Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Nursing home abuse is a serious issue affecting millions of people yearly. While many elderly people reside in nursing homes, they are often at a higher risk for abuse or neglect than those who live at home. A nursing home resident is often more vulnerable and dependent on others for care.
Abuse can take many forms, including physical, sexual, emotional, and mental abuse and neglect. Many residents are unable to speak up for themselves and may not be able to get help if they are being abused. Family and friends of residents must be aware of the signs of abuse and report any concerns they may have.
By doing so, we can help protect the vulnerable residents of a nursing home setting and ensure that they receive the care and respect they deserve.
Is your loved one a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect? The personal injury attorneys at Injury Lawyer Team, sponsored by Rosenfeld Law Offices, are legal advocates for injured victims harmed through the negligence of others.
Contact a Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
National Nursing Home Abuse Statistics and Facts
According to the National Center On Elder Abuse (NCEA), one in six elderly Americans experiences abuse each year. That’s about 5 million people! This number is only expected to grow as the population of aging Americans increases.
Unfortunately, there is a general lack of awareness about elder abuse, which often allows it to go undetected and unreported.
- One in ten residents suffers from abuse or neglect.
- Nursing home abuse or neglect can take many forms, including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and neglect.
- Nursing home abuse can have devastating consequences for victims, including physical injuries, psychological trauma, and even death.
- Nearly 50% of residents report being mistreated in some way.
- Around 95% of care facility abuse goes unreported.
- Most abusers are staffers at the nursing home rather than fellow residents.
- Many cases of nursing home abuse go unreported, often because victims are afraid of retaliation or ashamed to admit they’ve been abused.
- Nursing homes are legally required to report any incidents of abuse or neglect that come to their attention.
- The National Center On Elder Abuse is a government-funded resource center dedicated to preventing and addressing elder abuse.
- There are several ways to protect yourself from nursing home abuse, including researching potential facilities thoroughly, visiting regularly, and being aware of the signs of abuse.
- Several organizations offer information and support to victims of care facility abuse, including the National Adult Protective Services Association.
- Nursing home abuse can happen anywhere, but certain states are known for having exceptionally high rates of abuse or neglect.
- Elder care is a growing industry, and with the aging population, it is likely to become increasingly important in the years to come.
Speak to our Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer today if you suspect that your loved one is suffering from nursing home neglect. We specialize in nursing home neglect cases and can assist you if your suspect staff members abuse and neglect a family member.
Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Statistical Data
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), in 2020, there were 1,545 complaints of elder home abuse or neglect in Illinois nursing homes, a 28% increase from the previous year. Of these complaints, 984 were substantiated, resulting in the removal of an individual from the nursing home facility.
Since 2010, the number of substantiated complaints has increased by 86%. This alarming trend points to a systemic issue with nursing facility abuse in Illinois. The safety and well-being of our elderly population should be a top priority, yet it appears that too many nursing homes are failing in this regard.
Despite the prevalence of elder home abuse or neglect, it is still a hidden problem. Many families are reluctant to speak out about the emotional and physical abuse their loved ones have suffered for fear of retaliation by the nursing home staff or because they simply don’t know where to turn for help.
Fortunately, resources are available for those who suspect elder abuse or neglect in nursing homes, including the NCEA website and the National Hotline for Abuse and Neglect of Elders at 1-800-628-8583.
Contact Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers from our law office to assist you with legal counsel in your nursing home abuse lawsuit. Use our free consultation to discuss the elder abuse or neglect your family members have suffered in assisted living facilities.
Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home abuse is a serious issue that often goes unreported. Victims of care facility abuse are often elderly and dependent on the staff for care and support. They may be physically or emotionally abused, neglected, or exploited.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), physical abuse is the intentional use of force against an elder that results in pain, injury, or impairment. This abusive behavior can include:
- The unnecessary use of restraints
- Rough treatment
Any unwanted sexual contact with an elder, including touching an elder’s genitals, breasts, or buttocks without consent; forcing an elder to watch pornographic material; or forcing an elder to engage in sexual activity.
Emotional Or Psychological Abuse
Any behavior that causes emotional pain or distress in an elder, including:
- Verbal abuse
- Mental abuse and harassment
- Isolating residents from others
- Not allowing residents to engage in activities they enjoy
- Verbally threatening residents
- Withholding food, water, or medication
Nursing home residents can often feel lonely and isolated, especially if they cannot get out of bed or participate in activities. When a nursing home staff member does not visit or spend time with a resident, this can be considered abandonment, leading to emotional distress and physical injuries.
