legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Entrusting the well-being of your loved one to a group of professionals requires a great deal of confidence in the medical and nursing staff members looking after their health.
Most families hope that a nursing home will provide them with a decent quality of life. They never expect to learn that their spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, or child has suffered abuse or neglect after admittance to a Chicago nursing home.
As the U.S. population ages, substandard care and poor treatment of residents in nursing facilities continue to be a mostly hidden problem in our society.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), more than three million Americans reside in skilled nursing facilities, with nearly a million more in some assisted living facilities. Nearly one in three of these nursing homes fails to meet federal standards for safety and quality of care.
While the actual prevalence of abuse and neglect in long-term caregiving facilities remains unknown, experts believe it to be quite pervasive.
The NCEA and the Centers for Disease Control have concluded that due to challenges involved in gathering accurate data and deficiencies with state reporting, the vast majority of abuse nationwide likely goes unreported.
Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Committed to Your Case
Do you believe that your loved one was abused or neglected in a nursing home?
If so, contact the experienced Illinois personal injury attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center to get help in investigating your concerns today.
All of our nursing home abuse and neglect cases are handled on a contingency fee basis where there is never a legal fee charged unless we are successful in securing a recovery for your loved one and family.
If our law firm is unable to obtain a recovery, our services are completely free. Begin the process now and contact a top-rated Chicago nursing home abuse attorney near you for a free consultation.
Elder Abuse and Neglect in Illinois Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities
Sadly, nursing facilities in the state are not the exception to the national trend. Patients in nursing homes need to be conscious of the abuse and neglect that often occur in these facilities, so they can make sure their elderly friend receives proper care.
A Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services survey found that 252, or thirty-five percent, of nursing homes in the State of Illinois, had serious violations and deficiencies that rank them lower than the national average.
The study found that over thirty-seven percent of nursing homes in the State of Illinois failed to maintain required professional standards under federal law. More than fourteen percent used restraints on patients in an illegal manner.
You do not want to be part of these statistics. If someone you love has suffered from abuse or neglect in an Illinois nursing home, you should get in touch with Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys who handle cases across Illinois.
Contact the Illinois nursing home negligence lawyers at Nursing Home Law Center for a free initial case evaluation.
Our team will investigate your report and, if necessary, get started in filing a lawsuit against a responsible party to pay you for your damages.
Federal Regulations Governing Nursing Home Care
The U.S. Congress has enacted several laws designed to protect vulnerable elderly patients, which apply to all long-term care facilities in the United States.
In 1987, Congress passed the Nursing Home Reform Act establishing basic standards of care for nursing residents and set forth fundamental rights.
These include, among others, the right to:
- Be free from abuse, mistreatment, and neglect
- Be treated with dignity
- Make personal decisions
The Long-Term Care Ombudsman program created a network of advocates for residents in each state who investigate and attempt to resolve specific complaints involving abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a resident.
Illinois State Laws Designed To Protect Patients From Nursing Home Abuse
Several state laws govern the care that a nursing home resident receive in these facilities:
The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act outlines certain rights granted to nursing home residents, which include the right to manage one's financial affairs, to use one's personal property, to be offered respect and privacy, to be free of physical and chemical restraints, and to be protected from unlawful discrimination.
The Adult Protective Services Act defines "neglect" as a caregiver's failure to provide an elderly person with the necessities of life, including food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and more.
Employee suspecting that a resident is the victim of abuse, neglect, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, psychological harm, financial exploitation, sexual abuse, or self-neglect must report the abuse to the Department of Public Health.
The Illinois Act on the Aging outlines the services provided to older adults in nursing facilities. They must receive assistance with bathing, grooming, toileting, nail care, respiratory services, exercise, and positioning.
They must receive at least three meals a day, routine housekeeping services, personal laundry and linen services, assistance with daily living activities, medication management, and money management. A nursing facility must also provide 24-hour security for its elderly residents.
