Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys and Fierce Advocates

One out of six U.S. Citizens over the age of 65 have been mistreated, exploited or injured by a caregiver. Even more concerning is that only 20 percent of elder or nursing home abuse cases are reported. No one wants to believe elder abuse is real. However, it occurs every day, throughout our country.

Why the elderly? They are likely struggling with different health issues and are adjusting to a new chapter in life that involves leaving their home. They are vulnerable, and this is exactly why they are being targeted, neglected and abused.

Our team at Dollar, Burns, Becker & Hershewe has more than 30 years of experience being the voice of victims of abuse and neglect. Our partners have tried hundreds of cases involving horrific injuries and death due to physical and sexual abuse. For our firm it is about more than money. It is about being your voice for change. We have fought for and made changes to nursing home policies and procedures to ensure abuse does not happen again.

We aggressively pursue maximum compensation for these tragic injuries when they occur. This has resulted in more than $25 million in settlements for our clients.

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The Voice of the Victim

We understand that losing a loved one or facing a catastrophic injury is a traumatic event that can change a family forever. We believe that compassion for victims and their families goes hand in hand with vigorous pursuit of those responsible.

That’s why we aggressively pursue maximum compensation for these tragic injuries when they occur. We hold nursing homes fully accountable when we find conscious understaffing, failure to provide proper training to caregivers and a culture that allows the abuse and neglect of our elders.

Our attorneys at Dollar, Burns, Becker & Hershewe know how to explore and utilize all potential sources of recovery. Plus, we work on a contingency basis, which means you pay nothing unless we obtain compensation for you. This guarantees we will work our hardest to recover compensation for all your losses, including medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Verdicts and Settlements

Nursing Home – 625K – Knox County
Nursing Home – 535K – Kansas City
450 thousand dollar settlement st charles logo

Experience You Can Count On

Our attorneys at Dollar, Burns, Becker & Hershewe have experience with a wide range of nursing home and abuse cases, including:

  • Medical malpractice
  • Medical negligence
  • Sexual abuse and assault
  • Brain damage and traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Falls

There is an old saying, ‘there is no substitute for experience.’ This could not be truer for nursing home and elder abuse cases. There are very specific laws regulating nursing homes and assisted care facilities at state and national levels. There are critical questions that need to be asked and research that needs to be done immediately following the occurrence of abuse or neglect.

Dollar, Burns, Becker & Hershewe partners – Tim Dollar, Rachel Stahle and Jill Kanatzar – know what questions to ask and how to quickly proceed to ensure the best possible outcome for the victim and their loved ones.

At your consultation, we will ask detailed questions to accurately determine the nature of the problem. If you engage us, we’ll begin investigating the facts immediately by interviewing the victim and the individuals, including management and ownership, who may ultimately be held responsible. We will keep you informed every step of the way.

Advocates for Change

Often our clients’ main objective is to prevent the same abuse from happening to others. Dollar, Burns, Becker & Hershewe goes the distance, whether in the courtroom with a jury verdict or outside of the courtroom, where we fight for fundamental changes to the nursing home industry.

We’ve been effective at requiring nursing homes to make specific changes in their nursing policies and procedures to prevent future abuse and neglect. The staffs are retrained to make sure the same abuse does not happen in the future.

If you suspect a loved one has been the victim of elder abuse or neglect, you should act immediately. At Dollar, Burns, Becker & Hershewe, we’ve built a reputation for our vigorous representation of victims of nursing home neglect.

If You Suspect Abuse

It is important to act quickly in the face of potential abuse. Take these initial steps to prevent abuse and ensure your loved one is treated with the care and attention they deserve.

  1. Call your state abuse & neglect hotline – Missouri: 1-800-392-0210 | Kansas: 1-877-662-8362 | Illinois: 1-800-252-8966
  2. If you believe a crime has occurred, call 911.
  3. Have a presence in the nursing home: visit often and talk to your loved one.
  4. Document any evidence of abuse & neglect.
  5. Address concerns with nursing home administration.
  6. Contact any resources available in your state, including government agencies, hotlines and activist groups.
  7. Explore options to find your loved one a new care facility.
  8. Hire an experienced and trustworthy attorney to assist you with this process, and potential litigation.

Client Stories

Victim of Sexual Assault

Helen was an 81-year-old with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and dementia. She did not have any living relatives, but a friend from church cared for her until Helen’s disease progressed beyond her ability to do so. Helen required skilled nursing care in a long-term facility, but soon after moving to the home, she was the victim of sexual assault by another resident.

ACTION

When her friend learned what had happened, she called one of our experienced attorneys to represent Helen’s rights. A lawsuit was filed by our firm on behalf of the victim against the nursing home operator alleging they failed to protect the victim from the other resident, even after receiving notice he had a propensity toward sexual aggression.

RESULT

Even though Helen passed away before the case was concluded, the friend pursued this case with our help to its successful resolution. The impact of this tragedy led to severe penalties being leveled against ownership by the state where the crime occurred. In addition, the local media shed light on this nursing home for knowingly allowing a prior sex offender in their facility to potentially prey on Helen and other residents.

WHAT HER FRIEND HAD TO SAY ABOUT DOLLAR, BURNS, BECKER & HERSHEWE

“It was obvious from the start, Dollar, Burns, Becker & Hershewe chooses to represent people like Helen because they believe victims are entitled to a voice. They helped me be Helen’s voice and the result proved to me the nursing home listened loud and clear. Their experienced attorneys, along with the rest of their staff, showed compassion, expertise and energy. Throughout the case, they demonstrated an understanding of why this case needed to be prosecuted even though Helen was no longer with us.”

