The elderly are physically and mentally vulnerable, so it is critically important that those caring for them in nursing homes and assisted living facilities have their best interests at heart. Many private enterprises claim to provide compassionate and dedicated care to their residents, but some of them unfortunately fall short on this promise.
If you suspect that a loved one has been subjected to cruel or unjust treatment in their assisted living facility, you may want to consider discussing your legal options with an Elgin nursing home abuse lawyer. With the help of a practiced personal injury attorney, you may be able to seek significant compensation on your family member’s behalf for the neglect or abuse they suffered.
What Rights Do Nursing Home Residents Have?
Both state authorities and civil courts take allegations of mistreatment in nursing home very seriously. There are two major pieces of state-level legislation that provide legal protections to Elgin nursing home residents.
Illinois Elder Abuse and Neglect Act
The 1988 Illinois Elder Abuse and Neglect Act established guidelines for how social workers and police officers should respond to reports of abuse. This law also mandates that elder care professionals report any signs of elder abuse that they witness.
Illinois Nursing Home Care Act
More recently, the 2011 Illinois Nursing Home Care Act established new minimum training requirements for elder care staff members. It also includes a significant Residents’ Bill of Rights that guarantees that nursing home residents have the right to control their own medical treatment and finances, not be physically restrained without consent, maintain their own space and religious practices, and file complaints with administrators about the facility.
Any nursing home employee who violates a resident’s rights through physical or emotional abuse, gross negligence, or financial exploitation may be subject to both civil and criminal litigation. With over thirty years of experience, the Elgin nursing home abuse lawyers at the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. could help anyone who suspects mistreatment of a nursing home resident to seek justice and retribution.
How to Report Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
Nursing home residents and concerned family members can report suspected abuse to several different state level agencies, including the Department of Public Health, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman, the Department of Aging, the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, as well as numerous legal advocacy organizations. In an emergency situation, the best way to protect a loved one from suffering further harm is to call the police.
Once their safety is secured, a local elder abuse lawyer could help the nursing home resident and/or their family pursue compensation for their mistreatment. Depending on the circumstances, recoverable damages could include medical expenses, lost or damaged personal property, loss of enjoyment of life, physical pain, and emotional anguish. If abuse or neglect has fatal consequences, surviving family members may be able to pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim.
Speak to a Compassionate Elgin Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you believe your loved one is being mistreated in their assisted living facility, you should not hesitate to take legal action as soon as possible. Abuse and neglect can often persist for years within seemingly trustworthy facilities, and many victims may be unable to communicate that something is wrong.
An experienced Elgin nursing home abuse lawyer could be an essential ally in your fight to protect your loved ones. To discuss your options for appropriate damage recovery in a potential civil case, call us today and set up a private consultation.