Nursing Home Negligence
It’s rarely an easy decision to leave one’s home and enter a nursing home, or to decide on behalf of a loved one that nursing home care has become the best option. Nursing homes aren’t the places where a grandmother bounced grandchildren on her knee, or where spouses grew old together, and the idea of giving up a family home and the memories made within its walls can be a difficult one. However, many people reach a point in their lives as they age, or when they have a disability, when they need more medical care than they can comfortably get at home, and a nursing home may become the right place for them.
The people who reside in nursing homes are the most vulnerable and the most in need of compassionate care. They may be elderly and in failing health, or they may have dementia, or they may have developmental disabilities that require more professional care than they can get at home with family. Because of the vulnerability of nursing home residents and their possible inability to advocate for themselves, the staff and administrators in nursing homes hold unique positions of trust. They may be called upon to provide medical care, personal care, and even financial oversight.
We expect that nursing home staff members and administrators will treat residents with compassion and respect. They have a responsibility under Illinois and federal law to uphold residents’ rights, not to mistreat them, and to keep them secure from harm that may come at the hands of other residents or visitors. However, nursing homes sometimes fail in that duty and a resident may become the victim of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
Types of Nursing Home Claims We Handle
Nursing home claims can take a number of forms and allege a number of different types of abuse, neglect, exploitation, or violation of rights. Some of the types of claims we handle for nursing home residents or their families include:
- Physical Assault
- Improper Use of Restraints
- Psychological & Emotional Abuse
- Financial Abuse or Exploitation
- Forced Feeding
- Wandering & Elopement
- Preventing Visitors or Communication
- Wrongful Death
Nursing Home Residents Have Rights
Under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, 210 ILCS 45, nursing home residents have a number of rights. Those include:
- Right to be free from abuse and neglect
- Right to manage their own finances
- Right to have their own clothes and to have their personal property in their room
- Right to choose their own physician
- Right to participate in decisions about their medical care
- Right to be free of restraints, including physical restraints such as straps or chemical restraints such as unnecessary sedatives
- Right to private, unimpeded visits and communications
- Right to see a lawyer or social worker
- Right to leave if they wish to be discharged
- Right to make grievances when they feel their rights are being violated
- Right to refuse to perform work inside the nursing home
When Rights Are Violated
When a nursing home resident’s rights are violated, the resident or the resident’s authorized representative may have a claim for damages under Illinois law. Unlike personal injury cases, a nursing home resident doesn’t have to prove negligence or recklessness to succeed in a claim — you just have to prove that your rights were violated and that the violation caused you some actual injury or damages.
Through a claim, you may be able to recover compensation for:
- Any medical expenses, such as treatment of injuries sustained in a physical assault
- Any lost income that you experienced, such as if financial assets were lost
- Pain and suffering, such as anxiety or depression resulting from neglect or abuse
- Disability and disfigurement, such as scars from bedsores
- Loss of enjoyment of normal life
- Attorney fees
At Staver Law Group, we have lawyers experienced in successful representation of nursing home residents who have suffered injuries because of abuse, neglect, or other violations of their rights. We offer zealous and compassionate representation to nursing home residents or their families who want to stop the neglect or abuse and make sure that the nursing home owner or licensee ultimately responsible for the neglect or abuse provides fair compensation for the harm caused.
Contact us today at for a free consultation with a Chicago nursing home lawyer.