Nursing Home Accidents

The elderly and sick are some of our most vulnerable citizens. We rely on nursing homes to provide 24 hour care that we cannot provide ourselves, and to provide people with a chance to live with dignity.

Unfortunately, often nursing homes are understaffed, and their personnel are undertrained. Too many nursing home residents are injured or killed by falls, pressure sores, medication errors, abuse or other neglect. 

If you believe you have a claim, seek advice from an experienced attorney who can help you determine its validity and the next steps that you should take. 

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A In the old days, some nursing homes use to do this as a matter of course. Unfortunately, some still give their residents medication to keep them sleepy or “easier” to deal with. Federal law is designed to prevent this. If you think this has happened, contact the state Department of Health and Human Services and then give us a call.
A First, take a tour of the facility. Look around. Try to get a handle on how many staff members are there and how the residents are treated. Look at the physical layout of the facility. Medicare has an interesting website at that provides some fascinating information for each nursing home, and compares that to the national and state averages. You can also search for specific violations in certain nursing homes in Iowa here and in Illinois here
A State and federal nursing home laws require nursing homes to do everything possible to prevent bed sores or pressure ulcers, and to do everything they can to treat sores that existed before the resident came into the nursing home. Often this is neglected, and nursing home staff miss or ignore pressure ulcers, causing them to become more serious, deeper, infected, and often needing painful debridements and/or skin grafts.
A That depends. State and federal laws require nursing homes to keep their environment as free of accident hazards as possible and to provide each resident adequate supervision and assistance devices to prevent accidents. Nursing homes must also assess each resident’s fall risk and create a care plan to minimize that resident’s fall risk. While no nursing home is ever 100% fall-free, there are devices available to prevent falls (such as lap buddies and wheelchair locks), to warn of falls that are about to happen (such as bed alarms and wheelchair alarms).
A Nursing homes often have to pass multiple medications to residents who are unable to understand or remember what medication to take and when. Sometimes they get it wrong, causing serious consequences. If they do, call us to see if you may have a case.
A Consider talking to the supervisors or Director of Nursing at the facility. In Illinois, you should also contact the Department of Public Health at 800-252-4343. In Iowa, you can call the Iowa Long Term Care Ombudsman at 866-236-1430. They may investigate your claim, but they won’t provide any sort of compensation to the loved one who has been injured. For questions about that, give us a call.
A Each case depends on its own facts. Anyone who hears a little bit about your case and tells you what it’s worth doesn’t know what they’re talking about. The value of each case depends on many things – liability (whose fault was it), the severity of the injury, the amount of monetary damages (medical bills, lost wages, etc), the permanency of the injury, and many other things. With personal injury and medical malpractice cases, it can be difficult to predict what a jury would do. When we accept a case, we will let you know once the case is ready for potential settlement what we think a reasonable verdict range is, and then we will help you decide whether to settle the case or take it to trial.
A Each case is different. Some cases come into our office and are resolved in a few weeks – some take several years. Again, this depends on the nature of the case and severity of the injuries. In many cases we want to wait until you heal up before we try to get the case resolved. In other cases, that simply isn’t possible. We pursue all of our cases diligently – we want to get them done for you quickly and efficiently – but we don’t sacrifice quality to get them done fast.
A In most cases, we don’t charge money up front. We typically work on a contingent fee – meaning that we get a percentage of whatever we get you. When we do that, we don’t charge you if we lose the case. We also don’t make you pay for case costs along the way. If we win or settle, those costs come out of your settlement. If we lose, you don’t owe us anything for costs. In some cases, we charge an hourly rate – usually because the case hopefully won’t take a lot of time and it would be unfair for us to charge a percentage of a relatively easily recovery. Either way, we discuss all fee issues with you up front before you sign up with us.
A We will talk to you about your case on the phone to see if we can help you. We won’t give you legal advice or tell you what to do when you first call us because we frankly won’t know enough about the case to give you the type of advice you deserve. If you come in to meet with us, you don’t owe us anything for the initial visit.
A In any serious case, it’s usually a good idea to have an attorney. Of course, we turn down cases nearly every day where we can’t help the person. Why do we do that? Because if we took those cases, the client wouldn’t be happy and we wouldn’t be happy (and frankly probably wouldn’t make any money). Call us, and we will do our best to tell you if you need an attorney. As for why you should pick us? We believe our bios and our success record speak for themselves.
A No. While there are some great lawyers in Chicago, there are great lawyers right here in the Quad Cities. Look at our resumes and speak with us before you call someone from out of the area. We think you’ll find that we have the experience, skills, and personal touch you are looking for.

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