Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is on the rise in Illinois and Missouri. The National Center on Elder Abuse found that out of 2,000 nursing home residents, 44 percent had experienced abuse and 95 percent of them had been neglected or witnessed others being neglected. What’s worse is these statistics were before the Covid pandemic which left family members unable to monitor the care their loved ones were receiving. All signs point to these numbers skyrocketing when family members and officials learn what was happening while the Covid lockdown was in place. Previous data from 2016 stated that those who are supposed to be providing medical care to the elderly are responsible for 10 percent of all reported senior abuse cases. Again, that number is likely to increase substantially as we learn just how poorly nursing home residents have been treated while family members and even government oversight agencies have been locked out of nursing homes. Sadly, even those we trust to care for our loved ones can’t always be trusted.
Our primary mission at the Terry Law Firm is to represent Illinois and Missouri victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. We investigate complaints of nursing home abuse and neglect that result in serious injuries and deaths. When we begin an investigation we determine not only what happened, but why. When possible, we will file a lawsuit for the wrongful death or serious injuries of a nursing home resident. If necessary, we will take that case all the way to a trial.
If you have a loved one in a Missouri or Illinois nursing home and are worried about their health, happiness, and well-being, or if your loved one has died as a result of bad care in a nursing home, there is help available in the form of a dedicated personal injury attorney. A St. Louis based nursing home abuse lawyer licensed in both Illinois and Missouri may be able to help you seek compensation on your family member’s behalf for abusive or neglectful treatment by nursing home staff and administrators.
As family members begin to go back into nursing homes they may be in for a shock. Perhaps you will find loved ones with bed sores they did not have before. Or maybe they have suffered multiple falls resulting in broken bones or significant head injuries. Dehydration and Malnutrition may have caused residents to suffer from urinary tract infections or sepsis. Unfortunately, some family members may even discover that their loved ones have even suffered sexual abuse or physical abuse.
What is Abuse and Neglect in a Nursing Home?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), elder abuse is the abuse and neglect of persons age 60 and older by a caregiver or another person in a relationship that involves an expectation of trust. This applies to caregivers and medical professionals in a nursing home setting.
Missouri and Illinois laws also address the public health and welfare of seniors by defining abuse as inflicting injury or harm that is physical, sexual, emotional, or financial in nature. Neglect is further defined as failing to give services to a senior when a contractual duty exists to do so, leading to imminent danger to the health, safety, and welfare of the senior.
When a nursing home agrees to accept someone as a resident, they are agreeing to provide certain services to those residents, even if there is a pandemic that makes providing care more difficult or if the resident has multiple medical needs. At a bare minimum, they are to provide quality medical care to meet the needs of each individual resident. When the nursing home fails to meet the needs of the resident and the resident suffers injuries as a result, that is negligence.
Common Signs of Abuse
Although abuse can be difficult to detect, there are certain signs to watch out for. These include:
- Bed sores
- Poor hygiene
- Weight loss
- Broken bones
- Changes in demeanor
Whenever family members notice any of these signs, their loved one may be a victim of abuse. For help determining next steps, families can consult a St. Louis based nursing home abuse attorney to help obtain justice for their family members both in Illinois and Missouri.
Rights of Nursing Home Residents
All elements of care and decisions for competent adults in a nursing home setting must be done with their involvement and consent, and with respect given to the various rights these residents possess. Under Missouri and Illinois state law, nursing home residents have the right to:
- Be free from mental and physical abuse
- Be informed of their medical condition
- Select their own physician
- Participate in planning their care
- Refuse treatment
- Voice grievances
- Be treated with respect and dignity
- Have treatments provided in privacy
Violating any of these rights may constitute abuse. Nursing home residents who feel that any of these rights were violated or that they have otherwise been neglected or abused may benefit from contacting a nursing home abuse lawyer who has represented victims of nursing home abuse and neglect for over twenty years in Missouri and Illinois.
We Help Families Hold Nursing Homes Accountable
When family members talk to nursing homes about placing their loved ones in the facility, they generally receive promises about how well the facility will treat their loved one. Websites proclaim that your family member will be treated like a member of their own family and families are assured that there will be plenty of staff members available to take care of the resident. Nothing is more difficult than trusting your loved one to be cared for by a nursing home, but nursing homes are experts at promising that your loved one will be in good hands.
When a nursing home violates that trust by not meeting the needs of your loved one or permitting your parent or family member to suffer serious injury or death because of neglect, carelessness or even abuse, you are within your rights to feel taken advantage. Worse yet, when families try to find out what happened to their family member, they are often met with a wall of silence and lawyers hired by the nursing home to do everything they can do tot keep the nursing home and its owners from being held accountable.
When you are looking for answers and the nursing home is not responding or not telling you the truth, that is where we come in. We have been pursing justice for nursing home residents since 2001 and we know how the nursing home industry operates. Our experience helps families get answers for nursing home abuse, nursing home neglect, nursing home wrongful death, falls, bed sores, medication errors, and others.
Speak with an Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today
Our St. Louis based nursing home abuse lawyers examine the circumstances surrounding the possible abuse or neglect of your elderly loved one in a nursing home. We have developed a system for investigating nursing home cases and determining if it is a case we can pursue. If our legal team determines that there is a strong case to pursue, we will take the case with the goal of making the nursing home corporation take responsibility for the injuries they caused.
How We’re Paid
When we agree to take on a legal case we are also agreeing to advance all of the costs associated with the investigation and the lawsuit. We are only paid when we are successful in resolving your lawsuit by settlement or verdict. You will never receive a bill from us! By taking on all the financial risk of the lawsuit, you can rest assured that we are only going to pursue those cases in which we fully believe.
What Makes Nursing Homes Change How They Operate?
There are very few “Mom and Pop” nursing homes anymore. Most nursing homes have some kind of corporate ownership that focuses on bottom line profit. In other words, they first and primary concern is not about the care your loved one is supposed to receive; it is about money. Since we have been pursing justice for nursing home residents, we have seen positive changes in the types of care some nursing home residents receive, but that has only come about by forcing the nursing home industry to take responsibility for the injuries and deaths they inflicted on residents by negligent and abusive care. But there is a long way to go which is why we believe continued pursue of justice for nursing home residents entails holding nursing homes accountable through money verdicts at trial or settlements motivated by the fear of trial.
How Do I Hire You to be my Lawyer?
The easiest and best way to reach us is to call our office at (314) 878-9797. If an attorney or paralegal is available you will be directed to talk with one of them. In the rare instance no one is available to talk with you when you call, it is because they are working on other important legal case. Simply leave a message and someone will call you back as soon as we possibly can. We try really hard to return telephone calls in a timely manner because we know that this is an important issue for you.
We recognize that family members whose loved ones have died or suffered serious injuries due to the negligence of the nursing home industry are experiencing a wide range of emotions from sadness to anger to revenge. We understand your emotions and will treat you and your loved one with the care and respect you deserve. Call today to learn more about nursing home abuse and your legal rights.