Nursing home residents should feel safe and receive high-quality care from a nursing facility. However, many nursing home patients are instead subjected to abuse or neglect. If you or a loved one is the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse in Chicago, IL, you could be entitled to compensation for added medical expenses, emotional trauma, and even wrongful death.
Contact the Chicago nursing home lawyers at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers at (888) 424-5757 for a free case review. Read on to learn more about nursing home negligence and abuse, common signs of elder abuse, and the steps you need to take to file a claim if you suspect abuse of a family member in a nursing home or assisted living facility.
When to Hire a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If you suspect that your loved one is being abused in a nursing home, or they exhibit signs of abuse, you should schedule an appointment with a nursing home abuse lawyer immediately. During your free consultation, you can discuss your concerns and find out what kind of evidence you would need to move forward with nursing home abuse cases in Chicago.
The Most Common Signs of Abuse Among Illinois Nursing Home Residents
It can sometimes be difficult to know if nursing home patients have been abused, especially if they aren’t able to tell you what’s going on. However, there are some signs of nursing home abuse to watch out for, such as:
- Medication errors
- Bed sores or pressure ulcers
- Unexplained injuries or bruises
- Sudden fearfulness or change in behavior
- Poor personal hygiene
- Lost money or personal belongings of high value
- Broken or fractured bones
How Long Do You Have to File a Nursing Home Abuse Case in Illinois?
The statute of limitations for personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death cases is two years from the date of injury or death . This means that you only have two years from the date of injury or death to file a claim against nursing facilities.
In some cases, you might have two years from the date of discovery to file your claim if the cause was not immediately obvious. Either way, it is important to engage an Illinois personal injury attorney as soon as possible so they can get to work on your case before this deadline.
Types of Cases That Our Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Handle
Our team of nursing home abuse lawyers is well-prepared and experienced in working on a variety of cases involving nursing abuse, such as:
- Bed sores
- Nursing home falls
- Emotional abuse
- Financial abuse
- Physical abuse
- Wrongful death
- Medical malpractice
How Can Our Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Help?
Hiring a Chicago nursing home neglect lawyer from our team can help make the process of filing a civil lawsuit against the parties responsible easier.
Those initial weeks and months after your loved one’s injury or death are hectic. Having one of our attorneys on your side can make it easier to focus on getting your loved one the help they need while we:
- Gather medical records, video surveillance, and witness testimony to be used as evidence in your case
- File a claim with the Cook County court
- Oversee the discovery process
- Mediate your case with the defendants and insurance companies, if applicable
- Negotiate the terms and level of compensation offered in a settlement to get you the most compensation for your case
- Represent your family during a courtroom trial
What Is the Average Settlement in Nursing Home Abuse Cases?
There isn’t really an average settlement amount when it comes to lawsuits stemming from care in nursing home facilities. Payouts can range from thousands to millions of dollars. The attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers have won compensation for many nursing home abuse, medical malpractice, wrongful death, personal injury, and sexual abuse cases.
Our nursing home bed sore lawyers secured a $2.1 million settlement for the family of an elderly patient who developed a serious stage four bed sore after a nursing home ignored her own doctor and family’s requests for better care, physical therapy, and medication after joint replacement surgery. Our law firm also helped get a $1.5 million settlement for a nursing abuse case after a care facility failed to enforce its own safety policies and allowed an Alzheimer’s patient to ingest cleaning chemicals. Its failure to ensure dangerous chemicals were properly secured put other elderly patients at risk.
Damages That a Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Can Help You Recover
There are different types of damages that your Chicago nursing home neglect attorney can try to recover, including:
- Medical bills – Your family member might need additional medical care after experiencing elder abuse and neglect; the compensation from your case can help to pay these expenses
- Future Expenses – If your loved one will require ongoing medical treatment, these expenses can be added to the settlement
- Pain and suffering – Often added to settlements to compensate for pain, emotional trauma, and suffering
- Wrongful death – For loved ones who die as a result of the care they received, compensation can be given to their families
- Emotional trauma – Mental abuse can cause serious long-term suffering for victims, so the costs of therapy and ongoing needs can be part of the settlement
- Financial losses – For cases involving the financial abuse of elderly residents, staff members may steal from seniors when it becomes evident that they can no longer manage their own financial affairs
- Loss of companionship – For wrongful death cases, it is common to request compensation for the loss of companionship
- Funeral Expenses – If a nursing home resident dies due to elder abuse, the resulting wrongful death lawsuit can often cover their funeral expenses
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit?