Financial Abuse or Exploitation
The unauthorized use of an elder’s money, property, or assets. Examples are stealing money or possessions from an elder, cashing checks without permission, using a credit card without approval, or taking advantage of an elderly person’s trusting nature.
The failure to provide necessary care and assistance to an elder. The negligence or medical malpractice can include:
- Will not or unable to provide adequate hydration or nutrition.
- Keeping residents isolated from others for no valid reason
- Will not or unable to administer proper medication or make medication errors.
- Failing to provide routine medical care
- Unable to ensure that residents, their clothes, and their rooms are clean and sanitary.
- Will not or unable to perform essential grooming of residents.
- Failing to respond to emergency medical situations
- Not assisting when a resident needs to go to the restroom or move around
The desertion of an elderly person by a caregiver without proper arrangements for care and support leaves elders without essential needs such as food, water, medication, and social interaction.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, medication errors are among the leading causes of death in nursing homes. These errors can occur when nurses give elders the wrong medication, when they give too much or too little medication, when they don’t monitor medications closely enough, or when elders take medications improperly.
A leading cause of injury and death among residents. Falls account for more than half of all nursing home injuries each year. The most common causes of falls are slippery floors; inadequate lighting; loose rugs and mats; and clutter and furniture that block pathways.
Another leading cause of injury and death among residents. Most burns occur when elders accidentally touch something hot (such as a stovetop), but scalding hot water is also a common source of burns in nursing homes. Other causes of burns include exposure to flames and chemical spills/leaks.
A lack of supervision could lead to residents wandering off and getting injured. For example, in one instance, a resident wandered out of the nursing home and was found dead two days later in a nearby river.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
A severe threat to residents and often goes undetected until it’s too late. This gas is odorless and colorless, so it’s difficult to detect unless you have a carbon monoxide detector installed in your home. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, confusion, and even death.
A common hazard for residents who have difficulty swallowing correctly. Choking can occur when:
- Elders try to eat solid foods.
- Drinking liquids too quickly
- Sucking on hard candy or gum
- Coughing up phlegm
- Falling asleep with food in their mouth
Nursing home residents are at high risk for contracting infections due to their weakened immune systems and proximity to other residents who may be ill. Infections can cause serious health problems for elders and sometimes lead to death.
These causes deserve attention, but it is imperative to focus on staffing shortages and resident-on-resident violence, two of the most common causes of nursing facility abuse.
Common Nursing Home Abuse Injuries
Nursing home neglect and abuse is a problem that is often overlooked. However, it is a serious issue that can cause much harm to the victims. There are many different types of nursing facility abuse, which can cause significant injuries.
According to CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), some of the most common care facility abuse injuries include:
- Bedsores: A common injury in nursing homes is bedsores, occurring when staffers neglect to provide skin care, forming sores on the skin.
- Broken bones: Residents are at high risk for falls which can lead to fractures, as they are often elderly and have impaired mobility. Staffers must be diligent in ensuring that residents do not fall, which can lead to serious injuries including broken bones.
- Declining health from dehydration: Residents often cannot take in enough fluids due to their condition or medications. Staffers must monitor residents’ fluid intake and provide enough fluids to stay hydrated.
- Hip and knee fractures: One of the most common injuries in nursing homes is a fracture to the hip or knee when falling. These can often be serious injuries, requiring extensive medical care and sometimes leading to long-term disability.
- Bruises and lacerations: Residents are often injured by caregivers who strike them or by objects such as furniture that are accidentally bumped into them. These injuries can be painful and can often lead to infection.
- Sexually transmitted diseases: Elderly residents in nursing homes are at high risk for contracting sexually transmitted infections due to sexual assault. Any STD could pose a severe health risk for the resident and spread the disease to other residents.
- C-diff and other contagious diseases: Contaminated surfaces in nursing homes can lead to the spread of bacterial and viral infections, such as C-diff, MRSA, and the flu. These illnesses can be deadly for elderly residents, who may be vulnerable to their effects.
These injuries can be excruciating and require extensive medical treatment and medical care. In some cases, they can even be fatal.
If you suspect your loved one has been the victim of nursing home facility abuse, you should contact the police immediately.
Speak to a nursing home abuse attorney from our law office to provide legal advice when your family member is a victim of abuse and neglect from nursing home employees of an Illinois nursing home facility.
