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December 19, 2023

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Nursing home staff in Indianapolis have a duty to provide the utmost care for their residents. If your loved one is injured as a result of the care that they received from a nursing home, you can seek compensation for nursing home injuries or wrongful death.

Our nursing home abuse attorneys have helped many elderly patients and their families recover compensation from facilities in and around Indianapolis, no matter whether they suffered from physical abuse or nursing home neglect. 

Read on to learn more about what family members can do after they suspect that their loved one might be the victim of elder abuse, the statute of limitations for nursing home abuse cases in Indianapolis, how to report them, and the steps to take to recover compensation.

What to Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse in Indianapolis, Indiana

Assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and memory care centers have a duty to provide proper care. If you notice any signs of nursing home abuse or neglect, you need to take immediate action. This includes knowing what signs to watch out for, how to report the abuse, and when to reach out to nursing home abuse lawyers. 

Common Signs of Abuse and Negligence in Nursing Facilities in Indianapolis

Some nursing home patients will not be able to tell their family members what’s happening to them. Here are some signs that should lead families to suspect nursing home abuse:

  • Fractured or broken bones
  • Unexplained injuries, including bruises
  • Bed sores
  • Medication errors
common types of nursing home abuse in Indianapolis

Reporting Nursing Home Abuse in Indianapolis, IN

If you suspect nursing home negligence or abuse, it is urgent that you report your suspicions as soon as possible. This can help to protect your loved one and other nursing home residents who could be in danger. Start by documenting your concerns in writing and taking photos, if possible. 

Next, file a confidential complaint against the nursing home facility with the Indiana Department of Health by calling its toll-free Complaint Report Line at 1 (800) 246-8909 [1]. The toll-free complaint line is available during state business hours. However, you can also fill out an Online Complaint Submission Form [2]. 

You can also report what happened to Indiana’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program [3]. You can call the state’s ombudsman at 800-622-4484 or email Indiana’s LTC ombudsman program will follow up directly two to three days after a complaint is filed.

If, at any point, you are concerned that your loved one will suffer harm or bodily injury if not immediately removed from their assisted living facility or nursing home, you can call the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department by calling 9-1-1. Law enforcement can intervene for urgent and immediate danger.

When to Hire an Indianapolis Nursing Home Lawyer

You don’t need to wait until your loved one faces serious injury to file a legal claim or to seek financial compensation. You can schedule a free case evaluation with our law firm, which specializes in elderly abuse, as soon as you suspect that there is something wrong. The sooner you start the process, the less likely vital evidence will have time to be lost or destroyed.

Who Is Legally Liable for Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Indianapolis, IN?

There are several different parties that can be held liable in cases of negligent nursing homes.

In many cases, nursing home workers are responsible for their own actions. If they ignore the needs of a nursing home patient or hit them, they are liable for their actions. 

If policies or understaffing caused injury to your loved one, it is also possible to hold nursing home administrators and the nursing home itself responsible. 

In cases of medical malpractice, staff or consulting medical professionals can be held legally liable for the improper care of a nursing home resident. Sometimes, this can be challenging to prove, as most elderly nursing home residents have a variety of medical conditions that require additional care. 

However, our team of Indiana nursing home abuse attorneys is here to help with that.

How Long Do I Have to File a Nursing Home Abuse Claim in Indianapolis?

According to Indiana Court Services, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years from the date of the injury [4]. The statute of limitations for wrongful death claims is also two years from the date of death. This means that if you miss the deadline, you may not be able to file a lawsuit to seek justice for your loved one.

What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit in Indianapolis?

There are many different types of damages that our law firm can help you claim in a nursing home abuse or negligence case. This includes economic damages, such as compensation for medical care and the costs of moving to a new nursing home. 

There are also non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, that you could claim. Perhaps your loved one is dealing with a lot of emotional trauma or lost sleep as a result of what happened.

Various factors go into how much is awarded, including the circumstances of what happened, aggravating factors such as abuse, and the emotional impacts on the victim and their family.

How to Prove Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect in Indianapolis

To prove nursing home neglect, you need to gather information about what happened. This might include personal medical records from before and after the injury to prove that a patient’s injury is the result of the nursing home’s care. It might also include witness testimony, video surveillance, and police reports. 

A nursing home abuse lawyer from our team can help you gather this evidence on your behalf, along with whatever else is needed to move forward.

Indianapolis Nursing Home Abuse Statistics

Nursing home abuse is a major problem in the state of Indiana. According to the Office of the Indiana Attorney General, 40,000+ cases of elder abuse and neglect occur in Indiana each year [5]. It’s important to remember that those are just the cases that have been reported. The Clark County prosecutor estimates that only one in 14 cases of elder abuse and neglect ever get reported. 

Even when state inspectors find violations, they are not always remediated properly. During a follow-up visit to a nursing home in Indianapolis, federal inspectors found that the nursing home had installed the wrong bed rails on a resident’s bed [6]. The type of rails used put the resident in danger of entanglement.

A nursing home abuse lawsuit originating in Indianapolis made its way to the Supreme Court with the claims that a resident didn’t receive the proper care [7]. According to the lawsuit, the resident was overmedicated, and the lack of care accelerated his decline.

