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Springfield, IL Nursing Home Negligence Attorney

Decatur nursing home injury attorney for elder abuse or neglect

Lawyers for Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Sangamon, McLean, Macon, and Peoria Counties

As medical science continues to progress, people are living longer and longer, and the number of seniors in the United States will continue to increase in the coming decades. When an elderly or disabled person reaches the point where they can no longer care for themselves, families will often need to make the hard decision about whether to place them in a nursing home or assisted living facility. While many of these facilities provide high-quality care to residents, negligence at nursing homes is all too common, and patients can suffer serious personal injuries or wrongful death due to abuse or neglect.

The law firm of Kanoski Bresney believes is fighting to protect the rights of those who have been injured by others' negligence, and we can help you determine your best legal options if your loved one and your family have suffered harm because of nursing home neglect or abuse. Over our 40-year history, we have won more than $400 million for our clients, and we will work to make sure you are repaid for your family member's injury. We pledge to give you the respect, response, and results you need throughout the course of your case.

How Common Is Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?

Unfortunately, the actual statistics for elder abuse and nursing home injuries are not known, since many instances of negligence go unreported. However, studies show that around 5 million people suffer some form of elder abuse each year. Since there are more than 50 million people who are over the age of 60 in the United States, this means that around 10% of seniors experience abuse in some form on an annual basis. In addition, only 1 out of every 14 cases of nursing home abuse are reported to the authorities.

Laws Protecting Illinois Nursing Home Residents

There are multiple federal laws that have been enacted to help address the problem of nursing home abuse and neglect. The Elder Justice Act created programs meant to provide protection for nursing home residents, including Adult Protective Services systems and the Elder Justice Coordinating Council. The Older Americans Act created several social services and programs for elders and their caregivers. The Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act created new resources to protect seniors from abuse and prosecute perpetrators of illegal acts that affect elders, including fraud and financial exploitation.

The state of Illinois has also enacted multiple laws meant to protect seniors from harm. The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act defines a number of rights that apply to nursing home residents, including the right to be free from abuse and neglect, the right to manage their own finances, the right to refuse medical treatment, and the right to be free from unreasonable restraint. The Authorized Electronic Monitoring in Long-Term Care Facilities Act provides family members and legal guardians of nursing home residents with the right to use video or audio recording devices to monitor their loved one's room in a nursing home.

Types of Nursing Home Negligence

There are many different ways that residents can be injured by negligent care at a nursing home, including:

  • Abuse - Staff members or other residents may purposely harm a nursing home patient. This abuse may be physical, verbal, emotional, or sexual, and it can cause long-lasting harm to a person. Residents may also experience financial exploitation or unreasonable forms of physical or chemical restraint.
  • Neglect - Patients may experience injuries if they are not properly monitored or supervised. This may lead to a person not receiving the proper medical care, malnutrition, or dehydration resulting from the failure to follow a patient's dietary plan, or emotional harm due to isolation and a lack of social activities.
  • Inadequate staff supervision or size - Many nursing homes struggle to maintain the proper staffing levels, and if a facility does not have a large enough staff, it may not be able to properly monitor patients and provide the care they need. Staffing issues often lead nursing homes to hire staff members who do not have the proper qualifications or training, and the failure to perform background checks can result in the hiring of employees who have previously committed illegal acts such as elder abuse.
  • Bedsores - Residents with mobility issues can suffer these types of injuries if staff members do not ensure that they are moved and repositioned regularly. Bedsores commonly occur in patients who are confined to a bed or wheelchair most of the time, and if these sores are not treated properly, they can lead to infections, amputations, and other serious medical concerns.
  • Falls - Lack of supervision or failure to follow the correct procedures when helping patients get into or out of bed can result in residents falling down. Falls can lead to serious injuries, including broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and damage to internal organs.
  • Sexual assault - Sadly, some predators choose to assault or abuse nursing home patients because they are more vulnerable, physically unable to defend themselves, or cannot report these actions due to health concerns such as dementia or Alzheimer's disease. In some cases, staff members may sexually assault residents, while in others, inadequate supervision may lead to a patient being targeted for abuse by other residents.
  • Wandering - Residents with dementia or other medical issues can suffer serious injuries if improper supervision leads them to wander into hazardous areas inside a nursing home. Patients can be even more seriously injured in cases involving elopement, where they leave a nursing home altogether.

Who Can File a Lawsuit for Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse?

In most personal injury cases, the victim themselves will file a claim against the person or organization that was responsible for their injuries. However, nursing home residents may not have the physical or mental capacity to pursue a lawsuit, and in many cases, family members will act on a victim's behalf. In these situations, a power of attorney will need to be executed, giving a person the authority to represent the victim's interests. In cases involving the wrongful death of a resident, the victim's heirs, or a representative of their estate may pursue a lawsuit against the nursing home that was responsible.

What Types of Damages Can a Victim Recover?

A personal injury case can seek to recover financial compensation for all of the damages a person and their family have experienced because of nursing home abuse or neglect. These may include:

  • Medical expenses related to the injuries suffered, including hospital stays, medical treatment, ongoing therapy, and medications.
  • Expenses related to disabilities caused by neglect or abuse, including assistive devices or long-term care costs.
  • Financial losses a person has experienced due to fraud, theft, or exploitation.
  • Physical pain and suffering experienced by the victim, as well as emotional trauma caused to the victim and their family members.
  • Funeral and burial expenses for a person who has suffered a wrongful death.
  • Punitive damages meant to punish a negligent nursing home for illegal actions or gross negligence.

How Can a Champaign Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer Help With My Case?

Cases involving nursing home neglect and abuse can be complicated, since a nursing home may claim that injuries were the result of a patient's existing health issues rather than any form of negligence. At Kanoski Bresney, we can investigate the circumstances surrounding your loved one's injury, review medical records, and uncover other evidence relevant to the case, such as personnel records, eyewitness testimonies, security camera footage, opinions of medical experts, or reports of safety issues at a facility. We will work to demonstrate that your family member suffered harm because a nursing home did not meet its duty of care, and we will fight to make sure your family is fully compensated for your damages.

To set up a free consultation with our attorneys, contact our office at 888-U-COUNT-2 or 888-826-8682. We provide legal help to victims of nursing home abuse and neglect throughout Illinois, including Champaign, Springfield, Peoria, Decatur, Champaign County, Bloomington, Macon County, Quincy, Schuyler County, Adams County, McLean County, Peoria County, Macomb, Tazewell County, Pekin, Rushville, Sangamon County, and McDonough County.

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