A nursing home is supposed to help provide nursing care and rehabilitation services. When you visit your loved one residing in a nursing home, you expect that they will receive the highest level of care possible from empathetic and kind caregivers who will keep them safe. Unfortunately for some nursing home residents, instead of excellent care, they suffer from nursing home abuse at the hands of their caregivers.
Under no circumstances is nursing home abuse ever tolerable. Even in understaffed facilities where caregivers are burnt out, there is no place for abuse in nursing homes. Those that commit such crimes should be held accountable for their own actions.
If you or a loved one suffered nursing home abuse in Forest View, IL, it is time to evaluate your options when it comes to getting the justice and compensation that you deserve. A Forest View nursing home abuse lawyer may be able to assist you. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to schedule a no-cost consultation with a member of our legal staff to discuss your possible legal case.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse comes in many forms. Your loved one could suffer from multiple types of abuse during their stay. Some of the most common types of nursing home abuse include:
- Physical abuse: This can include hitting, pushing, or shoving a loved one. This can often happen when caregivers are burnt out or if a nursing home is severely understaffed.
- Financial abuse: This type of abuse happens too often. It is when someone uses a nursing home resident’s financial information to make unauthorized purchases or steals money from them.
- Neglect: This is simply not providing care at the level expected for the standard of care. Perhaps the resident was not given nutrition according to what is specified or left a resident in a soiled adult diaper for too long.
- Verbal abuse: This includes yelling, screaming, and name-calling.
- Sexual abuse: Sexual abuse can range from unwanted sexual acts or rape to molestation.
- Emotional abuse: This occurs when the abuser says things to intentionally cause the victim distress.
These are just some examples of nursing home abuse. However, there are many different types of elder abuse that are possible. If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of abuse, there is a good chance that something is wrong and that there is more worth investigating. It is important to communicate with your loved one on a regular basis to monitor signs of distress.
Investigating Nursing Home Abuse
Any claims of nursing home abuse should be investigated carefully, even if the claim comes from a family member who has a hunch about what might be happening. In particular, nonverbal nursing home residents may not be able to communicate about the abuse to others to let them know. This is why it is important to monitor for signs of nursing home abuse in all residents.
The abuse of residents of long term care facilities is a serious problem in the United States. Although you should not expect nursing home abuse to occur, it is more common than one would expect. It happens in luxury nursing homes in wealthy areas and in state-run facilities. No matter where your loved one resides, it is possible that they could become a victim of nursing home abuse.
For a free legal consultation with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer serving Forest View, call (800) 794-0444
Determining Liability in Nursing Home Abuse Cases
Determining liability in nursing home abuse cases is not always straightforward. Many people are part of a resident’s care team. This includes nursing home administrators, CNAs, nurses, and doctors. There are also other people who are around your loved one who could cause them harm, such as custodians, administrators, and insurance billing representatives. If a staff member abuses a nursing home resident, they should be held responsible for their criminal actions.
But what about the facility itself and its HR team? How was this person hired? Were proper screening measures in place that could stop this person from working at the facility? If the staff member has a criminal record but the facility hired them anyway, the nursing home could face charges, too. Nursing homes have an obligation to screen and monitor their staff members to ensure that residents stay safe.
Nursing homes may also work with external contractors and other service providers that could abuse residents. This can make figuring out liability more challenging. Working with a Forest View nursing home abuse lawyer can help you to identify which parties are responsible and come up with a plan for legal action.
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Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Some nursing home residents are unable to let you know that something bad happened to them. They may not even identify that the actions are a form of abuse. Some of the signs of nursing home abuse to look out for include:
- Broken bones.
- Frequent infections.
- Poor hygiene.
- Lost money.
Your loved one may display other signs of abuse if it happens. This is not a comprehensive list and it is important to trust your loved one if they disclose that abuse occurred. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team to discuss what happened. You do not need to go through the legal process unsupported and alone.
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Forest View Nursing Home Injury Lawyer
If your loved one suffered injuries while living in a nursing home or assisted care facility, you may qualify for financial compensation. Injuries happen for a variety of reasons, but if you suspect abuse or neglect on the part of a caregiver led to their injuries, you have a right to seek legal counsel. If a loved one experienced an injury and you want to learn more about your legal options, a Forest View nursing home injury lawyer may help you build your case. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for your free case evaluation.
Nursing Home Injuries
Nursing home injuries happen for many different reasons. Sometimes an accident can occur. Other times, a nursing home may fail to provide a safe and adequate facility, creating a dangerous environment for residents. In some cases, abuse or neglect from the nursing home staff can cause harm to residents. Nursing home injuries can prove absolutely devastating. They can cost a lot of time, money, and most significantly, they can affect your loved one’s health. Sometimes death can occur. Understanding the factors that can lead to nursing home injuries may help you determine if your loved one’s injury resulted from any breach in the standard of care followed by the nursing home.
Why Injuries Occur
Abuse accounts for some injuries residents suffered in nursing homes. According to a study by the World Health Organization, approximately one in six people 60 years and older experience some form of abuse annually. This abuse can include physical, verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse. All of these forms of abuse can result in nursing home injuries. In severe cases, the result of abuse can even prove fatal.
Neglect also frequents cases of nursing home injuries. Neglect, or negligence, relates to the failure of a caregiver or facility to act in a manner that prevents harm. Nursing home staff failing to properly maintain a facility, administer medication appropriately, or respond to the threat of an injury, all classify as examples of neglect. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, over 50% of nursing home staff admitted to neglecting, abusing, or mistreating older adults.
General accidents may also result in nursing home injuries. Slipping and falling, for example, presents a real threat for elderly residents in nursing homes that may have physical limitations. As people age, they often lose muscle mass, dexterity, and balance. This can result in frequent falls, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Decreases in muscle tissue and bone density can make even a minor fall a very serious threat of injury. Another serious threat of injury to older populations is falling. The CDC reports that these falls can lead to a broken bone or head injury that can turn fatal or debilitating for the rest of the resident’s life. The CDC also found that over 3 million older people are treated each year in emergency rooms as a result of falling, with 800,000 patients hospitalized due to either a head injury or hip fracture. To make matters worse, a study from Dermatologic Clinics suggests that aging bodies often lack the same ability to heal.
If your loved one experienced an injury in a nursing home that you think classifies as an accident, consider what led to the accident and who may bear liability for the circumstances surrounding the accident. If a floor was left slippery or if a stairway had a broken guardrail, for example, the facility may bear fault for not maintaining their property in an adequate manner. One thing you can do in these scenarios involves seeking legal advice. A Forest View nursing home injury lawyer may help to answer any questions you may have about your loved one’s injury.
Examples of Nursing Home Injuries
While home injuries in nursing homes vary greatly in cause and severity, some other types of injuries include:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Dehydration or malnutrition
When you decide to allow a loved one to live in a nursing home, you are trusting the professional staff to look after their well-being. If they suffered injuries while living in a nursing home, you should consider whether or not those injuries resulted from preventable accidents.
How You May Get Help From a Nursing Home Lawyer
Following a nursing home injury, seek immediate medical attention from a physician or specialist that directly addresses the specifics of your loved one’s injury. Their future quality of life depends on this. You should also report any potential wrongdoing that may have led to your loved one’s injury to both the nursing home administration and the police.
Following an injury, you can also decide if you want to explore your legal options. Financial compensation may remain available to you if another party contributed to the conditions surrounding your nursing home injury. You may qualify for the reimbursement of past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, and the costs of relocating your loved one.
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Forest View Nursing Home Accident Lawyer
Nursing homes have an obligation to provide high-quality care in a safe environment, according to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Your loved one should be able to focus on enjoying their quality of life without worrying about any injury or complications. When a nursing home neglects to supervise patients or, worse, hires staff that abuses residents, serious physical and psychological injuries can occur. Neglect and abuse are considered criminal acts.
Sometimes the injuries sustained during a nursing home accident can be more serious than the initial reason that a patient entered a nursing home. This can lead to unnecessary costs and treatments at your family’s expense. There is no reason that you should be held responsible for injuries that occur because of someone else.
If your loved one suffered from a Forest View nursing home accident, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to schedule a free consultation with a member of our team. We can discuss what possible legal options are available to you as recourse. There is no reason to navigate the process of recovery and justice alone. A Forest View nursing home accident lawyer can help.
Common Nursing Home Injuries
There are different types of nursing home injuries that your loved one could sustain. The severity and the long-term effects will vary based on the injury sustained. Some of the most common types of nursing home injuries are:
- Bedsores: Bedsores, sometimes referred to as pressure ulcers, can happen when a patient is not able to move around and places too much weight or pressure on one area. Proper positioning and assisted mobility from a nursing home staff member can help to reduce the risk of suffering from bedsores.
- Concussions: A concussion is a serious brain injury resulting from a fall or from an object hitting a person’s head. It can cause memory loss and puts patients at risk for other conditions.
- Infections: Frequent infections can be a sign of neglect. Patients should recover in nursing homes, not suffer from additional infections caused by neglect or medical malpractice.
- Brain and spine injuries: Some of the more serious nursing home injuries are brain and spine injuries, which are particularly difficult for seniors to recover from. A severe spine injury could paralyze or reduce mobility in a patient.
- Broken bones: A broken bone or a fracture could occur from nursing home abuse or from falling. For seniors, a broken bone could require surgical intervention or physical therapy to recover.
- Falling: Nursing home residents should be classified based on fall risk that is assessed by the nursing home. Those at a high risk of falling should have additional measures in place by staff members to keep the residents safe. Falls are a serious safety concern for seniors, leading to many hospitalizations and deaths each year.
This is only a partial list of the types of injuries that can be sustained at a nursing home. However, other injuries are possible. You can choose to pursue legal action for many types of nursing home accidents.
Liability for Nursing Home Accidents
When it comes to nursing home neglect and accidents, which unfortunately are all too common in the U.S., according to data from the National Center on Elder Abuse, there could be a few different parties responsible for the injuries. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, staff members, contractors, and the facility itself could be sued to seek compensation.
Evidence Needed for Nursing Home Accident Legal Cases
The elder abuse of residents of long-term care facilities can often happen for a period of time without anyone knowing. To build an effective case, you need evidence that documents the injuries. This evidence can come in the form of:
- Medical records: Medical records can include documentation from before and after the accident, as well as pharmacy and hospital records.
- Police reports: If a loved one sustained injuries in a nursing home accident, it could be a good idea to call the police to document the scene, depending on what happened. These reports can be used later to support legal claims.
- Witness testimony: This can include staff members, other nursing home residents, and visitors who possibly saw what happened.
- Security reports: Security reports come from private security companies or on-site security personnel that may see or document the accident.
- Incident reports: Most facilities, including restaurants and grocery stores used for nursing home field trips, have internal policies that enforce staff members to document incident reports when someone injures themselves on the property.
- Video surveillance footage: This can include video surveillance from the nursing home, neighboring buildings for outdoor accidents, and field trip sites where staff take residents out into the community. Even though nursing home residents are out of the facility itself, staff members still have an obligation to keep residents safe while they are under the nursing home’s care.
- Staff reports: Staff may create their own reports and documentation about what happens with residents. This can be used in a court of law to support the claims made in a legal case.
The types of evidence that are needed will vary depending on the situation. It is important to involve the authorities when it comes to nursing home accidents so that documentation can be created for use in legal proceedings.
If you have any questions about the type of evidence you will need, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to discuss your specific case with a member of our legal team and find out how a nursing home accident lawyer can help.
Statute of Limitations for Nursing Home Abuse
The state of Illinois typically gives two years for prosecuting nursing home abuse cases. However, in some circumstances, especially if the abuse is widespread and systemic, cases could be prosecuted later. This exception is rare. It is always a smart idea to consult with a nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible to discuss if you have a case. You may just have a potential legal avenue to recover compensation for medical expenses along with the pain and suffering felt by your loved one without even realizing it.
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Navigating the justice system can be difficult without a Forest View nursing home abuse lawyer on your side. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for support after a loved one experiences nursing home abuse. You do not have to do it alone.