Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Kansas City, MO
What if the place you thought will take care of your elderly or disabled love ones turned out to be an abusive place? The decision to put a loved one in a nursing home is always difficult. You conduct a lot of research, background checking, and evaluate multiple considerations to select the nursing home that offers the best care. Or so you thought. In any instance of apparent abuse, you need a nursing home abuse attorney in Kansas City, MO to ensure you receive the best settlement.
If the nursing home you trusted to take care of the well-being of your parents or grandparents broke their promise and inflicted pain and injuries, it is advisable to take action right away. But navigating this process can be confusing and complicated. In order to protect your loved ones and avoid further potential victims, you need a knowledgeable nursing home abuse attorney in Kansas City, MO to assist you.
Why Do I Need a Kansas Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Missouri?
- Establish your eligibility to pursue a legal case
- Gather strong evidence to build a strong case (either personal injury or wrongful death)
- Coordinate with specialists in nursing home abuse and injury cases
- File your lawsuit claim within the statute of limitations
- Demand maximum recoverable damages for settlement
- Represent you during the case trial if settlement is not possible
Nursing Home Abuse Defined
Nursing home abuse is defined as the mistreatment of elders in long-term care or assisted living facilities. Any act that can harm older adults, whether intentional or unintentional may be considered elder abuse. This can result in medical emergencies, traumas, and even death.
Nursing Home or Long-term Care Facility Accountability
The nursing home or any long-term care facility can be held accountable for nursing home abuse. They can be held liable for inadequate care of the residents, inadequate supervision, negligence in screening employees, and improper maintenance of the facilities.
Nursing Home Regulations
The legal rights of nursing home residents depend on how the nursing homes are regulated. If the facility is a participant in the federal Medicare program, residents have statutory rights to be free from physical abuse, verbal, mental, sexual, and use of restraints as convenience or punishment. On the other hand, the Missouri state law governs residents of facilities not regulated by federal law.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse in Kansas City
Physical abuse in nursing homes is a result of any use of force that can cause injury, physical pain, and even impairment to the nursing home resident. Physical abuse can come in many forms including
- Being retrained with ties or straps
- Using any objects to inflict pain
Residents in nursing homes are vulnerable. Inflicting pain or physical force can lead to serious injuries, medical conditions, and death. It is important to make proper observations of their physical appearance and spot any signs of physical abuse. Common signs of physical elder abuse include:
- Broken bones
- Cuts or scrapes
- Head/dental injuries
- Dislocated joins
- Marks from physical restraint
Some physical abuse signs can be concealed but there are other signs that can help you determine if a nursing home resident is suffering from physical harm.
- Hospitalization patterns for same injuries
- Treatments from different hospitals (to avoid suspicions)
- Poor explanation of resident’s injury from the nursing home
- Delayed treatment on injuries
- Unexplained changes in behavior and other behavioral patterns
If you noticed that your loved one has exhibited any of these physical abuse signs, it’s best to consult with your trusted Kansas City, MO nursing home abuse attorney.
Emotional abuse is also known as psychological or verbal abuse. It happens when someone inflicts mental pain, fear, or distress on a nursing home resident. Emotional abuse can be exhibited by
- Insulting words and calling names
- Terrorizing or menacing a resident
- Ignoring an elderly
- Yelling and threatening
- Isolating from friends, loved ones, and other residents
- Not including from activities
Emotional abuse if go unnoticed can develop into long-term traumas, mental health problems like post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression. Look out for these signs to assess if your loved one is a victim of emotional abuse.
- Negative changes in behavior
- Sudden mood swings
- Avoids eye contact
- Isolates self from family and friends (refuses family visits)
- Looks scared, withdrawn, or depressed
- Changes in sleeping patterns and eating habits
- Low self-esteem
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
Emotional abuse is often more difficult to deal with than physical abuse. Residents who suffer from this elder abuse usually refuse to talk. They avoid interaction with other people, even loved ones. If you suspect your family member becomes a victim of emotional abuse, speak to an experienced Kansas City nursing home lawyer to guide you and help you protect your family.
Any sexual contact with a nursing home resident without their consent is considered sexual abuse. The most common forms of sexual abuse are physical sexual intercourse, oral intercourse, groping, and touching. But it can also include forcing residents to view pornographic pictures, watch pornographic movies, or forcing them to watch sex acts performed by others. Forcing elders to undress for non-medical-related activity is also sexual abuse.
Patients Who Are Unable to Provide Consent
Sexual abuse victims are often residents who are disabled, with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other cognitive medical conditions that prevent them from giving consent. If any of your family members or friends are showing these signs, they may be suffering from sexual abuse. You should contact your reliable nursing home lawyer in Kansas City and act right away!
