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IL injury lawyerPlacing a loved one into the custody of a nursing home facility can be one of the most difficult decisions a family can make. In most instances, the family can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that their family member’s needs are being met by trained professionals. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. According to statistics compiled by the National Council on Aging (NCOA), approximately 10% of all Americans over the age of 60 have experienced elder abuse. If you believe that your loved one may be facing nursing home abuse, it is time to seek out legal guidance.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse can come in various forms including emotional, physical, and sexual abuse. Emotional abuse occurs when a nursing home staff member verbally berates, threatens, or harasses a resident. Physical abuse is the act of physically harming a resident, and sexual abuse occurs when an employee engages in any sexual behavior with a resident that cannot or does not consent to the act. It should be noted that patients with cognitive impairments such as dementia or Alzheimer's disease are common victims of nursing home abuse and negligence.

How You Can Help

When you place your loved one into the care of a nursing home facility, it is critically important to be on the lookout for signs of abuse. Recognizing physical abuse can be somewhat straightforward due to the fact that the symptoms often come in the form of bruises or abrasions to the skin. Signs of emotional or sexual abuse can be more difficult to recognize, especially if visits to your loved one are infrequent or irregular. The first step you can take to recognize signs of abuse is spending as much time as possible with your loved one, giving you an opportunity to recognize their behavior patterns within the facility. If you notice that they are beginning to withdraw from social activities, experience changes in mood, or acting tense around their caregiver, they may be facing some form of abuse.

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IL truck accident lawyerWhen a large commercial vehicle is involved in an accident with a standard automobile, the results can be catastrophic. In the vast majority of these instances, the injuries suffered to the passengers of the standard motor vehicle can be long-term life-changing injuries or fatal ones. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), over 4,700 large trucks and busses were involved in fatal crashes throughout 2017. In many cases an accident involving a commercial truck only occurs due to the negligence of the operator or the trucking company itself.

Types of Negligence Leading to Commercial Trucking Accidents

With thousands of fatal commercial trucking accidents occurring throughout the United States each year, it is important to understand the leading factors of these collisions. First off, many of these collisions could be avoided if not for driver error. Driver error is one of the leading causes of commercial trucking accidents and can range from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving at reckless speeds, or texting while driving. In other cases, a driver may be looking to make some extra money and will drive over their legal hour limit causing them to be dangerously tired or attempt to drive up hazardous terrain without chains in order to save time on their load.

While driver error is common in commercial trucking accidents, employer oversight or negligence can oftentimes be the leading cause of a collision. Commercial trucking companies will oftentimes pressure their drivers into falsifying their logs to drive over the legal hours mark and overload a vehicle’s cargo weight making it more difficult to operate and stop. These types of employer pressures are dangerous to employees and other drivers on the road. If you have been involved in a collision with a commercial truck, it is time to seek out the help of a qualified legal professional.

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IL injury lawyerSexual assault against an adult who can consent is a crime, but the sexual abuse of a child is an especially sensitive topic. This year, Illinois eliminated the statute of limitations on sex crimes no matter the age of the accuser. The statute of limitations for minors had already been eliminated in 2017. Facing sexual abuse as a minor has life-lasting damaging effects, and it may take a victim time to realize they have been abused. Here we will discuss how to recognize signs of sexual abuse.

Any kind of sexual contact with a minor is considered child sexual abuse. The age of consent in Illinois with a person of trust or authority is 18 years old. A person under this age cannot consent to any sexual activity. Sexual abuse is not only penetrative sex. It is illegal for an adult to participate in any of these acts with an underage child:

  • Fondling
  • Sex trafficking
  • Send or ask for nude photos
  • Owning, producing, or sharing child porn
  • Oral sex
  • Masturbation
  • Indecent exposure, or exhibitionism

Something that felt wrong as a child may not be recognized as sexual abuse until much later. The majority of child victims know the person who is abusing them. This may be someone they trust like a family member, teacher, or priest. Child victims are especially vulnerable because they may not know to report abuse or know they are being abused. One out of every six child abusers offend because of the vulnerability of children, and may not reflect sexual orientation.

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IL injury lawyerWhether in assisted living or a nursing home, elderly people that live there still have rights. Unfortunately, the people who work for these institutions take advantage of their vulnerable residents and take away their rights and endanger their lives. Nursing homes are supposed to be safe places with specialized care for the elderly, but the World Health Organization reports that 2 out of 3 staff members admit to having committed an act of abuse. Refusing to take care of a patient, or taking advantage of them for personal gain, is negligence.

The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 was created to give a standard of care for nursing homes. Residents of nursing homes have the right to a safe environment free of abuse or fear. They also have the rights to:

  • Privacy
  • Accommodations for medical and social needs
  • Be treated with dignity
  • Be fully informed about treatment or changes in care
  • Communicate without repercussions

Nursing homes are a great alternative for families with elder members that need care. They are a place for people to live the rest of their lives comfortably, so nursing home abuse is a serious offense. These signs and kinds of abuse in elderly patients in nursing homes may be caused to seek legal advice.

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IL nursing home abuse lawyerMany elders resist the recommendation to move to a nursing home. Family members may have good intentions, but moving to a nursing home facility is intimidating. It is also hard for someone to admit that they cannot take care of themselves like they used to. There is a negative connotation around nursing homes which, too, makes people apprehensive. Elders and family members alike may have concerns regarding the kind of care being administered. Like a person living at home, residents of nursing homes have rights and when those rights are denied, the facilities can be held negligent.

The elder population is growing rapidly. The World Health Organization estimates that by 2050, the population of people over the age of 60 years old will double. Today, 1 in every 6 people in the same age group have experienced some form of elder abuse. Family members are not excluded from elder abuse, but there is a high rate of abuse in nursing homes. In 2018, two out of three staff members in long-term living for elders admits to having committed abuse that year.

The Federal Nursing Home Reform Law of 1987 created standards for nursing homes. These rules protect the rights of elders and give ground to cases of negligence.

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