Compensation for Nursing

Home abuse or neglect can result in economic losses as well as real suffering.

Few subjects are more grim than Indiana nursing home abuse and neglect. When a loved one makes a transition from the home environment to a nursing home, retirement community, or long-term care center, we want to feel reassured that they will be treated with the love and respect they deserve. Unfortunately, when brochures feature cozy apartments, arts & crafts, community events, and dining facilities.  Indiana nursing home abuse and neglect is a real problem affecting nursing home residents and their loved ones. This is not to say that the state of Indiana is without upstanding nursing homes and caring nursing home employees. It is important to ensure that nursing home residents and their loved ones understand the rights of residents and the responsibilities of nursing homes. When those rights are abused, or when nursing homes fail to meet state-mandated responsibilities, there exists legal recourse. If you suspect your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact a dedicated Indiana Nursing Home Abuse Law Firm.

Indiana Elder abuse or neglect can result in economic losses as well as non-economic related suffering.

Compensation for Indiana nursing home abuse or neglect can include money for:

When the STEWARTWOOD INJURY LAWYERS take a case, we dedicate our time and resources to:

Research

Examining the claim and obtaining evidence such as medical records, witness testimonies, resident files, photos of the injuries and living conditions

Communication

Speaking with staff to inform them of the situation and ensuring all parties involved cooperate in the investigation

Compensation

Pursuing the maximum compensation your loved one deserves

Elder abuse in Indiana

Unfortunately, Indiana elder care staff are often overworked or untrained employees that are ill-prepared to manage patients with diverse medical needs.

Indiana's senior population is on the rise. It’s estimated that by 2035, one in five residents will be ages 65 or older.

Indiana Nursing Home abuse is a serious problem that can lead to death in some cases.

The nursing home abuse lawyers at STEWARTWOOD, are dedicated to helping families who find themselves and their loved ones in this difficult situation.

Our experienced nursing home negligence lawyers work on a contingent-fee basis, which means you don’t pay us unless we win your case.

Call (317) 969-6558 today, or contact STEWARTWOOD ATTORNEYS online for a FREE consultation.

Contact us for your Free Case Evaluation

Falls

The CDC says about 1,800 people living in Indiana nursing homes die each year from falls. Falls in the elderly can be linked to frailty, chronic illness and the effect of certain medications. Falls often occur because nursing home patients are not properly supervised by staff or properly assisted when they have mobility issues.

Infections

The Clostridium difficile, or C. difficile, infection is a health care-associated infection (HAI) linked to 14,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, the CDC says. More than 90 percent of those deaths occur in people age 65 and older, and almost 75 percent of C. difficile cases first show up in nursing home patients or in people recently cared for in doctors’ offices and clinics.

Bed sores

These wounds are also known as “pressure ulcers,” “pressure sores” or “decubitus ulcers.” They can also lead to infection. The CDC says about 159,000 nursing home residents in the U.S. Medication Errorssuffer from bed sores. Some bedsores are the result of medical negligence. Stage IV bedsores are considered “never events” by Medicare and are usually the result of medical negligence.

Medication Errors

A CDC survey found that nearly one-half of all nursing home residents took nine or more medications. Taking many medications concurrently is broadly defined as “polypharmacy.” While polypharmacy in itself may not be a threat, as the number of prescribed medications increases, the opportunity for an inattentive nurse or another staff member to make a mistake increases as well.

General neglect or abuse

Far too often, Indiana nursing home patients die because they simply were not cared for properly. Many times, nursing home residents are not fed properly and suffer from malnutrition or dehydration. Some patients are left unsupervised, which can lead to falls or wandering off. Because of their disease or dementia, some patients may be improperly restrained or proactively abused (slapped or otherwise physically harmed). This leads to premature degeneration and death. Some Indiana nursing home residents are sexually abused.

How likely is it that Indiana nursing home abuse can occur?

According to the Nursing Home Abuse Center, it is likely that an elderly person could suffer from nursing home abuse.

A survey conducted by the World Health Organization in 2017 found that more than 60 percent of nursing home staff said they had abused residents in some way. Last year, the Office of Inspector General released a report showing that one in five emergency room visits from nursing homes were related to abuse.

