Dupage County Lawyers

Nursing Home Neglect And Abuse In DuPage County

REAL PROBLEMS. REAL SOLUTIONS.

The elderly are a vulnerable class of citizens who should be protected and treated with respect, but, unfortunately, they are sometimes victims of nursing home abuse or neglect. When these crimes are committed against the elderly, the penalties can be severe, resulting in serious criminal and civil consequences that can include large fines and even time in prison.

Nursing-home personnel are required by law to immediately report incidents that involve a suspected crime, but according to a new government audit, more than one in four cases of possible sexual and physical abuse against nursing home patients were not reported, and Illinois had the most such incidents of any state. However, while these unfortunate incidents do occur, there are also times that charges of abuse or neglect are falsely made.

If you or your hospital or nursing home administration has been accused of elder abuse or neglect, you need skilled criminal defense representation. The seasoned and experienced Illinois elder abuse defense lawyers at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. know the law, the courts and the judges, and are aware that many times accusations of elder abuse are false.  We closely examine evidence and aggressively defend clients who are charged with elder abuse and neglect and provide high-quality, effective legal representation and personal attention to our clients.

We offer a free consultation to examine your individual situation and determine the best road for your defense.  Do not delay — the sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we can start working on your case. To discuss your elder abuse case with one of our experienced Cook and DuPage County nursing home neglect lawyers, contact us online or call to schedule your free consultation.

What the Law Says

Nursing home residents in Illinois are protected under both federal and state laws that ensure their well-being, safety and health. Nursing homes that fail to uphold the rights of their residents can be liable both civilly and criminally.

Illinois protects the elderly through the Illinois Elder Abuse and Neglect Act, which applies to anyone over the age of 60.  Illinois 720 ILCS 5/12-21 (from Ch. 38, par. 12-21) protects senior citizens from abuse, including:

  • Financial elder abuse – when a person in a position of trust and confidence takes an elderly person’s property using deception or intimidation or illegally uses their assets or resources for financial gain.
  • Physical elder abuse – involves any infliction of pain or injury, such as hitting, kicking, punching, and assault and battery.
  • Sexual abuse – any sexual contact with a person who is unable to consent or understand or is threatened or forced to comply, including inappropriate touching, sexual assault, and rape.
  • Emotional abuse – any threats of physical harm or other abuse, harassment, intimidation, or verbal assaults.
  • Confinement –isolating or restraining an elderly person for anything other than medical reasons.
  • Neglect – abuse arising from what is not done, such as failing to care for an elderly individual or purposely withholding medications or the basic necessities such as shelter, food, clothing, and medical care.
  • Willful neglect – when a caregiver purposely denies a senior citizen shelter, food, clothing, medical care, medication, or any other necessities which expose that person to emotional or physical harm.

Charges may be criminal or civil, depending on the situation.  Civil nursing home neglect allegations can include:

  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Wandering off/elopement
  • Bedsores
  • Improper restraints
  • Falls
  • Wrong medications
  • Wrongful death

Punishments

Criminal abuse or neglect of an elderly person or person with a disability is a Class 3 felony, and punishment is imprisonment for a term of two to five years. Criminal neglect is a Class 2 felony if the criminal neglect results in the death of the person. Sentencing can be a term of 3 to 14 years, but life imprisonment is a possibility. Under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act (NHCA), patients or their family may also recover court costs, punitive damages and attorney fees.

Nursing home facilities are required by law to submit to a state investigation annually. If a complaint is filed, the nursing home will be inspected to determine whether they are compliant with the law and whether abuse or neglect has occurred.

Defending Against Charges

It is not uncommon to be falsely accused of elder abuse or faced with charges that do not meet the criteria for elder abuse.  As elder abuse defense lawyers, we closely examine evidence and aggressively defend clients who are victim to the false accusation of elder abuse. We will take the time to listen to and understand your story and will treat you with dignity and respect.

There are several elder abuse defenses available that could result in a dismissal or reduction of charges that a skilled criminal defense attorney can raise on your behalf.  In criminal cases, the plaintiff must prove that you or your facility is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Put Your Trust In Us — Contact Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. For A Free Consultation

The criminal defense lawyers at Wolfe & Stec, Ltd. are skilled trial lawyers who believe each case is unique, with its own set of circumstances. We provide quality criminal defense services to clients charged with criminal elder abuse and mistreatment, nursing home neglect, nursing home abuse and other crimes involving abuse of senior citizens or vulnerable adults throughout Illinois.

We will aggressively explore every avenue for your defense.  We examine the facts, the individuals involved, and the evidence available, and can greatly increase your chances of getting your charges reduced or dismissed.

We offer a free consultation, so don’t delay — call or contact us online for help today if you have been accused of any nursing home or elder abuse charges. Our Illinois criminal lawyers represent clients in DuPage County, Will County, Naperville, Aurora, Wheaton, Downers Grove, Bolingbrook, and the Greater Chicagoland area in Illinois.  Your free initial consultation can be scheduled at our office.

Top