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Was your loved one the victim of nursing home abuse? Call us at (312) 346-8620 today.
At Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, we have over 50 years of experience pursuing legal action against nursing homes and their employees. When you hire us, we will fight for your loved one’s rights and seek the justice they deserve.
Abuse or neglect that occurs at a nursing home is negligence. Negligence is the failure of one party to provide a reasonable degree of care to another. When a nurse, assistant, or another employee does not do their job correctly, negligent patient care can result.
It’s hard for Alzheimer’s patients who are victims of abuse to advocate for themselves. They might forget what happened or be unable to recall the perpetrator’s name. In severe cases, they’re unable to communicate at all. The Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC can advocate on their behalf to make sure their rights are preserved.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. It affects memory, language, and thought. Memory loss is one of the first symptoms people notice. As the disease progresses, they can have difficulty with speech, judgment, and performing routine tasks.
The most common symptoms include:
There still isn’t a definitive cause of Alzheimer’s; however, there are some risk factors researchers believe could increase the chance of developing it:
Patients with Alzheimer’s require assistance with their daily activities, including self-care. Staff members are responsible for helping their patients with routine tasks, ensuring the facility is clean and safe. They are to provide medical treatment when necessary. An error or deliberate act of mistreatment could result in severe injuries to the patient.
Alzheimer’s nursing home residents may become victims of the following types of abuse:
Physical abuse – The intentional use of force to cause pain, harm, or death. The most common warning signs include:
Emotional abuse – Causing emotional or psychological distress. The most common warning signs include:
Sexual abuse – Forced and unwanted sexual acts. The most common warning signs include:
Neglect – Failure to provide adequate care. The most common warning signs include:
If you discover someone has abused your loved one while they were an Alzheimer’s patient at a nursing home, you should take immediate legal action. The sooner you begin working on your case, the sooner you can recover compensation from the at-fault party.
The facility and its employees are required to provide a safe place for their residents. Any failure to do so is a form of negligence and they could be liable for injuries that occur. It is your legal right to file an insurance claim or lawsuit against those who caused your loved one harm and seek the justice they deserve.
Report the incident. Tell someone in management what happened. Complete an incident report with detailed information, such as dates the abuse occurred, names of the abusers, location of the incident, and injuries caused. In severe situations, it might be necessary to contact local law enforcement and file a police report if you want to press criminal charges.
Seek medical care. Bring your loved one to the doctor for an immediate evaluation of their injuries. Be sure to make sure they attend any recommended follow up appointments. Do not stop treatment until they make a full recovery, or their doctors place them at maximum medical improvement.
Transfer your loved one. Move them to a different nursing home or assisted living facility to get them away from their abuser. If you can’t find another place you can trust, it might be best to move them into your home or a family member’s home for now.
Talk to witnesses. If any staff members or other residents saw the abuse, write down their names and phone numbers. They can become crucial witnesses if your case goes to trial, and they may need to testify.
Gather evidence. Keep any evidence relevant to the case. Medical records, prescriptions, and other documents can help prove the injuries your loved one sustained.
Hire a lawyer. Contact Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC immediately, and we will help you with your case.
In some situations, the nursing home could be held liable for any abuse or neglect on the part of the employees. These facilities must ensure the people they hire are qualified, experienced, and understand procedures. Actions taken by nursing homes that can lead to abuse include:
Sometimes, an individual can be held liable for the harm they caused to a resident. Nurses and caregivers must provide every patient with the right medications, prompt treatment of injuries, assistance with hygiene, and other tasks. Failure in these duties could result in injuries.
Nurses and caregivers can be held liable in any of the following situations:
Your loved one deserves to recover compensation for the damages they incurred. Damages are the total losses suffered after an accident or injury. They come in two major subcategories: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages refer to expenses, such as:
Noneconomic damages are intangible losses, such as:
When you file an insurance claim, the insurance adjuster will face the challenge of determining a fair settlement amount for your loved one. Since it isn’t that easy to calculate noneconomic damages, they might consider some of these contributing factors of the case:
If you decide you want to sue the nursing home or staff member for their participation in the abuse against your loved one, there’s a strict deadline you must follow, known as a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations in Illinois is two years. That means you have two years from the abuse date to file your lawsuit. If the deadline passes, you could lose your right to pursue legal action.
You and your lawyer will choose a legal theory to use in your case against the nursing home or employee. Negligence is a common legal theory. There are five elements you must prove existed at the time the abuse occurred:
Your mind is likely spinning thinking of all the things you should know or do to help the person you care for who’s been abused. Here are some of the questions we get about Alzheimer’s abuse cases at our practice:
In order to give everyone equal access to high-quality legal representation, we work on a contingency fee basis at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC. This means that instead of requiring any fees upfront, we will cover all the costs of your case. Once we help you get the compensation you deserve, we collect a percentage of the money you receive. However, you don’t owe us any money unless we win your case. If we lose, you don’t owe us anything.
While the statute of limitations on most personal injury claims is two years from the date of the injury in Illinois, there are a few circumstances that allow for the deadline to be extended. If the injury isn’t found right away, the deadline can sometimes be extended to two years from the date the injury is discovered.
Given that many Alzheimer’s patients have difficulty communicating, the abuse they’ve suffered may not be inherently obvious, and their families may not immediately realize what’s happened. An Illinois nursing home abuse lawyer can tell you more about whether an extension of the statute of limitations applies in your case.
According to a report from the Illinois Department on Aging’s Adult Protective Services program, there were 21,348 reports of abuse, neglect, self-neglect, and financial exploitation in the 2019 fiscal year. This is an increase of 4,841 reports compared with the 2018 fiscal year. Here are a few other findings from the report:
Alzheimer’s abuse claims are some of the most challenging personal injury cases we see at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC because many of the victims have difficulty speaking in their own defense. Without testimony from the victim, it can be hard to demonstrate how the nursing home is liable for the abuse. However, a good nursing home abuse lawyer will find ways around this obstacle. Some of the evidence that can be used to establish liability in an Alzheimer’s abuse case includes:
Since opening in 1970, Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC has been able to recover millions of dollars for our clients. When you hire us, we will craft a legal strategy that gets you and your family the maximum available compensation. You can depend on our team of professionals to provide you with personalized attention throughout your entire case.
We will use every resource at our disposal and our knowledge of nursing home abuse cases to ensure your loved one does not suffer any further. Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC will fight for justice, so they can recover from their injuries.
If your loved one was the victim of nursing home abuse, call us at (312) 346-8620 today to schedule your initial consultation.