Nursing Home Physical Abuse and Assault
Putting a loved one into a nursing home or assisted living facility should leave you feeling happy and confident that your loved one will be cared for as they would be if they lived in your home. However, this does not always happen. While the majority of nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Seattle, Kirkland, Bellingham, and Olympia are safe and run without incident, there are of course cases where an elderly person is not treated properly. In fact, they may even suffer terrible abuse at the hands of the nursing home or assisted living facility staff.Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
When it comes to the kind of abuse an elderly person may suffer, there could be emotional, physical or even sexual abuse. Sometimes, especially if the abuse is emotional, the outward signs might be harder to detect and will be evidenced by being withdrawn and not acting like one’s normal self. However, there may be very obvious signs of abuse and assault, including:
- Losing too much weight
- Bruises or marks on the skin
- Broken bones
- Cutes or lacerations from being restrained
If you spot any of these things on an elderly person’s body, then there is likely abuse going on. The abuse may be coming from either a staff member of the nursing home or it could be from one of the nursing home’s fellow residents.
Sadly, there may be instances when the nursing home may be occupied by individuals who are suffering from such a degree of dementia that they may not be aware of their actions, and these actions could be violent in nature. If this is the case, the nursing home is not excused from liability for this.
They have a duty to make sure that these elderly people, assuming they are suffering from terrible dementia, are being kept safely away from the rest of the non-violent elderly. In addition to reporting signs of abuse to the nursing home management, it is also a good idea to notify the better business bureau, the police, the department of health and human services in Washington State, and the Jackman Law Firm so we can bring a case on your behalf against the nursing home to bring justice to you and your elderly loved one.Washington State Laws Regarding Nursing Home Abuse
If your elderly loved one was abused or assaulted at a nursing home in Seattle, Kirkland, Olympia, and Bellingham, you have the right to bring a claim against the nursing home. Legally, you will have to show the nursing home was negligent in some way. You can help your case by proving, with the assistance of the Jackman Law Firm, that the abuse to your elderly loved one happened because the nursing home or assisted living facility failed to do one or more of the following:
- Properly train, hire, and supervise staff members who might have committed the abuse.
- Failed to properly supervise other tenants in the facility who might have assaulted your elderly loved one.
- Failed to monitor a visitor who might have committed the abuse.
The Jackman Law Firm can bring the proper claim against the nursing home or facility.
Before doing so, however, you need to know exactly what happened. Once this is known, the proper legal theory, or cause of action as it is known, can be brought against the nursing home or assisted living facility. In any case where you are accusing the nursing home of being negligent, you must prove that the nursing home owed your elderly loved a duty, their actions (or inactions) breached that duty, and your loved one was injured because of this breach.
In most cases, it is not hard to show that a duty existed. When you entrust your elderly loved one to a facility, you expect that they are going to be cared for, and rightly so, because the nursing home has a duty to watch over them and protect them. If one of the members of the staff or a fellow resident harmed your elderly loved one, then that is the breach the law speaks about. Finally, you must be able to prove that your elderly loved one’s injuries are directly related to the abuse suffered by the nursing home or a fellow resident, as opposed to their injuries just naturally occurring.
Because of a legal principal called “respondent superior” or vicarious liability, as it is also known, the actions of the nursing home’s staff also makes the nursing home itself responsible for any abuse or assault your loved one may suffer. That is why, on the lawsuit, you should not just name the person or persons who caused your elderly loved one’s injuries, you should also name the nursing home or assisted living facility itself.How The Jackman Law Firm can Help
If your elderly loved one was abused and assaulted at a nursing home, you have the legal right under Washington State law to either file a claim against the nursing home or assisted living facility, or bring a lawsuit against them, or both. It is up to you. The Jackman Law Firm has the resources to help you with this. We can help you recover the following:
- Money for pain and suffering
- Money for medical bills
- Money for out of pocket expenses
- Money for future medical bills or counseling
In addition to the obvious physical suffering an elderly person may go through after being abused, the elderly may also suffer mental or emotional trauma as well that needs to be addressed and treated by the appropriate counselor and mental health professional. The Jackman Law Firm can help you get money to compensate the elderly for these damages as well. In addition, we can also obtain valuable evidence to help prove your claim by getting needed surveillance videos, if it exists, and interviewing key personnel at the nursing home to see what they knew, when they knew it, and how their actions led to the elderly person’s injuries.
Feel free to call for a free consultation to discuss your case.