Decatur IL Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Nursing homes should be safe havens for seniors who need assistance with daily activities and medical care. But, unfortunately, many of these rehab centers have become hotbeds of abuse and neglect that leave their residents in terrible conditions.
Were you hurt in a nursing home? You deserve justice after what you went through. At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for nursing home residents victimized through neglect or abuse.
Call a Decatur personal injury lawyer (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a nursing home, call us today. We can help. Let us fight for justice on your behalf so you can focus on getting better without worrying about money or legal issues ever again.
We want nothing more than to see every single person responsible held accountable for their actions, so other families don't have to go through what yours did. So please pick up the phone right now, and let us start fighting back against nursing home abuse together.
Decatur, Illinois, is one of the largest cities in Central Illinois and was the first home of Abraham Lincoln and of the Decatur Staleys, which would become the Chicago Bears. It is the county seat of Macon County and was founded along the Sangamon River and Lake Decatur. As of 2013, the city's population was over 74,000, including a large number of senior citizens.
Numerous international companies have manufacturing plants located in Decatur, and the city is home to two universities and numerous parochial schools. So, when it comes to aggressively representing Decatur, IL, long-term care facility patients who have suffered an injury or been abused, our personal injury law firm is fully committed to holding the facilities accountable.
Our associates' law firm has experience with most nursing home chains, and injuries patients encounter in these facilities. In recent years, we have had a track record of excellent results for elder home abuse cases and recovered over $250 million on behalf of our clients.
Let a professional review your case and medical records. A senior home abuse attorney is ready to develop a personal connection with your family and help you recover the maximum compensation you are entitled to under Illinois law.
Senior Living Options in Decatur
Decatur's population is much older when compared to the populations of other cities within the State of Illinois. The state's senior population is roughly 12.5% of the total population. The city is home to more than 13,300 residents who are 65 or older, and an additional 3,000 residents are between 60 and 64 years old.
When this group reaches retirement age, the senior population will be almost 19% of Decatur's population. The Decatur Macon County Senior Center serves the needs of the city's many aging residents, and there are fourteen nursing facilities located within city limits.
The senior center helps enrich the lives of numerous seniors by offering computer classes, health and fitness classes tailored to their needs, line dancing classes, regular card games, and Bingo nights. Seniors may also stop by for lunch every day of the week. The center is located at 1430 North 22nd Street, and its phone number is 217-429-1239.
As more people retire, there is a growing concern about nursing facilities' good care quality. In addition, larger corporations have started to take over retirement communities, and the need for more profitable margins has resulted in abuse and neglect cases.
Nursing facility lawsuits across the State of Illinois have become more frequent over the last ten years. As Illinois nursing home abuse lawyers, our goal is to provide the information you may need to ensure that your loved ones receive the care and respect they deserve.
How to Determine Whether a Loved One is the Victim of Abuse at a Decatur, IL Skilled Nursing Facility?
Nursing home mistreatment and abuse are becoming hot-button issues across the entire country. We have a right to demand accountability when corporations take over nursing centers and implement policies, not in the people's best interest.
However, most important is that we remove our loved ones from environments where they are being neglected or abused. Understanding the forms of abuse most familiar to the homes throughout Decatur will help you detect neglect or abuse so that you may act quickly. If you are unsure of whether to begin an investigation, contact a Decatur personal injury attorney at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC to be sure.
- Common medication errors: It seems that our elderly population is being placed on more medications each year. Residents of nursing facilities are often required to take seven or more medications at varying intervals throughout the day. Drug interactions, missed doses, overdoses, and administration of the wrong medicine are all common medication mistakes, and the effects can range from minor inconveniences to life-threatening reactions. For example, if a patient is taking blood thinners, an overdose can cause internal bleeding and hemorrhaging, resulting in death.
- The spread of infection: When we were young, our bodies were much more resilient to foreign organisms, but the immune systems of the elderly were not as efficient. Poor immunity places our loved ones at a higher risk of experiencing an infection if rooms are not kept clean, linens are not changed regularly, and a program is not in place to contain the spread of infection among a nursing center's population.