Sometimes poor staffing leads to problems with resident-on-resident abuse. An elderly woman was smothered in her bed a few days after arriving at an Indianapolis nursing home [8]. Another resident was charged with her murder. 

Former residents and employees of an Indianapolis nursing home cited the “culture of crime, drugs, and poor treatment” inside their nursing home as the result of low staffing levels and improper supervision. 

Types of Abuse Over Nursing Home Residents in Indianapolis

There are many different types of abuse nursing home residents commonly face in Indianapolis, including:

  • Emotional – Abuse focused on hurting patients emotionally and manipulating them into making decisions that benefit the abuser
  • Sexual – Any unwanted sexual contact or sexual relations when a person cannot consent
  • Physical – Abuse that results in pain and physical damage to the body
  • Financial – Taking advantage of patients for money, including stealing their money out of their accounts
  • Neglect – Failing to provide the needed care, as well as leaving patients isolated and alone

Which Standards Do Nursing Homes Have to Meet in Indianapolis?

Federally, nursing homes must meet the standards outlined in the Nursing Home Reform Act in order to receive Medicare or Medicaid payments [9]. In accordance with this law, these facilities must follow a Residents’ Bill of Rights and be certified by the state to be in compliance with federal laws.

All residential care facilities in Indianapolis must comply with the Indiana Department of Health’s Residential Care Facility Licensing and Certification Program [10]. There are hundreds of standards identified by the Department of Health that nursing homes must comply with, with stricter standards and policies in place for facilities that work with patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. 

Some examples of the standards that must be met that apply to residents and their families include:

  • Residents have the right to communicate with people inside and outside of the facility
  • Residents are entitled to dignity 
  • Residents are allowed to live in the nursing home without coercion, discrimination, or restraint
  • Residents and applicable family members are able to request written documentation, such as admission agreements, and must receive these documents upon admission
  • Residents are allowed to voice grievances with staff and those outside of the facility
  • Organizations must not employ individuals with a background of neglecting, abusing, or mistreating people or property

In accordance with the Housing with Services Establishments Act, all residential care facilities must register with Indiana’s FFSA Division of Aging [11] and meet certain requirements, such as:

  • Filing annual disclosure statements to FFSA;
  • Including specific provisions in resident contracts; 
  • Posting publicly its statement of resident rights and status as a housing with services establishment.

Which Agencies Regulate Indianapolis Nursing Homes?

The agencies that regulate Indianapolis nursing homes include:

  • Indiana Department of Health [12]
  • Indiana Family and Social Services Administration [13]
  • Indiana Health Care Association [14]
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services [15]

Technically, nursing homes in Indianapolis must also meet the standards outlined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) if they want to receive Medicare and Medicaid payments [16]. However, the Indiana Department of Health is the organization that regulates and inspects nursing facilities in the area through its contract with CMS. 

Medicare has an online comparison tool that allows you to look at nursing homes within an area and see how they compare [17]. It rates each nursing home on a variety of criteria, including health inspections and staffing levels.

How Often Are Indianapolis Area Nursing Homes Inspected?

Indiana State Department of Health’s Long Term Care Division inspects Medicare and Medicaid-certified nursing homes at least every nine to 15 months [18]. During the unannounced inspection, surveyors assess staffing, care quality, and cleanliness. 

If the facility shows non-compliance in any area, they must submit a plan of correction for how they plan to address the issue. Sometimes, inspectors will conduct a follow-up inspection. The state of Indiana makes Nursing Home Report Cards publicly available online so that consumers are able to see how nursing homes fared on their inspections.

Licensed facilities that are not Medicare and Medicaid certified are inspected once a year [19]. However, it is important to note that assisted living facilities do not have to be licensed if they do not dispense medication.

Contact an Indianapolis Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today!

If your loved one has experienced abuse or neglect at their nursing home in Indianapolis, they could be entitled to compensation. Contact a nursing home abuse and neglect attorney from Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation by filling out our contact form or calling us toll-free at (888) 424-5757

Someone from our legal team is available 24/7 to answer your call. We have worked with hundreds of clients to file nursing home claims. We are here for you to discuss what happened to your loved one and what possible legal options you might have for recourse. 

There is no cost for a consultation with our legal team, and our nursing home abuse lawyers work on a contingency fee basis.

Resources: [1] Indiana Department of Health, [2] Indiana Department of Health, [3], [4] Indiana Office of Court Services, [5] Office of the Indiana Attorney General, [6] New York Times, [7] WFYI], [8] Indianapolis Star, [9] AARP, [10] Indiana Department of Health’s Residential Care Facility Licensing and Certification Program, [11] Indiana Assisted Living Association, [12] Indiana Department of Health Division of Long Term Care, [13] Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, [14] IHCA/INCAL, [15] HHS, [16] CMS, [17] Medicare, [18] Indiana Department of Health, [19] National Ombudsman Resource Center

Client Reviews

Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

- Michonne Proulx

Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own.

- Ethan Armstrong

Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan!

- Giulia

This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you.

- Daniel Kaim

Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

- Lisa
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