Once a family makes that difficult decision to put an elderly relative in a nursing home, one of the worst scenarios involves learning that their loved one was either abused or neglected.
Examples of maltreatment in a care facility include:
- Physical abuse.
- Sexual abuse.
- Emotional abuse.
- Financial abuse.
Illinois has laws in place designed to act in the best interests of nursing home residents and their families. This is where a Berwyn nursing home abuse lawyer can help. If your legal team proves that your loved one suffered any form of maltreatment during their residence in a nursing home, you may be able to recover compensation to pay for various related expenses. Depending on when you discovered your loved one’s abuse (or reasonably should have) will determine how much time you have left to pursue legal action.
You and your family may have the ability to seek financial recovery to cover the cost of your loved one’s care expenses. To learn more about your options, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm.
Proving Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home residents have protections under Sec. 210 ILCS 45 of the Illinois Statutes, which outlines what standard of care these facilities should provide. Standard of care means providing care that acts in the best interest of a patient and is a reasonable expectation of another caregiver in the same situation.
To show that your loved one experienced mistreatment at the hands of a nursing home’s staff, we will have to prove:
- Duty of care: Care providers assume a responsibility to care for patients when they accepted employment at the nursing home.
- Breach of duty of care. We must prove that the staff member in question (or greater organization) failed to uphold the standard of care by either acting negligently or physically harming another individual.
- Causation. We must establish what caused the decline in your loved one’s condition. To do this, we must investigate your relative’s living conditions to determine what led to their trauma.
- Damages. We must prove that as a result of your loved one’s abuse and neglect, they have suffered otherwise avoidable damages. They may need to be relocated to another care facility or undergo necessary medical treatments as a result of their poor treatment.
At the onset of our working relationship, we will investigate the extent of your loved one’s treatment. If we can determine that abuse and neglect did take place, we must notify our intent to file a civil action with the nursing home. Under Sec. 210 ILCS 45 of the Illinois Statutes, the facility has 60 days to remedy your complaint or otherwise risk being held liable for your losses. We have absolutely no problem taking your case before a judge if we cannot reach a resolution out of court.
The Journal of American Medical Association reports that elders who face physical abuse have a higher risk of death when compared to others who do not. In some cases, nursing home staff employees face long hours with inadequate support, leading to frustration and exhaustion. However, there is no excuse for harming elderly residents.
Evidence of physical abuse can include, but are not limited to:
- Scratches, bruises, or cuts.
- Broken or weeping skin.
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Change in personality or mood.
- Apprehension of nursing home staff.
- A sharp decline in one’s overall health condition.
- Symptoms of depression or anxiety.
If you suspect that your elderly loved one suffered from any kind of physical abuse, after seeking medical attention, consider pursuing legal action. For a free, no-obligation consultation, call the office of Berwyn nursing home abuse lawyers at the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm.
For a free legal consultation with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer serving Berwyn, call (800) 794-0444
Sexual abuse is a form of physical abuse, and unfortunately, also occurs in nursing homes. Any non-consensual sexual behavior or contact towards an elderly resident by a nursing home staff employee or management is unacceptable. In many cases, these seniors are too frail or weak to fight this type of abuse. Additionally, some senior residents may have either dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, which can delay how soon the sexual assault becomes evident.
Should your legal team discover evidence of sexual abuse in your case, we may not only be able to pursue compensation but press criminal charges as well.
Berwyn Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
A study from The Journals of Gerontology reports that verbal abuse is the most commonly reported form of mistreatment in nursing homes. Emotional abuse of the elderly often causes severe emotional and mental distress.
This can include:
- Yelling or berating a resident for any reason.
- Attempting to shame or mock a resident either in private or in public.
- Making threats of a sexual or physical nature toward a resident.
- Isolating a resident from social activity.
- Threatening to withhold food, water, or the ability to go to the bathroom.
- Gaslighting the resident by questioning their recollection of abusive events.
This type of abuse usually rests on an imbalance of power between a care provider and a nursing home resident. While emotional abuse itself is rarely life-threatening, it can contribute to a decreased quality of life that can manifest in serious health conditions.
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If you do not have full control and authority over your loved one’s finances, unethical staff members may wheedle the resident into lending them money or stealing their information to access their bank accounts.
Examples of this type of abuse include:
- Unexplained withdrawals from a loved one’s accounts.
- Questionable spending habits.
- Changes to the names of beneficiaries and recipients of a resident’s will and testament.
- Reports of missing credit cards, cash, or other documents relating to the management of financial resources.
