Arias, Sanguinetti, Wang, & Torrijos (ASWT) have a long, successful history in representing seniors and their families in elder abuse cases in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area.
Nursing home abuse and elder abuse can come in many forms, and it’s a problem far too many seniors face. With “baby boomers” living longer, and their children unable or unwilling to care for them, assisted living facilities have been often overwhelmed with the number of people in need of serious care.
The number of older adults in nursing homes continues to grow, but the care is horrid for some residents of these facilities. Issues such as overcrowding, understaffing, and neglect occur regularly in nursing facilities throughout California. When a crisis like this occurs, it’s incredibly important to contact an attorney who can help the injured senior and his/her family pursue justice. Contact ASWT today and let our skilled team of San Francisco elder abuse attorneys fight on your behalf.
Seniors (those 65 and over) have a 300% higher risk of death if abused than those who aren’t abused, according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA). That means that even “mild” instances of abusive behavior can lead to the death of someone whose health is already at risk due to age or illness. Senior care facilities and other types of nursing homes create abusive environments by:
Understaffing – which puts seniors in situations where they are not looked after for hours at a time. Even in situations where a senior needs constant supervision and care, nursing home staff have been known to completely ignore their duties. Parents of older Americans have found their elderly parents sitting for days in their own urine and feces, robbed of dignity and respect. This is even true in situations where the children are paying $5,000 a month or more in fees. Understaffing leads to overworked employees who aren’t able to take proper care of the residents, meaning seniors are not getting fed, bathed, changed, or cared for properly. It can also lead to instances of physical abuse if an overworked, underpaid staff member becomes agitated.
Inadequate training of staff – In many instances, senior care facilities have staff that is poorly trained, if trained at all. Seniors can have a variety of physical and mental issues as they age, and without proper training, even well-meaning facilities can allow an elderly person to suffer enormous harm. A skilled attorney will know how to examine company training manuals, the background of employees, and more to determine if the people caring for an older adult are properly qualified to do so. There are also various regulations that must be followed by staff members, and without understanding and being taught these regulations, such as frequency of meal times and rotating people confined to beds, it can lead to serious health issues or even death for residents.
Poor compensation for staff – many nursing home facilities fail to pay proper wages to staff, which often allows poorly skilled workers to fill these roles.
Having an experienced nursing abuse lawyer on your side matters because there are various challenges to pursuing this type of lawsuit, including:
Statute of Limitations: Instances of nursing home abuse can go undetected for long periods of time – sometimes even years. Depending upon the severity of the abuse and/or neglect, it can be tricky to spot these issues. Also, the senior’s mental capabilities may be diminished, so discovering this type of abuse can take time. If discovered or suspected, it’s vitally important to take action right away. Having a qualified attorney working with you will help you understand statute issues and handle them as promptly as possible.
Liability: For any lawsuit to be effective and successful, the injured senior and his/her family will have to determine what individual and/or institution is liable. If a staff member abused an 85-year-old man and the nursing home knew of this and did nothing, it could mean there are other parties liable in the lawsuit. However, without a skilled elder abuse lawyer guiding you and your family through the process, it is nearly impossible to determine liability issues.
Investigations: A proper investigation can take time. The mental capacity of the senior, the level of abuse, the type of abuse, medical records, and more can all pose challenges. It is important however that any time you visit your family in a nursing care setting, you pay careful attention to the atmosphere, the staff, the conditions, and more. This type of information can be very helpful to your attorney.
If you or someone you love has been the victim of elder abuse in any way, contact ASWT today. Our attorneys have a long, successful track record of obtaining seven- and eight-figure verdicts and settlements on behalf of clients, including those abused in nursing care facilities. Our team will work with you to pursue justice and restore dignity and care to those who’ve been abused in any way.