When Maggie’s mother was injured in a fall, Maggie’s first thought was to make sure her mom was okay. Then, as bills for doctors and rehabilitation started to arrive, Maggie began to wonder who is responsible when a nursing home resident is hurt? The patient? The staff? Who should pay for medical treatment and pain? In this blog, we’ll take a look at compensation for nursing home accidents. It may start with knowing who is to blame.
Nursing Home Injuries – How They Happen and Why
Over 100,000 Illinois residents live in long-term care facilities. Unfortunately, some nursing homes neglect their patients, leading to injuries like:
- Falls. Head injuries and broken bones can be caused by poor supervision or failure to provide assistance.
- Pressure ulcers or bed sores. These sometimes life-threatening infections may happen when nursing home staff let a resident lie or sit in one position for too long.
- Bruises, cuts, sprains, and dislocations. This type of injury often goes unexplained.
- Malnutrition and dehydration. Residents may suffer these injuries because the staff fails to provide adequate liquids and food.
But what responsibility does a nursing home have when one of its residents is injured? After all, their patients are often frail and weak.
Illinois Law for Nursing Home Residents
When a long-term care facility takes a patient, it also takes on the responsibility of providing certain levels of care. Patients are protected by law, whether they are in good health or in poor physical condition. For example, the Illinois Nursing Home Act (the “Act”) does not state that the patient must be in good health when it defines abuse:
‘Abuse’ means any physical or mental injury or sexual assault inflicted on a resident other than by accidental means in a facility.
The Act also defines neglect:
‘Neglect’ means 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. [emphasis added]
Again, the Act does not state that it applies only to people who are in good health. Nursing home operators or staff who violate the Act may face civil or criminal penalties.
Have You or a Loved One Been Injured in a Nursing Home?
If you suspect nursing home neglect or abuse, get help immediately. Reporting the injury may prevent additional injuries, preserve your loved one’s rights, and safeguard evidence.
At Osvaldo Rodriguez, PC, we have over 20 years’ experience helping clients with nursing home injuries and neglect. 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 Cook, DuPage, Will, and Kane Counties.
Mr. Rodriguez is fluent in both Spanish and English.