Nursing Home Abuse in California
Has an elderly loved one recently suffered unexplained injuries or bruises? Does your family member no longer want to be left alone with particular staff at the nursing home? These and other unusual behavior can be signs of nursing home abuse. As soon as you suspect someone may be a victim of abuse, you should hire a California nursing home abuse attorney.
Types of California Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse and elder abuse can be further broken down into several categories. These include:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Psychological or mental abuse
- Financial abuse
- Verbal abuse
There are many possible signs of nursing home abuse, and they'll vary according to the specific type of abuse, but warning signs include:
- Weight loss
- Unexplained bruises or injuries
- Broken bones
- Unexplained changes in behavior, including appearing withdrawn or depressed
- Poor hygiene
- Abrupt change in finances
- An increase in arguments between a loved one and caregiver, or the appearance of a tense relationship
If you see any of these signs of possible elder abuse, you should quickly contact a California nursing home abuse lawyer, while also taking immediate steps to safeguard your family member.
Legal Options for California Nursing Home Abuse Victims
Abuse, battery, sexual assault and theft are all crimes, regardless of the age of the victim. But law enforcement is particularly concerned when the victim is elderly.
California elder abuse can be reported to the local law enforcement agency, your county's Adult Protective Services agency and the California Attorney General Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse.
Nursing home abuse, in particular, can also be reported to the Licensing and Certification Program of the California Department of Health Services or the Long-Term Care Ombudsman's Office of the California Department of Aging.
Even if law enforcement takes immediate action, California nursing home abuse attorneys will be able to offer the victim and victim's family some additional assistance. Your lawyer can guide you through the process, help the victim prepare for law enforcement interviews and depositions, and accompany the victim to court.
How California Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Can Help You
Your California nursing home abuse lawyers can also help the victim pursue a civil case against the abuser. A civil lawsuit allows the victim to collect compensation—known as damages—from the abuser. (Even if the abuser is found guilty in a criminal case and pays fines, the government keeps that money; it is not paid to the abuse victim.)
California nursing home abuse victims should pursue civil lawsuits against their abusers regardless of the outcome of any criminal cases. Even if an abuser is found not guilty in a criminal court, the abuser may still win a civil lawsuit. That's because there is a different standard in civil courts, where a judge or jury judges the preponderance of the evidence rather than the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard in criminal cases.
A nursing home abuse attorney in California can explain the requirements for a civil lawsuit, review the specifics of your situation and provide an estimate of how much the victim might to collect in damages.
Find & Hire a California Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
There are several reasons to hire a California elder abuse attorney as soon as you suspect that a loved one may be an abuse victim. First, your lawyer can help guide you through the process of reporting the abuse to law enforcement authorities and help ensure the report gets the attention it deserves. Next, your attorney can help make sure your family member remains safe in his or her nursing home and isn't the victim of retaliation. Finally, a nursing home abuse lawyer in California can file a civil lawsuit against the abuser.
If you're ready to hire a California elder abuse lawyer, then you've come to the right website. Attorneys.com offers a free service that can connect you with California elder abuse attorneys in your area, whether you live in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego or elsewhere in the state. Call us at 877-913-7222 or fill out the form on this page. After asking you a few basic questions, we'll quickly connect you with a local nursing home abuse attorney.