Abuse of the elderly and other vulnerable individuals is one of the most egregious acts of wrongdoing that can be perpetrated in society. When this abuse is inflicted in a nursing home facility by the very people who are supposed to be protecting these at risk individuals, the law provides injured residents legal recourse.
If you or a loved one has been harmed or abused in a nursing home setting, a Tacoma nursing home abuse lawyer could help you hold the facility liable for damages. A compassionate attorney can conduct a thorough investigation into the incident or incidents that caused these injuries to determine who may be held legally responsible.
Nursing home abuse can take one or more different forms, including emotional, financial, and physical mistreatment. Common indications that a nursing home resident is experiencing physical abuse and/or neglect include bruising, cuts, showing signs of malnutrition and dehydration, dirty bed linens, soiled undergarments, sexually transmitted diseases or infections, broken bones, bedsores, and unexplained weight loss.
Financial abuse can be somewhat more nuanced, so it is important to be aware of the signs that a resident may be under this type of duress. Sudden changes to a resident’s power of attorney documents or will, adding a previously unauthorized signatory to financial accounts, or belongings or money that goes missing can indicate economic abuse.
A resident who is enduring emotional mistreatment may not exhibit traditional signs of abuse. Nonetheless, there are some common denominators in individuals who are suffering from emotional abuse. A nursing home resident who suddenly becomes emotionally withdrawn, exhibits fearfulness and anxiety, stops eating, perpetrates self-harm, does not participate in social activities at the facility, or has very sudden mood shifts, may be experiencing abuse. If someone suspects that their family member is suffering from abuse at a nursing home facility, they should get in touch with a Tacoma attorney right away who could investigate the matter further and determine whether legal action may be needed.
The deadline to file a negligence claim for nursing home abuse in Tacoma is three years, per Revised Code of Washington § 4.16.080. When a resident dies due to abuse, the law provides their family three years from the date of the individual’s death to file a wrongful death action for damages.
There are multiple parties who may be found guilty of negligence in a nursing home abuse claim. However, to prove that a nursing home employee and/or the facility was negligent, the claimant must prove that the standard of care was breached. There would also need to be a direct correlation between this breach and the resident’s injuries. A nursing home abuse lawyer in Tacoma could help determine whether the standard care was violated and if one or more parties could be liable for the resident’s damages.
An abused resident could recover a wide range of compensation in a personal injury case. Recoverable damages may include hospital bills, doctor visits, pain, suffering, emotional distress, and mental anguish. If the actions of the nursing home or care provider represented a gross breach of duty, a Tacoma attorney may also claim punitive damages on the victim’s behalf.
If you are concerned that a member of your family may be suffering from abuse at their nursing home, it could be time to seek legal help. A Tacoma nursing home abuse lawyer could advise you of your legal options and help you take swift legal action to protect the safety and wellbeing of your loved one.
Contact a Tacoma lawyer today for your confidential case evaluation.