legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Kansas City Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Kansas City is Missouri’s largest city by population and area. It is home to about 200,000 seniors and disabled individuals under age 65. Many of these individuals reside in nursing homes with facilities, equipment, and professional care to meet their needs.
But while many Kansas City nursing homes are ranked as some of the best in the country (according to US News & World Report), nursing home abuse is still a problem in this massive city.
Thousands of nursing home residents suffer abuse and neglect from caregivers, visitors, or other residents while residing in nursing institutions. Unfortunately, many of these victims continue to suffer due to underreporting or the signs simply going unnoticed by their loved ones.
Don’t let your loved one’s suffering become one of the thousands of unresolved cases. At Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, our experienced affiliate Missouri personal injury attorneys can help your family hold the negligent nursing home accountable for your family’s losses.
Contact our Kansas City nursing home abuse lawyers at (800) 926-7565 for a free consultation with one of our affiliate lawyers. All sensitive or confidential information you disclose with our legal team will remain private under an attorney-client relationship.What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse is a single or repeated act that causes physical, psychological, or financial harm to a resident. It can result from negligence, carelessness, or malicious intent of nursing home workers, visitors, or other residents.What Is Elder Abuse?
The law defines elder abuse as a single or repeated act that causes an elderly person harm. Abuse, neglect, or mistreatment within a relationship where there is an expectation of trust may be considered elder abuse.The Rights of Nursing Home Residents
State and federal laws help protect the legal rights of nursing home residents. These laws include:Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987
The 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act defines what services nursing homes and other residential care facilities must provide residents and establishes standards for these services. This law aims to protect the legal rights of nursing home patients, including:
- Freedom from abuse, neglect, or mistreatment
- Freedom from physical restraints
- Accommodation of physical, psychological, medical, and social needs
- Participation in resident and family groups
- Be treated with dignity
- Exercise self-determination
- Communicate freely
- Participate in one’s care plan review and be fully informed in advance about any changes in care, treatment, or status change in the facility
- Voice grievances without discrimination or reprisal
The rights of nursing home residents outlined in Missouri Revised Statutes reflect those defined by federal regulations.
Additionally, residents have the right to install monitoring devices in their rooms according to the Authorized Electronic Monitoring in Long-Term Care Facilities Act (signed into law in 2020). This law protects vulnerable patients from abuse or neglect from caregivers, visitors, and other residents.Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Abuse in nursing homes can take many forms, including:Physical Abuse
Physical abuse involves deliberately using force against a resident, causing injury, pain, or impairment. It includes but is not limited to actions such as slapping, striking, kicking, burning, pinching, and restraining a resident without medical reasons.
Signs of Physical Abuse
- Broken bones
- Unexplained injuries (e.g., cuts, burns, bruises)
- Restraint or grip marks
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Psychological abuse, also known as mental or emotional abuse, involves verbal and non-verbal acts that cause psychological harm to a resident. These acts may include verbal abuse, humiliation, intimidation, gaslighting, and geographical or social isolation.
Signs of Mental or Emotional Abuse
- Personality or behavioral changes
- Depression or anxiety
- Being extremely withdrawn
- Loss of enjoyment in usual activities
- Difficulty sleeping
Sexual assault or abuse is any non-consensual sexual contact with a resident, including those who cannot give valid consent (e.g., a mentally disabled person). It can take many forms, including verbal sexual harassment, unwanted touching, explicit photography, sodomy, coerced nudity, and rape.
Signs of Sexual Abuse
- Reluctance or refusal to be touched
- Unexplained bruises around the breasts or genitals
- Genital infections
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
- Sudden changes in personality or behavior
- Refusal to be alone with specific individuals
Financial abuse is the illegal, unauthorized, or improper use of a resident’s personal property, including money and assets. It can take many forms, including manipulating bank accounts, stealing personal belongings, and unauthorized transactions on credit cards.
