Nursing Home Injury Laws
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm: Nationwide Nursing Home Injury Lawyers
Millions of Americans live in and rely on nursing homes, either for short-term rehabilitation or permanent care. Nursing homes, like any other medical facility, have an enormous responsibility to provide high-quality care and ensure residents are safe at all times. If a nursing home or a member of its staff fails to protect the wellbeing of a resident, an injury may occur due to abuse or neglect. The Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm represent injured residents and their families throughout the country. We have 50+ years of combined experience, recovering millions of dollars and resolving over 10,000 cases in that time.
Our team of skilled advocates travel directly to our clients throughout the United States, so do not hesitate to call us at (800) 774-7120.
New Illinois Law to Allow Cameras in Nursing Homes
In August 2015, Illinois passed a law allowing cameras in nursing home resident rooms. The law-the Authorized Electronic Monitoring in Long-Term Facilities Act-will take effect on January 1, 2016. Among its provisions, residents and their roommates must consent to having a video or audio recording device installed. All costs must be paid by the resident or their families.
The Illinois Department of Public Health will establish a program to distribute $50,000 in funds each year to residents (selected by lottery) to purchase and install monitoring devices. Anyone found tampering with, obstructing or destroying these devices will be subject to criminal penalties. Nursing homes may not discriminate or retaliate against residents who install monitoring systems.
The law also contains provisions on facility accommodations, notice of monitoring to visitors, facility access to recordings, admissibility of recordings in legal actions, and other rulemakings. More information on this law can be found on the Illinois General Assembly website.
Residents' Legal Rights
Under federal law, all nursing homes must have written policies preventing abuse, neglect, or mistreatment of any kind. Upon admittance, residents must know and understand these policies as well as their rights as residents. This is typically included in the Admission Contract, which is a legal document that defines services, fees, responsibilities, and other details of the relationship between the resident and the nursing home.
In 1987, Congress enacted the Nursing Home Reform Act, which requires facilities accepting Medicare and Medicaid to maintain the highest possible levels of physical, mental and psychosocial wellbeing for all residents. Included in the Act is the Residents' Bill of Rights, which establishes ten rights ranging from the right to freedom from physical restraints to the right to voice grievances without discrimination.
All facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid must comply with federal regulations at minimum. Some examples of these regulations include:
- Ensuring residents do not develop bedsores and, if sores do develop, to provide the necessary treatment to prevent infection, promote healing, and prevent new sores.
- Maintaining acceptable levels of nutrition and hydration.
- Providing pharmaceutical services and ensuring residents are free of any medication errors.
- Maintaining accurate, complete and easily accessible clinical records.
Residents have the right to make their own medical decisions and be fully informed in advance about any changes in their care. If a resident is deemed mentally incapacitated - such as those with severe dementia - they will need a representative to act as their power of attorney for medical care. The person chosen to act as power of attorney is granted authority to make medical decisions, limited to the residents' written instructions, if applicable. Residents may also sign Advance Directives, which outline the residents' medical decisions in the event that they become incapacitated.
There are two types of power of attorneys: medical and financial. Financial power of attorney grants the agent the ability to manage the daily financial affairs of the resident. Agents must make decisions on behalf of the resident in good faith and in their best interest.
A power of attorney is an important responsibility that should be discussed as soon as possible. If a resident becomes mentally incapacitated before power of attorney is assigned, their family members may go to court to obtain an Order of Guardianship of Person and/or Property. These documents indicate who is appointed by the judge to make medical and/or financial decisions.
State Nursing Home Laws
Every state has its own laws regarding nursing homes. More information on your state's unique laws can be found in the links below.
Click on your state in the menu to view state-specific nursing home laws.
While we try to keep this information current, the law is subject to change and it may not be reflected here immediately. If you have a legal question or problem, please consult an attorney immediately.
Call a Chicago Nursing Home Attorney for Nationwide Counsel
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we represent residents who have been injured through neglect or abuse in a nursing home. Our firm has represented residents and families throughout the country, granting us a proven record of success. We handle cases involving bedsores, dehydration and malnutrition, elopement, fractured bones, sexual abuse, and falls. Don't hesitate to fight for the rights of your loved one. With millions recovered since 1985, you can trust that our firm has a knowledgeable advantage in your case.
Contact our firm for a free case review. We are ready to stand up for your rights.