Why Nursing Home Residents File a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
When someone enters a nursing home, they should expect to be treated with the utmost respect and dignity. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
For many elderly people, nursing homes are their only option for quality care, hoping these facilities are safe and free from abuse. Unfortunately, physical, emotional, and financial abuse and neglect often take place in an assisted living facility,
Victims of care facility abuse often don’t report suffering abuse and neglect because they fear retaliation or don’t think anyone will believe them. They may also be embarrassed or ashamed of what’s happened to them. However, victims need to speak up about the abuse they’ve suffered.
When victims file a nursing home abuse claim, they can hold the abuser accountable and get the justice they deserve. They can also help ensure this abuse doesn’t happen to other seniors in nursing homes.
There are many benefits to filing a claim, including the following:
- You may be able to receive financial compensation for your injuries, including medical expenses for current and future medical care.
- The nursing home may be held accountable for their actions, which could lead to changes in policy and better care.
- Filing a claim can help ensure the abuser is held responsible and does not harm anyone else.
All forms of nursing home abuse are unacceptable, and victims who have suffered abuse should not hesitate to file a claim. Our affiliate law offices and Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers will work tirelessly to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Illinois Statute of Limitations: How Long I Have to File A Claim
When Illinois nursing home residents are injured due to nursing home abuse, they may have the option to file a claim to seek compensation for their damages. However, there are specific time limits in place that must be followed to pursue a case.
The Illinois statute of limitations to file a nursing home abuse claim sets the time limit for victims to take legal action. In most cases, victims have two years from the date of the abuse to file a lawsuit.
There are a few exceptions to this rule, however. If an individual does not realize that they were abused until after the two-year mark, they will still have two years from the date they discovered the abuse to file a claim.
If an individual is a minor when the abuse occurs, they will have two years from their 18th birthday to file a claim. There are also certain situations where the statute of limitations may be extended.
If you do not file a lawsuit within the allotted time frame, you will likely lose your chance to recover damages for your injuries.
What Are Some Examples of Nursing Home Negligence?
Here are some common reasons why families file lawsuits against nursing homes and win their cases:
- The nursing home fails to develop and implement a fall prevention plan for nursing home residents who are at risk and injured in a fall.
- Nursing home staff are negligent in preventing an at-risk resident from developing a pressure ulcer (bed sores) and properly treating the condition.
- The nursing home negligently hires and fails to screen an employee who then abuses a resident.
- Doctors on staff commit medical malpractice by not diagnosing a life-threatening condition or misdiagnosing it.
- Nurses commit serious medication errors by not giving the resident the necessary or wrong medication.
- A resident is assaulted by a visitor or another resident when the nursing home neglects its duty to provide security at the care facility.
What Can I Do to Ensure Nursing Home Residents’ Safety In A Nursing Home?
Should you suspect abuse of your loved ones or that they are suffering from nursing home neglect, the following guidelines can ensure their safety:
- Ensure adequate food and water to prevent dehydration and malnutrition, which is one of the signs of negligence by a caregiver. Elderly residents are often afraid or too weak to report negligent behavior.
- Provide your elderly loved ones with snacks and drinks that can be absorbed without assistance if needed.
- Encourage your loved ones to eat regularly. Some residents have a mental illness such as dementia, causing them to forget that they need to eat and may not realize that they are hungry and thirsty.
- Work out a schedule for bathroom breaks and remind them to keep to the schedule to minimize accidents. Forgetting scheduled bathroom breaks can cause urinary tract infections or cause skin problems when incontinence occurs with the continual exposure of the skin to moisture.
- Make sure that loved ones do not have evidence of poor personal hygiene by checking that they take care of their personal appearance, bathe and have their clothes washed daily.
- Confirm that staff members change the bedding often, at least once every 24 hours, to prevent their skin from being exposed to excessive moisture and developing an infection.
- Always treat residents with dignity and respect. No belittling or shouting at residents; speak with a clear, calm, soothing voice.
- Check that staff members change their position every two hours, so they do not get bed sores. Bedsores can develop quickly if the person has medical conditions requiring more time than usual lying down.
- Ensure that therapy or rehabilitation services, including occupational, vocational, physical therapies, and speech-language pathology, are provided when necessary. Learning new skills creates brain stimuli preventing the onset of mental illnesses such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.
- Encourage loved ones to interact by participating in board games, watching television, talking with family members, or taking a walk around the facility.
