Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
As the population grows older and life expectancy increases, many individuals and their loved ones will be faced with challenging decisions about long-term care. For those who are unable to tend to themselves, becoming a resident of a nursing facility may be the best option. While many patients and residents of nursing homes receive quality care, elder abuse and neglect occurs occur more often than many realize.
In California, vulnerable elderly persons are protected by a number of laws, starting with the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act. These laws are designed to hold elder care facilities accountable for failing to provide an acceptable standard of care. At the law firm of J&Y, we recognize that victims of elder abuse are often left feeling afraid and helpless, and we fight to restore their dignity and obtain just compensation for their suffering.
What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Elder abuse comes in many forms, including physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction or other treatment that causes pain, harm or mental suffering (California Welfare and Institutions Code § 15610.07) .
In a nursing facility, physical abuse includes assault, battery, unreasonable physical constraint or prolonged deprivation of food or water, sexual assault and rape. Physical abuse can also involve the inappropriate use of physical or chemical restraints as a form of punishment or for any reason not authorized by the prescribing doctor (California Welfare and Institutions Code § 15610.63). This type of abuse is usually identified by observing bruises or other injuries on the victim.
While physical abuse is often easy to detect, many elders can also be victims of emotional abuse ranging from verbal abuse to being ignored or isolated, resulting in pain and suffering that dramatically affects their well-being. Changes in the personality or behavior of an elder are warning signs of emotional abuse.
In California, the Elder Abuse Law requires health practitioners, public and private caregivers, and law enforcement agencies to report cases of elder abuse (California Welfare and Institutions Code § 15601). The law also provides victims with powerful legal recourse to recover past and future medical expenses, lost wages, damages for pain and suffering and attorneys’ fees. In some cases, elder abuse can also result in misdemeanor or felony charges (California Penal Code § 368).
Elder Financial Abuse
Another common form of elder abuse in California is financial abuse which occurs when an individual or entity takes or keeps an elder’s property for a wrongful use, or with the intent to defraud, or assists another in doing so (Welfare and Institutions Code section 15610.30). In order to have grounds for a lawsuit, however, it is necessary to demonstrate that there was undue influence by those who were in a position of trust and confidence with their victims, such as family members, companions, and financial advisors (California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) Series 3100).
Evidence of financial abuse includes significant withdrawals from accounts or changes in the elder’s financial condition, suspicious changes in wills, powers of attorney and other documents, unpaid bills or lack of medical care, unnecessary services, goods, or subscriptions, and other irregular activities.
Under the Elder Abuse Law, victims of financial abuse may be able to recover compensatory damages, attorneys’ fees and costs. In addition, treble damages for unfair and deceptive practices may also be available (California Civil Code § 3345).
How to Stop Elder Abuse in California
Nursing homes and caregivers have an obligation to treat elderly patients properly. If you or a loved one has been the victim of elder abuse, you need a compassionate and experienced attorney by your side. The law firm of J&Y fights for victims of elder abuse in Los Angeles, San Diego, and throughout the State of California.
We will protect your rights by conducting a thorough investigation, taking the necessary legal action and monitoring medical treatment to ensure that the best care is being provided. It is important for elder abuse victims to act immediately. There are time limits to pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, and as a result, there may be hidden complications that are not apparent until it is too late.
Los Angeles Nursing Home Abuse Law Firm
Every life has dignity and we are dedicated to stopping elder abuse in all its forms, physical, emotional or financial. Our experienced personal injury lawyers will help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Don’t suffer in silence; call our office today for a free evaluation of your case at 888-806-6722.