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St. Louis Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Nursing Home Abuse

Even though many people are aware of nursing home abuse and think they are asking enough questions when it comes to choosing the right care for a loved one, nursing home neglect continues in St. Louis and in surrounding areas that can be physical, sexual, or emotional. While physical abuse of a nursing home resident is easier to detect, emotional abuse cases may be harder to see. Unfortunately, there are many instances where a staff member will abuse nursing home residents. If you believe that your loved one is suffering from abuse or neglect in a St. Louis, MO nursing home, abuse lawyers at Hipskind & McAninch, LLC are here to help.

Nursing homes have been in the news since 2020 for being coronavirus hot spots. As more nursing home residents became sick or died, more family members, journalists, and loved ones demanded more transparency from large care organizations. But nursing homes are usually run by large organizations with sharp lawyers who will defend their company aggressively in an abuse lawsuit. So you will need a lawyer with years of experience in successfully winning compensation for their clients’ pain and suffering and other damages related to their personal injury, abuse, or neglect. 

What can you sue a nursing home for?

Damages are broken down into two different types: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are financial losses that the victim and or the victim’s family experiences, such as extra hospital bills, money that was stolen from financial exploitation, etc. If the nursing home resident needed medical care to treat their injuries sustained at the nursing home, then those costs would be included when calculating their damages.

Your attorney will tally up the total cost and include them in their settlement letter when they try to negotiate with the lawyers representing the nursing home.

But there is another type of compensation that loved ones can seek in court. Non-economic damages compensate the victim as well as their family for the pain and suffering that the defendant caused through their abuse and neglect. These damages are a lot harder to calculate because they are based on the subjective experience of abuse, neglect, or violence. But an intrepid attorney can advocate for your loved one to receive the compensation that they deserve.

What is the statute of limitations on nursing home abuse in Missouri?

A statute of limitations is how long a person has to bring forth a wrongful death claim and most egregious of nursing home cases, or personal injury claims as a result of nursing home neglect and abuse. In St Louis, MO, the time limit to file a personal injury claim against a nursing home is five years. However, if your loved one has suffered and died in a nursing home, the statute of limitation is three years. You will want to contact us directly to schedule your free consultation for more information on how long you have to file your specific case.

How long does it take to settle a nursing home lawsuit?

Typically a nursing home lawsuit will be filed after the family members of the victim do not get a satisfactory settlement offer and answers from the nursing home or its administrators. By the time you are considering going to trial, it may have already been a couple of weeks or months since your initial case evaluation. The length of time it takes to settle depends on how long the attorneys from both sides stay in negotiations.

While there is no guaranteed way to know exactly how long your trial will be, many nursing home abuse and neglect trials last anywhere between 1 to 2 years. There is a risk of not getting the compensation that you want if your case goes to trial. It’s important to remember that there can never be any guaranteed outcomes in a jury trial. However, it is possible to receive more money from a trial than a plaintiff would have in a settlement. It’s best to call Hipskind & McAninch, LLC to speak with our nursing home abuse lawyers and find out what the best solution is for you. 

How much can you sue a nursing home for negligence?

The amount received in damages for nursing home neglect, sexual abuse, or other abuse in these personal injury cases in St. Louis depends on the exact circumstances, but typically they are developed from the economic damages that are explained in an earlier section on this page. Your attorney will then fight for higher compensation for the pain and suffering endured in the nursing home.

What are the signs of nursing home abuse?

Abused nursing home residents may or may not be aware of the abuse, and some staff members and administrators take advantage of their lucidity. Residents in nursing homes are extremely vulnerable since all of their meals, medication, and care is provided to them by people who are employed by the nursing home facility and do not provide care as an act of love or with the same detail and concern a family member would.

The problem that loved ones face often is that they do not have the skills or the time that a trained and licensed nurse could provide. This is why so many people choose nursing homes for the care of their elderly loved ones or those who need assistance with daily tasks. Unfortunately, this opens them up to myriad types of nursing home abuse, including:

  • Runaway risk/risk of elopement
  • Dehydration
  • Broken bones
  • Bedsores or pressure ulcers
  • Malnutrition
  • Sudden weight loss or weight gain
  • Increased infections
  • Emotionally agitatedIncreased falls and fractures
  • Unexplained deaths or other injuries involving other residents

Then there are non-physical signs of abuse that include:

  • Sudden changes in mood and behavior 
  • Fear or suddenly becoming quiet when staff members are around
  • Paranoia
  • Lack of interest in things that they used to enjoy
  • Bed sores

Miscellaneous forms of nursing home abuse include

  • Sexual abuse
  • Financial exploitation
  • Medical malpractice

A very common problem that makes detecting nursing home abuse so difficult is the fact that victims often feel helpless and afraid to say anything to family members. Nursing home residents fear retaliation from the staff member or administrator who is abusing them. Additionally, abuse may not start off egregiously. It may start, and they seem like a mistake. But over time, the instances increase, and so does the intensity of the abuse. Contacting a lawyer as soon as you suspect that something may be off can help you get an understanding of the law and how to look closer at possible violations.

Prevalence of Nursing Home Abuse

The National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) estimates that there are over 10,000 nursing home complaints filed each year. 27.4% of those cases involve physical abuse by staff or administrators, and 22.1% are perpetrated by other residents who are not properly restrained from others. 15.3%, sadly, have been cases of gross neglect where a person’s needs were unmet, and they suffered greatly.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are some questions that nursing home lawyers get often. If you do not see the answers you are looking for here, then give our law firm a call to schedule your free case evaluation with an experienced lawyer.

What are punitive damages?

When families reach out to us, they will be speaking with one of us who practices personal injury law, which is not the same as criminal law. It’s very likely that there will be a criminal proceeding in addition to your civil claim, but they are handled in two different court hearings under two different areas of the law. Punitive damages compensate victims for the intentional harm they caused or their intentional carelessness. 

Remember that when you reach out to a nursing home abuse attorney regarding an abused or neglected family member that their practice areas do not include criminal law. A tort is a type of civil wrong in which a claimant or plaintiff has suffered some sort of injury, whether it was an economic loss or not economic loss. Tort law deals with civil law, which means that the wrongful death case that you file with the assistance of your personal injury attorney will not be heard in criminal court. There may be a criminal hearing for charges related to nursing home abuse, but your personal injury case is heard in civil court. If there is a criminal proceeding, then there may be a separate abuse lawsuit. We are happy to explain more to you during your free consultation with a St Louis nursing home abuse lawyer. 

What should I do if I suspect a loved one is being abused?

First, you must report the suspected abuse to the facility manager. However, if you believe that your loved one or another person is in need of emergency care, then dial 911. The police and ambulances will show up to take care of those who are in dire need of medical care.

Then give us a call. We understand your loved one may be scared, and you may be as well. We are here to work quickly to keep your loved ones safe and to get them the compensation they deserve for the abuse and neglect they suffered.

Why Hipskind & McAninch, LLC

Our attorneys are deeply connected with the St. Louis metropolitan area and have successfully argued for clients throughout Illinois and Missouri. Hipskind & McAninch, LLC has recovered millions for our clients and has a 99% success rate. We offer a free consultation for clients in Missouri and Illinois who are concerned about a family member who is a nursing home resident as well as a victim of nursing home abuse.

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