. Insurance adjusters can be hard to handle and sometimes employ unscrupulous tactics to protect their insured from liability. They may try to convince you that a lawyer is unnecessary or ask why you’d want to split a settlement check with an attorney. They may even offer a settlement immediately after you file your claim as a kind of ‘good faith’ payment, hoping that you don’t notice it’s far less than you are due for your injuries. A good attorney can counter these methods and help get you the compensation you deserve.
Damages aren’t just physical. Compensation for damages is meant to help you recover from certain losses that you or your family suffered as a result of abuse, and these losses are sometimes not as straightforward as paying for medical bills or relocation to a new facility. Losses like emotional distress or loss of consortium can be hard to quantify. A good attorney can review previous cases for comparison and help you get compensation for all your injuries, mental and physical.
You may have agreed to arbitration in lieu of a trial. When you settled your loved one into the nursing home and were signing all the paperwork, the administration may have gotten you to sign an agreement that any dispute would be resolved with arbitration rather than a court hearing. Arbitration is not user-friendly for the victim and their families. The attorneys at Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP have experience with successfully managing arbitration for our clients, and we want to do the same for you.
Why Hire Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP for My Poor Sanitation Nursing Home Abuse?
Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP has been in operation in Birmingham for over twenty years. We take the time to build relationships with our clients and establish a bond of trust, which allows us to gain a better appreciation for each unique case and vigorously pursue compensation for those that need it most.
We take the time to give back to our communities by supporting several charitable organizations and causes such as United Way, Ronald McDonald House of Alabama, and St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
We’re also good at what we do. We get results for our clients, and we have the record to prove it. We can’t guarantee a positive outcome for your case, but we will apply the same knowledge and skills to your case that we’ve used to obtain over $200 million in compensation for our clients in the past.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse due to poor sanitation, don’t wait any longer. Our staff is waiting to take your call. Call Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP at (205) 324-1212 for a free consultation, and let us help you get your life back after nursing home abuse.