Most nursing homes in the industry today are for-profit institutions, meaning that they are in the business to make money. Unfortunately, some of these facilities try to increase profits by cutting corners, hiring fewer staff members, and not taking the time to perform proper background checks on the ones they do hire. This often results in some form of nursing home neglect or abuse, which may leave residents seriously injured with bedsores, broken bones, infections, and more.
No one should have to stand for the nursing home abuse that takes place all too often in these facilities, and a dedicated personal injury attorney takes that principle to heart. If you are being abused in a nursing home or suspect a family member is, contact a Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer right away.
Residents in Chicago nursing homes are protected by a number of laws that guarantee their rights while in the home. The Nursing Home Reform Act is a collection of federal laws that outlines the services nursing home residents must provide their residents with.
In addition to this Act, Chicago nursing home residents are also protected at the state level by the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act. This Act deals specifically with nursing home abuse, defining it as any injury—physical or mental—or sexual assault intentionally inflicted on a nursing home resident.
In addition to these regulations, nursing home abuse cases are often based on the theory of civil negligence. Negligence is the failure to provide reasonable care in order to keep others safe. When an employee in a nursing home acts negligently and causes injury to a resident as a result, they may be held responsible through a lawsuit. By filing suit, nursing home residents or their families may be able to claim compensation for any injuries that result from nursing home abuse.
Nursing home residents experiencing abuse may file a lawsuit on their own behalf if they are able to do so. Often, though, residents do not have the mental capacity to do this. In the most severe cases, residents may fall victim to wrongful premature death as a result of abuse or neglect.
If an abuse victim who is unable to file a lawsuit themselves has named a guardian of their estate, that guardian may be able to file on their behalf. If no guardian was named, another family member may be able to file the claim.
However, this is not the case when a resident passes away as a result of neglect or abuse. In these cases, the representative of the deceased’s estate must be the one to file a nursing home abuse claim. An estate may have to be opened in order to appoint an executor, at which point the executor may file a lawsuit on the deceased’s behalf. A knowledgeable nursing home abuse lawyer in Chicago could help further explain the distinctions between different types of cases.
Nursing home residents—or their family members or representatives—typically have two years from the date of the abuse to file a lawsuit. However, nursing home abuse is not always detected right away, and residents are often reluctant to tell people the abuse is happening. In light of this, a lawsuit may legally be filed in Chicago within two years of the date the abuse was discovered or should reasonably have been suspected.
If you or a loved one suffered nursing home abuse and you want to hold the responsible parties liable for paying compensation, speak to a Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer right away. There is no time to waste in these cases; the sooner you file, the sooner your loved one could receive much-needed and deserved compensation.