Accomplished Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys in St. Louis, MO
St. Louis Nursing Home Abuse Law Firm Burger Law protects those that have been abused or neglected while in the custody of a long-term care facility. Our attorneys are committed to helping recover compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages for your loved one's nursing home abuse case. Over the years, our nursing home lawyers have fought for and won compensation for nursing home abuse and neglect victims in Missouri.
What Does "Nursing Home Abuse" Mean in St. Louis and Missouri?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), elder abuse is the abuse and neglect of a person age 60+ by a caregiver or other trusted personnel. Missouri law recognizes three types of mistreatment of the elderly:
- Abuse - physical, sexual or emotional injury or harm to an elderly person
- Neglect - failure to provide a reasonable standard of care to elderly, including nutrition, medication assistance, hygiene and other services
- Financial exploitation - deceiving or forcing an elder to provide access to personal property and assets with the intent of revoking their rightful access to, or use of, their benefits, resources, belongings and assets
Can I Sue for Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?
Can I Sue for Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect in St. Louis, Missouri?
Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are required to provide a certain level of care to residents. If this standard of care is not provided, and a resident is harmed, you could have grounds for a nursing home abuse lawsuit.
Warning signs of nursing home abuse and neglect can include the following:
- Bed sores
- Bruises, lacerations or broken bones
- Poor hygiene
- Sudden financial burdens
- Unexplained weight loss
- Changes in Behavior
The effects of nursing home abuse can vary from case to case. However, if you or another family member notices any of these signs in your loved one, you may be able to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit against the negligent facility.
When Can You Sue a Nursing Home?
When Can You Sue a Nursing Home in St. Louis and Missouri?
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. You can sue a nursing home in Missouri in the following cases:
- Abuse - intentional harm done to the victim. This can be physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological
- 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.
- 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.
What to Expect When Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit?
What to Expect When Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit in St. Louis
Nursing homes and senior living facilities are responsible for ensuring the well-being of residents entrusted in their care, but unfortunately, this doesn't always happen. Some elderly care facilities are negligent and don't maintain premises, vet the employees they hire or don't follow proper protocol for dispensing medication or daily care to residents.
Nursing home abuse lawsuits often involve negligent caregivers. Under Vicarious Liability, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are liable for an employee's negligent actions, and can be sued for nursing home abuse.
In most states, nursing home abuse lawsuits are valid if the victim or their family members can provide proof of injury (physical, financial or emotionally), evidence of the nursing home's negligence (witness reports, photos, video) and proof that the facility didn't provide a certain level of care, resulting in the resident's harm and losses.