Where Can I Find the Best Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer in Indianapolis?
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Nursing home abuse is unlawful, egregious, and can lead to life-changing injuries and premature death. Finding out that your loved one suffered harm due to abuse or neglect in their nursing home can be deeply disturbing and heartbreaking. However, you are not powerless and could stand up against the negligent nursing facility.
If your loved one experienced nursing home abuse in Indianapolis, you need aggressive and experienced legal representation. Morgan & Morgan is here to help you and your loved one get justice and compensation. Our nursing home abuse attorneys are waiting to hear from you. Contact us now for a free case review to determine whether you have a legal claim against a nursing home.
Locating the Best Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Serving Indianapolis
Finding a qualified and dedicated nursing home abuse attorney can be critical for the outcome of your case. Nursing home claims usually fall under personal injury law. However, rather than working with a generalist personal injury lawyer, consider hiring a specialist who only handles nursing home claims in Indiana. This ensures that your lawyer is up-to-speed on any state and federal laws governing nursing homes and has the relevant experience required to fight even challenging cases. They should also have an understanding of geriatric health issues.
Word of Mouth
Consider asking friends and family for recommendations. You could also ask attorneys you worked with before whether they know of any respected colleagues practicing in the field.
Since most attorneys have an internet presence, searching online can be a great way to find a lawyer. Moreover, when looking at law firms and attorneys online, you can usually find past client reviews that indicate how satisfied previous clients were with the law firm. You can find attorneys with a simple Google search or by using the “Indiana Lawyer Finder” function on the Indiana State Bar website.
Morgan & Morgan Is Here for You
In the most difficult and upsetting moments of your life, you can count on Morgan & Morgan. We have helped thousands of injured clients receive what they deserve and could help you and your loved one too. As America’s largest personal injury firm, Morgan & Morgan has the resources to fight even complex and lengthy claims. Moreover, our nursing home abuse attorneys are experienced trial lawyers who will leave no stone unturned in fighting for the full value of your claim.
What Qualifies as Nursing Home Abuse in Indianapolis?
Families of nursing home residents rely on a facility to keep their relatives safe and healthy. However, nursing home abuse could be more widespread than we think. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), many cases of abuse may go unreported.
Nursing home abuse can come in various forms, such as:
- Physical violence
- Unlawful restraint
- Unnecessary medication
- Verbal and emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Financial exploitation
It is important to note that neglecting a senior’s most basic needs, such as eating, drinking, and personal hygiene, also qualifies as abuse.
Signs That Your Loved One Experiences Abuse
Physical abuse is generally easier to detect than neglect or emotional abuse. Signs that your loved one is mistreated in their nursing home include:
- Extensive and unexplained bruising
- Cuts and burns
- Personality changes such as withdrawal and fearfulness
- Cognitive deterioration
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Rapid weight loss
Character changes and physical injuries are not always evidence of abuse and could be part of the normal aging process. However, if you detect any unexplained signs and symptoms, always err on the side of caution and demand explanations from the nursing home. Getting independent medical advice from a trusted doctor can also be an excellent idea if you have suspicions that your loved one is experiencing abuse.
A Nursing Home Could Be Liable for Abuse or Neglect
Residents of nursing homes in Indiana have various rights. According to the federal Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, 42 U.S. Code § 1395i–3, skilled nursing facilities must provide care promoting residents’ physical and mental health AND must be free from neglect and abuse. Moreover, under Indiana state law, nursing homes must be certified and licensed to ensure an appropriate standard of care.
If your loved one suffered from illegal abuse in their nursing home, the facility could be liable due to:
Although Indiana has no separate law dealing with nursing home staffing requirements, the state is tied to federal rules and regulations. Federal law determines, for example, that a nursing home must have a registered nurse on duty for eight consecutive hours every day. When a nursing home employs too few caregivers and support staff, residents are more likely to suffer from neglect and abuse. Staff could be overworked, rushed, and irritated due to mounting pressure.
Nursing homes must hire prudently and ensure that new staff members have the necessary qualifications and character suited to care for nursing home residents. Moreover, support staff such as cleaners and cooks should also undergo background checks. Failing to vet employees could put residents at risk from convicted criminals or known abusers.
Lack of Training
Nursing home staff must receive appropriate training. Lack of training can have detrimental consequences on the health and well-being of residents. Residents could be treated by staff lacking an understanding of their care needs. Untrained staff may also fail to prevent avoidable accidents, such as slips and falls. Employees might overmedicate patients or illegally restrain them, causing injuries. You could hold a nursing home to account if your loved one suffered harm due to inadequate staff training.
Families may not realize that they can also hold nursing homes accountable for any abuse from third parties. Nursing homes must provide a safe environment for residents, including adequate security measures. If a resident suffers abuse from a visitor, contractor, or another resident, the nursing home could be responsible for the resident’s injuries and damages.
