Sacramento Elder Abuse Victim Lawyers

Elder Abuse and Neglect Victims

One of the hardest decisions any adult has to make is putting a loved one in a nursing home or other long term care facility. It’s natural to want to care for a sick or injured loved one by yourself, but when the care required exceeds your capabilities, a nursing home or long term care facility may be the only viable option. You want a long-term care facility you can trust with the health and well-being of those you hold most dear.

If you have a loved one who has suffered neglect or abuse in a nursing home or long term care facility, the trust you’ve placed in that facility has been broken. You may blame yourself for the neglect or abuse, but the fact of the matter is, the nursing home has failed to fulfill its obligation, and is legally liable for the harm it has caused.

The Difference between Neglect & Abuse

Unfortunately, many nursing homes and long term care facilities simply can’t be trusted. Like any business, nursing homes will cut corners to make a buck, and often that means not hiring enough staff to do the job. According to the U.S. Department of Human Services, 90 percent of all long-term care facilities lack sufficient staffing to provide adequate care for their patients.

When nursing homes and assisted living facilities don’t hire enough people to do the job, it causes increased pressure on the existing staff, who have a hard enough job to do as it is. This can result in neglect or abuse of patients, and sometimes both occur simultaneously.

Neglect

Neglect occurs when patients don’t receive adequate medical care or basic needs, such as food, water and proper hygienic care. Generally, this is the result of too few caregivers trying to take care of too many patients. However, neglect can also occur because nursing home and assisted living administrators choose to cut down on medical care and basic needs in order to turn a larger profit.

Abuse

Abuse can also be the result of inadequate staffing levels, as overburdened caregivers literally take it out on their patients. Patients who voice complaints may be verbally abused, punched, kicked or over-medicated to be silenced. In some cases, nursing homes and long term care facilities fail to adequately screen employees and hire “caregivers” who have no qualms about stealing money and tampering with patients’ funds. In extreme cases, patients have been sexually abused.

Far too often, such neglect and abuse ends in the premature death of the patient. You placed your loved one in a nursing home so they could receive proper care and enjoy at least some dignity, and instead you wind up with a nightmare on your hands. There’s no way to describe the feelings you’re going through if you’ve lost a loved one through nursing home neglect or abuse.

But there is something you can do about it: Call the experienced nursing home neglect and abuse attorneys at Demas Law Group to get answers to your questions.

One of Demas Law Group’s Recent Elder Abuse Cases

$1 million settlement for wrongful death in a nursing home
When a nursing home replaced the patient’s mattress with one that was too small, the patient slipped between the mattress and the bed frame and died from asphyxiation. Family members contacted Demas Law Group, and after a detailed investigation, both the nursing home and the bed manufacturer’s negligence were established. The defendants agreed to a confidential $1 million settlement.

 

Contact Us For A Free Consultation
 


FAQ’s – Elder Neglect and Abuse

 

1. How can I tell if my loved one is being abused in a long-term care facility?

Every year, one out of 14 patients in a long-term care facility is neglected or abused to the extent that a complaint is filed. Many more cases go unreported, even by those who are being abused. For these reasons, it is crucial that the families and friends of nursing home and long term care facility residents visit regularly and are aware of any signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. The following are telltale signs your family member or loved one is being neglected or abused:

  • Unexplained injuries and fractures
  • Bed sores, bruises or lacerations
  • Signs of malnutrition and dehydration
  • Renal failure
  • Improper medication or constantly being kept in an over-medicated state
  • Rapid weight gain or loss
  • Sudden change in mood and behavior
  • Unsanitary conditions
  • Understaffing or hostile employees
  • Unexpected death

2. Where can I report nursing home neglect and abuse?

In California, every county has an Adult Protect Services (APS) agency that offers assistance when an elder adult (65 years and older) or a dependent adult (disabled patients aged 18-64) suffers neglect or abuse. When the abuse or neglect is not directly caused by a staff member, APS investigates the facility and provides advocacy, counseling, money management, out-of-home placement or conservatorship services to patients and family members. When neglect or abuse is uncovered, APS reports it to the California Department of Aging, which may result in sanctions against the long-term care facility. You’ll find contact information for APS and the Department of Aging in the Resources section below.

3. Can a nursing home be held responsible for a resident’s injury?

Yes, any facility that provides long-term health care can be held accountable for neglect or abuse that harms or kills a patient. These facilities include nursing homes, assisted living facilities, board and care homes, hospitals and hospices.

4. What should I do if I suspect a loved one is being neglected or abused in a nursing home or long term care facility?

In addition to reporting the neglect or abuse to APS, it may be prudent to move your loved one to a different long-term care facility as soon as possible. Arrange for a physical examination by the patient’s primary care physician, and report your suspicions to the physician. Next, call the experienced personal injury attorneys at Demas Law Group, who can help you hold the nursing home responsible for its wrongdoing.

5. My loved one died in a nursing home due to neglect or abuse. What can I do?

It your loved one’s demise was caused by neglect or abusive behavior, it may be possible to file a wrongful death claim. These cases are different than ordinary personal injury lawsuits. Please see our section on wrongful death claims for more information.

6. How long do I have to file a claim in an elder abuse case?

You have two years from the date the neglect or abuse was discovered to file a lawsuit. This means that you must file a complaint in court or settle your claim within two years of the accident/injury.Because the statute of limitations is so important, and missing it will prevent you from pursuing your case, you should consult with an experienced California personal injury attorney as soon as possible after an accident.

7. Where can I get more information about the compensation victims of elder abuse are entitled to?

In our General FAQs section, you will find answers to the questions below, as well as additional information:

  • What can I or my loved one get compensated for injuries sustained in a nursing home?
  • What is my nursing home abuse case worth?
  • What will it cost me to hire Demas Law Group in an elder abuse case?

8. What resources are there for victims and family members affected by elder abuse?

The National Center on Elder Abuse offers numerous resources to victims and family members affected by elder abuse:
http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/

If you suspect a family member or a loved one is being abused in a nursing home, Sacramento County Adult Protect Services can help:
http://www.dhhs.saccounty.net/SAS/Pages/Adult-Protective-Services/SP-Adult-Protective-Services.aspx

The American Association for Justice offers these startling statistics on nursing home neglect and abuse:
http://www.justice.org/cps/rde/justice/hs.xsl/3005.htm

The California Department of Aging has resources for all senior citizens, including those in long-term care facilities:
http://www.aging.ca.gov/

Main Office: Sacramento

Demas Law Group, P.C.
701 Howe Avenue, Suite A-1
Sacramento, CA 95825
Phone: (916) 444-0100 • Toll Free: (888) 776-0977

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