Nursing home patients often include the elderly, weak, frail, and people dependent on the help of others, which makes them particularly vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, and neglect. Nursing homes and their staff have the responsibility to provide competent care and supervision to their patients, but if this does not happen and a patient suffers harm or dies as a result, that individual or their family may have rights to compensation through a civil lawsuit.
If you or a loved suffered injuries or someone died due to nursing home abuse, an Oak Park nursing home abuse lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may help to examine the facts of your case, stop the abuse from continuing, and prevent further damage to your loved one and others. We may also fight to obtain justice and the settlement you deserve. We offer a free consultation, so call us to get started.
Filing a Civil Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
Both federal and state laws about residents’ rights for people in long-term care facilities require nursing homes to give responsible care to prevent residents from harm and guard their safety. If the home or its staff proves negligent and a resident suffered harm, the law can hold the nursing home legally responsible.
Filing a successful civil nursing home abuse lawsuit may keep future harm and mistreatment of residents from occurring, as well as provide compensation for the injuries and harm received. Compensation may include restitution for:
- Monetary costs such as medical and therapy bills, and costs of changing nursing homes.
- Noneconomic, less tangible damages such as mental and physical pain and suffering.
To win your case, your attorney must show that:
- The nursing home had a duty to provide care to the resident.
- The nursing home breached or failed to uphold its duty of care.
- As a result of this breach of care, the resident suffered injuries and resulting losses.
Proving the abuse and the harm it caused can require extensive evidence gathering that may occur more easily with the help of a lawyer. Contact the Oak Park abuse and neglect lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for help. Call for your free case review.
Requirements for Nursing Homes
Nursing homes participating in Medicare and Medicaid must comply with the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA), which sets the federal quality standards for nursing homes to provide for the care of residents. The act established requirements for nursing homes and a bill of rights for patients.
Federal Nursing Home Reform Act requires caregivers to:
- Provide sufficient nursing staff.
- Assess each resident’s functional capacity and provide a care plan accordingly.
- Provide necessary services for nutrition, grooming, cleanliness, and personal oral hygiene.
- Provide proper treatment and assistive devices to maintain vision, hearing, and bladder abilities, and to prevent pressure sores.
- Provide supervision and assistive devices to prevent accidents, theft of property and medication errors.
- Promote residents’ dignity, respect, and quality of life.
- Allow residents to choose activities, schedules, and health care.
- Maintain accurate clinical records.
The Nursing Home Reform Act also provides a nursing home residents’ bill of rights, which includes the rights to:
- Have freedom from abuse, mistreatment, and neglect, and from physical restraints.
- Accommodation of medical, physical, psychological, and social needs.
- Exercise self-determination and communicate freely.
- Participate in the review of one’s care plan and receive information in advance of changes in care, treatment, or status.
- Express grievances without reprisal.
Nursing homes that fail to provide safe premises, hire or supervise staff negligently, fail to maintain proper health and safety policies, or provide proper treatment ultimately violate the laws and regulations surrounding their industry. A nursing home abuse lawyer can help you fight back and see that justice is served if a facility fails in their duty of care toward your loved one.
For a free legal consultation with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer serving Oak Park, call (800) 794-0444
Types and Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse can take both physical and emotional forms. Family members should be on the lookout for signs that abuse may be occurring, including:
- Financial elder abuse: when a person in a position of trust and confidence takes an elderly person’s property or illegally uses their assets for financial gain. Watch for disappearing cash or money in bank accounts and a loss of benefit or pension checks.
- Physical abuse: any infliction of pain or injury, such as hitting, kicking, punching, burning, and assault. Watch for unexplained falls, bruises, broken bones or head injuries.
- Sexual abuse: sexual contact with a person incapable of giving consent or forced to comply, including inappropriate touching, sexual assault, and rape. Watch for bleeding and bruising in the genital area or sexually transmitted diseases.
- Emotional abuse: threats, harassment, intimidation, or verbal assaults. Watch for personality changes and fearfulness.
- Confinement: isolating or restraining a person for anything other than medical reasons.
- Neglect: the lack of caring for a person, or denying necessities such as shelter, food, clothing, and medical care. Look for malnutrition or dehydration.