There can be other instances when a nursing home is liable for your loved one’s injuries and financial losses. If you suspect that something is amiss in your relative’s nursing home and they suffer an unexplained injury, contact our nursing home attorneys as soon as possible to protect your loved one’s health and rights.
Proving a Nursing Home Abuse Claim
Proving a nursing home abuse claim can be challenging. Most nursing homes are experienced in fighting such claims and have lawyers on retainers. However, if your loved one suffered abuse or neglect, the following can help to prove your case:
Note the Signs of Abuse
Signs that your loved one experienced physical or emotional abuse can include:
- Fear of caregivers
- Stained and torn clothing
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Fractures and other serious injuries
If your loved one is showing any concerning signs, make detailed notes and take pictures of any visible injuries. Get medical help as soon as possible. Pictures of the injuries and a medical report can be crucial evidence if you intend to hold the facility to account.
Gather Your Loved One’s Nursing Home and Medical Records
Nursing home records can be important evidence as they may include details of injuries, medication, and inconsistencies in care. Medical records can also detail injuries associated with substandard care and abuse, such as malnutrition, dehydration, bedsores, and others.
Try to Find Witnesses
Abuse and neglect in the nursing home can involve several residents. When talking to other residents, family members, or nursing home employees, you may uncover other abuse cases or find witnesses for what happened to your loved one. Witness testimony can be crucial for the success of your case.
Contact an Indianapolis Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Since proving a nursing home abuse claim can be tough, consider working with an experienced and skilled nursing home abuse lawyer from Morgan & Morgan. Our lawyers can investigate the nursing home thoroughly and request internal and state records relating to the home. We can also determine whether the home violated any laws previously, which can strengthen your case.
Compensation in Nursing Home Abuse Cases
What you can recover with a nursing home abuse claim will depend on your individual circumstances and the extent of your loved one’s injuries. However, in general, damages in nursing home abuse claims include:
- Medical bills
- Living expenses
- Costs of moving to another nursing home
- Pain and suffering
- Mental health counseling costs
- Physical rehabilitation expenses
- Medical transportation costs
If your loved one died due to nursing home negligence, you could receive additional damages such as burial and funeral costs. In some cases, victims recover punitive damages in addition to compensation. A court might award punitive damages if the nursing home acted particularly egregiously.
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When Should I File a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit in Indianapolis?
Victims of nursing home abuse and neglect in Indiana can generally bring a case within two years of the incident and injury. While there can be exceptions that could lengthen the time available for filing a suit, claimants should contact an attorney as soon as possible. If too much time passes, finding evidence and eyewitnesses to prove a claim can be difficult.
Does Medicare or Medicaid Receive Some of My Compensation?
It depends on which types of damages you receive. If your claim involves medical bills that were paid by Medicaid or Medicare, you will most likely have to reimburse the agency that paid for the medical bills. However, this does not apply to other portions of the settlement, such as awards for pain and suffering, loss of life enjoyment, and others. A nursing home abuse attorney can advise you and ensure you are not paying more than your fair share.
How Do I Report Nursing Home Abuse in Indiana?
If you suspect that a staff member, resident, or another party, abused your loved one, your best first step can be to alert the nursing home management and administration. Health care facilities such as nursing homes must have a response team and policies in place to immediately address abuse and neglect. You should also file an official report with the Indianapolis Department of Health (IDOH).
You can report nursing home abuse in one of the following ways:
- Filling out and submitting an online form
- Mailing a letter to the IDOH
- Faxing or emailing a complaint to the department
- Calling the IDOH
Details of addresses, email addresses, fax numbers, and online forms can be found on the IDOH website.
While your priority will undoubtedly be ensuring your loved one’s safety, reporting the issue as soon as possible is crucially important. A report with the IDOH can be essential evidence if you want to sue the nursing home for damages. Your report could also prevent other seniors from suffering abuse or neglect at the nursing home.
Can I Afford an Indianapolis Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer?
We understand that the decision to hire a nursing home abuse lawyer can depend on financial considerations. While each law firm has its own fee structure, Morgan & Morgan never charges clients upfront. You don’t pay a dime out of your own pocket when you work with us. We only get paid if we win and recover compensation for you.
Morgan & Morgan Fights for the Victims of Nursing Home Abuse
Family members of a nursing home resident experiencing abuse and neglect often wonder whether they could have done anything to prevent their loved one’s ordeal. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is widespread. Unless you are by your loved one’s side 24 hours a day and seven days a week, prevention is impossible. After all, we move our seniors into nursing homes thinking they are safe and receive adequate care. One of the best ways to help your loved one and others who could be affected is by reporting the abuse and holding the responsible party accountable.
Morgan & Morgan’s tenacious nursing home abuse lawyers are committed to helping victims of nursing home abuse and their families. Contact us today to determine your next best steps in a free case review.