Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys

Placing a loved one in a nursing home is never an easy decision, but we often do it so mom or dad can get the care they need. One thing you should never have to fear is a nursing home and its employees treating your loved one poorly. It is devastating for a family to hear that their loved one has been injured or killed in a place that they trusted. If that happens, you need attorneys in your corner who know how to hold negligent nursing home operators accountable for their actions.

At The Collins Law Firm, our attorneys spend every day fighting for the most vulnerable among us, who have been injured or killed by someone else's carelessness. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing the victims of neglect and abuse. We fight for you, so that your family can take the time to heal. Contact us to arrange a free initial consultation today.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How Serious a Problem is Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes?

What are the Causes of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?

What are the Different Types of Elder Abuse and Neglect?

What Signs of Elder Abuse/Neglect Should You Look For?

What Kinds of Elder Abuse Cases Does The Collins Law Firm Handle??

How Can You Prevent Your Loved One from Becoming a Victim of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?

What Should You Do if You Suspect or See your Loved One Being Abused?

How does the Law Protect Nursing Home Residents from Abuse?

What are Your Rights under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act?

What are the Standards of Care Required by Law of Nursing Homes?

Why Don’t the Elderly Report Abuse, and what Can You do About it?

When is it Appropriate to Sue a Nursing Home?

Who Can Bring a Lawsuit for Elder Abuse or Neglect?

What Can the Attorneys at The Collins Law Firm Do For You?

Elder abuse is a large and growing problem in the United States. According to recent research, about 10% of seniors experience elder abuse, with more than 2 million cases of elder abuse reported every year. The problem is even more prevalent among the elderly who live in nursing homes. Nursing home abuse occurs at every type of facility, and the statistics are shocking. Moreover, the problem continues to increase as more elderly citizens enter the system. In addition, when you consider that the elderly are the least likely demographic to report abuse, the prevalence of abuse is very likely even greater than we know. The following are some recent statistics on elder abuse at nursing homes:

  • In one year alone, 25% of nursing homes were cited for causing serious injury or death.
  • More than 30% of nursing homes experience some type of elder abuse.
  • Bed sideOnly about 20% of abuse cases are reported.
  • Abusers are known to the victim in 90% of cases.
  • Abusers are usually staff members, fellow patients or even frequent visitors.
  • It is estimated that 5,000 deaths may occur each year due to negligence or injuries suffered at nursing homes.
  • Nursing home residents fall twice as much as the general senior population.
  • 10% of nursing home patients suffer from bedsores.
  • Almost a third of nursing homes were cited for violating federal regulations meant to protect the elderly.
  • 44% of nursing home residents report some type of abuse.
  • 95% of nursing home patients report neglect of themselves or other residents.
  • A study reported that more than 50% of nursing home employees admitted mistreating residents within the past year.
  • Almost half of all nursing home residents report being in pain over the course of a normal week, with 14% reporting moderate to severe pain.
  • More than 50% of certified Nursing Assistants at nursing homes admitted yelling at, verbally abusing or using foul language with, elderly patients.
  • Nearly 10% of nursing homes had violations that posed a serious risk of injury or death, or that actually did cause the death of residents.

In addition, statistics show that the size of the resident population in a long term care facility is a risk factor for elder abuse. The greater the number of residents, the greater the risk. Shockingly, nursing homes in Illinois with more than 100 patients are 39% more likely to jeopardize residents’ safety than facilities with 50-100 patients, and 127% more likely to do so than homes with less than 50 residents.

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The reasons why nursing home abuse occurs are many and varied; however, the majority of abuse happens for the following reasons:

  1. The elderly population is increasing and the capacity and capability of care centers have not kept pace.
  2. There are not enough nursing home beds to serve the entire elderly population, which results in overcrowding.
  3. 80% of nursing homes do not have enough staff to provide adequate care, leading to overworked staff and neglected patients.
  4. Nursing home windowOne nurse’s aide may be responsible for the care of 30 patients.
  5. Managers hire incompetent personnel.
  6. Employees are improperly trained.
  7. 92% of nursing homes employ at least one convicted criminal.
  8. Nursing homes fail to monitor nursing home conditions and personnel.
  9. Only 7% of full time employees at nursing homes are registered nurses.
  10. Very few nursing homes have an RN on duty 24 hours a day.
  11. Wages for nursing assistants and orderlies are low, typically not much more than minimum wage, making it hard to attract top employees.
  12. Working daily with the elderly is very difficult, physically and mentally.
  13. More than 50% of patients do not have a close relative to check up on them and make sure they are fine.
  14. Over 65% of residents have some sort of impairment that affects daily activities such as washing, dressing, eating or walking.
  15. Many residents have some level of cognitive impairment as well: 42% mild, 27% medium, 31% severe.

