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Helping Nursing Home Abuse Victims And Their Families

When people entrust a nursing home with the care of their elderly loved one, they believe that they will receive the kind of gentle care they deserve in their final years. However, the reality all too often is just the opposite. Victimization of the elderly in these facilities is a tragic occurrence. If a family member has suffered while in the care of a nursing home, please contact Mark L. Karno & Associates, LLC, for a free case evaluation. Call us today at 312-574-3362.

Types Of Nursing Home Injuries

Our attorneys are dedicated to seeking justice for those elderly who suffer neglect, abuse and other injuries at the hands of their caregivers.

Click on each of the headings below to reveal information about what kinds of injuries could befall your loved ones in an assisted living situation.

We understand that discovering that your elderly loved one was a victim of a slip-and-fall accident because of the inattention of the nursing home staff is stressful for your family. We can take the stress out of your legal case against the nursing home while you focus on getting your loved one properly cared for.

When we investigate a slip-and-fall case, we examine all the circumstances surrounding the incident, including:

  • Your loved one’s needs
  • Lack of supervision of your loved one
  • Environmental factors
  • Staff response to the fall and injury

Bedsores and pressure sores are a sign of nursing home neglect. When bedsores are left untreated by a nursing home, they can result in infections that cause pain and threaten a resident’s health.

The main cause of bedsores is sitting or lying too long in the same position. Blood flow is inhibited in certain areas of the body because of sustained pressure. This will cause damage to skin cells and other tissues that aren’t getting proper nutrients from blood flow.

For a person with limited mobility, this is a great concern. Care facility staff members should be trained to recognize this and take measures to prevent bedsores and immediately treat them if they do occur.

Sepsis occurs when the body reacts negatively to the chemicals and defense mechanisms that the immune system naturally releases to fight disease. Inflammation occurs throughout the body where any type of disease is being battled. When this happens, many side effects can worsen the person’s condition. When the inflammation becomes too great, the individual may go into septic shock, causing a large blood pressure drop and sometimes death.

The main causes of sepsis include undiagnosed or untreated infections. These can result from bedsores, dirty medical equipment, improperly cared for IV lines and more. If staff members at the nursing home or care facility your loved one was at acted negligently in any way, you are entitled to compensation for their actions.

You selected a nursing home for your elderly loved one because he or she is in a state of frail health. You have certain expectations that the nursing home staff will give your loved one the respect and care he or she deserves. When your loved one breaks a bone while in the care of a nursing home facility, it is natural to question the circumstances that led to the injury.

Nursing home patients are at high risk for bone fractures. In nursing home neglect cases, we often see broken bones such as:

  • Hips
  • Legs
  • Arms
  • Elbows
  • Skulls

These bone fractures are often caused by falls that happened because of inadequate supervision. Sadly, some are caused by physical abuse from staff members.

Hydration is a basic human need. When you put your elderly loved one in the care of a nursing home facility, you trust that he or she will be kept properly hydrated. The sad truth is that many nursing homes are understaffed and employees are inadequately trained to care for residents.

Dehydration can cause serious complications to your loved one’s already fragile health. Your loved one may experience:

  • Issues with digestion
  • Greater risk of urinary tract infections
  • Migraines
  • Bedsores
  • Kidney failure
  • Death

It is important to act quickly when you see signs of neglect. Your loved one’s health may be at serious risk.

Good nutrition is important to everyone, but especially to nursing home patients who are in a frailer state of health than most people. In a nursing home, a patient’s nourishment is in the hands of the facility’s staff. Improper monitoring of nutritional intake can jeopardize your loved one’s health.

The nursing home is responsible for ensuring that your loved one receives balanced nutrition. Your loved one may struggle because of:

  • Missing teeth or ill-fitting dentures that make chewing difficult
  • An inability to feed themselves because of dementia, confusion or depression
  • Dietary restrictions because of allergies or religion

The nursing home staff should take these and other factors into consideration when making and monitoring your loved one’s nutritional plan. Failure to keep your loved one properly nourished can lead to serious health issues and even death. You may be able to hold the nursing home liable for these injuries.

Nursing home administrators and their staffs are responsible for keeping a watchful eye on residents. You entrusted your loved one to their care for just this reason. When your loved one wanders away while unsupervised and suffers injury, the nursing home may be liable.

