Nursing home patients often include the elderly, weak, frail, and people dependent on the help of others, which makes them particularly vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, and neglect. Nursing homes and their staff have the responsibility to provide competent care and supervision to their patients, but if this does not happen and a patient suffers harm or dies as a result, that individual or their family may have rights to compensation through a civil lawsuit.
If you or a loved suffered injuries or someone died due to nursing home abuse, an Oak Park nursing home abuse lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may help to examine the facts of your case, stop the abuse from continuing, and prevent further damage to your loved one and others. We may also fight to obtain justice and the settlement you deserve. We offer a free consultation, so call us at (800) 201-3999 to get started.
Filing a Civil Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
Both federal and state laws about residents’ rights for people in long-term care facilities require nursing homes to give responsible care to prevent residents from harm and guard their safety. If the home or its staff proves negligent and a resident suffered harm, the law can hold the nursing home legally responsible.
Filing a successful civil nursing home abuse lawsuit may keep future harm and mistreatment of residents from occurring, as well as provide compensation for the injuries and harm received. Compensation may include restitution for:
- Monetary costs such as medical and therapy bills, and costs of changing nursing homes.
- Noneconomic, less tangible damages such as mental and physical pain and suffering.
To win your case, your attorney must show that:
- The nursing home had a duty to provide care to the resident.
- The nursing home breached or failed to uphold its duty of care.
- As a result of this breach of care, the resident suffered injuries and resulting losses.
Proving the abuse and the harm it caused can require extensive evidence gathering that may occur more easily with the help of a lawyer. Contact the Oak Park abuse and neglect lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for help. Call (800) 201-3999 for your free case review.
For a free legal consultation with a nursing home injury lawyer serving Oak Park, call 800-201-3999
Requirements for Nursing Homes
Nursing homes participating in Medicare and Medicaid must comply with the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA), which sets the federal quality standards for nursing homes to provide for the care of residents. The act established requirements for nursing homes and a bill of rights for patients.
Federal Nursing Home Reform Act requires caregivers to:
- Provide sufficient nursing staff.
- Assess each resident’s functional capacity and provide a care plan accordingly.
- Provide necessary services for nutrition, grooming, cleanliness, and personal oral hygiene.
- Provide proper treatment and assistive devices to maintain vision, hearing, and bladder abilities, and to prevent pressure sores.
- Provide supervision and assistive devices to prevent accidents, theft of property and medication errors.
- Promote residents’ dignity, respect, and quality of life.
- Allow residents to choose activities, schedules, and health care.
- Maintain accurate clinical records.
The Nursing Home Reform Act also provides a nursing home residents’ bill of rights, which includes the rights to:
- Have freedom from abuse, mistreatment, and neglect, and from physical restraints.
- Accommodation of medical, physical, psychological, and social needs.
- Exercise self-determination and communicate freely.
- Participate in the review of one’s care plan and receive information in advance of changes in care, treatment, or status.
- Express grievances without reprisal.
Nursing homes that fail to provide safe premises, hire or supervise staff negligently, fail to maintain proper health and safety policies, or provide proper treatment ultimately violate the laws and regulations surrounding their industry.
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Types and Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse can take both physical and emotional forms. Family members should be on the lookout for signs that abuse may be occurring, including:
- Financial elder abuse: when a person in a position of trust and confidence takes an elderly person’s property or illegally uses their assets for financial gain. Watch for disappearing cash or money in bank accounts and a loss of benefit or pension checks.
- Physical abuse: any infliction of pain or injury, such as hitting, kicking, punching, burning, and assault. Watch for unexplained falls, bruises, broken bones or head injuries.
- Sexual abuse: sexual contact with a person incapable of giving consent or forced to comply, including inappropriate touching, sexual assault, and rape. Watch for bleeding and bruising in the genital area or sexually transmitted diseases.
- Emotional abuse: threats, harassment, intimidation, or verbal assaults. Watch for personality changes and fearfulness.
- Confinement: isolating or restraining a person for anything other than medical reasons.
- Neglect: the lack of caring for a person, or denying necessities such as shelter, food, clothing, and medical care. Look for malnutrition or dehydration.
Since nursing homes usually carry liability insurance for negligence and malpractice, it makes sense to hold nursing homes accountable for any type of abuse.
Proving Your Case in Court
To win your case in court, your Oak Park nursing home abuse lawyer would have to show evidence that harm occurred. Injuries that require medical treatment should come with documentation in medical records and leave a paper trail for your lawyer to asses. Family members who suspect abuse should take photographs of and document any suspicious injuries. In addition, you should take notes on any conversations with nursing home staff and management and their response to any complaints.
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Legal Help for Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
The Oak Park nursing home abuse lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may help by investigating the abusive situation, examining records, interviewing staff and witnesses, and holding negligent parties accountable for damages resulting from abuse.
Our nursing home abuse attorneys do not charge anything up front, and we only take fees out of a settlement we win for you. We offer a free consultation to examine the facts of your individual situation and get the abuse to stop immediately. Call us at (800) 201-3999.