As you can see, the conditions in the nursing home care industry make it ripe for abuse. Overworked, underpaid, improperly trained and unsupervised employees, working with elderly patients unable to care for themselves, results in frequent cases of abuse. Our loved ones deserve better.

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Unfortunately, the dependent condition of most nursing home residents makes them especially vulnerable to all types of abuse, physical violence and neglect. Of the abuse reported in nursing homes, 29% is physical abuse at the hands of staff, 22% is resident-to-resident abuse, 21% is psychological abuse, 14% percent is neglect, 7% is sexual abuse and 7% is financial exploitation. The following explains the different types of abuse that our loved ones may be experiencing:

  • Physical Abuse Physical abuse is any non-accidental use of force against a senior citizen that results in injury, pain, impairment or death. It is the easiest type of elder abuse to spot. However, that is only the case if relatives visit the facility often or get frequent, detailed medical reports from the physician. Examples of physical abuse include: unnecessary use of restraints or confinement, assault and battery, dropping patients, using force to assist patients, shoving or knocking a patient down, hitting, biting, scratching, hair pulling, deliberate and inappropriate use of drugs, breaking bones, or any act of violence directed towards the elderly that results in physical harm. Nursing home injuries from physical abuse may include: broken bones, internal injuries, burns, overdoses, concussions, welts, marks, choking, bruises, black eyes, or sprains. Physical abuse can be very serious and result in coma or even the untimely death of a resident.
  • Nursing home handsPsychological Abuse Psychological abuse is often subtle and hard to detect because nursing home residents rarely talk about it or report it. However, it is more common than physical abuse and can be perpetrated by staff or fellow residents. It encompasses any psychological distress or emotional pain inflicted by a caregiver or fellow resident and includes: threatening or intimidating residents; terrorizing or menacing patients so they fear for their safety; making the elderly question their sanity; humiliating, ridiculing or demeaning patients; blaming, scapegoating or making the elderly feel guilty for needing care; verbal abuse of any kind, including using profanity; isolating an elderly person from activities or friends; and terrorizing or menacing the elderly or ignoring them.
  • Medical Negligence/Neglect Medical negligence or neglect is frequently the result of overcrowded facilities and unqualified, untrained staff. The consequences of neglect can be just as serious as physical abuse, although this type of abuse may be more difficult to spot. Examples of medical neglect include: prolonged deprivation of water and food, lack of care for medical conditions, lengthy periods without patient supervision, failure to provide medication on time, failure to monitor or aid patient with nutrition, medicating patient with antipsychotic drugs not prescribed or recommended by a physician, and failure to coordinate patient care with all providers to ensure continuity. Among the most common results of negligence are bedsores or pressure sores. These injuries are caused when there is unrelieved pressure to the skin, and they can quickly deteriorate into a serious or even life-threatening medical condition, if left untreated. Nursing home residents are at high risk for bedsores because they often remain in a bed or wheelchair for long periods of time. If the staff neglects to move patients often enough, they can develop serious bedsores. Other results of neglect include dehydration, malnutrition, patients’ medical conditions spiraling downward due to lack of treatment or undermedication, clogged breathing tubes, infection or sepsis, burns, injuries from unnecessary falls, and once lucid patients suddenly behaving confused and unresponsive due to overmedication.
  • WheelchairSexual Abuse Sexual abuse is any contact of a sexual nature with an elderly patient without that person’s consent. This type of abuse can involve sex acts; rape; forcing a patient to watch sex acts or pornography; or forcing an elderly person to undress. This type of abuse can be psychologically as well as physically damaging to senior citizens.
  • Financial Abuse and Exploitation Seniors who suffer from lost mental capacity, Alzheimer’s or dementia are especially vulnerable to this kind of abuse. It involves the theft of an elderly person’s money or property. Be on the lookout for common warning signs that your loved one may be a victim, such as: significant withdrawals from their accounts, changes in their financial condition, missing money or possessions, changes in their will or other important documents, additional names on their signature card and unusual purchases on their credit card. Examples of financial abuse might include:
    • Unauthorized use of an elderly person’s checks, credit cards or accounts.
    • Stealing cash, checks or items of value.
    • Forging an elderly patient’s signature.
    • Engaging in identity theft of a senior.
    • Coercing or convincing an elderly person to give a caregiver access to credit cards or bank accounts.
    • Coercing or convincing an elderly person to change his or her will.

