Negligence in a Nursing Home

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Posted on Tuesday, March 26th, 2024 at 2:00 am    

Negligence In A Nursing Home

When you entrust the care of your elderly loved one to a nursing home, you expect them to receive the highest quality of care, attention, and respect. Unfortunately, far too many nursing home residents fall victim to negligence, a form of substandard care that can lead to serious injuries, illnesses, and even wrongful death.

Negligence in nursing homes can take many forms, from inadequate staffing and poor training to medication errors and failure to prevent falls or bedsores. If you suspect that your loved one has suffered harm due to negligence in their nursing home, it’s essential to understand your legal rights and options for holding the facility accountable.

Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

Nursing home neglect can take many forms. Unfortunately, nursing home residents don’t always report neglect.

Some nursing home residents may fear that reporting neglect will result in punishments. Or, due to memory issues, cognitive struggles, or other such limitations, they might not understand that neglect is occurring.

It’s often up to loved ones of nursing home residents to monitor for signs of neglect. Warning signs to be on the lookout for when visiting your loved one in a nursing home include:

  • Bedsores
  • Significant, fast changes in weight (which can involve a resident putting on weight rapidly)
  • Malnutrition or dehydration
  • Dirty linens or a dirty overall environment
  • Insufficient staffing
  • Poor hygiene
  • Injuries
  • Mood and behavioral changes (as neglect can cause nursing home residents to struggle with mental and emotional health issues)
  • Bruises
  • Lack of opportunities to move around and be active

Discuss your concerns with your loved one if you believe neglect is occurring. Just remember, the fact that they deny neglect or abuse is happening doesn’t mean you don’t have valid worries. If you still believe your loved one is a victim of neglect, remove them from the nursing home as soon as possible.

How to Report Neglect in a Nursing Home

Reporting neglect should be your next step after ensuring your loved one’s safety. Steps to consider include:

  • Formally reporting your concerns – Report your concerns to those running the nursing home. Being able to show you filed such a report might improve your loved one’s chances of receiving compensation in any civil cases that arise from this experience.
  • Contacting the authorities – Contact the police, letting them know why you think neglect is happening. They may investigate the matter further on your behalf.

Be aware that the process for reporting nursing home neglect can also vary depending on where you are in the country. For example, in Illinois, you might contact your local Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsman, who can investigate your concerns. Other ways to report nursing home neglect in Illinois include:

  • Contacting the Senior HelpLine
  • Submitting a complaint to the Illinois Department of Public Health
  • Calling 1-800-226-0768 to report concerns to Healthcare and Family Services for Supportive Living Facility Complaints

Strongly consider meeting with the best attorney for nursing home neglect in your area as well. Your loved one may be eligible to receive compensation for various struggles resulting from their experience. Examples of such struggles include medical bills, mental/emotional trauma, and pain and suffering.

Factors Impacting Nursing Home Neglect Settlement Amounts

Negligence In A Nursing HomeYou may file a claim with the nursing home’s insurance to seek compensation on your loved one’s behalf. You’ll have to gather evidence of neglect to show your loved one deserves compensation. If the insurance company won’t offer a fair settlement, you can file a lawsuit to pursue damages in court.

It’s impossible to say how much compensation your loved one may be eligible to receive without knowing the details of their case. Factors that can affect nursing home neglect settlements include:

  • Expenses for medical care arising out of nursing home neglect
  • Other expenses, such as the cost of traveling to medical appointments
  • Pain and suffering and related losses

Negotiating a fair out-of-court settlement with the insurance company is often the ideal outcome in these circumstances. There’s no guarantee a jury will award any money in a trial. However, if you do go to trial, a jury may award punitive damages on top of compensation.

Punitive damages are money a jury may award a plaintiff to punish the defendant. By punishing a defendant, punitive damages may deter them from engaging in neglect in the future.

Contact a Nursing Home Neglect Attorney

Realizing your loved one has been the victim of neglect in a setting where people are meant to care for them is a very emotional experience. Taking action may be key to holding the liable parties accountable.

You don’t have to navigate this experience alone. At Wallace Miller, a nursing home neglect attorney can fight for the compensation your loved one may deserve. Learn more about how we can help by contacting us online or calling us at (312) 261-6193 for a free case review.

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