If you or a loved one are suffering from Indiana nursing home abuse, StewartWood Attorneys can help.

Recognizing Signs and Symptoms of Indiana Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

You can protect your loved ones from further Indiana Nursing Home abuse and neglect by learning to recognize the signs and symptoms of abuse and neglect. Because older people, especially those who are older or have dementia, other disabilities, are afraid of retaliation and are generally fearful of the abuser.  You cannot expect them to speak up to you or to others about abuse and neglect they are facing. It is up to all of us to bring the abuse to a stop. If you suspect abuse but are not sure, contact a lawyer and the proper authorities at once. It is never wrong to be careful in these situations, as Indiana Nursing Homes abuse and neglect have serious implications with the quality of life and life expectancy of older people. Signs of physical abuse are as follows:

  • Injuries that are unexplained or denied by the older person;
  • Bruising, cuts, broken bones, sprains, burns, scrapes, pressure marks from grabbing, and other injuries (especially when they are on both sides of the body); and/or
  • The older person flinches, cowers, or attempts to hide in the presence of certain staff.

Signs of neglect:

  • Unattended medical needs and wrong prescriptions;
  • Bedsores and/or unclean bedding;
  • Dirty clothes and disheveled appearance; and
  • Drastic or unusual weight loss.

Signs of financial abuse:

  • Unexplained bank account withdrawals;
  • Bounced checks;
  • Unusual and unexpected new “best friends,” especially when there is a large age difference; Secretism; and
  • Unusual changes in a will or estate.

Signs of emotional abuse from being yelled at, taunted, teased, belittled, and being treated like a child often coincide with signs of neglect and physical abuse. Many types of sexual abuse, such as any unwanted touching, groping, kissing, and nonconsensual sex also create behavioral issues and physical telltales that are similar to the signs of emotional and physical abuse in Indiana Nursing Homes.

If you or your loved one pursues legal action, records and documentation of losses will be critical to the case. Keep important documents, take pictures, and track any monetary expenses related to the injury or suffering.

2 in 3 Caregivers Admit to Indiana Nursing Home Abuse

A recent study found 64% of caregivers (2 in 3) admitted abusing nursing home residents in the past 12 months.  Nearly 1 in 4 nursing home residents in 2020 were physically abused by staff in 2020, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse. In 2019, 1 in 5 nurses surveyed said they were unable to provide necessary patient care to nursing home residents. If someone you love is injured by nursing home abuse or neglect, we can help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve.

  • Bed sores (pressure sores)
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Poor hygiene
  • Sepsis
  • Infection
  • Wrongful Death
  • Other serious injuries
Nursing Home Negligence

Indiana Nursing homes provide numerous aspects of care to patients who might not be able to care for themselves. From administering medication to assisting with daily living needs, nursing home patients rely on staff members to care for them. Not all nursing homes are taking care of their patients. Abuse and neglect seem rampant in nursing homes throughout Indiana and the rest of the country. Many patients and their families want to know when they should take action against the abuse.

You can sue a nursing home under several circumstances, most cases involve abuse and reckless care.  Staff members might be deliberately and maliciously abusing your loved one and try to intimidate them into staying silent. Other times, the home is neglectful, and patients suffer because of unintentional carelessness. Anytime a patient is injured or dies, a lawsuit may be in order.

If you believe your loved one is suffering from abuse or neglect in their nursing home, speak to our Indiana nursing home abuse lawyers immediately. We can help you report the abuse, have it investigated, and file a lawsuit against the responsible parties.

How Long Do I Have to File a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit in Indiana?

If you want to file a lawsuit against the nursing home in Indiana and staff that you believe abused your loved one, you must do so within a specific amount of time. Statutes of limitations are laws that place deadlines on filing lawsuits. Different types of lawsuits might have different statutes of limitations. For personal injury cases, including nursing home abuse, the statute of limitations is 2 years from the injury or death.

This deadline applies to standard abuse and neglect cases and wrongful death cases in Indiana. Some states have different statutes of limitations for wrongful death, but Indiana generally places wrongful death and general personal injury statute of limitations together.

