When you place your elderly parents in a nursing home, you do so with peace of mind they will be taken care of as their mental/physical faculties fail. That is the duty of care these facilities have to uphold according to the law and if they neglect this law, they can be held accountable for their actions.
Unfortunately, these cases are more common than we realize because most care facilities are understaffed and many don’t screen employees before hiring them. As a result, the elderly and helpless residents get stuck with caregivers who are not experienced enough to take care of their unique needs, leading to serious injuries and neglect.
However, this does not excuse the degree of care nursing homes should maintain as according to the law. Any breaches in that care can be held up in court and the facility can be sued for damages. There are several legal ways you can prove nursing home facilities are guilty. You will need to prove:
- The nursing staff breached their care contract by violating the duty of care they were supposed to maintain.
- The resident suffered under their care.
- The nursing home did something they shouldn’t have or failed to do something they should have, resulting in injury or suffering by the resident.
- The nursing home failed to monitor staff and provide adequate security to its residents.
- The nursing home failed to conduct enough background checks of its staff.
- The nursing home staff failed to use equipment appropriately due to lack of training or gross negligence.
If the senior resident has been abused by members of the care facility, you will have to prove the specifics of the harm they suffered. This includes physical/mental pain and suffering, the emotional distress they went through and the cost of the treatment the resident went through to recover from the abuse and neglect.
Some documentation that can prove useful in such cases includes:
- Pictures of the bruises and injuries suffered by the resident.
- Pictures of the medication that were prescribed or given to the resident.
- Diaries maintained by the resident or by their close family members.
Besides compensatory damages, under certain circumstances – the court can also award punitive damages. To really strengthen you case, bring an expert witness in such as a doctor who specializes in treating elderly patients and who can prove the injuries the resident suffered were due to neglect.
Elderly parents and grandparents often suffer in silence in nursing homes because they don’t want their families to worry or be a burden. If you think they are behaving differently or appear reserved and drawn in, you should start your investigation ASAP and hire an attorney from the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens. We can give you a free, honest, no-obligation consultation, which can give you a clear picture of your case. We represent clients in Chicago, Waukegan, Libertyville, Woodstock and Antioch, IL so get in touch with us today.