California Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Lawyers

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The Prevalence of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in California

California is not insulated from the national crisis. Despite state and federal laws intended to protect vulnerable residents in nursing homes, understaffing causes many homes to fall short of providing adequate care.

Inspectors with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found serious deficiencies and violations at 306 (26 percent) of California’s 1200 nursing care facilities, defects which resulted in substandard care. It has been estimated that one out of three California nursing homes fails to provide the required minimum of 3.2 nursing hours to each patient every day.

Meanwhile, the need for long-term care services will only keep increasing. According to the California Department of Aging, the state population aged 60 years and over is expected to grow more than three times as fast as the total population in the next four decades, and this growth will vary by region.

Contact Nursing Home Law Center LLC today to be connected with a California nursing home abuse attorney who can help you protect your loved one’s rights and safety.

Laws Protecting Nursing Home Residents in California

California has enacted laws designed to protect the welfare of older adults including those residing in nursing homes, primarily through the Welfare and Institutions Code and the Health and Safety Code.

  • Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Abuse Civil Protection Act (California Welfare & Institutions Code, §§15630-15632)
  • Protective Placement and Custody of Endangered Adults (California Welfare & Institutions Code, §15700, et al) provides for emergency protective custody of a vulnerable adult suspected of being the victim of neglect or abuse. When abuse resulting in physical harm is suspected, it must be reported as soon as possible to local law enforcement authorities.
  • Mello-Granlund Older Californians Act provides for state long-term care ombudsmen who are charged with investigating reports of abuse and monitoring the care and treatment of adults 60 or older in nursing homes and other residential care facilities.
  • California Health and Safety Code (§1250(c)) maintains that nursing homes are supposed to provide continuous “skilled and supportive care” to residents. Because of their vulnerable state, elders in nursing homes are required to receive 24-hour inpatient care, proper nutrition, medical services, exercise, and activity services.

A California nursing home negligence attorney can help you pursue remedies for violations of any of these laws. If you suspect your loved one has been the victim of abuse in a California nursing home, attorney James M. Morgan, Esq. and our other California nursing home abuse attorneys can investigate your concerns and help ensure your loved one is safe. Call (800) 926-7565 toll-free for a no-obligation consultation.

California Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Attorneys

Entrusting the care of a loved one to a nursing home can be a difficult decision for a family to make. When you have to take that step, you expect that the nursing home staff will strive to provide the best care and protection possible to your loved one. You never expect to learn they have suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing facility. Unfortunately, as the U.S. population ages and the understaffed nursing care industry struggles to maintain professional standards in the face of growing need, poor treatment of patients continues to be a largely hidden problem.

While the exact prevalence of nursing home abuse and neglect nationwide remains unknown, experts believe it to be quite pervasive. The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) and the Centers for Disease Control have concluded that due to challenges involved in gathering accurate data and deficiencies with state reporting, the vast majority of abuse likely goes unreported. But the statistics that are known are sobering:

  • Most victims of elder abuse tend to be female
  • Victims of elder abuse are three times more likely to be admitted to a hospital than aged persons who are not abused
  • Older people who experience even modest levels of abuse have a 300 percent higher risk of death compared to those who have not been abused

Was your loved one injured, neglected, abused, or did they die unexpectedly from mistreatment while living at a California nursing facility? If so, we invite you to contact the California nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Nursing Home Law Center today. Let us begin the process of obtaining compensation on your behalf to ensure your family receives the monetary recovery you deserve.

Federal Laws Governing Nursing Home Care

Elderly Woman in California Nursing HomeThe U.S. Congress has enacted several laws designed to protect vulnerable elderly patients, which apply to all long-term care facilities in the United States.

  • The Nursing Home Reform Act was passed in 1987 to establish basic standards of care for nursing home residents, as well as set forth fundamental rights. These include, among others, the right to be free from abuse, mistreatment and neglect; to be granted privacy; to be treated with dignity; and to make certain decisions. Nursing facilities may not fail to accommodate the medical, physical, psychological, or social needs of their patients.
  • The Long-Term Care Ombudsman program created a network of advocates for nursing home residents in each state who investigate and attempt to resolve specific complaints involving abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a resident.
Laws Protecting Nursing Home Residents in California

California has enacted laws designed to protect the welfare of older adults including those residing in nursing homes, primarily through the Welfare and Institutions Code and the Health and Safety Code.

  • Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Abuse Civil Protection Act (California Welfare & Institutions Code, §§15630-15632)
  • Protective Placement and Custody of Endangered Adults (California Welfare & Institutions Code, §15700, et al) provides for emergency protective custody of a vulnerable adult suspected of being the victim of neglect or abuse. When abuse resulting in physical harm is suspected, it must be reported as soon as possible to local law enforcement authorities.
  • Mello-Granlund Older Californians Act provides for state long-term care ombudsmen who are charged with investigating reports of abuse and monitoring the care and treatment of adults 60 or older in nursing homes and other residential care facilities.
  • California Health and Safety Code (§1250(c)) maintains that nursing homes are supposed to provide continuous “skilled and supportive care” to residents. Because of their vulnerable state, elders in nursing homes are required to receive 24-hour inpatient care, proper nutrition, medical services, exercise, and activity services.

A California nursing home negligence attorney can help you pursue remedies for violations of any of these laws. If you suspect your loved one has been the victim of abuse in a California nursing home, attorney James M. Morgan, Esq. and our other California nursing home abuse attorneys can investigate your concerns and help ensure your loved one is safe. Call (800) 926-7565 toll-free for a no-obligation consultation.

California Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Serve Victims of Bed Sores, Falls, and Medication Errors

The staff at a nursing facility is responsible for providing every patient a professional level of care at all times, and when they deviate from that standard it can result in numerous health hazards. Following are some of the most common and preventable consequences of neglect in nursing homes, which can all lead to potentially life-threatening injury:

  • Pressure sores (also known as bed sores, pressure ulcers, or decubitus ulcers) are a common occurrence for wheelchair-bound or bedridden patients who are limited in their mobility. A bed sore can develop in as little as a few hours when the patient cannot reposition their body to alleviate pressure on specific areas. Without proper treatment, the sore can rapidly deteriorate into a life-threatening wound.
  • Preventing bed sores is simple and merely requires the staff to follow routine protocols involving cleanliness, nutrition, and adjusting the patient’s body position on a regular basis. Because of this, the nursing staff, physicians, and the facility itself can all be held accountable for negligence if the patient develops a pressure sore.

    Information about bed sore treatment specialists can be found here. To learn more about the types of compensation available in California bed sore cases and monetary damages obtained, see this page.

  • Falls are among the most common, and often costly, accidents that occur in the nursing home environment. In fact, falls are the leading cause of death among patients over the age of 65 nationwide. Elderly persons are at risk of falling as a result of the natural aging process and associated medical conditions, and nursing home patients are at greater risk for falls than elderly persons living on their own.
  • A leading cause of serious falls in nursing homes is dropped patients, or when patients are dropped by staff while being transferred between beds and wheelchairs or being helped into and out of toilet/bath facilities. All nursing home falls can cause tragic injuries including broken bones, severe abrasions, concussions and other brain injury leading to permanent mental damage, permanent disabilities, and even death.

    Nursing facilities must take every reasonable step to make sure the existing risk of falls is not compounded by a disregard for safety. They are liable for fall-related injuries if the fall resulted from inadequate supervision, safety hazards, dropped patients or other negligence. Sample monetary damages obtained against California nursing homes can be found here.

  • Medication errors result in some of the most easily preventable injuries in nursing homes. While the consequences are usually not life-threatening, some medications have the potential to cause serious and even deadly harm if not administered properly.
  • There is a chain of individuals involved in the process by which a medication is prescribed, filled, and administered to a patient. If there is an error in any part of the chain, disaster can result. The prescribing physician may be overworked and rushed, the pharmacist may fill the prescription incorrectly, and caregivers in understaffed facilities may give patients medications in the wrong form, at the wrong times, or in incorrect dosages.

    Our California nursing home negligence attorneys will conduct a thorough investigation to determine which party in the chain of responsibility is liable for your loved one’s injuries, and advise you on your legal options.

  • Deliberate abuse — As horrible as it is to think about, elderly nursing home residents are uniquely susceptible to physical abuse. They are dependent, vulnerable, and incapable of defending themselves. Helpless nursing home patients are often victimized by fellow residents, outside visitors, and most egregiously, the very caregivers and staff members who are paid to look out for their welfare.
  • According to a 2010 national study reported by NCEA, over 50 percent of nursing home staff admitted to inflicting physical violence, mental abuse, or neglect on patients within the prior year, with neglect accounting for two-thirds of those incidents. However, experts believe that resident-on-resident abuse is the most common form of abuse in nursing homes.

    Nursing homes have a duty to keep residents safe from violence and other abuse, and if they shirk that responsibility, they should be held accountable. Many victims of nursing home abuse remain silent out of embarrassment or fear, so it is important that you recognize the signs of abuse and act to protect your loved one.

If you believe your loved one has suffered any of these preventable injuries because the nursing staff was negligent in their duties, it is crucial that you consult a California nursing home abuse lawyer who can take quick legal steps to stop the mistreatment and ensure your loved one receives the best care from trained medical professionals. Call our California nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers for a free consultation today.

Call (800) 926-7565 Toll-Free for a No Obligation Consultation
Pursuing a California Wrongful Death Action

Tragically, death sometimes results from an infected bed sore, fall, medical error, or other preventable consequence of negligent nursing home care. In many cases, the deceased patient suffers great pain and discomfort before their demise.

No patient in a medical facility should ever die from a preventable injury. When negligence is involved, the surviving family members are entitled to take legal action including filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the facility responsible for their loved one’s death.

Nursing Home Law Center LLC seeks justice for victims of nursing home neglect and abuse in California. Our fees are paid only when we secure a positive financial outcome in your wrongful death lawsuit for a loved one who died of nursing home negligence. Contact us today to discuss your case with a compassionate and experienced California nursing home abuse attorney.

Speak With a California Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Now

Vulnerable seniors should not have to suffer because a nursing home may be understaffed or underfunded. These issues impact the quality of care that your loved one ultimately receives, and a California nursing home law firm can root out the problems involved in their care. If you believe your loved one may be at risk of harm from nursing home abuse or neglect, it is critical that you speak with a California nursing home lawyer immediately.

Our attorneys are available to help families throughout California in such locations as:

The skilled California nursing home abuse attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center LLC can explain your legal options and help you obtain financial recompense for family members suffering injuries caused by negligent nursing home staff.

State Resources for Victims of California Nursing Home AbuseCalifornia Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit Damages Caps

The California legislature has imposed a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages that may be awarded in lawsuits for nursing home negligence and other personal injury. Non-economic damages generally encompass pain and suffering, diminished quality of life, stress, and other injuries without definite expenses.

Economic damages (which include lost earnings, medical care, and rehabilitation costs among others) are not limited by statute.

(California Civil Code §3333.2; California Code of Civil Procedure §667.7)

California Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Valuations

Our attorneys have compiled data from settlements and jury verdicts across California to give you an idea as to how cases are valued.

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Client Reviews
★★★★★
Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
★★★★★
After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric