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Elder Abuse & Nursing Home Neglect

shutterstock_73696762San Diego Elder Abuse Lawyer Nursing Home
California nursing home and elder abuse can take on many forms, including physical and mental abuse and neglect.  Elderly residents often rely on caretakers to help with their daily needs.  When neglected, they can be entirely helpless – an unfortunate situation that can lead to injuries or death.  We have made it our personal and professional mission to protect California seniors from injuries in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Click here for tips on how to report elder abuse.  Click here for your free consultation with our nursing home abuse lawyers.  If you need an elder abuse attorney or an elder neglect lawyer in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, or Imperial Counties or elsewhere in Northern California or Southern California, we are here to help.  Our award-winning lawyers have experience with these types of cases.  We understand the intricate elder-abuse laws and can handle some of the most complicated and challenging nursing-home-neglect cases in California.

What Are Common Examples of Abuse?

  • Malnutrition or dehydration
  • Lack of supervision of the caregivers, nurses, and aids
  • Incorrect medication dosage; failure to monitor medications
  • Overmedicating the patient to gain control over them
  • Dispensing medications without prescriptions
  • Use of restraints
  • Kissing, fondling, or behaving inappropriately with an older patient
  • Untrained, unlicensed, or unsupervised staff
  • Inadequate staffing ratio of caregivers to patients
  • Not enough hours spent on each patient

What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?

  • Bedsores, ulcers, sepsis
  • Falls, broken bones, sprains
  • Unexpected bruises, scratches, or cuts
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Signs of malnourishment or dehydration
  • Behavioral changes or wandering
  • Signs of excessive drugging
  • Unusual behavior (sucking, biting, rocking etc.)
  • Torn or bloody clothes
  • Sexual abuse
  • STDs
  • Intense fear
  • Unsafe living conditions

Elder Abuse Statistics

According to the National Center of Elder Abuse (“NCEA”), elder abuse is a growing problem.  Reportedly, over half a million complaints of abuse against elderly Americans are made to authorities every year.  Millions more go unreported.  It is estimated that over 6 million of incidents of abuse occur each year.  Strikingly, more than 11% of these incidents occur in California!  In other words, California has the worst problem with elder abuse in the country, accounting for the largest share of all abuse incidents in America.

California Elder Abuse Laws

shutterstock_39734521California Welfare & Institutions Code § 15610.07 defines elder abuse as:  “(a) Physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction, or other treatment with resulting physical harm or pain or mental suffering” or “(b) The deprivation by a care custodian of goods or services that are necessary to avoid physical harm or mental suffering.”  California laws provide steep damages and penalties to the victims of elder abuse and neglect and their families.

In addition, California Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act protects our most vulnerable population against abuse and neglect.  It makes nursing home abuse a statutory violation, allows for recovery of medical expenses, and provides for pain and suffering and punitive damages.  This law is a powerful call to all the Skilled Nursing Facilities (“SNFs” or “nursing homes”), Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (“RCFEs”), Independent Elder Facilities, Assisted Living Facilities, Adult Day Care Facilities / Programs (“ADC”), Developmentally Disabled Adult Care Facilities, Acute Care Facilities (Hospitals), Hospices, Intermediate or Step-Down Facilities, Hospice Care, and In-Home Healthcare providers in California.

Should I Report the Abuse?

Whether you are a responsible caregiver, a relative, or an employee, you may have a legal duty to report abuse.  Failure to report suspected abuse may be a crime, and California has mandatory reporting requirements that apply to many caregivers.  By law, your employer cannot prevent you from reporting the abuse, and you can be held individually responsible if a report is not made.  Unfortunately, the experts estimate that for every reported case of elder abuse, five or more cases go unreported.  If you suspect or observe the signs of abuse, you should contact the authorities and talk to an experienced elder-abuse attorney immediately.

Why Hire Us?

shutterstock_115740031We handle some of the most difficult elder-abuse cases in California.  We have an in-depth knowledge of complex California elder-abuse laws and can handle even the most challenging and egregious cases.  In addition, our team has developed an intricate understanding of the Health and Safety Code regulations and other laws, which protect our elders and dependent adults.

Most recently, one of our attorneys has worked on a highly-publicized 2010 class action in which the jury awarded a stunning $671 million verdict against a skilled nursing facility.  In that case, Natalie Prescott served as one of the appellate counsel of record for the defense, evaluating some of the complex California regulations involving staffing violations and required hours of nursing care per patient per day.

Our Mission:  Protect California Seniors

Oleg_Meals on WheelsWe have a long and proud history of serving California’s older residents.  From delivering meals to the San Diego seniors; to supporting the Red Cross, Meals on Wheels, and the Food Bank; to providing free counseling to victims of physical and financial abuse, we have devoted many years to making the lives of our seniors better.  And, in addition to our busy nursing-home-abuse litigation practice, we have represented numerous elderly clients for free in a variety of pro bono matters.  Among others, we have provided free legal assistance to the victims of Hurricane Katrina and to the survivors of the Holocaust in recovering compensation they rightly deserve.

At Cross Prescott APC, we have a strong belief that we must protect those who are most vulnerable.  To that end, our Elder Abuse practice exists to help our aging population and their families.  Entrusting the care of a loved one to someone else is one of the most difficult and challenging decisions.  If that caregiver later turns out to be dishonest, abusive, or dangerous to the health and well-being of your family member, our goal is to stop the abuse, to ensure that they are punished for their wrongdoing, and to make your family whole again.  We are compassionate and caring, and we are here to help you and your family recover from this very difficult time.  We will aggressively pursue the wrongdoers until you are rightly compensated for your losses.

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