legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Indiana Nursing Home Lawsuit Settlements (Case Values)
In September of last year, 88 year-old Indiana resident, Anna Taylor, alleged to authorities that she experienced abuse at the hands of a nursing home employee at Northwest Healthcare Center. According to the report, the nurse threw her onto her bed after coming into the room angry. She subsequently suffered worse health than when she arrived at the center, citing that she could no longer move her arm.
Unfortunately, cases like this are far too common, with some reports estimating as many as 10% of adults over the age of 60 suffer some type of abuse or neglect at the hands of caregivers, leading to estimates as high as five million abuse cases each year.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Found in Indiana Nursing Homes
Nursing home residents can potentially face several types of abuse and neglect.
- Physical Abuse
This describes any type of excessive force, striking, or hitting a nursing home resident.
- Sexual Abuse
This may involve rape, sexual battery, or forcing a resident to view pornographic materials.
- Emotional Abuse
This often includes ridicule or verbal assaults, often leading to psychological damage and feelings of isolation that may worsen physical health. A recent investigation showed that as many as half of abusive caregivers used Snapchat to share abuse and ridicule of the elderly.
- Falling Injuries
These injuries can occur when nursing home staff fail to properly account for a patient’s falling risk. These injuries may also occur from poorly maintained facilities.
- Medication Errors
Any medication error can cause potentially fatal medical complications. Caregivers must carefully review each patient’s prescription orders before administering medications.
Pressure ulcers may develop in bedridden or wheelchair-bound patients if caregivers fail to reposition them on a regular basis.
- Wrongful death
Any sudden or unexplained death demands immediate investigation.
- Financial Abuse
Forms of abuse are not only physical. In 2010 alone, financial exploitation of elders in Indiana resulted in losses of more than $38 million. To compare, loss due to bank robbery only resulted in $1 million.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Indiana state law requires anyone with knowledge of elder abuse of any kind to report it immediately to the Indiana Adult Protective Services program. If you notice any signs that may indicate elder abuse or neglect at an Indiana nursing home, report them immediately and act to prevent your elderly loved one from suffering further abuse.
- Bedsores are a common indication that nursing home staff have failed to properly address a resident’s medical condition and prevent bedsores with appropriate turning.
- Repeat falls could indicate that nursing home staff did not use appropriate techniques or assistive equipment to lift and move a resident, or the facility is unsafe in other ways.
- Injuries from wandering could mean the nursing home failed to properly supervise a patient with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and prevent him or her from wandering.
- Unexplained injuries always demand further investigation; if your loved one has bruises or other signs of injury, demand an incident report and an explanation from nursing home staff.
- Noticeable changes in personality could be the result of ongoing sexual or emotional abuse.
A new proposed bill in Indiana calls for a required state registry for those convicted of nursing home abuse. This would give families the ability to check potential caregivers against the list. You can also check your loved one’s facility for any citations or compare ratings online.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
There are several factors that influence the value of any nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuit. Primarily, the defendant will need to repay the economic losses resulting from the plaintiff’s experiences, such as the family’s lost income from time spent caring for a victimized elderly loved one and the cost of additional medical expenses resulting from abuse. Other factors also influence the value of such a case, including:
- The age of the victim.
- The overall conduct of the facility, such as whether they used an appropriate background check and hiring process for staff members.
- Available insurance coverage.
- The pain and suffering of the victim and family.
In addition to the economic compensation available, a successful nursing home lawsuit can also lead to other valuable benefits, such as inspiring new legislation or legal precedents to protect other nursing home residents from similar types of abuse and neglect.
If you believe your elderly loved one has suffered any kind of abuse or neglect in an Indiana nursing home, contact us today so we can help you determine your options for legal recourse.
- Elder Abuse Overview
- Elderly woman says nursing home employee abused her, roommate
- Adult Protective Services
- Elder Abuse and Elder Financial Exploitation Statutes