People have the right to assume that their elderly or adult dependent loved ones who reside in a nursing home will be treated with kindness, respect, and care, and their dignity preserved. Sadly, that is not always the case.
If you or a loved one has suffered abuse or exploitation of any kind in a skilled nursing facility, you have a right to demand the situation be corrected and you could seek monetary damages. An Anaheim nursing home abuse lawyer helps families ensure their loved ones are well-treated and well-compensated for any mistreatment. To learn more, contact a dedicated injury attorney today.
California law defines elder abuse in the state. It includes any action that might cause an elderly person or a dependent adult to experience physical harm or mental suffering. It is elder abuse to deprive someone of the goods or services that are necessary to spare them mental suffering. The definition also includes wrongfully taking or using property, funds, or other assets that belong to an elderly person or a dependent adult.
The Penal Code recognizes some forms of elder abuse as a crime. California Penal Code 368 states that someone who willfully causes an elderly person to suffer unjustifiable physical pain or suffering, or willfully endangers their health, commits a crime that could result in a jail sentence. These crimes could be prosecuted as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on whether the mistreatment was likely to cause the victim great bodily injury or death.
These definitions could encompass the following examples of mistreatment of elders in nursing homes:
People who suspect elder abuse could take several different courses of action, depending on the type, intensity, and duration of the abuse. Consulting with an experienced elder law attorney could help a family clarify its options.
Damages in most personal injury cases compensate a person for their medical expenses, lost income, and diminished quality of life. In a nursing home abuse case, damages are a bit different, because the injured person is a nursing home resident whose health and activities are already compromised.
Nursing home residents, or their families, could seek compensation for any increased medical expenses necessary because of the abuse or neglect, including psychological services for the patient and their family members. A plaintiff in a nursing home abuse case also could receive damages for emotional distress, pain and suffering, attorney’s fees, and court costs.
If the abuse was intentionally malicious, of long duration, or especially egregious, it might be appropriate to seek punitive damages. The intent of punitive damages is to punish the wrongdoer and make an example of them, rather than to compensate the victim. An experienced legal professional could determine whether pursuing punitive damages is appropriate in a particular case.
If you believe a loved one has been abused in a care facility, you are likely feeling anguish and distress. You need a strong hand to guide you through the process of holding the wrongdoers accountable.
An Anaheim nursing home abuse lawyer understands the betrayal you feel and shares your concern for your loved one. Taking legal action could help you come to terms with the situation. Schedule a consultation today.
Benji Personal Injury – Accident Attorneys, A.P.C.