Since nursing homes usually carry liability insurance for negligence and malpractice, it makes sense to hold nursing homes accountable for any type of abuse.
Oak Park Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Proving Your Case in Court
To win your case in court, your Oak Park nursing home abuse lawyer would have to show evidence that harm occurred. Injuries that require medical treatment should come with documentation in medical records and leave a paper trail for your lawyer to asses. Family members who suspect abuse should take photographs of and document any suspicious injuries. In addition, you should take notes on any conversations with nursing home staff and management and their response to any complaints.
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Oak Park Nursing Home Injury Lawyer
Nursing home abuse occurs when a facility caregiver intentionally acts—or fails to act—in such a way that ultimately harms a resident or creates a risk of harm to the resident. Because nursing home residents tend to be elderly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention categories for elderly abuse apply to nursing home environments.
CDC identifies five main types of elder abuse:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Financial exploitation
If you have any questions or concerns about the possible abuse or neglect of a loved one living in a nursing home, you may benefit from legal assistance in your efforts to file a personal injury claim. Call the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today and find out how an Oak Park nursing home injury lawyer can help.
Nursing Home Residents Count on Loved Ones to Speak Up for Them
Proving elder abuse in a nursing home can prove challenging and can result in cases being ignored or poorly reported to the authorities. Some nursing home residents suffer from medical problems or conditions, like Alzheimer’s or the effects of a stroke, that affect speech or memory. In these cases, the elderly resident’s inability to clearly communicate their abuse results in their cases slipping through the cracks.
Abuse and neglect present themselves with visible of which family members and caregivers can spot, if they pay close attention.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
According to Elder Mistreatment: Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation in an Aging America,
the 2.5 million nursing home residents stand a significantly greater risk for experiencing abuse and neglect than elderly individuals who live at home.
Caregivers need to know how to recognize the signs of abuse so they can put a stop to it and hold the at-fault parties accountable for their actions. When visiting your loved one in a nursing home, look for any of the following indicators of abuse and neglect:
- Behavioral changes, such as agitation towards a certain person
- Signs of physical injury, such as bruises, scars, broken bones, and sprains
- Torn or stained clothing
- Broken eyeglasses
- Signs of over- or under-medication
- Unexplained weight loss
- Rocking or mumbling
- Untreated bedsores
- Unsanitary conditions
- Understaffed care facilities
- Hesitance from staff members when you ask questions
Nobody casually decides to put their loved one in the care of another person, and those who do have the right expect a good standard of care from the facility. If you notice any signs of mistreatment of your loved one that make you wary, you have options to protect their rights, wellbeing, and safety.
What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
If you suspect abuse, exploitation, or neglect of an adult age 60 and above, report it by calling the Illinois Department of Aging at 1-866-800-1409 or the Adult Protective Services Hotline at (800) 252-8966. You may also consider speaking to an Oak Park nursing home injury lawyer to voice your concerns and seek legal advice.
The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can assist you with your case and help you gather evidence, seek medical investigations by working with doctors who are familiar with nursing home neglect cases, and arrange interviews with your loved using special techniques to overcome any difficulties in communication, if necessary.
Awards in Nursing Home Injury Cases
By filing a claim or lawsuit, you can pursue a claim for damages occurring from a nursing home injury or case of abuse. You will need to be able to prove that:
- The nursing home owed a duty of care to the resident.
- The nursing home breached the duty of care to the resident.
- The resident suffered harm as a result of the breach.
Courts grant awards in successful cases to compensate the victim or their family for any injury or abuse the resident suffered. Types of awards a lawyer can pursue for your loved one include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Cost of any medical treatment resulting from the injury or abuse
The above represent only a handful of the damages you may be able to claim in the case of your loved one’s nursing home abuse or neglect.
Illinois Statue of Limitations
The statute of limitations in Illinois limits the time you have to file a claim for personal injury for nursing home abuse and neglect. The clock generally runs out two years from the date of the injury.
You should also know that the process of seeking settlement in a nursing home abuse lawsuit can take a long time, as long as 18-24 months from the date you commence work on the case.
