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How an Elder Abuse Attorneys Helps When Seniors are Abused

An elder abuse attorney can provide assistance to seniors who are victims of abuse or neglect, as well as to family members whose loved ones were harmed as a result of abusive behavior or a failure to provide acceptable care.   Elder abuse is a serious problem affecting vulnerable senior citizens in nursing homes and care facilities throughout the United States.  Anyone who becomes aware of abuse should act aggressively to stop the wrongful behavior and to protect seniors who may be unable to speak up for themselves.

An Irvine elder abuse attorney at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can provide invaluable assistance in cases where either abuse or neglect is suspected. Our attorneys understand California laws on nursing home and elder abuse and we can help victims and their families to make the legal system work. Not only do we provide assistance with reporting of abuse and proving abuse or neglect occurred, but we also help victims and their loved ones to hold nursing homes financially responsible for damages caused by abuse. Give us a call to learn more as soon as you are harmed by abuse or as soon as you suspect your family member is being hurt. elder abuse attorney

How Can an Elder Abuse Attorney Help?

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse,  3.2 million Americans were living in nursing homes as of 2008. One study found 44 percent of seniors in nursing homes had suffered from some type of abuse and 95 percent said either they had experienced neglect or they had observed someone else suffering from neglect. Tragically, a victim of even mild abuse faces a 300 percent greater risk of death than a senior who does not experience this type of victimization.

Elder abuse attorneys aim to help stop this tragic trend of abuse of senior citizens. We provide legal representation to families and to abuse victims so that nursing homes can be held accountable when something bad happens under the home’s care.

Nursing home abuse attorneys can assist victims and their families in many important ways. For example, an attorney can:

  • Help victims and their families to report abuse to appropriate authorities. Abuse can be reported to the Orange County Social Service Agency, which provides adult protective services. There is a 24-hour hotline which can be reached at 800-451-5155 for those who need to report abuse. When abuse is reported, investigations may take place. There may be criminal charges filed in some cases, which is a strong deterrent from future bad behavior. Nursing home facilities may also lose accreditation that allows them to receive Medicare and Medicaid funds.
  • Help to investigate cases of suspected abuse. When abuse is suspected, it can sometimes be difficult to conclusively prove something is wrong. This is especially a problem when the senior who is being victimized has dementia or another condition that affects the ability to speak up about abuse. If a senior cannot testify about the abuse or neglect experienced, there will need to be other ways of showing abuse happened. Sometimes, for example, people try to put cameras in patient rooms to catch signs of abuse. This can become a contentious issue, as nursing homes often argue that state and federal laws like the Health Insurance Portability & Accountably Act (HIPAA) prevent cameras from being used to record patient care.
  • Help victims and their family members to pursue claims for compensation. In cases where abuse happens, nursing home staff members may be the ones who directly facilitated the wrongful behavior. Nursing homes, however, can be held legally and financially responsible, as a lawsuit can often be filed not just against the staff member but also against the home where the staffer was employed.  Nursing homes are vicariously liable under agency rules for the on-duty actions of staff members, which basically means that staff negligence is treated as nursing home negligence that the home can be held accountable for. Nursing homes can also be required to provide compensation if the home itself didn’t have adequate policies and practices to prevent elder abuse.

There are many additional ways elder abuse attorneys can help victims of abuse.  The goal of an attorney advocate is to make sure the abuse stops and that the victim is fully and fairly compensated for all losses the abuse caused while it was being endured.

Contact an Elder Abuse Attorney Today

An Irvine elder abuse attorney at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP  can provide representation and assistance to victims and their families throughout the Southern California area. If you are concerned that someone you care about is being hurt by abuse or if you are worried about your own health due to abuse against you, give us a call at (866)237-8129 or contact us online to find out how we can assist you.