Placing a loved one in a nursing home, in someone else’s care, could be one of the most difficult decisions anyone could make. If your loved one gets injured in the care of a nursing home, it may be difficult to know your next steps.

Many may feel intimidated by the prospect of challenging the way a nursing home is handling their loved one’s care. However, the law is designed to give you the tools needed to protect your loved ones.

If your loved one has suffered injuries in the care of an assisted living facility, a Dolton nursing home abuse lawyer could help. A dedicated personal injury attorney could help you pursue justice for your elderly loved one and learn about how you could seek compensation on their behalf.

Legal Recourse for Nursing Home Abuse

In order to prove negligence in a care facility, the affected individual or a family member filing on their behalf must prove negligence. A Dolton nursing home abuse attorney could work to prove all the following elements of legal negligence:

  • Duty – the defendant had a duty of care towards the plaintiff or their family member
  • Breach – the defendant breached this duty by acting irresponsibly
  • Causation – the defendant’s breach was both a proximate cause and cause in fact of the plaintiff’s injury, such that the plaintiff’s injury would not have happened if the defendant did not do what they did and the damage was a foreseeable consequence of the defendant’s actions
  • Damages – the plaintiff suffered compensable damages

A plaintiff could bring a negligence claim against an individual staff member or against a nursing home itself. For instance, if the nursing home staff continuously fails to change a patient’s bandage to a degree that subsequently results in an infection, this could be grounds to bring a negligence claim.

The Statute of Limitations of Nursing Home Abuse Claims

There are strict guidelines individuals must follow when filing personal injury claims, including those related to nursing home neglect and abuse. For example, according to 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/13-202 individuals in Illinois must file their claim or settle out of court within two years of the injurious incident.

Failure to file a claim within this statute of limitations could make an individual ineligible to seek compensation from the responsible party. An experienced lawyer in Dolton could help an individual determine when to file their claim and ensure that it is filed on time.

Recoverable Damages in Dolton

Damages are the compensation that a court awards to an individual for their injuries, damages, or losses. There are two types of damages a person may be eligible to receive: economic damages and non-economic damages.

Economic damages—also known as actual damages—are the damages that an individual directly and measurably suffered which have a specific monetary value. For example, costs related to present and future medical expenses, hospital stays, rehabilitation, and surgical procedures would all qualify as actual damages.

Non-economic damages do not have a specific monetary value. These could include mental anguish, pain, and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other such intangible losses. A seasoned nursing home abuse lawyer in Dolton could help one calculate damages.

Punitive Damages

In certain cases, individuals may be able to recover punitive damages as well. These damages are awarded to punish the defendant for egregious or intentional actions and discourage them or anyone else from acting that way in the future.

In Illinois, a plaintiff may only receive punitive damages if they suffered actual damages, according to 735 ILCS 5/2-1115.05. The plaintiff must also show that the defendant acted with an “evil motive” or reckless indifference.

Speak to a Dolton Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

The harm from a reckless or indifferent nursing home can be incredibly debilitating and damaging to vulnerable residents. Fortunately, there is hope for those who want to fight for loved ones, as the law provides a means to ensure that this type of abuse does not happen to anyone else.

A Dolton nursing home abuse lawyer could stand by your side to help you or a loved one seek compensation for abuse or neglect a nursing home was responsible for causing. Call today to schedule a consultation.