The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home or other care facility is a heart-wrenching choice, though often it is the best alternative among many undesirable options. When we choose this route, we expect the facility will care for our loved one as well as we ourselves would do, and many nursing homes in fact offer excellent care. Sadly, however, this is not always the case, and at times, the most weak, frightened, and vulnerable become victims. When a loved one is neglected or abused by a care facility, we must deal not only with the recovery of our injured relative, but also our own guilt for having placed them in harm’s way. Further, we and the victim are often fearful of speaking out lest this act result in still more harm.
Calbom & Schwab, P.S.C., understands the importance at such times of having a legal team on your side that can get tough on your behalf, while offering you compassionate understanding and emotional support. Our team of expert elder-abuse attorneys have extensive knowledge in all legal aspects of representing nursing home abuse clients and have successfully and aggressively represented numerous victims of nursing home abuse and malpractice.
When Care Goes Wrong
When care providers fail to meet an adequate standard of care and this results in injuries or the death of a loved one, Washington State law provides a means for holding the negligent caregiver accountable and compensating the victim or the victim’s family for their loss, pain, and suffering. Covered injuries may be physical, psychological, or material, and may manifest in any of the following ways:
- Medical errors
- Beating, shoving, broken bones
- Malnutrition, dehydration, weight loss
- Bed sores
- Sexual abuse
- Verbal abuse
- Ridicule, humiliation
- Theft and fraud
Determining Who Is Responsible
Often, many individuals and entities are involved in nursing home care, including the facility staff, doctors, and medical technicians who have rights to practice in the facility, and even manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. It is important to ascertain which entity or entities are complicit in the victim’s injury. Our nursing home injury attorneys are expert in the complex dynamics among these various groups as well as the medical environment and technology, enabling us to effectively understand and operate within the landscape in which your loved one lives.
More than 100,000 people currently reside in nursing homes in the State of Washington. Reports of nursing home abuse and neglect have escalated in the past decade. In a recent two-year period, 5,000 nursing homes—fully 30 percent of the nursing homes in the United States—were cited for abuse violations. If your loved one has become one of these statistics, we are here to help.
Call Calbom & Schwab today for a free consultation. We will advise you on the legal remedies available to help your loved one and, where applicable, help you estimate damages. We will assist in the collection of evidence and guide you through the legal process. Our expert nursing home abuse attorneys will help you ensure safety for your loved one and obtain just compensation for any injuries they may have suffered.
What Should I Do If I Suspect Abuse of an Elderly Person?
As soon as you have reason to believe that abuse is occurring, call for help. You do not need absolute proof to report suspected abuse. You do not need to give your name when you call. Remember, law enforcement and social service agencies cannot be everywhere. It takes all of us to help make sure that those who need protection are safe.
If you are faced with an emergency situation and the person is in immediate danger, call the police.
In addition, all abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult or a child in Washington State should be reported to the Washington State Department of Social and Human Services (DSHA) at one of the following:
- To report any abuse or neglect, call the DSHS EndHarm hotline anytime day or night at 1-866-363-4276. ENDHARM is TTY accessible. When you call, you will speak with a real person who will connect you to the direct local number to make your report.
- To report specific neglect or abuse of a person living in a nursing home, boarding home, or adult family home, call the Complaint Resolution Unit hotline at 1-800-562-6078.
- To report suspected abuse or neglect of an adult living in his or her own home or somewhere other than a residential care facility, call the Adult Protective Services (APS) office in your county.
You will be asked to give the person’s name, address, contact information and details about why you are concerned. You will also be asked for your name and number or some way of contacting you if the investigator has follow-up questions. Unless there is a court action, law enforcement has been called in, or you agree otherwise, your identity is confidential. If you report in good faith, you cannot be held liable for any damages resulting from reporting.
After you have secured the safety of your loved one, you may consider calling an attorney, who can help you sort through this upsetting situation and hold accountable the responsible party or parties.
Video – Attorney Joe Schwab Explaining Nursing Home Injury Cases
Your first consultation at Calbom & Schwab is free – contact us.