legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Oakland Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Abuse and mistreatment occurring in nursing facilities are pervasive problems throughout California. Statistics show that the top three nursing home abuse types are physical abuse, neglect, and emotional abuse.
Do you have an elderly loved one in a nursing home or long-term care facility? Recognizing the warning signs of abuse and how to fight back by contacting a nursing home abuse lawyer is essential.
The California nursing home abuse attorney network provides legal help to many victims of gross negligence injured by those in charge of providing their care.
Call our affiliate nursing home neglect attorneys at (800) 926-7565 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Tragically, the assisted-living homes and nursing facilities entrusted to provide quality care for loved ones often fail to offer proper care for their residents at their weakest and most vulnerable moments.
Let our network of personal injury lawyers protect your family's rights if you know of an elderly person mistreated, abused, injured, or died unexpectedly from personal injury while living in a rehab center in Oakland.Signs of Elder Abuse
The elderly are one of the single most vulnerable groups in our country. They sometimes have health problems and issues communicating, which means they can be susceptible to abuse and neglect, especially if no one is looking out for their best physical or financial interests.
While the effects that a loved one has suffered physical injuries are often noticeable, other types of abuse can be subtle and not as easy to distinguish.
Seniors being neglected or intentionally harmed are often reluctant to discuss their treatment for many reasons, including pride and fear of retribution. However, numerous signs can help family members recognize that an elder has been hurt or mistreated at their nursing home.
Below are some of the common warning signs that an elderly resident has suffered nursing home negligence or abuse:
- Bruises and marks
- Loss of personal property or money
- Signs of fear when certain nursing home staff members or other residents are around the victim
- Deteriorating health despite the nursing home insisting the victim receives medical attention.
- Bed sores, ulcers, rashes, and other skin disorders
- Withholding medical care
- Untreated physical injuries
If your loved has any of these signs listed above, act quickly and do not hesitate to report them. Soon after, you should speak with one of our affiliate Oakland nursing home abuse lawyers for a free consultation on your nursing home abuse case.
Far too many times, many residents of the Oakland nursing homes continue to suffer at the hands of a supposed caretaker because the warning signs were missed or ignored.Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Oakland nursing home senior residents could be victims of many forms of mistreatment. As a family member, it is vital to be aware of what is happening in the nursing home of your loved one.
Physical elder abuse is one of the most frequently reported forms of abusive conduct in Oakland nursing homes and elderly residential facilities and can involve a wide range of actions. The abuse might include physical force against the resident, resulting in personal injury.
The potential abuse may be evident to others, such as watching someone hitting an elderly person in front of other residents, or it can involve less apparent actions, like shaking a senior resident to get their attention.
Below are some examples of the multiple forms of abuse that may happen in a nursing facility:
- Pushing, shoving, or dragging
- Hitting or slapping
- Severe beatings
- The inappropriate use of restraints
- Force-feeding, and
- Improper administration of drugs by nursing home staff
Financial abuse is, unfortunately, a prevalent type of home neglect or abuse.
Typically, financial exploitation occurs when someone gains access to the resident’s financial bank accounts, assets, or property without authorization.
This type of abuse typically occurs with someone whom your family member trusts, like a caregiver, care facility, friend, another resident, etc.
Oakland nursing home staff members, visitors, family members, or other residents may develop a close relationship to access the person’s accounts and take advantage of the victim by:
- Cashing a check
- Stealing money from their wallet
- Forcing them to sign a financial document against their will
- Taking their belonging without permission
Check the accounts of your loved one and verify all estate documents are in order. Some scammers build such a strong bond with a dependent adult that the criminal can convince this person to change their will.
Emotional and Psychological Abuse
Emotional elder abuse is another recurring problem across the state’s care facilities and can significantly affect a victim. Victims of this form of abuse suffer intentional psychological anguish or pain resulting from verbal or nonverbal actions.
Unlike an incident of physical abuse, which can have immediate and obvious consequences, emotional or psychological abuse tends to be more prolonged, and its effects can be gradual yet residual and deeply traumatizing.
Examples of emotional elder abuse can include:
- Verbal harassment
- Verbal or written threats
Sexual abuse in their nursing home is common. Non-consensual sexual contact with your loved one could result in:
- Unexplained development of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or genital infection
- Pain or irritation of the genital areas from sexual contact
- Panic attacks from repeated sexual contact
- Having problems walking or sitting
If you recognize any signs and suspect sexual abuse, you should act quickly, call the authorities, and report it to the administrators.
Physical, emotional, and psychological abuse are nearly always intentional acts. Alternatively, nursing home neglect is a lack of action toward the senior citizens.
Most negligence incidents of the elderly involve a failure to:
- Provide medical care and medication
- Provide proper nutrition
- Provide prompt assistance or medical treatment
- Acknowledge complaints of pain
- Falls resulting in broken bones
Assisted living facilities are typically expensive, and loved ones expect them to provide a high level of care to the elderly. Sadly, that is often not the case.
The facilities are often short-staffed, either to save money or because the facility is poorly managed. When an assisted home facility does not have enough employees, the result is poor care for its residents.
Citizens who reside at assisted living facilities have the right to a certain number of hours of care by registered nurses, and some places cut back on these hours to save money. This practice results in resident seniors receiving inadequate and insubstantial care from tired and overworked nursing staff.
In some facilities, nurses’ aides provide the care that should be given by registered nurses, despite regulations.
Practices like those mentioned above could result in neglect or abuse of senior citizens not receiving the attention they need and deserve.
When nursing homes are understaffed, their nurses and nurse aides become overworked, and many residents are subjected to a lack of assistance and the ongoing supervision they need.
