Independence Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys

Seeking Justice for You & Your Family 

Long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, have a strict duty of care to residents. They must not only adequately provide for residents’ basic needs but also ensure their continued health, safety, and wellbeing. When these facilities fail to protect their residents, the consequences can be extreme—and those responsible can be held accountable. 

At the Law Office of Tom Wagstaff Jr., we represent clients throughout Jackson County, MO in all types of nursing home abuse and neglect cases. Our experienced legal team has a long track record of success in bringing negligent caregivers and nursing homes to justice; we are prepared to aggressively advocate for you and your family. 

Let our Independence nursing home abuse attorneys fight for the justice you deserve; call (816) 597-4556 or contact us online for a free consultation today.

What is Nursing Home Abuse?

Nursing home abuse refers to any form of mistreatment, harm, or neglect inflicted upon residents in long-term care facilities. It can manifest in various ways, and some common forms include:

  • Physical Abuse: This involves the use of physical force that causes injury, pain, or impairment. It could include hitting, pushing, inappropriate restraint, or force-feeding.
  • Emotional or Psychological Abuse: This type of abuse can be harder to detect but is equally damaging. It involves intimidation, verbal assaults, humiliation, or isolation, causing emotional pain or distress.
  • Sexual Abuse: Any non-consensual sexual contact, coercion, or behavior inflicted upon a nursing home resident constitutes sexual abuse. This can include unwanted touching, sexual assault, or any sexual activity forced upon the resident.
  • Neglect: Neglect occurs when caregivers fail to fulfill their responsibilities to provide necessary care and attention. It can include inadequate nutrition, hygiene, medical care, or ignoring a resident's needs.
  • Financial Exploitation: This involves unauthorized or improper use of a resident's funds, property, or assets. It can include theft, coercion, or deception for personal gain by caregivers or others in the facility.
  • Healthcare Fraud: This form of abuse involves overmedicating residents, providing unnecessary treatments, or billing for services not rendered, leading to financial gain for the facility at the expense of the resident's well-being.

Proving Liability in a Nursing Home Abuse Claim

In Missouri, to succeed in a nursing home abuse claim, several elements must typically be proven. These elements generally apply to various forms of abuse within a nursing home setting:

  1. Duty of Care: Establish that the nursing home owed a duty of care to the resident. This duty includes providing a safe and secure environment, appropriate medical care, emotional support, and protection from harm.
  2. Breach of Duty: Show that the nursing home breached its duty of care. This can involve demonstrating that the facility or its staff failed to meet the expected standard of care through negligence, inadequate supervision, insufficient staffing, or other actions that led to harm or neglect.
  3. Causation: Prove that the breach of duty directly caused harm or injury to the resident. This requires linking the specific actions or lack of action by the nursing home to the harm suffered by the resident.
  4. Damages: Document the damages suffered by the resident as a result of the abuse or neglect. This can include physical injuries, emotional distress, financial losses, or any other harm experienced by the resident.

Gather and present evidence to support the claim. This evidence can include medical records, witness testimony, photographs, expert opinions, documentation of the resident's condition before and after the abuse, and any other relevant information.

Identifying Nursing Home Abuse 

Nursing home abuse is a prevalent but often difficult-to-detect problem in long-term care facilities nationwide. If you have a family member or loved one living in a nursing home, it is important that you not only know what constitutes abuse/neglect but also that you know the signs that something isn’t right. 

Some of the most common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include: 

  • Unexplained injuries, such as bruises, cuts, or broken bones 
  • Signs of physical or chemical restraint, including marks on wrists or ankles
  • New or worsened bedsores (or “pressure ulcers”) 
  • Undiagnosed or untreated illnesses, medical conditions, or infections 
  • Changes in mood or behavior, such as increased aggression or crying 
  • New or worsened depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions 
  • Preventable accidents, such as falls 
  • Injuries to the genitals, groin, upper thighs, or female breasts
  • New sexually transmitted infections (STIs) 
  • Malnutrition and/or dehydration 
  • Soiled or dirty clothing or bedding 
  • Unsanitary, unclean, and/or unsafe conditions 
  • Changes in financial circumstances, including unexplained withdrawals 
  • Unexplained changes to a will, trust, or power of attorney 

Remember, nursing home abuse is not always physical. Emotional abuse, social isolation, sexual assault, financial exploitation, and general neglect all constitute nursing home abuse. 

