Do you have a loved one currently residing in a Chicago nursing home, such as Symphony Lincoln Park or Abington of Glenview Nursing? Are you worried about your loved one's recent behavior, cleanliness state, or unexplained bruising?
While nobody expects their family members to suffer harm in the hands of the people they pay to take care of them, nursing home abuse is quite common, not only across the country but in Chicago as well. That is why if you believe your loved one is suffering from this type of abuse, make sure you reach out to an experienced Chicago nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible.
At Zayed Law Offices, we are here to listen to you, figure out what is going on, and take action against those hurting the people you love.
Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Guide
Zayed Law Offices—Chicago's Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
At Zayed Law Offices, our mission is to help our clients level the playing field by assisting them to get into the position they were in before an accident. That is why we do everything possible to make sure we can quantify how their injuries have diminished their quality of life and fight for the recovery that can help them get into the best possible position.
In addition, as a dedicated trial law firm, we take on the most complex of personal injury cases, including devastating catastrophic injury claims. Yet, our goal is not to profit from these tragic accidents but to help those who cannot help themselves. And as a result of our hard work and dedication, we have been able to do just that, securing millions of dollars for our clients and providing them the legal assistance they need and deserve.
While no guarantee of future success all claims, some of our most recent judgments have included a $200,000 settlement for a client who fell at a nursing home because an employee improperly secured a gait belt and a $150,000 settlement for a nursing home case.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries from nursing home abuse, reach out to Zayed Law Offices today, so we can arrange a free, no-obligation consultation. Our firm can handle your intake over the phone and on ZOOM, or if you would like to arrange a meeting, we can schedule one at our conveniently located offices, including our Chicago location, which can be found at the corner of N. Clark Street and W. Randolph Street.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse refers to a situation when a caretaker hurts a resident of a long-term care facility. This harm can be intentional or unintentional and often lead to severe injuries, medical emergencies, and death.
Sadly, what makes this situation even more alarming is that even the best nursing homes may all this abuse, as statistics show that:
- Approximately one in six people over 60 have experienced some form of abuse in a community setting during the past year.
- Two in three nursing home staff have committed abuse in the past year.
- The abuse of older individuals is expected to increase as many countries are experiencing rapidly aging populations.
For these reasons, if you believe a loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse, you should reach out to an experienced Chicago nursing home abuse attorney as soon as you can. These lawyers can promptly review your loved one's circumstances, figure out if there is a viable legal claim, and get you the legal help you need to take on this challenging ordeal.
Different Types of Chicago Nursing Home Abuse
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), there are several types of nursing home abuse. They include the following:
Physical abuse results in bodily harm. This abuse can be intentional, such as when a caretaker hits, punches, shakes, or kicks another individual. Or it can result from other actions, such as the improper use of physical restraints, physical punishment, and even force-feeding.
Sexual abuse refers to non-consensual sexual contact with an elderly individual. This includes sexual attention given to any person incapable of giving consent, such as unwanted touching, and all types of sexual assault, including sodomy, coerced nudity, rape, and sexually explicit photographs.
Psychological abuse is typically defined as the infliction of pain, distress, or anguish due to verbal and nonverbal actions, such as yelling, humiliating, and shaming patients. It can also result when caretakers treat elders like children, isolate them from their friends and family, or give these individuals the “silent treatment and completely ignore them.
Financial exploitation occurs when a caregiver takes advantage of a patient by gaining access to their financial accounts and steals or otherwise comprises their financial status. Examples of financial exploitations include cashing an elderly person's checks without permission, forging signatures, applying for a credit card in the patient's name, stealing money or possessions from the individual, and the improper use of guardianship or power of attorney.
Neglect usually refers to the failure or refusal to fulfill any part of a person's duties or obligations to an elder. This can include a caretaker not taking care of the individual's needs, such as personal hygiene care, or when the individual is not provided clothing, water, shelter, medicine, comfort, safety, or food.
Abandonment refers to the desertion of an elderly individual by someone who has assumed responsibility for taking care of them or by an individual with physical custody of the elder.
If you believe your loved one has been a victim of one of these types of abuse, reach out to Zayed Law Offices today. Our experienced and skilled attorneys can review the incident in question, go over your rights, and help you figure out the next legal steps you can take.
