Bellingham Lawyers for Nursing Home Neglect
There are several nursing homes in Bellingham, and many across Whatcom County, Washington, where family members choose to have elderly or disabled relatives live. As of 2019, Whatcom County’s median age was 37.3. Many of these people have aging parents; 16.9% of the county’s population in that survey was 65 or older, up from earlier years. Nursing homes include Shuksan Healthcare Center, Highland Care Center, Mount Baker Care Center & Summit Place, North Cascades Health and Rehabilitation Center, and Avamere Bellingham Health Care and Rehabilitation. When you put a family member in a home, you trust that he or she will be given appropriate care and not abused. Unfortunately, abuse and neglect are tragically common in American nursing homes where nearly two million people live. If you or a loved one were harmed by mistreatment in a nursing home, you should give the seasoned Bellingham nursing home neglect attorneys of Walton Law a call. Chris Walton, the principal of Walton Law, is rated AV Preeminent, the highest rating assigned by Martindale-Hubbell’s peer-review process.
Nursing Home Neglect and Elder Abuse
Nursing home neglect happens when residents of these facilities don’t receive appropriate care and, as a result, suffer physical, mental, or emotional health problems. Under federal regulations, a resident is entitled to be free from verbal, sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. He or she is entitled to be free from corporal punishment and involuntary seclusion. Abuse, under these regulations, involves the intentional infliction of injury. Neglect, meanwhile, is a failure, whether or not intentional, to provide care and services to make sure a resident is free from pain or harm.
Abuse and neglect can include assault, battery, prolonged deprivation of food and water, lack of care for existing medical problems, sexual assault, physical restraints, chemical restraints, bed injuries, dehydration, falls, fractures, infections, wandering, and elopement. In some cases, they can result in wrongful death. It is important to look out for potential signs of neglect when your family member is in a nursing home and consult a nursing home neglect lawyer based in Bellingham if you notice them. These include rapid weight loss, withdrawal, malnutrition, bedsores, unexplained injuries such as fractures or cuts, heavy medication or sedation, frequent illnesses that aren’t reported promptly to family members or a doctor, unsanitary conditions, and reluctance to have an open conversation in front of staff members.
Lawyers to Establish Liability
Washington’s Vulnerable Adult Statute protects “vulnerable adults,” or those who are at least 60 or older who have the functional, physical, or mental inability to care for themselves. Vulnerable adults under the statute also include those found incapacitated under state law, those who have developmental disabilities as defined under the law, those who are admitted to a facility, and those who receive services from home hospice, health or home care agencies that are licensed or should be licensed under state law. It also includes those who get services from a provider or personal aide. RCW 74.34.200 provides a remedy for vulnerable adults subject to neglect, financial exploitation, abuse, or abandonment.
When you meet the criteria, the law allows you to recover damages for your injuries, pain and suffering, and any loss of property, if you received care from home health, hospice, or home care agency, or a single provider, or if you were residing in a nursing home or other facility. Facilities that are covered by the law include homes, licensed residencies, assisted living facilities, residential rehabilitation centers, and other facilities licensed or certified by the state.
Our seasoned nursing home neglect lawyers serving Bellingham may be able to pursue damages for your elderly mother if, for example, your elderly mother with dementia was left alone and abandoned for a prolonged period, such that she suffered brain injuries. For another example, you could have a claim if a nursing home staff member failed to turn your father who is unable to walk, such that he developed bedsores that progressed to Stage 4 and sepsis. As a nursing home resident, you might also have a claim, if you were physically beaten by a nursing home staff member and put on chemical restraints because the staff member was frustrated with you. Damages may be recovered if a staff member improperly controlled or withheld your property or resources for another person’s profit or advantage.
If we can establish liability, we may be able to recover damages. These may include pain and suffering, medical expenses, loss of enjoyment, and out-of-pocket expenses.
Consult an Experienced Elder Abuse Attorney
You need a results-oriented Bellingham nursing home neglect lawyer if you or a loved one has experienced elder abuse or neglect. At Walton Law, our compassionate law firm tailors its representation to ensure thoughtful, personalized service to each and every client. We understand you might not be able to meet with us during normal business hours, so we offer both evening and weekend appointments. Call our seasoned firm at (866) 338-7079 or online to schedule a free consultation.