Vulnerable individuals living in nursing home facilities deserve a safe and dignified environment, and any breach of trust or harm should be dealt with immediately. Sexual assault is a crime. As such, a person may be charged with sexual assault but they may also face a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary compensation for damages suffered. Let’s look at some ways to seek justice for victims of sexual assault in nursing homes.
Seeking Justice for Sexual Assault in Nursing Homes
The safety and well-being of the victim should be the top priority. If you believe that your loved one has suffered abuse at the hands of their caregiver there are three things to handle right away:
- Ensure they receive medical attention and emotional support from professionals who specialize in trauma care.
- Contact law enforcement to report the incident so they can initiate a criminal investigation.
- Encourage the victim to seek emotional support through counseling or support groups. Trauma can have long-lasting effects, and professional help is essential.
- Seek legal representation with expertise in elder abuse and nursing home negligence. An attorney can help navigate the legal process and advocate for the victim’s rights.
- Contact a nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss filing a civil lawsuit. Victims or their families can file civil lawsuits against the nursing home for negligence or inadequate security. This can result in compensation for damages suffered as a result of the assault/abuse including medical expenses and pain and suffering.
Building a case:
- Make sure to preserve any evidence, including photographs or documents, that may be relevant to the case.
- Gather medical records, incident reports, witness statements, and any other relevant documents. This evidence can be crucial in proving the case.
- Identify and interview potential witnesses who may have observed the incident or have information related to it. Their testimonies can be vital during legal proceedings.
- Work closely with law enforcement and the district attorney’s office to provide information and assistance during the criminal prosecution.
- Stay informed about the progress of the criminal and civil cases. Ensure that justice is pursued diligently.
Sexual assault in nursing homes is a grave violation of trust and a criminal offense. By taking these steps, victims, their families, and advocates can work toward justice and contribute to a safer environment for vulnerable individuals in long-term care facilities.
Ferndale Nursing Assistant Accused of Sexually Assaulting Developmentally Disabled Adult
A Ferndale nursing assistant has been accused of sexually assaulting a developmentally disabled adult who he was tasked with caring for. Nathaniel Matthew Miller, 46, was charged in Whatcom County Superior Court with one count of second-degree rape.
The charging document alleges that Miller stands accused of committing rape against a victim who was unable to provide consent due to being in a state of physical helplessness or mental incapacitation. Miller is identified as a healthcare provider, while the victim is described as a client or patient, and the alleged assault took place during a session involving treatment, consultation, interview, or examination. Furthermore, it is noted that the victim is an adult with developmental disabilities over whom Miller held supervisory authority. Court records also indicate an aggravating factor, suggesting that Miller was aware or should have been aware of the victim’s heightened vulnerability or inability to resist.
In Washington State, call the Complaint Resolution Unit toll-free hotline at 1-800-562-6078 if the person that you suspect is being abused or neglected is living in a nursing home, boarding home, or adult family home.
The National Sexual Assault Hotline is 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
Seek the help of a nursing home abuse lawyer
If your loved one has been injured as a result of abuse or neglect, you may be feeling overwhelmed with how to help them. Let an experienced nursing home abuse attorney help you fight for justice. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a good lawyer. Call the caring elder abuse attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!