Nursing Home Neglect Attorneys
Washington Law Center helps people who have been impacted by nursing home neglect, whether accidental or intentional. We feel strongly that people who have been wronged should be given the assistance they need to make things right for both them and their family.
What if a Member of My Family Has Been Neglected or Abused in a Nursing Home?
It is difficult enough to place an aging family member in a nursing home or seek out help from a caregiver, you should not have to worry about neglect or abuse in these already stressful situations.
Unfortunately, abuse committed by nursing home staff and other residents in skilled nursing facilities is all too common. Although many state and federal regulations have been enacted to protect residents, gross violations happen daily in nursing homes in Washington and across the country.
When forms of misconduct like neglect or abuse are committed against elderly residents in nursing homes, society’s most vulnerable population is threatened. We cannot let that go unaddressed. Call the experienced neglect attorneys at Washington Law Center today to seek the justice you and your loved ones deserve.
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Washington Nursing Home Neglect Attorney FAQs
How can I identify mistreatment of a nursing home resident?
Nursing home residents may not be able to report inappropriate conduct due to their declining cognitive abilities. It is even more disturbing that residents who have already been the victim of brutality and abuse are likely to live in fear of retaliation from their abuser for reporting it. Loved ones seeking to protect an elderly family member from abuse in a nursing home should be aware of these potential warning signs:
- Sudden dramatic changes in weight
- Appearance of pressure sores
- Soiled clothes
- Unexplained injuries
- Increased use of painkillers and sedatives
- Burns, lacerations, scratches or other signs of trauma
- More frequent falls
- Onset of depression or anxiety
- Inadequate explanations for physical injuries or changes in behavior or mood
What types of nursing home neglect warrants a lawsuit?
Mistreatment and negligent care of nursing home residents can take a wide range of forms that include:
- Physical or sexual assault
- Wandering and elopement
- Decubitus ulcers (pressure sore, bed sores)
- Chemical or physical restraints
- Financial exploitation
- Slip, trip and falls
- Medical malpractice
- Improper administration of medication
- Dehydration or malnutrition
- Sexual abuse and exploitation
- Verbal abuse, berating or shaming
These are only a few examples of common types of nursing home abuse neglect in Washington state. Elderly residents in nursing homes often suffer harm because of staffing issues. Residential care facilities for seniors frequently fail to schedule adequate staff based on the number of residents. Unfortunately, nursing homes often put profits above patient care by failing to adequately screen, train or supervise caregivers.
Why does abuse and neglect in nursing homes go unreported?
Improper care and mistreatment of those in elderly care facilities can be difficult to identify. Nursing homes are the most common site for these horrific acts of cruelty because there is a high probability that such mistreatment will go undetected.
Sometimes elderly residents do not understand that they are being subjected to exploitation or abuse because of cognitive declines related to Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. In other cases, the resident might recognize that the conduct of a staff member or co-resident is inappropriate but lack the communicative skills to alert administrators or family members. Though it seems incomprehensible, inappropriate conduct reported to administrators is often covered up because of liability concerns.
What else should I know about pursuing damages for criminal acts?
Although the types of conduct that constitute an intentional tort can be easier to prove than negligence, these cases pose special types of challenges. A party who commits a criminal assault or engages in inappropriate conduct typically will not have liability coverage for this type of claim. The assailant also might have limited personal assets to satisfy a judgment or settlement. Even if the wrongdoer owns a home or has other assets, these assets may be depleted by the cost incurred defending against criminal charges.
The fact that intentional torts like these often constitute a criminal offense is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, a prior criminal conviction can simplify the process of proving liability in a civil lawsuit. Criminal cases are subject to “beyond a reasonable doubt”, which is a higher burden of proof than a plaintiff must establish in a personal injury lawsuit in most situations. Therefore, a criminal conviction can be used to prove wrongful conduct like assault, battery, rape, sexual molestation or similar conduct in a civil lawsuit. The downside is that someone who has been subject to a criminal prosecution and now headed to prison typically will not have the ability to satisfy a damage award.
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Past Neglect Client Results
$1,100,000 – Failure to Provide Adequate Medical Care (2018)
Recovery for a civil rights settlement for another’s failure to provide our client with adequate medical care.
$1,000,000 – Woman Sexually Assaulted at Medical Treatment Facility (2017)
Settlement for a woman who was sexually assaulted in a local in-patient setting.
OVER $100 MILLION AWARDED TO OUR CLIENTS BY VERDICT, SETTLEMENT, INJURY PENSION OR JUDGMENT