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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.
  • MalpracticeMedical 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.

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Submitted Comments

2 months ago
Hello, My mother passed away at a nursing facility that we had many issues with. One was about a year ago my mother called stating that a nurse was “throwing her around” which was actually confirmed because they stated “they fired the travel cna that did this to my mother”. My mother stated she was not getting the pain medicine that she was suppose to get for pain and she constantly complained about being in pain. Then at the end of life the past week she had pneamonia that we were not told about until hospice contacted us and stated that my mom was transitioning. Then yesterday when my mom passed the Hospice nurse arrived and witnessed my mother in active dieing and she got the nurse who did not know of her condition, so they never checked on her. Food laying out from breakfast and lunch. The Hispanics nurse provided the correct medication for my mom to peacefully pass away. I rushed up there and it was too late. No one from the nursing home called us the tell us she had passed and we walked into her unclosed room to find her deceased. It was completely dispicable. I could only imagine what else transpired.
1 year ago
The hospice agency aided my sister in obtaining a surrogate representation over my best friend, my 99 year old Gma despite my father and I being named as power of attorneys . My father was ill and I had no idea this was happening until it was too late . Ultimately She was injured and was refused medical treatment. Gma and I were intentionally alienated from each other regarding medical care. My grandma didn’t deserve to have her rights stripped away and neither did I. I understand it’s a complex case but if you think you could help with any thing please reach out . Thank you on behalf of Eldora and myself , Shelby aka Grandma’s Girl :(:(
Michael Agruss
2 years ago
Hi Krystal. The statute of limitations depends on the state in which the abuse/neglect occurred in. I would like to discuss this with you and we can review your case in a no-obligation, free consultation. Please contact me at 312-224-4695 or [email protected] Thanks, Mike
Michael Agruss
2 years ago
Hello Shannon. I am so sorry to hear about what is going on with your boyfriend. I would be happy to discuss this with you and see what I can do to help. I will reach out to you. Thanks, Mike
2 years ago
Need help for my boyfriend. Hospice is denying an IV for liquids and dehydrating him to death. Patient has a will to live. Family has chosen that no more care is needed and they don’t want him to live because he will have a disability.
2 years ago
What is the statute of limitations for filing hospice abuse/neglect? I had a traumatic experience last July(2019) still affecting me to this day...My Grandmother ended up passing. I’ll explain further if/when needed. I am not the executor, but was closest member taking care of her and in all Hippa docs. Also have photos and witnesses