St. Louis Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
St. Louis Nursing Home Negligence
As St. Louis’s population ages, an increasing number of residents must move into nursing homes to help them maintain a high standard of life during their golden years. Nursing homes help with needed medical care and assist aging residents who may no longer have the capacity to care for themselves in the same way they did at a younger age.
With an estimated 16 percent or more of adult St. Louis residents falling into the “senior” category—over the age of 65—aging care services have become increasingly critical across the area. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes provide the high standard of care that residents might expect. In some nursing homes, residents suffer under substantial negligence as they struggle to maintain a high quality of life.
Do you have a loved one who suffered negligence in a nursing home, either in the city of St. Louis, St. Louis County, or across the Mississippi in the Metro East? Contact a St. Louis nursing home abuse lawyer at The Bruning Law Firm today to learn more about your family’s rights to pursue justice.
Signs of Nursing Home Negligence in St. Louis
Nursing homes throughout the St. Louis area bear a high duty of care when it comes to caring for their aging residents. These facilities must ensure that residents receive the high standard of care required by law and the assistance they need to maintain a high quality of life, even as they age. Unfortunately, many nursing homes fail to uphold this duty. Any family member who notices these signs of neglect, or a senior who suffers through neglect in a nursing home, should contact an experienced nursing home attorney as soon as possible to learn more about the right to pursue compensation.
Bedsores or Pressure Sores
Bedsores, also known as pressure sores or pressure ulcers, often develop when the skin and underlying tissue break down because of prolonged pressure on that area. Pressure sores in nursing homes, for example, may develop because nursing staff members fail to move the patient around adequately, leaving the patient in bed or even sitting for long periods each day. Pressure sores can worsen in severity very quickly if the patient’s care team does not act to alleviate the pressure and remove those symptoms. Unfortunately, some nursing home staff members may try to cover up the symptoms of pressure sores to alleviate liability.
Nursing homes must provide adequate, nutritious food for their residents. Sometimes, that may mean helping residents into a communal dining area. Other times, residents may eat in their rooms, which means nursing home staff may need to bring residents their food. Sometimes, however, nursing home staff may fail to adequately feed patients. Signs of malnourishment may include rapid weight loss, low overall body weight, and increasing weakness. Seniors who suffer from malnutrition may also have a harder time recovering from illness and injuries.
As some seniors age, they may need more supervision to prevent them from suffering inadvertent injuries. Seniors may need assistance going to the restroom or even getting up out of bed, depending on the extent of their weakness as they age. In nursing homes with inadequate supervision, seniors may suffer from frequent injuries as they try and fail to get around on their own. Often, they may end up falling, running into doors, or struggling to lift objects on their own, all of which may result in substantial injury.
Lack of access to adequate water can lead to a quick deterioration in a patient’s overall health. Some seniors, particularly those with conditions like Alzheimer’s or dementia, may have a hard time taking in adequate water on their own, since they may not notice thirst cues or may even refuse to drink. In other cases, however, dehydration may occur because nursing home staff fails to provide adequate care for residents.
Mismanaged Medical Conditions (Especially Those Previously Managed)
As seniors age, they may naturally develop new medical conditions or have additional issues with medical conditions that they had before entering the nursing home. If a previously well-managed medical condition seems to spiral out of control, however, or if a senior does not seem to receive adequate care for a known medical issue or a new medical issue, it could indicate neglect in the nursing home environment.
Poor Personal Hygiene
Sometimes, nursing home neglect may not immediately show through obvious medical concerns. Instead, the patient may show subtle signs of poor hygiene. A patient who usually changes his clothes daily may suddenly wear the same clothes several days in a row, or not seem to launder the clothes between wearings. Visitors may notice that the senior smells, particularly if he or she does not clean adequately after going to the toilet. These problems can grow worse over time, especially if nursing home staff members deliberately put off helping patients with self-care tasks, like bathing.
If you notice any of these signs and symptoms, you should never delay in reporting your concerns through to nursing home management and/or the authorities if necessary.
The Bruning Law Firm Can Help Victims of St. Louis Nursing Home Negligence
Do you have a loved one who suffered serious negligence in a nursing home? The Bruning Law Firm can help you get a better idea of the compensation your loved one may qualify to pursue. Our experienced team of attorneys has helped many victims recover substantial damages in a wide range of personal injury claims, and we want to help nursing home neglect victims and their families get a better idea of the compensation they should seek. We always help our clients fight for maximum compensation.
Determine what to do when you suspect nursing home neglect.
It can prove difficult to establish nursing home neglect in the beginning, especially if you have a loved one who refuses to speak out against the nursing home or tries to simply take whatever comes in silence. At The Bruning Law Firm, we can help you determine what to do next, from seeking medical care for your loved one to helping establish evidence of neglect to deciding how to handle your suspicions of nursing home neglect.
Investigate the circumstances surrounding your loved one.