Common Signs of Chicago Nursing Home Abuse
While signs of nursing home abuse are wide-ranging, there are certain signs that are more common than others, and you should be aware of them to ensure your loved one is being taken care of properly by the individuals you left in charge of them.
Symptoms of Physical Abuse Include:
- Broken bones
- Black eyes
- Cuts and open wounds
- Internal bleeding
- Bruises and lacerations
- Physical signs that the elder was punished
- Findings of medication overdose
- Comments of being hit or slapped
- A sudden change in the elder's behavior
- The caregiver's refusal to permit the elder to see visitors alone
- Broken personal property such as glasses
Signs of Sexual Abuse Include:
- Bruising around the genital area or breasts
- Unexplained bleeding from the genitals
- Genital infections
- Bloody, torn, or stained underwear
Signs of Psychological Abuse Include:
- Elders becoming non-communicative or non-responsive
- Elders becoming agitated or emotionally upset
- Other unusual behavior
Symptoms of Neglect Include:
- Poor hygiene
- Untreated health problems
- Unsafe living conditions such as no heat or air
- Unclean living conditions, including soiled bedding, urine or fecal smell, inadequate clothing, dirt, and fleas
Signs of Abandonment Include:
- The desertion of an elder at a nursing facility or other institution
- The abandonment of an elder at a public location
- A report by the elder indicating they were abandoned
Signs of Financial Exploitation Include:
- A sudden change in banking practices
- Unexplained withdrawal of large amounts of money
- The addition of additional names on the elder's bank account
- Abrupt changes in the elder's financial documents
- The disappearance of the elder's valuable possessions
While these are some of the more common signs and symptoms of nursing home abuse, if you believe your family member or loved one is being mistreated by a caretaker, even if your cause of concern is not indicated above, you should still reach out to a knowledgeable Chicago nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible.
For example, the nursing home abuse attorneys at Zayed Law Office can thoroughly investigate your issues, figure out if you have a cause of action, and help you and your loved one get the help they need and the financial damages they are entitled to.
Local Issues Affecting Nursing Home Abuse Cases in Chicago
One local issue you should stay aware of when it comes to nursing home abuse cases in Chicago is the statute of limitations. This regulation is in place to mandate the maximum amount of time an individual has to bring legal action following an accident or alleged offense.
As a result, if you want to bring a personal injury claim due to nursing home abuse in Chicago, you will only have two years from the date the abuse last occurred. If you do not bring your case within that time, you can be stopped from pursuing further legal action.
However, this deadline may change depending on whether exceptions apply to the statute. For these reasons, if you believe a caretaker abused your loved one, reach out to our experienced nursing home abuse attorneys as soon as possible. Our lawyers can determine not only how much time you have to file your case but also prepare your documents, motions, and files properly and submit them before the statute of limitations runs out.
Financial Recovery You Can Pursue in a Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Case
Because each nursing home abuse case is different, the total compensation that a victim can recover will vary and often depend on the losses they suffered, the extent and severity of their injuries, and the type of care and help they will need in the future.
However, this compensation will usually include payment for the following losses:
- Medical costs and bills related to doctor visits, hospitalization, medications, surgeries, emergency care, and other types of treatments
- Rehabilitative therapy
- Personal property losses and stolen money
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Embarrassment and humiliation
In addition, if an individual died because of nursing home abuse, their family may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit and fight for compensation.
As a result, if you want to know what financial damages you may be able to pursue following a nursing home abuse incident in Chicago, reach out to an experienced nursing home abuse attorney from Zayed Law Offices. Our legal team can help you figure out which of these damages you and your family can go after and prepare the most robust legal case to fight for maximum compensation.
Who Is Responsible for Nursing Home Abuse in Chicago?
Nursing homes have a strict duty of care regarding the residents that live there and the care provided to them.
Consequently, if an individual is harmed in a nursing home, the facility can be held responsible for their injuries and losses, primarily for:
- Not monitoring their team and employees properly
- Not providing adequate security to their residents
- Not properly training their employees
- Failing to perform proper background checks of their staff or negligently hiring them
- Not providing for a person's daily necessities, including adequate shelter, food, and water
- Not providing their residents with the correct medication
- Not addressing medical needs
- Failing to protect residents from safety hazards
- Putting residents in unreasonable or dangerous physical restraints
- Intentional abuse by the home's staff members
However, because these wrongful parties can also include outside vendors or other individuals that contributed to the abuse, it is a good idea to discuss your claim with an experienced Chicago nursing home abuse attorney from Zayed Law Offices, right away. Our attorneys can investigate your abuse claim, figure out who the responsible party or parties may be, and take proper legal action to hold all these individuals answerable for the harm and losses suffered.
