Taylorville, IL Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Explain Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Illinois
Loved ones are placed in nursing homes so that they receive proper medical care and assistance with their daily living. When you place a loved one in a nursing home, you are trusting the facility to provide care, support, and guidance. However, nursing homes can and do, fail in their duties which can seriously injure or even kill the resident. The nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at the Noll Law Office are persistent and forceful in their support of victims of nursing home abuse and neglect as well as their families.
The Noll Law Office understands that it can be difficult to learn that your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse, neglect, or malpractice. In order to help people through this tragedy, they offer free initial consultations so that you can tell your story, ask questions, and get answers. If the Noll Law Office is hired, they will forward all the expenses of litigation and only take a fee if they are successful. Thus, there is no financial risk to you by meeting with them.
The lawyers at the Noll Law Office are local, experienced lawyers who have family who live in Taylorville, IL. They understand the community and take pride in being a part of it. If you retain the Noll Law Office, you will meet with Daniel or Sarah Noll at your initial consultation. They will represent you from the start of the case all the way through the trial. Your case will not be given to a lawyer who is fresh out of law school. You won’t need to drive to Chicago to meet you’re your attorney. You will have an experienced, proven lawyer representing your interests against the nursing home, its insurance carrier, and its lawyers. To learn more or schedule a meeting, call (217) 414-8889.
What are the Common Injuries from Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Taylorville, Illinois?
While your loved one may have unique injuries because of the specific type of abuse they suffered, some of the most common injuries from nursing home neglect include:
Falls (Lift Falls, Slip and Falls, Falling out of a Bed or Chair, Shower and Bathtub Falls)
Falls are common in nursing homes. Studies have shown that approximately half of nursing home residents fall in a year and about 33% of residents fall two or more times in a year. While not all falls can be prevented, it is important for a nursing home to have a system in place to assess, intervene and monitor their results to minimize fall risks.
Federal regulations require that the nursing home facility initially and periodically conduct a comprehensive, accurate, standardized, and reproducible assessment of each resident’s functional capacity. This means that within 14 days of admission, this assessment should be done as well as upon a significant change in condition. These assessments should allow two nurses who are looking at the same resident to obtain identical results. Meaning, if the staff is coming up with different assessments, the facility’s evaluation process may not be acceptable.
Even with the risk assessments and plans, residents can be dropped at nursing homes through the negligence of the staff and administration. In a nursing home setting, some common reasons for falls are:
- One staff member moved a resident when the plan called for a two-person assist
- Improper training of staff members
- The equipment used (such as a Hoyer lift) may be defective, poorly or improperly maintained
- Staff may improperly use the lifting mechanism because they do not know how to use the machine
- Understaffing causes the staff to rush to move a resident
- Physical abuse – Staff hitting, punching, shoving, or kicking a resident
The Center for Disease Control has found between 2%-28% of nursing home residents suffer from pressure ulcers. Pressure ulcers, which are also known as bedsores, pressure sores, or decubitus ulcers, are wounds caused by unrelieved pressure on the skin. Normally these painful injuries develop over bone protrusions such as the heel, elbow, hip, shoulder, and back.
Pressure ulcers can be created when a person is immobile, bedridden, or unable to sense pain. They can develop on areas of the skin that are under pressure from contact with a bed, wheelchair, or medical device for a long period of time.
The most common system for staging bedsores is through a four-stage classification system. In this system, the least severe pressure ulcer is Stage 1 with the most severe being Stage 4. At Stage 1, there is persistent redness. At Stage 2, the bedsore will look like a blister or abrasion. A deep crater, caused by the loss of full thickness of the skin, will be present in Stage 3. At Stage 4, the wound exposes muscle and bone. Infection is a serious risk factor in Stage 4.
Based on the severity of the bedsore, treatment may include:
- Antibiotics and other medications if there is an infection
- Keeping the wound clean
- Removing pressure on the area
- Protecting the area with medicated gauze and specialized dressings
- Debridement (removing the dead, infected, or damaged tissue)
- Skins grafts (transplanting healthy skin to the wound area)
- Nutrition plan
The development of bedsores can be a sign of nursing home abuse or neglect. Staff should be turning and repositioning residents, providing padding to reduce pressure, and keeping residents’ skin clean and dry. If your loved one has a pressure wound – especially a Stage 3 or Stage 4 wound, you should have them evaluated by an outside medical provider immediately.
Infections in a nursing home can spread quickly. Due to the age of nursing home residents, in addition to possible pre-existing conditions, infections can become serious without quick intervention. This is especially true of residents with feeding tubes. The most common infections are UTIs. However, influenzas, gastroenteritis, and respiratory infections are also possible.
If your loved one has died while in a nursing home, it could have been due to the neglect or abuse of the facility. Losing a loved one is always difficult but it is even more devastating when it could have been prevented. If you have lost a loved one, the Noll Law Office is here to help you.
