Immediate Assistance from Dedicated California Elder Abuse Attorneys
Sadly, it appears that practically no nursing homes in Los Angeles County operate in total compliance with federal standards of care, and as many as one-third have been cited for serious or potentially life-threatening problems. Meanwhile, California’s elderly population is expected to double within the next 20 years, and it is estimated that more than 40 percent of all Americans over the age of 65 will reside in a nursing home at some point in their lives. Nursing home elder abuse is a problem that impacts thousands of innocent victims directly and touches the lives of thousands more due to the family disruption and pain this type of abuse causes. The attorneys at Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy work throughout California to stop elder abuse, punish wrongdoers, and make sure abuse victims and their families are compensated for the harm inflicted on them.
California law protects the elderly from nursing home abuse and neglect
Recognizing that the elderly population in nursing homes are vulnerable to abuse and neglect, the California legislature passed the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act. This law not only provides criminal penalties for persons who violate the Act; it also allows individuals who have suffered abuse or neglect to sue the abuser and the nursing home for money damages. This law gives the elderly and their families a powerful tool to fight elder abuse in our nursing homes and make sure that people who are harmed by abuse or neglect are fully compensated for their injuries.
Abuse is defined under the law to include any of the following:
- Physical abuse
- Deprivation of necessary goods or services
- Any treatment that results in physical harm or pain or mental suffering
Neglect is defined as the negligent failure to exercise reasonable degree of care. Neglect can include, for example:
- Failure to assist in personal hygiene or provide food, clothing or shelter
- Failure to provide medical care for physical and mental health needs
- Failure to protect from health and safety hazards
- Failure to prevent malnutrition or dehydration
Compensation is available for pain and suffering, attorneys fees, and punitive damages
The California elder abuse law provides for enhanced penalties for certain types of abuse. If it can be proven by clear and convincing evidence that the abuse or neglect was reckless or committed with fraud, malice or oppression, then the victim can recover attorney’s fees and costs, and punitive damages if appropriate, in addition to compensation for pain and suffering or medical expenses. This provision is intended to punish nursing homes and abusers for particularly bad behavior, and to ensure that elder abuse victims are compensated to the fullest extent of the law.
Proving recklessness is much tougher than proving ordinary negligence, and the law sets a high standard for the plaintiff to meet, requiring proof by clear and convincing evidence instead of the usual preponderance of the evidence standard. Fortunately, the attorneys at Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy have decades of experience in personal injury and civil litigation in courts throughout California. We understand what it takes to prepare and present a solid case that proves reckless neglect when it exists. Our lawyers are committed to obtaining justice and the maximum amount of compensation for victims of elder abuse.
Get Help Now with Your California Elder Abuse Claim
If you or your loved one are the victim of nursing home elder abuse in Los Angeles, southern California or statewide, call Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy at 310-553-6630 or toll-free at 800-742-1019 for immediate assistance, including a free analysis of your case.