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It is very important to be able to spot abuse in nursing homes in order to protect your loved one, but what should you be on the lookout for? Here are some common signs of elder abuse.

  1. Unexplained bruising, black eyes or other injuries
  2. Falls, especially if they are frequent
  3. The development of bedsores
  4. Rapid weight loss
  5. Lack of interest in activities the patient used to enjoy
  6. A change in demeanor such as aggression or unusual depression
  7. Emotional agitation or extreme withdrawal Depression
  8. Unusual behavior changes such as sucking, biting, or rocking
  9. Fear of being touched
  10. Patients overmedicated or sedated
  11. Signs of overmedication like drowsiness, dry and cracked lips, slumping in wheelchairs, drooling, unresponsive behavior, vacant stares and slurred speech
  12. Caretakers unable to give a reasonable explanation of a patient’s condition or injury
  13. Signs of neglect, like poor personal hygiene, urine smell, unsanitary conditions
  14. Patients left in bed for long periods of time
  15. Residents unattended for long periods of time
  16. Missing personal items, especially items of value
  17. Scratches, welts, cuts or bite marks on the face or other parts of the body, especially if they are symmetrical on both sides of the body
  18. Marks on wrists or other areas of the body left by restraints
  19. Dehydration or malnutrition
  20. Fractures, sprains, dislocations or head injuries
  21. A dramatic decrease in physical or emotional health
  22. Lack or delay of medical treatment
  23. Increase in elder hospitalization or emergency treatment for injuries
  24. Fear or hesitation by the patient when he or she receives care or assistance from staff or around another resident
  25. Incomplete health reports
  26. Being unable to talk to seniors on the phone for extended periods of time
  27. Broken eye glasses or frames
  28. Hair pulls or sudden bald spots
  29. Instances of wandering or running away
  30. A residence's reluctance to speak in staff member’s presence
  31. Caregiver refusing to allow relatives to see the resident alone
  32. Frequent arguments or tension between the resident and a caregiver
  33. Patient wanting to be isolated from others
  34. Resident is frequently ill, and illness is not promptly reported to family and physician
  35. Reports of a drug overdose or failure to take medication regularly
  36. Unexplained or unexpected death of a resident

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At The Collins Law Firm, we represent nursing home clients who have been the victims of all types of financial, physical or mental abuse as well as those who have suffered as a result of neglect. Some of the more common types of abuse cases we encounter are:

Family home elderWrongful Death Sadly, in the United States, it is estimated that 5,000 nursing home residents die each year as a result of abuse or neglect. Serious falls, physical abuse, improper medication, lack of timely and proper medical treatment, malnutrition and dehydration, infection and even bedsores can result in an untimely death. Oftentimes a minor or initially innocuous problem becomes a deadly condition due to failure to detect, manage and treat the problem. No patient at a nursing home and no family should ever have to go through this.

Pressure Sores These sores, also called decubitus ulcers or bedsores, result from inadequate care and are receiving growing attention because of their prevalence. In Illinois, almost 20% of nursing home residents have pressure sores of stage 2 or higher on a scale of 4. Bedsores occur when staff fail to move and reposition patients with limited mobility on a regular basis. As a result, the blood supply to tissue is interrupted and the flesh dies. This causes pain and disability and can even lead to an open wound. When this happens, even more serious complications such as sepsis, gangrene, amputation, and even death can result. It is critical that you insist that the nursing home begin treatment of your loved one’s pressure sores immediately.

Unnecessary Falls Falls at nursing homes occur regularly and repeatedly. In fact, the rate of falls in nursing homes is double that for the same age group living outside of long-term care facilities. The issue is a very serious one according to the following statistics from the Centers for Disease Control:

  • Each year a typical nursing home with 100 beds reports 100-200 falls.
  • About 1800 nursing home residents die from fall-related injuries every year.
  • Between half and three-quarters of nursing home residents fall each year.
  • Residents who do fall, often do so more than once, on average 2.6 times a year.
  • 10%-20% of nursing home falls cause serious injuries such as bone fractures.

