You can sue a nursing home if your elderly loved one suffered from elder abuse such as neglect or physical abuse that led to them sustaining injuries.
If you suspect that your loved one suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home, you should contact Adult Protective Services and the police immediately. If you make the determination to sue the nursing home, an attorney may help you conduct a full investigation of the abuse or neglect claim, determine the violations of law, build a strong case, and then file a lawsuit with the appropriate court. You can sue a nursing home as an individual if you file a civil case. The state may file a lawsuit for criminal charges against the nursing home as well.
Nursing Home Laws in Illinois
Illinois nursing homes receive licenses, inspections, certifications, and regulations through the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Health Care Finance Administration.
Unfortunately, abuse and neglect of the elderly in nursing homes can still occur despite these guidelines and regulations.
However, recent laws and a reform of requirements for long-term care facilities expanded the ability of plaintiffs to review abuse and medical malpractice records of nursing home facilities nationwide. The legal tide is turning in favor of providing as many resources as possible to potential victims of nursing home abuse and neglect.
Nursing Home Lawsuit Timeline
Nursing home abuse refers to abuse that occurs within a nursing home facility. The technical term for this type of abuse is elder abuse since it contains multiple types of abuse such as neglect, physical abuse, mental or psychological abuse, and financial abuse (also referred to as financial exploitation). The following provides a brief outline of the process of suing a nursing home for any kind of abuse or neglect:
Securing Your Loved One and Reporting Abuse or Neglect
Remove your elderly loved one from the nursing home immediately to prevent any future neglect or abuse. Then, contact:
- The nursing home management.
- Your state’s Adult Protective Services agency.
- The police.
When contacting authorities, they may require you to submit official complaints or grievances.
Documenting the Evidence of Abuse or Neglect
Create a file regarding the abuse of your elderly loved one, including:
- Names of witnesses in the nursing home.
- A calendar or listing of all abuse and neglect.
An attorney may help you conduct an independent investigation regarding the abuse and neglect and hire expert witnesses to help build a strong case. A lawyer may also help you determine whether your lawsuit includes:
- Medical malpractice.
- Financial abuse.
- Breach of contract.
- Another legal basis.
Additionally, a lawyer may help you identify the liable parties.
Filing a Formal Complaint and Lawsuit
The law requires you to provide a Notice of Claim (NOC) to all potential defendants notifying them of the lawsuit. A lawyer may help you:
- Build a strong nursing home abuse or neglect case and draft a complaint.
- File the lawsuit with the appropriate court.
- Confirm the nursing home receives the complaint through a registered agent.
- Assess an initial settlement offer from the nursing home.
- Prepare pretrial hearings or conferences
- Assist in mediations with the defendant.
The time and focus this legal process requires may strain you as you try to relocate and care for an elderly loved one. Having a lawyer may prove valuable by relieving you of the stress of litigating a case on your own.
Understanding the Lawsuit Process
Several different variables directly affect the actual timeline of your nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuit. The following items affect how quickly you receive a judgment in a lawsuit against a nursing home:
- Is the nursing home willing to cooperate with you?
- Does the nursing home admit to elder abuse or neglect?
- Do several medical experts agree that nursing home abuse and neglect occurred?
- Was the abuse or neglect egregious?
- Was the abuse physical, emotional, sexual, or financial?
- How long will the investigation of the abuse or neglect take?
- Is the nursing home providing discovery documents in a timely fashion?
- Does the nursing home offer a reasonable settlement with regard to the abuse or neglect?
Having a nursing home abuse lawyer by your side throughout this legal process may help you feel less overwhelmed while you care for your elderly loved one.
You Can Sue a Nursing Home with the Help of a Lawyer
If your elderly loved one suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home, you can sue a nursing home because you have the legal right to if your loved one sustained injuries or suffered damages. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 842-6336 to see how we may help you begin the process of receiving compensation on behalf of your elderly loved one.