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How can a nursing home be held responsible for an injury?

It's no secret that the elderly are at greater risk of being injured in their day-to-day lives, simply due to the impact of aging. However, if your loved one is in a nursing home, don't assume that any injuries are no one's fault. There are a few ways in which the nursing home could actually be responsible.

In many cases, it comes back to negligence. The staff at the home has an obligation to create a safe living environment and provide proper care. When this isn't done -- even if it's an accident -- they could be responsible.

For example, if your loved one falls out of bed and a proper rail system wasn't used even after you'd requested it, the nursing home could be responsible for not taking steps to prevent an injury. Additionally, if a staff member makes a mistake and gives your loved one medication that was meant for someone else, the same could be true.

In other cases, though, intentional harm can be caused by the staff. These cases aren't as common, but they can be even more serious since they constitute elder abuse.

There are a lot of forms of elder abuse, including financial abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse and physical abuse. To go beyond simple negligence and show that the person was abused, it will have to be shown that the actions were taken intentionally and with the goal of harming that individual in some way.

Do you suspect that your loved one's injury came about due to negligence or abuse? If so, it is wise to look into all of your legal rights in Illinois.

Source: FindLaw, "Nursing Home Abuse Claims," accessed Nov. 05, 2015

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