If you or a loved one is a resident at a nursing home, you deserve the care and compassion that one expects from such a facility. However, when you don’t get it, you may be interested in learning how you could be compensated through a lawsuit against the nursing home.
A nursing home that fails to meet its legal duty of care to its residents may be liable for the damages that result from a resident’s injury. This includes when nursing home staff perform the functions of their job negligently. Common causes of nursing home resident injuries may include slip and falls, infections, and bedsores. If you want to access your legal remedy for nursing home negligence, you must file your lawsuit within two years of the day that you sustained your injury.
At Wruck Paupore, we take pride in our ability to fight and win on behalf of our most vulnerable population. We can offer a free initial case evaluation to determine whether you have a case, who was responsible, and how much you could recover. Call our Indiana nursing home injury lawyers today at (219) 322-1166.
Even in environments like nursing homes designed to care for the most vulnerable among us, injuries can happen. Nursing home operators are duty-bound to take reasonably prudent measures to avoid these injuries from occurring. When a nursing home violates its duties, and the violation leads to a resident being injured, the resident can file a personal injury lawsuit against the nursing home itself.
Nursing homes are liable when they violate their duties to residents by neglecting to provide adequate care and resources to their residents, such as food, water, shelter, and medical care when necessary. They also must protect residents from foreseeable harms, such as structural hazards in the nursing home facilities that could pose a threat to residents.
If you don’t know what to look for, it can be difficult to identify where a nursing home has fallen short of its duty of care to an injured resident. Our knowledgeable Indianapolis nursing home injury attorneys can help you spot liability where it occurs in your case so that you can hold the nursing home responsible for its failures.
Nursing homes may also be liable for the harmful actions of staff members if the staff member is acting within the scope of their job. For instance, if nursing home kitchen staff serves poorly prepared food that causes harm to a resident, the resident may sue the nursing home for damages rather than the individual employee who negligently prepared the food.
However, Indiana courts have determined that some staff member behavior that is not explicitly within their job description could still create liability for their employer. This is called the Stropes standard, named after the case in which it originated. Under the Stropes standard, if a staff member at a nursing home is authorized by the employer to engage in physical contact with a resident but take this opportunity to physically harm or sexually assault the resident, the behavior will be considered to be within the scope of their employment for the purposes of the victim’s subsequent lawsuit.
Even in instances where a victim is forced to sue an employee that may not be able to pay the full amount of damages that a victim might require, the State of Indiana has a Patient’s Compensation Fund. This fund contributes to damages that a nursing home resident plaintiff might otherwise not get from the party they are suing.
One of the main benefits of living in a nursing home is that these facilities are supposed to prevent some of the most common dangers that might otherwise affect seniors. However, when a nursing home or assisted living facility does not adequately protect against such dangers, the following are the most common consequences.
Falls are among the most troublesome causes of injuries amongst seniors across the country, not just in Indiana. Nursing homes are responsible for providing an environment free of slippery surfaces, steep walkways, or faulty steps. There should also be adequate support mechanisms like handrails installed throughout the facility to prevent a fall from occurring. Our Milwaukee slip and fall accident lawyer can help you to prepare the case.
Nursing home residents are often more susceptible to illnesses than the general population, particularly when in such proximity to others on a daily basis. Therefore, nursing home operators are responsible for maintaining a reasonable level of sanitization throughout the premises and promoting proper hygiene amongst staff members.
Bedsores present with red, tender, or swollen skin. As they get worse, they may open substantially, creating the opportunity for infection. Bedsores are most common amongst residents with difficulty getting around, so nursing homes are responsible for doing what they can to ensure that these residents don’t remain immobile for extended periods of time.
Nursing home residents who were injured because of nursing home negligence or neglect must file their lawsuit before the statutory time limit runs out. In the State of Indiana, that time limit lasts for two years from the date of the injury. In cases where the injury isn’t immediately obvious, the clock doesn’t start to run until the injury should reasonably have been discovered.
However, this timeline may be impacted by contract. Some nursing homes attempt to limit by contract the amount of time you have to provide them with notice of a claim for recovery. These may be contained in admissions forms signed when your loved one first was admitted to the nursing home. These agreements may not be enforceable by the nursing home but should be reviewed by an attorney as soon as possible after the incident.
Additionally, many nursing home agreements contain “mandatory arbitration” clauses which may require that you submit you claim to arbitration instead of filing a lawsuit. Again, there are times these agreements may not be enforceable but it is very important that you have any such agreement reviewed by a qualified lawyer.
If you do not comply with enforceable provisions of your nursing home admission agreement, or you file a lawsuit after the deadline has come and gone, the nursing home defendant will file a motion to dismiss your claim, which the court will likely grant. This will effectively end any chance of recovering damages for your injuries. Additionally, if the nursing home injury involves possible medical malpractice, there may be special procedures that you are required to follow before you can actively pursue your lawsuit, and failing to follow them could also jeopardize your recovery.
To avoid such an unfortunate outcome, we recommend that you reach out to one of our Hammond, IN nursing home injury attorneys as soon as you suspect you may have a case to review your options.
To get a free initial case assessment for your potential personal injury lawsuit, reach out to Wruck Paupore’s Fort Wayne nursing home attorneys at (219) 322-1166.
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Don is a founding partner and one of the nation’s top-ranked personal injury litigators. He is a member of the Multi-million Dollar Advocates Forum, which includes less than 1% of the nation’s trial lawyers, and awarded the highest ranking given by Martindale Hubbel and AVVO.
More importantly, Don understands representing personal injury victims is about more than recovering the best settlement: it’s about helping clients get back on their feet and supporting them in every aspect of their recovery.
In nearly all cases, our clients seek compensation from the wrongdoer’s insurance company. Before forming Wruck Paupore, Jason worked for a prominent law firm representing some of the world’s largest insurers. This experience gives Jason a deep understanding of the insurance industry and the strategies it uses to pay injury victims as little as possible.
Jason -- and our entire team -- put this inside knowledge to work to force insurance companies to pay what is actually owed. Often, we use the insurance company’s own tactics against them as we fight for the full compensation our client deserves.
For more than four decades, Keith has been fighting for injury victims. During that time, he’s watched the insurance industry change, with insurers now more interested in protecting their stock price than treating injury victims fairly.
Since the beginning, Keith has put people first. From his childhood in Gary, Indiana during the 1960’s and working his way through law school, Keith has risen to become one of the Midwest’s most respected trial lawyers. He has never forgotten that being a lawyer is about helping people -- and seeing injury victims through struggles in a way that could change their lives forever.
Over the decades, Keith, Don and Jason have fought relentlessly for clients, even when other lawyers have said the case was impossible to win.