Libertyville Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Do You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse?
When society’s most vulnerable members fall victim to mistreatment at the hands of those charged with their care, family members and other loved ones are often at a loss, wondering who to contact and what to do. Should you hire a Lake County nursing home abuse attorney? Do you need to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit? How will you protect your loved one from suffering additional harm?
If your loved one suffered injuries or a worsened medical condition in a long term care facility, and you suspect abuse or neglect is the cause, hiring nursing home abuse lawyer Bogie Martinovich is one of the best decisions you can make. Bogie will investigate your suspicions, help put a stop to the nursing home abuse and neglect, and ensure wrongdoers are held accountable for the suffering they caused.
Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Maltreatment of nursing home residents can take on many forms, from physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, to financial exploitation or neglect. As a result of such mistreatment, older adults may suffer serious injuries, worsening illnesses, or wrongful death. Some of the most commonly occurring types of nursing home abuse in Lake County include the following:
Emotional or mental abuse of nursing home residents involves causing fear, pain, or humiliation through words or actions. For example, actions such as verbal assaults, threats of harm, and harassment often reach the level of emotional abuse. Isolating residents, refusing to allow family visits, and withholding personal belongings are other forms of emotional abuse. Residents who suffer such maltreatment may develop long-term mental health issues, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety.
Sexual abuse cases arise when residents suffer forced or unwanted sexual contact or behavior. This may include inappropriate touching, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape. In addition to the physical injuries and exposure to sexually transmitted disease, sexual abuse causes emotional effects, such as the onset of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, or anxiety.
Financial abuse takes many forms, but generally involves someone taking advantage of an elder for financial gain. To this end, perpetrators may manipulate elders into using funds or assets for their benefit, or giving them valuable possessions or money. Stealing property or money from nursing home residents is also a type of financial abuse.
Physical abuse is contact that results in physical harm, such as cuts, bruises, or broken bones. One of the most common types of abuse occurring in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, physical abuse occurs intentionally and with the purpose of causing injury or pain. Examples of physical abuse commonly occurring in Illinois nursing homes include:
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- Misusing restraints
The injuries caused by physical abuse may need medical attention to heal properly and prevent residents from facing serious or deadly complications. Nursing home abuse lawyer Bogie Martinovich will help your family document your loved one’s injuries and gather other supporting evidence to pursue compensation for his or her losses. A nursing home abuse lawsuit may help you recover the costs of additional medical care and compensation for pain and suffering.
Sometimes nursing home abuse does not involve direct actions, but rather, the things that nursing home staff members are failing or choosing not to do. Nursing home neglect occurs when staff fails to fulfill residents’ basic needs. For example, nursing home negligence includes:
- Not helping residents with personal hygiene tasks, such as bathing
- Allowing residents to sit or lie in soiled clothing or bedding
- Not getting medical treatment for residents when needed
- Not providing adequate access to, or helping residents consume enough food and water
- Failing to monitor residents who are at risk of falling or wandering away
- Not helping residents with mobility issues regularly change positions to avoid the development of bedsores
When nursing home neglect occurs, residents may suffer serious injuries, worsened health conditions or additional ailments, or even wrongful death. If legal action is not taken, nursing homes are not held accountable. Abuse and neglect continues. Other Illinois nursing home residents and their families will suffer. And your loved one will be left with no recourse for his or her loss.
Nursing home abuse attorney Bogie Martinovich helps families take legal action to hold facilities and healthcare providers liable for the harm that they cause. Let our law firm help you and your elderly loved one recover.
How Do I Report Nursing Home Abuse?
If you suspect your loved one is suffering abuse in an Illinois nursing home, you have several reporting options available. If your family member faces an immediate health threat or danger, you should contact emergency services by calling 911. Your next step is to contact experienced nursing home lawyer Bogie Martinovich. Bogie will sit down with you and listen to your concerns, discuss your loved one’s rights, and help you understand your legal options.
In non-emergency situations, you can report nursing home abuse concerns to Illinois Adult Protective Services, a regional ombudsman, or the Illinois Department of Public Health. These agencies or individuals will conduct an investigation into the claims of abuse and, if necessary, take action to impose penalties or other consequences. Violations may result in nursing homes getting placed on correction plans, incurring fines, or having the state license suspended or revoked.
Keep in mind, however, that merely reporting the suspected abuse or neglect to the appropriate authorities is not enough. Without nursing home abuse lawyers on your side, your loved one’s case, and his or her wellbeing, could fall through the cracks. Hiring nursing home abuse attorneys to advocate on your loved one’s behalf, make sure wrongdoers are held accountable, and help your loved one recover compensation, helps prevent additional nursing home abuse and neglect cases in the future.
How Can You Prove Nursing Home Abuse?
