Many Americans rely on nursing homes to care for their elderly loved ones. Although they are a widespread and indispensable part of elder care in America, the tragic reality is that abuse sometimes occurs in these facilities.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2014, there were 15,600 nursing homes operating in the United States. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, there are 1,200 long-term care facilities serving 100,000 residents in the state.
The prevalence of nursing home abuse is difficult to quantify because many incidents are not reported or discovered. However, the National Center on Elder Abuse estimated that approximately 10 percent of elders are abused in nursing homes.
If you or an elderly loved one has been subject to abuse while residing in a nursing home, you may be in need of an experienced personal injury attorney. A Naperville nursing home abuse lawyer may be able to assist you with the process of filing a lawsuit.
What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse can take many forms, including but not limited to physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse. Although it is often difficult to detect, some common symptoms of abuse are:
- Bed sores
- Bruises that cannot be explained
- Depression or anxiety
- Broken bones
These and many other warning signs should be taken seriously. Nursing home abuse often goes unreported, so it is the responsibility of all those who care for the nursing home resident to be on the lookout for any potential abuse.
One common but underappreciated form of nursing home abuse is overt malicious actions, including physical or sexual abuse. At other times, however, abuse may take the form of neglect.
When nursing home abuse occurs, the resident and family members may have grounds to file a damages claim. A dedicated Naperville nursing home abuse attorney could analyze the facts of a case to determine the available legal options.
How to File a Damages Claim
The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act details several rights that all nursing home residents possess. These include:
- The right to participate in one’s own medical care
- The right to be free from physical or chemical restraints unless medically required
- The right to refuse treatment
- The right to private visitation
- The right to see an attorney or social worker
- The right to present grievances
- The right to freely exercise religion
- The right to be free from unlawful discrimination
If one of these rights is being infringed upon, there may be grounds for legal action. Under Illinois Compiled Statutes, 735 5/13-202, there is a two-year statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim. To preserve eligibility for compensation, victims should discuss their case with a nursing home abuse attorney in Naperville as quickly as possible.
A Naperville Nursing Home Abuse Attorney May be Able to Help
Nursing home abuse is tragic, but fortunately, victims may be able to hold their abusers accountable. If you or someone you care for mistreated at an elder care facility, a Naperville nursing home abuse lawyer may be able to help you. Call today to schedule a consultation.