Understanding Madison County Nursing Home Injuries and Abuse
Nursing home residents are seriously injured all the time. Sadly, this can happen for many reasons, including poor funding, lack of qualified staffing, low staffing ratios, or failure to comlete proper background checks for workers. Unfortunately, many people are mislead to believe that because most nursing home residents are elderly, they are "expected" to die or be injured while in a facility. But this kind of logic fails to recognize that even late in life, everyone wishes to live a vibrant and engaging life style. Many seniors remain quite active, in and out of the nursing home. And ultimately, the law says that residents of Illinois nursing homes have all the same rights as if they were still in their own home. Nursing home abuse typically involves physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, or financial abuse by a member of the staff or another resident.
When a resident suffers an injury due to abuse or neglect, the resident could be entitled to file a personal injury claim. Nursing home abuse is commonly the result of negligence on the part of the company that owns or operates the nursing home or its staff.
For instance, nursing homes might be short-staffed or lacking proper training. Nursing home personal injury claims often require an investigation into a company's policies and procedures. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is the regulating body that handles surveys and direct complaints in Illinois. Sadly, they are only able to fine or cite facilities for violating federal and state regulations. They have no ability to fight for compensation or make things right for those who are injured. For that, the law requires an injured resident (or their agent, executor, or loved ones) to file a civil lawsuit and proceed with litigation. This can be difficult, time consuming, and remarkably expensive for the average citizen. This is why our office works tirelessly to help families who are suffering at the hands of careless nursing home staff and owners.
If your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect in their nursing home, contacting CROSSROAD LEGAL, LLC should be the first step you take. Call us at (618) 515-5555 to find out how we can help you and your loved one recover from this violation.
Common Injuries from Metro-East St. Louis Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse or neglect injuries differ significantly based on the injured individual and the circumstances surrounding the situation. One of the most common types of nursing home injuries is bedsores, which typically develop when a resident is not moved for long. These go by many names, such as pressure ulcers, deep tissue injuries, skin ulcers, wounds, etc. Regardless of what a provider calls them, in the vast majority of cases, they are completely avoidable with appropriate medical and nursing care. Sadly, most nursing homes are woefully low on staffing and staff may only receive a few hours a year (if at all) in how to identify and treat pressure ulcers. However, there are several other types of injuries associated with nursing home abuse, including:
- Broken bones
- Falls and fractures
- Medication mistakes
- Serious infections (Sepsis, MRSA, C-Diff, E-coli, etc.)
- Concussions or other head injuries
- Bruising and lacerations
- Insect bites
- Injuries and assaults caused by fellow residents
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Failure to timely transfer to an emergency department
- Injuries from sexual abuse
It is also important to note that injuries do not always involve physical pain or harm. For instance, nursing home abuse could include financial exploitation in which the injury is purely financial. Additionally, a resident might sustain emotional injuries from nursing home abuse or neglect.
Warning Signs of Abuse or Neglect at a Nursing Home in Madison County
The warning signs of abuse or neglect at a nursing home can be obvious in some situations, or very subtle in other cases. Some common signs of abuse or neglect may include a resident who:
- Develops a fear of certain residents or employees
- Has a dirty room, clothing. or other personal items
- Has poor hygiene
- Develops a change in their personality
- Has an excessively hot or cold room
- Seems overly anxious or fearful
- Has injuries with no valid explanation
- Loses their financial assets or personal property
Perhaps the biggest warning sign for bedsores, however, is the presence of a foul odor that may resemble rotting or pungent meat. You may also notice cloth bandages in trash cans, blood soaked clothing or rags, and the use of special ointments and creams. Also, if your loved one in a facility is unable to move around on their own or is "bed-bound" then the likelihood of developing a bedsore is higher. Therefore, extra precautions need to be used.
It might be hard to believe that a loved one is being abused or neglected at a nursing home. But nursing home abuse happens, so it is important to understand the common warning signs and be willing to report potential abuse.
What to Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect in Metro-East St. Louis
If you suspect your loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse or neglect, it is important to act quickly and seek help. Simply speaking with your loved one may not be sufficient because they might be afraid of repercussions if they disclose abuse to you. You should work closely with the Department of Public Health and make a report of abuse or neglect. You may also call the Longterm Care Ombudsman in Illinois. But sadly, neither can do anything to obtain monetary compensation or help you and your family after an injury. This is what a private attorney is for.
There are very strict deadlines for filing a lawsuit against a negligent nursing home. CROSSROAD LEGAL, LLC is available 24/7 to take your call. You could be entitled to significant tax-free monetary compensation for injuries to yourself or a loved one. An attorney can provide you with a better understanding of your options and investigate any claims of abuse or neglect. Additionally, if our office accepts your case, we handle all of the upfront risks and costs associated with fighting for compensation, and we only get paid and reimbursed those expenses if we successfully obtain compensation for you and your family. So, you truly have nothing at all to lose. A free consultation is easy, and there is zero obligation.
It is important to take action as soon as possible if you suspect any type of nursing home abuse or neglect to prevent it from escalating. Call us at (618) 515-5555 to schedule a free confidential today.