- Development of bedsores: It is simply unacceptable that any patient should ever be neglected to the point they develop a pressure sore. These sores are open wounds indicating the patient has been left in the same position long enough to allow skin and muscle tissue to die because of reduced blood flow. Moving patients at risk of developing bedsores and those with stage one or two sores every one to two hours is all it takes to prevent the sores from developing or worsening.
- Infringement of personal rights: Not all forms of abuse result in physical damage. Nursing care facilities must respect the privacy of patients' information, properly handle patients' belongings, and communicate the cost of services and when payment is due.
- Physical or sexual abuse: Upon hiring, it is not always possible to assess a person's character accurately. For this reason, facilities must investigate the backgrounds of every staff member they bring on board and never hire those who have a history of abuse. In addition, in physical and emotional abuse or sexual assault cases, it is crucial to find justice from both the person behind the assault and the administration that hired the abuser.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC works with thousands of nursing home abuse victims across the State of Illinois. We understand that your priority upon learning your loved one is being abused is finding a safe place for them to be while healing from the abuse.
Our Decatur nursing home law firm has helped hundreds of injury victims escape their environments favor nursing centers that will respectfully tend to their needs and concerns. Our nursing home abuse lawyers will go after those who would place profit or personal gain over their safety as a part of our legal services.
Call us even if you are unsure whether your loved one is a victim of neglect or abuse, and we will help you determine whether the signs warrant an investigation.
Our personal injury law firm provides free and confidential consultations to everyone. We help all nursing home residents in need of our advice or services, regardless of their financial situations.
For this reason, we promise only to receive compensation when you do from our negotiated settlement or jury trial award. Additionally, to ensure the quality of legal services, if our nursing home abuse lawyers cannot secure damages in your favor, our services will be completely free of charge.
Nursing Home Care Act of 1987
In 1987, the United States Congress enacted the Nursing Home Care Act in response to data indicating that 49% of all U.S. nursing homes had been cited for deficiencies in 1982-1983 (equivalent to one deficiency per facility).
Illinois Nursing Home Reform Act
The Illinois State Legislature enacted the Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA) to improve the quality of care provided by participating Medicare and Medicaid nursing homes throughout the United States. The NHRA regulations implementing this act address various topics, including nursing home staff levels, physical environment, medical services, and emergency plans.
The NHRA requires that all caregiving centers provide an appropriate medical screening examination to determine if each nursing home resident needs skilled care or rehabilitation before admission to the facility. The law also provides standards aimed at protecting residents from abuse or neglect.
Nursing home abuse is any violence, injury, or mistreatment that results in the suffering of a resident. When nursing homes are negligent, it can result in serious injuries for older adults.
A Brief History of Decatur, Illinois
Decatur was founded in 1829 and named after Stephen Decatur, a renowned naval officer and hero of the War of 1812. Numerous cities across the United States have been named in his honor. Shortly after its founding, it became the first home of Abraham Lincoln and would be where Lincoln would begin his career in law and politics.
His first recorded speech occurred in Decatur and garnered the attention of state politicians, which would lay the groundwork through which Abraham Lincoln would venture into governmental politics. Although Lincoln eventually took up residence in Springfield, Illinois, he would visit Decatur often and even argued five cases in its courthouse when he worked as an attorney.
When running for President of the United States in 1860, it was in Decatur that Lincoln would receive his first official endorsement during the Illinois Republican State Convention. Upon the Civil War's conclusion, the first post of the Grand Army of the Republic was formed by veterans who fought in the war.
Andrew Carnegie provided a generous grant to allow for the construction of the Decatur Public Library in 1902, and the famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, oversaw the design and construction of the Edward P. Irving House in 1911. His assistants contributed to the Robert and Adolph Mueller residences in later years.
The Carnegie Library in Decatur was one of the only ones ever built, which is not still standing - it was torn down and replaced with a bank. Decatur served as a significant hub for seven railroads, including the Norfolk Southern and Canadian National Railway. Its access to the Sangamon River and the thriving railroad system made it a center of industry, and it has a long history as a manufacturing city.
In 1974, the city was at the center of disaster when a tanker car containing hazardous materials collided with a boxcar. The resulting explosion injured 349 people and resulted in 7 deaths. For many years, Archer Daniels Midland Co. kept its World Headquarters in Decatur.
