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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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.