Elderly Physical Abuse Attorneys In Kansas City

Recognizing and Addressing Physical Abuse in Kansas City Nursing Homes

Nursing home abuse takes many forms, all of which can have severe or even fatal consequences for victims, but physical abuse is one of the most common and most dangerous. Elderly nursing home residents who suffer physical abuse are at risk of serious injuries, as well as psychological harm. 

Legal Advocacy for Victims of Nursing Home Physical Abuse

At the Law Office of Tom Wagstaff Jr., we believe that those who commit acts of physical violence against anyone, but most especially our society’s most vulnerable individuals, deserve to be brought to justice. 

Seek Justice and Compensation with Kansas City's Trusted Attorneys

If you or someone you love was the victim of physical abuse in a nursing home, long-term care facility, or similar assisted living situation, reach out to our team right away. We can help you not only seek to hold the liable party responsible but also work to recover the full, fair compensation you are owed. 

Why Choose Our Kansas City Elder Abuse Attorneys?

Our Kansas City elder abuse attorneys have decades of experience and a proven record of success. We devote a significant portion of our practice to this area of law and have the resources needed to aggressively advocate for you and your family. 

  • Experience: With years of experience in personal injury law, we have a proven track record of success in handling elder abuse cases.
  • Compassion: We understand the emotional toll that elder abuse takes on families, and we approach every case with empathy and sensitivity.
  • Knowledge: Our team is well-versed in the laws and regulations governing nursing homes in Missouri, ensuring that we provide the most effective legal representation.
  • Client-Centered Approach: We prioritize your needs and concerns, keeping you informed and involved throughout the legal process.

Ready to stand up for your loved one? Contact us online or by phone at (816) 597-4556 today.

Award Winning Results

  • $2 Million
    • Nursing Home Elopement
    • Nursing Home Elopement
    • Nursing Home Elopement
  • $3 Million
    • Nursing Home Elopement

What Constitutes Physical Abuse in a Nursing Home? 

Physical abuse is any intentional, harmful physical contact. The victim does not necessarily need to suffer a serious injury for an act to constitute physical abuse. 

Some examples of physical abuse include: 

  • Hitting or slapping: Deliberately striking a resident with an open hand or a closed fist, which can cause bruises, cuts, or other injuries.
  • Pushing or shoving: Forcibly moving a resident in a rough or aggressive manner, which can lead to falls and injuries.
  • Pinching or scratching: Using one's fingers or nails to inflict pain, leave marks, or cause injury to a resident.
  • Restraining or tying down: Inappropriately using physical restraints such as belts, straps, or ropes to confine a resident, which can result in physical harm or emotional distress.
  • Force-feeding or withholding food: Forcing a resident to eat against their will or denying them food and water as a form of punishment, which can lead to malnutrition and dehydration.
  • Rough handling during transfers or care procedures: Mishandling residents during activities like transferring them from a bed to a wheelchair or during personal care routines, resulting in injuries.
  • Overmedication or inappropriate medication use: Administering excessive doses of medication or giving medications not prescribed by a healthcare professional, leading to adverse effects and harm.
  • Sexual abuse: Any non-consensual sexual contact or activity involving a resident, which can result in physical injuries and severe emotional trauma.

Nursing home staff and private caregivers should never use physical force against residents. It is never acceptable for a staff member—or another resident—to cause intentional injury.

Signs of Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes 

Unexplained injuries are the most common sign of physical abuse in nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and assisted living centers.

Examples include: 

  • Bruises 
  • Welts 
  • Broken bones 
  • Cuts, scrapes, and scratches
  • Head injuries 
  • Concussions 
  • Marks on the wrists and/or ankles
  • Sores and open wounds 
  • Black eyes

Physical abuse may also lead to emotional distress, which can appear as unexplained bouts of crying, changes in mood or behavior, new or increased irritability, and apparent fear in the presence of a staff member, caregiver, or fellow resident. 

