Joanna visited her mother, Mary, frequently after moving her to a nursing home. She wanted to make sure Mary received the best care. However, after a few months, Joanna noticed something seemed off. Her mother’s condition deteriorated to the point that Joanna transferred her to a hospital for treatment. Joanna was furious and wondered if she could sue for nursing home neglect.
How will you know if nursing home neglect has occurred?
The Illinois Nursing Home Act describes neglect as:
“…a facility’s failure to provide, or willful withholding of, adequate medical care, mental health treatment, psychiatric rehabilitation, personal care, or assistance with activities of daily living that is necessary to avoid physical harm, mental anguish, or mental illness of a resident.”
Visit frequently and watch for signs of neglect, including:
- Unusual behavior, especially being afraid or withdrawn;
- Development of serious health conditions that may indicate medication is not being given,
- Unexplained weight loss or dehydration, and
- Unkempt appearance.
Neglect can lead to more serious health problems, especially for elderly people.
Who is responsible for neglect?
Generally, the owner and operator of a nursing facility may be held liable for nursing home neglect or abuse. Individual caregivers may also be responsible when a resident is neglected.
Can just anyone sue for nursing home neglect?
Under the Act, anyone who believes a nursing home resident has been abused or neglected may ask the Department of Public Health to investigate. However, there are some limits on who is allowed to sue for nursing home neglect or abuse.
Generally, the following people may file a lawsuit for a nursing home resident:
- The nursing home resident, or
- A guardian or authorized representative.
Section 1-123 of the Act describes a resident’s representative as “a person other than the owner not related to the resident, or an agent or employee of a facility not related to the resident, designated in writing by a resident to be his representative, or the resident’s guardian.”
In Joanna and Mary’s case, Joanna’s close family relationship does not entitle her to file a lawsuit on her mother’s behalf. However, she may file if she is her mother’s authorized representative or guardian.
Talk to an Illinois Attorney Who Understands Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing homes have a duty to care for their residents. When they fail to provide that care, you may be entitled to compensation for their neglect.
At Osvaldo Rodriguez, PC, we have over 20 years’ experience helping clients with nursing home neglect and abuse. Schedule a free initial consultation with Osvaldo Rodriguez, a lawyer who has dedicated his career to assisting people like you. Just call us at 708-716-3441 or fill out the Contact form on our website. We represent clients throughout the state of Illinois, including Chicago, Addison, Bellwood, Bensenville, Berwyn, Chicago, Cicero, Elmwood Park, Franklin Park, Maywood, Melrose Park, Northlake, and all of Cook County, Lake County, Kane County, Dupage County and Will County.
Mr. Rodriguez is fluent in both Spanish and English.
Se Habla Espanol.