Assisted living facilities generally do not have to adhere to the same federal and state regulations as skilled nursing facilities. However, they still have the responsibility to keep their residents safe from harm. According to 210 ILCS 9, assisted living facilities have many responsibilities, including keeping their residents free from abuse and neglect.
Discovering signs of abuse on your loved one can be extremely upsetting and frustrating. You may not know where to turn. However, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can be here for you and assist you during this difficult time. If your loved one suffered injuries and expenses due to abuse or neglect in their assisted living facility, consult with a Chicago assisted living abuse lawyer now. Call us at (800) 223-5115 for a free evaluation of your claim.
Abuse at Assisted Living Facilities
Abuse of defenseless and vulnerable seniors is an egregious crime. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), approximately 5 million elderly citizens suffer from abuse each year. The agency suspects that a considerable amount of elder abuse goes unreported, with potentially only one in 14 cases of abuse reported to authorities. Elder abuse can come in many forms, including:
General neglect may sound harmless when compared to physical violence. However, neglect can lead to devastating injuries as well as fatalities. If residents do not receive help with daily tasks such as nutrition, hydration, washing, and laundry, they could potentially experience a range of physical and emotional problems. If your loved one suffers from malnutrition or dehydration, they may be a victim of neglect.
Physical abuse can include punching, slapping, and kicking a senior. If you suspect that your loved one suffers from physical abuse in their assisted living facility, you might be able to detect some of the following signs:
- Head injuries
- Signs of restraint
Sexual abuse of the elderly can include a range of non-consensual sexual acts and behaviors such as:
- Unwanted touching
- Unwanted nudity
- Photographs of a sexual nature
Signs that could point to sexual abuse of your loved one can include bloody or torn underwear, sexually transmitted diseases, or pain in the genital region.
Verbal abuse can be extremely damaging to the psyche of a vulnerable senior. Verbal and emotional abuse can include humiliation, isolation, ignoring a resident’s requests, and calling them names. While emotional and verbal abuse may not leave any signs on the body, it can leave deep emotional scars. If your loved one acts out of character and seems withdrawn or fearful, they may suffer from verbal abuse in their assisted living facility.
Unfortunately, elder abuse is not a rarity, and those in nursing homes or assisted living facilities depend on relatives for help. If you notice any of the signs of abuse, you should alert nursing home staff and local authorities immediately. In Illinois, you can potentially report abuse to various entities, including but not limited to:
- The regional ombudsman
- The senior helpline
- The Illinois Department of Public Health
You should also consider taking legal action, especially if your loved one incurred large medical bills and other damages as a result of abuse. A Chicago assisted living abuse lawyer can help you get clear on your legal options.
An Assisted Living Abuse Lawyer Can Help
An attorney can help you pursue compensation on behalf of your loved one. There are many ways in which an assisted living abuse lawyer can help your claim, including:
Gathering Information and Evidence
Your attorney will want to analyze your claim thoroughly and collect the necessary material for building your case. This can include photographs, medical records, witness statements, and other evidence.
Filing Your Lawsuit
Your lawyer will prepare the necessary documents and file the complaint in your local court. The defendants will then be formally notified of the complaint against them.
Building Your Case
A Chicago assisted living abuse lawyer knows the applicable laws and will leave no stone unturned in building a case. This can include scouring assisted living facility records and requesting information from the defendants and their lawyers.
Negotiating a Settlement
Personal injury cases do not necessarily end in trial and can be resolved in an out-of-court settlement. Your attorney can negotiate with the other side, aiming for a fair and comprehensive settlement.
Representing You at Trial
If your claim does go to trial, your assisted living abuse attorney can be in your corner, fighting passionately for your rights and adequate compensation.
For a free legal consultation with a Assisted Living Abuse Lawyer serving Chicago, call (800) 223-5115
Assisted Living Abuse Lawsuit Time Limits
If you are considering suing an assisted living facility in Chicago with a personal injury or wrongful death claim, you should take action as soon as possible. The statute of limitations is generally two years for personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits according to 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes §5/13-202. The two-year time limit typically starts on the date the injury or death occurred.
Rather than leaving litigation to the last minute, you may wish to get legal advice and guidance as soon as you find out that your loved one suffered harm. Gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses is generally easier immediately after an accident. Consider also that the sooner you initiate a lawsuit, the sooner you could potentially recover compensation.
Chicago Assisted Living Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 223-5115
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Fight for Your Rights
Letting abusers get away with a crime scot-free can mean that they go on abusing defenseless elderly citizens for years. Relatives of those who suffer from abuse in assisted living facilities should step forward and hold the perpetrators responsible for their crimes.
An assisted living facility has the overall responsibility to keep its residents safe. This includes ensuring that there is enough staff on-site to see to the needs of residents and vetting new employees adequately. If the facility failed to keep your loved one safe, they could be liable for your damages.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 223-5115 now to find out if you have a case and could recover compensation.