Merriam, KS

Trusted Merriam Kansas Nursing Home Abuse Law Firm

When a family member is placed in a nursing home, you have the right to expect that they will receive quality care and be treated with dignity. Your family member needs an advocate when a nursing home violates this trust, and an elderly resident is neglected or subjected to physical or emotional abuse. 

Your legal rights should be discussed with a knowledgeable nursing home abuse lawyer at Ricket Law Firm. Some medical professionals become insensitive to the physical limitations and needs of nursing home residents. Unfortunately, the caregivers begin to disregard the needs of the residents or take out their job frustrations on the residents, neither of which should occur. 

A nursing home abuse lawyer from our Merriam Kansas nursing home abuse law firm may be able to draw attention to patient-harming nursing home practices. If you file a lawsuit, your loved one may be shielded from further harm, and other residents of long-term care facilities may be prevented from experiencing similar harm.

Why Do I Need a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer?

Our Merriam Kansas nursing home abuse law firm assists injured residents and their loved ones in obtaining compensation and closure. Below are the advantages of retaining our skilled nursing home abuse lawyer’s services.

Vast Knowledge and Qualified Conduct

Our qualified nursing home abuse lawyer prioritizes cases similar to yours. This extensive experience can give us a significant advantage over law firms that do not routinely handle nursing home abuse and neglect cases. We utilize what we’ve learned from previous cases to ensure that our clients receive the best legal representation and maximum compensation possible. 

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Compensation

Our Merriam Kansas nursing home abuse law firm’s ultimate objective is to obtain compensation for nursing home abuse. This compensation may be applied to:

Each case is meticulously prepared to withstand legal challenges and secure maximum compensation for each client. 

Justice and Peace of Mind

Working with us can help reduce stress for you and your loved ones. Adjusting to life after elder abuse or neglect in a nursing home can be difficult. Fortunately, working with our knowledgeable nursing home abuse lawyer will not be.

What Are the Legal Rights of Nursing Home Residents?

State and federal laws provide extensive legal protections for nursing home residents. Missouri’s Adult Protection law assists nursing home residents. Residents are protected at the federal level by the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987. The Nursing Home Reform Act grants important legal rights to all nursing home residents, including:

  • Freedom from all forms of exploitation and abuse
  • Absolute absence of discrimination
  • Complete details regarding living arrangements
  • Reasonable participation in medical treatment decision-making
  • The ability to express grievances without fear of reprisal
  • The right to solitude
  • The liberty to make private lifestyle choices
  • Flexible visitation hours with family
  • The right to respect and dignity

Residents of nursing homes have the right to have these rights respected at all times. Nursing home abuse and neglect are likely to occur when a facility violates the rights of its residents.

What Are the Most Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?

Many individuals view nursing home neglect and abuse as the deliberate infliction of injury or disregard for the needs of nursing home residents. However, abuse and neglect can manifest in numerous ways, including:

Physical Abuse

This is using physical force on an elderly that causes injury, impairment, or suffering. Examples include hitting, punching, pushing, shoving, slapping, shaking, kicking, and the misuse of drugs or physical restraints.

Sexual Abuse

This includes any non-consensual sexual contact or behavior. Sexual conduct or contact with a nursing home resident incapable of consent is always sexual abuse.

Emotional Abuse

This refers to the intentional infliction of emotional distress via verbal or nonverbal acts. This includes shouting or yelling, insults, intimidation, humiliation, belittling, harassment, physical violence threats, or denial of privileges or necessities.

Financial Abuse

This involves the improper or illegal use of the money and assets of a nursing home resident. Examples include unauthorized use of credit cards or bank accounts, theft, improper use of legal guardianship or power of attorney, and forcing a nursing home resident to alter financial or estate planning documents for the abuser’s benefit.

Neglect

This generally refers to a nursing home resident’s refusal or failure to fulfill their responsibilities. One example is not providing necessities such as food, water, shelter, medicine, hygiene, or safety.

