Are you or a loved one experiencing neglect in a nursing home in Chicago, Illinois? If so, you need to seek immediate legal help. Nursing home abuse is incredibly dangerous and can result in serious injuries or even death.
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse cases can be complicated to prove. A Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer can help you organize evidence to hold nursing homes responsible for the abuse.
Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys is motivated by our clients and their needs. Since 2009, we have recovered life-changing settlements for our clients after being involved in all types of accidents, including wrongful death cases, Chicago brain injury claims, burn injuries, bone fracture claims, Chicago civil rights cases, and more. This includes payment for medical bills, emotional trauma, and much more.
How Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help You With Your Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Case
Nursing home abuse cases require a lawyer who is fearless yet sensitive. Our lawyers are fierce advocates in the courtroom but recognize that many clients have experienced significant trauma. We are sensitive to that and take the time to listen and understand our client’s circumstances.
We provide each of our clients with candid legal advice. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers work together to create a comprehensive strategy to recover compensation for your losses in a nursing home abuse case.
While every case is unique, our lawyers can help:
- Investigate the nursing home abuse
- Collect evidence to support your case
- File insurance claims, when applicable
- Negotiate with insurance companies and the nursing home
- Hire expert witnesses
- File a nursing home abuse lawsuit, if necessary
Call our law office in Chicago, Illinois, to learn more about how we can help you or your loved one.
What Is the Difference Between Nursing Home Abuse, Exploitation, and Neglect?
The Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Act defines abuse as “any physical or mental injury or sexual assault inflicted on a resident other than by accidental means in a facility.”
On the other hand, nursing home neglect is a nursing home’s failure to provide “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.”
The main difference between abuse and neglect is that abuse requires an action that causes harm. Neglect is usually inaction that causes harm.
Nursing home exploitation means taking advantage of a resident by manipulation, coercion, or threats. An example of exploitation may be financial abuse.
Why Does Nursing Home Abuse Happen in Chicago?
Nursing home abuse happens for a variety of reasons. Sometimes multiple factors create an environment ripe for abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
In our experience, some of the most common factors leading to nursing home abuse are:
- Untrained nursing home staff
- Unqualified or untrained nurses
- Improper or inadequate supervision of staff
- Understaffed nursing homes
- Lack of funding for nursing homes
Nursing homes are regulated and play an important role in our society. There should be no exception for facilities that abuse, neglect, and exploit people. Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys will fight to hold nursing homes responsible for harming elderly people in their most vulnerable moments.
We Handle All Types of Nursing Home Abuse Cases in Chicago, IL
There are many different types of nursing home abuse. Our lawyers are experienced in recognizing the signs of abuse and handling a variety of cases. Many of our clients come to us to seek legal advice on whether or not their loved one is being abused.
We have compiled a list of the most common forms of nursing home abuse to make it easier to identify.
Too many nursing home residents fall victim to sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is when a nurse, staff member, or other individual has non-consensual sexual contact with a resident in a nursing home. This sexual contact may happen by force or intimidation. Sometimes it happens as a result of abuse of authority or under the guise of a medical exam.
Many nursing home residents are experiencing psychological illnesses (like dementia) that may prevent them from consenting to any sexual contact. Even if it seems like it was consensual at first glance, it may not be considered consensual under the law.
Sexual abuse can include:
- Sexual touching
- Verbal sexual harassment
- Forced sexual favors
Sexual abuse is one of the hardest types of nursing home abuse to prove. Many elders cannot recall the details of sexual contact, and there is rarely physical evidence. These cases require an experienced lawyer to fully investigate and collect evidence before bringing a case.
Physical abuse happens when nursing home staff intentionally use force or violence against a resident for any number of reasons. This violence usually results in physical injury, but it can also result in psychological injury.
Physical abuse cases might include:
- Hitting, kicking, and pushing residents
- Unnecessary confinement
- Force-feeding or forcing medications
- Physical punishment
- Unnecessary restraints
Most often, physical abuse will result in visible injuries. It is important to look out for signs of physical abuse, as many elders cannot communicate or identify abusive situations.
Emotional and psychological abuse is extremely common. This happens when a resident is subjected to threats, insults, intimidation, humiliation, or harassment. The abuse is purely verbal, but it can result in significant emotional trauma that affects the overall quality of life.
Financial abuse happens when someone improperly uses a resident’s money or financial assets or manipulates them into using it to their benefit. This may include stealing a resident’s money or property or coercing them into handing it over.
Unfortunately, many residents are in the last years of their lives. They may be considering financial planning. Abusive staff and nurses may use this as an opportunity to take advantage of residents.
Signs and Consequences of Nursing Home Abuse in Chicago, Illinois
If you are worried that your loved one may be experiencing abuse, there are several signs that you can look out for. While a single sign alone may not be enough to prove abuse, it should be a red flag to further investigate the situation.
Some of the most common signs of nursing home abuse in Chicago include:
- Sudden infections
- Poor hygiene or living conditions
- Bruises and lacerations
- Broken or fractured bones
- Bed sores
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unsanity or unsafe conditions around the nursing home
- Denial of access to a loved one
- Psychological changes like depression, anxiety, or differences in personality
If the signs go unnoticed or ignored, nursing home abuse can have serious, and even deadly, consequences for the victim. These consequences could be:
- Declining health
- Head injuries
- Brain injuries
- Severe infection
- Spinal cord injuries
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- The onset of mental illness
It’s better to prematurely investigate a sign of abuse than to regret not investigating the signs at all. You should never give the nursing home the benefit of the doubt, the consequences are too high.
What Is the Value of My Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Case?
The value of your Chicago nursing home abuse case will depend on the specific circumstances involved in the situation.
People who experience ongoing abuse are likely to recover more money than people who experience short-term abuse. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes a single instance of abuse can cause severe injuries or death.
The court will consider the type of abuse, the impact of the abuse on the emotional and physical well-being of the resident, and the required medical care. They may also consider the extent it takes to remove your loved one from the abusive environment.
One of our first steps in a nursing home abuse case is to calculate your case value to serve as a baseline for negotiations. Your case value is made up of your damages.
Available Damages in Nursing Home Abuse Cases
In Chicago nursing home abuse cases, we regularly request damages for:
- Medical bills resulting from the abuse
- The increased cost of care at a new facility
- Mental health treatment
- Emotional distress
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship (in wrongful death cases)
We usually prove your damages through bills, invoices, and medical records. Evidence can also include testimony from witnesses who observed the abuse or impact on the victim. Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys will help you collect evidence to maximize your recovery.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit in Illinois?
You usually only have two years to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit in Illinois, which is the deadline set by the state’s statute of limitations for personal injury cases. However, there are exceptions in some instances that could lengthen or shorten the deadline.
If you miss the statute of limitations, you will lose your right to file a lawsuit. It is important to hire a lawyer to help you identify nursing home abuse and start your legal case as soon as possible.
Call a Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer To Schedule a Free Consultation
We’re here to help if you or a loved one are the victim of nursing home abuse in Chicago, Illinois. Zayed Law Offices Personal Injury Attorneys is available to schedule a free consultation and discuss your legal options before it’s too late. Contact our trusted Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys today to get started.
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