Any nursing home failing to meet the standards outlined in these laws could be cited and fined. Families should speak with an IL nursing home abuse lawyer about possible legal action if someone you love is a victim.
Elder Neglect Lawyers Serving Victims of Bed Sores, Falls, and Medication Errors
The nursing facility staff is responsible for providing every patient with a professional level of care at all times. Any deviation from the standard of care could result in numerous health hazards.
The following identified preventable consequences of abuse or neglect occurring nationwide. These problems could all lead to a potentially life-threatening injury.
Our attorneys have a successful track record of success when it comes to prosecuting cases involving abuse in nursing homes.
Pressure Sores (Bed Sores) in Nursing Home Residents
Physically disabled or immobile patients might be prone to developing pressure sores (also known as bed sores and pressure ulcers) in areas of the body where the patient's weight on a mattress or wheelchair goes unrelieved for an extended period.If not treated promptly, these sores can rapidly progress to a painful open wound, predisposing the patient to bacteria that can enter the body and infect vital organs. In some situations, the complications related to pressure sores may be fatal.
Nursing staff failing to attend to a patient's needs often results in a developing pressure wound. With proper care, nearly all facility-acquired bedsores are preventable, and most cases are traced to negligent care on behalf of a staff member.
Nursing Home Falls
Elderly patients are at risk of sustaining severe injuries from falling due to the aging process, which might be aggravated by medical conditions affecting bone density, motor function, or balance. Falls are the leading cause of death among patients over sixty-five.
Elderly people in a skilled nursing facility or rehabilitation center are at greater risk for falls than elderly persons living independently. Nursing care facilities need to ensure the risk of falls is not compounded by neglect and disregard for safety.
Lack of adequate supervision, environmental hazards such as wet floors, and failure to properly assist a patient getting in and out of a bed or wheelchair are common causes of severe falls in nursing homes. Elderly patients rely on staff to help them safely move from place to place.
Patients are most often dropped by nursing home staff during routine daily transfers due to overworked or poorly trained staff not following safety protocol or using poor judgment. A nursing home resident might sustain bone fractures, brain damage, and other internal injuries from falls.
Our home abuse lawyers have found that these injuries can impair the victims' quality of life in their final years.
Medication Errors in Nursing Homes
Errors with the administration of medication are usually the result of systematic neglect or inattention. Patients are often placed on increasingly more medications as they age.
A drug administration mistake could cause an adverse drug interaction. Their caregiver might administer medications at the wrong times or frequency, or the doctor might prescribe drugs without verifying their safety.
While the resulting injuries are usually not serious, some patients can suffer catastrophic harm simply because those responsible for their care failed to do their due diligence. There should be a multi-layered system in place to prevent these errors.
Our nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers examine the chain of responsibility to determine where things went wrong and which parties along the way failed to prevent the wrong medication or dose from being administered to the patient.
Nursing Home Abuse
Deliberate physical abuse is a concerning problem at nursing homes. Many abused victims are dependent, vulnerable, and incapable of fighting back.
Their perpetrators might be caregivers, fellow residents, families, or visitors. Many victims remain silent out of embarrassment or fear, so it is vital to recognize the signs of nursing home abuse to protect those you hold dear.
According to a 2010 national study reported by NCEA, over half of all nursing home staff members admitted to inflicting the following types of abuse involving physical violence, mental abuse, or neglect on patients within the prior year, with neglect accounting for two-thirds of those incidents.
The most commonly complained of abuse in nursing facilities is physical abuse by staff, followed by resident-on-resident incidents and psychological abuse.
If someone you love is physically or sexually assaulted by an employee with a history of abusive treatment toward patients, the facility can be held liable for the employee's actions.
Did your loved one suffer any forms of abuse or neglect? If so, the Chicago, IL nursing home injury attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center LLC can protect your loved one and family's legal rights and hold the facility responsible for their inattention and unacceptable actions.