Self-Neglect

This refers to a senior’s behavior that endangers his or her safety, such as failing to provide or consume adequate food and water, wearing appropriate clothing, and attending to personal hygiene and medication needs. When nursing home employees fail to intervene when a resident engages in self-neglect, they may be guilty of abuse and neglect.

What Are the Warning Signs of Neglect and Abuse?

Keep an eye out for the following indicators of nursing home abuse and neglect:

  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Heavy medication or sedation
  • Bedsores or pressure ulcers
  • Restraint injuries
  • Fall accidents
  • Head injuries
  • Rapid weight gain or loss
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Frequent and unexplained illnesses or illnesses that have not been reported to the family
  • Multiple wounds in varying stages of recovery
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
  • Unhygienic or filthy living conditions
  • Unsanitary conditions, unwashed or damaged clothing and bedding
  • Abnormal changes in behavior, such as rocking, sucking, biting, or fear of being touched
  • Reluctance to speak in the presence of staff members or apprehension of being left alone or left alone with specific staff members
  • Extremely withdrawing and isolating oneself
  • Disinterest in formerly enjoyed activities
  • Wandering

When is a Nursing Home Liable for Abuse and Neglect of the Elderly?

If a nursing home or its employees can be shown to have acted negligently, they may be held liable for any resulting damages. In a nursing home abuse lawsuit, compensable damages may include medical expenses, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and disability. 

Some states also permit punitive damages, which are meant to deter the defendant and others from engaging in similar behavior. However, these are only granted in uncommon instances. The following may constitute grounds for filing a claim for nursing home abuse:

Neglectful Hiring

Nursing homes owe it to their residents to hire appropriately qualified personnel, have the required academic degrees for the position for which they are hired, and have no history of violence or abuse. When a nursing home hires employees without background checks, the residents are in jeopardy. In the event of abuse, the nursing home can be held accountable.

Staff Shortages

According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the average ratio of staff to residents is one staff member per 1.64 residents. When a nursing home fails to hire a sufficient number of employees, residents may be neglected due to a lack of caretakers. In addition, the low staff-to-resident ratio may not adequately compensate staff members for the amount of work they are required to perform. 

This can lead to stress among employees, frequently resulting in a decline in morale and compassion. If a resident is injured or dies due to an insufficient number of caregivers, the nursing home may be held liable.

Insufficient Training

In some instances, nursing home staff are not properly trained to handle residents who are disabled or disobedient, and they do not provide the level of care required by law and expected by families. When insufficient staff training leads to a patient’s injury, nursing homes can be held accountable.

Third-Party Liability Claim

Nursing homes are liable for any abuse by third parties within the facility. This is because they have a responsibility to ensure the safety of the residents. For example, if a resident is injured by another resident or the guest of another resident, the nursing home may be held liable if it failed to provide sufficient security to prevent such an incident.

Violation of Statutory or Regulative Rights

Residents of nursing homes have the right to autonomy, dignity, and privacy. If one of its employees violates these fundamental rights, the nursing home can be held accountable.

Pharmaceutical Errors

Medication is an integral part of aging, and nursing home residents can suffer if they are not given the correct dosage at the correct time. If a resident is injured due to an error with a prescription drug, the physician, pharmacy, or pharmacist may be held liable.

What to Expect When Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Claim?

When you file a lawsuit for nursing home abuse, our legal team can perform much of the necessary legwork. Below is a brief explanation of the typical nursing home abuse lawsuit procedure.

  • Collect Evidence
  • File a Lawsuit for Nursing Home Abuse
  • Demand and Share Information
  • Reach a Nursing Home Abuse Agreement
  • Go to Court

Our Merriam Kansas nursing home abuse law firm can determine whether a trial is the best course of action for you. In most instances, a settlement is preferable to litigation.

What Types of Recoverable Compensation Are Available for Victims of Nursing Home Abuse?