Other Types of Nursing Home Neglect in Taylorville, Illinois
In addition to the common types of injuries discussed above, some other frequent nursing home injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Organ injuries
- Nerve injuries
- Blindness, and
- Many other injuries the experienced Taylorville, IL Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at the Noll Law Office can help you seek compensation for.
What Rights Do Taylorville Illinois Nursing Home Residents Have?
In the State of Illinois, the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act enumerates the rights of a nursing home resident including, but not limited to, the right to:
- Remain free from abuse and neglect
- Have visitors, mail, and phones
- Manage their own affairs
- Refuse treatment
- Be free from restraints unless specifically ordered by the doctor for the resident’s protection
What Damages Can I Recover in a Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Case?
Victims and their families may be entitled to recover “damages” for their injuries in Illinois. Under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, a person may seek monetary compensation for the injuries. There are many different types of damages that a nursing home resident or their family may seek to recover, including:
- Past pain and suffering – This is calculated from the date of the injury to the date of settlement or jury verdict.
- Future pain and suffering – This is an amount of money from the date of the settlement or jury verdict for the rest of the victim’s life.
- Medical Bills – Payment of past, current, and reasonably proven future medical bills due to the nursing home’s abuse or neglect
- Attorneys’ Fees and Costs – By prevailing under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, the person or estate of the victim is entitled to an award of attorneys’ fee and costs.
- Loss of consortium and society – Illinois law recognizes the relationship a victim has with their spouse, parents, children, siblings and other dependents and can provide compensation for the loss of normal familial relations and contact including “society” such as spending time together
- Damages in Wrongful Death Cases – A family may be able to obtain compensation for burial costs, funeral expenses, and other emotional damages suffered by their loved one and by themselves due to the result of nursing home abuse and neglect
What to Do If a Loved One Has Been a Victim
If your loved one may have suffered abuse at a nursing home, take action:
- Contact outside medical providers available in the area if you suspect your loved one is suffering from significant injury or a life-threatening condition. Make sure your loved one receives immediate medical care.
- Take a lot of photos and gather statements from your loved one as to what’s occurred.
- Obtain a complete copy of your loved one’s medical records from the nursing home and any other medical providers they have seen since they have been at the facility.
- If your loved one passed away as a result of abuse or neglect, insist upon an autopsy.
Going through this process can be overwhelming. If you need help trying to determine what to do, contact the Noll Law Office’s nursing home neglect lawyers near Taylorville, IL. They can provide you with specific steps to help you understand what has happened and what options you have moving forward.
Choosing the Best Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer for My Loved One
Nursing home abuse and neglect cases are complicated and can be expensive to litigate. You need highly skilled and experienced lawyers by your side. The Noll Law Office has that experience and a passionate team to work closely with you. Look for an attorney who:
- Has experience in nursing home abuse and neglect cases
- Has a proven record of filing suits and litigating cases
- Offers the time and patience you need in this very difficult situation
- Work on a contingency fee so you only pay if you obtain a settlement or jury verdict
- Will retain appropriate experts who can review your loved one’s medical records
- Will keep your case (and not pass it off to a junior associate) until the case is complete
Nursing Home Abuse Case Process
It is important to note that every case is different and unique. That said, the general process the Noll Law Office follows is as follows:
- A family member or similar loved one begins to suspect nursing home abuse and neglect or the resident is required to seek medical care because they have been sick or injured.
- The family member obtains a copy of the medical records
- The family member contacts an attorney such as the Noll Law Office, who reviews the medical record and conducts an initial screening as to whether abuse or neglect occurred;
- The family member learns of the sickness or injury, and files a complaint with the Illinois Department of Public Health or the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation;
- If it appears that abuse or neglect may have occurred, the family member and the lawyer speak with a medical physician who specializes in geriatric and nursing home medicine, to obtain an expert opinion as to what care (1) should have been provided; and (2) what care was provided.
- The family member and Noll Law Office attorneys meet, and expert legal advice is provided on the strength of the case and the practicalities of litigation.
Simply stated, sometimes an injury or sickness at a nursing home is just a sad accident. At other times, neglect or abuse has occurred. You deserve to put your mind at rest by reviewing the medical records and inquiring as to the circumstances as you or your loved one suffered at a nursing home.
Do I Have a Case – Your Taylorville, IL Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Can Help You
To know if you have a case for abuse or neglect, contact the Noll Law Office today for a free initial consultation. Their nursing home abuse lawyers near Taylorville, IL, will work closely with you to determine what has occurred and how to move forward. They provide free consultations so you can have an honest legal opinion about your options.
How the Noll Law Office Will Help
The Noll Law Office is committed to providing you with exceptional legal service. Let their local, experienced lawyers investigate and litigate your case. The lawyers you meet with at your initial consultation will be the lawyers who handle your case throughout its duration. You will have local lawyers who live and work in Central Illinois. They will be available to meet with you so that you will not need to drive to Chicago or St. Louis to do so. Their lawyers care about their clients and are focused on holding those who abuse or neglect nursing home residents responsible. Let their family help yours.