Our office's impressive track record has held many caregiving facilities accountable for a patient's pressure sore, fall, or medication error.
We can help you recover damages for medical expenses or special care associated with the injury, pain caused by the injury, or wrongful death if a patient dies from related complications.
Contact our law firm for a free review of your case with nursing home abuse lawyers who can advise you of your legal options.
When You Should Pursue a Wrongful Death Action
In recent years, the state court system has seen a significant increase in wrongful death lawsuits involving injuries sustained by nursing home residents. Preventable death from infected bedsores, fall, or other negligent action occurs when residents do not receive proper care.Many neglected victims are vulnerable individuals unable to complain to anyone about the improper healthcare they receive. In many cases, the patient suffers severe pain and discomfort before their demise.No patient should ever die from a preventable injury. When negligence is involved, the surviving family members could take legal action, including filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible facility and nursing staff.A successful lawsuit often results in a monetary award at trial or negotiated out of court settlement.Do you suspect nursing home abuse involving the death of a loved one and family member? If so, contact the home abuse attorneys at the NHLC today for a free case review.
Telltale Signs of Illinois Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
The signs of abuse and neglect are sometimes subtle. Family members must be vigilant about spotting any signs listed below and promptly report issues to proper authorities and a personal injury attorney.
Some signs and red flags of nursing home neglect and cases of elder abuse are:
- Unchanged bed sheets
- Unwashed clothing
- Spoiled food
- Bruises and scratches
- Significant weight loss
- Depression or anxiety
- Financial exploitation
- Reports of sexual assault
- Broken bones and other physical injuries
- Crying or emotional outbursts
Unfortunately, many cases of elder abuse go unreported. If you suspect abuse of a family member, take action today and contact your local law enforcement and an attorney experienced with abuse cases involving elderly people.
Nursing Home Abuse Injury FAQs
Below are some frequently asked questions raised by families who have a loved one who is a victim of nursing home abuse.
We appreciate that many of these questions may give rise to additional questions or concerns and we encourage you to reach out to our law firm for a free consultation with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney who can address any questions or concerns you may have.
What Are the Six Types of Nursing Home Abuse?
According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), nursing center victims suffer six common types of abuse that involve:
- Physical assault through intimidation, bullying, chemical or physical restraint, isolation from others, aggression, and endangerment;
- Mental assault through manipulation, projection, displays of rage, staring, blaming, gaslighting, playing the victim card, and using the silent treatment to coerce their victims
- Verbal abuse through intimidating words, screaming, blaming games, personal attacks, projected vocal insults, and not apologizing when necessary
- Sexual assault through coercion, enticing fear, rage, jealousy, degrading sexual acts, sadistic sex, selfish appeals, sodomy, rape, inappropriate touching, indecent exposure, and sharing pornography
- Financial exploitation where caregivers, family, or other residents gain access to the victim's bank accounts, credit cards, and belongings through thievery or manipulation
- Negligence where the staff failed to meet the patient's needs in providing shelter, food, fluids, prescribed medications, therapies, and other necessary medical care
What Does Nursing Home Neglect Look Like?
According to the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ), cases involving mistreatment and neglect in nursing centers are often unreported, resulting in a decline of the resident's health and eventual death.
Victims and families might charge the nursing home staff with negligence if they fail to provide everyday necessities, including:
- Personal hygiene assistance
- Health and medical care
- Prescribed medications administered according to doctor's orders
- Emotional support
- Necessities including shelter, food, water, and participation in activities with others
What Are the Signs That a Loved One Has Been Abused in a Long Term Care Facility?
According to the National Institutes of Health, vulnerable adults in nursing homes, assisted living and other long-term care facilities are susceptible to sexual assault, neglect, physical abuse, financial exploitation, and emotional distress by the staff, families, and others.
