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.
For a free legal consultation with a Nursing Home Injury Lawyer serving Chicago, call (800) 794-0444
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.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm May Help
A nursing home may bear liability for certain financial damages, which may help your family member recover and move on. You may recover awards for pain and suffering, disfigurement and disability, and medical bills, for example.
If the worst already happened and your loved one passed away as a result of nursing home abuse and neglect, you may receive a wrongful death settlement.
The legalities surrounding nursing home neglect remain complex and multi-faceted. Personal injury law, as well as medical malpractice law, and others may apply in such a case.
You may need to review medical records, consult physicians, and perhaps even obtain expert witnesses to prove your case. A Chicago nursing home injury lawyer may help with all of this and advise you on your options. You will have no risk and no upfront attorney fees if we take on your case since we work on a contingency-fee basis. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for your free consultation by calling us.