No resident should ever have to accept nursing home abuse. You put trust in a nursing home to ensure that your loved one receives the care they need to recover from recent surgeries, hospitalizations, or illnesses. In other cases, nursing homes provide palliative care to their residents. Unfortunately, many nursing home residents experience abuse each year. If your loved one suffers as a victim of nursing home abuse, taking legal action may hold the facility accountable and protect other residents.
Your loved one may qualify for compensation related to their injuries resulting from nursing home abuse. If you have questions about a possible nursing home abuse case, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to schedule an appointment for a free consultation. You can discuss any questions you may have about your options for legal recourse.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, this form of abuse can result from several different conditions within the nursing home. Some of these abuses involve intentionally malicious behavior, while others may just result from conditions within the facility. Every type of nursing home abuse classifies as serious and requires immediate attention. The types of nursing home abuse include:
- Mental abuse: Mental abuse refers to any action that hurts the mental health of seniors in nursing home care. It classifies as one of the more difficult types of abuse to detect since it relies on witnesses and seniors to report it.
- Physical abuse: Physical abuse refers to any type of physical harm seniors experience while in nursing home care. Relatives may discover it through bruising or consistent, serious injuries. Though physical abuse does not always leave noticeable signs, it can still have a serious impact.
- Emotional abuse: Emotional abuse bears similarity to mental abuse but involves hurting a senior’s emotional state. This could mean intentionally making seniors sad and depressed through caregiver actions that take away anything that makes them happy.
- Social abuse: Social abuse involves limiting seniors’ ability to be social and have social interactions. Over time, it can hurt a senior’s mental and emotional state through constant isolation from other seniors.
- Financial abuse: Financial abuse involves using a senior’s credentials to access their bank accounts or credit card accounts and take their money.
Identifying and addressing these types of abuse may prove difficult without help from a nursing home abuse lawyer. If you feel that abuse is occurring, contact a Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible to begin an investigation into the problem.
The key to building a nursing home abuse case revolves around determining liability. The facts of the case will determine who bears responsibility. In some cases, the nursing facility will hold responsibility for anything that happened to seniors in its care. Certain circumstances can lead to specific individuals bearing liability alongside the facility or instead of the facility. A Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer may help you build a credible case and determine who holds responsibility for any abuse that happened while in nursing home care.
For a free legal consultation with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer serving Chicago, call (800) 794-0444
Signs of Abuse
The State of Illinois Elder Abuse Reporting Requirement makes it clear that elder abuse constitutes a serious violation of the standard of care all residents should receive. Discovering abuse, however, may prove difficult. If you feel that your loved one may be experiencing nursing home abuse, you can look for signs that usually point to abuse. These signs include the following.
Bruises provide one of the easiest signs of nursing home abuse to uncover. Bruises develop because of physical injuries. If the bruises occur without documented accidents, they may indicate physical abuse in a nursing home.
Bedsores develop when a person remains sitting in the same position for too long. Seniors develop bedsores when they remain alone without caregiver support for long periods of time.
Shy or Timid Behavior
Unusual shy or timid behavior from seniors may also signal that they suffer physical or emotional abuse from caregivers.
Any injury that occurs within a nursing facility must receive thorough documentation by the staff to ensure that patients get the medical care that they need. Any unexplainable injury may indicate that the nursing home acted negligently or that abuse occurred.
Unexplainable Medical Problems
Many seniors need consistent medical care for conditions that they have developed over time. The care that they receive for these conditions comes with documentation. As a result, any unexplainable medical problems that appear may indicate that seniors are not receiving the level of medical care that they need within the facility.
Hygiene poses a constant problem for seniors in nursing care facilities because they usually remain unable to fully manage their hygiene routines. Because of this, nursing facilities must provide assistance with daily hygiene. Seniors that have poor hygiene may not be receiving the care that they need from the facility’s caregivers.
Sudden changes in seniors’ financial accounts may also signal abuse. It could indicate that someone used their credentials to take money out of their bank account or to use credit cards.
Other signs of nursing home abuse may appear as well. If you feel that a loved one may be experiencing abuse in their nursing home, consult a Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer may help you take action to stop the abuse and hold the nursing facility responsible. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for help building a nursing home abuse case.
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We Handle Every Type of Nursing Home Injury
The legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm handles all varieties of nursing home injuries, even the toughest cases. We will work smart to pursue compensation for the following types of nursing home injuries:
- Falls: If your loved one has difficulty walking, the nursing home must assist him or her during daily activities. Failure to do so can cause head injuries, bone fractures, and other serious complications.
- Malnourishment: Caregivers must provide the vitamins and nutrients required for a healthy body. Malnutrition causes a plethora of health problems, including weight loss, brittle bones, and dehydration.
- Discrimination: Your family members have a right to exist free from harassment. Discrimination based upon race, age, gender, disability, and economic class has no place in a nursing home and causes significant emotional suffering.
- Assault: Assault can come in the form of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse that can cause severe bodily and mental trauma as a result.
- Wrongful death: Abuse and neglect can also lead to the loss of your loved one.