Signs of Financial Exploitation
- Sudden bank account changes
- Unexplained transactions on debit or credit cards
- Missing belongings
- Forged signatures on financial documents
- Inconsistencies in financial records of the facility
- Sudden changes in financial habits
Neglect occurs when a nursing home fails to provide a resident’s basic needs, including proper nutrition, medication, clothing, medical care, and a safe environment, creating or increasing the risk of harm to a patient. Whether intentional or unintentional, neglect is considered abuse.
Signs of Neglect
- Poor hygiene
- Bed sores
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Unexplained weight loss
- Untreated medical conditions (e.g., recurring urinary tract infections)
- Unsafe or unsanitary living conditions
- Inadequate clothing for the weather
- Lack of medical aids (e.g., eyeglasses, walkers, hearing aids)
- Medication errors
- Nursing home falls due to inadequate supervision
The signs of nursing home abuse are not always noticeable in elderly people, so family members must pay close attention to their loved ones’ health and well-being.
Moreover, families must know the difference between indicators of abuse and dementia or mental illness. An elderly person may exhibit signs of abuse that mimic dementia or another mental disorder, such as mood changes, difficulty sleeping, memory loss, and aggression.
Consult a specialist if you are unsure whether your loved one is experiencing nursing home abuse or showing signs of dementia.Who Is Most at Risk?
Some residents are more prone to abuse and neglect due to their increased physical and mental vulnerability, including:
- Patients with physical or mental disabilities
- Patients with additional care needs
- Patients with access to an abundance of wealth
- Dementia patients
- Women and children
- Bedridden patients
Nursing home abuse can result in significant consequences to victims and their families, such as:
- Severe injuries
- Untreated medical conditions
- Psychological trauma
- Emotional distress
- Loss of personal property
- Monetary losses
- Loss of quality of life
- Reduced family or social ties
- Increased risk of illnesses
- Wrongful death
Many nursing home abuse cases result in serious physical harm. Common abuse-related injuries include:
- Head trauma or traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Broken bones, especially hip fractures
- Bruises and cuts
- Soft tissue injuries (e.g., sprains, strains)
- Spinal cord injuries
Abuse, neglect, and mistreatment are more likely to occur in nursing home facilities with the following issues:
- Underqualified and Improperly Trained Staff: Nursing home staff that lack proper education, experience, and training may be less capable of caring for disabled and elderly individuals, increasing the risk of abuse, neglect, and medical malpractice.
- Understaffing: There should be enough staffing for every job involved in caring for a patient. Hence, a lack of employees in a nursing home facility often leads to abuse and neglect cases due to high-stress environments and overburdened staff.
- Poor Management: Subpar management can create unreasonable or negligent conduct among employees, effectively putting residents in harm’s way. Lack of organization, poor scheduling, and high rates of employee dissatisfaction are common signs of poor management.
- Underreporting: State and federal laws require nursing home workers to report abuse and neglect cases. Unfortunately, it has been reported that only a small percentage of cases are reported to the authorities, leaving many to remain unaddressed.
Take action as soon as you suspect nursing home abuse, even if you don’t have concrete evidence yet—report known or suspected abuse to Kansas City police. But if you think your loved one is in immediate danger, call 911.
You can also report the abuse or neglect of disabled or elderly residents to:
- Adult Protective Services (APS)
- Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS)
- Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP)
- Attorney General Office
State agencies will investigate your claim and the proper authorities may take action against the negligent nursing institution. Punishments for violating state or federal regulations may include loss of government funding and revokement or suspension of licenses.
In addition, Kansas City police may file criminal charges against individual perpetrators. A person found guilty of abusing or assaulting a resident could face a Class C misdemeanor or felony, depending on the severity of the crime. Punishments range from hefty fines to imprisonment up to 10 years or both.Filing a Kansas City Nursing Home Abuse Claim
The abuse, neglect, or mistreatment of a resident violates state and federal regulations that protect residents’ rights. A nursing institution that fails to respect these rights could face significant legal repercussions due to negligence.