Falls in nursing homes can result in death, injury, disability, functional decline, depression and reduced quality of life for your loved one. It is extremely important to be vigilant for conditions that might increase the chances of a serious fall.

Negligent Care Inadequate care can result in all sorts of injuries to a resident. Neglect can cause incontinence, malnutrition and weight loss, choking, clogged breathing tubes, dehydration, and a decline in the patient’s quality of life. Neglect can also be responsible for bedsores, infection, illness and a deterioration in a patient’s condition due to lack of treatment or proper medication and a failure to coordinate care. Inadequate supervision can lead to burns, falls, and the patient wandering off. In addition, negligent care can also result in patients being over or under medicated, or being improperly treated with antipsychotics or sedatives to make them "easier to handle". Many of these conditions dramatically impact a patient’s everyday quality of life, and if left untreated, can lead to serious injury, disability or even death.

Prescriptions

Overmedication Sadly, there are nursing homes who overmedicate their residents on a regular basis because it makes them easier to handle, or because of inadequate staffing. Sometimes the overmedication is an unintentional mistake made by an overstressed, overworked employee. Other times the patient is overmedicated intentionally because they are aggressive, emotional or uncooperative. Keeping a patient sedated for long periods of time for any reason is called "chemical restraint" and can be very dangerous. Here are some facts about overmedicating:

  • Fewer than 20% of nursing home residents require antipsychotic medication.
  • However, more than 300,000 nursing home residents are on antipsychotics.
  • More than 50% of residents taking antipsychotics have no reason for taking them.
  • 17% of patients receive greater than the recommended daily dosage of antipsychotics.
  • 15,000 nursing home residents die every year because of un-prescribed antipsychotics.

If you observe that a large percentage of patients at a nursing home appear to be on antipsychotic drugs, this may be cause for alarm. It may be a sign that the facility does not take precautions against overmedicating or has a regular practice of overmedicating. If your loved one seems to be acting differently, ask to see a log of his/her medications. Ask about any medications you are not familiar with; ask if they are sedatives or antipsychotics; and if so, why they are being administered, for how long and when the treatment will be over.

If the facility can give no credible, medical reason for your loved one to be medicated, speak to a doctor and insist that he or she be taken off any unnccessary sedatives or antipsychotics.

At The Collins Law Firm we help you through a difficult situation by navigating the legal issues involved, providing your loved ones with the care and safety they deserve, and fighting for justice for your family.

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There are several things that you can do to keep your loved one, who is entering a nursing home, or who is already a resident, from becoming a victim of elder abuse.

  1. Check out potential nursing homes completely. Ask to see the different areas in the facility. Keep an eye out for the condition of the rooms and the other patients. Talk to other residents. Do they seem alert and engaged? Are they well taken care of?
  2. Before making a decision, look for resources on nursing home facilities like Nursing Home Compare , a Medicare website which rates different aspects of individual nursing homes, or the Illinois Department of Public Health Nursing Home Violations Report , which lists violations at specific nursing homes, classified as type AA, the most severe, type A, type B or type C, the least severe.
  3. Become involved in the care planning process right away, and let the staff know that you intend to be involved along the way. Attend care meetings and ask questions about the plan for your loved one’s care and treatment. Make sure all key players will attend the meeting so everyone is on the same page regarding your loved one’s care. Request concrete, measurable plans and a timetable for treatment.
  4. Visit often, without advance notice, at different times of day and on different days of the week. In this way you can interact with all the different staff members who deal with your loved one. This will give you a full picture of the patterns of care and the performance and attitudes of care staff on different shifts. Games
  5. Get to know all the key staff who will be taking care of your loved one on different shifts. Give them information that will help them take care of your loved one, and praise them when they provide good care. Don’t forget to develop a good working relationship with administration and supervisors. Know the policies that apply in the event you have concerns.
  6. Monitor your loved one’s care closely. Maintain close contact with the doctor, and take notes when talking to staff and medical personnel. Check records to make sure the plan is being followed. Get a second opinion if you have any doubts about a diagnosis or treatment plan. Insist on being told about any significant changes in your relative’s physical, mental or behavioral condition or their treatment plan, as soon as possible. Lastly, check prescribed medications and notice how they affect your relative.
  7. Look for any of the warning signs of abuse. Listen to your loved one carefully and take their concerns seriously. Make a physical inspection of your relative. Take action immediately if you suspect anything.
  8. Act as an advocate for your loved one, by knowing their rights . Follow up on all concerns you have and ask for meetings with key staff who can address any problems right away. If you do not get satisfactory action from the staff, contact the Illinois Long Term Care Ombudsman , and file a complaint with the proper agency, if necessary. Get to know the laws that protect nursing home residents, including nursing home standards of care and patient’s rights. (See sections below)