There are several other forms of injury that your loved one could have suffered during a residency at a nursing home or assisted living facility. A Chicago nursing home injury lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will fight to make sure that responsible, negligent parties are liable for their nefarious actions.
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Our Legal Team Will Establish the Elements of Liability for Nursing Home Injuries
The health care facility that you or your loved one chose to provide long-term care services must adhere to a standard of care. A medical standard of care is a doctrine that nursing and hospital facilities use to gauge if the treatment provided is appropriate. If another doctor or medical provider would have reasonably taken the same action in a similar situation, then the individual or facility in question likely met the appropriate standard of care.
The civil court system assigns liability to nursing homes if the injury that breaches their duty was the result of a willful or negligent act. Some elements of negligence in nursing home abuse cases we see include:
- Inadequate staff training and hiring practices
- Failure to provide reasonable security measures
- Restraining your loved one without medical necessity
- Emotional and psychological abuse
- Missing items from the resident’s room
- Extra or repeated charges to a resident’s account
- Failure to meet resident’s basic needs
- Incorrect or absent monitoring of staff members
These are only a few examples of how a nursing home staff potentially exhibited negligence. The facility and staff have a lawful duty to ensure that your family member is safe and healthy. Failure to do so means that they are liable for the injuries your loved one suffered.
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Monetary Awards Are Available for Nursing Home Injuries in Civil Court
Compensation is available to victims of nursing home injuries. The legal professionals at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will stand by your side as you pursue the assailants that caused your loved one’s injury or loss of life. While money cannot make up for all of your losses, you should not have to pay for financial damages the negligent nursing home caused.
Our legal team will fight to go after the following types of compensation:
- Medical expenses
- Costs for relocation
- Physical and psychological therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
In short, we can help you file a claim for restitution for any expenses and losses related to your loved one’s nursing home injury.
Statute of Limitations Could Be Relevant to Your Case
Since nursing home injuries can fall under the areas of personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death laws, civil courts enact a statute of limitations—or deadline—on your lawsuit. In general, there are time limits on your ability to file a lawsuit for these types of cases, including:
- Personal injury: Two years from the date of injury
- Medical malpractice: Between two and four years from the date of injury
- Wrongful death: Between one and four years from the date of death
There is a limited time to file a lawsuit in pursuit of awards related to your loved one’s injury or loss of life. Therefore, you should speak with a Chicago nursing home injury lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to protect your rights before the deadline is up.
Even if you think the statute of limitations has passed, there may be options available depending upon the circumstances of your case.
Chicago Nursing Home Injury Lawyer
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect occur frequently in the U.S., according to the National Center on Elder Abuse. Residents in a nursing home may suffer from neglect and abuse emotionally, physically, or financially.
The staff and owners of a nursing home have the legal obligation to care for and protect their residents. When you entrust your precious loved one to a nursing home facility, you do so with the understanding that your relative receives a good standard of care.
You have the right to expect a nursing home to remain free of abuse, providing a safe and stimulating environment for your loved one to live out their final years in dignity. If your parent, spouse, or other loved one suffered injuries by abuse and neglect or even passed away due to the actions of nursing home staff, you may qualify to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
The process of proving negligence and abuse can involve lengthy and challenging processes, but you do not need to deal with this on your own. A Chicago nursing home injury lawyer can help. We may help to advise you and build a case. We may fight for you and ensure that your legal actions hold the responsible parties accountable. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to speak to our team of dedicated professionals. Call us.
Your Chicago nursing home injury lawyer may use different approaches to hold the nursing home liable for its practices. A nursing home may have an organizational problem that occurs at the expense of the residents. Some practices that can show negligence by those in charge of a nursing home include:
- Improver hiring practices.
- Too few caregivers for the number of residents.
- Inadequately qualified and trained staff members.
- Third-party abuse.
Nursing homes have the obligation to employ adequately trained, qualified, and vetted staff. This includes conducting appropriate background checks of new hires, ensuring they do not have a history of abuse or violence.
Understaffing can cause another serious problem in nursing homes. When a nursing home has a high resident to staff ratio, nurses’ attention may fail some residents. In the worst case, understaffing results in the dismissal of residents’ basic needs, leaving them at risk for dehydration, malnutrition, or medication errors.
Nursing homes bear liability for any third-party abuse that occurs on their premises. If your loved one suffered abuse or mistreatment by a contractor, for example, or another resident’s guest, this might constitute neglect by the nursing home.
Types of Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes
You may feel devastated to find out that your loved one suffers neglect in the very place that you entrusted with their care and safekeeping. Abuse and neglect in nursing homes can come in many different forms, some of which include:
- Emotional and verbal abuse.
- Physical abuse.
- Sexual abuse.
- Medication errors.
- Financial Abuse.
While those refer to the more obvious types of abuse, others exist. The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 protects residents of nursing homes. It clearly mandates that a nursing facility should provide services and activities to attain or maintain the highest practical physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident.
Denying residents appropriate physical activity, such as range of motion exercises, can also constitute a form of neglect. Likewise, a nursing home that fails to provide the elderly adults in their care with appropriate social activities may also classify as negligent.
