Many people rely on nursing homes or other healthcare facilities to help take care of aging family members. Naturally, these institutions are generally expected to have high standards and to provide excellent treatment. However, sometimes nursing homes fail to uphold an accepted standard of care. If you have a loved one who has suffered from neglect or abuse in a care facility, contact a Porter County nursing home abuse lawyer.

A dedicated injury attorney could examine the facts surrounding the case and help determine effective legal strategies that may demonstrate how abuse may have occurred. They could also begin filing the appropriate paperwork for a claim on your behalf.

Filing a Complaint in Porter County

Individuals who suspect nursing home neglect or abuse have the option to file a complaint with the Indiana State Department of Health. The Department often encourages those filing complaints to provide as much information as possible, including their specific concerns, the time and date of any issues, and the names of those allegedly involved.

After receiving a complaint, the Department typically will inspect the nursing home or healthcare facility named in the complaint. They may generate a report based on the inspection. Anyone with questions on filing a nursing home complaint or providing details for such a complaint may benefit from contacting a Porter County nursing home abuse lawyer for assistance.

Filing a Civil Suit

Individuals also have the option of filing a civil lawsuit against a nursing home to remedy any elder abuse that might be occurring. Since nursing homes have a responsibility to provide the appropriate amount of care to all their residents, lawsuits asserting nursing home abuse may involve one or more negligence claims.

The statute of limitations for a negligence claim typically is two years, according to Indiana Code §34-11-2-4. In a negligence claim, the plaintiff usually asserts that the defendant had a duty of care and subsequently violated that duty, resulting in injury or damage. Since negligence claims may often be fact-specific, those who suspect nursing home abuse may benefit from calling a Porter County nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible.

Filing a Claim on Behalf of Another

Most lawsuits generally require that the plaintiff is the individual who has been injured. However, in certain situations, the family or loved ones of a nursing home resident may be able to file a claim on their behalf. For example, if an individual has previously signed over power of attorney to a family member, then that family member may be able to bring a claim on their behalf. Such a situation usually occurs when a nursing home resident is elderly or is mentally compromised due to a disease like dementia.

Additionally, if a nursing home may have actually caused the death of a resident, that resident’s family member or representative may be able to bring a wrongful death claim on their behalf, according to Indiana Code §34-23-1-1. The deadline for filing such a lawsuit is generally two years after the individual’s death.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse may manifest itself in a variety of ways, including the following:

  • Unexplained injuries, including cuts, bruises, and sores
  • Personality changes due to overmedication or improper medication
  • Decreased cleanliness or sanitation
  • Marks or abrasions on the arms or legs caused by restraints

Those who have loved ones in a nursing home may want to consider the signs of possible abuse. For example, physical abuse could result in new or persistent bruises. Similarly, emotional abuse could result in a nursing home resident becoming withdrawn, silent, or afraid of social contact. An unclean or unsanitary environment could also indicate that a nursing home refuses to look after a patient’s hygiene. A person who observes these possible indicators of nursing home abuse may wish to contact a Porter County nursing home abuse lawyer.

Reaching Out to a Porter County Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

Nursing homes and other long-term health care facilities may be good options to help people take care of their aging relatives. However, some nursing homes may have poor conditions and foster abuse. If you believe that nursing abuse is affecting your loved one, a Porter County nursing home abuse lawyer may be able to help.

Schedule an appointment with a legal representative who understands nursing home abuse cases. They could analyze your situation and determine potential legal strategies that may be helpful moving forward.