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  1. Evaluate the situation: Has your loved one talked to you about her or his treatment at the nursing home? Have you seen abuse firsthand or have you seen signs of neglect or abuse such as cuts, bruises or bedsores? If so, ask your loved one what happened, when the abuse occurred and who inflicted the harm. Check to see if any other residents experienced similar harm. When you are satisfied that you have as many answers as you can get, write a summary of the situation. You should also decide if you believe your loved one is in imminent danger. If so, you should move them to a safer facility as soon as possible.
  2. Door Nursing DomeTake Your Concerns to the Nursing Home Administration: One of the first things you should do is tell the administration at the nursing home about the abuse or neglect. Perhaps this is an isolated incident--rather than a pattern of behavior--which they can correct. In other cases, they might not be aware of a dangerous situation. Hopefully the administration will take your concerns seriously and address the problem immediately. If they do not, you will have to pursue one of the following options, and even if they do, the abuse may be serious enough to warrant taking other action as well.
  3. File a Complaint with the Senior Helpline or Your Local Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsman: Once you believe that abuse has occurred you should file a complaint with your local Illinois Long Term Care Ombudsman . This is a program offered by the Illinois Department on Aging which investigates complaints of suspected abuse and neglect at nursing homes. You can find contact information for your Ombudsman here . You can also report the suspected abuse with the Senior Helpline at 1-800-252-8966.
  4. File a Complaint with the Illinois Department of Public Health : If you decide to file a complaint with the IDPH you can reach them at 1-800-252-4343. Download the Healthcare Facilities Complaint Form, on the IDHP Forms page and be prepared to: answer questions about your loved one; tell them what happened and who was involved; and give them information about the nursing home. Once you have made a report, the IDPH must complete an investigation within seven days. Note that the nursing home cannot retaliate against your loved one because you have filed an abuse complaint with IDPH.
  5. Contact an Experienced Lawyer: It is important to contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that your loved one is protected. Your lawyer can be the liaison between you, the nursing home and the IDPH during the investigation into the suspected abuse or neglect, and can even conduct a separate investigation into the situation on your behalf, if necessary. An experienced elder abuse attorney can advise you on your relative’s rights and how to proceed with a lawsuit against the caregivers and facility, if warranted given the facts. If you choose to pursue a legal remedy, your lawyer can help you get just compensation for your loved one for any emotional, physical, or financial harm that they have suffered. Call The Collins Law Firm at 630-687-9838 for help or contact an attorney here.

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Judge

In Illinois, nursing home residents are protected under federal and state law. The Federal Nursing Home Reform Act requires nursing home facilities to provide services to patients that meet federal standards of care. The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act further protects nursing home patients by granting them legal rights when they are at a licensed facility in the state. This law gives patients the right to live free from "abuse" and "neglect" at "long-term care facilities" in the state. It defines "abuse" as any physical or mental injuries inflicted on a resident in a facility that was not accidental. "Neglect" means "a facility’s failure to provide or willful withholding of, adequate medical care, mental health treatment, psychiatric rehabilitation, personal care, or assistance with activities of daily living that is necessary to avoid physical harm, mental anguish or mental illness of a resident." A "long term care facility" is defined as a private home, institution, building, residence, or any other place, whether operated for profit or not…which provides through its ownership or management, personal care, sheltered care or nursing for 3 or more persons, not related to the applicant or owner by blood or marriage."

