St. Louis Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Many St Louis area families have a loved one in a nursing home. Nursing homes typically provide a safe, supportive living environment for senior citizens, with qualified staff, nurses, and aids providing care. Unfortunately, neglect and abuse can occur, leaving nursing home residents vulnerable and at risk. If you or a loved one has suffered this type of abuse, contact a St Louis nursing home abuse lawyer at TorHoerman Law to learn how an experienced St Louis nursing home abuse lawyer can help you get justice for the injustices caused by the nursing home facility and staff.
By taking actions and shining a light on the malicious actions of the St Louis nursing home facility and staff, you may be stopping future harm from occurring to other elderly residents.
What is Considered St Louis Nursing Home Abuse?
Every year, thousands of residents in nursing homes and senior care facilities report being victims of abuse or neglect. Cases encompass individual instances and repeated patterns of abusive behavior by staff. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, elder abuse:
“Any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines six different categories of elder abuse:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Financial abuse
What are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse is not always easy to detect. Staff can threaten or intimidate residents into not speaking out, and not all signs are obvious. While each case is unique, there are common signs of nursing home abuse to look for:
unexplained injuries, bruises, or burns; excessive use of healthcare services
fearful behavior, anxiety, or unexplained changes in mood or personality; hesitance in interacting with caretakers; withdrawal from family and friends
sexually transmitted infections or diseases; genital or anal injuries; unexplained injuries, bruising, or bleeding
poor hygiene; signs of malnourishment; skin ulcers or bedsores; neglected medical needs
insufficient medical and personal care; soiled clothing or bedding; unclean living conditions
unpaid bills; sudden changes in living arrangements; missing property; unexplained depletion of assets; other drastic financial changes
St Louis Nursing Home Abuse Facts
Elder abuse in St Louis is a significant health care issue. Victims are often targeted because of their dependency on others for care. Many St Louis nursing home abuse victims suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s and are either unaware that abuse is happening or incapable of speaking out.
Elder abuse victims, particularly in nursing homes, often face multiple levels of mistreatment and abuse. Seniors living in nursing homes are often left isolated and vulnerable, and many cases of nursing home abuse go unreported. Major risk factors for nursing home abuse are depression, isolation, dementia, substance abuse, physical impairments, and histories of mental illness.
Instances of St Louis Nursing Home Abuse
Numerous St Louis nursing homes have faced allegations for residential neglect and abuse. Notable Cases include:
St Sophia Health and Rehabilitation Center
An investigative report conducted by the U.S Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services linked two deaths at the Florissant senior care facility to staff negligence. A resident died after bleeding to death in 2017. In 2016, a resident was found dead in a bathtub after being left unsupervised for eight hours.
Autumn View Gardens Assisted Living
The Missouri Dept. of Health and Human Services issued the Creve Coeur nursing home citations after three residents with dementia were found outside in freezing temperatures. State inspectors reported that Autumn View staff put residents in immediate danger.
St Louis Place Health and Rehabilitation
The North County nursing home was accused of mishandling a tube feeding that led to a resident’s wrongful death. The Associated Press reported that an inspection found the resident was fed through a tube in half the time period prescribed and that a nurse failed to adequately monitor the feeding.
St Louis Nursing Home Regulations and Inspections
All St Louis area nursing homes have to meet mandatory state standards. These regulations determine if senior care facilities are providing safe, high-quality care for all residents. State regulatory teams inspect nursing homes to evaluate facilities and their staff, procedures, equipment, finances, and policies.
Which Agencies Regulate St Louis Nursing Homes?
St Louis area nursing homes are inspected, regulated, licensed, and certified by multiple public and private agencies. This includes the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services (DHSS) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare Services. Many St. Louis area nursing homes are also members of national accrediting organizations, such as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, that assess facilities independently.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services facilitate additional inspections for any senior care facilities that receive government funding. Nursing homes that do not pass inspection cannot be state-certified. When searching for a St Louis nursing home, ask for up-to-date inspection reports and certifications. For additional information about finding a St. Louis Medicare-certified nursing home or a St Louis Medicaid-certified nursing home, visit the official Medicare website.
How Often Are St Louis Area Nursing Homes Inspected?
St Louis area nursing homes are inspected twice every fiscal year [July 1 – June 30] by DHSS. Medicare and/or Medicaid facilities also require a federal survey once every nine to 15 months. Care facility inspections are done at random with changes in schedules to make it difficult for staff to anticipate them. Facilities that have frequent complaints and poor evaluation records are inspected more often.
How Do I File a Complaint Against a St Louis Nursing Home?
To report a case of neglect or abuse in a St Louis area nursing home, call the Missouri DHSS Adult Abuse & Neglect Hotline at 800-392-0210 or file an Administrator Complaint Form. Complaints can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to: Board of Nursing Home Administrators, PO Box 570, Jefferson City, MO 65102.
Filing a St Louis Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
The first step before moving forward with a St Louis Nursing home abuse lawsuit is to familiarize yourself with the steps of civil litigation.
It’s important to take proper legal and medical action when dealing with nursing home abuse. If you or a loved one suffers from injuries, seek medical care immediately and follow the instructions given by medical staff. This will speed up recovery, and it’s a crucial step in mitigating injuries to strengthen your legal case.
After handling any injuries, contact a St Louis nursing home abuse lawyer to help with your situation. They will determine if a nursing home abuse lawsuit is the best course of legal action.
Gather evidence for the case including names, receipts, photos, and videos. Your attorney will examine the evidence and facts to determine who is liable for your injuries and damages.
It may be difficult to determine liability in a nursing home abuse case, but an experienced St Louis nursing home abuse lawyer will be able to determine who to hold at fault, whether it be the facility, the staff or both.
Your damages amount to the total losses incurred due to the abuse. In many St Louis nursing home abuse lawsuits, especially those filed against nursing home facilities, the injured party will make claims for both compensatory damages and punitive damages.
Your St Louis nursing home abuse lawyer will try to win you compensation to cover the costs of those damages.
Note that the Missouri statute of limitations limits your window of taking legal action. This means it’s crucial to act quickly if you discover nursing home abuse is happening. The SOL window is dependent on the specific nature of the case and the injuries incurred.
Hiring a St Louis Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Hiring a personal injury lawyer to represent you or your loved one as your St Louis nursing home abuse lawyer is an important step in the process of filing a St Louis nursing home abuse lawsuit. Be sure to hire an experienced attorney and don’t hesitate to ask any questions that you deem important to your process of selecting legal representation.
If you or your family members are victims of nursing home neglect or abuse, you could be eligible for a nursing home abuse lawsuit. At TorHoerman Law, we handle nursing home abuse cases in St Louis, St Louis County, and throughout Missouri and Southern Illinois. Our law firm will work with you to navigate the legal system and to determine the best course of legal action. Contact an experienced St Louis Nursing Home Abuse Attorney at TorHoerman Law today for a zero obligation, free consultation and to learn more about our practice areas.