Nursing Home Lawyers in Tacoma
When you trust your loved one to a nursing home facility, you expect the staff to provide competent care that ensures your family member’s safety and happiness. Unfortunately, this does not always happen, and residents who are often elderly, weak, frail, and dependent on the help of others are instead subjected to abuse and neglect that can result in emotional and physical injuries, or even death.
If your family member has been harmed as a result of nursing home abuse, neglect, exploitation, or negligence, you should take immediate steps to stop the abuse. The Tacoma nursing home abuse personal injury lawyers at Strong Law can help you investigate the abuse situation and file a lawsuit that can protect your loved one, provide compensation for their injuries, and hold the nursing home owners, managers, and staff responsible so that other vulnerable residents will not be injured. In addition, a successful lawsuit will help create greater accountability for nursing homes in general; it is possible that the guilty party may be held criminally liable for breaking the law.
Our Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Can Win Compensation and Protect Vulnerable Residents
Nursing facilities are required by both federal and state laws to give responsible care to prevent residents from harm and to guard their safety. Washington statute RCW 74.34.200 provides a remedy for abused vulnerable adults to seek damages though a civil lawsuit. However, navigating the complex system of laws is difficult, and nursing homes and their insurers have lawyers who will fight charges and try to prove they are not at fault.
The Tacoma nursing home abuse lawyers of Strong Law know the tactics they use and are fully prepared to combat them. Let us take care of all filings, negotiations and legal hurdles involved with fighting for justice and the maximum compensation that you and your loved one deserve. We offer a free, confidential consultation to discuss the circumstances of the abuse and determine the best way to move forward. Call us today at 206-741-1053 to get started and stop the abuse from happening.
Our Nursing Home Lawyers May Recover Damages for You
How Our Lawyers Work for You
When you contact Strong Law Firm, our attorneys realize that it is important to move quickly in nursing home abuse cases. We will get to work immediately to stop the abuse and preserve evidence while it is fresh and witnesses can be located.
We can help by:
- Listening to you and, if possible, your loved one to determine what type of abuse occurred and who was responsible
- Making sure your loved one is removed from the abusive situation, gets proper medical care and all injuries are documented
- Making sure the abuse is reported to proper authorities. In Washington State, complaints can be filed with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services and Adult Protective Services (APS).
- Investigating the nursing home and gathering evidence, such as surveillance videos, photographs of injuries, police and medical reports, records of previous complaints and abuse, institutional policies and staff training requirements
- Interviewing eyewitnesses, staff members, and other residents
- Filing all legal paperwork in accordance with Washington deadlines and court requirements and sending notice of claim to defendants
- Determining what your case may be worth
- Negotiating with insurance companies and their attorneys for a fair settlement
- Taking your case to trial and advocating for you in front of a jury, if necessary
- Appealing any unfavorable decisions.
At Strong Law, you can count on our nursing home abuse legal team to be there for you, answering your questions and keeping you informed throughout the entire process.
You and Your Loved One May Be Entitled to Compensation for Your Damages
Washington law allows claims to be brought by the person suffering the assault or elder neglect and by their family members or representatives, even after the death of the injured person. If the home or its staff was negligent and your family member was neglected or abused and suffered harm, the home can be held legally responsible for damages and losses that were incurred. In a successful Washington civil nursing home abuse lawsuit, our attorneys may win compensation for:
- Economic damages for your monetary costs such as medical and therapy bills, costs of changing nursing homes or hiring additional caregivers, cost of therapy for emotional distress and mental anguish, and funeral bills if necessary.
- Non-economic, less tangible damages that do not have a specific dollar value, such as mental and physical pain and suffering for the resident and family members.
Our Nursing Home Attorneys Must Prove Negligence and Fault
To win your case, our attorneys would have to show that your loved one’s injuries were caused by another party’s negligence, carelessness, or willful behavior. Legally, this means showing the following elements:
- Duty: The nursing home owed the resident a duty of care. Nursing homes are held to high standards of care to keep residents safe and to deliver professional quality services.
- Breach: There was a breach of this duty of care through abuse or neglect.
- Cause: This breach caused the injuries that injured the resident.
- Damages: You and your loved one suffered damages as a result.
