Tinley Park Nursing Home Negligence Attorney with Offices in Cook and DuPage Counties
Advocating for Victims of Neglect and Abuse in Oak Lawn, Orland Park, and Throughout the Area
Placing a loved one in the care of a nursing home is a difficult decision. It can carry with it a sense of fear and worry and maybe even a bit of defeat. However, it is a path that many families must choose when they can no longer meet the physical, medical, or supervisory needs of someone they love. In doing so, they entrust that the facility will compassionately care for their loved one. Sadly, this trust is sometimes betrayed and a beloved family member is injured or wrongfully killed because of negligence or abuse.
At Schwartz Injury Law, we stand up for the most vulnerable members of our society by aggressively representing nursing home victims and their families. When compensation is owed for medical expenses, loss of life, pain and suffering, or other damages, our attorney pursues the highest settlement possible. Above all, we partner with victims and their families, serving as skilled and compassionate advocates in the fight to ensure that negligent or abusive parties are held responsible for their actions.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that each year as many as 1,800 nursing home residents fall and suffer a fatal injury. Many others suffer serious injuries such as broken bones and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Inadequate staff training, under-staffing, complacency, and a disregard for the safety and well-being of residents are all factors that contribute to this alarmingly high number of accidental falls. Falling is not the only injury that can occur at a poorly or understaffed facility, however. Residents may also be at risk for other injuries, such as:
- Dehydration from lack of fluids,
- Malnutrition from poor diet,
- Increased susceptibility to illness,
- Errors in administering medication that may lead to death or serious injury,
- Bedsores from poor hygiene or care,
- Infections that may lead to serious illness,
- Bone fractures,
- Functional decline,
- Depression or anxiety from excessive isolation,
- Serious illness due to inadequate hand-washing or sanitary procedures, and
- Many other illnesses and injuries that diminish a resident's overall quality of life.
Presence of these injuries or illnesses, regardless of the reason, are signs of nursing home neglect. They are not generally intentional acts (though they can be), but it does not make them any less harmful. Our attorney understands this, and we can help you pursue compensation for any losses, pain and suffering, or medical expenses that might have resulted from negligent nursing home care.
Unlike neglect, nursing home abuse is typically intentional and malicious. It is meant to cause harm, and may even be used to punish a resident. These acts may include:
- Punching or hitting,
- Kicking or biting,
- Sexual misconduct,
- Verbal abuse,
- Intentional misuse of drugs or medication,
- Misuse of restraint,
- Intentional isolation,
- Refusal to provide basic care (shower, food, clothing, etc.),
- Failure to report known or suspected abuse,
- Aggressive mishandling, and
- Humiliation or ridicule.
Whenever a nursing home resident shows symptoms of physical injuries, this may be a sign that they have suffered abuse or neglect. Injuries such as bruises, broken bones, or brain trauma may occur because of physical abuse or because a person fell or suffered another injury due to inadequate care. Other signs of physical, verbal, or sexual abuse include sudden weight loss or gain, withdrawal, agitation, changes in behavior, or being afraid to speak in the presence of a staff member. Signs of neglect may include malnutrition, dehydration, bedsores, or unsanitary conditions.
Around 10% of all elderly people suffer some form of abuse every year. Since there are more than 50 million people over the age of 65 in the United States, this means that there are at least 5 million instances of elder abuse on an annual basis. In addition, elders who suffer from dementia are much more likely to experience abuse, with around 50% of these people experiencing abuse or neglect in some form. Nursing home abuse can take a variety of forms, including physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, financial exploitation, and neglect.
If you believe your loved one has been abused or neglected, you should contact our attorneys to determine your legal options. We can investigate the circumstances of the case and obtain information to show that your loved one was injured due to nursing home negligence. Relevant information may include medical records, witness testimonies, opinions of medical experts, or other evidence related to the condition of a nursing home or the actions taken by staff members.
A nursing home may be held liable for improper actions taken by staff members. If it can be demonstrated that a person employed by a nursing home committed abuse against a patient, the nursing home may be held responsible, especially if it did not take the proper measures to screen employees or address complaints. If a resident suffered harm because of neglect, it may be possible to show that the nursing home was responsible because it did not maintain adequate staffing levels or did not provide the proper training to employees..
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you hold a nursing home responsible for the injuries and damages experienced by your loved one and your family. By gathering evidence to demonstrate that the nursing home allowed abuse or neglect to occur, your attorney can help you take legal action to pursue compensation. Your damages may include the costs of medical treatment for your loved one’s injuries, the physical and emotional pain and suffering experienced by your loved one and your family, and any other financial losses caused by nursing home abuse or neglect.
Compassionate Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Lawyer
If you suspect that your loved one is being abused or neglected, seek immediate assistance and secure their safety. Once they are out of harm's way, Schwartz Injury Law can step in and help you begin the claims process. We will stand by your side, every step of the way, ensuring you know you have a compassionate ally in your pursuit of justice. Get the help that your loved one deserves. Contact us at 708-226-9000 and schedule a consultation in Orland Park, Tinley Park, Burbank, Oak Lawn, Homer Glen, Mokena, Bedford Park, Palos Heights, and throughout northern Illinois.