Groups » What to Know When Filing a Lawsuit against a Nursing Home

We often admit our loved ones, who are suffering from a health condition, to a nursing home with the hope that he/she will get the best possible medical care. However, the authorities and caregivers often fail to act in an intended manner. This means they deviate from the standard of care, which results in injuries and damages that may have severe consequences. Sometimes, such negligence can also result in the death of a person.

Say, for example, you admit a loved one in a nursing home and the caregivers fail to diagnose the patient's condition or fail to administer the right medication or they fail to care for the patient which leads to painful bedsores. If you or a loved one suffers from injuries due to negligence on part of the nursing home, you must act fast and file a lawsuit to recover the damages.

Nursing home negligence cases are often very complicated since they involve a combination of general negligence, premises liability, medical malpractice and other liabilities. So it is best to consult a lawyer from your state and determine whether you have a case or not. For instance, a victim of nursing home negligence in Indiana must consult an Indiana nursing home negligence lawyer to ensure the best outcome.

What Constitutes Nursing Home Negligence?

Nursing home negligence happens when nursing homes fail to provide appropriate care for the elders and they suffer from injuries as a result of the negligence. The nursing homes have certain duties towards the patients that they must fulfill. In case, they fail to fulfill these duties, one can consider filing a lawsuit against the nursing home.

Some of the most common types of nursing home negligence are:

  • Medical negligence
  • Negligence regarding basic needs (of the patients)
  • Negligence regarding personal hygiene (of the patients)
  • Social or emotional negligence

    People often get confused between nursing home negligence and nursing home abuse; therefore, involving an experienced lawyer is crucial to decide what kind of lawsuit must be filed against the nursing home. Moreover, a large number of nursing home negligence cases go unreported. Thus, you must be vigilant about the quality of care provided for the loved one admitted to the nursing home and keep your eyes open for the signs of neglect.

    Some of the signs of nursing home neglect are:

  • Malnutrition
  • Bedsores and frequent infections
  • Falls resulting in injuries
  • Changes in behavior of the resident
  • Improper personal hygiene
  • Presence of environmental hazards such as ill-maintained medical equipment, slippery floors, bad lighting, etc.

    It is important to notify the nursing home authorities about the negligence at once. If no action is being taken to improve the conditions, then you must consult a lawyer and file a lawsuit to prevent further damages.

    Proving Negligence against a Nursing Home

    A nursing home can be legally held liable for the injuries caused to a resident. However, the plaintiff is required to prove that the injuries were actually caused due the negligence on part of the nursing home and the caregivers.

    Proving negligence in such cases can be very complicated since there might be a number of elements that you and your lawyer would be required to prove. Typically, the elements of personal injury would apply in case of nursing home abuse and negligence and they are:

  • Nursing home owed the duty of care to the resident
  • Nursing home breached the duty of care
  • The injuries (or harm) were caused as a result of the negligence

    Remember, you would be required to provide appropriate evidence to prove your stance. Only an experienced lawyer would be able to guide you through the complicated legal processes and ensure success. In order to prove liability, the plaintiff can use the following as evidence:

  • Photographs of the injuries and/or bruises suffered by the resident
  • Photographs of the medications given/prescribed to the resident
  • Photocopies of medical reports
  • Notes on personal observations (both physical and emotional) kept by close family members
  • Notes on conversation with the resident or staff, etc.

    In certain cases, a third party might also be liable for the injuries suffered by the resident. Remember, every case is different; so the evidence required to prove negligence would be different as well. Thus the involvement of an experienced lawyer would be crucial to ascertain success.

    In case a plaintiff is able to prove negligence on part of the nursing home, he/she would be able to recover damages for physical pain, mental suffering, emotional distress, lost wages, and cost of necessary medical treatment. A plaintiff may also be eligible to recover punitive damages under certain circumstances.


    Older adults often need to be shifted to nursing homes to ensure proper care. However, more and more elderly people are suffering from injury or harm at the hands of people who are responsible for taking care. The injuries/harm might be unintentional or intentional; therefore it is the responsibility of the family members to be vigilant about the quality of care provided and take actions in case the nursing home/ caregivers fail to care properly.

    It is important to work along with an experienced lawyer, who is well versed in the medical malpractice laws of your state, since proving negligence of the nursing home is often very difficult. The right lawyer would be able to gather the necessary evidence and put forward the arguments that would prove liability and help you and your loved ones recover the damages.

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