Did you or a loved one suffer abuse in a Kansas City nursing facility? If so, you could take legal action by filing a personal injury claim.The Role of Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Hiring a personal injury lawyer is crucial to obtaining a fair settlement for your family’s losses. Your Kansas City nursing home abuse lawyer can help you:
- Establish the liability of at-fault parties
- File your claim within the statute of limitations
- Collect evidence to support your claim
- Handle all claim-related paperwork
- Negotiate settlement values
- File your lawsuit in civil court, if necessary
Your lawyer will discuss these responsibilities further during your free case evaluation.Liable Parties
Potential perpetrators of nursing home abuse may include:
- Nursing home staff members
- Other health care providers (e.g., doctors)
- Other residents
The nursing home or assisted living facility administrator may be held accountable for the abuse, regardless of who is directly responsible.Evidence
Substantial evidence is crucial to a nursing home abuse case. Your nursing home abuse lawyer can help you collect documents to support your claim, such as:
- Photos of your loved one’s injuries
- Medical records, including psychological evaluations
- Incident and police reports
- Financial documents, in case of financial exploitation
- Witness accounts from family members, employees, visitors, or other residents
- Expert testimony
Your Kansas City nursing home abuse attorney will help you recover financial compensation for the following damages:
- Medical Bills: Compensation for out-of-pocket expenses for your loved one’s medical care, including hospitalization, medication, therapy, surgery, emergency transportation, etc.
- Disability: Compensation for disability-related damages if your family member becomes disabled from the abuse or neglect. These damages may include loss of quality of life, disability services, and medical equipment.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical and non-physical injuries, including physical pain, mental trauma, emotional distress, etc.
- Loss of Quality of Life: Compensation for your loved one’s reduced quality of life after the abuse or neglect, which may manifest in loss of enjoyment in daily activities, decreased independence, reduced societal ties, etc.
- Wrongful Death: Compensation for death-related damages if your loved one dies due to abuse or neglect. These damages typically include funeral and burial costs, pre-death medical treatment, and grief.
- Punitive Damages: Monetary awards on top of compensatory damages, aiming to punish negligent nursing homes for their actions and deter harmful behavior in the future.
Your lawyer will estimate the potential value of your settlement during your free case evaluation.Settlement
After you file a personal injury claim against a Kansas City nursing institution, the facility’s insurance company may offer you a settlement. From here, you have two options: accept the offer or have your lawyer negotiate for a better one.
Once you accept the settlement, you can no longer sue for additional damages. Hence, consulting a lawyer before taking the offer is crucial to ensure you receive fair compensation.Other Legal Options
Sometimes, negotiations are unsuccessful. The nursing facility may even deny responsibility for your family’s damages. If this happens, your lawyer could file a civil lawsuit.
A judge or jury will hear your case and determine a verdict. Litigation can take a few weeks to a few months, so it may be in your best interest to explore other options, such as mediation or arbitration.The Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Missouri is five years (Section 516.120 of the Revised Missouri Statutes). The clock starts running on the date of the underlying incident or its discovery.
Talk to a nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as you discover the maltreatment of your family member. Five years may seem like a long time, but delaying your case could result in a loss of evidence.Schedule a Free Consultation With a Kansas City Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
According to federal law, nursing homes owe all residents adequate care, dignity, and respect. Hence, failure to protect residents from physical, mental, or financial harm could be a legal violation.
Did you or a family member suffer from nursing home abuse? The nursing home abuse attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, can be your legal advocates. Our lawyers defend the legal rights of victims of nursing home abuse, prosecute negligent nursing home facilities, and help raise awareness of injustices against disabled and elderly patients.
We understand that not all victims have the means to pay for legal services, which is why our nursing home abuse lawyers handle all accepted cases on a contingency fee basis. Our attorneys serve Kansas City and adjacent counties in both Missouri and Kansas.
Contact us at (800) 926-7565 for a free consultation with one of our affiliate Kansas City nursing home abuse attorneys. All sensitive or confidential information you disclose with our legal team will remain private under an attorney-client relationship.Resources: