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How to Know If You Can File a Nursing Home Abuse Claim

Updated February 2, 2019 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

After you’ve discovered nursing home abuse, you might not know how to file a nursing home abuse claim—all you know is that you have to act fast. When elder abuse is detected, suing on a number of legal grounds is possible. While your case will most likely be filed as negligence, it is possible to sue for personal injury, pain and suffering, failure to provide medical care, failure to comply with pre-established nursing home standards, mental anguish, and neglect.

However, the purpose of this article is to provide you with a brief description of what constitutes elder abuse, what you should expect after reporting the abuse, and the timeline to file a lawsuit for nursing home abuse in the state of Indiana.

What Constitutes Elder Abuse

Nursing homes and their employees have an obligation to provide their residents with the utmost care, no matter the circumstances. Considering the existing issues with understaffing, a lack of training and supervision, and underfunding, there are countless ways nursing homes and their employees can be held responsible for nursing home abuse.

Nursing homes and individual caretakers can be found responsible for abuse and neglect if they:

  • Fail to maintain sanitary living conditions for their residents
  • Physically abuse and neglect residents
  • Emotionally abuse and intimidate residents
  • Fail to provide adequate medical care and treatment
  • Financially exploit residents
  • Receive inadequate training

Other residents and family members can also commit abuse, but it is the responsibility of both the caretaker and the entire establishment to keep their residents safe.

What to Expect After Reporting Elder Abuse

When you make the decision to report elder abuse and neglect in a nursing home, three things can happen:

  • The Adult Protective Services Agency may conduct an investigation to find prompt relief to the victim and their family
  • A civil lawsuit intended to remedy the damages caused by the abuse, neglect, or exploitation
  • Criminal prosecution as punishment for the mistreatment of your loved one

Ideally, all three will happen as a result of the report; justice in every way should be served.

Indiana Statute of Limitations for Nursing Home Abuse Claims

Each state has a designated deadline to file a negligence claim. In Indiana, individuals have two years to file a civil lawsuit: If evidence of abuse emerges after the deadline, you may have lost your privilege for a suit. It is therefore crucial to visit your loved one often and pay close attention to their behavior, living conditions, and physical and emotional wellbeing.

Contact a Nursing Home and Elder Abuse Attorney Today

Any type of abuse is unacceptable and entirely avoidable. If it can be proved that the injuries sustained by the victim were a direct result from a breach of care, then you may have an elder abuse lawsuit on your hands.

If you suspect that your loved one is being abused, exploited, or neglected at their nursing home, contact the Indianapolis Nursing Home and Elder Abuse Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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