Although the company has since moved its headquarters to downtown Chicago, it still maintains its production facility within Decatur. In addition, the company was involved in a conspiracy in which executives colluded with their competitors to manipulate the price of a food additive Archer Daniels Midland Co. produced. Federal charges led to the payment of over $500 million in fines and settlements with cheated customers.
The Negative Consequences of Nursing Home Negligence
When nurses fail to give consistent care or offer no treatment, those who suffer from nursing home neglect endure terrible consequences or die before their time. Such mistakes are frequently the result of a lack of adequate personnel in nursing home management. Those new to the profession or who don't have adequate expertise and training may be forced into service in other situations.
Occasionally, the medical histories of patients are unavailable to those looking after them. In addition, nursing home neglect victims may be denied the necessary food and fluids for proper mental and physical functioning in certain circumstances.
In the United States, elder home neglect is a major problem. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), There are currently 1,400 open investigations into healthcare providers that have received federal funding over six months.
According to the state department of public health, a substantial quantity of medical knowledge is necessary to file an abuse and neglect lawsuit. If a loved one has been injured due to negligent care at a nursing home facility, victims and their families should contact an experienced attorney right now.
You might file an estate claim or a personal wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent parties if your loved one died because of someone else's negligence.
How to Recognize Nursing Home Negligence Wrongdoing
Unfortunately, many families are unaware that their loved one is being neglected until there is a significant change in their loved one's medical condition or they exhibit clear signs of abuse.
The first step in preventing carelessness is to find it out in a nursing facility. However, because those unfamiliar with nursing home standards and regulations would not be aware of medical negligence, detecting it may not be as simple as it sounds.
Signs of nursing care neglect that aren't immediately apparent include:
Nursing Home Staffing Issues
The increasing need for registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nursing assistants has resulted in a recruiting crisis. There is a severe labor scarcity in many nursing centers, forcing overworked, unhappy, and exhausted workers to care for far more individuals than they can handle.
Patients are not receiving the service they require because of insufficient staffing. Understaffing also leads to aggravation at a level that may cause patients to lose their well-being when the patient vents upon overworked employees' dissatisfaction through medical malpractice, negligence, and abuse.
Failure to Maintain a Clean and Healthy Living Environment
Because of the intense work and limited staff, nursing homes frequently overlook facility upkeep and mismanage food services. Furthermore, such homes are often short on housekeeping personnel to ensure that patient rooms are cleaned properly.
Sanitation problems can spring from various factors, including insufficient staff or training for caregivers and employees.
Inadequate Equipment Safety Precautions
A variety of factors might influence the occurrence of equipment failure, ranging from insufficient funding to problems with maintainers. In addition, nursing facilities frequently suffer equipment failures or outages due to neglect of the nursing home staff.
Falls from beds, chairs, and other furnishings are too common in nursing centers, resulting in significant injuries. In addition, transfer equipment that moves residents between locations should always be kept locked to prevent mishaps.
Residents' Care Plan Wasn't Followed
The resident's Care Plan must be updated and modified at least once every 90 days. To ensure that the patient receives all of the available services, the staff should include:
- Daily or weekly skin assessment to prevent pressure wounds
- Recommended treatments, therapies, and rehabilitation
- Prescribed medication
When a resident's condition changes, their care plan should be updated to ensure that they agree with the doctor's recommendations, orders, and requirements.
Unfortunately, many nursing home employees failed to adhere to the resident's Care Plan, resulting in tragic consequences.
A Lack of Proper Training
All workers must be adequately educated and re-educated to deliver the finest possible care to their patients, including the Nursing Home Administrator, Medical Director, and Director of Nursing.
Unfortunately, many nursing centers fail to provide staff with the knowledge and training required to act as caregivers. It has led to situations where a worker was never taught how to operate equipment, was unaware of the correct medication dosage, or had no idea how to deal with various scenarios, such as an emergency fire or medical condition.
Inadequate Resident Nutrition
Poor nutrition can also be caused by understaffing and incorrect staffing levels. Furthermore, because there are not enough workers devoted to ensuring that all residents eat safely and healthfully, the dining hall may fall short on hygiene standards.