- Bruising, bleeding, scratches, and lesions around the genital area, anus, and inner thighs
- Unusual stains in undergarments
- Inappropriate contact with staff members, other residents, family members, and friends
- Pain genitals or anus
- Pelvic injuries
- Difficulty walking or sitting
- Sexually transmitted diseases or infections
Financial abuse or exploitation is the unauthorized, improper, and illegal use of a nursing home resident’s resources. It has two different forms, the first is the unauthorized use of their properties, and the second is the unauthorized use of their financial funds. This may include the use of a nursing home resident’s credit or debit cards, checks, and other cash accounts.
Stealing property from a resident and forging their signature on financial documents are also considered financial exploitation.
Nursing home staff members and other residents can all be guilty of financial abuse. Do not hesitate to speak with a Kansas nursing home abuse lawyer if you suspect financial abuse committed against your loved ones. Here’s how you can spot warning signals for nursing home financial elder abuse.
- Pattern of missing belongings
- Questionable withdrawals/transaction charges
- New changes in the resident’s power of attorney or misuse of power of attorney
- Forged documents
- Someone shows an unusual interest in the resident’s spending
- Newly opened credit cards or bank accounts
Neglect is the failure of a nursing home staff member to provide proper care and protection to residents that could result to physical or mental health problems. It is the failure to meet a resident’s basic needs. And it is a result of a lack of regard and carelessness towards nursing home residents.
Neglect occurs in the nursing homes in different forms including
- Failure to administer medications as needed
- Improper medical care especially if the resident suffers from existing health issues like dementia or diabetes
- Failure to assist and move residents with mobility issues or failure to provide them with canes, walkers or wheelchairs
- Failure to report signs to illnesses or infections
- Hygiene issues – failure to change their clothes and beddings regularly and not properly bathing them
- Failure to check on residents regularly
- Unsanitary nursing home facility generally
- Lack of adequate food and water
Your family member or friends may be suffering from neglect they manifest these signs. Get in touch with your trusted nursing home abuse attorney in Kansas City, MO to help you give justice to your loved ones.
- Poor personal hygiene
- Inadequate or dirty clothing
- Lack of food in the nursing home
- Lack of needed medical aids
- Unclean or unsafe home/long-term care facility
- Untreated infections or injuries like bedsores and sepsis
- Weight loss
- If they suffer from worsening conditions
What are the Causes of Nursing Home Abuse in Kansas City, MO?
There can be many causes of nursing home abuse. It can be due to profits oriented owners and administrations who prioritize earning more than helping and caring for elder residents. It can also be due to staff members blaming their improper behavior because of their working conditions. Or it could be because of other varying reasons.
Whatever the reason for any nursing home abuse, it could never be justifiable. No personal interest nor bad working conditions is enough to justify any harm or pain inflicted on elderly residents. Yet elder abuses still persist. And here are the common reasons why nursing home abuses are still occurring.
- Profit-oriented facilities. There are nursing homes that focus more on making a profit than meeting the needs of the nursing home residents. Facilities are of low quality and not properly maintained. Residents are not given proper care and resources. They are deprived of their basic needs like healthy food, basic amenities, toiletry items, and medicines.
- Inadequate training. If the staff members are not trained properly, the residents will certainly suffer. There can be issues like improper administering of medicines, failure to check/treat for resident injuries, illness, or infections, inability to perform emergency procedures, lack of knowledge on how to properly care for residents, and more.
- Understaffing. This can place employees under great stress especially if the number of nursing home residents outnumbered the number of staff. Employees may not be able to give proper care and medicine to residents on time. It can also lead to multiple mistakes, an increase in burnout and it can create tension among staff.
- Low wages. Low wages may not attract competent and experienced nursing home employees. But it may attract inexperienced people to apply. Also, low wages can demotivate staff members to perform their job well. It can even encourage them to do the bare minimum, show a lack of care, and be hostile to the residents.
- Burnout. Long working hours, physically and emotionally taxing activities, and stressful environments can lead staff members to lash out at the residents. They vent out their anger and frustrations about work to the elderly.
- Greed. Nursing homes are expensive. Residents who can afford to stay in nursing homes mostly comes with capable backgrounds. Employees may take this chance to steal from residents. They may even try to be friends with them and trick them to steal their assets, forge their signatures, or use their debit/credit cards for personal transactions.
- Lack of Supervision. The lack of proper supervision of staff members can encourage them to be less attentive to the needs of the nursing home residents.
If you suspect your loved ones are in danger, immediately get in touch with a reputable Kansas City nursing home abuse lawyer. It is important for your family to know all your options and legal rights to keep your loved ones safe.
What are the Recoverable Damages in Nursing Home Abuse?
Once you discovered that your loved one suffers from nursing home abuse, immediately take action to give them medical attention and remove them from the nursing home. It is also highly recommended to contact a reliable nursing home abuse attorney to help you take legal action and evaluate your compensation claims.
