California recognizes that adults, age 65 and older, are vulnerable and can be subject to neglect or abuse by those charged with the responsibility to take care of them. The prosecution of elder abuse cases involves complex medical and legal issues. If your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect by a care giver, you need a trial lawyer who specializes in this area to maximize the compensation your loved one deserves. Our team includes people who have worked in the field, as well as a trial lawyer who is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Less than 1% of all lawyers in California belong to this group because it is limited to those who have significant trial experience.
Elder Abuse Law
Every adult, age 65 and older, who is being care for by another is afforded certain protections under the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act. The Act includes many statutes designed to protect elders from abuse or neglect. Violators of these statutes are subject to civil liability and, in some cases, criminal liability. Neglect under the Act means the negligent failure of any person having the care or custody of an elder adult to exercise that degree of care that a reasonable person in a like position would exercise. Neglect includes such things as the failure to provide medical care for physical and mental health needs or the failure to protect an elder from health and safety hazards. Similar to neglect, abuse under the Act includes such things as physical abuse or deprivation by a care custodian of goods or services that are necessary to avoid physical harm or mental suffering.
Examples of Elder Abuse or Neglect
In handling elder abuse claims, we have seen many different acts or omissions of abuse. Some of the more common acts or omissions that constitute abuse or neglect includes the following:
(1) Failure to assist in personal hygiene, or in the provision of food, clothing, or shelter.
(2) Failure to provide medical care for physical and mental health needs. No person shall be deemed neglected or abused for the sole reason that he or she voluntarily relies on treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone in lieu of medical treatment.
(3) Failure to protect from health and safety hazards.
(4) Failure to prevent malnutrition or dehydration.
(5) Failure of an elder or dependent adult to satisfy the needs specified in paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive, for himself or herself as a result of poor cognitive functioning, mental limitation, substance abuse, or chronic poor health.
An elder who has been abused or neglected may be entitled to the following damages:
-Pain and Suffering;
-Anxiety and Mental Suffering;
-Past and Future Medical Expenses.
And in cases involving the death of an elder, the family may be entitled to recover damages.
Help with Elder Abuse or Neglect Claims
If you suspect your loved one has been abused or neglected it is imperative that it be reported. You may contact the facility “ombudsman” (an official appointed to investigate complaints) to report instances of abuse or neglect. The contact information should be provided by the facility. In addition, your loved one has every right to make a claim in cases of abuse or neglect. Our firm can help your loved one receive the compensation he or she deserves.