A lack of caregiver education might lead to caregivers offering unhealthy meals such as ice cream for breakfast, fast food instead of homemade meals, or beverages without a straw to prevent spills.
Bedsores are more likely among individuals who have been neglected at home due to a lack of care. In addition, because negligent home care providers fail to rotate and rearrange the patient regularly, they are also linked to bedsores.
The nursing home resident may be kept in the same position for hours, putting pressure on various parts of their body. It can cause discomfort and suffering and an increase in agitation and anxiety levels among aging residents.
Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
Nursing home abuse and neglect can have a major impact, including fractures, urinary tract infections (UTIs), kidney failure, nutritional/dehydration issues, blood poisoning/clostridium difficile colitis (C-diff), jaundice, pressure sores or wounds, and other injuries.
When a bone breaks, it can be traumatic; therefore, surgery may be required to mend it. For example, residents who fractured their hip due to elder abuse might never completely recover from paralysis or mobility issues that keep them from walking.
Bacteria from unclean surroundings may infect the urinary bladder if the patient does not get adequate care. If left undiagnosed for a long time, the illness might advance to kidney damage without intervention.
Nursing home mistreatment and neglect can be extremely costly, not only in terms of medical expenses. It also includes property damage, hospital bills, mental anguish, agony, suffering, and other monetary problems.
Medication Errors at Eldercare Homes Can Result in Deaths
When a nursing staff in a facility administers, fills, transcribes, or dispenses drugs to a patient, they must follow the Care Plan. Unfortunately, medication mistakes are one of the most prevalent causes of elderly mortality in the United States.
A care plan is drawn up for each resident that details the treatments, medicines, and therapies. We've all heard of a medication mix-up caused by a mistake in the prescription regimen that leaves one person with pills intended for someone else — but what about negligent care plans?
Prescribing antibiotics for one condition to treat another condition could be problematic. If this medication mistake isn't addressed immediately, it can cause organ failure. In certain situations, even common medication errors may be deadly.
Nursing Home Bed Sores
Even a small problem on the skin may indicate an early symptom of bedsore (pressure sore, pressure wounds, pressure ulcers, decubitus ulcer), including potentially life-threatening issues.
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), deaths from bedsores are not uncommon since present treatments have a poor cure rate and may make matters worse.
Pressure ulcers are caused when a person cannot move away from a location on the body for an extended period. For example, this might happen if people stay in bed or sit in a wheelchair for prolonged periods without shifting position frequently.
When you're in one posture for a long time, the pressure of your body against blood vessels prevents enough oxygen-rich blood from reaching the skin tissue. When there isn't enough oxygen, cells begin to die after about two hours.
Ulcers can become open wounds that need surgical treatment, generally accompanied by skin grafts if the problem above persists. The mortality rate for people with an open wound is between 25% and 60% within two weeks, with survival rates improving to around 80% after four weeks.
The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) defines pressure ulcers as an injury to the skin and underlying tissue over a bony prominence. A pressure sore can also occur due to medical/surgical therapy with partial to complete thickness loss of skin and subcutaneous fat persisting for at least three days.
Bedsores are a form of skin and tissue damage caused by prolonged pressure on one or more body points. If left untreated, these sores have the potential to cause fatal infections. People who develop bedsore-induced illnesses have a mortality rate of 20%.
Bedsores are very typical in individuals who sleep in the same posture for a long time. The neck, shoulders, elbows, tailbone, knees, and ankles are all susceptible to bony protrusions developing. The longer you leave bedsores untreated, the more unpleasant and challenging they become to heal.
The National Pressure Injury Advisory Panel (NPUAP) advises frequent skin checks for nursing home patients when there's a change in condition, such as redness or sensitivity or the appearance of new tumors. If the facility does not follow these recommendations, Adult Protective Services may be requested.
Pressure ulcers are a significant problem for people who have limited mobility. In 2011, 719 pressure ulcer mortality reports were submitted to CMS, illustrating an alarming increase in the illness's severity.
In 2011, according to Medicare statistics, 17% or 706 out of 4,049 nursing home patients suffered from severe decubitus ulcers after developing bed sores for more than 14 months.
