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Joliet-area families, from Lakewood Prairie to Highland, decide to move their aging loved ones into nursing homes to protect their health and wellbeing. Sadly, however, some residents of Joliet nursing homes do not receive the care and attention they need and deserve.
Negligence on the part of nursing-home owners, managers, and staff in Joliet takes a heavy physical, emotional, and financial toll on facility residents and their families. At Zayed Law Offices, we fight to make sure anyone who suffered harm because of negligence at a Joliet nursing home receives justice and fair financial compensation. Contact our Joliet nursing home negligence attorneys today to learn more about how we can help you.
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About Our Firm
Founded in 2009 by attorney Adam J. Zayed, Zayed Law Offices has established itself as one of Chicagoland’s leading personal injury law firms. Our award-winning team of attorneys has decades of experience in securing compensation for victims of someone else’s negligence. We have a demonstrated track record of top-dollar results, and we take pride in having the skill and resources to win cases at trial when that’s what it takes to get our clients the compensation they deserve.
Nursing home negligence cases constitute an important and growing part of our practice at Zayed Law Offices. As Joliet’s Baby Boomer generation ages and seeks the services of local nursing facilities, the need to hold nursing home operators and employees accountable for their negligence will only become more and more essential. Elderly Joliet residents should never suffer harm because of the failure of nursing homes where they live to meet basic standards of care, safety, and respect.
Common Causes of Joliet Nursing Home Negligence
In a recent year, the Illinois Department of Public Health (DPH) logged more than 1,300 allegations of abuse or neglect in nursing homes across the state, including at facilities in the Joliet area.
These incidents and numerous others reflecting negligence on the part of the nursing home staff, management, and ownership, have varied causes, including:
- Understaffing. In recent years, about 20 percent of nursing homes and long-term care facilities have faced staffing shortages, forcing workers to care for greater numbers of patients and increasing the risk of dangerous accidents and neglected residents.
- Lax hiring practices. Joliet nursing homes have a duty to screen new hires to ensure they have the necessary qualifications to care for and provide services to residents. Failures in screening candidates can lead directly to abuse and neglect.
- Inadequate training. Every Joliet nursing facility must ensure that its workers have received appropriate training in their areas of responsibility. Failure to train staff at Joliet nursing home can leave residents in harmful conditions and situations.
- Cost-cutting. Nursing home operators can put residents at risk by putting their profits over resident care and safety. If they fall short in updating and repairing equipment, cleaning and maintaining facilities, and fostering a healthy environment, residents will inevitably suffer.
No matter what lies at the root of negligence at a Joliet nursing home, however, it is unacceptable for a resident to suffer harm as a result. At Zayed Law Offices, we hold nursing home owners, management, and employees accountable for mistakes, carelessness, and unsafe practices that result in injuries and losses for the elderly individuals in their care.
Nursing Home Negligence Takes Many Forms
Lawyers use the word “negligence” to refer to a failure to act in a reasonably prudent manner that results in harm to someone else. In the world of Joliet nursing homes, negligence can take many forms. Any of these can cause severe pain, health problems, and losses for a nursing home resident, for which that resident has a right to receive financial compensation.
Medical negligence (also commonly referred to as medical malpractice) occurs when a healthcare worker at a Joliet nursing home fails to provide a resident with a minimum acceptable standard of medical care. For example, the failure to give a resident the correct dosage of medication, or spot the symptoms of common health complications like pressure sores, infections, or dementia, may constitute medical negligence.
Inadequate Supervision of Residents
The residents of Joliet nursing homes frequently need assistance with everyday tasks and activities, like getting out of bed, bathing, or taking a walk. Staff must monitor other residents so they do not harm themselves or other residents, and that their mental health remains stable.
One of the chief responsibilities of staff at a nursing home is to provide that assistance and monitoring, which assures resident safety and wellbeing. If a resident suffers an injury—in a fall, because of another resident’s misconduct, or through a lack of meaningful social interaction or engagement—inadequate supervision by the nursing home staff is often to blame.
Deficient Property Maintenance
Illinois regulations require Joliet nursing homes to maintain their facilities in good repair, free from defects like cracks in floors, loose handrails or railings, and other hazards that could cause a resident to slip, trip, or fall. Nursing homes must also prevent or correct temporary conditions that might pose a danger, like wet floors or poor lighting. Any of these property defects could result in a serious injury to a nursing home resident.
As reported by NBC News, nursing homes sometimes improperly evict residents who have difficulty affording the cost of care. A resident who suffers adverse health or financial consequences from an improper eviction may file a claim for damages against the nursing home.
These are just some examples of the types of negligence at a nursing home in Joliet. No matter how you or your loved one suffered harm at a nursing facility, Zayed Law Offices has the resources and know-how to get you justice and compensation.
Potential Compensation for Joliet Nursing Home Negligence
Illinois law entitles victims of Joliet nursing home negligence to take legal action seeking financial compensation from the nursing home operators, managers, and staff who harmed them.
