All Questions

June 25, 2020 | Gary Burger

When Can You Sue a Nursing Home?

Sending an elderly family member to a nursing home is challenging. It is a vulnerable time for the nursing home resident. The worst possibility is that the resident is mistreated in the facility. Many forms of mistreatment take place against elderly nursing home residents. When this happens, legal action against the nursing home must be taken right away to protect the victim and prevent others from being mistreated.

Discovering that a loved one is being harmed in the nursing home where they live is painful. Your loved one depends on you to advocate for them. You, in turn, need a lawyer you can trust and rely on to help you get justice for your elderly family member. Call Burger Law at 314-542-2222 or 618-272-2222 right now to speak to one of our qualified professionals.

When Can You Sue a Nursing Home?

There are two different possible types of lawsuits that can be brought against a nursing home: tort and breach of contract. The former is much more common than the latter. A tort lawsuit alleges mistreatment of the nursing home resident. Missouri organizes nursing home tort lawsuits into three categories:

  1. Abuse - intentional harm done to the victim. This can be physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological
  2. Neglect - failure to adequately care for the resident, either intentionally or due to carelessness. Failing to regularly bathe or feed the individual, dressing them in weather-appropriate clothing, keeping their living area clean (changing bedpans, laundering bedding, removing trash, etc.), and leaving a heavily dependent individual unattended are examples.
  3. Financial exploitation - taking advantage of the resident's financial resources through deceit or force. Receiving unjustified payment or receiving or benefiting from the victim's assets, resources, or belongings are types of financial exploitation.

In other cases, a different type of lawsuit such as a medical malpractice or wrongful death suit may be more fitting. It is possible to file different lawsuits against multiple defendants. A lawyer will help you determine if you have a case and, if so, what kind of lawsuit(s) to file.

Nursing homes are obligated to provide a certain standard of care. They are also considered responsible for any negligent behavior of their employees. To make the case that your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, you need proof. Gather proof of injuries sustained as well as proof that the nursing home was negligent. Results of abuse or neglect could be physical injuries (i.e., bedsores, infections, bruises, cuts, broken bones), physical characteristics (emaciation, dirty or unkempt appearance, presence of bugs or excessive trash in living area), behavior (i.e., wandering, confusion, appearing withdrawn or unresponsive, agitation), or financial changes (i.e., unexplained missing money or belongings, suspicious account withdrawals or transfers). Photos, video, and medical or financial documents can adequately prove the abuse took place. To prove that the facility and/or employees of the facility is responsible for the abuse, collect witness statements, security footage, and the facility's internal reports.

To summarize, one can sue a nursing home for abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of an elder in a nursing home's care. The harm can come from the actions of an employee of the facility or the negligence of the facility itself. To make a case of nursing home abuse, one must prove that the individual was harmed in some way, and that the harm was due to the actions of the nursing home or its employee.

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in St. Louis

When you suspect or discover that a loved one is being mistreated in the facility that is supposed to protect and look after them, you need someone in your corner. Your elderly family member is counting on you to get them out of harm's way and deliver them justice. It's a complicated and emotionally taxing task. Make things easier for you and your family by finding a law firm experienced in cases like yours. The lawyers of Burger Law are sensitive to your needs and know how to win nursing home abuse cases.

You want the best when it comes to legal representation in your nursing home abuse case. Burger Law works tirelessly for our clients until justice is served and your loved one is safe. Contact us or call 314-542-2222 or 618-272-2222 to discuss your case with one of our attorneys for free today.