CHICAGO NURSING HOME NEGLIGENCE ATTORNEYS

PRACTICE AREAS

Chicago Nursing Home Abuse and & Neglect Attorney

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 it would provide the compassionate and attentive care your loved one deserves. If you now suspect your family member has suffered as a result of nursing home negligence or abuse, regrettably you are not alone. Clients throughout Chicago and Illinois have suffered. At Curcio Law Offices, we try to provide families with a way out. We represent these families with the same compassion that we’d represent our own with. 

Illinois Nursing Home Negligence

Every year, one out of every four nursing homes is cited for causing the serious injury or death of a resident. 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 to get the justice your loved one deserves.

Abuse and neglect can take many forms, from emotional and financial abuse to physical assault. The elderly and disabled are particularly vulnerable. The signs of abuse may be subtle. Recognizing the common signs of abuse and neglect can increase your chances of early intervention and prevent further harm to your loved one. At Curcio Law Offices, we have more than 50 years’ experience advocating on behalf of those who have suffered nursing home abuse and neglect in the Chicago area.

Neglect in a nursing home is a type of elder abuse. It is committed against older adults in care-taking facilities and nursing homes. It usually involves some type of substandard of care of a resident. It may also include a breach of duty that directly or indirectly harms an elderly resident.  Elder abuse is any mistreatment of elderly people by those in a position of trust. This includes medical and care-taking professionals as well as other workers in a nursing home facility.

You can sue a nursing home for negligence if caretakers provided sub-standard care that caused harm to a resident. In this case, there may be a valid case for medical malpractice against the nursing home facility. It is also possible to individually sue the medical professional who treated the resident.  

Patient Negligence is when a patient’s own negligence caused them harm, rather than the doctor or physician’s negligence. In many cases, it is also referred to as “contributory negligence.” It 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 constitute patient negligence:

  • The patient signed an informed consent waiver. This means that they assumed any risk of injuries or complications.
  • A harm the patient suffered was unavoidable. This was 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.
  • In reality, the patient did not actually suffer any harm from negligence

It’s difficult to provide any kind of concrete amount of money for any case without knowing the particulars of the harm and degree of negligence.  

If you suspect a loved one living in a nursing home may be suffering from abuse or neglect, it may feel hard to prove that something bad is happening. This is especially true if your loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s or dementia and has difficulty communicating. In order to prove 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 attorney experienced in nursing home neglect will provide you with a perspective on how to move forward.

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 at least a year. The best first step is to speak with an experienced nursing home negligence attorney. After that, you can expect your attorney to do an in-depth investigation of your claims. Next, he or she will notify the nursing home with a Notice of Claim. After that, your attorney will file a lawsuit with the court. Once it is filed, 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.

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 visitor is permitted to see the patient.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

More evident signs of abuse and neglect may include any of the following:

  • Broken bones
  • Unexplained bruises
  • Bedsores
  • Overmedication
  • Bloody clothing
  • Infections/sepsis
  • Dehydration
  • Falls
  • Malnutrition
  • Poor hygiene
  • Soiled bedding
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Complaints of poor treatment
  • Fear of being alone
  • Withdrawal
  • Frequent crying

Common Nursing Home Situations That May Indicate Neglect or Abuse

Constant falls is often the first sign of neglect. Nursing home employees should assist their residents with movement. Another unfortunate occurrence is staff dropping clients, claiming they fell. 

In Illinois, medication errors seem to be widespread and consistent. Nursing home facilities should always take reports of missing or mismanaged medication very seriously. 

  • Complaints of poor treatment
  • Fear of being alone
  • Withdrawal
  • Frequent crying

Repositioning and turning patients with limited mobility is one of the core responsibilities of nursing home staff. If your loved one has ulcers or bedsores, this is a red flag that something is wrong. 

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. 

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. 

If your loved one suddenly decides to change his or her will, power of attorney, etc, this may be a cause for concern.

Sexual abuse cases are rare but sometimes revealed through a new diagnosis of a sexually transmitted disease in a nursing home patient. 

Contact the Chicago Nursing Home Negligence Attorneys at Curcio Law Offices

At Curcio Law Offices, we have over 50 years of experience helping families whose loved ones have suffered as a result of nursing negligence or abuse. If you suspect your loved one was hurt while in a Chicago-area nursing home or assisted living facility, please call our legal team for advice and guidance. Call 312-321-1111 or contact us online and schedule a free consultation today.