Nursing home abuse cases can be difficult when your elderly relative is unable to speak for themselves in a legal battle. The circumstances are even more severe when your loved one passes away and will not live to tell their side of the story. Nursing home staff have a legal obligation to ensure safety and a good quality of life for our loved ones. If you recently lost a loved one due to the neglect or abuse of nursing home staff, a Chicago death lawyer can help. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today.
Nursing Home Patients Are Entitled to Quality Care
Your loved one residing in a nursing home is entitled to essential care.
According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, nursing home patients have the following rights and protections under the law:
- Be given privacy.
- Be informed about services, health conditions, and medications.
- Be treated with dignity and respect.
- Make independent choices, including choosing a physician.
- Manage his or her own money or choose someone else to manage it.
- Participate in making choices in care.
- Refuse medications and treatments.
Nursing home patients have a right to independence and autonomy, with special consideration for their physical, mental, and psychosocial needs.
What Makes Nursing Home Patients Vulnerable to Abuse
The most common factors that make elders vulnerable to abuse include social isolation and mental impairment from diseases like dementia or Alzheimer’s. Unfortunately, many older people are living in nursing homes because of a need for care and monitoring that family members are unable to provide.
A nursing home is a completely new environment for your loved one. It’s no wonder that moving into a nursing home can result in increased social isolation. Unfortunately, this can also result in neglectful isolation by staff if your loved one is left alone for long periods of time, or if they have a limited social network and are not able to report abuse to anyone else.
If your loved one is diagnosed with a cognitive disease like Alzheimer’s or dementia, they may be considered difficult for staff members and other patients to be around. Being unengaged socially can further deteriorate health and increase chances of death.
If Your Loved One Passed Away in a Nursing Home
If your loved one died in a nursing home, it is certainly a difficult time for you and your family. You might feel incredible guilt for the circumstances, but you are not liable for the negligence of a caregiver. Remember, nursing home staff are obligated to maintain a good quality of life for patients in their hands.
The best thing to do first is to report the possible abuse case to the police, so that there is an official account of what happened. Then, call our firm so we can begin building your claim immediately.
Types of Nursing Home Death Claims
Consider which type of claim you may be dealing with. Our Chicago death lawyers are familiar with nursing home abuse and neglect, and can guide you through all potential legal options:
- Wrongful death: You may have a wrongful death case if your loved one would still be alive in different circumstances. The statute of limitations for wrongful death cases is typically two years from the initial cause of death.
- Medical malpractice: Medical malpractice could happen at any point during your loved one’s time in the nursing home. If you believe they were inappropriately provided medications, you may have a medical malpractice case. The statute of limitations for this is generally two years from when the victim notices their injury.
Criminal prosecution against a nursing home is possible too, if your loved one’s death was a result of a law-breaking offense. However, criminal cases are usually much more severe than civil court cases. You must have evidence to present to a jury, proving:
- Intentional negligence.
- Bodily harm or injury, as the result of wrongful acts.
- Sexual abuse in a nursing home.
- Financial crimes like theft, fraud, and forgery.
No matter what your circumstances are, the lawyers at Pintas & Mullins know how to help you navigate your legal options. Our lawyers can review your case, and get started on building your claim right away. We will guide you through each step of the process and explain which of your options you would be well-advised to choose.
Evidence for a Nursing Home Abuse Case
If your loved one passed away as a result of neglect by nursing home staff, our team will take care of the litigation process, including collecting evidence to support your case. Of course, anything you can provide for us before the discovery process could be enough for us to pursue a case. In addition, we will seek evidence that shows:
- Patterns of abuse in the nursing home.
- Witnesses who knew your loved one and can vouch for the quality of care.
- Your loved one’s medical records.
- Input from elder abuse and other medical experts.
For a free legal consultation with a Wrongful Death Lawyer serving Chicago, call (800) 794-0444
Contact a Chicago Death Lawyer Today
Moving your loved one into a nursing home is not an easy decision, and should not result in a tragic and unjust death for them. If your loved one passed away while in a nursing home and you think they suffered abuse, explore all your legal options before considering it a closed chapter of your life.
You do not have to handle your loved one’s neglectful death alone. Hold all liable parties accountable when you call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today.