- Ensure staff members confirm that a loved one’s medication is taken promptly and regularly. Residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s can refuse medical treatment, and caregivers should have a gentle, patient but firm approach.
Sometimes you may not be in a position to visit your loved ones daily, or their medical and emotional condition compels them to remain in the nursing facility. Yet you can still protect your loved ones from suffering from nursing home abuse, ensuring they receive the care they deserve.
You should also know your rights as an advocate for your loved ones to protect them from emotional abuse. For example, if you suspect nursing home abuse occurs in a nursing home, you can do unannounced spot checks.
Filing A Nursing Home Abuse Wrongful Death Lawsuit: A Survivor’s Legal Remedy for Compensation
When someone we love is hurt, it’s natural to want to do something about it. The desire for justice can be overwhelming for families who have had a loved one suffer abuse or neglect in a nursing home. Seeking justice can be difficult – but it’s not impossible.
Nursing home abuse survivors file a wrongful death lawsuit for numerous reasons, including:
- Ensure that the abuser is held accountable for their actions.
- Provide financial compensation to the victim’s family.
- Ensure that the abuser is not allowed to harm anyone else.
- Send a message that abuse will not be tolerated.
- Ensure that the abuser is adequately punished.
- Provide closure for the victim’s family.
- Ensure that the abuser is not allowed to profit from their actions.
- Ensure that the victim’s voice is heard.
- Hold the nursing home accountable for their negligence.
- Ensure that changes are made to prevent future abuse from happening.
- Provide justice for the victim.
- Because the life of a loved one can never be replaced.
If you believe that your loved one was a victim of wrongful death at the hands of a nursing home, you may be able to hire an attorney from a law firm to file a lawsuit.
If you’re considering filing a lawsuit, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Gather evidence: To win your case, you’ll need to provide evidence that supports your allegations of abuse or neglect. This evidence can come from medical records, eyewitness testimony, and more. Make sure you gather as much evidence as possible to strengthen your case.
- Get help from an attorney: Filing a lawsuit can be complicated – especially if you don’t have any legal experience. That’s why it’s essential to work with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process and help you achieve the best possible outcome.
If you think your loved one was wrongfully killed by nursing home staff, contact an affiliate law office to consult with a nursing home abuse lawyer today for a free consultation to gain legal counsel concerning the abuse or family members in nursing homes.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help Resolve a Compensation Claim For A Nursing Home Resident
When you or a loved one enters a nursing home, you trust that the staff will provide quality care and protect you from harm. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Nursing home abuse can take many forms, such as physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, or financial exploitation.
If you suspect that you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, it is essential to seek legal help from a lawyer immediately. Nursing home abuse attorneys can help resolve your compensation claim and hold the responsible party accountable. Here are some reasons why an attorney can help:
- Our Cook County attorneys have experience handling nursing home abuse cases.
- We know the laws that apply to nursing home abuse cases and can guide you through the legal process.
- Our legal team has resources to help gather evidence of the abuse or neglect and build a strong case.
- Your nursing home abuse attorney can negotiate with the nursing home’s insurance company on your behalf.
- If necessary, our Chicago nursing home attorney can take your case to court and fight for a fair settlement.
- Our lawyers understand what an appropriate settlement should include and can ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
- We can help ensure that those responsible for the abuse are held accountable for their actions.
- Our Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys can provide emotional support and guidance during difficult times.
- We can work with other professionals, such as doctors and therapists, to get you the best possible care.
- Our law office can keep you informed of your case’s progress and answer any questions you may have along the way, standing by your side through the entire process.
- We only charge fees after we win your case.
- Our nursing home negligence attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of nursing home abuse victims and fighting for justice on their behalf.
Hire a Personal Injury Attorney to Resolve Your Nursing Home Abuse Case
Do you suspect nursing home neglect or abuse by nursing home staff members led to your loved one’s injuries or wrongful death? Do you want to hold the nursing facility financially accountable for abusing a nursing home resident?
Nursing home abuse attorneys at the Injury Legal Team specialize in cases involving the negligence or intentional acts of others. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
Contingency Fee Promise
Our affiliate law firm accepts all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits on a contingency fee basis. This agreement ensures you only pay legal fees when your case is resolved through a negotiated settlement or jury award.
All confidential or sensitive information you share remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
- American Psychological Association – Senior Citizens Abuse
- HRW: Apprehension Over Neglect in Long-Term Care Facilities
- NCBI: Older People Abuse in Nursing Homes