In Missouri, victims of nursing home abuse are entitled to compensation that fully compensates for their losses. You or a family member may be entitled to monetary compensation for the following:

  • Expenses for relocating
  • Expenses for medical care related to the abuse
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish and emotional suffering
  • Wrongful death

In many cases of nursing home abuse, punitive damages may also be available. Punitive damages are a form of compensation awarded to the victim, but they are not intended to compensate the victim for their losses. 

Instead, the purpose of punitive damages is to punish the defendant’s extremely bad behavior. Punitive damages are awarded only in cases involving particularly egregious behavior.

What is the Missouri Statute of Limitations on Nursing Home Abuse Claims?

Most lawsuits alleging nursing home abuse and neglect must be filed within five years of the resident’s injury date (or the last injury), per Missouri’s statute of limitations. Some nursing home abuse and neglect claims have alternative statutes of limitation. 

For instance, a claim for wrongful death based on abuse or neglect must be filed within three years of the resident’s passing. Malpractice-based nursing home abuse and neglect claims must be filed within two years of the alleged date of negligent treatment

If you fail to file your lawsuit before the expiration of the statute of limitations, the court may dismiss your case permanently. When this occurs, you forfeit the right to seek monetary recovery in court.

What Are the Types of Cases Our Merriam Kansas Nursing Home Abuse Law Firm Handles?

Our nursing home abuse law firm handles a variety of cases involving the mistreatment of nursing home residents. Below are the various types of cases that our firm handles.

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Our knowledgeable nursing home abuse lawyer can assist you in filing legal claims for physical abuse, sexual abuse, and nursing home neglect.

Wrongful Death

If an elderly loved one dies as a result of abuse or neglect, we may be able to assist the family in filing a wrongful death claim. The purpose of nursing home wrongful death lawsuits is to establish that a facility’s abuse or elder neglect caused the death of a resident. The compensation from a claim for wrongful death in a nursing home can cover funeral costs and other expenses.

Nursing Home Medical Malpractice

Our Merriam Kansas nursing home abuse law firm will try to prove how medical errors made by nursing home physicians, nurses, or other personnel harmed a resident. Failure to diagnose or treat bedsores, malnutrition, or other severe medical conditions is an example of medical malpractice.

Personal Injury

We typically file cases involving personal injury. We can explain how the elderly person was injured and why a long-term care facility and its staff may be at fault. Our personal injury lawyer also determines the amount of compensation to pursue.

Elder Abuse and Neglect

Abuse of the elderly can occur anywhere, including nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Abusers could be family members, acquaintances, in-home caregivers, or even strangers.

The History of Merriam

The history of this community began between 1826 and 1833 when the Shawnee Indians were relocated from more desirable regions in Ohio and Missouri to this region. In Merriam, they settled along the Kansas River and its tributaries, including Turkey Creek. Christianizing the Shawnees was a goal of local missionaries. 

Today, Merriam is a thriving community of more than 11,000 people, located just eight miles south of downtown Kansas City and minutes from every other metro location. Even though our transportation methods have evolved from trolley lines and railroads to automobiles, our region continues to expand and develop.

Contact Our Merriam Kansas Nursing Home Abuse Law Firm Today

The Ricket Law Firm devotes a significant portion of its resources to nursing home abuse and neglect claims. Our competent nursing home abuse lawyer utilizes this experience when investigating nursing home abuse cases involving Missouri healthcare providers who failed to adhere to the accepted standard of care. 

When nursing homes fail to provide the care required by law, they can be held accountable. Cases involving nursing home abuse are complex and require time and legal resources. Since the state supreme courts eliminated damage caps in personal injury cases, Missouri nursing home residents have more legal options. 

Contact our Merriam Kansas nursing home abuse law firm immediately to begin the path to financial recovery and justice.

To get to Ricket Law Firm Merriam Kansas nursing home abuse law firm:

  • From Merriam, Kansas, take a 15-minute drive via US-56 W or Shawnee Mission Parkway
  • Our law firm is located at 4717 Grand Avenue Suit 130, Floor 1, Polsinelli National Service Center
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