ELDER ABUSE ATTORNEY LOS ANGELES
As the elderly population continues to increase as a result of improved medical treatment and care, cases of elder abuse have significantly increased. Elder abuse occurs in nursing homes and care facilities all across the country. This makes Elder abuse is a serious problem that can cause long term harm to all parties involved. Out of fear, older individuals often do not protest and call attention to their injuries. One should always be on the lookout for warning signs of nursing home neglect and senior citizen abuse including marks and bruises on the body, unclean and unsanitary bedding, bed sores, heavy and unnecessary medication to sedate patients.
Due to that mere fact, we believe our elderly in our community must be protected and it is our priority to provide the necessary consultation to our victims and their families. Contact an Experience Personal Injury attorney will our attorneys believe in achieving justice and proper settlement when involved with any elder abuse case.
Abuse Neglect and Mistreatment Statistics
In order to fully understand elder abuse, it is vital to understand the many forms it can take and how it can be prevented. Below is some statistics on elder abuse, as provided by the National Center on Elder Abuse and other sources, which include the following:
In 1996, approximately 450,000 adults over the age of 60 were abused and/or neglected in domestic settings.
In 2000, states were asked to report the number of elder abuse reports received. Based on those figures, the total number of reports was 472,818.
In 2008, the Long Term Care Ombudsman state programs investigated nearly 21,000 complaints of abuse, exploitation, and gross negligence among nursing home residents.
Nearly 1/3rd of all nursing homes in California were cited for federal and state violations of laws and statutes pertaining to proper nursing home care of the elderly.
According to a recent study in another study over 50% of nursing home staff admitted to some form of mistreatment of the elderly in the past year; with the most prevalent being nursing home staff elderly neglect.
Although there are no nationwide tracking systems for elder abuse, the National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that somewhere between one and two million Americans over the age of 65 have been abused (through exploitation, injury, mistreatment, or exploitation) by a loved one or caregiver.
The frequency of elder abuse has been estimated to range anywhere from 2 to 10 percent, based on a variety of surveys, case definitions and sampling methods, while just 1 in 14 incidents is every brought to the attention of authorities.
How to Prevent Elder Abuse
The most vital way to ensure your parent or family member does not become a victim of elder abuse is to remain informed and aware of any and all changes, whether physically, emotionally or behaviorally.
Keep an open line of communication with your loved one’s caregivers, ideally through face-to-face contact, and be aware of subtle changes in your loved one, such as a lack of appetite, becoming withdrawn, acting out or self-harming, or repetitive movements, such as rocking or swaying. Immediately contact the caregiver’s supervisor and the local authorities if you suspect elder abuse.
Different Types of Elderly Abuse against Senior Citizens
Physical Elderly Abuse: Elder individuals are at elevated risk of physical, emotional or sexual abuse because they are easy targets. Elder patients are often ignored, and their perpetrators are often successful at keeping their victims quiet. Physical elder abuse is any type of brunt force resulting in injury. Physical abuse can be the result of overworked, stressed or poorly trained staff, or from retaliation. Either way, it is never justified. It can come in the form of kicking, punching, slapping, chocking or any other type of force. Physical abuse is defined by the National Center on Elder Abuse as any physical force that results in bodily injury, pain or impairment. As such, physical abuse is often more than just striking someone; it may be hitting, shoving, shaking, pushing, slapping, burning, kicking, or pinching. Further, the use of physical restraints, force feeding or any type of physical punishment is considered physical abuse.Physical abuse signs may include bruises, broken bones, cuts, wounds, or punctures, but it often takes on other signs, as well, including sudden changes in the senior’s behavior or a caregiver’s refusal to allow visitors to see the senior alone.
Emotional Elderly Abuse: Unlike physical abuse, emotional abuse does not entail a physical contact, but is damaging nonetheless. Emotional abuse can be verbal, such as threats, humiliation, yelling or degradation; it can also be nonverbal, such as isolation, confinement, or placing the elderly under a constant state of fear, intimidating, threatening, humiliating, harassing or insulting the senior. Furthermore, it may also include isolating the individual from friends and family, treating the individual like a baby, or even giving the individual the “silent treatment”. It is important to look for signs of emotional abuse, as victims might become increasingly angry or depressed, or demonstrate increased levels of anxiety. Although visible signs of physical abuse may come to mind when one thinks of elder abuse, abuse often takes the form of emotional or psychological abuse. Emotional or psychological abuse can be best described as any infliction of pain, distress or anguish using either verbal or nonverbal actions.