The state has an extended statute of limitations for these situations under Illinois Bill Status of HB5805, allowing seven years from the last act of financial exploitation to pursue legal action.
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Berwyn Nursing Home Injury Lawyer
You should view any injury that happens to your loved one with a skeptical eye, especially if you placed them in somebody else’s care, such as in a nursing home. Some injuries in nursing homes result from honest accidents, but even accidents result from negligence, an issue no nursing home resident ever deserves to experience. Even worse, injuries can stem from outright abuse.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a no-cost discussion with a Berwyn nursing home injury lawyer about your loved one’s injury. You can review your options for pursuing compensation if you believe negligence caused or contributed to that injury.
Injuries Sustained in Nursing Home
Nursing homes, by their nature, have an abnormal share of injuries and medical conditions, but every injury should receive the attention it warrants to rule out any possible abuse or negligence. You should never take your loved one’s safety for granted, regardless of how confident a particular nursing home or caregiver appears.
Some of the injuries that happen frequently in nursing homes, and which may result from wrongdoing by one or more people, include:
- Broken bones, especially those that come from a fall.
- Spiral fractures, a specific form of broken bone typically caused by someone twisting a bone to the point of fracture.
- Skull fractures, which may result from a caregiver hitting your loved one, forcing them to the ground, or other forms of physical mistreatment.
- Burns to the skin, which may signal abuse.
- Cuts, scrapes, and other signs of physical contact with your loved one’s skin.
- Bleeding from the genital region or rectum and bruising around the breasts, which may indicate sexual abuse.
- Pressure sores, or bedsores, which may indicate caregivers are neglecting your loved one.
Elder abuse statistics from the Department of Justice confirm that injuries remain a significant, persistent problem in the United States. Such injuries require further examination as they can indicate forms of negligence in your loved one’s nursing home.
Management May Share Liability for a Nursing Home Injury
If you believe that your loved one’s injury occurred under suspicious circumstances, then the first point of investigation questions those who make the big-picture decisions about the nursing home—management.
As is the case in most professions, bosses are ultimately responsible on some level for the wrongdoing that goes on under their watch. If your loved one was injured, management in the nursing home may have contributed by:
- Giving subordinates too much freedom, which can erode accountability and lead to frequently dangerous conditions within the nursing home.
- Not conducting criminal, professional, and drug checks on every employee.
- Knowingly hiring employees who could prove dangerous to your loved one.
- Unknowingly hiring employees who could prove dangerous to your loved one.
- Failing to maintain a safe premise at all times.
- Overworking employees, which may result from understaffing, according to Health Service Insights.
- Failing to implement, enforce, and revise systems of care as better practices in the healthcare space emerge.
- Not reporting any prior allegations of abuse or mistreatment that your loved one or other residents issued.
If you suspect that your loved one’s nursing home was unsafe for any reason, the responsibility for such dangers may lie at the management level. If this proves to be the case, then one or more leaders at the nursing home where your loved one’s injury occurred may be named as defendants in your loved one’s civil case. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free consultation with a Berwyn nursing home injury lawyer about your loved one’s case.
Caregivers Often Remain Directly Responsible for Abuse
Working in a nursing home requires patience and empathy. When the administration hires unqualified or temperamentally unfit employees to work in a nursing home, the result may include abuse, neglect, or exploitation. While management bears responsibility for getting rid of potential trouble employees, individuals who carry out abuse or neglect should also shoulder responsibility for their actions.
Employees who do the following may bear the liability for your loved one’s losses:
- Injure your loved one through physical abuse, such as hitting them, burning them, throwing them to the ground, tripping them, or inflicting physical harm in any other manner.
- Neglect your loved one by failing to administer regular bathing, which can lead to bedsores, infections, and potentially life-threatening conditions such as sepsis.
- Emotionally abuse your loved one through taunting, gaslighting, humiliation, threatening, and inflicting fear and anxiety through other means.
- Expose your loved one to danger through unsafe care practices, such as rushing them while they eat or failing to properly assist them when they are moving about.
Caregivers have a high standard to live up to, regardless of how much money they receive or the conditions under which they work. When they do not live up to this standard, innocent people such as your loved one may fall victim to abuse.
Understanding the Value of a Lawyer
Lawyers may take the stress of a legal case off your shoulders. Though pursuing justice for your loved one may prove essential to restore justice and help move your loved one into a safe environment, attempting to bring a case without a lawyer’s assistance can consume your time and cause immense stress.
A Berwyn nursing home injury lawyer may handle your case from start to finish, giving your loved peace of mind and potential compensation for injuries sustained.