When the rights of a nursing home resident are violated, and the patient is injured, either through abuse or neglect caused by the facility failing to provide an acceptable standard of care, the patient may pursue a claim for damages. The state of Illinois recognizes the following damages in nursing home cases:

  • Disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Pain and suffering
  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Wrongful death

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The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act established the rights of nursing home residents and the responsibility of long-term care facilities to protect seniors from abuse and neglect. The following are the rights of residents:

  • You have the right to live in a caring environment and remain free from abuse, neglect and mistreatment.
  • You have the right to wear your own clothes and keep your personal belongings in your room.
  • You maintain all your rights as a US citizen, including: free speech, freedom of religion, and the right to vote.
  • You have the right to refuse medical treatment unless necessary to prevent harm to other residents.
  • You have the right to be cared for by your own doctor (paid for by you or your health insurance).
  • You have the right to participate in the creation and review of your individual care plan.
  • FoldersYou have the right to see and copy all medical records related to your care, as well as the right to be informed of your diagnosis, treatment and prognosis.
  • You have the right to manage your own financial affairs. The nursing home may not deny you access to any money they hold for you.
  • You have the right to privacy and dignity. Staff must knock before entering your room, and the facility must keep your personal and medical information confidential.
  • You have the right to be free from physical restraints and from being drugged, unless a physician orders it for your protection.
  • You have the right to have social contact with fellow residents and family. The nursing home must provide daily visiting hours, mailing facilities and telephone access.
  • If you and your spouse are living in the same facility, you have the right to live in the same room unless there is a medical reason not to.
  • You have the right to present grievances without fear of reprisal.
  • The nursing home must honor any directives in your Living Will.
  • You have the right to a private phone call with your attorney, social worker or ombudsman during business hours.
  • You have the right to request a transfer or discharge from the facility, and this request must be honored by the nursing home.

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In response to reports of abuse and neglect in American nursing homes, Congress passed the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act which includes standards of care for all nursing homes. Under this law, nursing homes "must provide services and activities to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental and psychosocial well-being of each resident in accordance with a written plan of care." In order to participate in Medicare and Medicaid, nursing homes must comply with this federal law and fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Have sufficient nursing staff
  2. Conduct an initial comprehensive assessment of each resident’s functional capacity
  3. Develop a comprehensive care plan for every resident
  4. Provide the necessary services to maintain good nutrition, grooming and personal hygiene if the resident is unable to carry out these daily living activities
  5. Doctor ElderlyEnsure residents receive proper care and assistive devices to maintain their vision and hearing
  6. Prevent the deterioration of a resident’s ability to bathe, dress, groom, use the restroom, eat, communicate and ambulate
  7. Provide appropriate treatment and services to incontinent residents to restore as much bladder function as possible
  8. Ensure residents do not develop bedsores, and if they do, provide the necessary treatment and services to promote healing, prevent infection and prevent new sores from developing
  9. Ensure that residents get adequate nutrition
  10. Provide residents with sufficient fluids to prevent dehydration
  11. Ensure residents have enough supervision and assistive devices to prevent accidents
  12. Ensure that residents are not subjected to significant medical errors
  13. Give residents the right to choose activities, schedules and health care
  14. Promote the residents’ quality of life
  15. Maintain the dignity and respect of each resident
  16. Provide the pharmaceutical services that the residents need
  17. Maintain accurate, complete and accessible records on each resident
  18. Ensure that the nursing home administration uses the facility’s resources effectively and efficiently

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Statistics show that the elderly are the least likely group to report abuse. The reasons are as varied as the seniors themselves. In some cases, elderly residents of nursing homes are unable to communicate with a relative about the abuse because of mental or physical impairments. Shame or a feeling of helplessness keeps other victims silent. Others are afraid of retaliation from nursing home staff if they report abuse or neglect. Finally, some seniors fear having nowhere else to go, and therefore accept abuse and neglect as unavoidable.

Whatever the reasons for the silence, this issue needs to be corrected. It is up to everyone to protect the elderly from this kind of treatment. The state and federal governments have taken notice of the problem and are implementing more oversight of long term care facilities. Family members, as well, must be aware of the problem and do their part by thoroughly vetting facilities, being involved in their loved one’s care plan, visiting often and looking for signs of abuse.

Finally, family members must be willing to step in and report a problem when they see or suspect abuse or negligence happening. Furthermore you must take steps to remove your relative from a potentially dangerous situation and contact an experienced attorney who can help you protect your loved one and get them the help they need and compensation for any injuries suffered.

