Elder abuse is a serious issue affecting many Los Angeles seniors, often going unnoticed and unreported. Victims may suffer in silence, afraid or unable to speak up against their abusers. If you or a loved one has been a victim of elder abuse, you need an experienced lawyer.
Our Los Angeles personal injury lawyer represent elderly persons and dependent adults who have suffered physical, mental, or financial abuse due to insufficient staffing or resources at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and hospitals.
Contact Arias Sanguinetti | Trial Lawyers today to speak with an experienced elder abuse attorney.
Elder Abuse Is a Widespread Problem in Care Facilities
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), over one and a half million Americans have their health and safety in the hands of nursing homes or assisted living staff at any given time. These elderly individuals receive care at long-term living facilities when they can no longer care for themselves.
Unfortunately, not all nursing home and assisted living facility employees have our family members’ well-being in mind.
Elder and dependent adult abuse in these facilities is more common in Los Angeles than many realize. Due to mismanagement, greed, and neglect, many Southern California nursing and assisted living facilities operate with insufficient staffing. In addition, they hire employees who have not been properly trained and screened.
We’ve Recovered Over
One Billion Dollars For Our Clients
What Is Considered Elder Abuse in Los Angeles?
Elder abuse is any mental, financial, or physical abuse of a senior. Instances of elder or dependent adult mistreatment in Los Angeles may include the following:
Mental or Physical Abuse
These types of abuse involve any intentional act that causes harm or distress to an elderly person. Physical abuse could include hitting, slapping, pushing, or otherwise physically harming the elder. Mental abuse, on the other hand, could involve threats, intimidation, humiliation, or other acts that cause emotional distress.
- Neglect: Neglect happens when a caregiver fails to provide essential needs to an elderly person, such as food, shelter, medical care, or personal hygiene assistance.
- Elopement: This is a term used in caring for a person with dementia, referring to instances where an individual with cognitive impairment wanders away from a safe environment, often unnoticed.
- Abandonment: This refers to the deliberate desertion of an older adult by an individual who has assumed the responsibility of providing care for an elder.
- Isolation: This type of abuse involves intentionally preventing an elder from interacting or communicating with others, leading to loneliness and emotional distress.
- Abduction: In elder abuse, this usually refers to the illegal or unethical transportation of an elderly person without their consent or against their will.
- Malnutrition and dehydration: Malnutrition and dehydration can happen when an elderly person is not provided with sufficient food and water, leading to health deterioration.
- Deprivation of medical care: This type of abuse happens when a caregiver intentionally denies an elderly person necessary medical treatment, leading to worsening health conditions.
- Emotional harm: Emotional or psychological abuse involves causing distress, fear, or mental pain through intimidation, humiliation, yelling, threats, or other forms of manipulation.
- Sexual abuse: This refers to any non-consensual sexual contact with an elder.
- Infliction of physical harm: This includes actions that intentionally cause bodily injury, such as hitting, shoving, scratching, or improperly using restraints.
- Failing to provide medical care or medication: This abuse occurs when a caregiver neglects to provide the necessary medical care or medication to an older adult.
- Over or under-medicating: This abuse involves administering too much or too little of a prescribed medication, leading to adverse health effects.
- Recommending false remedies for medical conditions: This involves suggesting or administering non-medical or non-effective treatments to an elder with genuine medical conditions.
- Ignoring complaints of physical pain: This type of abuse occurs when a caregiver dismisses, ignores, or fails to respond appropriately to an older person’s expressions of physical discomfort or pain.
Financial abuse is a form of elder abuse that involves the illegal or improper use of an elderly person’s funds, property, or assets. It is a significant and growing problem, often perpetrated by family members, caregivers, or financial advisors.
Forms of financial elder abuse can range from outright theft to more subtle methods of deceit and manipulation. Recognizing the signs of financial elder abuse can help protect vulnerable elderly individuals from exploitation and loss.
- Overcharging or double-billing for medical care: This involves charging an elderly person excessively for medical services or twice for the same service, often capitalizing on their lack of knowledge or understanding about the cost of medical care.
- Medicaid fraud: Medicaid fraud is the intentional misuse of Medicaid funds. Examples may include charging Medicaid for services not rendered, upcoding (billing for a more expensive service than the one provided), or providing unnecessary services to receive more funds.
- Receiving kickbacks for referrals or drug prescriptions: This involves healthcare providers receiving financial rewards, gifts, or benefits in exchange for referring patients to specific services, treatments, or medication, regardless of whether they are necessary or the most suitable option for the patient.
- Forging the elderly person’s signature on financial documents: This is an illegal act that involves faking the elderly person’s signature on checks, wills, real estate deeds, contracts, or other financial documents, often to misappropriate their money or assets.
- Theft: This refers to the act of stealing an elderly person’s cash, credit cards, checks, personal property, or other assets. It can be done by someone the elderly person trusts, like a family member or caregiver.
- Other fraudulent activities: This broad category includes any deceptive act done to gain a financial advantage over an elderly person. It could include scams, identity theft, pyramid schemes, investment fraud, and many other types of fraudulent activity.
Recognizing these various forms of financial abuse is crucial to safeguarding vulnerable seniors from the harm caused by those who take advantage of their resources and trust.
Los Angeles Elder Abuse Lawyer Near Me 310-844-9696
Potential Causes of Elder Abuse in Los Angeles
In some situations, elder abuse can occur because nursing homes and other residential care facilities lack the resources to provide proper medical care for their residents. As a result, insufficient money is spent on resident care, resulting in understaffing or hiring under qualified personnel.
If a nursing home’s administration fails to maintain qualified staff or an acceptable staff-to-resident ratio, the residents will usually end up reaping the consequences. Overworked nursing home staff can have difficulty providing patients with the necessary care.
Call lights can be ignored, and residents with limited mobility who rely on caregivers for their daily needs can be stranded. When overworked staff neglects immobile nursing home residents, many problems can arise, including the following common types:
- Bedsores: Bedsores are also known as pressure ulcers, injuries to the skin and underlying tissue resulting from protracted pressure on the skin. Bedridden or immobile individuals are particularly at risk.
- Muscle atrophy: This refers to the wasting away or decreases in the size of muscle tissue due to prolonged immobility or inactivity.
- Skin injuries: These can range from minor cuts and bruises to severe wounds or burns. In the context of a nursing home, these might be due to falls, improper handling, or lack of care.
- Infections: These can occur as a result of improper care, poor hygiene, untreated wounds, lack of proper medical care, or uncontrolled spread of contagious diseases within the facility.
- Falls and fractures: Older adults are at higher risk of falls, which can result in serious injuries such as fractures. In a nursing home setting, this could be due to a lack of assistance with mobility, improperly maintained environments, or neglect.
- Prolonged incontinence: Without proper and timely assistance, residents may be left in soiled clothing or bedding, leading to skin infections, urinary tract infections, and discomfort.
- Delayed medical attention: Overworked staff might not notice or have time to promptly address changes in a resident’s health. This can delay the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that need immediate attention.
- Psychological distress: Neglected residents may experience feelings of abandonment, leading to psychological distress, anxiety, depression, or feelings of hopelessness.
- Unaddressed hygiene needs: Lack of time and resources may lead to insufficient attention to the personal hygiene of residents, potentially resulting in skin conditions, infections, and lowered self-esteem.
- Decreased social interaction: Overworked staff might not have time to facilitate social interactions with residents. Lack of socialization can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation, which are associated with mental and physical health declines.
- Poor nutrition: In cases of extreme neglect, residents might not receive timely meals or the assistance they need to eat, leading to malnutrition or dehydration.
- Loss of mobility: Without regular repositioning, assisted movement, or physical therapy, residents may lose their mobility faster. They may also suffer from muscle atrophy due to lack of use.
An elderly person in a hospital or long-term care facility may depend entirely on caregivers for activities such as bathing, eating properly, taking medication, and using the bathroom. Therefore, federal regulations for the staffing requirements of these facilities have been implemented to ensure adequate care for nursing home residents.
