Tacoma Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers
When you suspect your vulnerable loved one might be facing harm in their nursing home, you have help with Strong Law Firm. Our team of compassionate, experienced nursing home neglect lawyers know how to use the law to fight for and protect your loved one.
As with other medical professions, nursing home professionals must provide a certain standard of care to the residents. When you and your loved one decide it is in your loved one’s best interests to live in a nursing home, you most likely do a lot of research to determine which facility is the best fit. Yet, even the most diligent research may not uncover possible harm that can happen down the road.
Nursing home neglect happens all too often. If you suspect a loved one is suffering from neglect or died because of neglect in a nursing home, we can help. We offer free case evaluations and you won’t pay anything unless we win your case. We’ll handle your case with the compassion and legal determination it deserves.
Call our Tacoma nursing home lawyers at Strong Law Firm today at 206-741-1053 for a free case evaluation.
How Our Tacoma Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers Can Help
Our Tacoma nursing home lawyers can help in a number of ways, including ensuring that your and your loved one’s rights are not violated because you reported nursing home neglect. Our attorneys will also investigate your case thoroughly. Among documents we will seek to obtain to support your case are: the resident’s nursing home records, medical records, and inspection reports from the nursing home, medical professionals, and organizations that govern nursing homes.
If you were to try sue the nursing home on your own, the staff could “ghost” you – ignore your phone calls and requests for records. They might also exacerbate the neglectful care your loved one receives. However, if you have an experienced nursing home neglect attorney on your side, they will take your case seriously and want to avoid any legal problems.
If you are researching nursing home lawyers for yourself or a loved one, contact the experienced lawyers at Strong Law Firm today to learn more about your rights in a nursing home neglect case. The initial case evaluation is free, and you do not pay us unless we win your case.
Vulnerable Adults at the Mercy of Their Providers
A Washington Statute Covers Acts of Neglect in Nursing Homes
If the nursing home is in a Department of Social and Health Services licensed facility, your loved one is most likely covered under Washington’s Vulnerable Adult Statute. This statute protects your loved one while in a nursing facility from neglect, nursing home abuse, financial exploitation and abandonment. The statute affords legal remedies to the injured resident and/or his or her family.
To be covered by this statute, a person must be at least 60 years old and have the inability to care for himself or herself, either functionally, mentally or physically. Any of the following situtations also allow a person to be covered by the Vulnerable Adult Statute. They may…
- Receive services from hospice, home health, or another home care agency licensed by the state of Washington under RCW 70.127
- Be incapacitated by definition under the Guardianship statutes (RCW 11.88)
- Be developmentally disabled by definition under RCW 71A.10.020 (5)
- Receive services from a Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) contracted individual provider
- Be unable to direct his or her care and have need for a personal aide
- Be admitted to a DSHS-licensed facility.
Protection by this statute “in name” may not be enough to help your loved one. You should consult with an experienced attorney to be sure all elements of the law are leveraged to protect your loved one. Our team of nursing home neglect attorneys at Strong Law Firm is ready to help today.
Turn to our compassionate attorneys and your loved one’s case will get the detailed attention it deserves. Give us a call today at 206-741-1053 to talk about how neglect in a nursing home is affecting your loved one.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
Even if you trust a nursing home, you should always look for signs of neglect. While the nursing home could – overall – be a great facility, those with direct contact with your loved one might be neglectful. If the caregivers’ supervisors do not pick up on the neglect, it is up to you to take action.
Signs of neglect might include:
- Your loved one’s personal hygiene is in decline, including being unbathed, wearing the same clothes every day, lack of oral care and more.
- Your loved one suddenly becomes withdrawn, scared of others, agitated, or shows other behavior changes toward you, staff and other residents.
- Your loved one has unexplained injuries, including bruises, cuts, scratches, broken bones, and other injuries. Pay close attention to locations where staff might use restraints or hidden bruises where staff or another resident might have assaulted your loved one.
- Your loved one seems to fall more often.
- Weight loss for no medical reason.
- Bedsores/pressure sores.
- Dirty rooms, slippery floors, unsanitary conditions, dirty bedding and clothing, poor lighting, leaving equipment in hallways, and other signs of poor and/or unsafe conditions.
- Stolen or lost personal property, including clothing, jewelry, food and drinks your loved one might keep in his or her room, and other personal items.
- Unusual bank account activity.
- Unexpected death.
- “Errors” in medications, including giving meds at the wrong time, wrong dosages, mixing up medications with other residents’ medications, and withholding medications.