Lack of supervision of elderly residents in nursing homes can lead to severe injuries. If your loved one was injured after wandering around the facility grounds or off the premises of a nursing home (called elopement), our lawyers will thoroughly investigate the case to determine liability. We will examine whether:


  • The facility provided enough staff for supervision
  • Staff members were trained adequately
  • A camera was in place over outside doors
  • Receptionists were trained and paying attention
  • Your loved one was housed on a special floor that required codes to enter and exit the premises

Bedrail entrapment for elderly patients is a very real concern. If your loved one is bedridden or weak enough that he or she spends significant time in bed, you don’t want that place of comfort to become a trap.

Bedrails are a safety measure in place to keep your loved one from falling or rolling out of bed. However, there are many ways they can turn from a safe barrier into a trap. Your loved one may get trapped:


  • Between the rail and the mattress
  • With legs, arms or head in or under the rail
  • Between split bedrails
  • Between the end of the mattress and the headboard
  • Between the end of the rail and the headboard

Nursing Home Abuse FAQ

What are examples of abuse in nursing homes?

Nursing home abuse can take many forms. The three main types of nursing home abuse are physical abuse, psychological abuse and sexual abuse. Elderly and vulnerable adults may be reluctant or unable to discuss these difficult issues, so it is important to be aware of the signs of abuse and neglect.

What are the signs that an elderly person is suffering from abuse?

There may be outward signs of abuse, such as bruises, cuts and broken bones. There may also be behavioral signs, such as an elderly loved one becoming noncommunicative, depressed or easily angered. Dehydration, bedsores, overmedication and repeated falls may also be signs of nursing home neglect and abuse. All of these signs of abuse may be grounds to sue a nursing home in Illinois.

What is classed as neglect in a nursing home?

Nursing home negligence is often a result of understaffing at a nursing home, and understaffing is often itself a result of nursing homes prioritizing profits over care. Nursing home negligence may involve failure to monitor residents, as well as failure to move and clean residents to prevent bedsores. Nursing home negligence also frequently involves medication errors and failure to ensure that the facilities are sanitary.

What rights are guaranteed to Illinois nursing home residents under the Nursing Home Care Act?

Under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, nursing home residents have the following rights:

    • To be fully informed of changes in their health status and care plan
    • The right to exercise their rights
    • The right to privacy and confidentiality
    • To manage their financial affairs
    • Free communication
    • To refuse or consent to treatment
    • To be treated with dignity and respect
    • To file complaints
    • To receive visitors
    • To participate in activities

Working with an attorney can help individuals better understand and protect these rights.

How can I file a complaint against a nursing home that violates the Nursing Home Care Act?

If you feel comfortable, start by speaking with the nursing home’s administrator to address your concerns directly. You can also file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) by calling their 24-hour toll-free hotline.  Additionally, you should contact an attorney if you believe the nursing home’s actions have harmed or injured a resident.

What evidence is needed to substantiate a claim of nursing home abuse?

The evidence needed to strengthen nursing home abuse claims includes:

    • Documentation, including photos of injuries and records of the resident’s health.
    • Testimony from residents, staff or visitors who observed the abuse
    • Medical or nursing experts who can provide professional analysis

When presenting evidence, try to provide as much detail as possible.

What types of compensation can be awarded in a nursing home abuse or neglect case?

Depending on the neglect case, compensation may take various forms, including;

    • Medical expenses
    • Pain and suffering
    • Punitive damages
    • Loss of enjoyment of life

In cases of death, there may be compensation for the victim’s loved ones for their loss.

What is the time limit for filing a nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuit in Illinois?

In Illinois, the statute of limitations for nursing home abuse or neglect is two years from the date of injury or discovery of the injury.

Skilled Legal Representation

Our lawyers have been fighting on behalf of the injured for more than 30 years. We understand how to investigate your case and hold the nursing home responsible for its actions.

We know that you feel betrayed after discovering that your family member was mistreated by the facility you trusted to provide the dignity and respect he or she deserves. We are here to listen to your concerns about your case and provide aggressive representation for you and your injured loved one.

Has an elderly loved one suffered injuries at the hands of caregivers? Call Mark L. Karno & Associates, LLC, today at 312-574-3362 for your free consultation with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer. We represent clients throughout Oak Park, Berwyn, Evanston and the greater Chicago area.

Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. We do not collect any money for our services unless you win your case.

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