Confidence is placed in the hands of nursing home care custodians or hospital staff, and you need to take action when that trust is abused or exploited. An experienced attorney at our law firm may be able to help you take the right steps for you or your elderly loved one.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help With Your Los Angeles Elder Abuse Case?
If you plan on taking legal action against those who have harmed you or your loved one, consider hiring a lawyer to pursue the financial assistance and justice you need.
Your lawyer can help you in several ways.
Extensive Legal Knowledge
A lawyer brings years of formal education, a rigorous law school curriculum, and a thorough understanding of the law and legal procedures acquired through practical experience.
They will be current on the latest changes and developments in the law and can interpret how these laws apply to your situation. This extensive legal knowledge equips them to tackle complex legal systems effectively, helping them navigate through intricate legal procedures, court documents, and legalese.
Their expertise and understanding of the law can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case, whether it’s in negotiations or courtroom litigation.
Moreover, in elder abuse cases, lawyers with specialization can provide insights into specific laws and regulations that govern nursing homes and elderly care, ensuring that your rights or those of your loved ones are adequately protected.
Awards and Accolades
Our award-winning attorneys have consistently ranked among the top in their field. Recognition from Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers further underscores their expertise in various practice areas.
These accolades, coupled with honors from organizations like the American Association for Justice, MYVEGAS Magazine, Nevada Business, and the National Law Journal, attest to our firm’s unwavering commitment to delivering justice for our clients.
Attorneys often spend a significant portion of their careers negotiating various aspects of legal cases. Whether it’s settling a personal injury claim with an insurance company or arguing for a fair settlement in a civil dispute, a lawyer’s negotiation skills can be a critical factor in determining the outcome of a case.
They are trained to navigate high-stakes discussions, understand opposing parties’ tactics, and strive for the best possible outcome for their clients. In elder abuse cases, attorneys can use these skills to negotiate with nursing homes, insurance companies, or opposing counsel to seek the highest possible financial compensation for the harm suffered.
An attorney’s skill in negotiation can often mean the difference between a settlement that barely covers expenses and one that adequately compensates for financial damages and pain and suffering and provides for future needs or care.
Experience With Insurance Companies and Other Legal Representation
One of the most challenging aspects of elder abuse cases is dealing with insurance companies and the legal teams representing nursing homes or other care facilities. These entities typically have significant resources and are motivated to minimize payouts or avoid liability.
Insurance companies, in particular, have well-established procedures and legal teams focused on reducing the amount they pay in claims. They may use various tactics, such as disputing the extent of injuries or arguing that the nursing home was not at fault. A lawyer experienced in elder abuse cases understands these tactics and knows how to counter them effectively.
Similarly, dealing with legal representation from medical facilities can be intimidating. These legal teams often specialize in defending against claims like these and can be aggressive in their defense strategies. However, your attorney will be prepared for these tactics and equipped to present your case strongly and persuasively.
Furthermore, having a lawyer represent you clearly conveys to these entities that you are serious about pursuing your claim. This can often lead to more favorable settlement negotiations. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your lawyer will be ready to take the case to trial and present the strongest possible argument on your behalf.
Evidence Collection and Analysis
In elder abuse cases, evidence is key to establishing negligence and determining the extent of harm suffered by the victim. A skilled lawyer can assist in collecting crucial evidence, including medical records, eyewitness testimonies, expert opinions, and any documents or records related to the care and treatment provided in the nursing home or other care facility. They may also employ private investigators or medical experts to gather and analyze additional information.
Attorneys understand what evidence is admissible in court and how to present it effectively to support their case. They can also help interpret complex medical records and other documents, translating the information into clear, understandable terms.
Further, your lawyer will be able to review all the collected evidence and identify any patterns or indications of systemic issues within the care facility, such as understaffing or poor training. This could be critical in establishing a pattern of neglect or abuse and strengthening your case.
By carefully reviewing all available evidence, your attorney can also provide a more accurate estimation of the monetary compensation you may be entitled to based on the severity of the abuse, the extent of injuries, and other related costs, such as medical bills and pain and suffering.
