Promoting Healing Through Compassionate Advocacy

California Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

It’s an unforgivable tragedy when a loved one sustains abuse or neglect in the facility that is supposed to protect them. No amount of money can reverse the physical and mental harm. However, it’s crucial to hold the facility and other defendants accountable for their actions. Pursuing a nursing home neglect or abuse claim can help prevent another family from going through the heartbreak you are. If your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact the California nursing home abuse lawyers at Silva Injury Law right away.

We have years of experience representing nursing home abuse victims at Silva Injury Law. We know what a terrifying time this is for your entire family. Let our California nursing home abuse attorneys help you get justice.

Nursing Home Neglect Vs. Nursing Home Abuse

Some people use the terms nursing home abuse and neglect interchangeably. While similar, these are two different types of elder abuse.

One of the most significant differences between neglect and abuse is intent. Someone who commits nursing home abuse intended to harm the resident. Their actions were deliberate. Neglect can be either intentional or unintentional. It can be active or passive, meaning someone undertrained or overworked might unintentionally be neglectful.

Both nursing home abuse and neglect could result in criminal charges on top of any civil penalties victims and their families might pursue.

Understanding What Constitutes Nursing Home Abuse

Family members should always look for signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. However, you must understand precisely what constitutes abuse and neglect.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines elder abuse as an intentional act that causes serious risk or results in serious harm to an older person. There are five main categories of nursing home abuse.

Physical Abuse

This type of abuse uses force against the victim. It can include using unnecessary restraints or forcing a patient to take medication. Potential signs include bruises, cuts, and unexplained wounds or injuries. Many victims develop behavioral issues, experience emotional changes, or become depressed.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is also called psychological abuse. It can involve making threats, intimidating a patient, and more. Victims often become withdrawn, disinterested in hobbies, or agitated around certain staff members.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse doesn’t only mean rape. It is any non-consensual sexual act of any kind. Look for bleeding, bruising, unexplained STDs, etc.

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse occurs when the abuser takes, misuses, or conceals the victims’ money or assets and funds.

Healthcare Fraud

With healthcare fraud, unscrupulous medical professionals charge for care never given, overcharge for individual treatments, recommend fraudulent treatments, etc.

Understanding What Constiutes Nursing Home Neglect

Nursing home neglect differs slightly from abuse. Categories of elder neglect include:

  • Basic needs neglect—failure to provide adequate quantities of food and water or a clean and safe environment;
  • Medical neglect—failure to prevent specific medical issues such as infections or bedsores;
  • Personal hygiene neglect—when a resident isn’t provided with necessary assistance with basic hygiene needs, such as brushing teeth, laundry, combing hair, etc.; and
  • Emotional/social neglect—leaving the older adult alone or ignoring them are two examples of emotional or social neglect.

Contact our California nursing home abuse attorneys if you have questions about nursing home negligence.

Causes Of Nursing Home Abuse

Understaffing and workplace stress are two main factors in nursing home abuse and negelect. Financial concerns are often one of the main reasons that some caretakers turn to financial abuse.

Lack of training is also a contributing factor in nursing home abuse cases. Workers who are unprepared for this type of work can get easily frustrated and take it out on the patients.

California Nursing Home Abuse Laws

Elders have numerous federal and state resources that are supposed to protect them from nursing home abuse and neglect. Nursing home residents’ rights are covered in:

  • United States Code;
  • Code of Federal Regulations;
  • California Code of Regulations;
  • California Health and Safety Code; and
  • California Welfare and Institutions Code.

Several examples include the right to:

  • Receive necessary care and services to attain or maintain the best practicable mental, physical, and psychological well-being;
  • Receive care that prevents bedsores and incontinence;
  • Be treated with dignity;
  • Receive food of sufficient quantity and quality to meet your needs as a resident; and
  • Be free from physical, verbal, sexual, and mental exploitation, abuse, involuntary seclusion, or corporal punishment.

It is never acceptable for your family member to suffer abuse or neglect while at a nursing home. If your family member becomes a victim, you have the right to sue to hold all parties accountable for nursing home negligence. If the state brings criminal charges against the facility or its employees, that action won’t keep you from pursuing a civil case.

Understandably, you might wonder whether it’s worth pursuing or what to do next. Our legal team is here to help and answer any questions you might have. We can help you report the facility to all appropriate agencies and help you pursue compensation in a civil case against the nursing home.

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.
– Abraham Lincoln


Nursing home abuse can lead to a lawsuit if you can identify the abuser. The nursing home may also be liable, especially if people knew about the abuse and did nothing about it. Speak with an attorney to identify all potentially liable defendants. Every case is unique, which can impact how you should file.

Unfortunately, the time you have to file a lawsuit is limited. In most cases, you have only two years to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit in California. Failure to file before the deadline means the court might dismiss your case entirely. Don’t jeopardize getting justice for your family member because you inadvertently missed the filing deadline.

Attorney Michael Joe Silva understands the serious nature of nursing home abuse. As a former Merced County prosecutor, he knows what it takes to build a solid case. When you hire Silva Injury Law, you get the benefit of his criminal law experience, which can be beneficial in these types of cases.

Contact our office immediately if you suspect your family member is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect in California. Schedule a consultation, and let us review your case. While no amount of money will undo the damage to your loved one, it can help keep these individuals and facilities from hurting anyone else. At the very least, speak with our legal team to learn your rights in a nursing home abuse or neglect matter.

Our highly-skilled legal team also handles other cases, such as: