Elder abuse and nursing home abuse is fast becoming a growing problem in our society. Due to the improved medical facilities and conditions, life expectancy has increased over the years. With the increasing life expectancy incidents of physical, emotional, and financial abuse of the elders are expected to grow unless the right measures are taken. It is important to detect and fight against any form of elder abuse or neglect.
California law protects elderly people against any form of mistreatment or abuse by nursing homes, family members, financial institutions, or any person.
The law protects against not only physical and emotional abuse and neglect but also any kind of financial abuse or fraudulent practices. Elder Abuse Lawyers in Los Angeles like Khashan Law protect and represent the victims of elder abuse and neglect.
In most instances, elderly abuse happens at nursing homes or the hands of trusted caregivers and financial advisers.
California Elder Abuse and Neglect Law
The California Legislature introduced the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act in 1982. At that time EADACPA or the Elder Abuse Act covered investigations related to the reporting of elder abuse and issues linked to elder abuse as a criminal offense.
The Legislature recognized that adults who are dependents could become victims of neglect, abuse, or abandonment. The state of California took the responsibility to protect these vulnerable individuals.
Under Penal Code 368 PC, the California law defines the crime of elder abuse as any form of physical or emotional abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of a person who is 65 years of age or above.
This abuse of neglect can be prosecuted as a crime or a felony and can carry punishment up to 4 years of jail or prison. Criminal elder abuse can be proved when a person is aware that the victim is an elder and knowingly causes or permits that elder to suffer or inflicts unwarrantable physical pain or mental suffering on the elder.
When an elderly person is knowingly placed in a situation in which their health is endangered can also be treated as criminal elder abuse.
According to Civil law, elder abuse is any form of physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction, or other treatment of an elderly person resulting in harm, pain or mental suffering.
Protecting Victims of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse can result in irreparable damages and losses, many of which have life-threatening consequences arising from mistreatment and neglect. Hiring experienced elder abuse lawyers in Los Angeles can help you win financial compensation which can be helpful to you and your family to cope with the loss. Your decision to pursue the case legally will also help protect others from similar abuse or neglect in the future.
Some of the common types of elder abuse are:
- Physical Abuse
Whether the elderly person is at a nursing home, at a long-term care facility, or availing in-home care facility, they can be victims of physical abuse in a number of ways. Physical abuse is meant to inflict direct pain or injuries to the elderly person and can include actions like punching, slapping, kicking, using excessive force or roughness while moving them or pushing them away etc.
- Psychological Abuse:
Many types of abuse may not be visible to the naked eye, apart from physical abuse, elderly people may be victims of emotional and psychological abuse. Emotional abuse may include inflicting mental anguish verbally or non-verbally by denying them their right to visitors, threatening them of physical harm if they don’t obey, humiliating them, threatening to deny them food and water or isolating them.
- Financial Abuse
Elderly people can be victims of financial abuse perpetrated by their own family members or caregivers or financial institutes. Any person who can access the financial accounts and personal information of the victim can commit several crimes like theft, embezzlement, identity theft, mortgage or credit card fraud etc.
When an elderly person’s will or power of attorney is changed suddenly or family heirlooms or jewelry are missing or sold away for very little value and when unwanted expensive items are purchased in the name of the victim these are signs of financial abuse.
Compensation for Los Angeles Elder Abuse Case
If you believe an elderly person in your family or someone whom you know has been abused by a caretaker or by a nursing home or by some family member, you can take help of an elder abuse lawyer in Los Angeles who can help in recovering compensation for the abuse suffered by the elderly person.
Below mentioned are some types of compensation which can be claimed under an elder abuse case:
- Compensation for any medical expenses and hospitalization arising due to the abuse
- Cost of emotional or psychological counseling required
- Cost of relocation to a new facility
- Damages for Pain, injuries, and sufferings
- Damages for loss of quality of life
- Punitive damages against a negligent caretaker or nursing home
The amount of compensation receivable varies depending on the conditions related to each situation. It can depend on the severity of the injuries and the amount of pain and suffering endured by the victim.
What is the time frame for filing a Los Angeles elder abuse case?
As per the California elder abuse and neglect law, there is a limited amount of time within which the lawsuit needs to be filed.
California personal injury statute of limitations requires the case to be filed within two years from the date of injury or abuse occurs.
Failing to file a lawsuit within the stipulated timeframe may result in the victim not being able to recover any compensation for their losses.
Get help from elder abuse attorney Los Angeles
If you or your loved one has been the victim of elder abuse or nursing home abuse, do not wait to take action. At Khashan Law Firm, we have been representing elder abuse victims for more than 25 years on a contingency fee basis.
If we are not able to obtain a settlement or compensation for you, we won’t take any fees from you. Our team of specialized elderly abuse attorneys and nursing home lawyers can protect you and take action against the responsible party. Contact us today at t (951) 461-2387 for a free, confidential consultation.