Chicago, IL personal injury attorney Ronald Kalish talks about what you should immediately do if you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect.
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If you suspect that a loved one or yourself is suffering neglect or abuse at a nursing home, the first thing you should do is do what you can to stop the abuse, whether that means calling the police if you think there is intentional harm being caused to you or a loved one. The police will get involved. If there are criminal charges that can brand brought because of somebody either physically abusing or sexually abusing you in a nursing home, that’s the first step, is to stop the harm if you can.
The second step is to contact the various state agencies that will investigate these kinds of cases. And we can provide you with that information if you call. But there are state agencies that have the ability to go out to these nursing homes and do an immediate investigation, take statements from staff and be on site to determine if there was abuse or neglect.
The other thing you should do if you suspect abuse or neglect is to report that to the administrators of that nursing facility. Each nursing home has a director of nursing, each nursing home has a nursing home administrator. And you should report that neglect to those people immediately.
And ultimately if you think that you’ve been harmed because of nursing home neglect, whether it be from a fall that occurs at a nursing home, whether it is from simply being neglected in terms of your nutrition, your hydration, or even being neglected in cleanliness or if you have developed bedsores, what are called decubitus ulcers, those are sores that developed if you are not being adequately turned and repositioned and adequately hydrated and nourished. If you have any of those occur to you or a loved one, you should contact us and allow us to continue the investigation to see if it’s something that we can help you with.
In Illinoois if you are abused or neglected in a nursing home, the statute provides that attorney’s fees are the responsibility of the offending nursing home. So that’s important to keep in mind. Even if your injuries are not substantial and you think it may not be worthwhile financially to have to pay a lawyer a contingency fee, the law understands that. And because the elderly, the disabled, people in nursing homes are the most vulnerable, the law encourages people to bring that to the attention of lawyers so much so that if there is abuse or neglect, the nursing home is responsible for paying those attorney’s fees for you.