When entrusting a nursing home with the care of an elderly loved one, we assume that the facility and its staff are acting appropriately in providing for the resident. However, unfortunately, nursing home negligence is still all too common in Illinois. Signs that a nursing home is mistreating your loved one may include sudden, unexplained weight loss, bed sores, changes in mood or behavior, lack of hygiene, and overmedication symptoms. If you believe that your family member is not receiving proper care, you should contact a personal injury lawyer at our Springfield firm to find out more regarding your options.
Actively Pursue the Rights of the Elderly
Ackerman Law Office understands the problems that can occur for the residents of nursing homes. We aggressively pursue the rights of the elderly and help to make sure that they are treated fairly. We help family members bring the cases for seniors because many seniors, especially those in nursing homes, lack the capacity to bring a lawsuit for themselves. Also, we bring lawsuits when the patient dies through the negligence or abuse of the nursing home.
Elderly in Nursing Homes are Vulnerable to Injuries
The elderly in nursing homes can be especially vulnerable to injuries. They often have no way to protect themselves. Some nursing care facilities are inadequately staffed, have inadequately trained workers, provide insufficient medical care, and sometimes either the staff or residents attack or abuse the residents of nursing homes.
Nursing homes in Illinois must comply with the Nursing Home Care Act. It provides for Residents Rights, which include the ability to keep their own doctor, manage their own money, if they are capable, and to refuse medical treatment. It allows for attorneys’ fees and damages for violations of patients’ rights under the act.
Nursing Homes must also comply with the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA) which included significant nursing home reforms. Among other things, it requires nursing homes to:
- Prepare a comprehensive care plan for each resident. (42 CFR §483.20)
- Provide the necessary care and services to maintain the highest practical well-being for the patient. (42 CFR §483.25)
- Prevent Pressure sores, unless they are unavoidable. (42 CFR §483.25)
- Prevent accidents, including falls. (42 CFR §483.25)
The Act also gives patients certain rights including:
- The right to refuse treatment.
- The right to religious preference.
- The right to have guests, talk on the phone, and to have mail.
Nursing Home Falls
Nursing homes too frequently neglect to prevent resident falls when they should. Falls can cause significant morbidity and mortality. When the nursing home takes in a new resident, and at specified times after that, they are required to prepare a fall assessment. If needed, they should provide safety devices such as grab bars, bed rails, or install alarms on the patients bed and chairs for patients who are a high risk of falling. Additionally, using gait belts may be a requirement.
Regarding nursing homes, the cases we may take, could involve:
- Inadequate Staff
- Broken Bones
- Dehydration or Malnutrition
- Improper Medication
- Falls that should have been prevented
- Subdural Hematoma (Brain injuries)
- Abuse of Residents
We help nursing home residents and their families throughout central Illinois. This includes cities like Springfield, Bloomington, Champaign-Urbana, Peoria, Jacksonville, and smaller communities throughout the region.
Normally, the statute of limitations for a nursing home negligence is two years, but this may be extended in some situations, especially if the victim or his or her family did not know of the negligence. However, make sure to consult an attorney sooner rather than later.
Ackerman law aggressively pursues the rights of the elderly and their families in situations of elder abuse or nursing home neglect. Contact us at Ackerman Law office at 217-789-1977. We are confident in our ability to win, so we take these claims on a contingent fee basis. We offer free initial consultations. All of our clients get prompt action and personalized attention. See what our clients have to say on our Client Reviews page. Read more on our Springfield Injury Lawyer Blog.