Most nursing homes offer quality care to our elderly loved ones who can no longer live on their own and have care needs beyond the family’s capabilities. Unfortunately, sometimes the nursing homes and staffers we trust engage in abuse or neglect of the people in their care. When that happens, nursing homes should be held accountable, and injured residents and their families should get the financial compensation and justice they deserve.
St. Louis Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Our St. Louis nursing home abuse lawyers at Sumner Law Group, LLC, have more than 50 years of combined legal experience fighting for victims and their families. We fight fiercely for the maximum compensation families need after tragedies like these. We also know that when one family stands up, they are potentially protecting many more vulnerable people from being abused or neglected.
Contact us today to discuss your case in a free and confidential consultation. Our St. Louis nursing home abuse lawyers do not charge any fees to begin work on your case, and you only pay us if we win money for you.
What to Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse
If you believe that a loved one is being subjected to abuse or neglect in a nursing home, take action right away. You can prevent further harm and help protect your family’s legal rights to pursue financial compensation for your loved one’s injuries and damages.
- If you believe that your loved one is facing an imminent threat of physical harm, call 911 to report it.
- If you believe that abuse or neglect is an ongoing problem, report your suspicions to the nursing home administrators. The abuse or neglect may be limited to certain staff members. If that is the case, the nursing home should take immediate steps to remedy the situation and keep your loved one safe.
- Report your nursing home abuse case to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. The department maintains an Adult Abuse and Neglect Hotline between the hours of 7 a.m. and 12 a.m., 365 days a year, at 1-800-392-0210. You can use the online reporting tool on the DHSS website 24 hours a day. You can also file a report with DHSS’s Division of Regulation and Licensure to initiate an investigation into your loved one’s nursing home facility.
- Document evidence to substantiate your suspicions of nursing home abuse or neglect. Take photographs of signs or symptoms that your loved one is suffering from abuse or neglect. Speak with other residents or staffers who may have witnessed the suspected abuse or neglect.
How a St. Louis Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Can Help You
When your loved one has been the victim of abuse or neglect, you need to speak to a St. Louis nursing home abuse lawyer from Sumner Law Group, LLC, right away. We can help you evaluate your legal options and pursue justice for your loved one by:
- Conducting an independent investigation into the alleged abuse or neglect to recover all available evidence.
- Consulting with industry-leading experts in medicine and the nursing home industry to build a persuasive argument proving that your loved one has been the victim of abuse and or neglect. The experts can also help identify the party or parties that should be held legally responsible for the harm your loved one has had to endure.
- Helping your family document your loved one’s damages, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost quality of life.
- Filing your claim for compensation with the responsible parties and their insurance companies, and aggressively pursuing a negotiated settlement that provides full compensation.
- Preparing your case for trial and advocating on your family’s behalf to the judge and jury, if necessary
At Sumner Law Group, LLC, we recognize that having a loved one suffer from nursing home neglect and abuse already presents a difficult situation for your family. That’s why our legal team handles these cases with no upfront fees. You never pay us unless we recover compensation for you.
Demanding Justice for Your Loved One
No amount of money can undo the harm and trauma your loved one has gone through. However, securing financial compensation from those responsible for your loved one’s abuse and neglect can help provide a measure of accountability and justice.
In a nursing home abuse and neglect claim, you may be entitled to recover compensation for these types of damages:
- Costs of medical treatment for injuries and illnesses inflicted by abuse and neglect
- Mental health treatment
- Out-of-pocket expenses, such as costs to remove your loved one from a nursing home facility and relocate to a new facility
- Pain and suffering, or physical and emotional distress
- Lost enjoyment or quality of life, due to the inability to participate in previously enjoyed activities, or reduced life expectancy due to injuries or illness
Types of Cases Our Firm Handles
Some of the common types of cases our St. Louis nursing home abuse lawyers handle involve:
- Falls. Nursing homes have an obligation to implement procedures to prevent residents from falling, including developing individualized plans for residents who have a heightened risk of falling. Nursing home staffers who fail to monitor residents may be held responsible for falls that could have been prevented had there not been carelessness or negligence.
