Nursing Home Abuse and Negligence FAQs
Here are common questions people often have about nursing home abuse and negligence. If you have any questions, contact us at 800-529-7285. We offer a free case consultation.
Nursing homes are required to follow federal and state regulations, both of which specifically call on facilities to adopt policies that prohibit neglect. The state of Illinois define neglect as “a failure in a facility to provide adequate medical or personal care or maintenance, which failure results in physical or mental injury to a resident or in the deterioration of a resident’s physical or mental condition.”
What does that mean? There are many different types of nursing home neglect. It can involve a failure to:
- Provide adequate food and water
- Provide medication
- Help residents put on clean clothes
- Change soiled bedding
- Answer emergency call lights
- Bathe and groom residents
- Move patients regularly to prevent bedsores
- Treat minor cuts to prevent infection
- Interact with residents with kindness and respect
- Keep rooms and bathroom clean and sanitary
Yes. If you suspect abuse or neglect, or simply are not happy with the level of care, you can move your loved one to another facility. Or you can arrange for your loved one to be taken care of at home with a home-health service or live-in nurse. There are other factors to consider, such as your loved one’s condition and cost. But if your loved one has been subject to abuse or neglect, we may be able to help you recover damages. One of our attorneys can help you review all your legal options.
That depends on the circumstances of your case. Factors to consider include the type of abuse or neglect, how long it went on and the injuries sustained by your loved one. We will also consider the medical expenses for your loved one related to the abuse or neglect, as well as emotional distress and pain and suffering. Once we ensure your loved one is healthy and safe and receiving necessary care, we can help you determine the amount of compensation you can seek for such injuries.
Not necessarily. Many times, we are able to negotiate a favorable settlement with the insurance company. But we are prepared to fight your case in court if that is what it takes. In either instance, we will investigate what happened and build the strongest possible case. We will gather the evidence you need to prove there was abuse or neglect. These cases can be complicated and often take time to resolve. But our focus is always on getting the best possible outcome for you and your loved one.
The signs of nursing home abuse and neglect can vary depending on the circumstances under which a loved one has been abused. In some instances, a loved one may exhibit physical signs of abuse, such as bedsores, unexplained cuts and bruises, infection, rapid weight gain or weight loss, broken bones or even a brain or spinal cord injury. Other times, such as when a resident suffers emotional abuse, he or she may exhibit signs of anxiety and depression, agitation, withdrawal or sudden changes of mood while around family members or friends.
Abuse and negligence can occur for a variety of reasons. It is common for corporate nursing homes to reduce staff to maximize profits. When staffing is at a bare-bones level, workers often cannot properly care for all the residents. As another cost-saving measure, nursing homes might hire low-paid, unskilled, or untrained workers instead of staffing the facility with seasoned, trained employees. In other cases, a nursing home may fail to conduct a background check on an employee with a history of violence or documented instances of abuse or neglect.
The consequences of these questionable decisions by nursing homes can be grave. Nursing home abuse or neglect may occur as a result of a staff member who fails to monitor his or her patients or maintain a safe and sanitary workplace environment. Nursing home administrators may fail to address hazardous situations or address instances where a staff member physically or sexually assaults a resident or a resident is injured due to the behavior of another resident at the nursing home.
If you suspect abuse is or has occurred at a nursing home or assisted living facility in Illinois, multiple parties may be held liable for a loved one’s injuries or wrongful death. At Deratany & Kosner, our experienced legal team can launch an investigation into nursing home administration, managers, nurses and other staff members to help determine negligence. In some instances you may have legal grounds to file a third party responsibility claim if your loved one was injured by a resident or a guest of a resident.
Choosing the right Illinois nursing home can be a difficult process. You can begin by getting referrals from places like your local agency on aging or senior citizen groups. Talk to relatives and friends about their experiences with area nursing homes. It Is also important to visit potential nursing homes for your loved ones. A lot of information can be gleaned about the condition of the facility based on your own observations, such as sights, sounds, and smells. It is critical to observe how residents interact with staff members and other residents. Deratany & Kosner recommends asking several different questions to staff members, ranging from how residents spend their free time to whether a facility has a history of safety violations.