Nursing homes that allow harm to come to residents, that fail to provide safe premises, that are negligent in hiring or supervising staff, or fail to maintain proper health and safety policies or provide proper treatment, are subject to being found negligent and liable in a civil lawsuit.
Our nursing home attorneys would conduct investigations to find all parties responsible for the abuse and neglect and hold them responsible. These parties may include the owners and administrators of the facility, doctors, nurses, attendants, or other residents. They may all have insurance or assets that can go toward a settlement award, and they should all be held accountable for any type of abuse.
If your loved one died because of nursing home abuse, our lawyers can pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. Wrongful death cases may involve either purposeful actions — such as the use of excessive restraint — or inaction, leading to anything from starvation to deadly infections. In Washington, it’s possible to initiate wrongful death claims up to three years after the date of a fatality.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers in Tacoma Know the Rights of Residents
The Nursing Home Reform Act established basic rights and services for residents of nursing homes to improve their quality of care and quality of life.
The Nursing Home Reform Act specifies what services nursing homes must give residents and establishes standards for these services.
The following are required services:
- periodic assessments and a comprehensive care plan for each resident
- nursing services, social services, rehabilitation services, pharmaceutical services, and dietary services
- services of a full-time social worker if the facility has more than 120 beds.
The Residents’ Bill of Rights
The Nursing Home Reform Act also established the following rights for nursing home residents:
- The right to freedom from abuse, mistreatment, and neglect
- The right to freedom from physical restraints
- The right to privacy and to be treated with dignity
- The right to accommodation of medical, physical, psychological, and social needs
- The right to participate in resident and family groups
- The right to exercise self-determination and to communicate freely
- The right to participate in the review of one’s care plan, and to be fully informed in advance about any changes in care, treatment, or change of status in the facility
- The right to voice grievances without discrimination or reprisal.
If the survey reveals that a nursing home is out of compliance, the Nursing Home Reform Act can impose sanctions that include civil monetary penalties, denial of payment for Medicare or Medicaid admissions, temporary management, and termination of the provider agreement.
Common Questions About Nursing Home Abuse Cases
Our nursing home abuse lawyers are aware that you may have many questions and concerns about nursing home abuse and neglect. Here are some answers to common questions our clients often ask:
What constitutes nursing home abuse?
Nursing home abuse can be emotional, physical, financial or sexual. It can come in the form of verbal or physical abuse or be manifested in the form of neglect. It can be caused by staff who intentionally harm a resident, by other residents, or by the negligence of a facility that doesn’t keep residents safe and allows one resident to abuse others.
What constitutes nursing home neglect?
Nursing homes are often understaffed, so patients may not receive necessary help, medical treatment, and care, and this leads to unhealthy or dangerous neglectful situations. Neglect involves a pattern of conduct or inaction by failing to provide the goods and services that maintain physical or mental health or failing to avoid or prevent physical or mental harm or pain to a vulnerable adult. It also may involve a serious disregard of consequences that constitutes a clear and present danger to the vulnerable adult’s health, welfare, or safety.
Examples of nursing home neglect include:
- Failure to properly respond to distress, to properly move, turn, or assist residents. This may result in bed sores, falls, broken bones, bruises, head or internal injuries.
- Failure to administer proper medication on a timely manner, or to prescribe the appropriate type or dosage of a needed medication.
- Failure to provide cleanliness, sanitary conditions, proper nutrition, help with eating or any other resident needs.
- Failure to appropriately supervise staff and investigate employees for criminal records, drug problems or behavioral issues.
- Improper security, allowing residents to wander off or allowing outsiders to enter the facility.
- Negligence in training staff on policies and procedures, such as reporting accidents and injuries.
What are signs and symptoms that abuse is taking place?
If you suspect your family member or loved one is being abused, you should look for signs or symptoms, which could involve changes in eating, sleeping or mood, or unexplained injuries. Common signs of physical abuse include: bruises, cuts, unexpected bleeding, broken and fractured bones, bed sores, odor of urine or feces, and use of physical restraints. There may be emotional signs such as mood changes, agitation or depression, depression and withdrawal. If your loved one is being abused sexually, there could be bruising on legs or thighs, sexually transmitted diseases, bloody underwear, excessive agitation and pain when sitting or walking.
What are laws that protect nursing home residents from abuse?
