CHICAGO NURSING HOME ABUSE LAWYER
Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Do You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse in Chicago?
When you entrusted the nursing home or assisted living facility with the care of your family member or loved one, you had every right to believe the living facility would provide the compassionate and attentive care your loved one deserves. If you now suspect nursing home abuse or neglect, regrettably you are not alone. Clients in Chicago and throughout Illinois have suffered as a result of nursing home abuse or elder abuse in assisted living facilities. At Curcio Law Offices, we try to provide families with a way out. We represent our clients with the same compassion that we’d represent our own with. Call an experienced Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer on behalf of your loved one, if you suspect abuse has taken place in a Chicago nursing home or assisted living facility.
Illinois Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Every year, 1 out of every 4 nursing homes is cited for causing a serious injury or death of one of their nursing home residents. State and federal regulations, such as the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, have been enacted to protect the elderly and disabled. But, it takes involvement by people − family members such as yourself − to fight back against the abusers in Chicago nursing homes to get the justice your loved one deserves.
Abuse and neglect can take many forms, from emotional abuse and financial abuse to physical abuse.
The elderly and disabled are particularly vulnerable, as the signs of nursing home abuse may be subtle. But, recognizing the common signs of elder abuse and nursing home neglect can increase your chances of early intervention and prevent further harm to your loved one.
If you suspect abuse to Illinois nursing home residents, you’ll need fast and efficient action to help your loved one not only recover from the physical injury sustained as a nursing home resident, but also to help your loved one recover from any trauma he or she incurred from nursing home abuse or neglect.
Trust your instincts. You know your loved one better than any person who may be looking after them. Many times, nursing home abuse victims will remain silent in order to avoid problems out of fear.
At Curcio Law Offices, our Chicago personal injury lawyers have more than 50 years’ experience advocating on behalf of those who have suffered nursing home abuse and neglect in the Chicago area. Our track record for nursing home abuse cases is solid.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Chicago nursing home abuse can take on many forms. Some types of nursing home abuse cases involve intentionally malicious behavior, while other forms of nursing home abuse may just stem as a consequence of the nursing home’s condition.
With respect to elder abuse, every type of abuse should be taken seriously and immediately addressed.
Types of Chicago nursing home abuse include:
- Mental abuse: This refers to any action or inaction that hurts the mental health of a nursing home resident. Mental abuse if one of the more difficult types of abuse to detect, as it will take a witness to report it.
- Physical abuse: This refers to any form of physical harm a nursing home resident will experience while in the care of the nursing facility. Although physical abuse to an elderly family member may not always leave noticeable signs, it will still have a serious impact on their overall health.
- Emotional abuse: This type of abuse involves hurting a resident’s emotional state. This can occur intentionally when caregivers purposely take away anything that makes a resident happy. Sadly, this happens quite often in nursing home abuse and neglect cases.
- Social abuse: This involves limiting the senior’s ability to interact with others. Over time, this can and will hurt your loved one’s mental and emotional state.
- Financial abuse: This involves taking a nursing home resident’s credentials and using them to access bank accounts, credit card accounts, or any other financial accounts and take their money.
- Sexual abuse: While no one wants to think about this occurring in nursing homes, women and residents with dementia are more likely to become victims of sexual abuse. Sexual abuse can occur at the hands of a nursing home staff member, nurse or aid. From a criminal or family member or another resident, or from another resident, themselves.
- Wrongful death: Sadly, abuse and nursing home negligence can lead to the death of your loved one. In the event that your family is searching for answers, our firm can walk you through the necessary steps to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Chicago.
Addressing these types of abuses commonly seen throughout Illinois nursing homes may be difficult for family members to prove without the help of an experienced nursing home abuse attorney.
What Constitutes Nursing Home Neglect in Chicago?
Neglect in a nursing home is a type of elder abuse. Abuse and neglect are often used interchangeably with respect to abuse that occurs in nursing facilities. Nursing home neglect usually involves some type of substandard of care in nursing homes . This may also include a breach of duty that directly or indirectly harms an elderly resident. Common situations for nursing home neglect that have been witnessed by our law firm, as well as the Illinois Department of Health services, include dehydration, malnutrition, elopement (or patient wandering), medication errors, lack of diabetic care, failure to maintain accurate medical records, and unexpected death.
When Can You File a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit in Illinois?
You can sue a nursing home for elder abuse if caretakers provided sub-standard care that caused harm to a resident. In this case, there may be a valid medical malpractice case against the nursing home facility. In some cases, family members can also file a claim against the individual medical professional who treated the resident.
Any time a loved one suffered injuries as a direct or indirect result of lacking Illinois nursing home care, responsible parties can and should be held accountable, even if your loved one didn’t sustain life threatening injuries. This means even in cases where the facility failed to stop the spread of pneumonia amongst the elderly residents. Every nursing facility should be held accountable, and many times, a concrete nursing home abuse case will help ensure other residents remain safe, if only for a brief period of time.
Does Patient Negligence Apply to Nursing Home Abuse Cases in Illinois?
Patient negligence occurs when a patient’s own negligence caused them harm, rather than the doctor or physician’s negligence.
In many cases, patient negligence is also called “contributory negligence.” This is often a defense medical professionals use against medical malpractice lawsuits. If the defense can prove that contributory negligence occurred, the amount of damages the plaintiff recovers may be reduced.
The following examples would typically constitute patient negligence:
- The patient signed an informed consent waiver, assuming any risk of personal injury or complication.
- A harm the patient suffered was unavoidable because it was an “unknown risk.”
- The patient failed to disclose relevant information to their doctor
- Disruption to the “chain of causation” resulted from an activity the patient engaged in, linking the injury to the malpractice.
- The patient did not take steps to reduce their own damages. Or, they acted in a way to make their damages worse.
- The patient did not actually suffer any harm from negligence
While nursing homes are, in fact, entitled to offer defenses for their actions or inaction, this defense may not hold up in court. This is especially the case if an elderly person was placed in a nursing home because he or she needed protection from the effects of certain medical conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease or dementia.
How Much is a Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Case Worth?
It’s difficult to provide any kind of concrete amount of money for any nursing home lawsuit, nursing home settlement, or wrongful death lawsuit without knowing the particulars of the harm and degree of negligence. In order to determine an accurate estimate of what an Illinois nursing home abuse lawsuit or settlement would bring, you really need to speak with a trusted nursing home abuse attorney. The attorney client relationship ensures that your information will remain private, until it’s in your loved one’s best interest to file the abuse claim.
How Do You Prove Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
If you suspect that a loved one who’s living in a nursing home suffered abuse or neglect, you may feel as if it’s impossible to prove any type of misconduct occurred. This is especially true if your loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s or dementia and has difficulty communicating.
In order to prove abuse or negligence in a nursing home case, you will need evidence that proves the nursing home acted in a way that it should not have, or failed to take appropriate action when necessary. Consulting with an experienced Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer will provide you with a perspective on how to move forward. Our law firm has extensive experience litigating nursing home abuse and personal injury cases, in general. We’ll let you know the best way to move forward if you suspect neglect or abuse in any of the Chicago area nursing homes.
How Long Does a Nursing Home Lawsuit Take?
As with most personal injury and medical malpractice cases, the amount of time it takes from filing suit to receiving payment depends on several factors. In most cases, you should expect for the entire process to last for 6 months to a year.
In order to get the ball rolling, you’ll need to speak with a nursing home abuse lawyer from Curcio law firm. After this, you can expect your attorney to conduct an in-depth investigation of your nursing home abuse claims. Next, he or she will notify the appropriate nursing home with a Notice of Claim and then, file a nursing home abuse suit with the court. Once your attorney files the lawsuit, the court will serve the defendant with the lawsuit and a citation. The case will then move to discovery. In the next stage, the parties may elect to have a mediation and settlement, or go to trial.
