If your loved one fell due to the negligence or abuse of nursing home staff, you may be eligible to seek damages for emotional and physical pain suffered. Falls can be prevented in nursing homes, so most injuries that happen due to a fall are unnecessary. You and your family are entitled to, at the very least, peace of mind when it comes to proper care for your loved one.
When you build a case for negligence or abuse against a nursing home after a fall, it is important to consider the nuanced laws in place to prevent unnecessary falls. Speaking with an Oak Park falls lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you understand your potential legal options and your best next steps. Call our offices today for a free consultation .
Quality Care in Nursing Homes
When you made the decision to transfer your elderly parent or loved one into a nursing home facility, it is safe to assume that you had everyone’s best interest in mind. It is common for families to become overwhelmed with the medical issues and daily needs of an aging parent or spouse. When you trust a nursing home with the care of your loved one, it is reasonable to expect them to prevent unnecessary falls and injuries.
If your loved one has a history of falling in the nursing home, it is possible that some of their basic rights are not being considered by the staff. All nursing home residents are entitled to the Residents’ Bill of Rights from move-in day and beyond. Disruptions in the consistency and quality of care can mean that your loved one’s care attendants are infringing on your loved one’s rights.
Nursing Home Staff is Obligated to Prevent Falls
Illinois law makes it clear: Admittance to a nursing home does not infringe on any basic civilian rights. These rights are essential for helping your loved one maintain some sense of dignity and independence after moving into a nursing home. The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act stipulates requirements for care plans, chemical and physical restraints, medical treatment, and more. In alignment with the care plan for most nursing home residents, staff is obligated to prevent dangerous and unnecessary falls.
It is important to understand your loved one’s rights in a nursing home, should you need to take legal action. Disregarding any of the following rights could mean that a nursing home staff member did not take care to prevent a fall.
Nursing Home Care Plans and Rights
The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act states, “Every resident shall be permitted to participate in the planning of his total care and medical treatment to the extent that his condition permits.” Your loved one will have a thorough care plan that is physician-approved upon arrival to the nursing home. In Illinois, the facility has up to 14 days from the first day of residence to complete a comprehensive care plan.
If able, your loved one should have a say in what equipment, processes, and routines are necessary to maintain a good quality of care. If your loved one fell due to a failure to follow his or her specified care plan, such as limited access to mobility equipment, or unnecessary chemical restraints that altered their safe movement, you will be able to hold the nursing home and its staff accountable for damages caused.
Right to Limit Unnecessary Drugs
Unnecessary drugs could be used as chemical restraints. The Nursing Home Care Act stipulates that “[a] resident shall not be given unnecessary drugs,” and “[n]either restraints nor confinements shall be employed for the purpose of punishment or for the convenience of any facility personnel … except as ordered by a physician.” Unnecessary drugs can be used by nursing home staff members to sedate or chemically restrain your loved one.
This can be problematic, whether the drug is prescribed or obtained over the counter. If it is not a substance your loved one normally uses, needs for essential medical reasons, or has never used before, there may be a clear case of neglect. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a recent study shows that use of unnecessary medications for chemical restraints in nursing homes is associated with older age, falls, bladder incontinence, use of feeding tube, dementia, poor cognitive function, delirium, behavioral problems, and negative mood. Not only can unnecessary drugs contribute to falls in a nursing home, they come with other substantial risks that your loved one may also face.
Understanding the Consequences of Medical Treatment
To help prevent falls in a nursing home, your loved one deserves to know how medical treatment will affect them. The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act stipulates that “[e]very resident shall be permitted to refuse medical treatment and to know the consequences of such action, unless such refusal would be harmful to the health and safety of others…”
Perhaps your loved one was unnecessarily confined to one room with the explanation that it was medically necessary, during a time when he or she usually socializes. Basic disruptions in his or her daily routine could lead to your loved one attempting to stand up and move to get back to the schedule they usually enjoy.This is a non-exhaustive explanation of rights your loved one has that may have been broken by a neglectful or abusive nursing home staff member. If you suspect that any of your loved one’s basic rights were taken away by staff members, it is important to consider while building a case for your loved one’s fall. Call our offices for a free consultation to discuss more details about your specific case.
For a free legal consultation with a Falls Lawyer serving Oak Park, call (800) 794-0444
Taking Legal Action After a Nursing Home Fall
If your loved one fell while living in a nursing home, you could have a case for personal injury, breach of contract, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and more. The proof of burden in a civil court case would be that the emotional and physical injuries your loved one suffered from the fall were due to someone else’s negligence. It is important to consider working with a legal professional for your case, if you want perspective on how your case could potentially be handled in court.
In Illinois, the statute of limitations for claims made against a nursing home could be as little as two years, and as long as ten years. The specific statute of limitations for your case will vary, so it will benefit you to call a lawyer as soon as you think you have a case. The lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm work on a contingency fee basis, so we do not get paid until you get the settlement you deserve.
Oak Park Falls Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
An Oak Park Falls Lawyer Can Help You
When you work with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, our priority is helping you and your loved ones return to life as usual. We want to help your loved one avoid falls and the terrible aftermath of them. Dealing with nursing home lawsuits can be a burden to the time you have left with the people you love. Let an Oak Park falls lawyer handle your legal case.
Call our offices today, so we can start working for you.