Experienced Help for Victims of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
At Andrade Law Offices, we understand the heightened emotions and uncertainty surrounding the issue of suspected abuse or neglect of the elderly, particularly in a nursing home or similar setting. We can help you move forward by taking your concerns seriously and ensuring you get answers in a timely manner. Where we find any indication of abuse or neglect, we will move aggressively with legal action on you or your loved one's behalf.
If you suspect an elderly loved one has become a victim of physical, mental, or financial abuse or neglect at a nursing home, a Santa Barbara personal injury lawyer at our firm may be able to help. Should you choose to work with Andrade Law Offices, we can investigate the situation and work to put an end to the mistreatment. Quick action can protect your loved one from further harm and even prevent others from being harmed. We help nursing home residents and families in Santa Barbara and across Southern California recover compensation for losses involving neglect and abuse.
Take action today to assist an elderly loved one who may be suffering from abuse or neglect. Contact us today (805) 962.4944 to set up a free, confidential discussion of your concerns and the legal options available to you. We are here to help.
Standing up to Abuse in Southern California Nursing Homes
If you have had to move a loved one to a nursing home in Southern California, you are relying on the home's staff to provide attentive care. Unfortunately, many elderly and infirm California residents in long-term care institutions are vulnerable to abuse or mistreatment.
Nursing homes have a legal duty to provide quality care and treat residents with respect and dignity. Residents have a right to be free of verbal, physical, psychological, and sexual abuse. Some long-term care facilities, however, put profits first and operate with shorthanded, overworked caregivers. That can lead to problems. Any person who is aware of or suspects the abuse or neglect of an elderly person in California has an obligation to report it to authorities.
Our Santa Barbara injury attorneys have a successful track record of pursuing nursing home claims on behalf of injured victims and their families. Our founding attorney, Steven Andrade, pursued a legal career so he would be able to look after his own parents as they got older. He is dedicated to protecting the rights of the elderly. His reputation as an aggressive trial lawyer makes him more effective at resolving issues of nursing home abuse without having to go to court.
What is Elder Abuse?
The National Center of Elder Abuse says abuse and neglect of elderly, vulnerable, and dependent adults are common in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and similar institutional settings. The non-profit California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) explains that California civil law (Welfare & Institutions Code § 15610.07) defines elder abuse as:
- Physical Abuse: The infliction of injury or pain, sexual assault or molestation, or the use of any type of restraints for punishment without or beyond the scope of a doctor's order.
- Neglect: A caregiver's failure to meet a caretaking duty such as providing food, clothing, or shelter, preventing malnutrition, and protecting a person from health and safety hazards.
- Infliction of Mental (Emotional) Suffering: The infliction of fear, agitation, and confusion through threats, harassment, or false or misleading statements made with malicious intent, or other forms of intimidating behavior.
- Financial Abuse: The illegal or unethical exploitation and/or use of an elder's funds, property, or other assets.
- Isolation: Preventing a senior from having outside contact such as receiving mail, phone calls, or visitors.
- Abandonment: A caregiver's desertion of an elder.
- Abduction: The relocation of a senior to another state without the concurrence of their conservator.
Federal law, including the 1987 Amendments to the Older Americans Act, says that elder abuse specifically includes:
- Sexual Abuse: A type of physical abuse that includes non-consensual sexual contact of any kind, as well as coercing an elder to witness sexual behaviors.
What Should I Do if I Suspect Elder Abuse?
Employees of nursing homes and other medical institutions, county adult protective services agencies, local law enforcement agencies, or in certain other positions are required by law to report actual or suspected physical abuse, abandonment, isolation, financial abuse, or neglect that is observed, evident, or described.
If you know or suspect that an elderly person is in immediate danger, you should dial 911.
If you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect, you can file a complaint about the home with the Licensing and Certification Division of the California Department of Public Health (DPH).
CANHR recommends first trying to address a complaint to the staff of a nursing home or a family council at the home if one exists. The long-term care ombudsman office in your county may also be of assistance.
Chances are, if you report your concerns about the mistreatment of an elderly nursing home resident to the home's staff or management, you will receive an explanation as to why everything is all right. If you contact your local ombudsman or the DPH, your complaint will be taken seriously and investigated after all those claims ahead of you are dealt with.
Andrade Law Offices Can Offer Immediate Help
If you suspect any type of elder abuse in Santa Barbara or anywhere in Southern California, Andrade Law Offices can promptly set an appointment to discuss your concerns. We will follow up on our discussion by investigating the treatment of your loved one and taking steps to ensure that any maltreatment ends immediately.
If a nursing home resident has been harmed because of negligence or malice, your Santa Barbara personal injury attorney at our firm can file a lawsuit to hold the facility's managers and owners accountable. We may be able to recover compensation for the elderly person's medical needs, personal property, and other assets damaged or lost, their pain and suffering, and, if necessary, the costs to relocate the resident to a new facility.
In addition, all of the information we obtain in our investigation can be made available to law enforcement authorities and/or state officials if criminal charges or other disciplinary measures (such as license suspension or revocation) are indicated.
In many cases, a nursing home that hears from an attorney working on behalf of a resident listens to the resident's family members more attentively and quickly makes amends for any previous transgressions. Contacting and working with a well-known, aggressive firm like Andrade Law Offices may ultimately put a stop to abusive practices that have caused injury to multiple residents of the nursing home.
Take immediate action to protect your loved one and seek justice in the face of elder abuse at a nursing home. Call (805) 962.4944 today!