The attorneys at Curcio Law offices will be able to provide you with a more specific outline of the process after your free initial consultation.
What Does Nursing Home Abuse Look Like?
General warning signs of abuse and negligence may include frequent arguments between the patient and the caregiver, the staff’s refusal to allow visitors to be alone with the patient, or an unusually long delay before the nursing home permits the visitor to see the patient. As a clear-minded advocate for your loved one, you should be given the option to refuse medical treatment on behalf of your loved one who is residing in a nursing home. If you see that your loved one is overly medicated any time you visit, speak with your own doctor or if the resident has a doctor outside of the living facility that you trust, ask them about specific mediations.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
More evident signs of abuse and neglect may include any of the following:
- Broken bones
- Bed sores
- Symptoms of overmedication
- Unexplained bruises from unreasonable restraint
- Bloody clothing
- Poor personal hygiene
- Soiled bedding
- Sudden weight loss
- Complaints of poor treatment
- Fear of being alone
- Frequent crying
Common Nursing Home Situations That May Indicate Neglect or Abuse
Frequent Slips and Falls
Consistent injuries from falling is often the first sign of neglect in nursing homes. Nursing home employees should always assist their residents with movement. Another unfortunate occurrence is staff dropping clients, claiming they fell. If this happens, you need a Chicago nursing home falls lawyer for your case.
Missing or Incorrect Medication
In Illinois, medication errors seem to remain widespread and consistent. Nursing home facilities should always take reports of missing or mismanaged medication very seriously. Furthermore, an extreme lack of physician-ordered medical treatment should also be sign that something isn’t quite up to par at your loved one’s nursing home.
Repositioning and turning patients with limited mobility is one of the core responsibilities of nursing home staff. If your loved one has ulcers or bed sores, this is a red flag that something is wrong.
Malnourishment or Dehydration
Illinois is a hub for “for profit” nursing home facilities. When nursing homes cut costs, and thus, jobs, this affects the patient’s ability to receive their food or water in a timely manner. This is a sign of extreme neglect.
Newfound Silence or Reluctance
In some cases, patients have a limited means to communicate. So, the only way they can tell you something is wrong is with silence.
If your loved one is normally talkative or affectionate and suddenly becomes emotionally withdrawn, take this seriously. This could be a sign of nursing home abuse.
Request for Legal Document Changes
If your loved one suddenly decides to change his or her will, power of attorney, etc, this may be a cause for concern.
New STD Diagnosis
Sexual abuse cases are rare but sometimes revealed through a new diagnosis of a sexually transmitted disease in a nursing home patient.
Lack of Protection from Other Nursing Home Residents Suffering from Mental Illness
Family members should hold their loved one’s nursing home accountable for any injuries sustained as a result of lacking medical care, abuse by nursing home staff members, as well as other nursing home patients.
Many nursing homes receive money from the state, as well as payment from elderly residents. Ensuring that the nursing home is staffed enough to properly take care of residents and maintain their safety should be a priority. When a nursing home chooses to neglect this priority, a Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer can help subtly or not so subtly remind the facility of its obligations to the residents.
How to Report Nursing Home Abuse in Illinois
If you’d like to simply report suspected nursing home abuse, you can speak with the Illinois Department of Public health at 1-800-252-4343.
However, Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers, like the ones at Curcio Law Firm, offer a free consultation, following up with the concerned family member with which we spoke, and will do our best to ensure your loved one gets the attention he or she needs. If you notice that your loved one is experiencing advanced-stage bed sores, it might be time to contact an experienced bedsore lawyer with our firm.
Experienced Chicago Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers
At Curcio Law Offices, we have over 50 years of experience helping families whose loved ones have suffered as a result of nursing home abuse and neglect. If you suspect your loved one was hurt while in a Chicago, Illinois nursing home or living facility, please call our legal team for advice and guidance. For a free consultation, call 312-321-1111 or contact us online and schedule a free consultation today.