If this case sounds familiar, call one of our experienced attorneys immediately. Initial consultations are free of charge and we work solely on a contingency basis. You may also visit our nursing home injuries practice center to learn more, and we encourage you to call us if you have questions that are not answered.

Berniece

Berniece was 86 years old when she entered Hillview Nursing Center. She needed 24-hour care and monitoring due to her deteriorating health. Her doctor ordered the nursing home to provide a lap cushion to help prevent Berniece from falling out of her wheelchair. Despite its effectiveness, the nursing home decided to remove the cushion. Berniece was allowed to suffer three falls within a 20-day time period. She died as a result of her injuries just five days after her final fall.

ACTION

Berniece’s 91-year-old husband, Jim, and daughter, Sue, enlisted Dollar, Burns, Becker & Hershewe to pursue a claim on their behalf along with Berniece’s estate. A lawsuit was filed against the nursing home operator and Health Systems Inc., a company that manages a chain of more than 50 nursing homes in the area.

RESULT

Our experienced attorneys tried the case and obtained a judgment on behalf of Jim and Sue for the wrongful death of their loved one. When a sizable judgment was awarded, the management company insisted it did not have the assets to pay. Ignoring that, we continued their fight for justice and the judgment was ultimately paid. The best news is that as a result of the considerable proceeds, Jim will likely never need to place his welfare in the hands of this or any other nursing home.

WHAT SUE HAS TO SAY ABOUT DOLLAR, BURNS, BECKER & HERSHEWE

“It was clear from the onset of our case this firm had the necessary experience in handling cases against nursing homes. I witnessed their superior background work and trial skills during the presentation of our case. The nursing home could not match their knowledge, hard work and ability as trial lawyers. Our attorneys were several steps ahead of the defense during the entire process. I know I could not have selected better attorneys to represent our family.”

If this case sounds familiar, call one of our experienced attorneys immediately. Initial consultations are free of charge and we work solely on a contingency basis.

Lawyers against Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is considered nursing home abuse?

According to Nursing Home Abuse Justice, 24.3 percent of nursing home and long-term care residents have experienced at least one instance of abuse. There are many forms of abuse – physical, sexual, emotional, financial and neglect. At nursing homes and long-term care facilities the most common are physical and sexual abuse, and neglect. Examples of this include bed sores, malnutrition, dehydration, falls and broken bones, to name a few. If you suspect any of the above, or if something is off, you should contact nursing home abuse attorneys like Dollar, Burns, Becker & Hershewe to help navigate what to do next. If you suspect physical or sexual abuse, you should also contact your local authorities.

What are the most common complaints about nursing homes?

Complaints vary from home to home, but the most common ones we see involve communication and staffing. Many of our clients criticize their loved ones’ facility’s rate of response and quality of information provided. This is why it is vital to visit and check in with your loved one on a frequent basis. The more you are present, the more you will know and the more the home will likely share because they know you involved. Staffing is another area of concern. Nursing home and long-term care facilities have constant turnover due to the stress of the job, lower pay and undesirable schedules. In addition, many of the staff members do not possess higher-levels of certification or medical experience. It is more of a job to them versus a calling.

What is the statute of limitations for nursing home abuse?

The statue of limitations for nursing home abuse and neglect is two years. However, each state differs, so it is important to contact an experience nursing home abuse attorney who knows the law as soon as you suspect abuse. For example, in Missouri an additional claim can be made if notice is given to the state’s Attorney General within 180 days of the abuse or neglect.

How do you prove nursing home neglect?

We prove nursing home abuse and neglect via thorough documentation. The moment our nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys are brought in, we ask probing questions that we honed during our more than 30 years of experience about what is and is not happening. We talk with staff members, other residents and family members to get the whole picture of what is happening.

Why are nursing homes so bad?

There is a big misconception that all nursing homes and long-term care facilities are bad. As with any industry, there are a fair share of bad actors, but there are also many homes that provide wonderful care. The key to distinguishing between the two is doing your research. Your first stop should be the Medicare website. This website allows you to search for homes within your desired area and provides you with overall ratings on these homes’ health inspections, staffing and quality measures. In addition, look at online review sites and discussion boards. How are these places ranking on social media channels and what are people saying about them? The more stars and positive reviews, the better.

How long does it take to settle a nursing home lawsuit?

As with any case, the length of settling is dependent on a multitude of factors. With nursing home abuse and neglect cases, we like to be brought on at the onset of signs of abuse to properly document and collect evidence. From there we work tirelessly to bring the abusers and institutions to justice. Our goal is to ensure what happened to you, doesn’t happen to others.

How do I file a claim against a nursing home?

First things first, you need to hire reputable and skilled nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys, like Dollar, Burns, Becker & Hershewe. There are very specific laws regulating nursing homes and long-term care facilities at national and state levels. You need someone on your side who understands these laws and knows how to use these to obtain justice. We have won millions of dollars in settlements for our clients and forced nursing homes to update their policies and procedures to be safer.

How do you deal with nursing home problems?

One of our firm’s missions is to improve patient care and ensure what happened to you and your family doesn’t happen to anyone else. Outside of winning millions in settlements and bringing abusers to justice, we have required several nursing homes to change their policies and procedures for the better. We are the voice of victims.

Additional Resources

Here are several great resources to consult when making decisions about your aging loved one:

  • Administration on Aging – Contains information on the Older American’s Act, State Ombudsman Programs and an expansive directory of websites on aging.
  • Medicare.gov – Official U.S. government site for Medicare and a fantastic starting place.
  • ADAPT – This organization fights to empower people with disabilities to live in the community with real support instead of being placed in nursing homes and other institutions.