Physical abuse can also result in serious accidents, including falls, and may lead to worsened mental or physical health conditions. 

Emotional Abuse & Psychological Harm

While physical abuse is often the focus of discussions about nursing home abuse, emotional abuse can also have a devastating impact on elderly residents. Emotional abuse can include verbal insults, threats, isolation, and manipulation, and can cause significant psychological harm.

Emotional abuse can take many forms, including:

  • Verbal insults or humiliation
  • Isolation or social exclusion
  • Intimidation or threats
  • Manipulation or control
  • Withholding affection or emotional support

Signs of emotional abuse may include:

  • Unexplained changes in behavior or mood
  • Withdrawal or isolation from others
  • Fear or anxiety around certain staff members
  • Changes in sleeping patterns or appetite
  • Unexplained injuries or bruises

If you suspect that your loved one is experiencing emotional abuse in a nursing home or long-term care facility, it's important to take action immediately. Contact the Law Office of Tom Wagstaff Jr. for help. Our experienced attorneys can help you understand your legal options and guide you through the process of protecting your loved one's rights and safety.

How Common are Physical & Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes?

Physical and emotional abuse in nursing homes is unfortunately not uncommon, although it is vastly underreported. Here are some reasons why it occurs:

  • Power Imbalance: Nursing home residents are often vulnerable and dependent on caregivers for their basic needs. This power dynamic can be exploited by abusive staff members who may use intimidation or coercion to control residents.
  • Stress and Burnout: Caregivers in nursing homes often face high levels of stress due to heavy workloads, long hours, and emotional strain. This can sometimes lead to caregivers taking out their frustrations on residents through physical or emotional abuse.
  • Lack of Oversight: Many nursing homes lack adequate oversight and regulation, allowing abusive behavior to go unchecked. This can be due to inadequate staffing, insufficient training, or a lack of proper protocols for reporting and addressing abuse.
  • Isolation and Vulnerability: Residents of nursing homes may be socially isolated from their families and communities, making them more vulnerable to abuse. They may also fear retaliation if they speak out against their abusers.
  • Cultural and Organizational Factors: In some cases, there may be a culture within a nursing home that tolerates or even condones abusive behavior. Similarly, organizational factors such as a lack of accountability or a focus on profit over care can contribute to an environment where abuse is more likely to occur.
  • Mental Health Issues: Some residents of nursing homes may have mental health issues such as dementia or depression, which can make them more susceptible to abuse. Additionally, caregivers may lack the training or resources to effectively care for residents with these conditions, leading to frustration and 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
    • Million Dollar Advocates Forum
    • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
    • 10 Best Attorney in 2019
    • The National Trial Lawyers Top 100
    • Kansas Trial Lawyers Association, Eagles Member 2022-2023

      Who is Liable for Elder Physical Abuse?

      Determining liability for physical abuse in a nursing home can involve various parties, depending on the specific circumstances. Here are some of the parties that could potentially be held liable:

      • Individual Caregivers or Staff Members: If a specific caregiver or staff member is responsible for the physical abuse, they can be held personally liable for their actions. This could include nurses, nursing aides, or other employees who directly interact with residents.
      • Nursing Home Facility: The nursing home facility itself can be held liable for the actions of its employees under the legal doctrine of "respondeat superior," which holds employers responsible for the actions of their employees performed within the scope of their employment. If the abuse occurred as a result of inadequate training, supervision, or policies within the facility, the nursing home may also be held directly responsible.
      • Management and Administration: Administrators and managers of the nursing home may be held liable if they were aware of the abuse or should have been aware of it through proper oversight but failed to take appropriate action to prevent or stop it.
      • Third-party Contractors: In some cases, nursing homes may contract with third-party companies or individuals to provide services such as security or maintenance. If abuse occurs at the hands of these contractors and the nursing home failed to adequately screen or supervise them, the nursing home could still be held liable.
      • Ownership Entities: If the nursing home is owned by a corporation or other legal entity, the owners or shareholders may be held liable if they were aware of systemic issues within the facility that contributed to the abuse or if they failed to take action to address those issues.
      • Regulatory Agencies: In some cases, regulatory agencies responsible for overseeing nursing home facilities may also be held accountable if they failed to properly enforce regulations or investigate complaints of abuse.

