legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Anaheim Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
All nursing homes must take reasonable measures to ensure that their patients are given the proper care and attention they need. Part of this responsibility is establishing systems to prevent nursing home abuse.
Unfortunately, not all nursing homes have zero-tolerance policies against elder abuse. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), rates of elder abuse are high in senior care facilities, with 2 out of 3 staff admitting that they have committed abuse towards residents in the past year (2022).
If your elderly loved one was the victim of nursing home abuse, reach out to an Anaheim nursing home abuse lawyer immediately. The California nursing home abuse attorneys have handled cases where elderly people are victims of conditions that lead to harm, injury, or even death.
Call our nursing home abuse attorneys at (800) 926-7565 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.How Does the Law Define Nursing Home Abuse?
California law defines nursing home abuse as any action that might cause an older person or a dependent adult to experience physical harm or mental anguish.
The law states that depriving an elderly person of the goods and services they need to avoid mental suffering counts as abuse. Financial exploitation or theft from an elderly person or dependent adult is also part of the definition.
According to California Penal Code 368, a person that willfully causes an elderly individual to suffer unreasonable pain or suffering, or puts their health at risk, commits a crime that could be punishable by a jail sentence to the furthest extent of the law.
Types of Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes
Nursing home abuse encompasses many types of mistreatment, including:
- Physical Abuse: Hitting, kicking, slapping, or committing intentional bodily harm to a nursing home resident is considered physical assault. Due to the frailty of most nursing home residents, any type of physical violence can be devastating.
- Emotional or Psychological Abuse: This type of elder abuse often involves swearing, yelling, insulting, and threatening harm. Older adults exposed to this kind of abuse become withdrawn and may experience mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression.
- Sexual Abuse: Defined as unwanted sexual contact, sexual abuse of the elderly is, unfortunately, something that still happens in nursing homes. Sexual abuse can include groping, forced masturbation, or rape.
- Neglect: Nursing home workers are responsible for caring for residents’ health and well-being. It is considered neglect when they fail to provide the minimum standard of care expected of them. Examples of neglect include failing to provide adequate nutrition, necessary medical care, hygiene care, and supervision.
- Deliberate Medical Harm: In some nursing home abuse cases, victims suffer intentional medical harm from nursing home staff. For example, a facility nurse may administer drugs for their own convenience, not the patient’s (e.g., giving unnecessary sleeping medication).
- Financial Abuse: Elderly people could be victimized by financial extortion in a nursing home. Misappropriating patient funds, stealing valuables, and making fraudulent purchases on a patient’s credit card are considered financial nursing home abuse.
Nursing home operators and owners must ensure that all of their workers do not engage in abusive or neglectful behavior towards patients. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse still happens due to various factors including:
- Lack of Employee Qualifications and Background Checks: Failure to hire qualified nursing home employees contributes to nursing home abuse. Similarly, the lack of thorough background checks puts residents at risk for abusive or neglectful behavior from employees.
- Understaffing: A disproportionate number of employees to patients often leads to neglect, which may be unintentional. When the staff is stretched too thin, there is simply not enough time or people to care for everyone.
- Lack of Employee Training: All nursing homes must train their staff before allowing them to work independently in the nursing home. Lack of training can lead to neglect or improper behavior towards residents.
- Employee Dissatisfaction: Disgruntled employees may vent their frustration to nursing home residents. This behavior often stems from low pay, bad management, and a lack of benefits.
An elderly person is more prone to severe injuries and mental distress from abuse. The following are the possible consequences of nursing home abuse on a resident:
- Physical Injuries: No matter how minor, preventable injuries should never happen in a nursing home. Nursing home abuse cases often involve older adults suffering unnecessary injuries from the actions of another, potentially leading to other medical problems.
- Mental and Emotional Distress: Psychological and emotional abuse may have a more lasting impact on the elderly because of their isolation from their families. Victims of these types of abuse may take a long time to recover or never recover at all.
- Loss of Quality of Life: A person who experiences abuse may experience reduced quality of life, regardless of the type of abuse involved. For nursing home patients, abuse can take away their joy, will to live, and independence.
- Premature Death: A nursing home abuse can cause sudden death, mainly when serious injuries occur. Elder abuse can cut their lives unnecessarily shorter.
- The anguish of the Family: When a patient becomes the victim of abuse, their families experience the mental and emotional distress of knowing their elderly loved one was hurt.
- Expenses: Nursing home abuse can also lead to monetary losses when the victim’s family must pay for treatment of their loved one’s injuries.
The first step to alert authorities involves contacting the local Orange County Ombudsman who handles complaints about councils, authorities, and organizations, including nursing home facilities. The service is free, independent, and unbiased.
