Chicago Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Lawyer
Did you know that Illinois has more nursing home abuse cases than any other state in our nation? Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is rampant in Illinois, with more confirmed physical and sexual abuse cases than even the biggest states, like Texas and California.
If you have a loved one in an Illinois nursing home, this may come as a shock. How do you know if your loved one is in a good facility, or one with critical violations of neglect and abuse?
Levin & Perconti offers you a way to find out – and a way to take immediate action if your loved one has been harmed. We have represented hundreds of individuals and families in making claims against abusive facilities and have helped them receive much-deserved compensation for their suffering.
Chicago and Cook County Nursing Homes
At Levin & Perconti, we closely follow all instances of nursing home abuse throughout Chicago and Cook County. When considering nursing homes for your loved ones, it is important to look at the track record of each home. Review our list of nursing homes with past incidences of misconduct and violations.
Real Results: Battling Nursing Home Abuse
We’re helping Illinois residents combat nursing home abuse and getting multi-million-dollar results. Our founder, Steven Levin, is a nationally-known attorney and public speaker, and has been a pioneer in reshaping nursing home litigation since the 1970s. Our goal is to protect the citizens of Illinois from harmful activity like nursing home abuse and neglect.
against a nursing home for failure to manage a nursing home resident’s behavior which caused a shoving match, fall, hip fracture and death of a 79 year old fellow nursing home resident.
for a 74-year-old nursing home resident who died as a result of a beating he received when the nursing home placed a younger resident with violent tendencies in his room.
for an 82-year-old nursing home resident who developed bed sores so severe that they caused an infection in the bone; she died as a result of complications from these injuries.
Facts About Levin & Perconti:
- More than $660 million in total client compensations
- Over $160 million in nursing home verdicts and settlements
- Achieved a record-setting $3 million bed sore settlement for an Illinois family
- On the nation’s best lawyer lists, including the Illinois Top 100 and Best Lawyers in America
Why are Illinois Nursing Homes the Worst in the Nation?
This is a question we often hear from our clients. While the answer is complex, it’s primarily due to the high number of for-profit facilities that put profit ahead of patient care.
More than 1,200 of the nation’s 15,600 nursing homes are in Illinois, providing care to 100,000 Illinois residents. Since 70% of these are for-profit facilities, they are under pressure of intense competition and desire to make a profit.
Nursing home operators can make choices that put patients at risk, like:
- Reducing staffing levels
- Hiring inexperienced workers and failing to train them
- Not following industry guidelines or Illinois laws
- Ignoring reports of abuse and neglect
- Glossing over all these problems when talking to clients and family members
Cost-cutting and unethical practices create a cascade of negative effects within nursing homes. Often, the patients themselves are unable to grasp the extent of the issue. When an event of abuse or neglect occurs, they may not be able to communicate it to loved ones. We can’t let them suffer in silence.
What Does Nursing Home Abuse Look Like?
Abuse, neglect and negligence in nursing homes can take many forms. The people who cause this harm to your loved ones may or may not intend to do so, but the result is the same: harm to an innocent patient.
In the worst cases, nursing home abuse leads to life-threatening injuries and wrongful death. The Illinois inspector general’s office identified 134 cases last year that resulted in emergency room visits for sexual and physical abuse. In 38 of those cases, no police report was ever filed – which is required by Medicare and federal statute.
Levin & Perconti has represented clients in cases about:
- Bed sores, pressure sores, and decubitus ulcers
- Malnutrition and dehydration
- Clogged breathing tubes
- Medication errors
- Physical restraints or chemical restraints
- Wandering and elopement from facilities
- Elder abuse
- Sexual assault
- Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia
- Whistleblower Hotline issues
Is My Loved One Being Abused?
It can be hard to know whether someone you love is being abused or neglected in an Illinois assisted living facility. We’ll help you understand common situations and signs that something is very wrong.
Common Nursing Home Situations That may Indicate Neglect/Abuse Include:
Frequent slips and falls. Nursing homes should assist their clients with movement, as needed. Constant falls may be a sign of neglect. Facility staff member may also drop clients and claim they fell.
Unexplained fractures or bruises. If family members are hearing vague explanations about injuries, with no medical diagnosis to back them up, beware. The patient may have underlying conditions or may be the victim of abuse.
Missing or incorrect medication. Medication errors are widespread in nursing homes. These facilities should take reports of missing or mismanaged medication very seriously, but this isn’t always the case.
Bedsores. Turning and repositioning people with limited mobility is part of proper patient care. If your loved one has bedsores or ulcers, this can be a red flag that something is wrong.
Malnourished or dehydrated. When nursing homes reduce staff, it can affect patients’ ability to receive food and water in timely manner. Malnourishment and dehydration can quickly become a serious health hazard.
Silence and reluctance. Sometimes patients have a limited ability to communicate, so they can only tell you about abuse/neglect through silence. In other cases, they may become suddenly emotionally withdrawn. Take these signs seriously.
New STD diagnosis. Sexual abuse cases are sometimes revealed through a new diagnosis of a sexually transmitted disease in a nursing home patient.
Requests to change legal documents. If a nursing home patient suddenly decides to change their will, power of attorney, or other financial and legal documents, this may be cause for concern. Is someone pressuring them to make the change?