Actions to Take if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
Although many nursing homes provide exceptional care to their residents, it is important to stay vigilant when your loved one is residing in this type of facility.
If, however, you suspect that your loved one may be being abused by a caretaker, it is important to take action fast, not only to protect your loved one from harm but their legal rights as well.
Some things you should consider doing:
Question the Staff
Make sure you talk to the nursing home staff and the management team if you see any signs of abuse. Stay rational and listen to what they have to say. If the team cannot or will not explain the situation to you, call us.
Talk With Your Loved One
Try to talk to your loved one about the situation privately. If the nursing home management team will not allow this to happen, you will want to look into taking further action.
To better understand these options, it may be a good idea to discuss the situation with an experienced Chicago nursing home abuse attorney who has handled plenty of abuse and neglect cases and can advise you on what you should do next.
Take notes of everything you noticed that seem off, as well as take pictures of injuries your loved one has experienced, the conditions they are living in, and information regarding everyone that takes care of them, including names and job positions.
If you see issues with your loved one's living situation, make sure you also tell the management team, and if action is not taken quickly, indicate this in your notes and bring it to the attention of the authorities, as well as your attorney.
Call the Authorities
If abuse seems clear or your loved one is in imminent danger, contact 911 immediately. At the minimum, file a complaint with the police to put the incident and your concerns on record. The police can intervene to verify that the nursing home residents are safe.
In addition, report all elder abuse and neglect or suspected abuse to the proper organization. For instance, if you are not sure who to reach out to in Illinois, you can contact the National Center on Elder Abuse or your local Ombudsman. These organizations can investigate your claim, verify what is going on in the facility, and provide your loved ones with the necessary help and care.
Be Wary of the Insurance Company
Although you may not worry about discussing the case with an insurance company, watch what you say to these insurers and their adjusters, as they will use any comments you make against you to hurt your case. Instead of speaking with these companies, go over your case with our experienced nursing home abuse attorney or let our lawyers take on these discussions for you.
Try to obtain your loved one's medical records as soon as you so that nobody loses, misplaces, or alters them.
Consult Our Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
Depending on the circumstances of the nursing home abuse, your loved one and your family may be entitled to financial recovery for everything they have gone through. Thankfully, you will not have to figure out these legal options alone. When you work with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney, these legal professionals can help you pursue these damages and fight for the justice your loved one deserves.
How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Attorney?
In Illinois, nursing home abuse attorneys typically work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they will not get paid until your case recovers money, either through a trial verdict or a settlement. These lawyers will also usually advance the costs and expenses of the case in return for a fee that will be a percentage of the total recovery you get. Consequently, if your case is unsuccessful, you will owe the attorneys nothing and will not be responsible for your attorney's legal fees.
At Zayed Law Offices, our lawyers operate on a contingency fee basis for the personal injury work we take on, and we can help you understand what this can mean for your case when you reach out to us to discuss your legal claim.
Work With Zayed Law Offices and Fight for Your Loved One's Rights and the Justice They Deserve
If a nursing home in Chicago has abused a family member, it is time to go after the justice your loved one and family deserve. Fortunately, when you work with an experienced Chicago nursing home abuse attorney at Zayed Law Offices, you will not have to take on this fight alone.
Instead, once retained, our legal team can listen to what happened, review the facts of the case, and determine if you have a viable claim.
If so, we can also go over your legal options and:
- Secure the evidence needed to prove fault and damages.
- Hire experts to substantiate your claim.
- Determine who was responsible for the abuse and hold these parties accountable.
- Handle settlement negotiations and go after a just offer.
- Take your case to trial if the other side is not willing to negotiate fairly, and fight hard for the successful resolution of your case.
At Zayed Law Offices, our nursing home abuse lawyers are ready to zealously fight on your behalf, going after the offenders and the insurance companies to secure the money you and your loved ones need. That is why do not wait any longer to get the legal help you need. Rather, contact us today to set up a free consultation or call us at (312) 726-1616 and learn how our attorneys can help you.
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Chicago, IL 60601