Depending upon the specific details and circumstances involved in the act of negligence, corporate or individual owners of nursing homes, as well as staff members and others who fail to provide appropriate care and services at a nursing home, may face legal liability for money damages that include:
- Reimbursement of medical expenses involved in treating a resident’s physical or emotional injuries or health complications arising from nursing home negligence;
- Compensation for the cost of moving a resident to a new, safer nursing facility in Joliet or elsewhere, and for other out-of-pocket expenses stemming from nursing home negligence;
- Restitution for financial losses suffered by a resident who suffered financial exploitation due to nursing home negligence;
- Payment for the resident’s physical and emotional pain and suffering, which includes the resident’s loss of enjoyment of life, reduction in the resident’s life expectancy, or loss of the resident’s companionship.
In some cases, the conduct amounting to negligence at a Joliet nursing facility is so outrageous or reckless that a skilled attorney for a resident and/or the resident’s family can seek payment of additional punitive damages.
The types and amounts of damages potentially available in Joliet nursing home negligence cases can vary widely, depending upon the facts and circumstances of a given case. The best way to find out the possible range of damages you or a loved one may have the right to receive is to speak with an experienced Joliet nursing home negligence attorney, like a member of the team at Zayed Law Offices.
Who can sue for nursing home negligence?
Nursing home negligence cases often involve victims who struggle to speak for themselves or act independently. It is all-too-common for nursing home residents to suffer harm due to negligence, only to feel powerless to do anything about it.
Just because someone lives in a nursing home, however, does not mean that person lacks legal rights. Any nursing home resident injured through facility staff, management, or owner negligence may seek justice and compensation through legal action.
In some cases, a spouse or family member may also have the right to act on a nursing home resident’s behalf, such as when a close relative has the power of attorney to manage a resident’s financial affairs. Individuals vested with the authority to act in a resident’s interests (sometimes called guardians, attorneys-in-fact, or fiduciaries) may also take legal action on the resident’s behalf.
The skilled nursing home negligence lawyers at Zayed Law Offices have years of experience counseling victims of wrongdoing at nursing homes, and those victims’ loved ones, about their legal rights and their options for seeking compensation. Contact us to speak for free with a legal professional who can answer questions about your or your loved one’s rights.
Potential Signs of Negligence at a Joliet Nursing Home
It isn’t always easy to know if negligence has caused harm to a nursing home resident. The typical individual living in a nursing home is elderly, needs assistance with everyday living, and faces health challenges. Even at facilities that provide top-quality care, residents can—and regularly do—take turns for the worse due to the effects of aging and long-term illness.
But even residents in relatively poor health have the right to live free from dangers caused by negligent management and operations at a Joliet nursing home. For that reason, they and their loved ones must never assume that an injury or sudden illness results merely from “old age.”
Instead, they should always keep a lookout for the following telltale signs of negligence at a nursing home in Joliet:
- A resident’s persistent complaints about poor treatment by staff or poor conditions at a facility;
- A sudden, dramatic change in a resident’s physical or mental health, particularly if unrelated to a resident’s pre-existing health conditions;
- A resident developing preventable health complications, like pressure sores or infections from cuts;
- Lack of personal hygiene among residents;
- Soiled bedding, dirty surfaces in rooms, and other signs of inadequate care and maintenance;
- Broken equipment, cracked flooring, poor lighting, and other signs of disrepair;
- Signs of understaffing like unattended front desks, alarms or phones that ring constantly, staff members who seem over-stressed or burned-out, or residents left alone or without supervision for hours;
- Fines, closures, or other disciplinary action taken against a nursing home by the Illinois Department of Public Health or another regulatory or law enforcement agency; and
- High staff turnover or sudden mass departures of staff from a facility.
None of these is necessarily proof-positive of negligence. But they’re warning signs that can often indicate ongoing negligence at a Joliet nursing home that puts residents at risk.
If You Suspect Nursing Home Negligence in Joliet, Contact Us
What should you do if you suspect negligence at a Joliet nursing facility has harmed you or a loved one? First, take whatever steps you feel are necessary to ensure the at-risk resident’s immediate physical and emotional health. Safety is a top priority.
Once you have addressed any immediate, pressing concerns about your own or your loved one’s safety, the team at Zayed Law Offices strongly encourages you to contact a skilled nursing home negligence lawyer from our team right away.
If possible, do this before you take any steps to report the negligence to nursing home staff or to the authorities (again, provided you have addressed any immediate concerns about health and safety).
Why call a lawyer before filing a complaint or official report? Because taking those steps may have a significant impact on your legal and financial rights, and it helps to have an attorney guide you through them. Taking the wrong step could delay or even prevent you from seeking justice and compensation.
At Zayed Law Offices, we have the experience and resources to respond quickly to concerns about negligence at a nursing home and to plan a course of action to protect you and your loved ones. We offer a free, confidential, no-obligation case evaluation. Contact us online or call our Joliet office at (815) 726-1616 today.
Zayed Law Offices
195 Springfield Avenue
Joliet, IL 60435
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At Zayed Law Offices, we are proud advocates on behalf of our clients’ interest. Our clients are usually going through one of the most difficult periods of their lives when they come to us for representation. Nothing pleases our team more than when our clients are satisfied with the outcome of their case.