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When to Sue for Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Updated February 2, 2019 | By Wilson Kehoe Winingham staff

The grounds for suing for nursing home abuse can be cut-and-dry in both the eyes of the court and the public because it is, unfortunately, very common. In fact, 40% of nursing home residents have reported abuse, and a staggering 90% of them reported they have witnessed abuse and neglect of other residents.

When You Can Sue for Nursing Home Abuse

If you suspect your elderly loved one has experienced any of the following events, consider speaking with an attorney; you may be eligible to file a claim for nursing home abuse.

Physical, Financial, and Emotional Abuse

Physical abuse is the most common type of elder abuse, but senior citizens also fall victim to physical and emotional abuse, financial manipulation, neglect, and healthcare fraud. Understaffing and inadequately-trained staff are also indicators of an unsafe environment.

Signs of Physical Abuse

Pay attention to these signs of potential physical abuse:

  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Unexplainable cuts and bruises
  • Torn or bloody clothing

Signs of Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse could include:

  • Isolating residents from peers, family members, and activities
  • Humiliation or ridicule
  • Intimidation by yelling, threatening, or belittling
  • Blatantly ignoring a resident

Signs of Financial Manipulation

Examples of financial exploitation include:

  • Stealing income checks, household goods, and cash
  • Unpaid medical bills when a resident has sufficient funds for payment
  • Sudden and significant cash withdrawals from a resident’s account
  • Cash withdrawals from an ATM
  • Sudden changes in power of attorney, titles, and wills

Signs of Neglect

Look for signs of neglect:

  • Unusual weight loss, dehydration, or malnutrition
  • Unsanitary and unsafe living conditions
  • Poor hygiene
  • Bedsores
  • Inappropriate clothing for given weather conditions

Signs of Healthcare Fraud

Examples of healthcare fraud and abuse could be:

  • Overcharging or duplicate bills for medical care
  • Over- or under-medicating
  • Not providing healthcare, but always billing for it
  • Fraudulent diagnoses
  • Poorly trained, under-paid, and insufficient employees
  • Incompetent or a lack of responses to questions regarding care and injuries


The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that the caretaker-to-patient ratio be 1 caretaker to every 1.64 residents. Due to understaffing, the caretaker-to-resident ratio can skyrocket to 1 in 30. Though each state has its own ratio stipulations, we have to face one glaring truth: Understaffing can lead to frustrated and underpaid staff and therefore more opportunities for neglect.

Inadequate or Lack of Proper Training

Nursing homes are responsible for securing their facilities with licensed, qualified caretakers with a clean record of abuse and neglect. All homes are required by law to prepare its employees for every possible scenario—regardless of licensed qualifications. In some instances, facilities fail to do so and as such are far less equipped to treat residents with an acceptable level of care.

Contact a Nursing Home and Elder Abuse Attorney Today

If you’ve uncovered that a nursing home or its employees have committed abuse or neglect, you may be eligible for compensation to cover damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses, temporary or permanent disability, and loss of quality of life. Contact the Indianapolis Nursing Home and Elder Abuse Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help your family get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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Let WKW put our experience to work for you. Contact us for your free case evaluation.


Or, call us today at (317) 920-6400

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