Chicago Nursing Home Resident to Resident Abuse Attorneys

The most notorious nursing home abuse cases tend to occur at the hands of the staff, but abusive actions from fellow residents frequently take place as well. A 2014 study showed that approximately one in five nursing home residents were verbally or physically abused by other residents.

This type of abuse transpires in a variety of forms, including verbal and psychological harassment and physical and sexual aggression. These behaviors can result in significant affliction to an already vulnerable victim. Sometimes the abusive resident is not aware they are harming others due to a cognitive disorder or mental illness, but the nursing home is still responsible for protecting its population by being aware of and reporting abuse, whether it is intentional or not.

If your loved one has been placed in an abusive situation with another nursing home resident because the facility has failed to intervene or offer sufficient protection, you have a right to hold the administration accountable. The attorneys at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC have vast experience handling this type of litigation, and we will pursue the justice and resolution you and your loved one deserve. Take action today by calling us at (312) 346-8620.

Why You Need a Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC Nursing Home Resident to Resident Abuse Lawyer

It can be very upsetting to find out that your loved one has undergone abuse at the nursing home that you have trusted with their care. You are probably feeling overwhelmed and unsure of how to handle the situation. Reporting the abuse to the facility management or a state regulatory agency is a wise place to start, but you should also seek legal advice. You need to be informed about what kind of legal action you have available to protect your loved one from enduring further abuse and whether there is an opportunity to seek financial compensation for their suffering.

When you work with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney from Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, you will have a guide and an advocate to see you through the legal process. Our team knows that every nursing home abuse case is unique, and we treat every client with compassion as we learn the details of your circumstances and strive for the right approach to meet your needs. We help you understand what your rights are, and we pursue justice for your situation.

How Resident to Resident Abuse Happens

Abuse among nursing home residents occurs for a variety of reasons, but according to the 2014 study, the type of nursing home residents who tend to mistreat their fellow residents are more likely to be cognitively disabled, yet physically capable of moving around the facility. Since residents have varying levels of physical and cognitive ability, some are more equipped to take advantage of those who are unable to protect themselves.

The nursing homes with higher numbers of resident to resident abuse cases have the following shared conditions:

  • Lack of staff to provide adequate oversight and intervention
  • Overpopulation of residents crowded together
  • Undertrained staff who see residents mistreating each other as normal

Because many nursing home residents are not capable of controlling their own behavior, circumstances can provoke a resident to become abusive to others. This includes agitation from boredom and lack of social interaction, as well as mental conditions, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia, which can cause impatience, verbal outbursts, and aggressiveness.

Common Types of Resident to Resident Abuse

Resident to resident abuse can take a variety of forms and cause different types of harm. The most common types of abuse include the following:

Verbal abuse: Hostile behavior, such as yelling, bullying, mocking, cursing, insulting, intimidating, or threatening another resident can be classified as verbal abuse.

Physical abuse: Altercations that include hitting, scratching, biting, kicking, grabbing, pushing, spitting on, or throwing objects at another resident are all forms of physical abuse. Even mild physical contact can cause serious injury to a frail person.

Sexual abuse: Any type of physical or verbal action of a sexual nature without consent is sexual abuse. This includes inappropriate touching, kissing, exposing oneself, or other unwanted sexual dialogue or advances.

Invasion of privacy and property: Privacy and the security of personal possessions are rights nursing home residents are entitled to. Residents should not enter others’ rooms uninvited or use, steal, or destroy property that does not belong to them.

Emotional abuse: Psychological consequences can be challenging to identify, but emotional pain or suffering often result when nursing home residents experience or witness the types of abuse listed above.

Who Can Be Held Responsible?

Nursing homes are legally obligated to ensure their residents are protected from foreseeable harm in an abuse-free environment, and they are ultimately responsible for any negative encounters that occur.

Since many nursing home residents are unable to defend and protect themselves, and others lack control over their conduct, the facility’s administration must have relevant policies in place and be diligent in preventing abusive actions by its residents.

There are measures that nursing homes can take to reduce the risk of resident to resident abuse, such as:

  • Hire adequate staff.
  • Refrain from overbooking the facility.
  • Train staff on how to identify, intervene, and resolve conflict among residents.
  • Identify residents who have a history of violent behavior.
  • Supervise interactions between residents.
  • Respond promptly to dangerous situations.

Since nursing homes are entrusted with the care and well-being of their residents, preventing resident to resident abuse is their duty. If they fail to keep residents from harming each other, it can often be because of their own negligence, and they may be held financially liable for the injuries suffered.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the most common questions we get about resident-on-resident abuse in nursing homes include:

How do you prove liability in a resident-on-resident abuse claim?

Proving liability in a nursing home abuse case can be a challenge, especially if the injured party can’t testify on their own behalf due to a mental illness like dementia or Alzheimer’s. However, a knowledgeable attorney will know how to find the evidence you need to prove your claim. Some of the evidence that’s used in these cases includes:

  • The injured party’s medical records
  • Testimony from third parties who witnessed the abuse
  • Testimony from expert witnesses
  • Records from the nursing home, such as any logs that they kept about residents’ behavior
  • Footage from any surveillance cameras at the facility

How long do I have to file a lawsuit after being injured due to resident-on-resident abuse?

The deadline for most personal injury claims is set by Illinois’ statute of limitations, and for most claims, you have two years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit. That said, in some cases, the deadline can be extended if the injury isn’t discovered until a while after it occurred. In some of these instances, the deadline is two years from the date the injury was discovered. This may apply in your case, especially if the injured party has a degenerative mental illness and has difficulty communicating. A lawyer can tell you more about what time limits might apply in your case.

What does it cost to hire a lawyer to represent me in my resident-on-resident abuse claim?

To make sure anyone who needs an attorney has equal access to the legal system, we work on a contingency basis at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC. Instead of paying us any fees upfront, we will advance you all of the costs related to your case. We will collect a portion of whatever compensation you receive for your case, but only if we help you win your case. If we don’t help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries, you don’t owe us any fees.

What could I be compensated for in my resident-on-resident abuse claim?

Illinois allows the victims of resident-on-resident abuse in a nursing home to claim compensation for many different kinds of injuries and other losses. The same is true if you file a claim on behalf of a family member in a nursing home who’s been injured. Some things you could receive compensation for include:

  • The cost of any medical treatment you need due to your injuries, such as hospital stays, doctor’s visits, medications, physical therapy, lab work, diagnostic imaging (X-rays, MRIs, etc.), and transportation to your appointments. This also potentially includes the cost of any future care you may need.
  • The physical pain and suffering caused by the injuries you’ve suffered.
  • Any mental or emotional anguish caused by your injuries, such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, or a diminished quality of life
  • Punitive damages if the evidence shows the nursing home was especially reckless in their conduct or deliberately caused you harm in some way

Get Legal Help on Behalf of Your Loved One

If you suspect that your loved one in a nursing home was left unprotected and has been a victim of resident to resident abuse, you need guidance from a nursing home abuse lawyer in order to protect their legal rights and seek the compensation they deserve. Contact Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC today at (312) 346-8620, and let’s discuss your situation and the option of filing a claim. One of our experienced nursing home abuse attorneys is ready to assist you.