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St. Louis Nursing Home Abuse
Elders hold a cherished place in society; they are our parents, grandparents, mentors, and friends. But in spite of this, they are uniquely vulnerable to physical, emotional, and financial abuse—and all too often, their plight goes unnoticed and their abuse unreported.
If you are a resident of a nursing home, you may understand this feeling of vulnerability all too well. You are dependent on caregivers for nearly every aspect of your life: your meals, your medical care, and even your day-to-day mobility.
It only takes one abusive or negligent caregiver to make your life miserable. But you don’t have to accept it. Missouri law has established specific rights for the residents of nursing homes, and if you feel yours are being violated, you can fight back and win.
If you are the victim of elder abuse in a nursing home, or suspect someone you love may be, Morgan & Morgan can help. Our attorneys are well-versed in laws that protect elders, allowing us to stop abuse in its tracks and seek full and fair compensation when applicable.
To learn more, fill out our free, no-obligation case evaluation form and an attorney will be in touch with you.
An Ongoing Problem in Missouri
Unfortunately, Missouri often struggles to properly take care of its elder population. In one example, AP News reports that although an elder abuse hotline was established in Missouri in 2019, only about half of the calls were even answered.
To make matters worse, elder abuse is likely to be seriously underreported. According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MDHSS), there are probably 23 cases of unreported elder abuse for every reported case in the state.
Elder Abuse Defined
While elder abuse can take many forms, there are four specific types of abuse that are legally prohibited in Missouri nursing homes:
- Abuse: The definition of abuse by Missouri law is the intentional infliction of physical, sexual, or emotional injury or harm.
- Neglect: If a caregiver fails to perform necessary services, and this failure causes an imminent danger to the health, safety, or welfare of an elder in their care, they have committed neglect.
- Financial Exploitation: This occurs if a caregiver knowingly deceives, intimidates, or forcefully obtains control over an elderly person’s money or property for their own financial gain.
- Bullying: Elders are legally protected against bullying in Missouri, which is defined as intimidation or harassment that threatens their physical safety or property. This covers oral, written, or electronic communications and threats of retaliation for reporting.
Right of Elders in Nursing Homes
Missouri has enacted laws that specifically protect long-term residents in nursing homes, and they include the following:
- The right to be free from mental and physical abuse
- The right to be informed of their medical conditions
- The right to be treated with respect and dignity
- The right to have their treatment administered privately
Symptoms of Nursing Home Abuse
Elder abuse remains a highly underreported crime, so it is important to keep an eye out for the following symptoms:
- Visible wounds such as bruises, black eyes, scars
- Sudden changes in behavior
- Emotional agitation
- Visible tension or altercations with caregivers
- Lack of hygiene, sudden weight loss, or unexplained health changes
- Unexplained financial changes
For those who have endured elder abuse, there is hope. A crime of this magnitude can entitle victims to compensation for the following damages:
- Present and future medical expenses
- Decreased earnings
- Lost wages and income
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
Contact Morgan & Morgan
Our first and foremost concern in any elder abuse case is to make sure the abuse ends immediately. After we ensure that our clients are safe, all abuse will be reported to local authorities for possible criminal prosecution.
We will then do everything in our power to make certain that those responsible for the abuse are held accountable for their actions. This will include full compensation for physical, emotional, and financial harm done to our clients and punitive damages when applicable.
If you are an elder who has been abused in a nursing home, you are not alone. Let our attorneys fight for you. Morgan & Morgan has over 30 years of experience fighting For The People, with more than $9 billion recovered for our clients so far.
Your initial consultation is always free, and you pay nothing unless we win your case. For more information, complete our free, no-obligation case evaluation form and a lawyer will contact you.
Disclaimer: Cases may be referred to and handled by another law firm as referral counsel.