Poor COVID-19 Practices. The COVID-19 pandemic further highlighted systemic issues in nursing homes, especially a lack of infection control measures. Facilities across the state reported high numbers of resident cases and deaths. In the early months of the pandemic, about 60% of COVID-19 deaths were among nursing home residents. Levin & Perconti is pursuing COVID-19 wrongful death cases against multiple Illinois facilities; our allegations include misappropriation of federal funds, poor infection control measures, ineffective hygiene practices, standard of care violations, and more.
What Laws Protect Nursing Home Patients?
There are numerous laws on the books to protect nursing home and assisted living patients. Unfortunately, facilities don’t always follow the letter of the law, and skirt the rules behind the scenes.
At Levin & Perconti, we’ll help you understand nursing home laws and determine how they relate to your individual situation. Fortunately, our country and state have powerful laws to protect the rights of nursing home patients.
Federal and Illinois Laws Pertaining to Nursing Homes
The U.S. Nursing Home Reform Act was enacted in 1987 to protect the physical, mental, and psychosocial health of nursing home patients. It defines things like “skilled care” and “quality of life,” so there is clarity in what nursing homes should be providing.
The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act adds state laws that regulate all licensed facilities. This law gives all Illinois residents clearly-defined legal rights.
Nursing homes in Illinois are licensed, regulated, inspected, and certified by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA).
The IDPH Bureau of Long-term Care is responsible for making sure nursing homes comply with the provisions of the state Nursing Home Care Act. In addition, they conduct certification surveys to ensure facilities receiving Medicaid or Medicare money always abide by applicable federal regulations.
The Rights of Illinois Nursing Home Patients Include:
Financial freedom: “A resident shall be permitted to manage his own financial affairs.” (210 ILCS 45/2-102)
Personal property rights: “A resident shall be permitted to retain and use or wear his personal property.” (210 ILCS 45/2-103)
Right to privacy: Residents shall be permitted respect and privacy in their personal care program. (210 ILCS 45/2-105) All residents shall be permitted “unimpeded, private, and uncensored” communication with respect to mail, telephone calls, or in-person visits. (210 ILCS 45/2-108)
Freedom from restraint: Residents have the right to be free from unnecessary chemical and physical restraints. (210 ILCS 45/2-106) Residents shall not be given unnecessary drugs. Further, residents shall not be given excessive doses or medicated for an excessive duration or given drugs without sufficient monitoring. (210 ILCS 45/2-106.1)
Use of monitoring devices: Residents and their families may conduct authorized electronic monitoring of the resident’s room via electronic monitoring devices. (210 ILCS 45/2-115)
Entitlement to medical care: “Patients are entitled to see their own physician at their own expense or via their health insurance.” (210 ILCS 45/2-104)
Refusal of medical care: “Every resident shall be permitted to refuse medical treatment and to know the consequences of such action, unless such refusal would be harmful to the health and safety of others and such harm is documented by a physician.” (210 ILCS 45/2-104)
Access to medical records: “Every resident, resident’s guardian, or parent if the resident is a minor shall be permitted to inspect and copy all of their medical records.” (210 ILCS 45/2-104)
Protected status: “No resident shall be deprived of any rights, benefits, or privileges guaranteed by law, the constitution of the State of Illinois, or the Constitution of the United States solely on account of his status as a resident of a facility.” (210 ILCS 45/2-101)
How Does Levin & Perconti Help?
It can be difficult and traumatic to discover that you or a loved one is experiencing abuse or neglect. Our #1 priority is guiding you through this challenging time, to protect and reimburse you for harm that is not your fault.
Levin & Perconti Will:
- Research inspection reports from state and federal regulators
- Request medical records from health care providers
- Investigate bills, billing procedures and Medicare payments
- Ensure access to charts and files from nursing homes, even if they’re reluctant
- Facilitate photographs of injuries and conditions at the nursing home
- Help you understand standards of care that facilities must meet by law
- File lawsuits and negotiate settlements, depending on our situation and preferences
- Take you seriously and support you during the entire process
Nursing Home Cases won by Levin & Perconti:
in G. & T. for T. v. Clare Oaks Levin & Perconti helped a patient receive a $4.1 million dollar jury verdict. An 85-year-old woman was injured in a nursing home when her medications were mismanaged. It was the highest Illinois Nursing Home Care Act verdict since 2006.
in S.A. v. HCR Manor Care Homewood We helped the family of a deceased 57-year-old nursing home resident who suffocated due to negligence in monitoring a tracheostomy tube. The $2.9 million verdict against a suburban Homewood nursing home was a record at the time, later surpassed again by Levin & Perconti.
in S.G. for W.G. v. Southpoint Nursing and Rehabilitation Center This was a $2.7 million verdict for a 67-year-old man who died from complications from a head injury related to a fall at a nursing home on the south side of Chicago.
If you believe that a loved one may be the victim of nursing home neglect or elder abuse in Chicago or throughout Illinois, take action and immediately contact Levin & Perconti online or call us at 877-374-1417 or 312-332-2872 to set up a free consultation with an experienced Chicago elder abuse lawyer.
Request a Free Consultation
Our consultations are free, confidential, convenient, and respectful of your difficult experience. No other legal team in Illinois has a track record like ours. We’re ready to help you recover from nursing home abuse and neglect and get the reimbursement you deserve.