Those who seek to bring a nursing home abuse or neglect claim in the state of Missouri generally have five years to do so, according to the statute of limitations. This statute of limitations, found in Missouri Statute Chapter 516, is longer than statutes in most states, but do not wait to call a lawyer if you have grounds for a claim.
If you suspect abuse of your loved one by nursing home staff, residents, or another party while they lived in a nursing home, call law enforcement, and then call a lawyer.
Abuse in Nursing Homes Takes Several Forms
You should not overlook signs that could indicate your loved one is unsafe in their nursing home. If you see the symptoms of abuse, neglect, or exploitation, you must take steps to alert authorities, and then contact a lawyer to pursue a civil case.
Some forms of abuse, neglect, and exploitation that may occur in a nursing home include:
- Sexual abuse
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Financial exploitation
- Willful deprivation
- Passive neglect
The effects of these types of mistreatment can be serious, and guilty parties may owe your loved one financial awards if they are found liable for any abuse, neglect, or exploitation that happened to your loved one.
Potential Signs of Abuse and Neglect
If you know your loved one well, then you should recognize abnormal signs that may indicate if abuse or neglect is taking place. Some signs of abuse or neglect that indicate a nursing home resident is suffering may include:
- Confusion, which could be the result of trauma-induced sleep deprivation.
- A disheveled appearance, such as dirty clothing and messy hair.
- Poor personal hygiene and other indicators that staff are not thoroughly caring for your loved one.
- The appearance of bruises, burns, scrapes, cuts, and other signs of physical abuse.
- The appearance of bedsores.
- Unexplained weight loss or a thin appearance.
- Uncharacteristic outbursts, especially involving violence.
- Signs of depression, such as withdrawing from activities they typically enjoy.
- Apparent signs of trauma or anxiety, such as rocking back and forth, recoiling from your touch, and acting fidgety.
You should take these symptoms seriously, as they may indicate that your loved one is receiving mistreatment in the nursing home where they live. Elderly nursing home residents may also fall victim to predators seeking to exploit them financially.
Signs of Financial Exploitation
If your loved one handles a portion of their finances while living in a nursing home, they could become a target by those seeking to take advantage of their age and helplessness. Some indications that someone has financially exploited your loved one may include:
- Unexplained purchases and withdrawals.
- Purchases at stores where your loved one does not typically shop.
- Purchases your loved one has no recollection of making.
- Purchases for which your loved one cannot produce a corresponding item.
- Changes to details on their financial accounts, such as a phone number, address, or account holder.
- Missing items of value, such as jewelry, cash, medication, or anything else.
If you suspect financial exploitation, the nursing home may be liable for missing valuables and other losses. After contacting law enforcement, a lawyer can help you build a case.
How a Lawyer Can Help in a Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Case
A lawyer can assist you in identifying the liable parties if your loved one received mistreatment while living in a nursing home. Our team’s mission is to ensure that your loved one endures no further harm, and we will aim to achieve this by:
- Meeting with you and your loved one to document their firsthand account of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
- Initiating the legal process immediately to ensure that your case falls within the statute of limitations for nursing home abuse in Missouri.
- Alerting the nursing home to pending litigation and asking for cooperation in interviewing staff, residents, or administrators, and collecting video evidence and incident reports.
- Handling all legal responsibilities from our initial meeting until the completion of a judgment or settlement.
- Ensuring that your loved one’s rights are protected.
We will aim to prove negligence on behalf of the nursing home and any individuals responsible for the mistreatment of your loved one. If we can prove our case, then your loved one may be entitled to financial awards covering their losses and trauma.
Potential Awards in a Nursing Home Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation Case
Every nursing home mistreatment claim is different, but if our case is successful, your loved one could be entitled to financial awards covering:
- The cost of their stay in the nursing home.
- The cost of medical care provided while in the nursing home.
- The value of any financial assets or valuables stolen.
- The toll of pain and suffering inflicted by the mistreatment.
- Punitive damages against the defendant(s).
Your loved one could be entitled to additional damages depending on the circumstances of their case.
Do Not Wait to Call a Lawyer
The sooner you contact a lawyer to follow the statute of limitations for nursing home abuse in Missouri, the sooner your loved one may be able to receive financial awards.
Call our team at the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to discuss your case. Our clients pay nothing upfront, nothing out of pocket, and nothing unless we win a judgment or agree to a settlement.