Shockingly, nursing home staff may even over-sedate residents so they are “no trouble.” Using antipsychotic medication to control a resident for the convenience of staff violates federal regulations, yet cases involving the elderly in nursing homes occur, according to BMC Geriatrics.
Signs of Abuse and Neglect to Look Out For
If you have a parent or other relative in a nursing home, it pays to be vigilant and take note of any concerning signs that may point to neglect or abuse. Some of the following changes may indicate that something remains amiss with the standard of care at a nursing home:
- A general change in the demeanor of the resident and change in personality.
- The resident has bruises, scratches, and perhaps even broken bones.
- New bedsores and open wounds emerge.
- Evidence of poor personal hygiene appears, such as overgrown nails, an unwashed appearance, odors of urine and feces, or dirty clothes.
- Financial inaccuracies appear, such as missing money, bills remaining unpaid, or wills changed.
- The nursing home resident suddenly lost weight and shows signs of dehydration and/or malnutrition.
- The resident suddenly seems sleepy and inactive, displaying a lack of interest in what surrounds them.
Do you believe your elderly relative suffers from nursing home abuse? Have you have noticed any of these changes, or others, regarding their health or personality? If you suspect abuse, you should act swiftly.
Chicago Nursing Home Accident Lawyer
In your attempt to provide a safe environment for your elderly loved one, you trust caregivers and nursing home staff to uphold certain standards of care. If your elderly loved one suffered from any kind of abuse or neglect as a resident in a nursing home, and that abuse or neglect led to a devastating accident, you have the right to pursue financial awards for their injuries.
Consider a Chicago nursing home accident lawyer with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. Call us to help you determine your loved one’s legal rights if they suffered any injuries related to an accident in a nursing home.
Types of Accidents in Nursing Homes
Nursing home accidents often result from abuse or neglect of elderly residents. Residents in a nursing home facility must rely on the staff and management for daily assistance. They need help with simple tasks such as getting in and out of bed, sitting in a wheelchair, using the bathroom, and eating.
Falls in the elderly community is a common accident that occurs which can result in catastrophic injuries or death when they receive negligent or abusive treatment, according to the College of Family Physicians in Canada.
A single fall can cause serious injuries or even death to a fragile elderly resident. Falling is one of the most typical types of accidents that occur in a nursing home facility, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Approximately 1,800 elderly residents die from falls and even more become severely injured in nursing home facilities each year.
Falls occur because elderly residents often need assistance moving in and out of beds or wheelchairs. Without proper assistance from nursing home staff members, senior citizens may attempt to move, which may result in a fall and injuries. In some cases, if the nursing home staff neglected a resident for too long, they may attempt to go to the bathroom or find food or water on their own, leading to falls and injuries. In that situation, the negligence of a nursing home’s staff directly caused the resident’s injury or death. Injuries related to falls in nursing homes include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
- Broken or fractured bones.
- Internal organ damage.
- Spinal injuries.
Nursing homes have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their residents. If your elderly loved one fell in a nursing home, a lack of an appropriate plan of care for your loved one may have occurred. Another possibility may be that staff failed to fix any hazardous or dangerous conditions in the facility that may have caused your loved one’s injuries. Whatever the reason, the nursing home has an obligation to ensure protection and safety toward your loved one.
Medication errors occur during the preparation or administration of medicine to nursing home residents. Mistakes may compromise an attending physician’s orders, the manufacturer’s instructions, or the professional standards required to distribute and administer medicines.
Standards of care exist through the entire process of administering medication–from the writing of the prescription to the distribution to the resident. If caregivers do not take precautions, catastrophic injuries or death could occur.
The consequences of an accident involving medication errors in a nursing home facility can range from minor to deadly, according to the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. If your elderly loved one suffered any kind of injury due to an accident involving their medication, contacting a Chicago nursing home accident attorney may help you understand your legal rights and help you with your next steps. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm.
Failure to Monitor
Another issue that can compromise a resident’s safety and health revolves around proper monitoring of the residents. Shortages of staff members can lead to accidents among the elderly residents. These residents may try to get in and out of bed or a wheelchair themselves, fail to take their medication properly, fall while going to the bathroom unsupervised, or even attempt to leave the facility. In some cases, those elderly residents that suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease may unintentionally attempt to exit the facility.
If nursing home residents face any kind of abuse or neglect from nursing home staff members, their chances for accidents to occur increase. If you ever fear that your elderly loved one suffered from any kind of abuse or neglect in a nursing home, contact Adult Protective Services (APS) in Illinois, the National Center on Elder Abuse, and law enforcement immediately. Additionally, if you feel that your elderly loved one continues to be in danger of any kind of neglect or abuse, you should remove them from the nursing home facility as soon as possible.
Discuss Your Potential Case
Keep a close eye on the care that your loved one receives to ensure that abuse does not happen without intervention. If your loved one suffered from nursing home abuse, they may qualify for compensation related to their injuries and pain and suffering. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to schedule your free case review.