Nursing Home

Richland Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers

Committed representation for WA residents who suffer abuse in a nursing home

Seniors are living longer and longer. While many seniors can live on their own, many older residents of Southeast Washington need help. They look to nursing homes to provide that help in the form of medical care, companionship, and social activities. Nursing homes charge an expensive fee for their services. In return, the residents have the right to expect that the homes will take every precaution necessary to ensure their safety and well-being.

Sadly, many nursing homes in Washington don’t prioritize safety. That’s where Telaré Law helps. Our Richland nursing home lawyers have been fighting for seniors for 25 years. We understand the unique issues involved when nursing homes and staff members fail to protect their residents. Our lawyers recognize the signs of abuse, understand why nursing homes should be held accountable, and demand compensation for any injuries or deaths caused by abuse or neglect. Don’t suffer in silence. Call our offices in the Tri-Cities to discuss your rights and the rights of your loved ones.

What is nursing home abuse?

According to A Place for Mom, there are numerous nursing homes in Richland and the Tri-Cities region. The median cost for a private room is close to $10,000 a month. The median cost for a semi-private room is more than $9,000 a month. In return for these large payments, nursing homes have a duty to ensure their residents are safe from abuse and neglect.

According to the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), nursing homes must ensure that their residents do not suffer physical, sexual, verbal, or mental abuse. Corporal punishment and involuntary seclusion are prohibited. Residents should also be free from sexual or financial abuse.

  • Physical abuse. This type of abuse is generally the use of any force such us as slapping, pushing, hitting, burning, or kicking a senior.
    • The CMS specifically states that the nursing home must ensure that physical or chemical restraints should not be used for “discipline or convenience and that are not required to treat the resident’s medical symptoms.” If restraints are indicated, “the facility must use the least restrictive alternative.”
    • Physical abuse also includes failing to give a resident his/her medication. The use of physical force can cause pain, anxiety, bruises, broken bones, catastrophic injuries, and death.
  • Sexual abuse. CMS defines sexual abuse as “non-consensual sexual contact of any type with a resident.” Examples include unwanted touching of intimate body parts; all types of sexual assault or battery, such as rape, sodomy, and coerced nudity; forcing the senior to observe sexual acts; sexually explicit photographs, and many other wrongful acts. Sexual abuse in nursing homes often involves residents who have dementia.
  • Emotional abuse. Examples of emotional abuse include verbal abuse, intimidation, acts that make a senior fearful, attempts to control or punish a senior, isolation of the senior, humiliation, and threats. Not respecting the numerous rights that all nursing home residents have is emotional abuse.
  • Financial abuse. CMS is concerned that nursing home staff may take advantage of seniors due to their old age.
    • CMS defines exploitation as “taking advantage of a resident for personal gain, through the use of manipulation, intimidation, threats, or coercion.”
    • Misappropriation of resident property means “the deliberate misplacement, exploitation, or wrongful, temporary, or permanent use of a resident’s belongings or money without the resident’s consent.”
    • Examples of financial abuse include pressuring a resident to sign a power of attorney, improper use of credit cards, forging check signatures, and other wrongful acts.
  • Neglect. CMS defines neglect as “the failure of the facility, its employees or service providers to provide goods and services to a resident that are necessary to avoid physical harm, pain, mental anguish or emotional distress.” Neglect includes not having clean clothes for the resident, poor nutrition, and failure to prevent falls. Failing to give a resident his/her medication when prescribed may be medical malpractice.

What are the signs of Richland nursing home abuse or neglect in Richland?

Family members and friends need to speak out when seniors show any signs of abuse or neglect. Many seniors are afraid to or can’t speak for themselves. Common signs and symptoms of abuse or neglect include:

  • Bedsores
  • Malnutrition and/or dehydration
  • Withdrawal from activities
  • Bruises and other physical symptoms of abuse
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Financial accounts that don’t balance
  • Poor hygiene
  • Signs a senior isn’t receiving or taking his/her medications

Odds are the signs and symptoms of abuse will only worsen if nobody speaks for the senior. Call our Richland personal injury lawyers as soon as you can if you suspect your relative or friend is being harmed.

What injuries are caused by nursing home abuse and neglect?

Aging isn’t easy under normal circumstances. When seniors suffer injuries or setbacks, they need longer amounts of time to recover. At Telaré Law, our Southeast Washington lawyers represent nursing homes residents who suffer:

  • Bedsores
  • Burn injuries
  • Catastrophic injuries such as head trauma, broken bones, spinal cord damage, and bleeding
  • Injuries from falls
  • Lack of nutrition harm
  • Psychological injuries
  • Sexual injuries
  • Financial damages
  • Any other type of serious injury

Since seniors have less time to live, it’s critical that injuries be treated promptly. The best remedy is to ensure that the injuries don’t occur in the first place. Our Richland nursing home lawyers are dedicated to fighting for seniors – to ensure they receive the compensation they deserve, and to help ensure nursing homes take the necessary steps to prevent harm to others.

Who is liable for nursing home abuse and neglect in Southeast Washington?

We file personal injury claims and wrongful death claims on behalf of senior nursing home residents. The defendants may include:

  • The nursing home and any related companies such as parent companies
  • The staff members
  • Vendors who work with the nursing home
  • Repair companies
  • Maintenance companies
  • Visitors who cause harm

What laws regulate nursing home abuse and neglect?

CMS specifically states that nursing homes need to follow specific hiring guidelines. Under § 483.12(a):

The facility must not hire or engage individuals who:

  1. Have been found guilty of abuse, neglect, exploitation, misappropriation of property, or mistreatment by a court of law
  2. Have had a finding entered into the state nurse aide registry concerning abuse, neglect, exploitation, mistreatment of residents, or misappropriation of their property
  3. Have a disciplinary action in effect against his or her professional license by a state licensure body as a result of a finding of abuse, neglect, exploitation, mistreatment of residents or misappropriation of resident property.

Nursing homes have specific state reporting requirements which would indicate that a specific employee is not fit for service. Nursing homes must develop and implement safety protocols designed to prevent abuse, neglect, exploitation, and misappropriation of a resident’s property. They must also have procedures to investigate complaints, and specific training procedures.

A failure to comply with these CMS requirements, other federal or state nursing home regulations, or nursing home industry standards is grounds for a personal injury or a wrongful death lawsuit.

In addition to the CMS law, Washington law regulates nursing homes. Washington also has a Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program that investigates nursing home complaints.

At Telaré Law, our lawyers understand what laws and protocols apply to your loved one’s facility. The best way to compensate nursing home residents and deter future abuse is by filing a legal claim against the negligent nursing home.

What are the rights of nursing home residents?

Washington law provides the following rights for nursing home residents. CMS provides similar rights. Residents have the right to:

  • Understand what services the nursing home provides
  • Competent medical and personal care
  • Select their own physicians
  • Refuse chemical or physical restraints
  • Engage in social activities
  • Notice of any changes to the nursing home conditions
  • Daily contact with family and friends
  • Privacy
  • Respect
  • Control of their finances
  • File complaints
  • Notice of any transfer or discharge
  • Other statutory rights

The residents have the right to receive a list and explanation of their rights – in writing.

How much is my nursing home claim worth?

Seniors should be able to cherish every year they have left. They deserve full compensation for the harm nursing homes and staff members cause. Our Richland nursing home abuse lawyers demand compensation for the senior’s:

  • Medical expenses – for as long as they need surgeries, doctor visits, rehabilitative care, assistive devices, or medications
  • Any financial damages
  • Their physical pain, emotional suffering, loss of bodily function, and the loss of life’s pleasures
  • Loss of consortium for damage to the marital relationship

We file wrongful death claims if a close relative died due to nursing home abuse or neglect.

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Do you have a nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer near me?

Telaré Law meets clients at our Richland office located at 1321 Columbia Park Trail, Suite B, Richland, WA. We also have an office in Kennewick. We meet with seniors at the nursing home or another convenient location when necessary.

Get help from a respected Richland nursing home abuse and neglect attorney today

Nursing home abuse is inexcusable. Seniors deserve to live their lives with dignity – not with pain and suffering. At Telaré Law, we fight to hold nursing homes responsible for failing to hire enough quality staff, monitor employee conduct, and respond to complaints. We prepare each case for trial – which is why we are able to settle many claims.

To discuss your rights or the rights of your loved one, call our Richland injury lawyers at 509-737-8500 or fill out our contact form to arrange a free appointment. We represent victims of nursing home abuse and neglect who reside in nursing home facilities in Richland, Pasco, Walla Walla, Pullman, Othello, Moses Lake, Ritzville, and all Southeast Washington.