The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 laid out minimum care standards and residents’ rights in all Medicaid and Medicare certified nursing homes. The Act specifies what services nursing homes must give residents and establishes standards for these services. Required services include: periodic assessments for each resident; a comprehensive care plan for each resident; nursing services; social services; rehabilitation services; pharmaceutical services; dietary services; and, if the facility has more than 120 beds, the services of a full-time social worker.
Washington’s Vulnerable Adult Statute provides protection from:
- Financial exploitation.
Washington statute RCW 74.34.020(6) enumerates the facilities covered by the statute: licensed residences, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, adult family homes, soldiers’ homes, residential rehabilitation centers, and any other facility licensed or certified by the state. Statute 70.124 makes failure to report abuse a gross misdemeanor, allows restraining orders, and prevents retaliation against whistleblowers and residents.
What is financial abuse?
Financial abuse of a vulnerable adult by a caregiver can result in disappearance of property or loss of funds. Under RCW 74.34.020, financial exploitation means the illegal or improper use, control over, or withholding of the property, income, resources, or trust funds of the vulnerable adult by any person or entity for any person’s or entity’s profit or advantage other than for the vulnerable adult’s profit or advantage.
+ What does it cost to hire a nursing home abuse lawyer?
Our Tacoma nursing home attorneys work on a contingency basis, so we typically charge no fees unless and until you are awarded damages. The fees then will come from your damage award as a percentage of the settlement, and you may be awarded attorney fees as well. This means you don’t owe anything unless we win your nursing home case.
Is there a time limit for filing a case?
Washington has a statute of limitations, a deadline within which you must file your lawsuit in the state’s civil court system or you may be permanently barred from recovering any compensation for injuries. Washington’s statute of limitations is generally 3 years from the date the injury occurred.
Call Our Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers to Stop Abuse
There are ways family members can help stop abuse.
To win your case in court, our attorneys would have to show evidence that harm occurred. Family members who suspect abuse can help by:
- Making frequent, unannounced visits to your loved one’s care facility.
- Immediately taking photographs of and documenting any suspicious injuries. If possible, install a camera in the resident’s room to record what is going on when you are not there.
- Having conversations to find out what happened with staff and other residents and take notes on responses.
- Filing complaints with nursing home management and documenting any conversations and their response to any complaints.
- Contacting our attorneys as soon as possible to prevent mistakes being made or evidence being destroyed.
“I hired Strong Law after my car accident. Jed and his team worked hard on my case. They were professional and compassionate through my surgery and as I recovered, and they were awesome on communication. I got justice and awesome compensation. I would recommend Strong Law to anyone in my situation.”
– Rick R.
“I want to thank Jed and Tory of Strong Law for their outstanding help with my case. The attention to details and keeping me informed at all times made for a positive outcome. Thank you again for your help, determination, and hard work. I would not hesitate to recommend you to anyone in need of an excellent lawyer.”
– Jaretta O.
“Unbelievable work! I had a claim involving my own insurance company. I tried to negotiate with them, and they completely denied my claim – two times. I then hired Strong Law, and the change was instant. The insurance company immediately began negotiating, and Jed was able to secure an unbelievably good settlement. I will never again attempt to take-on an insurance company without Strong Law in my corner. Thank you!”
– Jonathon S.
“Absolutely outstanding! I was involved in a motorcycle accident and Jed led the way! Definitely top notch! When it matters, call strong law!”
– Edwin S.
“While working a wrongful death case of my husband’s, throughout the legal process, Jed pursued every possible resource and angle to ensure that we would receive policy limits despite intense resistance from the representatives of the insurance companies. We are deeply grateful to him for the funds we received and the lasting friendship that grew out of the entire ordeal.”
Strong Law: Trusted Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Strong Law has offices in Tacoma, Portland, and Salt Lake City. We are highly respected in all three of these metro areas, as well as in surrounding suburbs and other nearby communities. Nursing home abuse clients appreciate our tireless devotion to getting justice for victims, securing the damages you deserve, and fighting to ensure your loved one is taken care of in the years to come.
Don’t let an abusive situation in a nursing home continue. If you’re ready to move forward with your nursing home abuse case in Tacoma, contact the team at Strong Law. Call 206-741-1054 today for your free consultation.