Elder Abuse & Neglect
Seattle Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Ready to Help Elder Abuse Victims in Washington State
After many years of life, vulnerable adults deserve to be treated with dignity and respect by the nursing homes that care for them. Unfortunately, some bad actors do just the opposite. At Lehmbecker Law, we fight hard to ensure that nursing home residents who have been neglected or abused get the justice they deserve.
If you are in need of an elder abuse Seattle lawyer, our team of experienced professionals can help. Whether you or your loved one is dealing with nursing home negligence or abuse, we can potentially get you relief and compensation.
Types of Nursing Home Negligence or Physical Abuse
Nursing home neglect and abuse take many forms, all of which lead can lead to devastating physical and emotional injuries as well as the rapid deterioration of nursing home residents.
Common types of abuse and neglect include:
- Emotional Abuse - Emotional abuse occurs when a resident experiences harassment or receives threats, insults, and verbal assaults.
- Physical Abuse - Physical abuse in nursing homes can take the form of punches, kicks, slaps, and chemical and physical restraints.
- Abandonment - Abandonment occurs when a resident is left alone for extended periods of time when they should be receiving care, sustenance, or some form of monitoring.
- Sexual Abuse - Tragically, nursing home residents sometimes face sexual abuse from a staff member and another resident.
- Financial Abuse - Residents of nursing homes can be exploited financially through direct stealing or fraud.
- Medical Malpractice - Medical personnel at nursing homes sometimes fail to meet standards of care, which leads to injuries and even death.
Nursing Home Abuse Statistics in Washington
The statistics dealing with nursing home abuse and neglect are troubling. According to some reports, approximately 10% of all nursing homes in the country have been cited for harmful violations against residents. And some surveys of nursing home residents demonstrate that around 44% of elders in these homes have fallen victim to one form of abuse or another.
What makes these numbers especially disturbing is the fact that families entrust nursing homes to provide the care and sustenance their elder loved ones need. Unfortunately, the data show that elderly people are more likely to suffer neglect and abuse in a nursing home or assisted living facility than in other settings, such as in the homes of relatives.
Even more disturbing are the studies show regarding the long-term consequences of neglect and abuse in nursing homes. After a victim suffers neglect or abuse, they are 300% more likely to pass away within three years of the abuse they have experienced.
Because of these horrifying numbers, many states, including Washington, have legislated more protection for elders, yet the abuse continues.
Washington State Elder Abuse Laws
The Abuse of Vulnerable Adults Statute contains much of the protections afforded to elders. According to the law, a vulnerable adult is an adult who meets one or more of the following criteria:
- Adults over the age of 60 who can no longer take care of themselves;
- Adults who are disabled, who have a disease, or who have a developmental disorder preventing them from self-care;
- Adults who are residents of care facilities, such as nursing homes, boarding homes, or other similar facilities;
- Adults who live at home but who require health services and assistance.
In addition to defining a vulnerable adult, the Abuse of Vulnerable Adults Act also specifically outlines the rules that nursing homes and other similar facilities must follow when caring for vulnerable adults. It also specifies when and how these facilities must respond to and report incidents of abuse and neglect.
Also contained in the statute are provisions addressing when and how victims of nursing home abuse may take legal action for compensation through personal injury claims and lawsuits against abusive and negligent nursing homes, employees of nursing homes, or abusive family members.
Recent updates to Washington's elder laws and the VAS have taken place to better serve the elder population of the state. As of 2018, the Health Care Authority is now in charge of elder abuse cases, which will provide for more efficient and responsive protection for elders.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
The signs of nursing home neglect and abuse are clear and should never be ignored. When visiting a loved one, always keep an eye out for and report the following:
- Unexplained weight loss;
- Deteriorating personal hygiene;
- Uncharacteristic and unexplained mood swings and personality changes;
- Changes in financial dealings;
- Newly developed fears and fearful behavior around certain individuals;
- Newly developed or untreated bedsores;
- Unexplained bruising or other injuries;
- Unkempt bedroom;
- Loss of appetite.
Recovering Damages for Elder Abuse in Washington State
If your loved one has experienced nursing home abuse or neglect, they have likely incurred losses and have suffered pain. With the help of a nursing home abuse lawyer, you and your loved one may seek to recover damages to cover these losses, such as:
- The cost of medical treatment;
- Lost wages;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress.
If a death occurred, your attorney can help you pursue damages related to wrongful death, including funeral and burial expenses and lost financial support.
Your attorney can also help you recover stolen property and pursue punitive damages as well. Punitive damages are available when malice, gross negligence, or fraud plays a part in the abuse or neglect.
Why Choose Lehmbecker Law Firm for Your Elder Negligence Case?
Lehmbecker Law helps victims of abuse take swift and effective action against assisted living facilities and nursing homes that commit abuse. Every Washington nursing home injury lawyer on our team works diligently to stop the abuse and fight for justice.
When you choose Lehmbecker Law, you get a firm with:
- Decades of experience representing vulnerable adults;
- A record of recovering valuable compensation for clients;
- Personalized legal services and compassionate treatment.
We treat clients just like family and work diligently to help right the wrongs they have suffered.
Start Working with Our Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Seattle, WA
The nursing home abuse attorneys at Lehmbecker Law are ready to help you take the next steps toward getting the justice your loved one deserves. Call today.
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