Blue Springs Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
Representing Victims of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
Nursing home abuse occurs any time residents are mistreated by staff, or when facilities fail to provide an acceptable standard of care. This can lead to severe injuries, serious infections, and even life-threatening medical conditions.
If you or someone you love suffered due to nursing home abuse, you do not have to face the consequences on your own. At the Law Office of Tom Wagstaff Jr., our Blue Springs nursing home abuse attorneys represent elderly individuals and their family members in lawsuits against individual caregivers and long-term care facilities. Led by founding attorney, Tom Wagstaff, our team has more than 25 years of experience and a long, proven track record of success.
Understanding Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse is a broad term used to refer to all types of mistreatment in nursing homes and similar assisted living facilities.
The different types of nursing home abuse include:
- Physical Abuse: Physical nursing home abuse includes pushing, shoving, hitting, slapping, pinching, forcefully grabbing, and punching residents.
- Neglect: Nursing home neglect includes failing to provide adequate food, shelter, medical care, hygiene, safety, and other basic needs for residents.
- Mental/Emotional Abuse: This includes yelling at, belittling, ridiculing, threatening, isolating, manipulating, intimidating, and harassing nursing home residents.
- Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse includes any unwanted or nonconsensual sexual acts, such as groping, exposing oneself, and rape or attempted rape.
- Financial Exploitation: Financial exploitation includes stealing or misusing a resident’s money or property, as well as attempts to steal or misuses a resident’s money or property.
Here are some common signs to look out for:
- Physical Abuse:
- Unexplained Injuries: Keep an eye out for any injuries such as bruises, welts, cuts, or fractures that the resident cannot explain or for which there are inconsistent explanations.
- Signs of Restraint: Marks on the wrists or ankles indicating the use of physical restraints which might not be necessary or humane.
- Excessive Force: Watch for signs of excessive force used during caregiving, like rough handling or mishandling of medical equipment, leading to injuries.
- Emotional Abuse:
- Behavioral Changes: Look for sudden and unexplained changes in behavior such as withdrawal, fearfulness, or agitation, which might indicate emotional distress.
- Social Isolation: Be wary if the caregiver restricts the resident’s contact with family or friends, leaving them socially isolated.
- Verbal Abuse: Pay attention to verbal threats, belittling, or intimidation from caregivers that could significantly affect the resident's emotional well-being.
- Financial Abuse:
- Sudden Financial Changes: Be alert to abrupt changes in the resident’s financial situation, such as unexplained withdrawals or depletion of funds.
- Missing Belongings: Notice if personal belongings or valuables disappear without a reasonable explanation.
- Unauthorized Changes in Documents: Keep an eye on changes in wills, property titles, or other financial documents made without the resident's knowledge or consent.
- Poor Hygiene: Check for signs of poor personal hygiene, including unwashed clothes, dirty bedding, or an overall lack of cleanliness in the living area.
- Physical Health Deterioration: Note any signs of malnutrition, weight loss, dehydration, or untreated medical conditions or infections.
- Unsafe Living Conditions: Look out for living conditions that endanger the resident's health, such as lack of heating/cooling, inadequate sanitation, or unsafe environments.
- Sexual Abuse:
- Physical Signs: Watch for physical indicators like bruises or injuries around the genital area that cannot be explained by regular care or medical conditions.
- Unexplained Infections: Notice if there are unexplained sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or infections.
- Behavioral Changes: Be aware of behavioral changes such as withdrawal, fearfulness, or unusual behavior around specific staff or residents that might suggest inappropriate interactions.
All forms of nursing home abuse can cause serious harm to elderly individuals, as well as their family members and loved ones. At the Law Office of Tom Wagstaff Jr., we believe that nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and other assisted living homes should be held legally responsible when they allow abuse and neglect to occur on their premises.
Who is Liable for Nursing Home Abuse?
Liability for nursing home abuse can extend to various parties involved in the care and management of the facility. Here are the key individuals or entities that could be held liable:
- Staff and Caregivers: Nurses, nursing assistants, or any staff providing direct care can be held individually responsible for abusive actions or neglect. On the other hand, managers or supervisors who fail to prevent or address abuse within the facility might also be held liable.
- Nursing Home Facility: The nursing home itself can be held liable for the actions of its employees, especially if there's evidence of systemic issues, lack of proper training, inadequate staffing, or a failure to conduct background checks on employees.
- Third Parties: If abuse involves contractors, visiting healthcare professionals, or any third parties providing services within the nursing home, they might share liability depending on their involvement.
- Management and Owners: Management and owners of the nursing home can be held accountable if it's proven that they were aware of abuse or neglect but failed to take appropriate action or implement necessary policies to prevent it.
- Medical Professionals: If the abuse involves medical malpractice, such as improper medication administration or inadequate medical care, the responsible medical professionals may be held liable.
- Government Agencies: Regulatory bodies or government agencies responsible for overseeing nursing homes might be held accountable if they neglect their duties to monitor, inspect, or enforce regulations, allowing abuse to persist.
- Contracting Entities: In cases where nursing homes are managed or operated by larger corporations, those parent companies might be held responsible for policies, procedures, or lack of oversight contributing to abuse.
- Others: Sometimes, family members or visitors to the nursing home might also engage in abusive behavior. In such cases, they can be held individually liable for their actions.
Get Started with a Free Initial Consultation Today
Take the first step in the recovery process—call our Blue Springs nursing home abuse attorneys today to learn how we can help you with your claim. We offer initial consultations at absolutely no cost, and we do not collect any legal fees unless/until we recover compensation for you.
What to Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
If you have an elderly family member or loved one living in a nursing home, it is important that you know the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect so that you can take immediate action at the first indication that something is wrong.
If you notice unexplained injuries, changes in your loved one’s mood or behavior, or other signs of nursing home abuse, and you believe your loved one may be in immediate danger, call 911. Once you have ensured your loved one’s safety, you should alert the proper authorities.
In Jackson County, Missouri, you can report known or suspected nursing home abuse by:
- Calling the Adult Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-392-0210
- Contacting the state’s Adult Protective Services office
- Alerting the Missouri Long-Term Care Ombudsman office
You can also report suspected abuse by a certain staff member or caregiver to the nursing home administration, or you can alert local law enforcement.
Why Hire a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney?
If you or someone you love has been the victim of nursing home abuse, you could be entitled to financial compensation for your resulting medical expenses, financial losses, pain and suffering, and related damages. However, the legal process can be extremely complex, time-consuming, and confusing. You need an attorney by your side who can not only guide you through this process but also protect your rights every step of the way.
At the Law Office of Tom Wagstaff Jr., we have the resources, experience, and skills to fight for you and your family. Our team can handle all of the legal aspects of your claim—from gathering evidence and working with expert witnesses to communicating and negotiating with opposing counsel—so that you can focus on healing. You can trust our firm to fight tirelessly for you and the justice you deserve.
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