That said, there may be some unique circumstances where you need to act much more quickly than 2-years to preserve your rights. It is important to act as quickly as possible, but just to preserve the right to bring a lawsuit but to make sure that critical evidence is not lost.

Not letting Indiana nursing homes get away with negligence

When it comes to finding a nursing home for their loved ones, families do everything they can to find an environment that feels supportive and safe. And yet, despite these efforts, many residents sadly become the victims of nursing home abuse or neglect.

Every year, numerous families are impacted by nursing home abuse, with a significant number of abuse cases reported. In 2020, more than 15,000 complaints filed with Indiana nursing home ombudsmen were related to abuse or elder neglect.

According to a recent study, approximately 24.3% of residents experienced at least one instance of physical abuse while in an Indiana nursing home or skilled nursing facility.

Indiana Nursing home residents may suffer physical, sexual, emotional, or financial abuse from a caregiver, staff member, or even a fellow resident. The abuse may even take the form of neglect, which is when a Indiana resident is harmed by substandard or improper care.

If your loved one has suffered maltreatment or you have questions about Indiana nursing home abuse, call (317) 969-6558 today or CONTACT US online for a FREE consultation.

While neglect may not involve the same level of physical violence as other types of Indiana nursing home abuse, its impact on the physical and mental health of older adults can be equally detrimental.

Recognizing that victims of Indiana nursing home neglect have the right to pursue legal recourse is essential.

If you suspect Indiana nursing home neglect or abuse, it is crucial to consult a Indiana nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible.

Sprains or broken bones

Burns or bruises mysteriously appearing

Repetitive injuries

Torn or bloody clothing

Bruising around the genital area

Sudden changes in behavior

Onset of depression or confusion

Changes in legal documents or bank statements

Unexplained loss of weight

Loss of appetite

Appearance of bedsores

Skin rashes, messy clothes, or dirty hair

If you notice any of these signs, you should immediately report them to the appropriate parties. Furthermore, Indiana law requires reporting when ANYONE suspects an older or disabled adult is being abused, neglected, or exploited. The reporter’s name is kept confidential, and they’re protected from civil and criminal liability if they reported in good faith.

Adult care homes
Contact the victim’s county Department of Social Services for suspected abuse.

Nursing facilities
Contact the Indiana State Medical Licensing Agency

Filing an Indiana Lawsuit for Nursing Home Neglect

Another possible cause of action for a lawsuit against a nursing home is neglect in Indiana. Abuse and neglect are often lumped together, and the terms are used interchangeably. While abuse and neglect often go hand-in-hand, they are different forms of mistreatment. Neglect is often unintentional and tends to happen over time. Where abuse tends to be malicious, neglect might be due to carelessness, laziness, incompetence, or even policies enforced by the nursing home.

Some signs of neglect include malnutrition from missing meals, worsening medical conditions from missing medication doses, bedsores, and poor hygiene. Neglect often occurs when a nursing home fails to take care of a patient's daily needs, like nutrition, medication, and general safety.

You will fare best if you, too, have a lawyer experienced with nursing home fatalities in Indiana investigate whether there has been medical negligence. It is important after someone dies in a suspicious manner to take immediate action so that decisions about an autopsy can be made and records are obtained before they can be misplaced or destroyed. An experienced Indiana nursing home death attorney knows the important steps to take and how to work around uncooperative nursing home officials.

Suing a Nursing Home in Indiana for Wrongful Death

Another good time to sue a nursing home is when a patient dies in its care. Nursing home deaths are fairly common, as patients tend to be older and suffer from health complications. However, not all nursing home deaths are due to natural causes. Abuse and neglect may lead to the victim's death, and their family can sue for wrongful death. Speak with our Indiana nursing home attorneys and Indiana Wrongful Death Attorneys about when you can file a wrongful death lawsuit.

It is important to remember that damages in a wrongful death lawsuit in South Bend, are somewhat different from ordinary personal injury cases. A wrongful death lawsuit in Fort Wayne may compensate damages suffered by their surviving family and estate. This means you can get a Indiana wrongful death lawsuit started if you suffered because of the death of your loved one in a Indiana nursing home.