Staging Pressure Sores
Bedsores are classified and assessed in a bedsore staging system by doctors, wound care experts, nurses, and other health care providers to assess the severity of the problem. These staging categories include:
- Stage I – Blister (clear fluid-filled sac) or shallow wound: Open wound of intact skin is a minor wound.
- Stage II – Moderate: Ulcers of this type are defined by necrosis (tissue death) in the epidermis with or without necrotic tissue within the dermis. The ulcer has a doughnut-shaped yellow "ring around red" color, for example. Wounds at stage II frequently appear to be abrasions with dried blood on them.
- Stage III – Severe: In this case, the stage III bedsore is an ulcer with full-thickness tissue loss. A wound at this level can be a deep crater resembling a pit, for example. Necrotic tissue fills the wound bed and is not free of subcutaneous fat. This stage frequently has a foul odor.
- Stage IV – Very severe: This is the highest level of bedsore severity. A person with a stage IV pressure ulcer has full-thickness tissue loss that extends into the subcutaneous fat. In addition, a wound at this stage demonstrates exposed tendons, bones, or muscles.
- Unstageable – Critical: These kinds of bedsores have full-thickness tissue loss with extensive destruction, undermining surrounding structures and exposing the bone. Too much necrotic (dead) tissue, particles, and debris in the open wound would make it hard for the pressure wound specialist to identify and stage the pressure wound correctly.
- Deep tissue injury – Critical: A deep tissue injury may cause a bone or blood infection, resulting in avoidable death.
If left untreated, serious tissue damage results in significant necrosis, vessel disruption, and sepsis.
Have you noticed a pressure sore on your loved one's body in a nursing home? Contact (888) 424-5757 and talk with our nursing home abuse lawyer if this is the case. We are here for you at all hours of the day or night to assist your family members.
Condition of Participation Regulation
The Department of Health and Human Services is the federal agency that monitors federal regulations and administers a rule known as "Condition of Participation" (CoP). The CoP involves following a patient's Care Plan when providing medications, therapies, or treatments. Furthermore, if a facility does not follow this requirement, it may result in fines and closure, according to state health departments.
Nursing home abuse attorneys who work with compensation claims frequently find that care plans were not always followed or, more often, that they were never started in the first place.
Nursing centers might utilize both strategies to avoid becoming liable for endangering their patients, which may be quite costly for families who lose loved ones due to this sort of blunder.
How to Avoid Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
You can do things to lower your risk of nursing home maltreatment and neglect as a resident or family member.
Keep track of personnel changes by:
- Requesting documentation that all employees have completed their training requirements every year
- During resident meetings, ask questions or call the facility directly before or after hours
- Addressing worries about poor maintenance immediately
- Keeping everyone protected from hazards is our top priority.
If you think your loved one is in danger, don't wait to file a complaint. If you or a loved one has been hurt due to nursing home abuse or neglect, our skilled nursing home abuse lawyers may be able to help. In addition, we offer free consultations; therefore, get in contact with us right away for more information.
You Might Need To Hire A Legal Representative To Safeguard Your Loved One
The major aim is to safeguard your loved one's health, well-being, or survival from being jeopardized. You may prevent the abuse by leaving, transferring your loved one to a higher-quality facility that offers superior care, and seeking legal assistance for the prior facility/administrator/caregiver.
You might be eligible for compensation if you were harmed by someone else's negligence, such as a caregiver, nurse, visitor, family member, or another patient who neglected or abused you.
Many clients have benefitted from our firm's assistance in obtaining compensation for damage caused by others. Allow us to put our experience and resources to good use on your behalf now.
Hire a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney to Handle Your Compensation Claim: Free Consultation
Was your family member a victim of nursing home maltreatment, neglect, or abuse? As legal advocates for every neglected or abused nursing home patient at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury legal team is prepared to fight aggressively on their behalf.
Call (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to arrange a free consultation immediately with a Decatur Il nursing home abuse lawyer. Allow us to explain your legal choices for obtaining compensation and retribution for the harm you have suffered.
An attorney-client relationship protects all confidential or sensitive information you communicate with our Macon County personal injury law firm.
For all personal injury and wrongful death claims, we operate on a contingency fee basis. This guarantee means you will not be charged until we win your case on a jury verdict or a negotiated payout.