Families often make the difficult decision of placing elderly family members in nursing homes so they receive specialized care. When loved ones are left in the care of a nursing home or assisted living facility, we expect that they will receive the very best care. Unfortunately, elderly adults sometimes suffer abuse and neglect in the nursing homes that their families entrusted with their care. Lawsuits allow the nursing home victims and their families to hold the nursing home accountable for the abuse endured.
A competent nursing home negligence abuse lawyer helps victims and their families seek compensation for the harms and losses they suffered at the hands of the nursing home. If your loved one sustained a fall or fracture while in the care of a nursing home, you are encouraged to speak with a nursing home negligence attorney. Contact compassionate and experienced nursing home litigation attorney Robert J. Rooth of The Rooth Law Firm to get your claim started today.
Common Signs of Nursing Home Neglect/Abuse
Unfortunately, falls are prevalent with elderly patients who reside in nursing homes. Approximately 10% to 25% of these falls result in hospital admissions and or fractures. According to the CDC, only 5% of adults 65 and older live in nursing homes, but they account for 20% of deaths from falls within this age group.
Family members should watch out for the four common tell-tale signs of nursing home abuse. Common signs of nursing home abuse include:
- Physical injuries – commonly occur when staff members abuse the elderly or neglect their duties.
- Medical complications – sudden weight loss, dehydration, poor nutrition and the appearance of being over-medicated or fatigued.
- Behavioral changes – sudden angry or withdrawn behavior.
- Staffing issues – medication errors, low ratio of staff to residents, behavior changes in front of staff and residents habitually dressed in the same clothing.
Unfortunately, these signs often go undetected allowing the abuse and neglect to continue.
Common Causes for Nursing Home Falls
Falls in nursing homes have serious consequences, especially for those who are frail. Nursing home fall injuries commonly result in serious injuries, hip fractures, and an increased risk of death. Most nursing home falls are caused by environmental hazards, inadequate staffing, unsafe equipment, unsafe personal care items, medication side effects, chronic and acute diseases, effects of aging on gait and a facility’s failure to create a comprehensive fall prevention care plan.
Nursing homes are required to have fall prevention procedures that include proper placement and installation of bed alarms, chair alarm systems, fall mats, lighting, medication re-assessments, and appropriate staffing.
Who Can Sue the Nursing Home?
There are federal and state laws that have been created to protect the elderly from nursing home neglect and abuse that could result in a fall or fracture. The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act grants nursing home residents legal rights and protections from any type of nursing home neglect and abuse. When falls and fractures or other signs of nursing home abuse appear, the victim and their family have the legal right to file a lawsuit against the negligent nursing home.
Nursing home negligence victims and their families have the right to sue for monetary compensation. Nursing home victims may be able to recover compensation to address all medical costs related to a nursing home fall for fracture and mental anguish. Depending on the severity of the negligence surrounding the victims’ falls or fractures, victims may be entitled to punitive damages.
Speak With an Elder Abuse Attorney
If you have a loved one in a nursing home and you suspect that they may be a victim of nursing home abuse, the Rooth Law Firm can help. Once hired, The Rooth Law Firm will begin an immediate investigation into your loved one’s injury, determine who is legally responsible, and hold them accountable. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with an Evanston, Illinois nursing home abuse lawyer contact The Rooth Law Firm.