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The Sapp Law Firm, L.L.C.

1923 Third Ave. S.
Jasper, AL 35501

Toll Free: 888-821-0531
Phone: 205-282-4467
Fax: 205-221-5677
Nursing home residents are vulnerable to abuse or neglect from caregivers.
Even though abuse is notoriously underreported among nursing home residents (and those living in residential care communities or cared for by family or private caregivers), an estimated 10 percent of the elderly have been subjected to some form of abuse.
Abuse takes many forms, and can be perpetrated by a number of different trusted people. In a nursing home setting, abuse is most often at the hands of staff members, but it can also come from fellow residents or even visitors. The types of abuse being reported has also evolved in recent years, and not only includes traditional physical, mental and sexual abuse, but now also covers such issues as inappropriate social media exposure of residents (including graphic or mocking photos or videos of residents taken and posted without their knowledge or permission), financial abuse and even identity theft.
The issue of social media exposure and the invasion of residents' privacy has become so widespread that Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) last year introduced a federal law aimed at curbing the practice.
Indicators of abuse
Obviously, there are physical signs that could indicate the presence of abuse or neglect in a nursing home resident. The most obvious include:
  • Broken bones
  • Bruises (including black eyes or on extremities)
  • Sudden or unexplained weight loss
  • Bedsores (also called "pressure sores" or "decubitus ulcers")
  • Repeated falls
  • Wandering away/exposure to the elements
  • Marked change in personal grooming habits (for example, if a traditionally fastidious person that needs assistance with personal care suddenly started appearing without bathing or without his or her hair being brushed, it could indicate neglect)
Sometimes there aren't any obvious outward physical signs that abuse or neglect is occurring. In these cases, it may be more difficult to determine that abuse has occurred, but there are still signs that could indicate a problem. These include:
  • The resident shying away from or seeming afraid of particular staff members or fellow residents (this often is a tell-tale sign of verbal or sexual abuse)
  • Sudden onset anxiety or depression (often a manifestation of shame due to abuse)
  • A new reluctance to be left alone
  • Missing jewelry, heirlooms or other treasured objects
Inability to pay expenses at the nursing home or for incidentals (haircuts by a visiting beautician, bingo games, outings or other things that were previously funded could all indicate some form of financial abuse has occurred)
If someone you care about has been victimized while in a nursing home or other care facility, there are legal remedies available that can both put an end to the abuse and provide compensation for injuries. To learn more, contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney today by calling Sapp Law Firm at 205-282-4467 or sending an email.
Distracted driving has been the cause of many accidents in Alabama. While most people understand how texting or trying to put makeup on are distracting activities to do while driving, there are a lot of other ways in which people can be distracted. Knowing all the different kinds of distracted driving and how to prevent them from affecting a driving experience can save lives.
According to Distraction.gov, distractions compromise the safety of bystanders, passengers, and drivers. Anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the act of driving is considered distracted driving. To help prevent these distractions from impairing driving, motorists should be aware of how they are distracted, and educate each other so as to spread awareness:
  • Adjusting a radio, MP3 player, or CD player can take a driver’s attention away from the steering wheel.
  • A navigation system is also distracting if it is used while on the road. Even reading a map can be dangerous if done while on the road.|
  • Grooming activities, such as putting makeup on, removing blemishes, or touching hair are also distractions. If a driver’s eyes are on the little mirror in front of their face, they are not looking at the road ahead of them.
  • Drinking and eating can be a minor or a major distraction, but it is always distracting in some way.
  • Using a phone is particularly dangerous, especially when texting. An accident can happen in an instant, and typing a text message takes much longer than that. Texting uses a driver’s cognitive, manual, and visual attention.
People should be aware that the average distance traveled in five seconds at 55 miles per hour is a football field’s length. That is also the average time people look away from the road when they text, which equates to wearing a blindfold for that distance.
The details of how distraction works
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration provides a breakdown as to how distractions create issues while driving. The agency has isolated a couple main components: exposure, or frequency, and demand. If a driver is regularly doing an easy task, like lighting a cigarette, that task becomes a bigger problem the more it is repeated. If a driver is doing something that is very demanding of their attention, it is even worse than doing an easier task for the same amount of time. All in all, a driver should always be prepared to respond to critical events, which means giving the act of driving their full attention.
People who have been injured because of distracted drivers in Jasper might find they want to pursue litigation. An experienced local attorney may be able to help people get what they are entitled to by law.