Understaffing increases the risk of nursing home abuse and neglect:
- A lack of staff could cause problems for residents who need help drinking or eating.
- The inadequate nursing staff could lead to medication administrating errors.
- Immobile nursing home residents may not get assistance repositioning or transfer to another location as often as needed to avoid bedsores.
- Understaffing can result in medical neglect when the facility fails to adequately attend to or prevent the resident’s medical concern.
For the court to award damages, there must be evidence that the resident suffered harm. A case of injury caused by staff members will be the easiest to prove. Injuries result in medical treatment, which leaves a trail of records.
In most cases, the staff and resident must complete an injury incident report. This documentation can be a valuable resource in proving damages.
Compensatory damages for nursing home abuse can include (but are not limited to):
- Hospital expenses
- Ongoing medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial costs in wrongful death cases
Lost wages or lost future income may also be elements of claimed damages. However, since most nursing home residents are no longer employed, these losses usually aren't a factor.
In addition to compensatory damages, the court may also award punitive damages. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are meant to punish a defendant and deter similar behavior in the future.
Your Oakland nursing home abuse lawyer from our affiliate legal team will help with these different cases!Who Can Be Sued For Or Charged With Nursing Home Abuse?
Civil lawsuits for nursing home abuse can be filed against:
- People who work directly with the elderly as caregivers at nursing homes (such as nurses, certified nursing assistants, and other staff.);
- Administrators or other people responsible for supervising nursing home staff, the owners, or operators;
- Independent contractors who maintain the equipment used at the site may also have legal obligations.
Any abuse in nursing homes is a crime. The California Welfare and Institutions Code, as well as the Penal Code, contain definitions of both civil and criminal liability.
These laws hold the responsible parties for:
- Mistreatment and
- Physical abuse of the elderly
- Neglect or lack of care
Many nursing home neglect claims may be brought under the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (EADACPA), a chapter of the California Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC). It recognizes that the state is responsible for protecting elders and dependent adults when negligence and abuse occur.
Furthermore, The Elder Abuse Act includes a non-exhaustive list of examples of nursing home negligence, including failure to assist in personal hygiene or provision of food and clothing,Reasons to Hire a Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer
1. The Nursing Home Is Not On Your Side
It’s crucial to remember that the nursing home is not on your side regarding that facility’s potential liability.
The nursing home or rehabilitation center often has attorneys begin defending them long before a family member considers legal action. For this reason, you should have your counsel from specialized neglect attorneys when confronting and investigating an Oakland nursing home neglect or abuse situation.
Often a nursing home can make you believe it is on your side and that it will handle the matter internally without involving a nursing home abuse attorney.
2. You Need Someone Who Can Investigate
The nursing home might not be transparent about any incidents of abuse or neglect.
Possible obstruction by the nursing home means it is up to you to investigate what happened. A thorough nursing home lawyer will know how to conduct a professional investigation and gather evidence that you can use in a court of law.
3. To Help Value Your Damages And Understand The Law
Nursing home abuse cases are complicated and require the assistance of an attorney familiar with the relevant legislation.
A skilled nursing home abuse lawyer will know how to create a solid case and fight for your legal rights in court.
Nursing home abuse and neglect victims or their families have the right to seek compensation for past and future medical costs incurred due to mistreatment. You may be entitled to additional damages as well.
When you speak with an Oakland nursing home neglect lawyer, they can advise you on the damages you could be entitled to based on your specific case circumstances. In some instances, you might be able to recover punitive and non-economic damages.
A civil lawsuit can hold the facility liable (financially and legally) for abusing, neglecting, or mistreating an elderly resident. However, it is up to the filing party to prove the grounds for the lawsuit. Proving your case can be easier with assistance from an attorney.
4. You Need Help Reporting Abuse Claims
If a loved one is in immediate harm or neglected at a nursing home, call 911 and notify the facility administrator. Calling 911 will get both law enforcement and state adult protective services involved.
If the situation does not require immediate attention, report the incident to the police by calling your local non-emergency number.
The state offers Adult Protective Services (APS). Family members, friends, staffers, and others witnessing or suspecting home neglect or abuse must report what they know to law enforcement and other public agencies.
Another option for reporting nursing home abuse is to report nursing home negligence to the Department of Aging Long-Term Care Ombudsman. This program is a community-supported volunteer-based program; services are free and confidential.
Contact this organization or the Department of Public Health if you have questions or concerns regarding the quality of care, suspicion of nursing home neglect, or request an Ombudsman attend a meeting.
5. Get Justice And Closure
The right attorney will help you get justice. The goal of filing a lawsuit is to recover compensation and hold the responsible parties to account. An experienced lawyer will ensure that the care facility is held accountable for its actions and that justice is served.
No question hiring an attorney is a big decision. But if you or your loved one has been the victim of nursing home neglect, it’s a decision that could make all the difference.Hiring an Oakland Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer to File a Compensation Claim
The affiliate lawyers at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC have represented many elderly residents victimized by caregivers and other residents at their care facilities.
Our team of dedicated, experienced attorneys provides legal help to stop home neglect or abuse.
With our extensive experience and access to every resource possible, our elder abuse attorneys will gather evidence, documentation, incident reports, and medical records, including doctor's notes, nursing notes, intake/outtake records, and care plans.
Like you, our team of experienced home negligence attorneys is committed to aggressively fighting for your loved one's rights. We encourage you to contact our San Francisco area elder abuse law firms today by calling (800) 926-7565 to schedule your no-obligation, free full case review.
All information you share with a lawyer within our law offices remains confidential. We provide immediate legal representation, advice, and counsel without upfront fees. All our legal services are paid after negotiating an acceptable out-of-court settlement or winning your case at trial.