Assisted Living Facilities
For those who don’t need intensive 24-hour medical care but do require assistance for some aspects of daily life, assisted living facilities are a good option. These facilities allow seniors to live somewhat independently even though they may have medical conditions that make it difficult for them to stay in their own homes.
Unfortunately, assisted living abuse is common and many residents are seriously hurt or even killed by their caretakers. If your loved one was harmed in an assisted living facility, contact a Chicago nursing home lawyer to learn about your next steps right away.
Why Abuse is Common
Since seniors tend to be vulnerable and lonely, they desire company. So when an assisted living employee tries to befriend them, they take them up on the offer. They don’t understand that the employee could be trying to just gain the patient’s trust in order to take advantage of the patient. This is particularly true in financial abuse cases.
Another reason why abuse is common is due to mental and physical disabilities. Many patients have dementia, so employees feel free to abuse them because they won’t be able to remember the incident. If patients have physical disabilities, they can’t fight back, so they must endure the abuse.
In addition, assisted living employees tend to exert control over the patients. If the patient doesn’t do what the employee tells him or her to do, the employee will physically abuse the patient. Therefore, the patient keeps quiet and does not report the abuse and thus, allows it to continue.
If you believe your loved one has suffered abuse, you need to take action. Before immediately filing a legal claim, you should first contact the facility. Speak with other residents and see if they have witnessed any acts of abuse. You should then address the situation with staff and leadership.
If the abuse does not end, report the situation to authorities. State health departments, law enforcement officials, and adult protective agencies should all be made aware that your loved one is suffering from abuse.
The next step is to seek legal representation from a Chicago nursing home lawyer. Your lawyer can follow up with the relevant agencies and make sure the situation is being resolved. You should also discuss the matter and determine if you can file a negligence lawsuit.
Negligence means that someone’s careless actions contributed to someone else’s injuries or death. If an employee in an assisted living facility fails to provide adequate care for a patient, then they could be charged with negligence.
However, the court must determine what is considered a reasonable standard of care. The judge will look at government standards as well as common practices in the elderly care industry.
It’s also possible for you to sue the nursing home under state and federal laws. If the injuries or death were intentional, you can file a tort action suit against the nursing home. In serious cases that lead to death, the court may award you punitive damages. This means that the nursing home will be forced to award you extra compensation as a means of punishment.
Nursing homes want lawsuits to be as inexpensive as possible. Don’t let them get off the hook so easily. Your lawyer can help you file a claim for all possible damages, including medical expenses and pain and suffering. In a wrongful death claim, you can sue for funeral expenses, loss of support, emotional pain and suffering, and more.
Getting Legal Help
If your loved one was abused and his or her rights were violated while residing in an assisted living facility, seek legal help promptly. Your loved one can recover compensation for medical bills caused by an assault, pain and suffering caused by depression and anxiety, losses caused by financial abuse, and disability from bed sores and scars.
Our Chicago nursing home lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can hold the nursing home liable for your loved one’s injuries. We can help hold them liable so that the abuse will never happen to anyone again.
Seniors are vulnerable, making them a common target for abuse. Don’t let this happen to your loved one. Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900 so we can assess your case and determine your rights to compensation during our free case consultation.