Champaign Nursing Home Emotional Abuse Lawyers
For many families, entering their elderly loved into residence at a nursing home facility offers relief in knowing that they will receive the ongoing care and comfort needed. These facilities are trusted with the wellbeing of their residents, but this trust is sometimes misplaced as underpaid and overworked employees actually engage in abuse of their wards.
Nursing home residents have a right to live free of abuse and degradation, and a nursing home which deprives them of this right should be held accountable for its violation of this covenant. If you or someone you love has suffered emotional abuse from a nursing home employee, contact Spiros Law, P.C., at (217) 328-2828 for a free consultation with our experienced Champaign nursing home emotional abuse attorneys.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse occurs when caretakers cause harm to the residents of long-term care facilities. This abuse can take many forms and is common in nursing homes across the country.
According to the CDC, there are six different types of abuse in nursing homes:
- Emotional abuse
- Physical Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Financial Abuse
Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes
Emotional abuse in nursing homes occurs when a caregiver causes a resident emotional pain or distress. It can be verbal or non-verbal and is one of the more difficult types of abuse to detect since there are no outward signs of its occurrence.
Examples of Emotional Abuse
Nursing home residents are particularly vulnerable to abuse at the hands of their caregivers due to their complete dependency and comparative lack of engagement with people beyond the facility. A malicious or impatient nursing home employee may engage in a variety of emotionally abusive behaviors directed at their residents, including the following:
- Threats of violence
- Verbal insults and degradation
- Forced isolation
- Emotional manipulation
- Ignoring requests for help
Any kind of mistreatment at the hands of professionals who are paid to provide care and comfort is absolutely unconscionable and should be met with legal action.
Signs and Symptoms of Emotional Abuse
Since emotional abuse in nursing homes leaves no visible injury, recognizing the signs and symptoms is key to stopping and preventing it. Look for these signs of emotional abuse in an elderly family member:
- They appear distressed or scared
- They avoid eye contact
- They withdraw from social contact
- You notice sudden changes in their diet
- There are sudden changes in their sleep schedule
- They appear frightened when caretakers are present
- They don’t want to be left alone
- They attempt to injure themselves or others
Many elderly care residents are afraid to report abuse of any type because they fear retaliation, but those at highest risk are the ones who can’t report the abuse because they are physically unable to do so.
Steps to Take if You Spot Emotional Abuse in a Nursing Home
If you notice signs of emotional abuse in an elderly family member or nursing home resident, it’s important to take action quickly. It’s impossible to tell how long the abuse has been occurring. Here are some concrete steps you can take to keep your family member safe and stop the abuse from happening:
- Inform the administration. Let the facility’s managers know that you’ve spotted signs of abuse. Give them as much information about it as you can, including the employee or employees committing the acts and what type of abuse is occurring. Find out how they plan to deal with it and make sure action is taken.
- Inform the Ombudsman or Family Council. Most senior care facilities have an Ombudsman, a representative who acts as a liaison between the residents and the facility administrators, and a Family Council, a group of family members of residents that acts as a unified voice to communicate concerns to management. If the administrators do not act quickly to stop the abuse, the ombudsman and family council can help you take steps to make sure your concerns are noted and addressed.
- Remove your loved one from the facility. If the abuse continues and neither the ombudsman nor administrators are helping to stop it, the next logical step is to remove your family member from the care facility entirely. You should inform authorities like Champaign police and Illinois Adult Protective Services that abuse is occurring.
- File a lawsuit. If you have proof that abuse was occurring and that the facility’s management did not do enough to stop it, it’s time to retain legal counsel and file a claim for damages.
Do I Need an Attorney for My Nursing Home Emotional Abuse Case?
You’re certainly able to file a claim with the facility’s insurance company on your own, but there are several ways having a good attorney to assist with your claim can help.
We know the law. Hiring a personal injury attorney with experience in nursing home emotional abuse cases means we bring all their knowledge and experience along. We’ve worked with injury claims of all types, and we’re familiar with relevant Illinois statutes and case law. When we put that knowledge to work for you and your family, we have a better chance of getting you compensation than you do working on your own.
Reputation is important. A demand letter from an individual will carry less weight than a demand letter from a reputable personal injury firm. When insurance companies see you’ve hired a lawyer, they know they’ll have to work harder to deny your claim for compensation.
We can sue. If you file an injury claim for emotional abuse in a nursing home, but the insurance company denies it or offers a paltry settlement, you can try to negotiate more compensation but are unlikely to succeed. Hiring an attorney brings with it the threat of a lawsuit if the insurance company doesn’t approve your claim.
We may be able to get you more. Hiring a lawyer isn’t just about appearances. There’s data to suggest that having an attorney can better your chances of getting compensation by 40% and get you more compensation than not hiring one at all.
Why Choose Spiros Law, P.C. for My Nursing Home Emotional Abuse Case?
Spiros Law, P.C. has a proven track record of assisting their clients with getting compensation for injuries since 2005. We take the time to develop a relationship with our clients, and our entire team assists in managing each case. We pride ourselves on keeping an open line of communication with each client, so you’re always informed about the latest developments surrounding your injury claim.
We are active in Champaign and the surrounding communities. We understand that our communities are only as strong as the people that support them, so we donate our time and resources to keeping vital community organizations and charities operating.
The most important reason you should consider Spiros Law, P.C. for your nursing home abuse claim is that we get results. We’ve helped residents in Champaign and across southern Illinois obtain over $100 million in compensation, and though we can’t guarantee success, we can put that same successful team to work for you and your family.
If you or your loved one has been subjected to abuse by their caretakers at a nursing home facility, you are likely entitled to compensation. Contact the skilled and knowledgeable Champaign nursing home emotional abuse lawyers of Spiros Law, P.C., by calling (217) 328-2828 to learn more about your legal options.