Moving a family member to an Indiana nursing home is a difficult decision. You may spend hours researching the best facilities, hoping that your loved one will get the proper care and respect they deserve. However, nursing home neglect and abuse are problems plaguing nursing homes around the country. If you have concerns about how a nursing home treats your family member, let the Indiana nursing home abuse lawyers at Gerling Law help.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
There are four main types of nursing home abuse you should be familiar with. Nursing home abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual, or financial. Learning to identify possible red flags can help protect your loved one and trigger a report for suspected nursing home abuse. Pay attention at every visit. Take notes on what you observe with the room conditions. Has there been a change in your loved one’s physical or emotional state?
Some of the most common warning signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include:
- Lacerations, welts, or other unexplained wounds;
- Broken bones;
- Bedsores or other skin conditions that indicate the home is not moving the resident;
- Dirty or unsanitary room conditions;
- Changes in your loved one’s personality or behavior;
- Withdrawal from people and usual activities;
- Malnutrition or dehydration; and
- Missing personal property or money.
During your visits, also watch the staff and how they interact with residents. Does it appear there is adequate staff, and they are correctly monitoring residents? Understaffing in some nursing homes can lead to issues of neglect. When patients are neglected and not properly supervised, it can lead to additional injuries or even a resident’s death.
If you recognize any of the above warning signs, please contact our Indiana nursing home abuse lawyers.
Protecting Your Loved One’s Rights
Protecting your family member’s rights is imperative. Numerous laws aim to do that, but not all nursing homes are perfect. Problems with possible abuse and neglect in nursing homes are something we deal with regularly. You may not be as well-versed in protecting your family member’s rights. That is why you should contact our Indiana nursing home abuse lawyers. If you have a case of suspected nursing home abuse, we will be there for you.
Under the Nursing Home Reform Act, residents of nursing homes have a bill of rights. Some of these rights say that residents should be treated with consideration and not subjected to mental or physical abuse, corporal punishment, involuntary seclusion, etc. They have a right to dignity, respect, and freedom. They have a right to privacy and to be free from physical restraints.
When a nursing home doesn’t acknowledge or respect a resident’s rights, the results can be devastating. Unfortunately, it’s not unheard of for a resident to die in a nursing home due to neglect or abuse. If your family member is mistreated and passes away from injuries sustained while a resident of a nursing home, you might have a claim for wrongful death.
Wrongful death claims are complicated. You want to choose lawyers for nursing home abuse cases who have the necessary experience and skills to fight these facilities. Rarely will a nursing home facility ever admit liability. They would rather pay their defense lawyers to tie the case up in court in hopes you will drop the lawsuit. When you retain Gerling Law, rest assured that we have the resources and motivation to take your case to trial.
Filing a Claim for Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Successfully recovering compensation in a nursing home abuse case requires a knowledgeable attorney to help you negotiate with the nursing home and it’s liability insurance company. If the matter cannot be resolved with the nursing home’s insurance company, you’ll need to file a lawsuit. The case could still potentially settle before trial, however.
To start the process, you need to report any suspected abuse to the authorities. This includes the police and the local health department. You can also contact the Indiana Ombudsman office. Make sure your family member is checked out by a doctor. Let the doctor know you suspect nursing home abuse.
When you file a case for abuse or neglect, you must prove three elements before you will be entitled to collect any compensation. The elements of negligence are:
- Duty of care: Did the nursing home owe your family member a duty of care?
- Breach of duty: Did the nursing home breach that duty by allowing your loved one to be neglected or abused?
- Causation: Were the injuries your family member sustained due to the nursing home’s breach of duty?
While this sounds easy, nursing home abuse cases rarely ever are. These are the primary hurdles you need to get over to prove negligence by the nursing home. You will still need to prove damages and more. That is why we strongly recommend letting an attorney who specializes in these cases represent you.
Why You Need an Attorney on Your Side
If you’re ready to file a claim for nursing home abuse, you want an experienced attorney on your side. These types of personal injury claims tend to be complicated and time-consuming. When you retain our nursing home neglect lawyers to represent you, we will navigate all the challenges with the Indiana legal system, so you don’t have to.
Once the nursing home denies liability, offers a nominal sum, or the statute of limitations is approaching, we will file a lawsuit. During the litigation process, we will collect additional evidence. We will also speak with witnesses, exchange documents with the defense attorney, etc. The defense may call you to give a deposition as well. You want someone to protect your rights. Plus, fronting these costs can be very expensive.
Get a Free Consultation with Gerling Law
If you suspect your family member is a victim of nursing home abuse in Indiana, contact our nursing home abuse lawyers immediately. Call Gerling Law at 1-888-GERLING (888-437-5464) or complete our online case review to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. You want an attorney who won’t back down from holding the nursing home accountable. You want Gerling Law. Remember, Go with Experience. Go with Gerling.™