- Failure to treat a medical condition and/or failure to provide timely treatment.
If you notice even one of these issues and/or suspect negligent care, contact the Tacoma nursing home lawyers at Strong Law Firm as soon as possible. Let’s discuss your case in our free consultation – give us a call at at 206-741-1053.
Recoverable Damages in a Nursing Home Neglect Case
You could recover compensatory damages in the form of economic and non-economic damages if a loved one suffered because of nursing home neglect. Economic damages have a calculable monetary value, while non-economic damages are subjective and not easily quantifiable.
Economic damages include medical expenses and death-related expenses, including funeral, burial, and cremation expenses, and some probate expenses, such as filing fees and probate attorney’s fees. Medical expenses could include doctors’ appointments, surgeries, follow-up appointments, physical therapy, cognitive therapy, psychological therapy, occupational therapy, prescriptions and ambulatory aids.
Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of quality of life, loss of companionship, and compensation for amputations, excessive scarring and disfigurement caused by neglect.
Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing Home Neglect Cases
Our Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers Answer Common Questions
What do I do if I believe a resident is suffering from neglect?
If you believe your loved one needs immediate medical care, call 911 immediately. If the neglect is not an emergency, then . . .
- Ask your loved one how he or she likes it there and whether they feel threatened, abused, neglected, harmed, or exploited. Your loved one might be afraid to say something. Discuss your concerns with your loved one, but don’t push and make your loved one more upset. He or she might be afraid of saying something for fear of suffering more neglect.
- If your gut is screaming at you that your loved one is being neglected or abused, speak with the administrator, even if your loved one denies it or refuses to discuss the neglect.
- File a complaint with Adult Protective Services or an ombudsman if your talk with the administrator did not result in improvement.
Always document all evidence of neglect and/or abuse. Include pictures and videos if you can get them. If you can record the abusive behavior, that goes a long way in proving your case. You can also ask for your loved one’s records – include any accident reports and medical reports from the nursing home.
Can I move my loved one if I suspect neglect?
Yes. If the nursing home does not rectify the situation, you might have to move your loved one. Before you do, make sure you file a formal complaint and take other actions to document the abuse and /or neglect. Because your loved one might have friends in his or her current facility, you should only consider moving him if the nursing home staff does not rectify the neglect or rectifies it, but then starts neglecting residents again.
What if I can’t afford a nursing home neglect lawyer?
The initial case evaluation is always free. If you retain nursing home neglect lawyers in Tacoma, you do not pay attorneys’ fees unless we win your case. We take our fees from the compensation you or your loved one recovers in a settlement or trial award. When you have your initial free case evaluation, we will go over all fees and costs and explain how the contingency contract works.
Who do I contact first if I suspect nursing home neglect?
First, file a formal complaint with the facility administrator. If the situation does not improve, contact the nursing home’s director of nursing. The facility administrator and medical team must file a report with the state within two hours if your loved one suffered physical injuries. The facility has 24 hours to file a report with the state for other injuries and neglect. The administrator must also file a follow-up report within 72 hours to show how the administrator rectified the situation.
Additionally, do not wait to contact Tacoma nursing home lawyers to recover compensation for your loved one’s physical and mental injuries. As soon as you suspect neglect or abuse, you should contact an attorney.
How do I report nursing home neglect?
You can report the nursing home to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by calling (800) 677-1116, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Why do nursing home neglect and abuse occur?
Nursing home neglect and abuse happen for many reasons, though none is an excuse for the staff to neglect or abuse the residents. Reasons might include:
- The nursing home does not have enough staff, whether it is because they want to save money, increase profits, or just cannot get anyone to work.
- The nursing home staff does not have the correct qualifications and training, is overworked, or is underpaid.
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Contact Our Compassionate Tacoma Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers
Your loved one might be afraid to say something about neglect and abuse. It might be up to you to take action on behalf of your loved one. You do not have to go through this process by yourself. Our Tacoma nursing home neglect lawyers have the experience and skill you need to put together a strong case and get justice for you and your loved one. We will also treat you with the compassion you deserve.
It is painful to learn your loved one has been suffering. We understand they and you may feel powerless. You’re not. Especially when you have our team of nursing home neglect lawyers behind you. We will investigate your loved one’s case and help you take the appropriate actions to stop the abuse or move your loved one to a new facility.
If you suspect a loved one is suffering from neglect, get help. Don’t wait to contact our nursing home neglect lawyers at Strong Law Firm at 206-741-1053 for a free case evaluation.