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December 19, 2023

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Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is a common occurrence, but there are ways to put a stop to it. Read on to discover the legal options you can resort to should you or a loved one be a victim of nursing home negligence.

The nursing home abuse attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers are here to help you pursue justice and secure the best possible care for your family member. 

What to Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse in Springfield, Missouri

If you suspect nursing home negligence and abuse in a facility in Springfield, you should first seek the help of skilled nursing home abuse lawyers. Our team can advise you on your rights and the proper steps to take. 

Next, gather evidence of any wrongdoing. Keep records of injuries, poor care, unanswered calls for help, spoiled food, or unclean living conditions. Don’t delay in reporting serious issues to the authorities. 

Common Signs of Abuse and Negligence in Nursing Facilities in Springfield

If your loved one is in a Springfield nursing home, you want to ensure they’re receiving proper care and treatment. Be on the alert for these common signs that your loved one may be in danger:

  • Bruises, welts, or unexplained Injuries
  • Pressure ulcers, slow-healing or infected wounds
  • Unexplained weight loss or appetite changes
  • Unexplained pain, distress, or changes in mood
  • Lack of personal hygiene
common types of nursing home abuse in Springfield

Reporting Nursing Home Abuse in Springfield, MO

If you suspect a loved one is experiencing nursing home abuse, neglect, or exploitation in a Springfield nursing home, it’s important to report it immediately. 

Call the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services hotline (1-800-392-0210), 7 AM to 8 PM, seven days a week. 

You can call Relay Missouri at 1-800-735-2966 if you have a hearing impairment. You can also make an online complaint and report to Health.Mo.Gov/abuse.

Submit a report detailing the situation, including names of people involved if you know them, dates of incidents, photos or video if available, etc. The online reporting system allows you to report anonymously if you prefer.

When to Hire a Springfield Nursing Home Lawyer

You should hire a nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as your loved one brings it up or you have reasonable doubt about nursing home negligence and abuse. 

They will know how to gather evidence and navigate the legal process so you and your loved one receive the compensation you deserve. The sooner you act, the better your chances are of building a strong case against the facility.

Who Is Legally Liable for Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Springfield, MO?

In Springfield, Missouri, there are many parties that can be held liable in personal injury cases due to nursing home abuse and neglect. Generally, nursing homes are liable for the conduct of their employees. Other parties that could be held liable include nursing home staff, visitors, trespassers, oversight committees, product manufacturers, maintenance workers, and builders.

Regardless of who accepts liability, our nursing home abuse lawyers can help you seek justice and receive the financial compensation you deserve.

How Long Do I Have to File a Nursing Home Abuse Claim in Springfield?

The time frames within which you can file a nursing home abuse claim in Springfield are dictated by the state’s statute of limitations. In Missouri, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including nursing home abuse, is five years. 

However, if the nursing home negligence and abuse case involves medical malpractice, the time frame is two years. If it results in wrongful death, you have three years to file a claim.

Contact our nursing home abuse lawyers today for a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case and explore your legal options.

What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit in Springfield?

In Springfield, MO, nursing home abuse lawyers can help victims recover several types of damages:

  • Economic damages, such as medical bills, therapy costs, and other expenses resulting from the nursing home abuse.
  • Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, and reduced quality of life. Although difficult to quantify, non-economic damages provide relief for the trauma of nursing home abuse.

Several factors are considered when determining how much compensation may be awarded in a nursing home abuse case:

  • The severity of the injury – More severe injuries like broken bones, severe bed sores, or malnutrition will likely result in higher compensation.
  • Medical bills and rehabilitation expenses – The costs of medical care, physical therapy, counseling, and other treatments directly related to the abuse or neglect will be included in the compensation amount.
  • The degree to which fault is apparent – Higher compensation is probable if the nursing home staff were clearly negligent or abusive.

How to Prove Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect in Springfield

To prove nursing home negligence in Springfield, nursing home abuse lawyers will look for several key pieces of evidence to help build your case.

