While having a loved one in hospice care can be a tragic and unfortunate situation for people involved, it can also put them at ease to know that they are in the hands of medical professionals. These weeks or months in hospice are some of the most cherished moments for the patient and their family members, and every party involved deserves the utmost respect and highest standard of care to know that their loved one is in good hands.
However, sometimes these professionals do not follow the appropriate procedure of care and end up abusing or neglecting these hospice patients. This abuse or neglect can take many different forms, which will be discussed later. In addition to hurting the patient emotionally and perhaps physically, this phenomenon can cause family members anxiety and years of anguish.
The personal injury lawyers at Agruss Law Firm, LLC have helped thousands of clients to seek justice and compensation for personal injuries, and you won’t owe us a penny for our services unless we win your case. If you or a loved one has been injured due to hospice abuse or neglect, contact our office today for a free consultation.
Types of Hospice Abuse and Neglect
Medical professionals can fail to properly care for their patients in a number of ways. In any case, though, their actions hurt each person associated with the patient as well as the patient themselves. Some forms of hospice care that can take place include:
- Negligence – If a doctor or nurse makes a careless mistake and causes injury to the patient, you may be able to sue them for negligence. You should be able to show that the injury was directly caused by the hospice’s breach of their duty of care owed to the patient. Negligence can be due to their action or inaction.
- Abuse – Unfortunately, some doctors and nurses can go as far as abusing the patient due to their weak and disadvantaged condition. This could be physical abuse, neglect, or financial abuse.
- Breach of contract – Oftentimes, a hospice patient or their family member must sign a contract as they enter hospice. This contract states the services that they agree to pay. When these services are not fulfilled, they would be breaching the contract and the family can be compensated for the damages.
- Malpractice – Medical malpractice claims are similar to negligence, but more specific. A malpractice claim alleges that the medical professional did not act with the level of care that another reasonable medical professional would have in the situation.
- Wrongful death – A hospice can be sued for a wrongful death claim if the death occurred due to the staff’s negligence, carelessness, or malpractice.
Examples of Hospice Abuse and Neglect
- Administering the incorrect medicine, intentionally or unintentionally.
- Providing the incorrect services or not providing certain services at all per contract to the patient.
- Inflating the price of the services provided in the contract.
- Lack of proper training for hospice staff.
- Physically or sexually assaulting the patient.
- Failure to appropriately respond to the needs of the patient.
Who Can File the Claim?
In the event that the patient unfortunately passes away in the midst of filing a claim, Illinois has a law that allows the executor or administer of the deceased patient continue the lawsuit in their place. This law is called the Illinois’ Survival Act. Whatever the damages are, you can assume responsibility for claiming that compensation in place of your loved one.
In another case where a patient dies from neglect or medical malpractice, you may be able to sue the hospice and staff for a wrongful death under Illinois’ Wrongful Death Law. This claim would include damages that you and your loved ones incurred rather than the deceased.
It is important to evaluate these claims on a case by case basis. If you are unsure about what action to take, speak to one of our attorneys rather than keeping this abuse and neglect a secret. Hospice patients deserve the highest degree of care and respect. When this standard is not upheld, they should be stopped before they can do so to the next patient.
Damages That Can Be Recovered
Hospice abuse or neglect can cause years of trauma to the loved of the deceased individual. The family could pursue their own legal action and claim the damages for this. Or, if the hospice patient is able to file a claim while they still can, they can claim damages for the injuries that the medical professionals have caused. It is important that the type of injury and the type of claim that is filed varies in what you are able to do and how you can handle the situation. To get a definite answer, speak to one of our attorneys today to sort out your options. Some common damages in these cases can include the following:
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Future loss of earnings
- Funeral and burial costs
- Punitive damages
If you or a loved one has been injured due to hospice neglect and/or abuse, contact our office today for a free consultation.