Learning an elderly loved one has been neglected at a nursing home, leading to harm, is a terrible and depressing feeling; we all want to believe our loved ones are receiving the care that they both need and deserve. Unfortunately, though, both nursing home neglect and abuse permeate the system and, sometimes, nursing home residents suffer physical or psychological harm, including early death, as a result. If you believe nursing home neglect has led to a loved one’s harm, you should schedule a free consultation with a Claim Your Justice nursing home abuse attorney who can advise you about what steps to take and how to get maximum compensation. Here’s an overview of what you need to know about nursing home neglect cases and your right to seek damages.
Nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. Nursing home abuse usually refers to active instead of passive acts that involve intent, such as physically abusing a nursing home resident, sexually abusing a resident, financially exploiting a resident, or emotionally/psychologically abusing a resident. Neglect, on the other hand, often does not involve intent and is more passive; neglect may be the result of poor nursing home staff training, understaffing and a poor staff-to-patient ratio, etc. Examples of neglect include:
The above list is not inclusive, there are numerous injury types that can occur when a nursing home resident doesn’t receive the level of care that they deserve.
There are some actions that may be taken by nursing home staff that are certainly against the law. For example, sexually assaulting a nursing home resident is heinous and should be punished in the criminal system. In most cases, though, nursing home neglect will not result in any criminal liability. That does not mean, however, that it won’t result in civil liability.
While nursing home neglect may not be a crime, it is a breach of the standard of care owed to residents. Nursing homes are professional medical facilities staffed by medical professionals and other professionals and, as such, a medical or/and professional standard of care is owed to the residents/patients. The medical or professional standard of care is the same degree of care that another medical person/ professional of similar background and training would demonstrate in the same situation. Nursing home residents (and their family members) have a reasonable expectation that the residents will not be neglected; when this expectation and duty of care is breached and harm results, the nursing home can be held liable for significant damages.
If you suspect nursing home neglect, taking action sooner rather than later is strongly recommended and can help you to protect your elderly loved one and others within the nursing home.
If you believe that nursing home neglect is occurring, you have the right to bring a claim or a civil action for damages. In order to win your case, you’ll need to prove that the nursing home breached the duty of care owed to the nursing home resident and that the breach of the duty of care resulted in actual harm/damages. If you can prove this, you can recover compensation for the value of medical expenses incurred, pain and suffering damages, funeral and burial expenses (if the nursing home neglect resulted in death), and any other economic or noneconomic damages suffered. It is strongly recommended that you consult with a Claim Your Justice attorney who can guide you through the process of filing your claim.
Claim Your Justice attorneys know that you have multiple questions about nursing home neglect, the claims process, your rights, and what steps to take when you suspect that neglect is occurring. Consider the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we hear, and reach out to our lawyers directly for more information about your rights.
In general, you have two years from the date of the nursing home neglect to file a lawsuit against the nursing home. If you wait longer than two years, you can be barred from recovery. Note that this does not mean that you should wait up to two years; instead, it’s best to start the claims process as early as possible and, only if a settlement cannot be reached, file a lawsuit before the two-year limit is reached.
The statute of limitations is the legal time limit on how much time can pass between when the nursing home abuse occurs and when you file a lawsuit. As noted above, the statute of limitations in most nursing home abuse or neglect cases is two years. Note that the two-year statute applies to both personal injury cases and wrongful death cases involving nursing home abuse/neglect.
In order to recover compensation for nursing home neglect, you’ll need to prove that the nursing home owed a duty of care to the resident (implied), that the nursing home breached this duty of care, that the breach of the duty of care was the proximate cause of injuries, and that actual damages, either economic or noneconomic or both, were suffered. In order to prove these four elements, you’ll need compelling evidence. Photographs, video footage (if it exists), the nursing home resident’s medical records, any complaints filed against the nursing home, and experts’ testimonies can all be useful in proving neglect. At the firm of Claim Your Justice, our lawyers can help you to understand the type of evidence that is most useful in a nursing home neglect claim, as well as how to win your case.
Passive neglect is nursing home neglect that doesn’t involve any intent; in fact, passive neglect is often the result of inaction rather than an intentional action. For example, if a nursing home is poorly staffed and there are not enough medical professionals, staff members, and nurses to ensure that all patients are receiving a high level of care, a nursing home resident may get neglected, resulting in malnutrition, bedsores, a slip and fall accident, etc. While passive neglect may not be intentional or the fault of one specific nursing home staff member, it is still unacceptable and is a breach of the duty of care owed to a resident.
If you believe that nursing home neglect is occurring or if your elderly loved one has been harmed by nursing home neglect, call our Schaumberg, IL nursing home neglect attorneys directly today. We offer free and there is no fee unless we win.
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