California Elder Abuse Lawyer

nursing home abuse

If you or a loved one has suffered injury or harm due to the neglect or abuse of a caregiver in any setting, including nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, or long-term care centers in California, J&Y Law is here to help. Our firm is dedicated to safeguarding the elderly from abuse and mistreatment across the state.

Our legal team is well-versed in the laws that protect elders, including the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (the Elder Abuse Law), the California Welfare and Institutions Code, and other relevant statutes. When you reach out to us, we will vigorously advocate for your rights. We provide free consultations, and you won’t owe us anything until we secure compensation for you.

Understanding Elder Abuse in California

Elder abuse can take various forms, each with devastating consequences:

  • Physical Abuse: This involves the use of force that causes injury, pain, or impairment. It includes actions such as hitting, striking, shoving, or force-feeding, as well as the inappropriate use of restraints.
  • Emotional Abuse: Elder emotional abuse causes distress through verbal abuse, humiliation, threats, harassment, or insults. It may also involve isolating the elderly from their loved ones.
  • Sexual Abuse: This includes any non-consensual sexual contact or assault, which is a criminal offense regardless of whether the perpetrator is convicted.
  • Neglect: Neglect occurs when a caregiver fails to provide the necessary standard of care, resulting in issues such as falls, pressure sores, malnutrition, or dehydration.
  • Financial Abuse: This includes the use of trickery or force to extract money from an individual or their loved ones.

Key Provisions of California Elder Abuse Laws

smiling elderly man sitting in a wheelchair

California has been at the forefront of combating elder abuse, enacting comprehensive legislation to address various forms of abuse. The Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act, passed in 1982, provides a civil cause of action for acts constituting elder abuse, such as physical abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. The Act also mandates reporting of suspected elder abuse by certain individuals to authorities.

The legislative findings behind the Act underscore the vulnerability of elderly, infirm, and dependent adults, as well as the rarity of criminal prosecutions and civil actions for elder abuse. The Act aims to promote community services for the well-being of these individuals and protect them from harm.

What Does the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act Say?

The full language of the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act of 1982 can be found online at

This law acknowledges the vulnerability of elders and dependent adults and the reality that they could be abused, neglected, or abandoned. The law aims to protect elders and dependent adults by fostering community services and providing guidelines for investigating allegations of abuse. It requires certain professionals and community members to report suspected cases of abuse and ensures protection for those who make reports in good faith. Additionally, the law aims to collect data on abuse cases to improve services for victims.

Physical Abuse Defined

Under California’s elderly abuse laws, physical abuse is narrowly defined to include specific actions such as assault, battery, unreasonable physical constraint, and sexual assault. It encompasses acts that cause physical pain or injury to an elderly person, as well as deprivation of food, water, or medication. Neglect, a distinct form of abuse, involves the negligent failure to provide essential care and support.

Reporting Requirements and Civil Actions

California law mandates certain individuals, known as mandated reporters, to report incidents of elder abuse to law enforcement. Failure to report suspected abuse is a misdemeanor punishable by law. In civil actions for physical abuse or neglect, plaintiffs may be entitled to enhanced damages if the defendant’s conduct was reckless, oppressive, fraudulent, or malicious.

Special Considerations for Nursing Home Abuse

seniors sitting in chairs and wheelchairs outside of a nursing home in california

Nursing home abuse, often perpetrated by employees, can result in legal actions against the facility itself. Employers may be held liable for the actions of their employees under the doctrine of respondeat superior. Victims of nursing home abuse are encouraged to pursue legal action against the facility to hold them accountable for their employees’ conduct.

Click here to learn more about nursing home abuse.

Financial Elder Abuse

Financial exploitation of seniors, another prevalent form of abuse, occurs when individuals unlawfully obtain or retain the property of an elder for wrongful use or with fraudulent intent. California’s laws provide remedies for victims of financial elder abuse, including enhanced damages and treble damages in certain cases involving unfair or deceptive practices.

Criminal Liability and Civil Recourse

Many actions constituting elder abuse, such as assault, battery, and theft, are also criminal acts punishable by law. The overlap between criminal liability and civil liability underscores the seriousness of elder abuse offenses. Victims may pursue both criminal prosecution and civil actions to seek justice and compensation for the harm they’ve suffered. Call J&Y Law today, regardless of whether the abuser is seeking legal action currently or not.

Elder Abuse Laws for Criminal Acts

Sections of the California Penal Code address various forms of elder abuse, including physical and financial exploitation. Criminal prosecution for elder abuse can result in severe penalties for perpetrators. Importantly, previous criminal prosecutions do not preclude subsequent civil actions, allowing victims to seek redress through multiple legal avenues.

Why Does Elder Abuse Occur in California?

Elder abuse often stems from profit-driven motives in corporations running care facilities, leading to inadequate staffing or poorly trained workers. Additionally, arbitration clauses in admissions contracts can prevent families from pursuing legal action, allowing abuse to go unnoticed.

How J&Y Law Fights Elder Abuse in California

If you or a loved one has been a victim of elder abuse, our legal team is prepared to fight for justice. We prioritize your medical care and conduct thorough investigations to hold responsible parties accountable. Under California law, elder abuse can lead to criminal charges, and victims may pursue civil lawsuits to recover damages.

The J&Y Legal Team

Contact Our Experienced California Elder Abuse Lawyers

While most care facilities strive to provide quality service, elder abuse remains a significant issue. J&Y Law is committed to holding negligent parties accountable. Although no amount of compensation can erase the pain of elder abuse, it can help secure necessary medical care and provide a measure of justice. We believe in treating the most vulnerable members of our society with dignity and respect. Contact our office today for a free evaluation of your case by calling us at 323-986-4045.