Berwyn Nursing Home Accident Lawyer
When your loved one is involved in an accident in a nursing home, there is an unfortunate possibility that it may not really be an accident. It could instead be the result of negligence. Caretakers, administrators, and other residents are among those who possibly caused or contributed to any injuries suffered by your loved one in such an accident, and a Berwyn nursing home accident lawyer can help you get to the bottom of the matter.
If your loved one sustained injuries in a nursing home “accident,” call our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free consultation.
When Accidents Are Not Truly Accidents
Accidents happen, but when your loved one suffers an injury or passes away directly because of actions taken or not taken by another party, then it may not be right to refer to the incident as an accident. Instead, your loved one may be the victim of negligence.
Certain forms of negligence are the result of a bigger problem. For example, your loved one may be the victim of understaffing. Your loved one could also be the victim of more acute mistreatment such as abuse.
You Must Recognize the Signs of Abuse
There is no doubt that you want to protect your loved one from harm, and this means assuming the worst when you see signs in their physical or emotional state that concern you. Such signs may be indications that your loved one is being abused, neglected, or exploited, and you must take action if you see any of them.
The National Center on Elder Abuse lists some of the signs of physical and emotional abuse, which may include:
- Uncharacteristic changes in your loved one’s mood.
- Signs of injury to the skin such as bruising, burns, and cuts.
- Symptoms of depression, which may include them being less talkative than normal and withdrawing from social situations.
- Loss of pleasure in activities that they usually enjoy participating in.
- Your loved one telling you directly that they suffered physical or emotional mistreatment.
- Witnessing a caretaker, administrator, or other resident speaking to or handling your loved one in an inappropriate manner.
- Outbursts, whether verbal or physical, that are not characteristic of your loved one’s temperament.
There are other potential symptoms of physical and emotional abuse that you may see in your loved one, and you should take action if you see anything that does not sit right with you. In addition to symptoms of abuse, look out for any indications that your loved one is being neglected by their caretakers.
Neglect is a Common Form of Mistreatment in Nursing Homes
While abuse may require caretakers or others around your loved one to go out of their way to inflict harm, neglect is a more passive form of mistreatment — yet, neglect may be just as harmful to your loved one as abuse.
Caretaker neglect may include:
- Not brushing your loved one’s teeth or cleaning their dentures as necessary.
- Not cleaning out your loved one’s bedpan or helping them to the restroom when necessary.
- Failing to administer bathing and proper bed rotation, that could lead to potentially serious injury such as bedsores, which could get infected.
- Not monitoring your loved one in regular shifts.
- Interacting with your loved one in a way that is callous, which may affect your loved one’s mental and physical health.
- Neglecting any aspect of your loved one’s daily hygiene, which includes bathing, shaving, and restroom use, among other tasks.
You may see signs that your loved one is being neglected, such as being unshaven and emitting body odor, and you should seek legal counsel from a nursing home abuse lawyer if you see these signs more than once. Call our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free consultation.
A Berwyn Nursing Home Accident Lawyer Will Provide the Legal Help You Need
When you spot signs of mistreatment toward your loved one, you should call law enforcement or other appropriate authorities right away. They will help you take action to ensure your loved one is out of immediate harm’s way, at which point you should call our firm to explore your options for pursuing compensation.
You can expect that a Berwyn nursing home accident lawyer will take the necessary steps to start your lawsuit, and see it through to its conclusion. Our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will serve you by:
- Looking for any evidence that suggests your loved one suffered mistreatment, whether it was in the form of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
- Analyzing your loved one’s medical records with their consent, as these records could indicate past instances of abuse or neglect that you did not initially catch.
- Interviewing any available witnesses who can testify to unsafe conditions in the nursing home, and potentially specific instances of your loved one being mistreated.
- Once your case is started, establishing communication with the defendant’s lawyers in case they offer you a settlement.
- Employing the services of any experts that can benefit your loved one’s case, such as professionals who specialize in elder abuse.
- Handling every legal responsibility that arises in order for your case to reach a conclusion.
- Protecting your rights and your loved one’s rights as we fight for compensation together.
If we can show that your loved one suffered abuse while they were under the care of the defendants in their case, then your loved one may be awarded compensation for their losses. Such compensation could cover the cost of their stay at the nursing home, any medical bills connected to the mistreatment, pain and suffering, and possibly additional forms of compensation.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a Free Consultation
Your loved one deserves to make the most of their golden years free from the constraints of abuse and neglect. To get started fighting for justice on your loved one’s behalf, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. A Berwyn nursing home abuse lawyer may be able to help you in your fight for justice.