Generally, nursing home abuse lawsuits take between 18 and 24 months to settle or reach a verdict. However, some cases settle within just a few months, while others involving life-threatening injuries or the wrongful death of an elderly person might take even longer.
Most of the time, lawsuits that involve severe injuries take longer to resolve and are more likely to require going to court whereas cases with physical injuries that are more mild and likely to heal take less time from the date of filing to receiving compensation.
While no one can guarantee how quickly a case will proceed, your Illinois nursing home abuse lawyer can give you an idea of how complex your case is and how long it took other cases to make it through the process.
How Much Does a Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Cost?
Our Chicago nursing home neglect lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means that you won’t need to pay legal fees until we help you receive a settlement or a verdict.
It also means that you do not have to pay anything for the services of a nursing home lawyer unless you receive compensation. Once we help you win your case, we will collect payment as a pre-determined percentage of the settlement we help you secure.
The Statistics of Abuse in Illinois Nursing Homes
59,969 Illinois residents live in a nursing home . There are approximately 204 nursing homes in Cook County . 50 of these nursing homes have been found to have serious deficiencies. 190 of them have serious infection-related deficiencies.
The nursing homes in Cook County are known to be understaffed . To try to fix it, the Health Care Council of Illinois proposed a property tax break proposed by the state Senate President, who receives PAC funds from the nursing home industry. The news report highlights how outcomes at Chicago’s private-equity-owned nursing homes fare much worse.
The operator of six Chicago nursing homes was sued due to intentional understaffing, which led to illness and injuries . The situation led to resident falls, bedsores, and unsanitary living conditions. Understaffing can also lead to physical abuse, emotional abuse, and financial exploitation.
Who Is Liable in a Nursing Home Abuse Case in Chicago?
All nursing home abuse claims are different based on the specifics of what happened. However, some common defendants in nursing home neglect cases include:
- Staff members – Caregivers, CNAs, and home health aides can be held liable for their actions toward nursing home residents
- Administrators – Administrators in nursing homes that understaff or fail to have policies to protect residents can be held liable by family members
- Doctors, nurses, and pharmacists – If medical providers refuse medical treatment or prescribe the wrong medications, they can be held liable
- Other nursing home residents – In instances where other nursing home residents hurt your loved one, they can be held accountable
Which Standards Do Chicago Nursing Homes Have to Meet?
According to the Nursing Home Care Act in Illinois, the Department of Public Health has the right to :
- Communicate privately with any resident who consents to communication in a nursing home setting
- Inspect medical records of any resident who consents to it
- Observe all areas of a care facility except private living areas without permission
- Ensure nursing homes do not hire identified offenders who have records that preclude them from working in care facilities according to the Nursing Home Care Act
- Mandate nursing homes treat residents with courtesy and respect
- Verify residents have their basic human needs met, including medical care, as outlined in the Nursing Home Care Act
Which Agencies Regulate Nursing Homes in Chicago?
There are a number of city, state, and federal agencies tasked with ensuring that nursing homes and assisted living facilities comply with nursing home laws and regulations, including:
- Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations
- Chicago Department of Family & Support Services
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
How Often Are Illinois Nursing Homes Inspected?
The Illinois Department of Public Health inspects nursing homes every six to 18 months. On average, nursing homes are inspected once every 12 months.
In the event that there is suspected nursing home abuse reported by a family member or employee, it is possible that the authorities will inspect the condition of a nursing facility more frequently.
How to Report Abuse in a Chicago Nursing Home
If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of nursing home negligence or abuse, it is imperative that you take action to report it. This can not only help your loved one, but also protect the health and safety of all of the residents in the nursing home.
First, call the Chicago Department of Family & Support Services at (312) 744-4016. This is an important resource to report nursing home negligence so that it can be escalated to the appropriate authorities.
If your loved one is being abused, you can reach out to the Illinois Office of Domestic Violence by calling 1-877-863-6338. You can provide details about the suspected abuse, including dates, times, and staff member names.
You can also call the Illinois Department on Aging Help Line at 1-866-800-1409. The nursing home hotline has access to many resources to help seniors, whether they have suffered abuse or need more information about their rights.
If your loved one is in immediate danger, call the Chicago Police Department by dialing 9-1-1. Law enforcement can remove your loved one and ensure their safety.
Contact a Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today!
If you or a loved one is a nursing home resident who has suffered physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, or emotional abuse, the Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers are here to help.
Our firm has helped thousands of Illinois residents pursue compensation for their personal injury cases. In some cases, the settlements have been worth millions of dollars.
We are here for you and your family members throughout the entire process of your IL nursing home abuse case. During your free consultation, we can discuss what options you have to seek justice for your family members.