Two out of every five Americans will need long-term care at some point in their lives. Sadly, senior citizens are sometimes victims of abuse and neglect (both intentional and unintentional) within nursing homes and assisted living facilities. While it is difficult enough to place a family member in a home, it is even more difficult to see that family member suffer under the care of an overburdened, under-trained or abusive nursing home staff. Even worse is when you feel like the staff doesn’t care about the health of their patients.
We get calls, chats and emails regularly from people asking, “Is this a nursing home case?” Here are some of the questions we ask to determine if people do have a case.
- Where did the injury occur? We need to know the exact location. Often people come in to a nursing home with physical problems already. Other times they are in a nursing home, but maybe got sent to a hospital for one reason and developed a bed sore there. Furthermore, at what facility did the injury occur? Unfortunately, there are some nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the state that have a reputation for being understaffed and inattentive to their residents. Sometimes when we hear the name of the facility it’s a good indicator that a screw up occurred because we do see the same names over and over.
- Who is the injured party? What exactly is the injury?We always ask for the details of the injury. Who is the family member you are calling about? Tell us exactly what happened or what you observed. Potential nursing home negligence includes:
- Unexplained bruises, cuts, burns, sprains, or fractures
- Bedsores or frozen joints
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Unexplained venereal disease or genital infections; vaginal or anal bleeding; torn, stained, or bloody underclothing
- Falls from the bed
- Staff refusing to allow visitors to see resident or delays in allowing visitors to see resident (unrelated to Covid)
- Staff not allowing residents to be alone with visitors
- Resident being kept in an over-medicated state
- Falls by patients who are supposed to be assisted when walking
- Patients who get dropped and injured by nurses
- Failure to diagnose an injury or disease
- Sexual abuse
- When did the injury occur?Or when did you first notice the injury/neglect? There are statutes of limitations for nursing home injuries in Illinois. It is typically two years from the incident date although there are some exceptions. The longer you wait the harder it can be to prove a case as we often rely on testimony from the patient themselves and serious injuries can affect memory.
Helping people determine whether or not they have a case is part of what we do. Another part of our free service is to point people in the right direction if they do have a case. With nursing home cases, it is critical to contact/hire an experienced attorney who specializes in them. If you would like to talk to an attorney for free about a possible case, please call us any time at 312-346-5320 or fill out our contact form and we will call you. Every attorney we recommend has a track record of success and they only get paid if they win the case.