When nursing home neglect occurs, you want to hold the liable party accountable and ensure that your loved one has a safe environment in which to live. At The Bruning Firm, we can help investigate the circumstances around your loved one, including who may commit neglect that leads to your loved one’s injuries and what parties may share liability for that neglect. Then, we will compile the evidence into a compelling claim that can help you establish your loved one’s right to compensation.
Provide more information about the compensation your loved one should pursue.
Do you know how much compensation your loved one may qualify to pursue after suffering neglect in a nursing home in St. Louis? While we cannot provide guarantees regarding the compensation your loved one will ultimately recover, we can help take a look at your loved one’s medical costs and expenses related to the neglect, then give you a better idea of how much compensation your loved one should expect.
Negotiate on your behalf.
Dealing with the nursing home or at-fault insurance company directly as you try to establish negligence and seek compensation for your loved one can prove incredibly draining, especially if your loved one faces significant medical concerns that can prove difficult to deal with in the aftermath of the neglect. We can take over negotiations on your behalf, taking one item off your plate and freeing you up to take on other tasks.
Why Does Nursing Home Negligence Occur in St. Louis?
Nursing homes throughout the St. Louis area may give common reasons for nursing home negligence. None are good excuses for allowing the people in their care suffer or for inflicting harm on them.
Nursing homes throughout St. Louis and all over Missouri have struggled with staffing shortages for years. Many people do not want to work in nursing homes, where staff members often face immense challenges every day—especially since many nursing students know that nursing homes often have problems retaining adequate staff. Short-staffed nursing homes may not have adequate caregivers on hand to take care of all of a patient’s needs, which can make neglect more likely.
Most people who work in nursing homes genuinely care about their residents. Some people, however, simply do not care that much about their patients. These staff members may fail to provide adequate attention, both throughout the day as they take care of their residents and as residents issue requests for care.
Inadequate training can make a huge difference in the way nursing home staff members, especially new staff members, interact with patients. Some nursing home staff members may not know who bears responsibility for specific tasks or even specific patients. Others may not know how to document patient interactions to ensure that the residents receive a high standard of care. That lack of training and experience can leave staff members unaware that they have committed acts of neglect.
While staff members may decide how they will care for a patient throughout their shifts, the nursing home often bears liability for the actions of those caregivers. If a nursing home resident does suffer negligence, often, the nursing home will bear liability for it.
Specific doctors that work with individual seniors may also bear liability for failure to provide adequate care for nursing home residents. Also, if the nursing home uses a staffing agency, that staffing agency bears liability for vetting its employees. When those employees fail to provide adequate care for nursing home residents, the staffing agency may bear liability.
What Compensation Can St. Louis Seniors Seek After Nursing Home Neglect?
Nursing home neglect can leave you with a lot of questions, including how much compensation your loved one may have the right to seek. Not only can nursing home neglect leave your loved one with high medical bills, but also ongoing neglect can cause your loved one’s existing conditions to worsen and even shorten your loved one’s lifespan. At The Bruning Law Firm, we cannot guarantee the compensation your loved one will ultimately recover for those injuries. However, most nursing home neglect victims claim compensation for these key categories.
The medical costs associated with significant nursing home neglect can quickly cut into your loved one’s savings and leave your family scrambling to pay the bills. As part of a nursing home neglect claim, you can include any medical costs associated with that neglect, from emergency medical care needed after your loved one suffers a serious fall to the ongoing cost of medical care for a condition that got out of control due to that neglect from your loved one’s caregivers.
Pain and Suffering
Nursing home neglect can cause severe mental and emotional anguish for many seniors. They have the right to live out those golden years in peace, and nursing home neglect can leave them feeling off-balance, unwanted, and generally depressed. In addition, that neglect can lead to significant physical suffering due to injuries or lack of adequate care. As part of your nursing home neglect claim, your family can include compensation for that pain and suffering.
Moving Costs/Increased Care Costs
Sometimes, your loved one may need to leave a current nursing home and move into another one as a direct result of serious neglect. Sometimes, that occurs because your loved one can no longer stay in the current nursing home. Other times, your loved one may need to move to a nursing home that offers a higher overall level of care due to increased weakness because of that neglect. You may have the right to include compensation for those moving expenses and increased care expenses as part of the nursing home negligence claim.
An Experienced St. Louis Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Can Help
If your loved one has suffered an injury due to any type of nursing home abuse, they deserve full and fair compensation from the responsible party for their injuries and losses. At The Bruning Law Firm, our St. Louis personal injury lawyers offer free, no-obligation consultations.
The Bruning Law Firm
555 Washington Ave Ste 600A,
St. Louis, MO 63101
“AJ and team were so delightful to work with. They were very responsive to all emails and phone calls. I always knew which step we were on in the process of getting my lawsuit settled. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the amount the settlement was for was twice that of the original coverage of the insurance company. I don’t know how they did it but I am very pleased with the service they provided. Hands down easiest process, and people to deal with. 100% recommend if you have a personal injury case to be worked. Hopefully I won’t need their services again, but if I do I won’t hesitate to call.” – Amanda W.
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