Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuits: How Much Can You Sue For?

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It is a sad reality that elderly nursing home residents die every day as a result of abuse or negligence. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), 44% of nursing home residents interviewed said they had been abused. Additionally, 95% of residents reported they had been neglected themselves, or they had seen another resident being neglected.

Several nursing homes in the Chicago area have bad reputations because they treat residents poorly, and in some cases, that treatment causes the death of the elderly person. If your loved one has experienced abuse at the hands of their nursing home staff, they could be entitled to sue for compensation for the harm they suffered.

Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC can help you if you think your loved one is being abused or if you’ve lost a family member to abuse.

Are There Any Protections for Seniors in Nursing Homes?

It is easier now than ever before for a family in Chicago to seek compensation for suspected nursing home abuse.

In 2023, the Illinois legislature reworked the Nursing Home Care Act (NHCA) to give broader protections to the elderly in residential facilities. Under this updated law, nursing home residents have the right to be treated courteously by anyone providing care or medical services. The Act further prohibits residents from performing any labor or services for the facility unless the activity is part of a documented medical therapy.

Additionally, every nursing facility must have a written internal grievance procedure that specifies how complaints must be reported, provides a patient advocate if the resident needs one, and mandates a written response to a written grievance.

Another feature of the Act requires additional continuing education for nursing home employees.

Chicago nursing homes, elder care facilities, rehab centers, and other places that provide care for seniors are required to provide the bare minimum of care. The new legislation should boost that minimal level. However, if you have a loved one in a nursing home, you should be vigilant about checking in on them regularly to spot any signs of abuse right away.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home residents are more susceptible to abuse than the general population because they may be more physically and mentally fragile. The most common types of abuse include:

  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Financial abuse
  • Neglect
  • Abandonment

When Can I Sue a Nursing Home?

Due to overstaffing problems and the tendency of some residential facilities to try to cut corners, residents can be injured through abuse and could even die. If your loved one is being abused or if your loved one has died due to abuse, you may be entitled to seek compensation for the harm that was done to them. Nothing can make it as if the abuse never happened, nor can money replace someone’s life, but successful lawsuits can help prevent the abuse from happening to someone else.

What Must Be Proven in a Nursing Home Abuse Case?

When someone pursues compensation for nursing home abuse, they must prove that the abuse took place. That proof can be in the form of photographs of injuries, documentary evidence of financial abuse, or statements from the injured party.

Aside from proving that the abuse took place, the claimant must prove that someone performed the abuse. The responsible party could be a caregiver, another resident, the visitor of another resident, or the facility itself. To pursue compensation, the claimant must show:

  • The person or facility had a duty of care to protect and care for the resident
  • The person or facility breached that duty of care
  • The breach resulted in the abuse
  • The abuse resulted in losses to the resident, either physical, financial, or emotional

How Much Is My Case Worth?

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Without knowing the specifics of your particular situation, we can’t give you an idea about the potential value of your case. No amount of money can reverse the harm that has been done or replace your family member. Our firm will gather all the available evidence and assess the value of your claim. We’ll present a demand to the responsible party or their insurer for the amount you deserve. If no settlement can be reached, we’ll be prepared to take your case to trial.

Juries in Cook County are willing to order awards to plaintiffs because of nursing home abuse. The largest verdict handed down recently was for a whopping $5,500,000 when a patient who required continuous oxygen was placed in a room with no power. The family was visiting and realized the machine wasn’t working. They could not find any medical staff to relieve the patient’s severe medical distress. Tragically, the patient passed away after 20 minutes with no medical assistance or oxygen. This suit was so indefensible that the defendant’s attorney admitted the negligence without going to trial.

A nursing home in Cook County agreed to an $82,500 settlement when a resident died as the result of complications from staff members dropping her while moving her from her bed to a chair. This action violated the NHCA because the home did not use the proper lifting equipment.

In another Cook County case, a staff member sexually assaulted an 88-year-old resident, causing injury to both right and left thighs, cheek, and even her right eye. After her death, the family sued for failure to protect her from assault and won a $300,000 settlement.

The resident of a nursing home in Kane County won a $200,000 settlement when she fell and broke a hip while a staff member was helping her to the restroom. The suit claimed the nursing home failed to prevent the fall.

Get Help with Filing a Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit

The attorneys of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC have a history of protecting those who can’t protect themselves. If your loved one was abused in a nursing home, don’t try to handle it alone. Call the experienced team of Chicago nursing home abuse lawyers at Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC to fight on your behalf — you can be sure that the nursing home has a battalion of attorneys to protect their interests. We are here to protect your interests. Call us today at 312-346-8620 or contact us online for a free consultation about your case.

Written by Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC Last Updated : July 9, 2024