However, local ombudsmen have no enforcement or disciplinary power. They simply investigate, facilitate, and put the mediation process in motion without bias. They can also criticize organizations and recommend changes that may be published in public reports.Filing an Anaheim Nursing Home Abuse Case
Nursing home abuse attorneys can help families take the case to court if needed. If you decide against a lawsuit, a nursing home abuse lawyer can help you negotiate settlement values with the defendant’s party to resolve a compensation claim.
To build a strong case, you must obtain all necessary evidence to prove abuse, neglect, negligence, or all of the above. Forms of evidence in a nursing home abuse case can include:
- Documentation of unsafe living conditions
- Documentation of your loved one’s injuries
- Medical records to show physical harm and psychological or mental trauma
- Medical bills
- Proof of stolen funds, if applicable
- Surveillance photo or video evidence of the abuse
- Eyewitness accounts
- Expert testimony
A nursing home abuse attorney can help you collect the evidence you need to prove liability, abuse, and neglect in senior living facilities. Contact an Anaheim nursing home abuse attorney at our law firm by calling (800) 926-7565.
If your loved one suffered abuse in a nursing home or long-term care facility, your family can seek legal compensation from the parties at fault, be they employees, operators, or the management. An Anaheim nursing home abuse lawyer can help you recover the following damages:
- Medical Expenses: By taking legal action against the defendant, you could recover funds paying medical bills. These costs may include hospitalization, medication, surgery, therapy, and emergency transportation.
- Pain and Suffering: An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you seek compensation for the pain and suffering that the abuse has caused your loved one and other family members.
- Disability: If your loved one became permanently disabled from their injuries, you could also sue for mobility aids, physical therapy, loss of quality of life, and other damages associated with living with a disability.
- Loss of Income: Family members often miss work to care for their abused loved ones. If this happens, you could recover lost income from attending to your abused family member.
- Punitive Damages: Nursing home abuse lawyers may include punitive damages in victims’ claims to punish those accountable for the abuse or neglect.
When claims are filed against nursing homes, the defendants usually offer settlements to resolve the case out of court. Personal injury lawyers can help clients negotiate settlement values to ensure that families and their abused loved ones obtain the compensation they deserve. Nevertheless, having an attorney is crucial to success.
If the parties fail to negotiate a settlement, the case may move onto a court trial, through a civil lawsuit. However, taking the case to trial never ensured a successful outcome for either side. Hence, most nursing home personal injury cases typically settle out of court.
Contact our legal team at (800) 926-7565 for immediate legal help. Our Anaheim nursing home abuse lawyers can help you determine the best course of action to resolve the case as quickly as possible.
Do You Have to File a Civil Case?
A civil case will allow your family to seek financial compensation for the abuse of your loved one. Jurors at trial could award punitive damages to punish defendants whose actions that harmed the victim were egregious.
Reporting the abuse alerts local law enforcement or senior care organizations about the mistreatment in the facility and could prompt an investigation. If there is enough evidence, local law enforcement may file criminal charges against the nursing home or the individual at fault.Hiring an Experienced Anaheim Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Residents in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and long-term care facilities deserve proper care, respect, and treatment. If the facility fails to do that or intentionally causes harm to their patients, the at-fault party should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
Do you have suspicions that a loved one is a victim of neglect, abuse, or mistreatment while residing in a nursing facility? An affiliate Anaheim nursing home abuse lawyer at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC can provide immediate legal advice.
Our personal injury attorneys offer free consultations to all clients in the Anaheim area and Orange County.
Our reputable Southern California nursing home abuse lawyers’ extensive experience is available to discuss the merits of your compensation claim. Our personal injury attorneys can also answer many of your questions, which may include:
- “Who can be held legally responsible for what occurred to my loved one in a nursing center?”
- “Do family members and loved ones have a winnable case against the nursing staff, administrator nursing facility based on mistreatment?”
- “What do I do if we only suspect a loved one has been injured through abuse, neglect, or mistreatment to protect their legal rights?”
- “Is there a statute of limitations on the amount of time I can file a complaint or lawsuit against the nursing facility? Can a personal injury lawyer help me file my case in time?”
- “Should I hire an Anaheim personal injury lawyer to settle my case or present evidence in front of a judge to receive financial compensation?”
Contact our affiliate Anaheim nursing home abuse lawyers at (800) 926-7565 (toll-free phone number) to schedule your free case review to discuss a nursing home abuse case.
Our attorneys handle all accepted personal injury cases on contingency fee arrangements. This agreement ensures our legal fees are paid after your nursing home abuse attorney negotiates an acceptable out-of-court settlement or wins your case in a lawsuit trial.