LOS ANGELES ELDER ABUSE ATTORNEY
It is unconscionable to the majority of people to imagine that someone would deliberately take advantage of a senior citizen and abuse him or her in some way. Yet regardless of how unpleasant it is to think about, elder abuse happens every day in Los Angeles County. The elderly who are unable to care for themselves and require help from others are easy targets for abusers. Sadly, the victims are often unable or too terrified to report the abuse.
Abusers rely on fear and an elderly person’s limited capabilities to continue their patterns of abuse. This is why it is crucial for anyone who witnesses or suspects abuse to immediately report it. After notifying the authorities, the next thing victims and families should do is contact an experienced Los Angeles elder abuse attorney who can explain their options and inform them of their decisions.
Abused elders need our help to end the abuse and hold the abusers accountable. The Los Angeles elder abuse attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates can help! Our personal injury lawyers have the knowledge and extensive experience in handling a variety of legal claims, including elder abuse cases. With multiple offices located in Los Angeles, El Segundo, Anaheim, Irvine, Riverside, and San Diego, our elder abuse lawyers represent mistreated elderly across Southern California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation, please call 949-873-0755.
DIFFERENT KINDS OF ELDER ABUSE
For reasons most of us will never understand, some people prey on those least able to protect themselves, which includes the elderly. When we hear about elder abuse, our first thought is usually physical abuse of some kind, and sadly, that is often correct. However, all types of elder abuse are despicable and unacceptable. Below is a list of the common types of elderly abuse:
- Financial abuse: This type of abuse includes the purposeful misuse of an elderly person’s checks, credit cards, or bank accounts; stealing cash, income checks, or household valuables; forging an elderly person’s signature; and identity theft.
- Sexual abuse: Any type of non-consensual sexual contact or sexual harassment constitutes sexual assault.
- Neglect: The intentional or unintentional failure of a caregiver or elderly care facility to provide a reasonable level of care for the elderly is neglect. This includes failure to provide adequate personal hygiene, food, water, shelter, protection from health and safety hazards, and necessary medical care.
- Emotional or psychological abuse: Forms of emotional or psychological abuse can be intimidation, verbal threats, humiliation, ridicule, placing blame, ignoring the elderly person, isolating him or her from friends or family, or terrorizing him or her.
- Abandonment: Abandoning an elderly person and leaving him or her without help, care, or proper medical attention.
- Physical abuse: The purposeful use of force against an elderly person that results in physical pain, bodily injury, or impairment. Physical abuse takes such forms as hitting, shoving, burning, and kicking. Other, less obvious forms of physical abuse, may be restraining, confinement, the inappropriate administration of drugs, or starvation.
HOW DO YOU PROVE ELDER ABUSE?
It can sometimes be difficult to prove elderly abuse, especially physical abuse because seniors in need of daily care are most likely frail and are more apt than others to fall or accidentally hurt themselves in some way. The elderly are often in the care of others because they have experienced cognitive decline, which makes them more susceptible to injuring themselves by accident. Medications can also play a role in increasing the chances of an elderly person falling, bruising themselves, etc. What may look like signs of elderly abuse might not be, but they are red flags and should be carefully watched and recorded.
Here are some signs to look for when attempting to prove elder abuse:
- Any unexplained physical trauma, such as bruising, cuts, abrasions, or burns.
- Broken bones, sprains, or dislocations.
- Changes in behavior, including confusion, depression, unwillingness to talk, and social withdrawal.
- A sudden decrease in an elder’s financial condition, a significant withdrawal from a bank account, or an unexplained pattern of credit card use or bank withdrawals.
- Suspicious changes in a will or other financial documents.
- A pattern of unnecessary purchases.
- Any signs of neglect, such as bedsores, poor hygiene, malnutrition, or weight loss.
- An unexpected negative reaction to any physical contact.
- Venereal diseases or injury to private areas.
- Unsanitary living conditions, elderly who are unbathed or wearing unwashed or dirty clothes.
- Unsafe living conditions such as faulty electrical wiring, no heat or water, and fire hazards.
If you suspect elderly abuse, closely observe how the elderly person behaves, especially around the caregiver. If they flinch, cower, or engage in heated arguments with the caregiver, these might be signs that they are being abused. Record your observations in detail. Take pictures of physical injuries. Talk to the elders and write down exactly what they tell you. If the caregiver refuses to allow you to see the elder in private, this is another sign that abuse might be happening. Any evidence you can uncover is important when reporting and attempting to prove elder abuse in order to prosecute an abuser.
WHO CAN SUE FOR ELDER ABUSE IN CALIFORNIA?
In the state of California, you are eligible to sue for injuries if you are an abused or neglected elder, a dependent adult, or a personal representative of the abused. Dependent adults are individuals between the ages of 18 and 64 who possess physical or mental limitations. Personal representatives can include family members of the elder or dependent adult who have power of attorney, spouses of the abused, family members who witnessed the abuse, and guardians of a dependent adult. Heirs of the elder or dependent adult can also sue if the abused died as a result of the abuse or neglect.
It is important to engage an experienced elder abuse attorney to help you navigate the elder abuse and neglect laws in California when suing for injuries as a result of abuse. Your lawyer will guide you in choosing the best legal pathway for your case and help you protect your loved one from further abuse during this time.
WHAT IS SOC 341?
SOC 341, or the Report of Suspected Dependent Adult/Elder Abuse form, is provided by the California Department of Social Services to assist individuals in reporting elder abuse. The form must be completed by the reporting party and includes a section for the victim’s information, the suspected abuser’s information, and the reporter’s observations, beliefs, and statements by the victim if available.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT SOMEONE IS SUFFERING ABUSE
If, for any reason, you suspect an elderly person is suffering abuse, call the Los Angeles Police Department, and tell them what you have observed. Then, call the Los Angeles Elder Abuse Hotline at 877-477-3646.
After you have alerted the proper authorities, contact an elder abuse attorney immediately. The Los Angeles elder abuse lawyers at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas can further protect the legal rights of the mistreated elderly. Our elder abuse attorneys can build an effective case against the abusers and help victims of abuse recover the compensation they deserve to move to a new facility, receive the medical care they need, and improve their quality of life.
Call a Top-Rated Los Angeles Elder Abuse Attorney Today!
If you or a loved one have been a victim of elder abuse, it is important to consult with an experienced elder abuse lawyer right away. The Los Angeles attorneys at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates can help! Our elder abuse attorneys have extensive knowledge and experience in handling elder abuse claims. With multiple offices located in Los Angeles, El Segundo, Irvine, Anaheim, Riverside and San Diego, our elder abuse lawyers represent mistreated elderly across Southern California. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a Los Angeles elder abuse attorney, please call 949-873-0755.