For your nursing home abuse lawsuit to be successful, your personal injury attorney will need to demonstrate that certain elements existed when your loved one’s injuries occurred. Libertyville area nursing home abuse lawyer Bogie Martinovich will help you prove that the nursing home facility, staff member, or both, owed your loved one a duty of care, and that the duty was breached. Your nursing home abuse lawyer will also present evidence to show that, because of that breach of care, your elderly family member suffered harm that resulted in economic and non-economic losses.
Although you are not required to hire a nursing home abuse lawyer to recover compensation on behalf of your loved one, handling the case without legal representation is not recommended. Long term care facilities and their insurance companies typically employ teams of experienced attorneys to defend accusations in nursing home abuse cases. Without experienced nursing home abuse lawyers to protect your loved one’s rights, you will be forced to prove that elder abuse occurred, and that the nursing home is liable, as you go up against the nursing home and their legal team on your own.
Personal injury lawyers who handle nursing home abuse cases and nursing home neglect cases are a valuable asset when filing a lawsuit. Your attorney will have access to resources, like medical experts, psychologists, and other specialists, that can make proving negligence or abuse much easier. Nursing home abuse lawyers will also help you gather evidence, like medical records, witness statements from other residents and staff members, and other documentation that may be difficult to obtain without an attorney.
Bogie is an outstanding attorney in every way—knowledgeable, diligent, and effective. I would not hesitate to recommend him to anyone.
Bogie has handled our corporate legal litigation for more than 20 years, prevailing against some of the largest national law firms. He is very intelligent, knowledgeable, experienced, and helpful. We value his counsel very much and are pleased to have had him advising us for many years. For us, he is 10 stars!
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
Due to their health conditions, embarrassment, and even fear, elderly residents do not always self-report the mistreatment they suffer at the hands of nursing home staff and caregivers. Knowing the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect to look out for may help you protect your loved one and other residents from suffering additional harm. Physical symptoms, behavioral changes, and signs of neglect are some red flags that a nursing home resident is suffering from elder abuse.
Physical Symptoms of Elder Abuse
Physical symptoms are among the easiest to detect when watching for indications of nursing home abuse. Cuts or abrasions, bruises, broken bones, and other physical injuries without a reasonable explanation may signal nursing home abuse. Such injuries may lead to worsened medical conditions and other health problems. They may also have lasting physical or emotional effects on the nursing home resident. Your nursing home neglect and abuse attorney will help you gather evidence to prove the physical symptoms your loved one has suffered resulted from maltreatment.
Particularly if a nursing home resident is physically or mentally impaired, the sudden onset of significant behavioral changes may point to mental abuse, physical maltreatment, or neglect. Unable or unwilling to speak up to stop the mistreatment, nursing home residents sometimes exhibit behavioral changes, including unusual outbursts of anger, a reluctance to talk, irritability, and depression. If you have noticed behavioral changes and suspect your loved one is suffering from abuse or neglect, Libertyville area nursing home attorney Bogie Martinovich can help. Our law firm will investigate the nursing home, identify all liable parties, and make sure you recover fair compensation for your loved one’s medical bills and pain and suffering.
Signs of Neglect
Not all elder mistreatment takes the form of abuse. Neglect can also have serious, and sometimes life-threatening, effects on nursing home residents. As a result of such maltreatment, residents may suffer minor to life-threatening injuries, develop bedsores, experience dehydration or malnutrition, or suffer other adverse effects. While some of these symptoms develop due to existing health conditions and other factors, their occurrence without reasonable explanation may be a sign your loved one is not receiving the appropriate level of care.
Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing Home Abuse
What Laws Protect Residents in Long Term Care Homes?
State and federal laws provide protection to residents in long-term care and assisted living facilities. These laws include a residents’ bill of rights, which specifies that those living in nursing home facilities have a right not to be abused, exploited, or neglected, among other rights.
How Long Do You Have to File a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit?
Under most circumstances, you have two years from the date your family member suffered the injury to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit in Illinois. However if the facility is run, affiliated or subsidized by a governmental entity the statute of limitations may be much shorter. There may be other statute of limitations that may also affect the time in which to file a claim. If the injury does not result from a specific incident or accident, but instead develops over time, you have two years from the date when the injury and its cause was discovered, or should have reasonably been discovered. Because the exact statute of limitations that may apply is fact specific, it is important that you seek advice from an attorney as soon as you believe there may have been nursing home abuse or neglect.
Who Investigates Nursing Homes in Illinois?
The responsibility of licensing, regulating, and inspecting nursing home facilities in the state rests largely with the Illinois Department of Public Health. When the department receives complaints of suspected nursing home abuse, it conducts surveys into the areas involved with the allegations. Often, the agency with whom you file the report will initiate investigations into the nursing home in question.
Learn More About Nursing Home Abuse
The physical, emotional, and financial toll of abuse or neglect of elders at the hands of their caregivers is often great. Elderly residents often reside in long-term care facilities because they need a higher level of care than their families can provide. Learning more about nursing home abuse and neglect can help ensure you know what to watch out for, and how best to protect your family member from falling victim.