Nursing home abuse and neglect are serious problems in Washington state, with real innocent victims who suffer every day. The nursing home industry has become a multi-billion dollar business comprised of major corporations. As is the the case with many large-scale industries, facilities often times prioritize
Nursing home abuse can lead to serious injuries, illnesses, and even death. Bedsores, medication errors, malnutrition, abuse, and neglect are among the federal health and safety violations that jeopardize nursing home patients.
In 2007, DSHS received 13,551 reports of possible abuse, abandonment, neglect, self-neglect, and financial exploitation involving elderly people. That same year, the DSHS Residential Care Services agency received more than 29,000 reports of abuse, abandonment, neglect, or financial exploitation of vulnerable adults.
Washington State Nursing Home Abuse Laws
The Revised Code of Washington (RCW 74.34.020; RCW 74.34.021) defines a "vulnerable adult" as someone who is either (a) 60 years of age or older with functional, physical, or mental inability to care for self; or (b) 18 years of age or older who has a developmental disability, is assigned a guardian as per RCW 11.88, lives in a nursing facility, boarding home, adult family home, or soldier's home, residential habilitation center, or any facility licensed or required to be licensed by the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), or receives in-home services through a licensed health care agency, hospice, or an individual provider.
In 2009, the state legislature enacted SB 5639/HB 1788, the Vulnerable Adults Act, in order to establish stronger protections for vulnerable adults in Washington state, as well as stronger punishments for those who are found to be guilty of elder abuse or neglect.
Why You May Benefit From A Lawyer's Help
All personal injury cases are unique in their own way, and the same rings true for nursing home abuse and neglect cases. In serious cases involving significant injuries and other damages, it may be necessary to hire experts witnesses and review medical records, staffing and employment documents, and other types of evidence in order to establish negligence and strengthen the case.
Hiring an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer can ensure that all of the necessary steps are taken to ensure a successful resolution to the case.
Nursing home administrators and care givers should never be allowed to needlessly endanger the lives of the residents in their care. If you or a family member has suffered due to nursing home neglect, the Davis Law Group can help you. We have the skill and experience necessary to represent you. Call (206) 727-4000 to begin the free evaluation of your potential claim.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
It is important to thoroughly understand the warning signs of potential nursing home negligence. Understanding the warning signs of abuse is the first step of stopping it. If you see any of the following signs of elder abuse in nursing homes, they should be immediately investigated:
- Unexplained bruises, cuts, burns, sprains, or fractures in various stages of healing
- Bedsores or frozen joints
- Unexplained venereal disease or genital infections; vaginal or anal bleeding; torn, stained, or bloody underclothing
- Sudden changes in behavior
- Staff refusing to allow visitors to see resident or delays in allowing visitors to see resident
- Staff not allowing resident to be alone with visitor
- Resident being kept in an over-medicated state
- Loss of resident's possessions
- Sudden large withdrawals from bank accounts or changes in banking practices
- Abrupt changes in will or other financial documents
Free Nursing Home Abuse Legal Consultation
Abuse and neglect victims often worry about the cost of hiring a nursing home abuse attorney. Davis Law Group works on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no up-front costs associated with hiring our attorneys to represent you. In a contingency fee agreement, the plaintiff only owes legal fees after the case has been successfully resolved.
We also offer a free case review to nursing home abuse victims. We will explain exactly how we believe we can help you and outline the many reasons why hiring a lawyer might be in your best interests.
If you or a loved one has experienced any of the above-mentioned "warning signs" or you believe that a nursing home or adult care facility is guilty of neglect or abuse, it may be in your best interests to consult with our nursing home abuse lawyers to learn more about your legal rights. Contact us using the confidential form on this page or call (206) 727-4000 to get started.