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Many nursing homes cut corners because the residents they are mistreating are scared to speak up about the neglectful and abusive treatment. Even when this treatment is reported, many nursing home administrators fail to act. We have seen all too often what nursing home negligence can lead to: wrongful death, falls, injuries, bedsores, urinary tract infections, medication errors, abuse and neglect. When this occurs you should be ready to consider suing the facility.

Elder Home WindowChoosing to sue a nursing home can be a difficult decision, but there are some times when it is the best option for your family. Knowing that you are not alone, and that people in Illinois have had remarkable success in pursuing claims against long-term care homes, may help. In fact, it has been reported that the majority of all cases filed since 2004 have resulted in victims and their families receiving compensation from nursing facilities for injuries suffered. The following are some common reasons why you might pursue a claim against a nursing home facility:

  1. You suspect or have determined that abuse occurred.
  2. You have complained about the situation to the administration, but they have done nothing about it.
  3. The abuse continues to occur or is escalating.
  4. Your loved one has been injured as a result of abuse or neglect.
  5. Your loved one has passed away because of abuse or neglect.
  6. A nursing home representative has defrauded your loved one of money or other assets
  7. A lawsuit can result in compensation for the harm suffered.
  8. A lawsuit may prevent future cases of abuse or neglect from happening—either to your loved one or someone else’s.

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Nursing home patients may pursue a claim if they were injured or made ill because of abuse or neglect suffered while at a long-term care facility. If the patient is incapacitated and cannot pursue his or her own claim, the patient’s representative may do it for them. In still other cases, a spouse or child may be able to make a wrongful death claim on behalf of their relative who has passed away as a result of elder abuse at a nursing home.

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Nursing homes are supposed to help our loved ones to live their lives in comfort and safety. All too often this is not the case and our loved ones suffer at the hands of people who are there to care for them. When this happens, the seasoned lawyers and legal team at The Collins Law Firm will work closely with you and your loved one to uncover the facts surrounding how an injury occurred and work toward a favorable settlement or lawsuit against the facility. More specifically, our lawyers can hold the nursing home accountable by:

  • LawPutting together the strongest case possible to maximize your chance of winning your case in court or obtaining a fair settlement.
  • Obtaining all medical records and bills from your physicians and hospital.
  • Obtaining death certificates and coroner’s reports.
  • Obtaining charts and records from the nursing home.
  • Making a photographic record of conditions at the facility.
  • Taking photos of any and all injuries.
  • Taking a detailed statement from your loved one.
  • Getting reports from nurses and physicians that indicate any failure to provide an adequate standard of care or that include any evidence to support your claim of abuse or neglect.
  • Checking state inspection reports on the nursing home.
  • Acting as a liaison between you, the nursing home and the appropriate agencies.
  • Conducting a separate investigation into the suspected abuse or neglect.
  • Giving your loved one forceful, experienced representation in court.
  • Recovering damages for injuries, medical expenses and pain and suffering.
  • Negotiating the maximum settlement possible for your loved one.

We invest the time and resources necessary to assemble every critical piece of your case so that we can secure the most favorable outcome for you. Our experienced lawyers take care of everything so that you and your loved one can concentrate on recovery while we fight to get you justice.

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Call The Collins Law Firm Today for a Free Evaluation of Your Nursing Home Abuse Case

If your loved one is being mistreated at a nursing home, we invite you to call us today. With more than 20 years of experience in personal injury cases, including many nursing home neglect and abuse cases, our attorneys know how to prove the wrongful conduct that caused your loved one's injuries and recover full compensation for those injuries.

Contact The Collins Law Firm at 630-687-9838 or 866-480-8223 (dial extension 221 for Shawn Collins, 226 for Edward Manzke or 236 for John Risvold) for a free evaluation of your case, if you suspect that your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect. We will not only help you pursue the maximum compensation, but we will ensure your loved one gets the care he or she deserves.

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We serve the following localities: All of Illinois including Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Will County, Lake County, Kendall County, Kankakee County, McHenry County, DeKalb County, Peoria County and downstate; Chicago and all suburbs, including Naperville, Downers Grove, Wheaton, Lisle, Oak Brook, Elmhurst, Aurora, Plainfield, Oak Park, Carol Stream, Woodridge, Winfield, Schaumburg, Batavia, St. Charles, Geneva, Elgin, Evanston, Skokie, Palatine, Bolingbrook, Orland Park, Berwyn, and Joliet.