DC Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you or a loved one have been subjected to nursing home abuse, immediately contact a dedicated DC nursing home abuse lawyer today to discuss compensation for harm or losses suffered.
According to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it is estimated that 1.6 million people live in long-term care facilities, which most of us refer to as nursing homes. In addition, studies indicate that as many as one-fourth of all Americans will need a nursing home at some point in their lives. With the boom in the aging population also comes a frightening fact; namely that the incidents of nursing home abuse and neglect have increased along with the size of our aging population.
Local and state authorities have become much more aggressive about investigating cases of elder abuse and neglect in recent years. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines elder abuse as “a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person.”
- Pre-Trials Steps to Take
- Expert Witnesses
- Types of Abuse
- Physical Abuse
- Emotional and Mental Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Establishing Liability
- Statue of Limitations
- Punitive Damages
- Prima Facie
Criminal and Civil Action
In cases of elder abuse, certain instances may warrant criminal prosecution, while in other instances civil litigation may be more appropriate. A civil lawsuit is brought by a plaintiff who seeks to hold the defendant responsible for damages sustained as a result of harm or losses suffered.
While physical or sexual abuse in a nursing home lends itself to criminal prosecution, filing a personal injury claim allows the victim a means for receiving financial compensation for the misconduct of the perpetrator. Negligence can also be the basis of a personal injury claim, and common examples in the context of a nursing home include medication errors and failure to monitor the resident. In such situations, it is advised that you speak with an experienced DC nursing home abuse lawyer, who can help you to determine the appropriate course of legal action.
While representing you in court, a lawyer can act as an informational guide throughout the process. This is why hiring an attorney with experience is so crucial. Having someone who has gone through the trial process before can help alleviate some of your stress because you will know that your case is in the hands of someone who understands what they’re doing.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
By taking legal action, you are making it known to the nursing home that misconduct has occurred. You are also taking steps to ensure that your well-being, as well as the that of the other residents who live at the home, is being given due consideration. A DC nursing home abuse lawyer can help you with this task. He or she will also provide you with an honest assessment of your case and answer any questions you may have. That can include basic queries such as what constitutes nursing home abuse, and what should a victim, or their loved ones, look for if they fear such abuse has occurred. Issues of nursing home abuse and neglect can include a number of forms of abuse, from physical to financial.
This can include scars, marks, or bruises and injuries such as sprains, fractures, and broken bones. Such injuries may indicate your loved one is being abused by the very people responsible for their safety.
In many cases, mental abuse can be as damaging as physical abuse. Seniors who are berated, insulted, or demeaned by nursing home staff have fallen prey to mental abuse.
Emotional and Social
Did you know that depriving an elderly person of social stimulation can have harmful consequences? Extended periods of isolation and seclusion may cause depression, anxiety, or a shortened life span.
Financial abuse is an increasingly common form of nursing home victimization is found in financial abuse. This is when personal items or valuable information, such as cash or bank account information, are taken without the victim’s consent or under duress. A DC nursing home abuse lawyer can help you to investigate this often hard-to-prove form of abuse.
Sexual abuse typically involves abuse perpetuated by nursing home staffers, though it can involve other residents at the home or visitors.
Sometimes, abuse is more an act of omission, or the failure to provide the proper standard of care. The term “neglect” can mean that your loved one is not regularly fed or taken out of bed, or he or she is left with unattended personal hygiene needs. Neglect can be just as injurious – and deadly – as physical abuse.
Wrongful Death Resulting from Abuse
Wrongful death can occur for any number of reasons in a nursing home setting. The most common causes are from abuse or neglect of a nursing home medical professional.
Each case is unique based upon the facts and circumstances of that individual case. Whenever anyone believes he/she is the victim of nursing home abuse, that person or that person’s family should contact an experienced attorney to investigate the claim. The attorney will help determine whether there is actionable abuse.
In DC, a wrongful death claim is initiated by the personal representative of the estate of the decadent on behalf of the decadent’s next of kin. To establish liability of a wrongful death claim resulting from nursing home abuse in DC, the personal representative of the estate of the deceased must prove, by the proponents of the evidence, that the care offered by the nursing home fell below that of the National Standard required and that the breach of the standard of care caused the death of the deceased.
The overall medical condition of the decadent, prior to his/her death, is critical in evaluating a wrongful death claim. Any resident of a nursing home likely has some medical issues that are separate from any abuse or neglect. Therefore, a proper investigation must be done into the actual cause of death and a clear theory of liability must be established so that no other medical factors cloud the issue.
Prevalence of Nursing Home Abuse
According to a study released in 2001 by the minority staff (Democrats and Independents) of the Special Investigations Divisions of the House Government Reform Committee, 30 percent of nursing homes in the United States – more than 5,000 facilities – were cited for nearly 9,000 instances of abuse from January of 1999 through January of 2001.
Neither you nor a loved one should have to be exposed to any of the aforementioned types of abuse. Moreover, there is no reason to let such conduct or to allow others to fall victim to the same kind of abuse that you have suffered. To ensure that your rights and your physical, emotional, and mental well-being are protected, you must report your case to the local authorities and you should immediately contact an attorney who is experienced in pursuing nursing home abuse claims in your jurisdiction.
The Benefits of Working with a DC Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
A Washington, DC nursing home abuse lawyer can help you, or your loved one, determine whether you have a valid claim. If this is the case, he or she will aggressively seek compensation and work to ensure that those responsible for the abuse are held to answer for their deplorable actions. That attorney will fight to ensure that the problem is pursued not only in civil litigation, but also through criminal investigation. And your lawyer will be able to provide you and your family with the emotional comfort and support that you require.
Deciding whether to settle a case or bring it to trial can be a very stressful and daunting situation. There are many factors to consider, but an experienced and loyal attorney can be there to help every step of the way.
The District of Columbia and every state in the nation has a law that defines nursing home abuse and neglect and that governs what types of damages may be collected for the victims of nursing home abuse. That is why it is so important that you speak with an attorney dedicated to this field of practice in DC. The DC nursing home abuse attorneys at our firm feel passionately about this subject, and will aggressively pursue compensation and civil justice on behalf of your family member or yourself.
If your claim applies to nursing home abuse or neglect in Maryland or Virginia, you should speak with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer in those jurisdictions. Information regarding nursing home abuse and neglect for Maryland can be found here. Alternatively, if you are seeking legal representation in Virginia, please visit the following page.