- Sexual abuse. Unfortunately, nursing home residents are particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse by staffers. This may include rape and sexual assault, unwanted sexual touching, or forcible exposure for sexual gratification. Sexual abuse can lead to physical injury, infection by sexually transmitted disease, and emotional trauma.
- Bedsores and infections. Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are among the most common injuries caused by nursing home neglect. Residents with mobility issues must be frequently moved to help prevent the formation of pressure ulcers. When nursing home staff members allow a resident to sit in a chair or lie in bed for hours and days, residents are at risk of developing bedsores. If left untreated, bedsores can lead to permanent injury, disability, or fatal infections.
Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Many people consider nursing home neglect and abuse as intentionally inflicting injury or ignoring the needs of nursing home residents. However, abuse and neglect can come in many different forms, including:
- Physical abuse This is the use of physical force that results in injury, impairment, or pain. Examples include hitting, punching, shoving, slapping, shaking, kicking, and even inappropriate use of drugs or physical restraints.
- Sexual abuse This includes non-consensual sexual contact or conduct of any kind. Sexual conduct or contact with a nursing home resident incapable of consent always constitutes sexual abuse.
- Emotional/psychological abuse This involves the infliction of emotional distress through verbal or nonverbal acts. This includes shouting or yelling, insults, intimidation, humiliation, belittling, harassment, threats of physical violence, or denial of privileges or necessities.
- Financial abuse This involves the improper or illegal use of a nursing home resident’s money and assets. Examples include the use of credit cards or bank accounts without authorization, stealing property, improper use of legal guardianship or power of attorney, or coercing a nursing home resident to alter financial or estate planning documents to benefit the abuser.
- Neglect This generally refers to the refusal or failure to perform duties owed to a nursing home resident. Examples include not providing necessities such as food, water, shelter, medicine, hygiene, or safety.
- Self-neglect This refers to behavior by an elderly person who threatens his or her own personal safety, including failing to provide for themselves or consume adequate food and water, wear appropriate clothing, or take care of personal hygiene and medication needs. Nursing home staffers can commit abuse and neglect by failing to intervene when a resident engages in self-neglect.
Missouri Statute of Limitations on
Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Claims
Under Missouri’s statute of limitations, most lawsuits alleging nursing home abuse and neglect must be filed within five years of the date of the resident’s injury (or the date of the last injury). Some nursing home abuse and neglect claims have other limitations periods. For example, a wrongful death claim arising from abuse or neglect must be filed within three years of the resident’s death. Nursing home abuse and neglect claims arising from medical malpractice must be filed within two years of the date of the alleged negligent treatment.
If you fail to file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, the court can permanently dismiss your case. When that happens, you lose your right to seek financial recovery in court.
Signs of Neglect and Abuse
Be on the lookout for these common signs and symptoms of nursing home abuse and neglect:
- Heavy medication or sedation
- Bedsores/pressure ulcers
- Restraint injuries
- Fall injuries
- Head injuries
- Rapid weight loss or gain
- Unexplained injuries
- Frequent and unexplained illnesses, or illnesses not reported to family
- Multiple injuries in various stages of healing
- Sexually transmitted infections
- Unsanitary or unclean living conditions
- Poor hygiene and unwashed or damaged clothing and bedding
- Unusual changes in behavior, such as rocking, sucking, biting, or fear of being touched
- Reluctance to speak in the presence of staffers, or fear of being left alone or left alone with particular staffers
- Becoming extremely withdrawn and isolated
- Lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities
Talk to a St. Louis Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Now
If your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, call us or contact us online for a free consultation. A St. Louis nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer from Sumner Law Group, LLC, will advise you of your legal rights and help you take steps to protect your loved one.