The short answer is “yes.” And in Illinois, you may want to give it serious consideration if a loved one has had an unexplained injury. Here’s why…
Nursing homes are not all created equal and those in Illinois are unfortunately some of the worst. Illinois is typically ranked 41/50 when it comes to quality of care (according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services). That means they consistently fail health inspections, they are understaffed, and they don’t maintain a high quality standard of care.
In fact, from January to June of 2020, 191 nursing homes throughout Illinois have received fines or charges have been filed by the state for violations of the Nursing Home Care Act. So, can you sue a nursing home for neglect? If there have been previous citations issued at your loved one’s facility and their injuries are related to those violations, you should sue to ensure any losses are recovered and they will receive the care they deserve moving forward..
About 160 of those nursing home violations fall under the “high risk” designation because the facilities are not providing the necessary care and services to attain or maintain the well being of the patients. Violations deemed “high risk” include not providing personal care (clean clothes, bathing, hair washing, grooming, clean bedding, etc…), not removing hazards from the environment, and establishing or following through with protocols to prevent sores from forming.
In addition to the increased risk of bedsores in these facilities, due to this reported neglect, patients are more likely to suffer from:
- Injuries like bruises, cuts, and unexplained wounds
- Head injuries or fractures
- Malnutrition or dehydration
Perhaps the question here is not “can you sue a nursing home for neglect?” rather “when should I sue a nursing home for neglect?” You can and should if your loved one has an unnecessary or unexplained injury and the facility has a history of documented violation. This indicates they are not providing proper care.
If you are unsure, Carlson Bier is prepared to investigate the situation and determine if a lawsuit is warranted. You need to reach out to us as soon as you are concerned, so we can conduct a thorough investigation and create a plan for you to move forward.
Can you sue a nursing home for neglect if it is Coronavirus related?
With the recent onset and continuous spread of the Coronavirus, Illinois nursing homes have not fared any better. About 53% of Illinois Coronavirus Deaths have occured in nursing homes. There have been about 30,860 total cases and about 4,792 deaths in Illinois nursing homes.
Answering the question “can you sue a nursing home for neglect” is a bit trickier when it comes to Coronavirus. There is Federal Legislation that is attempting to protect nursing homes from Coronavirus Lawsuits.
However, they have an obligation to protect their residents and take a proactive approach to stopping the spread of the virus. Negligent behavior, like failing to provide a clean environment, is a contributing factor to the spread of the virus and may still warrant a lawsuit.
Moving forward with a lawsuit
When you make the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home, you expect that they will be cared for and they will be able to live their lives with dignity. You do not expect that facility to be fined or cited by the state for instances of neglect. You do not want your loved one to suffer an unnecessary and preventable injury or possibly death.
If something occurs and you suspect the nursing home of neglect or abuse, you will need to contact an attorney right away. Our legal team at Carlson Bier, will need to conduct a thorough investigation into the care and treatment of your loved one and make a plan of action immediately. In addition, we may need to involve local law enforcement and social workers if there are issues that are dangerous to the other residents as well.
How can a lawsuit help?
Getting justice for victims of nursing home neglect or abuse and preventing other future instances of neglect or abuse are two of the most important reasons to pursue a civil lawsuit.
However, it is important that any additional financial burdens as a result of the neglect or abuse be recovered. When neglect or abuse occurs in a nursing home there may be additional costs related to:
- Medical bills
- Mental health therapy
- Physical therapy
- Changing nursing homes
- Ongoing pain and suffering
Nobody deserves to be a victim of neglect or abuse and all of our loved ones need to be protected if they need short or long term care from a nursing home. When you consider the rights of your loved one and consider their future the answer to the question “can you sue a nursing home for neglect” is easy…yes.