Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
We receive calls on a daily basis from individuals concerned about the welfare and safety of a loved one living in a nursing home. In some cases, the family member suspects that their loved one is not receiving proper care but does not know how to confirm if there is actual abuse or neglect. In other cases, the family member is seeking compensation following the death or serious injury of their loved one. The following looks at some of the most common questions that we get from family members grappling with this highly emotional issue.
What constitutes nursing home abuse and neglect?
The term abuse implies that the individual has a specific intent to cause harm. The most common forms of abuse in nursing homes include:
• physical abuse, such as slapping, kicking, or excessive restraint;
• emotional abuse, such as verbal communication intended to cause anxiety or fear in the resident;
• financial abuse, such as charges for services that were not performed; and
• sexual abuse.
Neglect occurs when the nursing home breaches its duty by providing sub-standard care that results in harm to the resident. Examples of neglect include the failure to provide for basic needs, such as hygiene, nutrition, and safety, and failing to provide adequate medical treatment for health issues.
Who is entitled to bring a lawsuit for nursing home abuse and neglect?
In Illinois, you must meet one of the following criteria to sue a nursing home for abuse and neglect:
• You are a nursing home resident and have experienced an injury resulting from a violation of the state’s Nursing Home Care Act.
• You are the guardian of a resident who is unable to file a claim on their own behalf because of mental disability or incompetence.
• You are the representative of the estate of an individual who experienced harm from abuse or neglect before passing away.
What is the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit for nursing home abuse and neglect?
In most cases, you have two years from the time that the injury is discovered to file suit. It is important to contact an attorney as soon as you become aware of the injury to make it easier to find witnesses and preserve crucial evidence.
What kind of damages can I recover in a nursing home abuse and neglect case?
Illinois law allows the victim or their family to receive compensation for past, present, and future:
• medical expenses related to the injury;
• out-of-pocket costs, such as funeral expenses or the cost of moving the resident to another facility; and
• pain and suffering.
What type of evidence is considered in nursing home abuse and neglect cases?
Every case is different; however, most cases rely on the following types of evidence:
• testimony from nursing home staff as well as other nursing home residents and visitors,
• photographs of the injury and the facility,
• patient charts and staff logs from the nursing home,
• medical records pertaining to the injury and subsequent treatment, and
• any video footage that may be available.
Will I need expert witnesses to prove my case?
Expert witnesses may not be necessary if the case is straightforward, such as physical abuse captured on video. In other situations, expert testimony may be needed to show that the nursing home acted negligently. Experts typically used in abuse and neglect cases include doctors, pharmacists, geriatric specialists, and nursing home administrators.
Why should I hire an attorney?
There are several reasons why you should consult an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorney regarding your case.
• Hiring an attorney to help you navigate the legal process will allow you to focus your time and energy on your loved one’s recovery.
• Hiring an attorney will level the legal playing field so that you will not feel pressured to accept an unfair settlement.
• An attorney can help persuade the nursing facility to implement systemic changes to protect other residents from similar abuse and neglect.
For more information about how Zayed Law Offices can help you or your loved one, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.