  • Medical records – Records from any hospital visits, including unexplained injuries, lack of treatment or prescriptions, or changes in unaddressed conditions.
  • Witness statements – Firsthand accounts of events staff members, other residents, visitors, or family members can powerfully corroborate a nursing home abuse case. They provide compelling evidence, especially if multiple witnesses report similar occurrences.
  • Photo, audio, or video evidence – For example, images of untreated bed sores or unsanitary living conditions, recordings of verbal abuse, etc.

Springfield Nursing Home Abuse Statistics and Facts

Out of 37 nursing homes in the metropolitan area of Springfield, MO, only three have a 5/5 rating based on their performance in long-term care and short-term rehabilitation. [1]

Additionally, seven of them haven’t been inspected in more than two years. [2]

Types of Abuse Over Nursing Home Residents in Springfield, MO

Here are the types of personal injury cases that our nursing home abuse lawyers have been handling for clients:

  • Physical abuse, or the use of physical force that causes harm or injury. This includes acts like hitting, slapping, pushing, shaking, punching, kicking, burning, or restraining a resident against their will.
  • Sexual abuse, which involves non-consensual sexual acts like fondling, molestation, or rape. Many nursing home residents are unable to consent due to physical or cognitive impairments.
  • Emotional or psychological abuse, resulting in anguish, distress, fear, or anxiety through verbal or nonverbal acts like insults, threats, intimidation, humiliation, or isolation.
  • Financial abuse or exploitation, such as stealing money or valuables, forging signatures, tricking residents into signing documents they don’t understand, overcharging for services, or not providing items that have already been paid for.

Which Standards Do Nursing Homes Have to Meet in Springfield?

Nursing homes in Springfield must adhere to certain standards and regulations [3] to ensure residents receive proper care. These include:

  • Federal regulations – Dictated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for contracted nursing homes
  • State regulations – Determined by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS)
  • Local regulations – Determined by the County Health Department together with the CMS and DHSS
  • Standards of Care – Determined by the DHSS

Which Agencies Regulate Springfield Nursing Homes?

The Department of Health and Senior Services, Section for Long-Term Care Regulation, oversees and licenses nursing homes in Springfield. They inspect facilities like:

  • Residential Care Facilities (RCF and RCF*)
  • Assisted Living Facilities (ALF and ALF**)
  • Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF)
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF)

DHSS also evaluates ICFs and SNFs so they can provide care to those on Medicare and Medicaid. 

How Often Are Springfield Area Nursing Homes Inspected?

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) inspects each long-term care facility twice per fiscal year, from July 1st to June 30th. They also conduct a federal survey every 9 to 15 months for Medicare and Medicaid-certified homes.

Before visiting a facility, the DHSS survey team reviews its compliance history and any complaint investigations. The unannounced visit evaluates the quality of care, life, environment, food, and fire safety.

If the DHSS finds serious issues, they can issue sanctions like fines, restrictions on admissions, or even facility closure. Minor issues lead to a plan of correction, and follow-up visits ensure fixes are made. 

In addition to DHSS inspections, the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) evaluates homes for Medicare/Medicaid certification. CMS also investigates complaints about facilities receiving federal funding.

During an inspection, surveyors tour the facility, observe staff and residents, review medical records and policies, and interview residents and staff. They check that the home complies with all federal and state regulations regarding staffing, medications, resident rights, and quality of care.

Inspectors may cite the facility with one or more deficiencies if it does not comply with regulations. The scope indicates how many residents were affected, while the severity level signifies the degree of harm. State deficiencies are classified from Class I, the most serious, to Class III, the least severe.

Contact a Springfield Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today!

Our Missouri nursing home abuse attorneys have handled many cases, and we understand how distressing these situations can be. We’re available 24/7 for a free consultation and case evaluation to discuss your legal options.

At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will pay us no up-front costs, and we will only collect our fees out of the settlement amount once we win your case. 

Contact us toll-free at (888) 424-5757.

Resources: [1] US News, [2] KMOV, [3] Missouri State, [3] Missouri Department of Health, [4] Missouri Department of Health

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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

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