You should not have to worry about how to handle a legal battle while you are grieving the loss of a loved one. If you recently lost your parent or spouse to nursing home negligence, an Oak Park death lawyer can help you. The proportion of deaths in nursing homes in the United States is on the rise, and nursing homes may not be properly equipped to handle dying residents.
If you believe your loved one passed away unnecessarily, and due to the negligence or abuse of nursing home staff, you need to protect his or her rights. Our lawyers understand nursing home abuse laws, and can assist you with the litigation process of a death case from start to finish. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a free consultation today.
Deaths in Nursing Homes
Nursing home deaths may not be adequately handled by nursing home staff. Residency in a nursing home is not the intended place for end-of-life care. Usually, if your loved one is in a nursing home, it is safe to assume that his or her condition is stable and there is no imminent threat of death.
Unfortunately, when people do die in nursing homes, the cause of death is not always appropriately investigated. This is one grim reality of nursing homes—the health conditions of many long-term residents can be used as cover-ups for patient deaths and nursing home neglect.
Senior citizens are some of the most vulnerable people in our society, and good elder care should revolve around protecting their dignity and independence. Fortunately, there are some protections in place to counteract some of the negative, sometimes fatal, impacts of nursing home care or lack thereof.
Protections for Nursing Home Residents
The Illinois Department on Aging stipulates residents’ rights and protections that all nursing home residents are entitled to. All residents have a right to the following:
- Good quality mental, physical, social, and emotional health.
- Absolute freedom from abuse in any form
- Active knowledge of his or her care plan
- Self-management of finances
Using these standards is essential to making sure your loved one receives adequate care, at the most basic level. When any of these rights are neglected or abused, you may have a civil or criminal case in nursing home abuse and neglect.
When Elder Abuse Leads to Death
Elder abuse is unfortunately common, and under-reported in the United States when it does happen. It was not until the mid-20th century that legislators began writing laws to protect senior citizens in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
Not all elder abuse or neglect is intentional, but that does not make it any less harmful. If your loved one passed away in a nursing home, it may be due to nursing home abuse or neglect. When it comes to your loved one’s case, consider the following common factors in nursing home deaths:
- Physical or Chemical Restraint Use: Physical restraints are any barriers that physically impede someone’s movement. Chemical restraints are prescription or over-the-counter drugs that are used to impede movement, responsiveness, and independence in older people. Studies show that use of chemical restraints contributes to a higher death rate in nursing home residents.
- Misuse of Medications: In addition to using medications for restraints, nursing home staff possibly misused or made a mistake while administering medication to your loved one. Again, unintentional neglect does not keep you from the liability of someone’s death. Your loved one possibly died if he or she missed just one dose of medication, or received a drug that had an interaction with another medication prescribed to them.
- Neglect to Treat Injury: When nursing home staff response time is lagging, it can have serious consequences for nursing home residents. If your loved one fell and remained unattended for a longer period of time than necessary and they passed away from it, their death was due to nursing home staff negligence.
Of course, this is a non-exhaustive list of ways your loved one could pass away while in a nursing home. From the moment your spouse, parent, or loved one moved into a nursing home, you were told that they would be free from nursing home abuse or neglect. Begin building a case that holds all liable parties accountable for their actions when you work with an Oak Park death lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. Call today.
Legal Claims After Death in a Nursing Home
The lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm have your rights and your deceased loved one’s rights in mind when we are building a case. There is no case that is too complicated for our lawyers to handle. We can give you perspective on how your case would hold up in or out of court. If we cannot settle out of court, we will fight for your rights at trial.
- Wrongful death: Wrongful death claims in Illinois generally have a statute of limitations of two years. Any unnecessary death caused by the negligence of another party is cause for a wrongful death claim.
- Medical malpractice: Any licensed medical professional possibly contributed to the death of your loved one. This person could be a nurse, doctor, or any other medically licensed person working in the nursing home. In Illinois, the statute of limitations is usually two years if you want to take legal action for medical malpractice.
- Breach of Contract: Illinois law stipulates that all nursing home residents must sign a care plan. Any instances of elder abuse could be a direct violation of your loved one’s care plan. The statute of limitations for written contracts is up to 10 years, and five years if it was an oral contract.
If you believe your loved one’s death qualifies for a criminal claim, there is a higher burden of proof, and more serious consequences for the other party. You must be able to build a case that proves how a nursing home staff member intended to cause serious or fatal injury to your loved one through a criminal act.
Whatever the case may be, our lawyers will work to get you the settlement you deserve. Do not worry about payment, as our lawyers work on a contingency-based fee. This means that we do not get paid until we win a settlement in your case.
For a free legal consultation with a Death Lawyer serving Oak Park, call (800) 794-0444
Your Oak Park Death Lawyer Search Ends Here
Let an Oak Park death lawyer handle your case from start to finish. We know how difficult losing a loved one can be, and we want to fight for your rights throughout the litigation process.
Begin building a case that brings justice to your family and the death of your loved one when you call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today.