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What to Do if Your Loved One Was Assaulted in a Nursing Home in Indiana


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Nursing homes are supposed to take care of our loved ones when we find ourselves unable to do so. Abuse is all too common in nursing homes, and if your loved one was assaulted, you should take immediate legal action. You should know there is a difference between nursing home neglect and abuse. An assault may be a physical assault by nursing home staff or may include sexual abuse either by a staff member or another resident.

An assault in a nursing home in Indiana is an extremely serious incident. You may have the option to file a civil lawsuit against the nursing home and its staff members, but they can also be criminally charged. Navigating your case may be challenging as the civil and criminal matters are pending simultaneously. You need an experienced attorney to help you get through this incredibly difficult time.

If your loved one was assaulted in a nursing home in Indiana, you must act swiftly to get your loved one to safety. Our Indiana nursing home abuse attorneys can help you figure out what to do next. Call Wruck Paupore at (219) 322-1166 for a free case evaluation.

Reporting My Loved One’s Assault in a Nursing Home in Indiana

If you suspect that your loved one has been assaulted, you might be wondering whom you can speak to about this. In the case of an assault, you should first contact the police. Call 911 and explain that you believe your loved one was assaulted in a nursing home. It is okay if you do not have all the details yet, such as who specifically committed the assault and why. If your loved one is injured, you can also have emergency services dispatched to get them to a hospital for treatment and evaluation.

Additionally, the Indiana Attorney General’s office maintains a division specifically charged with helping victims in these matters. They maintain an Abuse and Neglect help line for anyone who needs to report suspected abuse, including assaults, and can be reached at 800-382-1039.

You can also report the assault to the Indiana Department of Health (IDOH). The IDOH is responsible for overseeing many different healthcare facilities, including nursing homes. When a complaint is filed, the IDOH may conduct a survey or inspection of the nursing home. This may uncover additional evidence of assault or other forms of abuse. It is also possible that other nursing home residents are being abused, and the inspection may help them too. A complaint to the IDOH usually requires more specific information about the assault, and our Indianapolis nursing home abuse attorneys and Fort Wayne nursing home abuse lawyers can help you submit a complaint. The IDOH will then conduct its own investigation.

Can I Sue After My Loved One Was Assaulted in an Indiana Nursing Home?

You can sue after your loved one was assaulted in a nursing home in many instances. You may also be able to obtain financial compensation without having to file a lawsuit. Our Milwaukee nursing home abuse lawyers are experienced in holding nursing homes accountable for their mistreatment of residents, and we can assist you if you’re dealing with this tragic situation.

Among other things we will help you determine who is liable for your loved one’s injuries. In many cases, the person who committed the assault was a nursing home staff member. Staff members have easy access to vulnerable residents, making assaults incredibly easy to commit. However, sometimes assaults are committed by other nursing home residents. In either case, the assailant can be held accountable.

While the person or people who committed the assault should certainly be named defendants, the nursing home and possibly others may also have liability. The nursing home is responsible for hiring competent staff members, training them, maintaining safety standards, and providing supervision and oversight. The fact that your loved one was assaulted may mean the nursing home provided negligent security to its residents.

Whether the assault came from a staff member or another resident, the nursing home may still be liable. Talk to our Indiana nursing home attorneys about your rights and how to hold the nursing home responsible, including filing a lawsuit if necessary.

How Do I Sue a Nursing Home in Indiana After My Loved One Was Assaulted?

Assaults do not happen by accident. They are intentional acts of harm inflicted on others. As such, we can allege an intentional tort against the person or people who assaulted your loved one. We must prove that the defendant caused harm to your loved one and that they intended to do so. It may be harder to bring an assault case against the nursing home itself, but there may be other claims of negligence we can file against the nursing home.

Negligence involves proving that the nursing home owed a duty of care to your loved one to keep them safe, that this duty was breached, the breach caused your loved one’s injuries, and the injuries are real and not hypothetical. It may be difficult to figure out what kind of lawsuit you have on your hands or whom you should sue for nursing home assault. Our Fort Wayne nursing home abuse lawyers can help you answer these questions and move your case forward.

Damages for Nursing Home Assault in Indiana

You and your loved one can claim many possible damages in a lawsuit for assault. Broadly speaking, damages are categorized as “economic” or “non-economic.” Economic damages relate to money you spent because of the assault. Some economic damages include the following:

  • Hospital bills
  • Future medical treatment
  • The cost of a new nursing home or private care
  • The cost to replace any property damaged during the assault

Non-economic damages are for intangible injuries experienced by your loved one, and these are often the most significant element of a claim against a nursing home. Some non-economic damages are as follows:

  • Physical pain
  • Mental or emotional suffering and anguish
  • Humiliation

Non-economic damages are more subjective, and we may have to demonstrate their value. It is very important that we demonstrate how this impacted everyone involved emotionally. It is very difficult to put a price tag on a person’s dignity and spirit, but ultimately it is important that we allow you and your loved ones to be heard about the tragic impact the incident has had on your lives. This is a critical part of holding nursing homes accountable for their breach of trust and to try to prevent similar things from happening in the future.

Our South Bend nursing home abuse lawyers will work with you to tell your story and make certain you recover all damages your loved one is entitled to.

What Happens if the Indiana Nursing Home Faces Criminal Charges for Assaulting My Loved One?

Assault in a nursing home may lead to criminal charges for the defendants in addition to your civil lawsuit. This may be both good and bad for your case.

The good thing about criminal charges in your case is that a guilty verdict can work in your favor. If defendants plead guilty or are found guilty by a jury, we can use that guilty verdict against them in our civil case.

In some instances, it makes sense to wait to file your civil lawsuit until the criminal case is completed. However, our Indiana nursing home abuse attorneys will use this time to investigate and strengthen your civil case, so we are as prepared to move forward as quickly as possible. Often these cases resolve through settlement after the resolution of a criminal prosecution.

Call Our Indiana Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys for Assistance

If your loved one was assaulted in their nursing home facility, they deserve justice and compensation. Our Hammond, IN nursing home abuse lawyers can help you get just compensation. Call Wruck Paupore Injury Lawyers at (219) 322-1166 for a free case review.

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Top-Rated Litigator.
Helping injury victims move forward.

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.

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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.

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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.

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