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As the American population ages, more and more senior citizens are living in nursing homes….

As the American population ages, more and more senior citizens are living in nursing homes in Illinois and throughout the country. While 13 percent of the population was age 65 or older in 2010, by 2050 this number is expected to rise to 20 percent, and the number of Americans age 85 or older is expected to more than triple over this same time period.

So, what does this mean for life in nursing homes? While we can’t say for sure, what we do know is that many Illinois nursing homes are already understaffed, and many nursing home residents already are not receiving safe and compassionate care. Hence, as more senior citizens transition into nursing homes, won’t the situation just get worse? Unfortunately, only time will tell.

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The Hard Facts about Nursing Home Care

In some respects, it is hard to imagine how things could get much worse. Studies already suggest that a third of all nursing homes are cited for federal safety violations every two years, with one in 10 homes being cited for violations that resulted in serious injury or jeopardy of death. Ten percent of all nursing home residents report being abused in the prior year (44 percent overall), and 95 percent report either experiencing or witnessing nursing home neglect.

All of this is to say that, if you or your loved one experiences wrongful or inappropriate care in a nursing home:

  • You are not alone
  • The situation is likely to get worse before it gets better
  • To stop the abuse, you need to take action now.
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  • Wrongful Care Resulting in Illness or Injury

    Victims of wrongful care in nursing homes often suffer from serious illnesses and injuries. While it can be difficult to know for certain whether a medical condition is the result of negligence or abuse, there are some tell-tale signs that residents and their families can watch for. However, if you even suspect wrongful care, we urge you to speak with one of our attorneys right away.

    Some injuries simply should not occur in the nursing home setting in the absence of wrongful care. For example, if you or your loved one is suffering from any of the following conditions in a nursing home, there is a strong chance that wrongful care is to blame:
    • Bedsores
    • Malnutrition
    • Sexually-transmitted disease or genital injury
    • Symptoms associated with medication errors
    • Unexplained injuries
     
  • Wrongful Care Resulting in Death

    In the worst cases, wrongful care in nursing homes results in death. While reliable numbers are hard to come by, it is widely acknowledged that thousands of nursing home residents die every year from illnesses and injuries that could have been avoided with appropriate care.

    Bedsores, malnutrition, sepsis, choking, and other treatable conditions can all be fatal without adequate attention. If you have suddenly or unexpectedly lost a loved one who was living in a nursing home, our attorneys can help you find out what happened and pursue just compensation on your behalf.

     

What Constitutes Wrongful or Inappropriate Care?

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    Negligence

    Negligence refers to caregivers and administrators’ failure to meet the standard of care that all nursing homes in Illinois owe to their patients. For example, nursing homes are responsible for ensuring that their residents receive their medications on time. So, if a nurse confuses patients or mixes up pill bottles, and a resident doesn’t get the medication he or she needs, this would be considered negligence.

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    Abuse

    On the other hand, abuse involves intentionally causing physical, psychological, or emotional harm to a resident. While this sounds unthinkable to most of us, as noted above, it happens with alarming frequency. Some common examples of nursing home abuse include withholding food and medication from residents, verbal belittling, and sexual harassment.

Speak with a Nursing Home Wrongful Care Attorney Today

No one deserves to become a victim of neglect or abuse. To find out if you have a claim for compensation against a nursing facility and to learn more about what our experienced Chicago Nusing Home Wrongful Care lawyers can do for you,

Please Call 888-305-5043

or request a consultation online today.

Your consultation is free and confidential, and our zero fee guarantee means that you don’t pay anything unless we secure compensation for your losses.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Residents of facilities that participate in the Medicare program enjoy the following federal rights:

  • Freedom from verbal, sexual, physical, and mental abuse.
  • Freedom from physical or chemical restraints, except restraints imposed for medical reasons or to insure the safety of the patient or others. Restraints imposed for reasons of discipline or convenience are illegal and are considered abuse.
  • The right to be treated with dignity and respect.
  • The right to manage your own finances or to appoint someone else to do so.
  • The right to privacy as long as it doesn’t interfere with the health, safety, or rights of others.
  • The right to use one’s personal belongings as long as it doesn’t interfere with the health, safety, or rights of others.
  • The right to information about your medical condition and any treatments.
  • The right to refuse treatment (as long as you have the mental capacity to understand the nature and consequences of such a refusal).
  • The right to use your own doctor.
  • The right to set your own daily schedule.
  • The right to as much independence as your medical condition allows you.
  • The right to a safe and comfortable environment.

Most of these rights also apply under state law, even for nursing homes that do not participate in the Medicare program.

Yes, you can, because human rights don’t need contractual support. If you were hit by a car, for example, you wouldn’t have to prove that you had a contract with the driver not to hit you in order to win a lawsuit against him or her – you could sue under general tort law principles, just as you can in cases of abuse and neglect in a nursing facility.

The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act defines the rights under state law that your loved one enjoys with or without a contractual arrangement with the nursing home. Federal regulations also apply if the institution participates in the Medicare program. Proving that the facility violated an applicable regulation will go a long way toward establishing their liability for compensatory damages. In cases of outrageous conduct, you might even be able to collect punitive damages against the nursing home. Of course, if there is a contract, a contract claim could be added to other claims arising from the abuse or neglect.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is the state agency responsible for enforcing the law in favor of the more than 100,000 nursing home residents residing in over 1,200 facilities in Illinois. The IDPH licenses these facilities, conducts inspections at least annually, and cooperates with the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for eligibility to participate in federal payment reimbursement programs.

The IDPH maintains a Nursing Home Hotline (800-252-4343) for complaints. Upon receiving a complaint of abuse or neglect, the IDPH’s Bureau of Long Term Care may launch an investigation. Although it does not participate in lawsuits, it can sanction or even close down homes that violate the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act or federal regulations. The results of its investigation can be used as evidence in a civil lawsuit against a home or an employee.

Contact a Chicago, IL Nursing Home Negligence and Abuse Lawyer Today

Nursing homes have to be held accountable for providing wrongful or inappropriate care. At Malman Law, we consider this our duty and have the track record to prove it, having helped thousands of clients recover millions of dollars in compensation for nursing home negligence and abuse.
To find out more about your legal rights, we invite you to schedule a free consultation today.
Schedule Free Case Review

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2 years ago I was involved in a trucking accident involving a 14-wheeler truck that nearly disabled me for life. Steve fought to make sure that I received the most possible compensation for my injuries. I was about to take the insurance company’s lowball offer, but decided to call Steve first – it was the best decision I’ve made yet

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