The National Council on Aging (NCOA) reports that around 1 in 10 Americans 60 years or older have experienced some form of abuse. From 2002 to 2016, more than 643,000 elderly adults received treatment in the emergency room for nursing home injuries. Sadly, a number of factors make it difficult to assess the extent of the problem. Residents may be afraid to bring attention to mistreatment or suffer from medical conditions that make it hard to communicate abuse.
At the Law Offices of David H. Brinton, LLC, nursing home abuse and neglect claims are one of our core practice areas. With extensive experience handling these cases and in-depth knowledge of Illinois laws, we are ready to assist your family with all legal remedies. Please contact our firm to learn more about holding an assisted living facility accountable for misconduct. We can schedule a no-cost case evaluation with a Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer who will provide details. Some background information may also be useful.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
The relationship between a resident and caregivers is one built on trust, and the duty of assisted living centers with respect to residents is two-fold. First, Illinois laws require nursing homes to provide quality care; second, there is usually a contract that requires the facility to provide services in accordance with the agreement. Nursing home abuse takes many different forms including:
- Physical Abuse: This mistreatment is intentional and may include hitting, slapping, punching, or kicking the victim. Sexual assault and contact are also types of physical abuse, as is use of physical restraints in some situations.
- Emotional Abuse: Caregivers may inflict distress, anguish, fear, and mental suffering through verbal and nonverbal behaviors. Examples include making threats, harassment, humiliation, and physically isolating the resident.
- Neglect: While not intentional conduct, injuries to nursing home residents can also stem from carelessness. An assisted living facility may breach the standard of care by not supplying food, water, a safe environment, personal assistance, hygiene, and medical support.
- Financial Exploitation: This misconduct includes unlawful, unauthorized use of an elderly person’s real estate, personal property, and other assets to benefit someone else.
Spot the Signs of Nursing Home Misconduct
The nature of nursing home abuse and neglect cases means family members and other loved ones must be the resident’s voice. Whether it is fear, memory loss, a medical condition, or other factors that prevent the resident from speaking up, you may be in the position to take action. Doing so requires you to recognize and identify the signs that your loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse, such as:
- Unexplained injuries, including bruises, bone fractures, lacerations, abrasions, and pressure ulcers;
- Urinary tract infection or sexually transmitted diseases;
- Ligature marks around the ankles and wrists, an indication that the nursing home used physical restraints; and
- Unusual behavior by the resident, including withdrawing, becoming nonverbal, rocking, and angry outbursts.
The signs of neglect may also be visible, especially by assessing the condition of the resident and the facility. You should be concerned if you observe filth, grime, unlocked doors, unsecure gates, dirty linens, issues with personal hygiene, and other indications of carelessness.
Legal Remedies for Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
These cases are covered by Illinois personal injury laws, so you can pursue the assisted living facility for compensation. Our Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers at the Law Offices of David H. Brinton, LLC will assist with the legal process, including such tasks as:
- Collecting evidence to prove misconduct;
- Completing all forms to file a claim with the nursing home’s insurance company;
- Negotiating settlement with the insurer; and
- Filing a lawsuit in court if the insurance company refuses to pay fair compensation.
It is our goal to ensure you recover full compensation for your nursing home abuse claim, including medical costs, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. In extreme cases, it may be possible to seek punitive damages, which are intended to punish the facility for misconduct.
A Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Will Advise You on the Process
If you have concerns about a loved one being mistreated at an Illinois assisted living facility, please contact the Law Offices of David H. Brinton, LLC right away. You can call 312.445.4908 or contact us to set up your free consultation. Once we learn more about your situation, we can discuss strategies.