Older adults in Indiana who become residents of nursing homes or “comprehensive care facilities” often live out the rest of their lives there. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says there are about 1.5 million nursing home residents in the U.S., including 39,167 Indiana residents. The CDC also says one in five U.S. deaths occur in nursing homes.

There is a huge difference in a natural death under medical care in a Indiana nursing home and fatal accidents caused by assisted living neglect. Unfortunately, Indiana is considered one of the worst offenders in the nation for serious healthcare deficiencies against the elderly. An August 2012 ABC News report in South Bend found 5,185 reports to Medicare.gov for inadequate care in Indiana nursing homes over the previous year.

When a loved one is severely injured or a nursing home death happens prematurely because of actions or inaction on the part of the nursing home staff, the family of the deceased patient deserves to know what happened and why. They also deserve to be compensated if nursing home abuse or negligence is found. Usually the family’s only recourse is to pursue a medical malpractice action or wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of their loved one.

How Indiana Nursing Home Fatalities Occur

It is a hard but often necessary decision to turn the care of a loved one over to the staff of a nursing home. In Indiana, nursing homes are regulated by the Division of Long Term Care of the Indiana State Department of Health. They are supposed to be safe and caring environments for our loved ones’ final days. Often, that is not the case.

Our Indiana Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Are Here to Help

If your parent, grandparent, sibling or other loved one suffered physically or emotionally while living in a Indiana nursing home, you may be able to sue the nursing home for damages and hold them accountable. This may include instances where your loved one may suffered physical or emotional abuse or if the victim died from the abuse.

Signs of Indiana nursing home abuse or negligence

While it is unfortunate that Indiana nursing home abuse and neglect occurs, it is important that you watch for signs and be aware of the treatment being provided. Indiana Nursing home abuse and neglect are not just limited to physical harm. It can also include emotional abuse, such as yelling at a resident or bullying them.

Some of the more frequent signs of Indiana nursing home negligence and abuse include:

Weight loss

This may be a sign of nursing home neglect because your loved one may not be receiving the necessary type or amount of food.

Inattentive staff

If you notice that the staff is ignoring problems or requests, it can be a sign of nursing home neglect.

Poor personal hygiene

If, for example, baths aren’t being provided on a regular basis, this can show that the nursing home has been neglecting care for its elderly residents.

Unsanitary facility

The nursing home facility must be clean and well maintained. Letting trash build up, having dirty restrooms, having a dirty kitchen area – all of these can be signs that the nursing home is guilty of negligence

Bedsores

Bed-ridden people need to be moved so that prolonged pressure on the skin does not cause bedsores. Bedsores are fairly common in nursing homes, but in some cases, they may be signs of nursing home negligence.

Bruises

If your loved one is suffering from unexplained or frequent bruising, it could be an indication that the nursing home staff is mistreating them. This would be considered physical abuse.

Falling

Proper nursing home care should help prevent residents from falling and getting injuries. If you see any nursing home residents falling, or hear reports of a loved one who fell, it may be a sign of nursing home negligence.

Restraints

Restraints used in nursing homes can be physical, like placing a resident in a wheelchair in front of a wall, or chemical, with excessive drugging. Restraining residents is all too common and can indicate negligence.

Being non-communicative or withdrawn

If your loved one seems distant and unresponsive, it may be a sign of emotional nursing home negligence. They may be getting yelled at by nursing home staff and have become afraid to speak up.

Strange behavioral changes

If your loved one adopts strange or unusual behaviors like biting or rocking in place, it can be a sign of emotional nursing home negligence.

Vague explanations from staff

If the nursing home staff only provide vague or uninformed reasons when you present your concerns regarding possible neglect on their part, they might be trying to cover it up.

Nursing home negligence is a very serious problem that should be stopped as soon as possible. If you notice any of these or other signs that could be nursing home negligence, contact STEWARTWOOD INJURY LAWYERS immediately. Your loved one’s health and life may be at stake.

Compensation for Nursing Home Negligence

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