Yes, your loved one may pursue a nursing home abuse case even if the elder abuse was not reported to the state of Illinois.
Nursing Home Abuse Is Not Always Reported
According to Illinois law, if an older person is unable to report abuse, then certain professionals are legally required to report nursing home abuse. The federal Social Security Act also requires that nursing home abuse or neglect be reported to local police for investigation.
Despite these laws, an audit from the Office of the Inspector General of the United States Department of Health and Human Services has found that some allegations of rape, sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, abandonment, and maltreatment went unreported. Of the 33 states included in the federal audit, Illinois had the highest incidents of unreported nursing home abuse allegations.
You Loved One May Still Pursue a Nursing Home Abuse Case
Nursing home staff members who do not report credible allegations of abuse or neglect have done the wrong thing. However, this mistake should not interfere with your loved one’s right to make a fair recovery in a nursing home abuse case.
Regardless of whether the alleged abuse was reported to the police or the state, your loved one may have a successful nursing home neglect case if the following can be proven:
- The nursing home owed your loved one a duty of care. If your loved one was a resident in the nursing home, then the nursing home owed her a duty of care.
- The nursing home breached the duty of care. The duty of care is breached when the nursing home or a nursing home staff member fails to act like a reasonable nursing home or nursing home staff member would act in similar circumstances.
- The breach in the duty of care caused your loved one’s injuries. In other words, the injury would not have happened but for the action or inaction which breached the duty of care.
- The person filing the case has the right to legal damages. This may be your loved one if she is able to pursue a claim or her legal representative if she is not able to pursue a legal case.
Your loved one may also have a case if you can prove the specific elements of an assault or another type of intentional tort.
To find out more about your loved one’s rights and about pursuing a legal case for nursing home abuse or negligence, please contact our experienced attorneys today for a free, no-obligation consultation.