Sexual Elderly Abuse: Sexual elder abuse is not unlike any type of sexual assault. It is the non-consensual contact by one person on the elderly person. However, sexual elder abuse does not necessarily require touching. Sexual elder abuse includes exposing the elderly to pornographic materials, forcing them to watch sexual acts, or making them undress against their will. Elder abuse may take on the form of sexual abuse, which is described as any type of non-consensual sexual contact of any with an elderly person. Sexual abuse may include touching, rape, coerced nudity, sodomy, or even taking sexually explicit photographs.
Financial Elder Abuse: Financial abuse of elders includes the improper use of funds or the theft or misappropriation of monies entrusted to the caretaker, spouse or child for the benefit of the elderly party. Elder abuse often takes place in a not-often-considered area: the pocketbook. Financial and/or material exploitation includes any time someone illegally or improperly uses an elder’s funds, assets or property. For example, this type of elder abuse may include forging the elder’s signature on checks; stealing an elder’s money or possessions; coercing the elder into signing over checks or other legal documents; and the improper misuse of power of attorney, guardianship, or conservatorship privileges.
Fraud Elder Abuse: In such instances the financial assets of the victim including money received from government agencies, retirement accounts and other funds in their possession. When such funds are entrusted to another it is improper to misappropriate or improperly use such monies for their un-intended purpose.
Neglect. Neglect is another form of elder abuse that can take many forms. Elder neglect can arise when the designated caretaker fails to render the proper level of care to his patient. Generally, such instances occur when the needs and wants of the patient are neglected. Such issues can cause emotional trauma, feelings of abandonment and possible physical harm for failure to administer proper medical care or treatment. When the caretaker either fails to remedy such concerns in a timely manner or appoints a caretaker who is not qualified to assist in such matters, then they can be held liable for injuries suffered. Neglect may include failing or refusing to provide the elder with food, water, clothing, shelter, personal hygiene, medicine, comfort or personal safety. Further, neglect may be in the form of monetary or fiduciary neglect, such as failing to pay for necessary home care services or medication.
Abandonment. Abandonment of an elder occurs when the caregiver simply deserts the elder.
In such instances our elder abuse attorney will recover for the theft of such funds, attorney fees and possible punitive damages. Call to get a free consultation with a experienced elder abuse attorney at 1-424-256-9055.
Home Care and Nursing Home
Nurse and Home Care Abuse
Abuse in the form of physical or sexual harm occurs in old age or convalescent homes and often goes un-noticed. Aside from criminal liabilities, such establishments or homes can face serious civil liabilities. When employees of such establishment fail to render proper aid or act in a manner which further such abuse both the employer and employee can be held liable for the harm.
Identifying Elder Abuse
Sadly, elder abuse and nursing home abuse has far less reporting rates than other types of abuse. This is due to several factors, such as shame or embarrassment by the victim, or the perpetrators ability to keep the elderly quiet. Other times, the elderly are simply muted or ignored, leaving them helpless in the face of abuse. Therefore, it is important to look for several physical and behavioral signs that might portend to one of the types of elder abuse mentioned above.
Signs of elder abuse include:
Improper, un-needed or prolonged restraint;
Shaking or beating victim;
Improperly dispensing medication; or
Medical neglect in the form of improper medical care
Failure to provide medical attention or care in a timely fashion;
Behavioral signs of elder abuse:
Elder patient is constantly angry or moody, especially where the behavior falls outside of normal behavior
Individual is unusually depressed
Nobody was informed about an existing injury
How Long Do I Have to File My Claim for Elderly Abuse?
Time requirements for filing your claim are subject to a number of different factors and are governed by applicable statute of limitations. However, victims can have up-to three or four years to file a claim for injuries. When there is a conscious disregard for the rights of the victim then a lawsuit can be a proper method of resolution. While each claim can be different these time limitations are subject to the type of injury suffered. It is important to have a qualified elder abuse attorney evaluate your claim and properly assess your damages.
Don’t Be a Victim Of Circumstance: Contact an Elder Abuse Attorney Today!
Elderly victims are often some of the most vulnerable in our society. They lack the means necessary to properly seek justice for the harm suffered. Many are left without proper legal representation which can cause delays in filing their case. Our Los Angeles personal injury law firm cares for the rights of the elderly and will aggressively fight for their representation. Our elder abuse attorney will make sure that your rights are protected and will take measures to alert the proper authorities and take all needed measures to ensure their future safety. For those who receive SSI or SDI benefits we will make sure that your settlement does not discontinue your benefits.
Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Attorney – Victims Right to Justice
Sexual abuse is one of the most traumatizing events that can take place for any person. According to the most recent statistics sexual assault crimes are increasing in nursing homes across the United States. Our elder abuse law firm has been approached on a number of different occasions with these types of cases. We wanted to inform our clients about their rights and steps to take. Read the following article to better understand your rights.
Who is Liable For Acts of Sexual Violence Against the Elderly in Nursing Homes and Long Term Care Facilities
Nursing homes, regardless of whether they are a skilled nursing facility or a convalescent home they will be liable. Sexual abuse can come in many different forms. It can be at the hands of staff or other patrons at the facility. Often times our loved ones are unable to vocalize the experience. Instead they deal with the trauma, which in many cases can occur for a sustained period of time. Moreover, in more serious cases elderly persons that suffer from dementia or other mental issues may not be able to recall the events.
In such cases it is the responsibility of the nursing home staff to monitor the behavior of their employees and guests. If they know that a particular person has a history of sexual assault or is likely to engage in such behavior they have a duty to stop them, or take measures to prevent it from happening. Nursing home facilities have a duty to oversee the care of those entrusted in their care. When they fail to provide a safe environment they will be liable for the injuries sustained.
However, not all cases involve other elderly patients. Sexual assault can also occur at the hands of the staff. This includes nurses and janitorial crew members. In certain cases parties are left un-monitored without proper security or staff to oversee the facilities elderly. As a result employees can engage in these types of acts, causing serious injury, both physically and psychologically.
If the attack takes place during work hours then the nursing home will be liable for the actions of their employee. It is required that they take proper measures including conducting background checks to avoid these types of issues from happening. If you are a victim of this type of crime contact a elder abuse attorney to help better understand your rights.
Contacting Law Enforcement – Sexual Abuse Police Reporting Duties
It is advisable to get law enforcement involved in any type of sexual assault case. Generally the reports provided by law enforcement are critical to your case and can help the value of the case substantially. Additionally police reports will help in better understanding how the events took place. Moreover, if you have police involvement in the case it will help in actually getting those responsible criminally liable.
However, you should keep in mind that police involvement has to be carefully monitored. Often times statements made to police can actually harm your case. If you are considering contacting the police make sure you know your rights to maximize the value of your case.
Filing a Sexual Abuse Claim – Getting Help for Your Case
Often times the legal process can be challenging and confusing. Our offices are here to help. We understand how difficult this time can be for you and your family and we are here to help. If you were hurt or your loved one was injured in a nursing home contact our offices for a free case evaluation.
We Fight To Recover Your Remedies
Based on the specifications of your case - the details of the accident, how severe your injury was, it is ultimately going to determine what you could be entitled to sustain based on your case. However, what you can be compensated for if your case prevails can often be put into several different categories.
The categories of compensation can include:
Medical bills: Should you win your case, you could be awarded compensation for medical bills you’ve had to pay as a result of your injury. This includes both past and future bills stemming from the injury, and can potentially cover expenses such as transport or in-home rehabilitation services.
Lost wages: Lost wages can be awarded if your injury has caused significant missed time at work, or has made you unable to perform your job. You could be entitled to even more lost wages if the injury leaves you permanently disabled and unable to find consistent work.
Pain and suffering: In some cases, the damages endured from physical pain and emotional suffering can be compensated to pay for therapy treatments.
Punitive damages: Punitive damages are awarded in more extreme cases, wherein the injury was caused by someone’s recklessness. They are awarded to try and dissuade the defendant and others from acting with that level of recklessness again.
You Don’t Pay Until You Win.
Contact a Los Angeles Elder Abuse Lawyer in Los Angeles to schedule a free, no obligation initial case evaluation at 1-424-256-9055. Our Personal Injury Attorneys in Los Angeles will help protect your rights. And remember, You Don’t Pay until You Win, or You Don’t Pay At All!
Lawyer Referral Service
If you are in a need a Los Angeles Elder Abuse Lawyer to help you get appropriate compensation and medical care you deserve, you should contact an auto accident lawyer today. Our experienced Elder Abuse Lawyer in Los Angeles will help you overcome your Elder Abuse Lawyer injury or damage.
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