Orange County Elder Abuse Attorney
If You or a Loved One Has Been the Victim of Elder Abuse, Attorney Samer Habbas Can Help!
Science and medicine have helped to increase life expectancy. However, an unfortunate result of living a longer life is exposure to the increasing rate of elder abuse and neglect.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines elder abuse as a single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action within a relationship that involves an expectation of trust, resulting in harm or distress to an elderly individual. Elder abuse can be a devastating and humiliating experience. Holding the responsible parties accountable will not make this pain disappear, but it can bring a sense of justice for the elderly victims and their families.
The Orange County elder abuse attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates are dedicated to protecting the legal rights of the elderly who have been abused and neglected. We will work hard to get you the damages you and your loved one deserve.
With multiple offices located in Irvine, Anaheim, Riverside, Los Angeles, El Segundo and San Diego, our elder abuse lawyers represent elder victims of neglect across Southern California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with an Orange County elder abuse attorney, please call 949-727-9300.
What Are 6 Forms That Elder Abuse Might Take?
Elder abuse in Orange County can take on many different forms. Some elder abuse involves intimidating or threatening the individual, while other types of abuse involve neglect, scams, and exploitation. While most elder abuse comes at the hand of the family members, abuse may also be committed by a professional conservatory, caregiver, or staff at a California assisted living facility.
Regardless of who the perpetrator of the abuse is, an elder abuse victim’s loved ones must recognize the symptoms of abuse and protect the rights of their loved ones.
Below are six common forms of elder abuse and the warning signs that family members should look out for:
- Physical Abuse: Physical abuse is characterized by physical force resulting in injury, impairment, and pain. It may include beating, pushing, hitting, or using physical restraints.
- Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse includes any non-consensual type of sexual contact or interaction with the elderly individual.
- Emotional Abuse: Emotional abuse is characterized by the infliction of pain, distress, or anguish through verbal and non-verbal actions. Emotional abuse may include insults, threats, intimidation, and humiliation.
- Financial or Material Abuse or Exploitation: Financial or material abuse and exploitation include the improper or illegal use of the elderly individual’s finances, assets, or property.
- Neglect: Elder neglect is characterized by the failure or refusal of an individual to fulfill their duty or obligation to the elderly individual. Neglect often includes the failure of an individual to provide the elderly person with necessities, such as food, water, shelter, personal hygiene, and medicine.
- Abandonment: Elder abandonment is commonly defined as the desertion of the elderly person by an individual with physical custody or assuming responsibility to provide the elder with care.
What Constitutes Elder Abuse in California?
California defines an elder as a person that is 65 years or older. Elder abuse legal actions may be criminal or civil under state law.
According to California’s Welfare and Institutions Code 15610.70, elder abuse is defined as “physical abuse, neglect, abandonment, isolation, abduction, or other treatment with resulting physical harm or pain or mental suffering,” “deprivation of care,” or “financial abuse.”
What is Considered Abuse to the Elderly?
In addition to abandonment, financial abuse, physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, and neglect, California law addresses abduction, isolation, and undue influence in its elder abuse statutes.
Undue influence in elderly abuse cases occurs when someone uses excessive persuasion to overcome the free will of the elder, causing them to act inappropriately. Elder abduction involves the removal of the elder, without consent from a legal conservator or guardian, to another location or state. Elder isolation involves intentionally preventing the elderly individual from receiving visitors, phone calls, mail, or other forms of contact.
Criminal elder abuse happens when someone inflicts unjustifiable pain, harm, or suffering upon an elder or they willfully permit or cause suffering, according to California’s Penal Code Section 368. The statute also addresses situations where an individual willfully allows or puts the elder in situations that endanger their health and safety.
How Do You Prove Elder Abuse in California?
If you suspect a case of elder abuse in Orange County, you should be aware of the warning signs. The California elder abuse lawsuit experts at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas have put together the following warning signs of elder abuse that everyone should look for:
Warning Signs of Elder Physical Abuse
- Any unexplained injuries, including bruises, scars, welts, sprains, dislocations, or broken bones, may prove elder physical abuse.
- Reported drug overdoses or the failure to regularly take one’s medication may be a sign of elder abuse.
- Unexplained property damage such as broken eyeglasses, wristwatches, or other items and signs of physical restraint may prove elder abuse.
- When a caregiver blocks your access to a loved one, it may signify that elder abuse has occurred.
Warning Signs of Elder Emotional Abuse
- When a caregiver behaves in a controlling, demeaning, or threatening way toward an elder, it may be a sign of emotional abuse.
- If an elderly individual behaves in a way that mimics symptoms of dementia, like mumbling, sucking, or rocking, this may prove that elder emotional abuse has occurred.
Warning Signs of Elder Sexual Abuse
- Bruises around an elder’s breasts or their genitals, as well as unexplained bleeding from the anus or vagina, may prove that elder sexual abuse has occurred.
- Bloody, stained, or torn undergarments may also signify elder sexual abuse.
Warning Signs of Elder Financial Abuse
- A change in an elder’s financial situation, unusual bank account activity, or missing cash or property may all prove elder financial abuse.
- Unusual changes to powers of attorney, wills, policies, and titles and the addition of signatories to accounts may all be signs of financial abuse.
- Unnecessary purchases of goods, services, or subscriptions may prove financial abuse against an elder.
What is the Most Common Abuse Suffered by the Elderly?
The most common type of Orange County elderly abuse is neglect. Elderly neglect can be difficult to pinpoint, so it is essential to recognize the warning signs.
Warning Signs of Elder Neglect
- Dehydration, malnutrition, excessive weight loss, untreated bedsores, and other similar untreated physical issues may prove elder neglect.
- Unsanitary conditions, including the presence of bugs, dirt, soiled clothing and bedding, and poor hygiene, may all be signs of elder neglect.
Addressing Elder Abuse in Orange County, California
While filing a personal injury claim related to your California elder abuse case will not make the devastating experience for your loved one go away, it can bring a sense of justice and closure. You can protect the rights of your elder loved one by hiring an experienced Orange County elder abuse attorney.
At the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates, we are aggressive yet compassionate in fighting for the rights of elder abuse victims. Our Orange County elder abuse lawyers will expertly investigate the facts of your case to ensure that all responsible parties are held accountable for their actions.
With multiple offices located in Irvine, Anaheim, Riverside, Los Angeles, El Segundo and San Diego, our elder abuse attorneys represent mistreated elderly across Southern California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with an Orange County elder abuse and neglect attorney, please call 949-727-9300.