Nursing Home Abuse
We know that family members take great care in choosing a nursing home for their loved one. It is vital that our elderly or vulnerable family members are well taken care of. However, there are times when the staff of nursing homes neglect the needs of their residents.
In some cases, residents are even abused by nursing home staff. If you discover that your loved one has been neglected or abused in a nursing home, Seidman, Margulis & Fairman, LLP is here to help. Let our Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys investigate your case today.Nursing Home Abuse Resources
- Why Hire Our Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
- Understanding Nursing Home Negligence
- Signs Of Nursing Home Negligence
- Compensation For Nursing Home Neglect Cases
- Statute of Limitations For Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuits
- Contact A Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today
After discovering something as serious as nursing home abuse, elder abuse, or neglect of a loved one, you need a team with experience handling these cases. Seidman, Margulis & Fairman, LLP is ready to get to work.
- Our sole focus is personal injury law, and our nursing home abuse attorneys have more than 100 years of combined legal experience handling complex nursing home cases throughout Chicago.
- We are committed to providing direct and honest communication with our clients, and we guarantee you will always deal with your attorney, not a paralegal or junior assistant.
- Our Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers take cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that our clients owe us no legal fees until we secure the compensation they are entitled to through a favorable settlement or verdict.
Unfortunately, victims and their family members in these cases often do not have the resources or legal experience to properly pursue maximum compensation. A skilled Chicago nursing home negligence lawyer will be able to handle every aspect of your case. This includes:
- Obtaining all evidence related to the negligence (internal nursing home documents, surveillance footage, eyewitness statements, medical records, accident reports, etc.).
- Working with trusted medical professionals to evaluate your loved one's condition and provide expert witness testimony on their behalf.
- Negotiate with all parties involved in order to secure any compensation your loved one is entitled to.
Nursing negligence can take many forms. In some cases, there is a systemic problem that affects various aspects of a nursing home's operation. Other times, negligence occurs at the hands of a single employee.
- Neglect. There are times when the basic necessities of a nursing home employee are neglected. This can include neglect of the following: food, water, shelter, medical care, basic hygiene, regular exercise, and more. Failure to provide these basic necessities is considered neglect and a form of elder abuse.
- Physical abuse. The physical abuse of a nursing home resident is abhorrent and takes many forms. This can include pushing, punching, slapping, grabbing, kicking, and excessive force when moving a resident from place to place.
- Sexual abuse. This is an extreme form of physical abuse and includes any unwanted sexual contact with a nursing home resident.
- Financial abuse. Nursing home residents' finances are often handled and controlled by nursing home staff. This can lead to the misuse of a resident's financial and personal information. Financial abuse can include theft as well as identity fraud.
- Wrongful death. If a loved one dies at an assisted living facility, its possible staff members were negligent. The warning signs and causes of wrongful death in a nursing facility can include bruises on the patient's arms, bedsores, and medication errors.
- Financial exploitation. Financial exploitation occurs when a staff member misuses the assets of a vulnerable loved one for their own personal benefit.
If you suspect a loved one is being neglected in a Chicago nursing home, contact our Illinois nursing home abuse lawyers today for a free consultation. Our injury lawyers have been helping clients in assisted living facilities for over 35 years.Illinois Nursing Home Care Act
The nursing home care act is a statute of state laws that regulates all licensed nursing home facilities in Illinois. The safety and rights of nursing home residents are defined in the statutes as follows:
- a "long term care facility" is defined in the Nursing Home Care Act as a "private home, institution, building, residence, or any other place, whether operated for profit or not, or a county home for the infirm and chronically ill…which provides, through its ownership or management, personal care, sheltered care or nursing for 3 or more persons, not related to the applicant or owner by blood or marriage."
- "Abuse" is defined as "any physical or mental injury or sexual assault inflicted on a resident other than by accidental means in a facility."
- "Neglect" means "a facility's failure to provide, or willful withholding of, adequate medical care, mental health treatment, psychiatric rehabilitation, personal care, or assistance with activities of daily living that is necessary to avoid physical harm, mental anguish, or mental illness of a resident."
- "Misappropriation of a resident's property" means "the deliberate misplacement, exploitation, or wrongful temporary or permanent use of a resident's belongings or money without the resident's consent."
- "Emergency" means "a situation, physical condition or one or more practices, methods or operations which present imminent danger of death or serious physical or mental harm to residents of a facility."
There are various signs and symptoms that nursing home negligence may be occurring. Many of the signs of elder abuse and neglect can be difficult to recognize, but family members and friends should make regular visits and be on the lookout for the following physical and/or behavioral symptoms:
- Unusual or unexplained cuts, bruises, welts, or skin tears
- Bedsores at any stage of development (stage 1, 2, 3, 4)
- Unexplained bone fractures or dislocations
- Sudden weight loss or dehydration
- Changes in appetite
- Frequent infections
- Lethargy (a possible sign of overmedication)
- Lack of cleanliness
- Problems with hygiene
- Mood swings or outbursts
- Reclusiveness or withdrawn behavior
Nursing homes in Illinois are licensed, regulated, and inspected or certified by a number of private and public agencies at the state and federal level. This can include the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).What Compensation is Available For Nursing Home Neglect Cases?
If your loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home, there may be various types of compensation available. The nursing home negligence attorneys at Seidman, Margulis & Fairman, LLP have a proud history of standing up for victims in these cases and regularly secure the following types of compensation:
- Complete cost paid for a resident to stay at the nursing home
- Initial medical bills and ongoing rehabilitation
- Emotional trauma and grief damages
- Possible punitive damages against the employees and the nursing home involved
The total amount of compensation awarded will vary depending on the facts related to each particular case, and we pledge to pursue maximum compensation.Time Limits For Nursing Home Negligence Cases
Illinois has certain time limits, called the statutes of limitation, for how long victims have to file lawsuits in nursing home negligence cases. In general, victims of nursing home negligence have two years to file a lawsuit for claims involving personal injury. Those who fail to file a lawsuit within this two-year time frame will likely lose the ability to recover any compensation from the negligent party.
Nursing home negligence cases may also involve a breach of contract. In these incidents, the statute of limitations is 10 years from the date the breach of contract occurred.Types Of Nursing Home Abuse in Chicago
According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), one out of every 10 people over the age of 60 experiences elder abuse each year in this country. Unfortunately, so much of this abuse occurs in the nursing home setting. Neglect at nursing homes can take many forms, including the following:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Improper medication
- Financial abuse (identity theft, misuse of finances, etc.)
- Psychological and emotional abuse
- Neglect of basic necessities (food, water, medical care, hygiene)
It is important that family members and friends of those in nursing homes remain vigilant and alert authorities if they discover abuse has occurred. Some of the following are common signs and symptoms of nursing home abuse and neglect:
- Unexplained bruises, scrapes, cuts, or burns
- Lingering or frequent infections
- Bedsores at any stage of development
- The consistent odor of urine and feces
- Uncleaned living quarters or linens
- Lethargy or unresponsiveness of a resident (could indicate overmedication)
- The anxiety of a nursing home resident around certain caregivers or staff
- Rapid changes in mood or depression
If you discover that your loved one has been abused or neglected by nursing homes in Chicago, seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At Seidman, Margulis & Fairman, LLP, we are ready to investigate every aspect of your claim in order to secure the compensation and justice your loved one deserves. We firmly believe that perpetrators of nursing home negligence should be held accountable. When you need an Illinois nursing home attorney for your loved one, you can contact our experienced Chicago law firm for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling (312) 781-1977.