Typical indicators involving cases of elder abuse (or nursing home negligence) occurring in a skilled nursing facility include:
- Chemical restraint (extreme sedation)
- Blackened and swollen eyes, burns, welts, bruising, lacerations, and rope marks
- Bloodied, stained, or torn underclothing
- Unexplained genital or anal bleeding
- Unexpected behavioral changes
- Emotional agitation and signs of withdrawal
- Unexplained bruising in the genital area and around the breasts
- Hazardous, unsafe, and dangerous conditions
- Insufficient medical care
- Failing to administer prescribed medications, according to the doctor's orders
Can You Sue a Nursing Home for Lack of Care?
If you, or a loved one, suffered injuries or harm by the staff, friends, or families, you could file a civil lawsuit seeking compensation from the facility. Your attorney, working on your behalf, could file a compensation claim, citing negligent, reckless, or intentional actions that led to your harm.
The plaintiffs in a neglect and abuse case might expect to receive compensation for:
- Hospitalization expenses
- Medical treatment expenses
- Physical, rehabilitation, and occupational therapies
- Diagnostic testing
- Past and future lost earnings
- Loss of consortium and companionship
- Funeral and burial costs in wrongful-death cases
- Non-tangible losses, including pain, grieving, suffering, emotional damage, and mental anxiety
Our attorneys utilize the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act to prosecute these cases in order to recover the maximum compensation available under Illinois law.
What to Do if a Nursing Home Makes a Mistake and Your Loved One is Injured?
Victims of nursing home abuse in a long-term care facility or rehabilitation center must take quick action to receive compensation when staff members make a mistake. A rapid response not only helps protect your loved one from further harm, but can also trigger an investigation so evidence can be gathered for a potential lawsuit against the facility.
The Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) recommends contacting:
- Police – Notifying law enforcement could provide the victim with immediate protection and safeguard them against any further dangers during the criminal investigation
- Nursing Center Ombudsman – Your community likely has an ombudsman serving as a legal advocate that addresses senior citizen concerns involving neglect, abuse, mistreatment, or staffing mistakes
- Adult Protective Services (APS) –Notifying Adult Protective Services in your community and file a complaint to start an incident investigation over your grievances. The state or local agency will likely take all preventative measures to ensure that your concerns are addressed and no further abuse occurs.
- Social Service Worker– Usually, an Adult Protective Services officer will work concomitantly with social services to quickly address any safety or health concerns.
- Nursing Home Abuse Attorney – Hiring an nursing home abuse and neglect attorney to work on your behalf ensures that your loved one's rights remain protected while you submit a compensation claim for damages.
Call Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Now to Protect Someone You Love
Do you suspect that your spouse, parent, grandparent, child, or sibling is the victim of nursing home abuse? Speak with a Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss your case.
Our nursing home attorneys handle elder abuse matters involving nursing homes and assisted living facilities, including the following major Illinois cities:
- Chicago nursing home abuse
An injury lawyer at the NHLC will aggressively pursue your case and fight for the compensation that your loved one deserves. Contact us any time to discuss your situation with a lawyer who has experience with these matters.
Contact our law firm today or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss receiving financial compensation. All discussions with our injury lawyers remain confidential through an attorney-client relationship.
Our nursing home attorneys follow social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus).
Have you noticed any signs of nursing home abuse in your loved one and want to file a personal injury compensation lawsuit or negligent death claim? Time is of the essence.
All documents must be submitted in the appropriate county courthouse before the state statute of limitations expires.
Hiring Attorney Jonathan Rosenfeld
If your loved one is a victim of elder abuse at an IL nursing home, we invite you to consult with attorney Jonathan Rosenfeld.
Mr. Rosenfeld is licensed in the state and has experience prosecuting abuse cases across the state. A free consultation can be arranged at any location, and Mr. Rosenfeld's office address is 225 W. Wacker Drive, Suite 1660, Chicago, Illinois 60606.
As with all state and federal laws, the laws can change rapidly as lawmakers continually tinker with the system. Therefore, I strongly urge you to consult with a lawyer to discuss your legal options before taking any legal action.