Nursing Home Abuse in Washington
Each year, Adult Protective Services receives about 15,000 reports of vulnerable adults in Washington State who are being abused, neglected or exploited. If you know or think that a senior citizen is the victim of abuse, contact police and a Washington nursing home abuse attorney immediately.
Understanding & Recognizing Elder Abuse
Vulnerable adults—which includes both the elderly and other adults with developmental disabilities—are at serious risk of being abused. In some instances the abusers are family members or friends, in other instances the abuser is a paid caretaker.
Elder abuse can include physical abuse, mental or psychological abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, malnutrition and abandonment.
When the abuser is a paid caretaker and the victim resides in a long-term care facility, assisted-living facility or nursing home, it's considered nursing home abuse.
The Washington State Aging & Disability Services Administration says that signs of physical abuse can include:
- "Bruises, black eyes, welts, lacerations, and rope marks
- Broken bones
- Open wounds, cuts, punctures, untreated injuries in various stages of healing
- Broken eyeglasses/frames, or any physical signs of being punished or restrained
- Laboratory findings of either an overdose or underdose of medications
- Individual's report being hit, slapped, kicked, or mistreated
- Vulnerable adult's sudden change in behavior
- The caregiver's refusal to allow visitors to see a vulnerable adult alone"
Reasons to Hire a Washington State Elder Abuse Attorney
As soon as you become aware of elder abuse, you'll want to notify law enforcement authorities and hire a Washington State nursing home abuse lawyer. There are a few reasons to retain an attorney.
As part of a criminal investigation, the police will want to question the victim and the victim may be required to testify at a grand jury investigation or during a criminal trial. Your Washington State elder abuse lawyer can help the victim prepare for these meetings and testimony, and accompany the victim to investigators' offices and court.
Although a criminal investigation can result in charges, fines, probation and even jail time, the outcome isn't guaranteed. And even if the victim is found guilty of abuse and pays a fine, that money will not be given to the victim as compensation. Instead, the victim will have to file a personal injury lawsuit against the abuser. Your Washington elder abuse lawyer can help prepare and file the lawsuit, negotiate a settlement if possible and try the case in court.
Find & Hire a Washington Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Washington state law gives abuse victims three years from the date of their injuries to file a personal injury lawsuit against their abuser. Once the three-year mark has passed, you may no longer file a lawsuit or collect money from the abuser.
Because of this strict time limit, you'll want to hire Washington State nursing home abuse attorneys as soon as possible after abuse occurs or comes to light. This will give your lawyers sufficient time to prepare and file the lawsuit. If you need help finding an elder abuse attorney in your area, you've come to the right website. Attorneys.com offers a free servce that can quickly connect you with local Washington State elder abuse lawyers. Complete the form on this page or call us at 877-913-7222 to get matched with an attorney today.