October 22, 2017

Filing A Nursing Home Lawsuit

Filing a nursing home lawsuit is often a way to use the justice system as powerful tool to hold the nursing home and others accountable who have done harm through negligent or abusive care to the elderly loved one to which their well-being had been entrusted.  According to the report from the American Association for Justice, Standing Up For Seniors,  it was through litigation brought on behalf of residents that was a catalyst for exposing the incidents of abuse and neglect which occur within nursing home facilities.  If your loved one has been the victim of abuse or neglect while under the care of a nursing home,  you can take steps to get help.  

Negligent Care & Nursing Home Lawsuits

Nursing home lawsuits involve showing that a nursing home patient was the victim of neglect or abuse due to the care they received or failed to receive.  These lawsuits must show a legal ‘cause-and-effect’ relationship between the “negligence”, legally defined as the the failure to exercise ordinary care for the safety of others, and  those responsible for providing the care.  Nursing homes have both federal and state regulations that set the standards for the quality of care they are to provide to their  residents.  The federal “Nursing Home Reform Act”, which applies to nursing facilities who receive federal Medicaid & Medicare funding,  establishes standards for care,  patient rights, and sanctions for non-compliance.

Since the patients at nursing homes often need a higher level of care because they are elderly, may suffer from dementia, have physical limitations, or other health problems that leave them unable to adequately care for themselves, they are the most vulnerable to abuse or neglect.  Often, this neglect or abuse is caused because of a nursing home’s failure to provide enough staff or enough adequately skilled staff to meet the constant needs of their patients.  It is crucial that family members be diligent in observing and recognizing any signs of neglect or abuse in the care their loved one has received.  The following signs of potential abuse or neglect warrants investigation:

Signs of Neglect or Abuse

  • • appearance of pressure sores (also known as “bedsores”, “pressure ulcers”, and “decubitus ulcers”)
  • • skin rash
  • • urine and/or feces odor
  • • lack of attention to the resident’s personal hygiene
  • • falls as a result of inadequate precautions or assistance
  • • the presence of unjustified physical or chemical restraints
  • • bruises, contusions, or lesions
  • • bone fractures
  • • weight loss
  • • dehydration
  • • unexplained mood changes
  • • disorientation
  • • depression or isolation
  • • fear or anxiety
  • • unexplained refusal or inability to communicate
  • • indications of sexual assault

These are just examples, as neglect and abuse can take many forms — too numerous to list.  If you have any suspicions or concerns, you should consider seeking assistance in filing a complaint and potential lawsuit.


Filing a Civil Lawsuit Against the Nursing Home

Once you have suspicions that your loved one is the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, your first step is to report the suspected neglect to the Indiana State Department of Health.   The Indiana State Department of Health is required to investigate reports of abuse or neglect.  These reports can be filed anonymously by anyone, whether related to the patient or not.  The state investigators will gather evidence bearing upon the complaint against the nursing home, often reviewing records and interviewing personnel at the facility.  If the complaint is found to be substantiated, the facility may have to submit a plan to the State explaining how they intend to correct the problem.  If you would like assistance with filing a complaint with the Indiana State Department of Health, you may call our office at 877-769-5377.  We would be glad to help, free of charge.

Filing a complaint with the ISDH may help shed light on the facility problem and force the nursing home to promise to correct the problem; however, this step alone may not bring the accountability you seek from those responsible for the harm to your loved one.  Therefore, in addition to filing a complaint with the ISDH, you may also be able to file a civil lawsuit  in court seeking to hold the negligent nursing home fully accountability for the neglect or abuse.   If you would like more information, the Powless Law Firm, P.C. would like to help you.

Free Case Evaluation

You can request a free case consultation today by:

  • • calling 877-769-5377, or
  • • by submitting the free case consultation request form on this page.

Here is important information you should know about us:

  • • We concentrate upon nursing home neglect and medical malpractice claims only, and have years of experience and success in doing so.
  • •  We never represent the negligent , nursing homes, hospitals, healthcare providers or their insurers.
  • • We offer free consultations.
  • • We never require any retainer fee.
  • • We accept cases on a contingency basis, meaning we only get paid if we obtain a recovery for you.
  • • We work with a variety of highly qualified medical experts to thoroughly evaluate and present our cases.
  • • We are committed to providing the attention and resources required in these complex cases to help make a difference for those harmed by medical malpractice, and to help force changes that will help protect others.
  • • We accept cases anywhere in Indiana.

We would like to help You.   Please contact us now for a free consultation.  Click above to be directed to a contact form, or call us toll-free at 877-769-5377.

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