How to Report Nursing Home Abuse in Independence

Reporting nursing home abuse in Missouri involves specific steps to ensure the safety of the resident and initiate an investigation. Here's a guide on how to report nursing home abuse in Missouri:

  1. Contact the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS):

    • Report suspected abuse or neglect to the DHSS. They oversee nursing homes and handle complaints related to resident care.
    • You can contact the DHSS's Section for Long-Term Care Regulation at 1-800-392-0210 (24/7 hotline) or 573-751-6303 (during business hours).
  2. Provide Detailed Information:

    • When reporting, be ready to provide comprehensive information about the resident, the nursing home facility, and the nature of the suspected abuse or neglect.
    • Include any evidence you might have, such as photos, medical records, witness statements, or documentation.
  3. Anonymous Reporting:

    • Missouri allows for anonymous reporting of suspected abuse or neglect. While sharing your identity can assist in the investigation, it's not mandatory.
  4. Follow-Up:

    • If you haven't received any confirmation or response about your report within a reasonable time frame, consider following up with the DHSS.
  5. Contact Law Enforcement if Immediate Danger Exists:

    • If there's an immediate threat to the resident's safety or life, contact local law enforcement or emergency services (911) to ensure immediate intervention.
  6. Legal Assistance:

    • Consider seeking legal advice from an attorney experienced in elder law or nursing home abuse if you believe legal action is necessary to protect the resident's rights and safety.

You can also notify the Missouri Long-Term Care Ombudsman office  or check up on a report made using the Adult Abuse and Neglect Hotline by visiting the state’s Adult Protective Services website.

$37 Million Heirship Dispute
Heirship Dispute - Our client’s mother died from ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson brand talcum powder. We recovered $37 million for our client following a successful mediation to resolve the disagreement between the heirs.
  • $1 Million Nursing Home Fall
  • $1.5 Million Nursing Home Fall
  • $1.5 Million Nursing Home Sexual Abuse
  • “He worked hard on our behalf and we reached a positive conclusion.” - Lori D.
  • “Tom gives lawyers a good name.” - Donna J.
  • “Tom and his firm are great people!” - Brad

Why Take Legal Action? 

Nursing home abuse can lead to numerous physical, emotional, and financial hardships. Victims and their families do not have to simply face these consequences on their own; instead, they can seek justice by filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit against the liable party.

While no amount of financial compensation can undo the devastating experience you have been through, a successful claim can allow you to recover compensation for the following damages: 

  • Medical expenses related to treating injuries, illnesses, or medical conditions caused by the abuse or neglect 
  • Projected future medical care and treatment costs 
  • Financial losses related to nursing home abuse or neglect, such as loss of income 
  • Physical and mental pain and suffering caused by the abuse or neglect 
  • Emotional distress and trauma, including various mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 
  • Wrongful death damages (funeral expenses, medical costs, etc.) when an individual passes away due to nursing home abuse or neglect 

In certain cases, it may also be possible to pursue punitive damages. Also known as exemplary damages, punitive damages are awarded in some cases involving gross negligence or intentional infliction of harm upon another individual and are meant to punish the liable party rather than compensate the plaintiff for specific losses. 

How Our Team Can Help You 

Navigating the legal process can be extremely challenging, especially when you are already dealing with the aftermath of nursing home abuse or neglect. Right now, you should focus on getting your loved one the medical attention and support they need, as well as healing and spending time with your family. You shouldn’t have to worry about fighting with the nursing home or another liable party for a fair settlement. That’s where we come in.

At the Law Office of Tom Wagstaff Jr., we are committed to protecting the rights of our society’s most vulnerable individuals. Our Independence nursing home abuse lawyers can assist you with all aspects of your case. We will handle all the legal details so that you can focus on everything else you need to take care of to move forward with your life. 

We truly care about our clients, which is why we offer a highly personalized and compassionate approach. We purposefully limit our caseload so that we can dedicate all of our time, energy, and resources to helping each client fight for the justice they deserve. When you choose the Law Office of Tom Wagstaff Jr., you will receive attentive, one-on-one legal representation from our team of experienced attorneys and caring support staff. 

There are no legal fees for you unless we win your case. Call (816) 597-4556 or contact us online today to schedule a free initial consultation. 

Contact Us To Begin Your Case

Schedule A Free Consultation Today

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • By submitting, you agree to be contacted about your request & other information using automated technology. Message frequency varies. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Acceptable Use Policy