When it comes to seeking damages for personal injury, a lot depends on having a clear understanding of the definitions of words. However, it's not enough to know how Webster's dictionary defines something. The critical definition is the one that is spelled out in the text of the law that deals specifically with the issue in question.
For example, Alabama's legal code attempts to be very specific in laying out the kinds of actions that constitute elder abuse and neglect. The array of possibilities makes it obvious that many factors can be involved. And residents of nursing homes are often not in a condition to be able to identify when such conditions exist. Just as often, they are ill equipped to be able to say anything about it.
In a very real sense, it takes a village of concerned family or friends to pull together to ensure that any pattern of apparent neglect is spotted and confronted. Without action, it's possible that many will suffer.
So how does the law in Alabama approach this subject? Here are some specifics.
Let's start with caregiver. The law says a caregiver is any individual responsible for the care of a protected person. It can be a family member, an acquaintance or someone contracted for the job.
An adult in need of protective services is anyone 18 or older unable to care for themselves, look out for their own well being or protect themselves from those who do them harm.
Specific to activities, the law defines abuse as any willful infliction of physical or emotional injury by a caregiver. Sexual abuse includes criminal actions as described from Â§ 13A-6-60 to Â§ 13A-6-70 in the Alabama Code.
Neglect may be claimed if a caregiver fails to properly feed or clothe a protected person. It may also be claimed if medical care isn't provided or is withheld.
If a caregiver taps assets of a protected person without proper authorization, that can bring a claim of exploitation under the law.
Anyone with suspicions about possible abuse, neglect or exploitation should speak with an attorney.