Anaheim Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Has your loved one suffered abuse in a nursing home in Anaheim? Did this abuse cause severe injury, trauma, or financial strain? If so, you should speak to the Anaheim personal injury attorneys of OnderLaw, LLC about a personal injury claim or lawsuit. We can help you get compensation for their injuries and regain your peace of mind and their well-being. Call (314) 963-9000 today for a free consultation, and let us help you get the fair and just compensation your loved one deserves.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect?
Nursing home abuse is any intentional or unintentional act that causes harm to an elder inside a nursing home or senior care facility. It covers a wide range of possible kinds of abuse and is a major problem in the United States and worldwide.
The National Council on Aging estimates that one in ten elders aged 60+ have experienced some form of abuse in the past year, and the WHO reports that two out of three staff members in nursing homes have admitted to abusing an elder in the past year. With the global aging population increasing, the prevalence of abuse inside elder care facilities will only increase as well.
There are several different types of nursing home abuse, including:
- Emotional/psychological abuse. This includes any verbal or non-verbal mistreatment of an elder, including shouting, cursing, humiliating, demeaning, threatening, or ignoring an elder.
- Physical abuse. This includes any and all non-consensual physical contact that causes pain, illness, injury, or functional impairment, such as pushing, restraining, hitting, slapping, grabbing, kicking, or even burning.
- Financial abuse. This includes any illegal or unauthorized use of an elder’s assets, identity, belongings, or money and any alteration of important documents without the elder’s consent, such as wills or insurance policies.
- Sexual abuse. This includes any non-consensual sexual contact with an elder.
- Neglect is either intentionally or unintentionally failing to provide for an elder’s basic needs, such as food, water, shelter, clothing, protection, medical assistance, or hygiene.
- Abandonment. A form of neglect, abandonment is leaving an elder that requires regular care on their own.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect
To spot and stop nursing home abuse, it’s necessary to learn and look for signs of its occurrence. Look for these signs when you visit your elderly family member:
- Passivity or withdrawal
- Avoiding eye contact with caregivers
- Cowering from caregivers
- Change in eating or sleeping habits
- Isolation from friends and family
- Unexplained injuries or bruises
- Withdrawal from daily activities
- Unattended medical needs
- Poor personal hygiene
- Sudden weight loss
- Unpaid bills piling up
- Unknown names on bills or statements
- Unknown debits to bank accounts
- Personal property or cash missing
- Changes to wills or insurance policies
- Unexplained sexually transmitted infections
- Fear or anxiety around caregivers
- Torn or bloody underclothing
- Bruises around sexual organs or breasts
- Withdrawal from activities
- Unsanitary or unsafe living conditions
- Poor personal hygiene
- Untreated health problems
What to Do if You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse
If you’ve spotted signs of nursing home abuse, it’s imperative to act quickly. There’s no telling how long the abuse has been occurring or how many elders in the facility have been affected. First, talk to your attorney. Your OnderLaw, LLC attorney will help you determine whether you should immediately remove your loved one from the facility.
If you don’t immediately removed your loved one, here are some steps to take if you see signs of abuse inside an elder care facility:
- Advise staff and administrators. A large portion of nursing home abuse can be attributed to simple forgetfulness. This doesn’t excuse the abuse, but it does explain it, and sometimes a reminder is all that’s needed. Notify the facility’s staff and give them a chance to correct the problem.
- Contact the Ombudsman or Family Council. If the signs of abuse persist, try contacting the facility’s ombudsman or Family Council. An ombudsman is an advocate and liaison between residents and the facility management. Most nursing homes have an ombudsman either on staff or working as a volunteer. Most facilities also have a Family Council, a group of family members of residents that meet without staff present to discuss issues and present their problems to management with a unified voice. Either will have options available for reporting the abuse.
- Remove your loved one and contact authorities. If signs of abuse are still present after notifying staff, the ombudsman, and the family council, it may be time to remove your loved one from their care and advise authorities of the abuse.
- Retain legal counsel. Contact a qualified attorney as soon as possible.
Reporting the abuse to the appropriate authorities is vital to stopping it and preventing it in the future. Here is some helpful contact information for offices in California that can help:
California Adult Protective Services maintains a 24-hr hotline for reporting elder abuse: 1-833-401-0832.
The California Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman also maintains a 24-hr crisis hotline for reporting abuse inside elder care facilities: 1-800-231-4024.
You can reach the Orange County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency line at 714-647-7000.
Compensation for Nursing Home Abuse
The amount and type of compensation available for your loved one’s nursing home abuse case depend on the severity of the injuries or trauma and the material losses they suffered as a result.
It’s nearly impossible to estimate the amount you may receive in compensation without a complete review of the case. Each nursing home abuse case is unique, and the amounts received can vary widely depending on the circumstances.
The amount you should demand in compensation is determined by tallying up the losses, called damages, your loved one suffered as a result of the abuse. Some of these losses are material, and some are not. Your lawyer can help you understand which damages apply to your case.
Losses with a definable monetary value are called economic damages. There are several different types, such as:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Household expenses
- Lost opportunity
Losses without a definable monetary value are called non-economic damages. These losses relate to the injury or abuse itself and not the financial toll of treating or managing it. Some examples include:
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
In cases of extreme oppression, malice, or fraud, California allows its courts to award exemplary damages. These are not compensatory. That is, they are not intended to make up for some material or immaterial loss but rather to punish the party responsible for the abuse and deter them from ever acting in the same way again.
The burden of proof for exemplary damages is much higher than for economic or non-economic damages, and they can only be awarded by a judge or jury.
Nursing Home Abuse Statistics
Nursing home abuse is more common than most people realize. Here are some informative statistics regarding nursing home abuse in California and elsewhere:
- The actual prevalence of nursing home abuse is not known, as it’s estimated that only one in 24 cases of abuse is reported.
- The global aging population is expected to increase from 900 million in 2015 to over two billion by 2050.
- California’s elder population is expected to double between 2000 and 2025.
- 13 percent of complaints to the Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman in 2009 involved some form of elder abuse.
Why Choose OnderLaw, LLC for My Nursing Home Abuse Case?
There are several reasons why OnderLaw, LLC is the right choice for your case.
We’ve been in operation for almost two decades, and we’ve seen all types of personal injury claims, from slipping and falling on a sidewalk to wrongful death car accident lawsuits. Nursing home abuse cases can take a heavy emotional toll because the abused are some of the most vulnerable members of our population, and discovering that the people charged with their care have been abusing them can be overwhelming. We understand the burden you’re under, and we’ve helped thousands of clients with the same kind of problem. We know how to make the claims process work for you and your family.
We will take the time to get to know you and the details of your case. We will keep an open line of communication at all times and make ourselves available not only to answer questions about your case but to provide support and guidance during this difficult time. We take this responsibility just as seriously as providing quality legal counsel.
We also understand that not everyone can afford a lawyer for their nursing home abuse case, which is why we work on a contingency fee arrangement. This means that we only take payment for our services if we’re successful in getting you the compensation you need. This gives us great incentive to work hard on your case and relieves you of the burden of any up-front costs. If we don’t secure compensation for you, we don’t get paid.
Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation
If nursing home abuse has affected you or someone you love, call the attorneys at OnderLaw, LLC today. Our team of dedicated, tenacious legal professionals will work hard to get you the help you need. Call (314) 963-9000 for a free, no-obligation consultation, and let us start building your case. You only pay if we get you money and the consultation is free, so there’s nothing to lose. Call today.