After reporting the suspected abuse to the appropriate authorities and making sure your loved one is safe, reach out to an Oak Park nursing home injury lawyer sooner, rather than later. This gives your attorney more time to collect the necessary evidence and build an effective case.
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Oak Park Nursing Home Accident Lawyer
A nursing home accident can occur in a second and have devastating results for your loved one. When the accident occurs due to negligence, you may have a right to compensation.
Unsafe conditions or negligence on behalf of the staff can send your loved one to the hospital or worse. Depending upon the circumstances of their accident, their injury may result in death. While no amount of money can replace your loved one, it can possibly help cover such expenses as funeral and burial costs.
Your loved one entered a nursing home facility because they required attentive and proactive nursing home care. If your loved one experienced a nursing home accident that left them with serious injuries, we may help you.
An Oak Park nursing home accident lawyer at the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can review your case for free. We work on a contingency-fee-basis. This means if we don’t win, you don’t pay. Contact our nursing home accident lawyers to learn more.
Types of Nursing Home Accidents
Nursing homes provide shelter and care to residents of varying degrees of mobility. For patients using walkers or wheelchairs, an accident can occur in a second.
Due to their weakened immune systems and their existing medical conditions, it may take your loved one longer to bounce back, if they recover at all, according to research around wound healing and aging.
Nursing Homes and the Risk of Falls
Falls account for many nursing home accidents, and may cause serious injuries, some requiring hospitalization, to residents ages 65 and older.
The CDC reports the following information regarding falls:
- One of the most serious types of fall injuries results in a broken hip.
- 95 percent of hip fractures happen after falling sideways.
- Recovering from a hip fracture requires assistance with daily tasks.
A fall can also lead to a traumatic brain injury and concussion. If the brain injury proves severe, your loved one may never fully recover.
While the elderly risk falls as they age, certain conditions place them at a higher risk. These conditions include:
- Poorly lit hallways and rooms.
- Torn carpet.
- Wires across floors.
- Wet floors due to known/existing leaks.
When a nursing home fails to keep your loved one safe from harm and does not comply with the provisions of the Nursing Home Reform Act, you have a right to demand justice. The injuries from the preventable accident may even result in the death for your loved one. If you lost your loved one due to a nursing home accident, you may have a right to a wrongful death claim as well.
Preventable Nursing Home Accidents Demand Justice
No nursing home should place profits before residents. A leaking roof, for example, requires easy fix by a professional roofing company. Failure to repair the roof and preventing the wet floor that results, each time it rains counts as negligence.
Determining liability for your loved one’s accident and resulting injuries sits at the center of our goals. You have enough to deal with concerning your loved one’s injuries. Nursing home insurance companies may offer quick settlements to victims of accidents. While their offer may seem appealing to you, a lawyer may help you determine if it fairly meets your losses.
Insurance companies want you to accept their offer in order to protect their best interests and that of the nursing home. Accepting an initial settlement offer, however, may prevent you from filing a civil claim later, should your loved one’s medical condition worsen. As your loved one’s advocate, you must fight for the compensation they deserve. Any preventable accident that occurred due to negligence deserves a keen estimate of losses to fairly compensate the victim.
Applicable Deadlines for Your Case
A personal injury claim takes time; however, filing your claim must take place within two years. According to Sec. 735 ILCS 5/13-202 of the Illinois Statutes. if your loved one dies from their injuries, the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is one year. Abiding by these statutes of limitation proves crucial for any lawsuit since waiting longer than the allotted period of time may disqualify you from taking any legal action at all.
Do not try to negotiate with insurance companies on your own since they may use anything you say to relieve them of liability. Let the nursing home accident lawyers of Pintas & Mullins Law Firm get to work for you. The sooner we review the details of your case, the sooner we may plan the best course of action on behalf of your loved one.
Legal Help for Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
The Oak Park nursing home abuse lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may help by investigating the abusive situation, examining records, interviewing staff and witnesses, and holding negligent parties accountable for damages resulting from abuse.
Our nursing home abuse attorneys do not charge anything up front, and we only take fees out of a settlement we win for you. We offer a free consultation to examine the facts of your individual situation and get the abuse to stop immediately. Call us.
Call or text (800) 794-0444 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form