Orland Park Nursing Home Wrongful Death Lawyer

Compassionate Injury Attorney Helping Grieving Families in Cook County in Their Pursuit of Justice

Losing a loved one is always exceptionally hard for a family. However, when a loved one's death is the result of the intentional or negligent actions of those who are supposed to be caring for them, a situation can be especially tragic. At Fotopoulos Law Office, we help grieving families hold negligent and abusive nursing homes and their staff members accountable. With our help, you can effectively pursue a claim for compensation against a facility that was responsible for nursing home abuse or neglect that led to your loved one's unnecessary death.

What is a Death Case?

A nursing home wrongful death claim is a type of personal injury lawsuit that may address a situation in which a resident died as the result of a facility's negligence or abuse. In Illinois, any death caused by another's "wrongful act, neglect or default" can form the basis of a wrongful death claim. Some examples of situations in which nursing homes may be liable for a resident's death include:

  • Failing to protect a resident from physical abuse;
  • Failure to provide a patient with their necessary medication.
  • Failing to rotate a resident's position to avoid bedsores or pressure ulcers.
  • Failing to ensure a resident has access to food and water.
  • Failing to provide wheelchairs or assistive devices.
  • Failing to provide emergency medical care.
  • Failing to administer the correct medication and dose of any prescribed drugs.

Nursing home residents are a vulnerable population, and what may seem like a small or insignificant injury can set a chain of events in motion that can lead to a person's death. If a nursing home is responsible for an injury that eventually caused a resident's death, the facility may be liable. In other words, the nursing home's negligence does not need to be the only cause of a resident's death for a family to recover compensation from the facility.

Under Illinois law, all wrongful death cases must be filed by a deceased resident's personal representative. A personal representative is the person the resident designated in their will to take care of their affairs after they die. Often, nursing home residents will name a close family member as their personal representative. Regardless of who a resident names as their personal representative, the named party has a duty to act in the best interests of the resident's surviving family members.

Generally, a personal representative has two years to bring a nursing home wrongful death case. However, if a resident's death was the result of intentionally violent conduct, the statute of limitations increases to five years.

Families that successfully pursue a wrongful death claim can recover damages for the "grief, sorrow and mental suffering" they experienced as a result of their loss, as well as any financial losses they have suffered as a result of the death. While a resident's personal representative initiates the claim, the proceeds of a wrongful death claim are for the sole benefit of the resident's surviving loved ones.

Are Nursing Homes Liable for a Staff Member's Neglect or Abuse?

One of the most common questions families have after losing a loved one due to a nursing home staff member's neglect or abuse involves who can be sued. Under the legal doctrine of vicarious liability, both the staff member and the facility may be held liable. This is because, as a general rule, employers are responsible for the negligent acts of their employees. If a nursing home employee was acting within the scope of their employment when they caused a resident's death, the nursing home can be held financially responsible.

Additionally, in some cases, family members can pursue a claim of primary liability against a facility. Unlike vicarious liability, these claims are based on the negligence of the facility itself. For example, understaffing, failure to train nursing home staff members, and failure to protect residents from threats presented by third parties can also form the basis of a nursing home wrongful death lawsuit.

Contact Our Will County Nursing Home Wrongful Death Lawyer

If you have lost a loved one in an Illinois nursing home, Fotopoulos Law Office is here to help. For more than 20 years, we have been advocating on behalf of injury victims and their families. We understand what your family is going through, and we will work to make the process of pursuing compensation from a negligent nursing home as easy on you as possible. To schedule a free consultation with an Illinois nursing home neglect and abuse lawyer, contact our office at 708-942-8400.

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