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IL elder abuse lawyerElderly people with dementia require more help with their daily activities than those without the condition. If you have a loved one with dementia, you may have decided to place him or her in a nursing home to be properly looked after. Unfortunately, nursing home residents who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease have a higher risk of suffering abuse. It is important to recognize the signs of nursing home abuse and take legal action if necessary.

Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse

When family members place their loved ones in nursing homes, they expect that nursing home staff will treat the resident with the respect and dignity they deserve. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse occurs, especially among residents with dementia. Common types of nursing home abuse include physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse.

Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home residents with dementia are more vulnerable to nursing home abuse because they often forget about the incidents or cannot communicate what happened. Be on the lookout for the following warning signs which may indicate your loved one is being abused:

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IL nursing home abuse lawyerIn the United States, it is not uncommon for families to move their older family members to nursing home facilities to help provide care. According to the latest data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were an estimated 15,600 nursing homes operating in the U.S. It takes a lot of trust to put a family member in a nursing home, which is why it can be heartbreaking if your family member becomes injured under their care. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, about half of all nursing home residents fall each year, with two-thirds of those residents falling two or more times throughout the year. Older adults have a higher chance of suffering serious injuries from slips or falls, especially those adults in nursing homes. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from a fall in a nursing home, you may be able to file a personal injury claim to recover costs associated with the injury.

Proving Fault for a Nursing Home Slip and Fall Injury

The majority of personal injury cases use the theory of negligence to prove a person at fault for another person’s injuries. In most cases, neither party is 100 percent at fault for the accident. As long as the person claiming damages is not more than 50 percent at fault for the incident, they can still pursue a personal injury claim. In some nursing home slip and fall incidents, it may not be completely the fault of the nursing home facility if a resident falls.

In many nursing home slip and fall cases, however, there are certain factors controlled by the facility that could potentially cause a slip or fall. To legally prove that the nursing home is at fault and was negligent, you must be able to prove that:

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IL brain injury lawyerMarch is National Brain Injury Awareness Month. It is important to recognize the common causes of brain injuries in an effort to treat and prevent these types of injuries from occurring in the first place. Although hitting your head can happen anywhere, there are certain factors that may increase the likelihood of this happening. For example, reckless driving can cause vehicle collisions or pedestrian accidents that result in severe head trauma. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) typically is caused by a sudden or violent blow or jolt to the head or neck. Mild traumatic brain injury can impact brain cells temporarily. More serious traumatic brain injury can result in bruising, bleeding, and tissue damage to the brain. These injuries can lead to long-term complications and even death.

The Common Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Studies show that falls are one of the leading causes of TBIs, followed by being struck by an object and being involved in a car accident. When an individual slips or trips and falls, they often hit their head on pavement or other hard surfaces. A slip and fall can occur because of unsafe conditions, such as debris, clutter, or uneven walkways. Property owners may be held liable for injuries if they knew about the hazards and did nothing to address or fix them.

Similarly, reckless actions or behavior by another motorist can cause an auto accident with injuries. From the sheer force of the impact, occupants in a vehicle can hit their heads on the car’s doors, dashboard, or windshield, directly causing a TBI. Drunk or distracted driving are leading causes of crashes. Drivers who speed or disobey traffic laws may be found negligent through a personal injury claim brought against them by an injured party.

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IL injury lawyerPosttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that is typically triggered as a victim or a witness of a devastating event. Symptoms can range from flashbacks to nightmares, and even debilitating anxiety. Although many people who suffer from PTSD have been involved in vehicle accidents or are victims of violent crimes, long-term care or assisted living residents can also develop PTSD over time. Nursing home abuse and neglect can leave a lasting effect on a patient, even leading to suicidal thoughts in some cases. A personal injury attorney can determine liability and hold negligent parties accountable for mental injuries such as PTSD.

Holding Liable Parties Accountable for Mental Injuries

When your relative reaches a point where they cannot live on their own, you entrust medical professionals and staff members to take care of them. Sadly, this is not always the case. A few of the ways that staff members can cause a patient to suffer from PTSD include performing the following acts:

  • Hitting, striking, slapping
  • Sexual harassment
  • Sexual assault
  • Berating, demeaning, criticizing
  • Neglecting to provide adequate nutrition by withholding food or water
  • Failure to assist with basic hygiene care
  • Stealing money from a resident

Elder abuse is often underreported in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes. In some cases, abuse and neglect occur because workers are understaffed and overworked. In other instances, nursing homes may fail to properly vet staff members and hire someone without doing a criminal background check, resulting in employing someone who has a history of abuse charges or convictions against them.

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IL injury lawyerYou may have heard that raising children “takes a village.” That saying often refers to the fact that parenting is hard work and parents sometimes rely on the help of others in caring for their family. If both parents work, they typically need to find childcare. This can come in the form of relatives, neighborhood friends, private caregivers, or daycare centers. Workers at a daycare center typically must go through a background check before being hired. This process reveals important information by verifying that an individual is who they claim to be, level of education, employment history, and if they have a criminal record. A background check helps ensure that an employee is not only qualified but trustworthy as well, which can protect children who are in their care. Sadly, accidents or abuse may still occur, but a personal injury attorney can help parents pursue compensation if their child was harmed at a daycare center.

History Can Repeat Itself

A comprehensive background check must include a fingerprint check of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) database to ensure that the daycare provider does not have a history of convictions that could potentially put a child’s health and safety at risk. As an example, a person who has anger management issues with a previous arrest for assault may be likely to repeat that behavior again. In some situations, if an unstable worker becomes frustrated, he or she may take it out on the children under his or her care. Similarly, an individual who has a substance abuse problem may come to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol, negatively affecting his or her reaction time or judgment, causing a child to suffer an injury under his or her watch.

Certain background checks for employment can reveal criminal offenses at the county, state, and federal levels. A few of the types of crimes that may be uncovered include:

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