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Bellingham Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
When our loved ones reach a certain age, we often trust nursing homes to provide for their needs and to ensure that they receive the medical care that they need, paying significant amounts of money for their services. However, not all nursing homes uphold the standard of care we expect — leading to devastating acts of abuse against our elderly loved ones.
If you or a loved one are a victim of nursing home abuse in Bellingham, Colburn Law can help. We will advocate aggressively for justice for your loved one, helping your family claim the compensation your loved one needs to recover from his or her injuries and restore his or her quality of life. Our Bellingham clients choose our firm for our dedication, communication, and affordability.
Why Choose Colburn Law?
- We understand that legal assistance can be expensive, which is why we operate on a contingency fee basis. You will not pay out of pocket legal fees, and we will take an agreed-upon percentage of the settlement as payment.
- Our firm combines the resources of a large firm with the personalized attention of a small one. We will take the time to learn your story to effectively build your case strategy.
- We understand that open and honest communication is crucial to a successful lawsuit. We will maintain a direct line of communication with you from consultation to settlement.
Nursing Home Abuse Statistics
Nursing home abuse and violence against elderly people is rampant across the country, especially as the aging population in the United States grows. The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) provides the following statistics regarding this dilemma.
- A 2015 study found the prevalence of elder abuse to be 10%, including all types of abuse ranging from physical, sexual, and emotional to financial exploitation and neglect.
- Another study found that elders experienced verbal mistreatment the most frequently (9%), followed by financial abuse (3.5%).
- One study found that 1 in 3 New York elders experienced at least one form of elder abuse.
- 6% of complaints to the National Ombudsman Reporting System involved abuse in nursing homes.
What Are the Laws Against Elder Abuse?
Washington State Legislature Chapter 74.34, also known as the Vulnerable Adults Act, outlines the rights of elders and other vulnerable individuals across the state and the responsibilities of different facilities in caring for them. The act defines vulnerable adults as the following types of people.
- A person aged 60 or older who cannot care for him or herself
- A person with a court-appointed guardian
- A person with a developmental disability
- A person who lives in a nursing home or other care facility
- A person who receives care from a home care service
- A person who receives services from a personal aide or caregiver
If you notice a vulnerable loved one suffering from nursing home abuse or you suspect that abuse is occurring, report the abuse to Adult Protective Services (APS) immediately. After seeking help, the APS will investigate the claim and take steps to help your loved one seek help.
Your loved one also has the right to receive a Vulnerable Adult Protection Order, which gives him or her temporary protection for fourteen days until a hearing takes place. A judge can extend the protection order if the hearing does not occur within this timeframe. After the hearing, the judge will issue a protection order with detailed instructions, and your loved one can also choose to file a lawsuit for damages against his or her abuser.
When Should You Contact a Bellingham Nursing Home Lawyer?
The statute of limitations for nursing home lawsuits in Washington is three years from the date of the abuse, so it is important to begin the filing process as soon as you realize that the abuse is occurring. If the civil court does not receive your lawsuit within that three-year deadline, it will refuse to hear your case.
If you or a loved one are suffering from the physical, emotional, and financial impacts of nursing home abuse, contact Colburn Law immediately. Our attorneys will take the necessary steps to learn your story and begin the filing process. Schedule your free consultation today to discuss your legal options and to strategize your next steps.