Pursuing Responsible Parties for Nursing Home Abuse
We should expect the highest standards from nursing homes that are responsible for caring for elderly and disabled adults.
California law echoes these types of expectations as they require nursing homes to follow strict duties from those in charge to provide efficient care.
However, the fact remains there are some nursing homes and assisted living centers that are understaffed and badly managed, which exposes victims to:
- abuse and neglect,
- emotional suffering,
- physical injuries, and
- even death.
California is home to millions of senior citizens. Experts suggest the number of seniors in the state will rise substantially in the coming years.
Experts predict that California's senior citizen population will grow three times as fast as the total population. As many seniors flock to California, the demand for nursing homes is on the rise.
Unfortunately, some nursing homes fall short of fulfilling their promise to care for our elders.
A comprehensive review article revealed the rate of elder abuse in the United States is roughly 10 percent. Many seniors experience physical abuse and neglect by their trusted caregivers.
If your loved one experienced nursing home abuse or neglect, you need to consult with our experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorneys. We help clients recover compensation for senior citizens.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect California Law
The Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Projection Act prohibits nursing home neglect and abuse on senior citizens age 65 or older, which states "any person who has assumed full or intermittent responsibility for the care of an elder" to be a mandated reporter of abuse.
Caretakers must report suspected abuse that results in injury to law enforcement, a local ombudsman, and the corresponding licensing agency within two hours.
Penal Code 368 includes specific language on criminal charges of elder abuse, which bars the following willful acts:
- causing or permitting any elder to suffer;
- inflicting unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering;
- causing or permitting the person or health of the elder to be injured;
- causing or permitting an elder's health to be endangered.
Forms of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
California Welfare and Institutions Code 15610.07 defines abuse of an elder as:
- physical abuse, neglect, abandonment, isolation, abduction, or other treatment with resulting physical harm or pain or mental suffering;
- the deprivation by a care custodian of goods or services that are necessary to avoid physical harm or mental suffering; and
- financial abuse.
Physical abuse includes assault, battery, sexual assault, and other harmful acts covered in WIC 15610.63.
WIC 15610.53 defines mental suffering as fear, agitation, confusion, severe depression, or emotional distress brought on by another.
WIC 15610.57 defines neglect as "the negligent failure of any person having the care or custody of an elder to exercise the degree of care that a reasonable person in a like position would exercise."
Neglect includes failing to provide food, shelter, clothing, medical care, or personal hygiene assistance.
How to Respond to Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
If you suspect a senior you know experienced abuse or neglect, you should consult an experienced nursing home abuse attorney, who can help you file a lawsuit against the nursing home facility.
An experienced Los Angeles injury attorney will also help you report the abuse to the necessary departments, such as the California Department of Aging or the Long-Term Care Ombudsman.
You will also need to file a police report to detail the abuse or neglect. Filing these reports ensures experts investigate the abuse or neglect and that you have court documentation.
In many cases of nursing home abuse and neglect, families recovered compensatory damages.
California Civil Code 3333.2(b) explains which damages you can recover for injuries caused by health care providers. These include losses to compensate for:
- pain and suffering,
- physical impairment,
You can recover compensation for things like medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, and even attorney fees.
California also allows people to recover "nonpecuniary" damages up to $250,000. These damages are non-economic, such as the lost quality of life and emotional trauma.
An attorney can also advise you on pursuing criminal charges against a nursing home or individual care provider. Those found guilty of elder abuse and neglect face time in prison and fines.
Personal Injury Lawyer for California Nursing Home Abuse Cases
Many innocent seniors experience abuse and neglect at the hands of those who promise to provide them care. In many cases, seniors who are victims of nursing home abuse and neglect cannot advocate for themselves.
Often, the families and loved ones must protect nursing home residents and help them achieve justice.
California takes nursing home abuse and neglect violations seriously. By pursuing litigation, you can punish abusers and recover compensation.
While no amount of compensation can right this wrong, it can help you provide for the victim and get them the care they need.
We are dedicated to protecting seniors who have been victimized by their nursing homes.
Our firm has a team of experts who can investigate wrongdoings and seek legal justice for elder abuse and neglect. Having a lawyer by your side gives you the best opportunity for success in your lawsuit.
Our top-rated personal injury attorneys serve victims of nursing home abuse throughout Southern California, including Los Angeles County, Orange County, Santa Barbara County, Ventura County, Riverside, and San Bernardino.
We are located at 1999 Avenue of the Stars, 11th Fl., Los Angeles, CA 90067. Our main office is in the San Fernando Valley area at 14401 Sylvan St #112 Van Nuys, CA 91401.
Call us at (818) 781-1570 to request a free case review.