You can file a legal lawsuit to hold the nursing home and staff members accountable and pursue compensation claims. If the victim is unable to file on their own, their family or loved one can file on their behalf. Recoverable damages you can receive include:
- Relocation to another nursing home
- Return of nursing home payments
- Medical expenses resulting from the abuse
- Replacement or reimbursement of any damaged or stolen properties
- Mental health counseling
- Physical rehabilitation and therapies
- Physical, emotional pain, and suffering claims
- Home care
- Legal fees
- Funeral expenses and wrongful death claims
How Can I Prove Nursing Home Abuse Took Place?
The recoverable compensation you can receive can vary depending on the level of abuse, medical affliction, the evidence presented, and the result of the abuse inflicted on the victim. In order to receive a reasonable settlement amount or favorable court decision with maximum compensation, you need to present strong evidence to prove the abuse. Documentation that can use useful in your case may include
- Medical records/history
- Injury incident reports
- Surveillance footage
- Witness testimonies
- Diaries by the nursing home resident or family members
- Photographs of the resident’s bruises and other injuries
- Photographs of medications prescribed or given to the nursing home resident
- Notes on observations/signs of emotional or physical conditions by family members
- Any notes summarizing conversations with a nursing home resident or staff relating to abuse
- Facility standard operating procedures (if they account for the needs of the residents)
Filing for a personal injury lawsuit can be complex. You need assistance in collecting necessary and helpful documentation. And you also need to understand the process and your rights. What are your options and how you can give justice to your loved ones? A Kansas City nursing home abuse lawyer who has extensive knowledge and hands-on experience can help you file your case, explain the process, represent you in all legal proceedings, and ensure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.
How Can I Respond to Nursing Home Abuse?
It is our responsibility to visit our loved ones in nursing homes and keep a close eye on their well-being and condition. If you suspect or witness that your family member is a victim of any type of abuse you can do the following.
- Regularly check and keep in contact with your loved one. The nursing home residents may be scared or hesitant to bring up any abuses they experience especially if they are socially isolated. They may also find it difficult to report it if you are not regularly visiting or keeping in contact with them. Spend time with them and keep an eye on any signs or warnings of nursing home abuses.
- Take your loved one’s abuse accusations seriously. If your loved ones confided to you about any abuse they experience in the nursing home, do not take them lightly. Take action immediately. If you failed to help them the soonest as possible, it can lead to more severe abuses or even result in wrongful death.
- Call 911 emergency/police or report to nursing home management. If you witnessed firsthand that your loved one is being abused in the nursing home, immediately call 911 or the police. Report the abuse incident as well to the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services, the state agency dedicated to preventing elder abuse.
If there are questionable changes in their behavior and any suspicious injuries that staff is unable to explain, report them to the facility management. Nursing homes are expected to have procedures in place on how to deal with these issues. If the management failed to act, report to the police or state agency.
- Gather information and evidence. When you report or file a complaint about nursing home abuse, you need to provide information and documentation to prove your accusations.
- Victim information including name, age, gender, and current condition
- Nursing home information including name, address, and contact details
- Abuser’s information – name and any information available
- Reasons and evidence showing why you suspect your loved one is being abused in the facility
- Your contact information – name, contact details, and relationship to the victim
- Any other documentation or information that can be helpful
- Consult with a skillful nursing home abuse attorney in Kansas City, MO. In order to properly handle the abuse experienced by your loved one, you need to be familiar with nursing home abuse legal rights and proceedings. You need to establish your case and understand how you can protect your loved ones. What are your recoverable damages and how are you going to hold the facility and staff responsible? A nursing home abuse attorney who knows the ins and outs of this practice area can be of great help.
Nursing Home Abuse Statute of Limitation
Nursing home abuse cases in Kansas should be filed within 2 years from the date of injury. Once the statute of limitation expired, you can no longer pursue a lawsuit to claim legal compensation or to hold the nursing home or staff accountable.
The good news is, that you will not have to worry about legal work and filing deadlines if you work with an aggressive yet compassionate personal injury and nursing home abuse attorney. While you focus on the recovery and health of your elderly loved one, you can be at ease that a competent law firm is handling your case.
Call our Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Kansas, MO Now!
Nursing home residents are elderly or disabled loved ones in the sunset of their lives. And all they need while they spend their golden years are care, love, comfort, and peace. Abuse has no place.
Nursing homes are supposed to provide valuable service and proper care to your elderly family members. And discovering that they are a victim of abuse by someone or an institution you trusted to provide care and comfort can be devastating. Thankfully, Ricket Law Firm, your most reliable Kansas City nursing home abuse law office can help you win your beloved’s case and serve justice rightfully.
Get in touch with us now and together, we will be the voice who will fight for your abused loved ones!