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Modesto Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

Many people rely on nursing homes to provide care to their elderly relatives. Unfortunately, each year thousands of families in the United States deal with the aftermath of nursing home neglect and abuse. In 2020 alone, nursing home ombudsmen received approximately 15,000 complaints concerning neglect or abuse. In some cases, nursing home abuse is clear-cut and obvious. However, in other cases, the signs of abuse are more difficult to detect.

If you or a loved one suffered nursing home neglect or abuse, you may qualify to file a personal injury lawsuit. Contact Silva Injury Law today so we can review your claim.

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Forms of Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes

Nursing home abuse can occur in different ways. The forms of nursing home abuse that can warrant a lawsuit include:

  • Physical abuse,
  • Emotional abuse,
  • Financial abuse, and
  • Sexual abuse.

The different forms of abuse are explained in more detail below.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is typically easier to spot than other types of abuse. However, some types of physical abuse may not leave obvious signs of injury. Examples of physical abuse include:

  • Strikes,
  • Kicks,
  • Pushing,
  • Grabbing, and
  • Pulling.

If your loved one resides in a nursing home and is suffering from physical abuse, contact one of our attorneys at Silva Injury Law as soon as possible.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is often a more subtle form of abuse than physical abuse. Instead of inflicting physical injury, emotional abuse inflicts injury by causing someone to feel fear, stress, or embarrasment. Emotional abuse in a nursing home can include:

  • Intimidating  or threating a resident,
  • Yelling or shouting at a resident,
  • Ignoring a resident,
  • Isolating a resident,
  • Insulting a resident,
  • Preventing a resident from participating in social activities, and
  • Blackmailing a resident.

Although emotional abuse may not leave obvious signs of injury, the injuries it causes are just as serious as those caused by other forms of abuse. 

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse occurs when a caretaker uses their influence over a senior citizen to exploit them financially. This can include:

  • Using a resident’s credit or debit cards for the caretaker’s personal expenses;
  • Forging a resident’s signature on a financial document; or
  • Stealing a resident’s money.

Financial abuse is a commonform of elder abuse. Keep a lookout for these signs to put an end to the exploitation as quickly as possible.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse in a nursing home occurs when someone engages in non-consensual sexual activity with a nursing home resident. That can include any form of sexual activity, from sexual battery to rape. 

However, sexual abuse does not include situations in which two nursing home residents engage in consensual sexual activity.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

The different forms of nursing home abuse present different warning signs. Signs of physical abuse might include:

  • Broken bones,
  • Bruises,
  • Cuts,
  • Burns, or
  • Torn clothing.

Sexual abuse may cause the same injuries as physical abuse. However, a resident contracting a sexually transmitted disease might also be a sign of sexual abuse. 

Emotional abuse is often very difficult to spot. Signs that a nursing home resident is a victim of emotinal abuse might include:

  • Fear or anxiety,
  • Unusual changes in behavior,
  • Lack of responsiveness,
  • Depression, and
  • Sudden inability to sleep.

It is important to note that behavioral changes can also indicate that physical, sexual, or financial abuse is occurring.

Signs of financial abuse can include:

  • A sudden change in bank account balances,
  • Unexpected charges on bank statements, and 
  • Frequent or unexplained ATM withdrawals.

If you notice any of these warning signs, your loved one might be suffering from nursing home abuse. Contact one of our Modesto nursing home abuse attorneys today to discuss your options going forward.

Is Nursing Home Neglect the Same as Nursing Home Abuse?

Neglect is another type of injury that can warrant a personal injury claim against a nursing home. Nursing home neglect is a form of nursing home abuse but is typically less overt than the forms mentioned above.

Some common signs of nursing home neglect include:

  • Poor living conditions,
  • Lack of adequate medical treatment,
  • Negligent hiring practices,
  • A resident having poor hygiene,
  • Failure to provide a resident with assistance devices,
  • Improper use of restraints,
  • Isolating a resident,
  • Open and obvious dangers on the premises, and
  • Ignoring a resident’s needs.

If you have minor concerns about the quality of care in a nursing home facility, you can raise those concerns with the staff. This can help you build a relationship with staff members and prevent small issues from causing bigger problems.

More serious issues may require additional investigation. Nursing home residents can file a complaint directly with the facility by using that facility’s grievance process. When a nursing home resident files a complaint, the facility must provide a summary of its investigation and its findings, including any corrective action taken as a result of the investigation.

How to Report Nursing Home Neglect and Elder Abuse

Anyone in direct contact with an elder or who provides care to an elder is required by law to report suspected elder abuse. If you fear for your own or your loved one’s safety, you should contact 911. Securing their safety is the first priority. 

The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman (OSLTCO) is responsible for elder abuse investigations in long-term care facilities, nursing homes, day programs, and other care institutions. There is a list of California Ombudsman offices by county online. You can also contact Adult Protective Services (APS) in California to report suspected elder abuse or neglect. 

Our Modesto Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Can Help You Recover Damages for Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect, you may be entitled to relief. One of our Modesto nursing home abuse lawyers can walk you through the personal injury process and fight to secure a favorable outcome. We pride ourselves on providing our clients with high-quality legal representation and compassionate advocacy. We can help you:

  • Gather evidence,
  • Assess your damages, and
  • Negotiate with opposing parties. 

We will not rest until we obtain a settlement offer that fairly compensates you for your losses. Contact Silva Injury Law online or by phone today so we can get started.

 

Merced Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

It’s impossible to imagine that someone could abuse a senior citizen. Despite the vulnerability and defenselessness of elders, elder abuse continues to happen. According to the World Health Organization, around one in six people aged 60 years and older experience some form of abuse in community settings. If you believe that a loved one may be suffering from elder abuse, contact our Merced nursing home abuse attorneys immediately. Elder abuse isa complex area of the law. Experienced attorneys in your area understand the nuances of elder abuse law, including the difference between nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect. 

