It is always a heart-rending choice to allow someone else to care for your elderly loved one full-time in a nursing home or other long-term facility. However, it is a choice being face by more and more families every day – especially in California. Once that difficult decision to entrust an elderly individual to professional care is made, however, it is right to expect that loved one will be treated with the highest levels of professionalism, compassion, medical care, and skillfulness. Unfortunately, too often this expectation is not met and a loved one is subjected to substandard care, abuse, or even neglect. If you or your elderly loved one has been injured by nursing home abuse or neglect, you may be entitled to compensation. You should speak to an experienced Murrieta nursing home abuse and neglect attorney as soon as possible to stop the harm, protect your rights, and understand your options.
Murrieta Nursing Home Facts
The United States Census Bureau has projected the elderly population in California will reach 6.4 million in less than 6 years and will almost double in size by 2030. In Southern California in particular, the elderly population is exploding. Nearly 12 percent of Murrieta’s 115,000 residents are currently 65 or older, and if that population is expanding by the year. Murrieta itself has grown nearly 10 percent in population since 2010.
The increasing elderly population, in conjunction with the developing incapacity of others at or close to seniority, implicates a rising nursing home and long-term care population as well. Even though a mere 37 percent of elderly individuals expect they will need some form of professional long-term care, 69 percent will actually require it. This exploding population, in conjunction with understaffed facilities, poor management, overpopulation, and failure to follow regulations and protocol at care facilities, creates a substantial risk for abuse or neglect of elderly persons.
What Are Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
Nursing home abuse and neglect are both criminal and civil offenses in California which can present in many ways. Physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, abduction, abandonment, fraud, theft, and any type of treatment inflicting mental or physical pain or suffering upon the victim all fall within the purview of abuse and neglect.
It is common for more than one type of abuse to be occurring at the same time or in conjunction with another. A common pattern is abuse or neglect of the victim, followed by psychological abuse to keep them quiet, which allows the initial abusive or neglectful behavior to continue. The common goal of such horrific behavior is coercing the elderly person to sign away their control of financial decisions or to alter their will.
What Are Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Temecula?
Some signs of abuse and neglect, such as a black eye or a burn mark, are easily recognizable. Usually, however, they present much more subtly and can be overlooked without a vigilant eye present. Physical, behavioral, and emotional markers may all be present and point to abuse or neglect. Signs include:
- Malnutrition or dehydration not directly attributed to any documented medical condition;
- Bruises or burns;
- Lack of food, water, electricity, heat or air conditioning;
- Sudden decline in personal hygiene;
- Changes in their behavior;
- Sunken eyes or cheeks;
- Personal Property Disappearing;
- Unwillingness to speak freely; and
- Fear in the presence of the abuser or unwillingness to be left alone with them.
The list can go on, so bear in mind your loved one is unique and the abuse or neglect hallmarks may present differently with them than anybody else.
How Much Can I Recover for Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
If you or an elderly loved one has been abused or neglected in professional long-term care or a nursing home, it is understandable you would like to know how much your claim is worth. Murrieta adheres to California’s Elder Abuse Act, which allows recovery of enhanced civil damages for victims of nursing home abuse and neglect who have mental or physical pain or suffering inflicted upon them.
In addition to compensatory damages to make a victim whole for the injuries they can substantiate, punitive damages may be awarded if the victim can prove by clear and convincing evidence the neglect or abuse was perpetrated with:
- Fraud, or
Due to the complexity of the differing burdens of proof and the different argument that need to be made to recover different damages, it is highly advisable to speak an experienced Murrieta attorney.
What Can I Do If A Loved One Suffers Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect in Murrieta?
The best way to address abuse or neglect in nursing homes is to remain vigilant and prevent its occurrence or recognize and curtail it before serious harm occurs. Looking for physical, emotional, mental, and behavioral changes and bearing in mind the changes may be subtle is a good first step to combating the insidiousness of these types of abuse and neglect.
In addition, if an injury occur you should take a few steps to protect their health and their legal rights.
Voice Your Concerns
Speak up at once if you notice any major changes in your loved one, have suspicions that they are being mistreated, or they confide in you. You should inform the facility and have the concerns investigated, but there are also government agencies created for the protection of the elderly that you can speak with about your suspicions or observations. Make reports to the police, adult protective services, and a Murrieta long-term care ombudsman.
Consult an Murrieta Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney
If you or a loved one were victims of nursing home neglect or abuse, contact the skilled Murrieta nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Walton Law today. We have years of experience handling nursing home abuse and neglect cases for clients like you and have secured millions of dollars in damage awards. Our knowledgeable attorneys will review your case and deliver personalized, aggressive representation for you. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (866) 338-7079 or through our Contact Us online form to schedule your no obligation, risk-free initial consultation. There is no obligation and you pay nothing until we win your case. Let us review your case and give you guidance so you can obtain the best possible result from a tragic situation.