Lawyers for Elder Abuse Litigation
Adults who are unable to provide for themselves and require supportive care may be considered vulnerable adults, and subject to special protections under state and federal laws. Under state law, elders over the age of 60, as well as adults with mental or physical disabilities, who rely on the assistance of a guardian, nursing facility, hospice organization, or other care provider are classified as “vulnerable.” Elder abuse, or abuse of a senior over the age of sixty-five, can carry both criminal and civil penalties in court. However, it can be difficult to establish that an elderly person has been abused, particularly if they have memory or cognitive impairments or disabilities. This makes it particularly important to retain a trustworthy elder abuse lawyer that understands this potentially challenging area of law if you were abused, or you suspect a loved one has been abused. There are legal options if you are interested in seeking civil remedies to redress the reckless acts or omissions elders face. Call the trustworthy nursing home neglect lawyers of Walton Law to determine whether you have a viable basis to sue for elder abuse.
Seeking Damages for Elder Abuse
Elder abuse occurs when willful actions or inactions inflict an injury on a vulnerable adult. Abuse can include physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction, or any other treatment that results in physical harm or pain or mental suffering. By contrast, neglect involves deprivation of necessary goods and services by a person responsible for the care of the elder or a failure to use the degree of care a reasonable person in a similar position would exercise towards a dependent adult. For instance, it could include a nursing home’s failure to help with personal hygiene, failure to provide food and clothes and shelter, failure to provide mental or psychological care, failure to protect an elder from safety hazards, and failure to prevent dehydration or malnutrition.
Both elder abuse and neglect are prohibited, and it is important to stay alert to signs they are occurring, particularly if your loved one is under the care of a facility.
What Damages Are Available for Elder Abuse?
In most cases, damages in an elder abuse case are compensatory, meaning they are intended to put the elder or the loved one back in the position he or she would have been in had there been no neglect or elder abuse. These damages could include medical bills, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and therapy. In some cases, the harm done by elder abuse is substantial, such as where an elderly person has been raped or physically beaten by a staff member.
However, when abuse or neglect is committed with “recklessness, oppression, fraud, or malice,” a plaintiff could be entitled to remedies beyond the usual compensatory damages. In many of those cases, a high standard of proof applies to the egregious conduct. For example, you may need to prove that the nursing home was responsible for supplying medical care, and yet did not provide it, causing injuries.
Consult a Seasoned and Trustworthy Elder Abuse Lawyer
Elder abuse is a complex area of law that requires an understanding of numerous federal and state laws. If you believe that someone you know has suffered elder abuse or neglect, you should contact an attorney experienced in handling these claims. At Walton Law, a large portion of our practice is dedicated to representing seniors in our community in matters involving elder abuse and neglect. For a free and confidential consultation with an experienced elder abuse attorney, please call us directly at (866) 338-7079, or complete our online form.