      It's essential to thoroughly investigate any allegations of physical abuse in a nursing home to determine the responsible parties and hold them accountable. Legal action can be pursued through civil lawsuits, regulatory complaints, or criminal charges, depending on the severity of the abuse and the applicable laws and regulations.

      What to Do If You See or Suspect Physical Elder Abuse 

      If you know or suspect that someone is the victim of physical abuse in a nursing home or similar setting, you should take immediate action. 

      State laws require certain individuals—including doctors and other medical professionals, licensed psychologists, therapists, social workers, case managers, law enforcement officers, and others—to report elder abuse. But even if you are not a mandated reporter, you should report known or suspected abuse right away to protect the safety of the possible victim. 

      Here are the steps you should take:

      • Ensure the resident's safety: If the situation is ongoing and poses an immediate threat to the resident, call 911 or your local emergency number to request immediate assistance. If the resident is not in immediate danger, but you suspect abuse, ensure they are in a safe and comfortable environment away from the alleged abuser.
      • Document the evidence: If it is safe to do so, document any visible injuries, bruises, cuts, or other signs of abuse with photographs or written notes. Include details such as the date, time, location, and any statements made by the resident.
      • Contact the nursing home staff: Inform the nursing home staff about your concerns and observations. Approach the situation calmly and objectively, expressing your worry for the resident's well-being.
      • Report to the appropriate authorities: In Kansas, you can report physical elder abuse by calling the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services’ abuse, neglect, or exploitation hotline at 1-800-842-0078, or fling a complaint with the state’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, either online or by calling 1-877-662-8362 (toll-free) or (785) 296-3017. In Missouri, you can report physical elder abuse by calling the adult abuse and neglect hotline at 1-800-392-0210, and notifying the state’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program by calling (573) 526-0727 (in-state) or 1-800-309-3282 (out-of-state) 
      • Notify the resident's family: If the resident's family is not already aware of the situation, contact them to inform them of your concerns. They may need to be involved in making decisions about their loved one's care and legal actions.
      • Call the police: If you believe someone is in imminent danger, call 911. Remember, it is always better to follow your instincts; if you suspect that your elderly loved one is being abused by nursing home staff or a private caregiver, contact the proper authorities right away.
      • Seek legal advice: If you are directly involved as a family member or concerned individual, it may be advisable to consult with an attorney who specializes in elder abuse or nursing home neglect cases. They can guide you on legal actions and remedies available to you.
      • Follow-up: Continue to monitor the situation and follow up with the nursing home and authorities to ensure that appropriate actions are taken to address the abuse and protect the resident.

      Why Choose The Law Office of Tom Wagstaff Jr.?

      For more than 25 years, Attorney Tom Wagstaff has dedicated his legal practice to standing up for the rights of the elderly, the injured, and society’s most vulnerable individuals. He and his team of experienced nursing home physical abuse attorneys understand how to navigate these complex cases. Our firm utilizes extensive resources and innovative strategies to build powerful, persuasive claims for our clients. 

      Perhaps most importantly, we genuinely care about the people we serve. We know that this is likely one of the most challenging times in your life. When you trust your recovery to the Law Office of Tom Wagstaff Jr. team, you can trust that you will receive the personal attention and compassionate counsel you deserve. 

      We do not collect any legal fees unless we win your case. There is no cost in speaking to a member of our team about your potential case, and we only get paid if you do.

      Give us a call at (816) 597-4556 or submit an online contact form to request a free initial consultation. 

      • PLAY

      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