Referrals to More Trustworthy Care Facilities and Professionals
If you have faced abuse in a nursing home or an assisted living facility, you may have difficulty trusting those that have previously cared for you. You may even be leery of going into another long-term care facility.
The lawyers at Arias Sanguinetti are part of a network of qualified and revered professionals who can provide you with the medical care and living arrangements you need to be made whole again during the healing process.
Our attorneys can also assess the situation and determine the full extent of your injuries and related damages, meaning you will be far more likely to get the monetary compensation you deserve.
Maximized Monetary Compensation
If you are worried about paying for adequate medical care and other costs related to the abuse, a lawyer may be able to help.
Your attorney will be in a unique position to analyze all of the available evidence and intimately understand your situation, meaning they may be able to assess the full value of your personal injury claim.
You may be able to collect monetary compensation for your mental suffering and other noneconomic losses in addition to the financial damages you qualify for. If a loved one passes away due to abuse or neglect, you may qualify for wrongful death damages.
If the idea of taking legal action stresses you out, your lawyer can put these concerns to rest. Your attorney knows the legal process, especially regarding elder abuse in medical facilities.
This means they can collect information from you and handle all the complicated paperwork that typically comes with legal action. If you want to maintain your regular life as much as possible during the legal process, we highly recommend you hire a lawyer to handle your case.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
Common Perpetrators of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse is a serious problem that can cause physical, emotional, and even financial harm to vulnerable elderly individuals. While perpetrators of nursing home abuse come from all backgrounds, research shows that certain people are likelier to commit these heinous acts.
Caregivers, including family members and paid aides, are some of the most common perpetrators of elder abuse.
Apart from caregivers, other relatives and even close friends may be responsible for the abuse of an elderly person. Due to their proximity to the victim or knowledge of their living arrangements, these individuals may use manipulative methods to take advantage of them or pressure them into unwanted behavior.
For instance, it is crucial to fully investigate any misuse of a power of attorney because criminals frequently use it as a tool for financial exploitation. These family members and acquaintances can become major perpetrators in elder abuse cases by taking away an elderly victim’s autonomy or acting violently toward them.
Elder Abuse Risk Factors
Understanding the situations that lead to elder care facility abuse can help keep vulnerable seniors from becoming victims.
The seniors most often targeted for abuse have conditions that make them more susceptible to exploitation and attacks, such as physical disabilities, poor health, cognitive limitations, confusion, or dementia.
Other risk factors include certain living situations where older adults live with family members or caregivers who may perpetrate the abuse. In addition, an elderly person who is isolated from others through a lack of social contact or support networks can be victimized without anyone noticing.
Understanding these risk factors allows employers, family members, and friends to recognize signs of potential abuse while also providing elderly persons with support to address any issues that might arise.
What Sets Us Apart from Other Southern California Firms
If you are an elderly person who has been abused or have a loved one who has suffered at the hands of a caregiver, our team can work to help you hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.
Our Los Angeles nursing home abuse lawyers have been recognized for our commitment to obtaining justice for our clients by peer groups, legal publications, and others as some of the top attorneys in the nation.
Over the last 45-plus years, we have successfully recovered more than a billion dollars for our clients, and we want to help you, too. We are a 100% confidential and secure legal services provider.
Our long history of success demonstrates the firm’s ability to effectively represent our clients and obtain the maximum compensation they deserve. We do not charge a consultation fee; you only pay when we win your case.
Contact Our Los Angeles Elder Abuse Attorneys
Don’t wait to take action after an incident of neglect or abuse. Our team of experienced elder abuse lawyers in Los Angeles is here to help you navigate the complex legal landscape and seek justice for yourself or a loved one.
Take a stand against senior mistreatment. Our Los Angeles elder abuse lawyers at Arias Sanguinetti provide confidential consultations. Together, we can fight for the rights and well-being of our senior community. Reach out to an elder abuse lawyer today, and let us be your voice in seeking justice and accountability.
Call us or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.