Alaska Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys

Elderly woman in Alaska nursing home

When a loved one must be placed in a nursing home, the situation can already be a difficult one for family members. By placing a loved one in a nursing home, family members expect that the loved one will be treated with the utmost care, respect, dignity and protection. When this care is not provided, an Alaska nursing home lawyer can use his or her knowledge of nursing home laws to serve your case. Federal nursing home laws and Alaska statutory laws are in place to ensure that residents receive adequate care in nursing home facilities. The Alaska Protection of Vulnerable Adults Act is in place to provide for reporting requirements of abuse, and Chapter 12 of Title 7 specifically outlines patients’ rights in Alaska.

Patients’ Rights in Alaska Skilled Nursing Facilities

In Alaska, patients have the right to be free from physical abuse and drugs administered for purposes of discipline or convenience of the nursing home facility. Patients also have the following rights as stated in the Act:

  • Be treated with consideration and dignity
  • Free from unnecessary or excessive medication
  • Associate with others privately
  • Be informed of the facility’s procedure for handling complaints
  • Have access to communication lines
  • Receive unopened mail
  • Have confidential medical records & treatment
  • Participate in development of a care plan
  • Receive written notice of these rights

If any of these rights have been violated, then you may have a cause of action against a nursing home facility. An Alaska nursing home attorney can help you understand how to proceed in your case and file a complaint.

Nursing Home Abuse: A Growing Epidemic in Alaska

Nursing home abuse is a serious problem in Alaska. This is indicated by the fact that in 2008, over 42 percent of nursing homes were discovered to have deficiencies in the professional standards maintained in the nursing home. The 2008 University of California-San Francisco research study also revealed that over 21 percent of nursing homes have deficiencies in the quality of life of patients and in treating them with dignity. Examples of violations include improper grooming, lack of private spaces, lack of independence in dining and disrespectful treatment towards patients.

Signs of Neglect by Nursing Home Employees

Violations of professional standards of nursing home employees include neglect of nursing home residents. Some signs of neglect of nursing home residents may include:

  • Appearance of bed sores on residents
  • Understaffing in the nursing home
  • Inadequate funding of the nursing home
  • Dehydration of residents
  • Malnutrition of residents
  • Loss of body weight of residents
  • Other injuries including bruises, scrapes, broken limbs and abrasions

Blue-CTA

In Alaska, damages may be awarded for negligence of up to $250,000 per single injury suffered by a nursing home resident. Compensatory damages may be awarded in the greater of up to $400,000 or the life expectancy of the patient in up to $8,000 per year. Your loved one should not have to suffer with injuries as a result of the inadequate care of nursing home employees, and compensation can help remedy the abuse or other harm suffered by your loved one.

Take Action & Speak with an Alaska Nursing Home Law Firm Today

While we may trust nursing home facilities to provide care, it is important to always be aware of potential signs of abuse. When a nursing home facility does stray from the professional care that should be provided, it is up to you to take action. Our attorneys are available to help families throughout Alaska in areas such as:

  • Anchorage
  • College
  • Fairbanks
  • Juneau
  • Sitka

Get in touch with an Alaska nursing home lawyer who can begin investigating incidents of negligence in your case today.

Sources:

  1. AK statutes – http://www.touchngo.com/lglcntr/akstats/aac/title07/chapter012/section258.htm
  2. UC SF research study – http://www.theconsumervoice.org/

Nursing Home Negligence

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

2 years. (§09.10.070 – Actions for Torts, For Injury to Personal Property, For Certain Statutory Liabilities, and Against Peace Officers and Coroners to Be Brought in Two Years)

Medical malpractice – 2 years with Discovery Rule (SOL runs from when injury is or should have been discovered). If plaintiff is an infant, statute of limitations is two 2 years from eighth birthday. (§09.10.140 – Disabilities of Minority and Incompetency)

DAMAGES CAP

Pain and suffering limited to $250,000 for single injury.

Compensatory damages – $400,000 or life expectancy in years multiplied by $8000 per year, whichever is greater. (§09.17.010(b) – Noneconomic damages).

Cases involving severe disfigurement or severe permanent physical impairment have a compensatory damages limitation of the greater of $1,000,000 or life expectancy multiplied by $25,000, whichever is greater. (§09.17.010(c) – Noneconomic damages)

Punitive damages – greater of three times compensatory damages or $500,000. (§09.17.020 (f) – Punitive Damages)

Wrongful Death

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

2 years. (§09.55.580 – Action For Wrongful Death)

DAMAGES CAP

Compensatory damages – $400,000 or life expectancy in years multiplied by $8000 per year, whichever is greater. (§09.17.010(b) – Noneconomic damages)

Cases involving severe disfigurement or severe permanent physical impairment have a compensatory damages limitation of the greater of $1,000,000 or life expectancy multiplied by $25,000, whichever is greater. (§09.17.010(c) – Noneconomic damages)

Punitive damages – greater of three times compensatory damages or $500,000.

(§09.17.020 (f) – Punitive Damages)

State Resources

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services

Office of the Long Term Care Ombudsman

Adult Protective Services

Nursing Home Care State Law

Nursing Home Administrators – Title 8 (Business and Professions), Chapter 70 (Nursing Home Administrators)

Residents’ Rights

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