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Nursing Home Neglect Elder Abuse Cases in California
Below is the full information for all steps that a person should follow in the legal procedure for Nursing Home Neglect Elder Abuse Cases in California. There is a view of the legal benefits and non-benefits for plaintiffs.
Elder abuse law in California is focused on EADACPA-Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act.
- EADACPA is used when civil action like physical abuse (assault, force that produces body injury, continual deprivation of food or water, sexual assault, rape, incest sodomy), neglect (failure of a person to take care of elders/dependent adults like assisting in everyday needs, clothing, nutrition, to give medical care, protect from health hazards) which cause physical harm and mental suffering.
- Elder abuse protections apply to any person over 65 years old, disabled adults (ages 16-64 years), or even adults (ages 18-64 years) admitted to an inpatient facility. Any person who brings elder abuse is the case of the above law.
Financial Abuse under EADACPA
- Financial abuse under EADACPA is when a person that has the custody of elders or dependent adults takes or keeps appropriating money or property in wrongful use or to defraud them.
- In an elder abuse case, it is necessary to be proved by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant is liable for physical abuse, neglect, or financial abuse.
- In most elder abuse cases that occur in skilled nursing facilities, it is critical that the nursing facilities be responsible for the abusive acts of their employees.
- It is also required that family members should bring an action for negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Dealing with End of Life Care and Elder Abuse Lawsuits
- It is recognized that many plaintiffs will die before or during the course of an elder abuse case, so heirs or survivors in an elder abusive case can profit from the “post mortem” recovery of pain and suffering damages, maximum limit of $250.000.
- Plaintiffs should have the ability to pay attorney’s fees .and costs to prove elder abuse.
- Generally, plaintiffs should bring an elder abuse case within a year of the date that they discover an injury from the abuse or wrongful death caused by a nursing home, the survivors have one tear time to bring the case to a lawsuit. It is known that the nursing facility industry is regulated by State and Federal government like the ratio of nursing hours of visits, the temperature of hot water, and other subjects.
- Also, there are legal rights for elders, like protection of personal property, confidentiality of medical records and so many others.
Statement of Deficiency
- Plaintiffs may use the “statements of deficiency”, presented by the Department of Health which is based on inspections in nursing facilities. Damages recoverable in an elder or dependant abusive case are past medical expenses, future predicted medical expenses, and past wage loss. A plaintiff’s spouse can also recover damages for the ” loss of consortium”, in other words, loss of society, love, and care that results after spouse injury. Insurance companies play a big role because if plaintiffs prevail on an elder abuse case, the plaintiff’s attorney will be awarded thousands of dollars, especially against nursing home chains.
How To Report Nursing Home Abuse
Dealing with a case of elder abuse or nursing home neglect can be an emotional and complex process. If you find yourself in such a situation, having a clear set of steps to follow can make navigating this difficult path easier. Here are the important steps you need to follow to address Nursing Home Neglect or Elder Abuse Cases in California:
- Recognize the Signs of Abuse or Neglect: The first step is to be vigilant and recognize the signs of abuse or neglect. This could be physical, emotional, financial, or sexual abuse, or signs of neglect like malnutrition, bedsores, or poor hygiene.
- Document the Abuse or Neglect: If you suspect abuse or neglect, start documenting everything. This includes taking pictures of visible injuries or signs of neglect, keeping a journal of incidents, and saving any related documents like medical reports or financial statements.
- Report the Abuse: It’s crucial to report your concerns to the management of the nursing home, as well as to the California Department of Social Services. You can report the abuse to Adult Protective Services or the Long-Term Care Ombudsman in California, who will carry out an investigation.
- Consult with an Experienced Elder Law Firm: After you have reported the abuse and started documenting the evidence, you should reach out to a reputable elder law firm. Moran Law has been specializing in elder law cases for over 30 years and has a wealth of experience in nursing home neglect and elder abuse cases in California. They can provide guidance, assess the strength of your case, and help you understand your loved one’s rights.
- Initiate Legal Proceedings: If the attorney determines that you have a viable case, they will begin the legal process. This typically starts with filing a lawsuit against the responsible parties. Moran Law can assist with preparing and filing the necessary documents to initiate a lawsuit.
- Discovery: Once the lawsuit is filed, both sides will enter the discovery phase, where they can exchange information and gather evidence. Moran Law can guide you through this process, helping you obtain necessary medical records, expert witnesses, and other important evidence.
- Negotiation and Settlement: Often, elder abuse cases are settled out of court. Moran Law can negotiate with the opposing party on your behalf to ensure that you receive a fair settlement.
- Trial: If a settlement can’t be reached, the case will go to trial. The experienced attorneys at Moran Law can represent you in court, presenting evidence and arguing the case to the jury.
- Collection: If you win the case, Moran Law will assist you in collecting the judgment. This can sometimes be a complex process, but with their expertise, they can guide you through it to ensure you receive what you are owed.
Remember, each case is unique and may require additional steps or processes. This is a general guideline and it’s crucial to have experienced legal professionals, like Moran Law, guide you through the complexities of an elder abuse case.
Finally, the legal procedures show that plaintiffs should follow hard and long procedures if they want to prove that there is a case of abuse.