Schwartz Injury Law


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Frequently Asked Questions about Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Illinois

What are the rights of Illinois nursing home residents?

Residents of nursing facilities that are covered under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act are entitled to the following rights:

  • The right to be free from abuse and neglect
  • Freedom of speech
  • Freedom of religion
  • Freedom from unlawful discrimination
  • The right to privacy in your medical and personal care program
  • The right to store your personal belongings in your room
  • The right to receive treatment from your personal doctor (at your own expense)
  • The right to refuse medical treatment
  • The right to be free from unreasonable restraint

What are the main reasons negligence and abuse occur in Illinois nursing homes?

Aging demographics have created higher patient loads in Chicago area nursing homes and throughout the country. This has led to severe staffing shortages, which creates conditions under which residents are exposed to numerous hazards. For example, inadequate staffing often means nursing homes do not properly screen their workers, creating the possibility of hiring staff with criminal backgrounds who are more prone to commit physical and sexual abuse. Nursing facilities have been very slow to respond to this crisis, and for this reason, abuse and neglect are occurring at alarming rates.

What are the common signs of nursing home abuse or neglect in Illinois?

If you suspect that a loved one is being abused or neglected in a Chicago area nursing home, there are several signs that may help confirm your suspicions. These include:

These signs and symptoms may point to elder abuse. However, they may also be an indication of other problems. If the caregivers and staff do not provide straight or substantiated answers for why these issues are occurring, it may be time to take action.

If I suspect nursing home abuse or neglect, what are my options?

There are three legal avenues you may pursue if you or a loved one is being abused or neglected at an Illinois nursing home. First of all, you may report it to the Illinois Department of Public Health by calling their 24-hour hotline at 800-252-4343. Second, you may file a civil lawsuit against the facility. Third, you may file a complaint with a local prosecutor to pursue criminal charges. You are not limited to choosing just one of these options; you may pursue all three avenues at the same time.

Who can file a lawsuit against a nursing home in Illinois?

In order to sue a nursing home, you must have standing to do so. In general, there are only three parties that have standing to file a lawsuit against an Illinois nursing facility:

  • The resident who has suffered injury due to neglect or abuse
  • The legal guardian of a nursing home resident who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to file a legal claim on their own
  • The personal representative of the estate of a resident who suffered wrongful death due to nursing home neglect or abuse

If you are unsure whether or not you have legal standing to file a claim against a nursing home, speak with an experienced nursing home injury attorney.

How can an Illinois nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer help me?

Cases involving elder abuse in nursing homes tend to have several complicating factors, many of which occur over an extended period of time. To get to the bottom of what really happened, it is important to have a skilled team of advocates who know how to review nursing home records and quickly identify important and often overlooked facts that point to neglect and abuse. At Schwartz Injury Law, we have extensive experience with these types of cases, and we have the skills, resources, and dedication to ensure that those who commit such egregious acts are held fully accountable.

I cannot afford an attorney. How can I file a claim?

Our nursing home neglect and abuse cases are taken on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay us legal fees if we win your case. If you choose to retain our services, there are no up-front legal costs, and we offer free, initial consultations.

Have additional questions?

For answers to all your nursing home abuse and neglect questions or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today at 312-535-4625. We serve clients in Chicago, Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Will County, Winnebago County, and throughout Illinois.

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