What Is Elder Abuse? 

California law protects elders, dependent adults, and developmentally disabled persons from abuse and neglect. The California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 15600 provides that elders—anyone 65 years of age or older—and dependent adults are legally protected from various types of neglect and physical abuse. Elder abuse may be seen in the following examples:

  • Abandonment—desertion of an elder by their caregiver;
  • Abduction—removal of an elder from their residence against their will;
  • Financial abuse—illegal or unethical exploitation of an elder’s assets, funds, or  property;
  • Isolation—preventing an elder from speaking with others; 
  • Neglect—failure of caretakers to fulfill their duties and obligations in caring for an elder’s health or welfare; and 
  • Physical abuse—physically harming an elder. 

Elder abuse is typically perpetrated by a caretaker. Caretakers include family members, unlicensed or licensed staff in a nursing home, and even healthcare practitioners. 

Be sure to document all instances of suspected elder abuse with notes and, if possible, photographs. In some situations, you may be required to report the alleged abuse to a specific agency or department. Contact an attorney to learn what to do in these situations, including how to preserve and record evidence that supports your or your loved one’s claim.   

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse vs. Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

Nursing homes are meant to be a place of safety and care for the elderly. When someone places a loved one in a nursing home, they entrust the staff to care for their physical needs as well as necessary medical care. A nursing home also provides a social environment and stimulation for its residents. However, elder abuse often occurs in these settings. You may miss some of the signs if you aren’t there every day. There are three main categories of nursing home abuse: 

  1. Physical abuse. This occur when a nursing home employee physically harms a resident.. Unexplained injuries and strange bruising may indicate physical abuse. 
  2. Emotional abuse. Emotional abuse occurs when a nursing home employee harasses, isolates, insults, or yells at a resident. Even without a physical element, this harmful conduct has far-reaching emotional consequences, including depression, fear, anxiety, behavior changes, and health problems. 
  3. Sexual abuse. Sexual abuse may occur in nursing homes when the abuser wishes to take advantage of a power position or because residents are too weak and cannot otherwise fight back. Emotional changes in your loved one or physical signs such as bruising and pelvic injuries may indicate this type of abuse. 

Consult with experienced Merced nursing home abuse lawyers to identify whether your loved one may be the victim  of nursing home abuse.    

Signs of nursing home neglect differ from abuse in that they may be even more difficult to detect. The Elder Abuse Act defines neglect as the failure to do one or all of the following: 

  • Assist in personal hygiene or in the provision of food, clothing, or shelter; 
  • Provide medical care for physical or mental health needs; 
  • Protect from health and safety hazards; or 
  • Prevent malnutrition or dehydration. 

If you suspect someone you love may be suffering from nursing home neglect, speak with an elder abuse attorney. They may be able to pick up the more subtle signs of nursing home neglect that others may easily miss. 

Who Can Sue for Elder Abuse in California?

California law permits an abused or neglected elder, dependent adult, or personal representative to sue the liable party for their injuries. Multiple plaintiffs may be included in elder abuse cases. Plaintiffs in an elder abuse lawsuit may include the following parties: 

  • The elder or dependent adult who is suffering abuse or neglect, 
  • Family members of the abused or neglected adult with power of attorney, 
  • Family members who witnessed the abuse, 
  • The spouse of the abused or neglected elder, and
  • Family members of the abused or neglected elder if they died as a result of the abuse or neglect. 

In the unfortunate event that the abuse or neglect results in the elder’s death, the right to sue the responsible party for the victim’s damages transfers to the estate’s personal representative. Elder abuse and neglect laws are complex and require the assistance of an experienced attorney.

How to Identify Financial Elder Abuse

Unfortunately, in addition to falling prey to physical and emotional abuse and neglect, the elderly may also be targeted by those hoping to take advantage of them financially. It can be difficult to recognize financial abuse when it’s happening unless you are able to regularly monitor the financial information of your loved one. California’s Welfare and Institutions Code defines financial abuse as any of the following: 

  • Taking, appropriating, obtaining, or retaining real or personal property of an elderly person for wrongful use or with intent to defraud, or both; 
  • Assisting in taking, appropriating, obtaining, or retaining the real or personal property of an elderly person for wrongful use or with intent to defraud, or both; or
  • Taking, appropriating, obtaining, or retaining, or assisting in taking, appropriating, obtaining, or retaining the real or personal property of an elderly person through undue influence.

In California, depriving an elderly person of a property right through a donative transfer, testamentary bequest, or agreement can qualify as financial abuse. If you suspect your loved one is the victim of financial abuse, speak to an attorney immediately. 

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Promoting Healing Through Compassionate Advocacy

We believe that our duty goes beyond achieving large monetary awards for our clients. We strive first to be decent human beings who seek not to stir up fights, but to solve problems.

As a peacemaker, the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be enough business.

- Abraham Lincoln

Contact Us 

At Silva Injury Law, we treat you like family. When it comes to such emotional and painful situations of elder abuse or neglect, you deserve a legal team that stands with you every step of the way. At Silva Injury Law, we fight for the protection and well-being of your loved ones. We focus our practice on promoting healing through compassionate advocacy. If you have questions about a potential elder abuse or neglect lawsuit, we are here to help. We invite you to call, text, or email us at any time. Our top priority is answering your questions and guiding you to the best possible course of action. Contact us today for a consultation and learn how our attorneys can help you.

 

Our experienced legal team also handles other types of injury cases, including: