TOP PERSONAL INJURY FIRM IN LOS ANGELES

Los Angeles Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Unfortunately, nursing homes can sometimes be hotspots for elder abuse. Nursing home residents can experience abuse due to under trained employees, insufficient nursing home management, poor environmental conditions, or outright malice from nursing home staff. Whatever the reason, nursing home abuse or neglect can cause an immense amount of physical pain and emotional distress, and may even threaten a resident’s life.

In California, nursing home residents that experience abuse or neglect have a right to take action against the at-fault individuals or entities. California’s Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act specifically protects elderly and dependent adults from abuse, neglect, and abandonment. This act gives senior citizens and dependent adults the right to take legal action against abusive parties, including perpetrators of nursing home abuse.

If you or a loved one has suffered nursing home abuse or neglect, reach out to LA Lawyers Group today to receive a free case evaluation. Our team of Los Angeles nursing home abuse lawyers has extensive experience handling nursing home abuse and neglect cases. We are committed to thoroughly investigating abuse cases in order to recover justice and proper compensation for our clients, and we will fight to protect your best interests.

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What is nursing home abuse?

Types of Nursing Home Abuse

There are many types of nursing home abuse, all of which can cause an immense amount of harm. Some of the most common types of nursing home abuse include neglect, emotional abuse, medical abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, and financial abuse. 

Neglect

Whether nursing home neglect is due to understaffing, a lack of staff training, or purposeful malice, it is a type of abuse. Nursing homes have a duty to care for their residents and failing to do so can have terrible consequences. Some examples of nursing home neglect include failing to provide residents with regular meals, failing to provide proper medical care, allowing unsanitary conditions that can cause illness, and ignoring requests for assistance. 

Emotional Abuse 

Nursing home staff can sometimes act in emotionally abusive ways. This may happen because a staff member is attempting to assert their authority or punish residents, or may also occur due to pure malice. Some examples of emotional abuse in a nursing home include a staff member threatening a resident, insulting a resident, humiliating a resident, or controlling a resident’s environment. 

Medical Abuse 

Medical abuse is abuse that is related to harmful medical care. Nursing home medical abuse tends to happen either due to understaffing or due to the negligence or maliciousness of a staff member. This type of abuse may involve harmful action or harmful inaction. Some examples of medical abuse include incorrectly administering medication and performing unnecessary medical procedures on a resident. 

Sexual Abuse 

Sexual abuse in a nursing home can be perpetrated by staff members or other residents. Sexual abuse in nursing homes can include unwanted exposure to the sexual parts of others, unwanted touching, and rape. 

Physical Abuse 

A nursing home resident could be physically injured by nursing home staff or other residents. Examples of physical abuse that could occur in a nursing home include pushing, kicking, punching, using physical restraints, or assaulting with thrown objects. 

Financial Abuse

Elderly people can be vulnerable to many kinds of financial abuse, especially if someone they should be able to trust (such as a nursing home staff member) has ill intentions. Some examples of financial abuse that could occur in a nursing home include checkbook theft or misuse, credit card theft or misuse, identity theft, tricking the elderly person into “giving” assets, threatening the resident into transferring assets, and undue influence.

Common Causes of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

The cause of nursing home abuse often varies depending on the unique conditions at a specific nursing home, such as its resources, the quality and character of its staff, and its overall facility management. Some examples of common causes of nursing home abuse and neglect include: 

  • Broken Medical Equipment
  • Failure to Properly Supervise Staff
  • Failure to Provide Adequate Medical Care 
  • Failure to Provide Adequate Security 
  • Failure to Report Abuse 
  • Hiring Unsafe Staff Members 
  • Medication Errors
  • Poorly-Trained Staff
  • Staff Addiction Issues 
  • Understaffing
What are common causes of nursing home abuse and neglect?
Injuries caused by nursing home abuse and neglect

Injuries Caused By Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Nursing home abuse and neglect can lead to numerous injuries and ailments. Some of the most common injuries caused by nursing home abuse or neglect include: 

  • Asphyxiation 
  • Bed Rail Injuries
  • Bedsores
  • Broken Bones
  • Bruises, Cuts, or Welts 
  • Concussions 
  • Dehydration
  • Infections 
  • Injuries Caused By Falls
  • Malnutrition 
  • Patient Deaths
  • Spinal Injuries
Damages Available to California Nursing Home Abuse Victims
In California, victims of nursing home abuse may be able to recover financial compensation for the losses they’ve suffered due to their injuries. California injury victims can be entitled to recover damages for both their economic and non-economic losses. In some cases, California injury victims may also be awarded punitive damages, which is a special type of compensation that is designed to punish at-fault parties for particularly egregious behavior.

Economic Damages

A California nursing home victim may be entitled to compensation for their economic losses. Economic damages can include a vast variety of measurable losses. In nursing home abuse cases, economic damages are often related to the medical bills a resident may accrue when treating and recovering from abuse or neglect. 

Some examples of economic damages that could be available in a nursing home abuse case include:

  • Ambulance Transportation
  • Doctor’s Office Visits
  • Future Medical Care 
  • Hospital Care 
  • Increased Living Assistance Expenses
  • Medical Devices 
  • Medical Testing
  • Physical Therapy
  • Prescription Medications
  • Surgeries

Non-Economic Damages

California law recognizes that injury victims can suffer non-monetary losses that can greatly harm their quality of life. California law allows injury victims to pursue compensation for these types of losses through non-economic damages, which can compensate victims for various types of intangible losses. 

Some examples of non-economic damages that could be available in a nursing home abuse case include:

  • Cognitive Impairment
  • Emotional Distress
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Physical Disability

Punitive Damages

In certain cases, a nursing home abuse victim could be awarded punitive damages in addition to compensation for their economic and non-economic losses. Punitive damages are awarded to a plaintiff when an at-fault party has displayed particularly egregious behavior. Punitive damages are meant to act as a punishment in order to deter future acts of malice, oppression, or fraud. 

An example of an instance in which a nursing home abuse victim may be awarded punitive damages would be in a case in which a nursing home fraudulently altered their records in an attempt to cover up abuse at their facility.

Damages Available in Nursing Home Wrongful Death Cases

If your loved one dies due to nursing home or assisted living facility abuse, you may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim. Under California law, certain surviving family members may be legally entitled to pursue compensation if their loved one dies due to the negligence or malice of another party. A wrongful death claim can allow family members to recover damages for the losses they’ve suffered due to their loved one’s wrongful death. 

The damages available in a wrongful death claim are always unique to the case in question, since California’s wrongful death claims allow family members to recover any “just” damages. What is “just” will vary on a case-by-case basis. However, some examples of damages that would generally be available in a wrongful death include: 

  • Funeral and Burial Costs
  • Loss of Affection
  • Loss of Care, Guidance, or Nurturing 
  • Loss of Consortium 
  • Loss of Decedent’s Reasonably Expected Income
  • Loss of Household Services the Decedent Would Have Provided

Note that the damages available in a wrongful death case are meant to compensate surviving family members for their losses, not for the decedent’s losses. Surviving family members cannot use a wrongful death claim to recover damages for things like the deceased person’s emotional distress, pain and suffering, or pre-death medical bills. However, in certain cases, surviving family members may be able to file a survival action to recover these types of losses on behalf of the decedent’s estate.

How Long Do You Have to Sue For Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?
If the cause of nursing home abuse is some type of negligence, this case would fall under the personal injury law. The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim, including a nursing home negligence claim, is generally two years from when the injury was discovered (or reasonably should have been discovered). If nursing home abuse or neglect leads to wrongful death, surviving family members generally also have two years to file a wrongful death claim, but only six months to file a survival action.

Depending on the conditions involved in a nursing home abuse case, it may fall under medical malpractice law, rather than personal injury law. Medical malpractice injury cases must be pursued within one year of the date of the injury. Wrongful death caused by medical malpractice has a longer timeline: surviving family members have three years from the date of the death to file a medical malpractice wrongful death claim.

It’s important to note that there can sometimes be exceptions to these general timelines. An example would be in the event that a government entity is involved in the case. If a government entity is named as an at-fault party, the statute of limitations for a claim would be only six months from discovery. Additionally, it’s important to note that the date that a statute of limitations begins can sometimes be harder to pin down in this type of case. Long-term care facility abuse may occur over a period of time. Subsequently, one may need to conduct an investigation to prove an accurate date of injury or reasonable discovery in this type of case.

As many variables can affect the statute of limitation that applies in a nursing home abuse case, it is safest for plaintiffs to seek legal representation quickly in order to ensure their legal rights are not affected by a deadline expiration.

Damages available in nursing home wrongful death cases
How Can a California Nursing Home Lawyer Help Elder Abuse Victims?

Unfortunately, a nursing home is unlikely to admit that they are responsible for elder neglect or abuse. Nursing homes generally fight back against abuse or neglect claims, often with the help of powerful legal teams. 

If you want to have a successful nursing home abuse claim, you need to be able to provide clear and convincing proof that the at-fault party is liable for your losses, while also being prepared to respond to a legal defense. A personal injury attorney at LA Lawyers Group can help you do that by:

Conducting an Investigation
Thorough investigation can be particularly critical in this type of personal injury case, since nursing home abuse and neglect generally happens behind closed doors. Our attorneys can use investigators to discover the root cause of neglect and abuse, obtain nursing home records, conduct interviews with witnesses, and inspect any other potentially relevant evidence with a fine toothed comb in order to build the strongest possible case for our clients.
Reviewing Hiring and Supervision Conduct
A nursing home may be liable for nursing home abuse if they engaged in negligent hiring or supervision practices. Our attorneys know how to investigate and analyze a nursing home’s practices in order to determine a nursing home’s potential liability for abuse or neglect.
Maximizing Damages
Our team fully understands the type of compensation a nursing home abuse victim may be entitled to under the law. Our lawyers have an expert understanding of how to calculate any and all types of damages in this type of case, including damages for intangible losses such as pain and emotional distress.
Bringing in Experts
Bringing in experts can make an enormous difference in the outcome of a case, so our law firm works with a network of experts who can provide testimony that speaks to our client’s losses.
Demonstrating Regulation Failures
In California, nursing homes are subject to specific regulations and safety standards. Our attorneys have a comprehensive understanding of how these regulations and standards must be adhered to practically, so we can demonstrate when a nursing home failed to fully comply with California law.
Providing Personalized Attention and Advocacy
In order to provide the best nursing home abuse attorney services to our clients, we always provide highly personalized representation. We are compassionate and attentive in our attorney-client interactions, so that we can best guide our clients through the legal process through this immensely challenging time in their life. We are also attentive and tireless in our approach to successfully settling or winning a case. We look at each case as a unique case in order to ensure we do not miss any distinct details that could prove vital to achieving the best possible outcome for our clients.

Get Help From a Los Angeles Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney

If you or a loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, reach out to LA Lawyers Group today to receive a free case evaluation. Our nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys have the skill, experience, resources, and dedication required to successfully advocate for the rights of California nursing home abuse victims. The expert personal injury attorneys at our Los Angeles office have successfully settled and won cases for injury victims from across Southern California, including those from Los Angeles, Glendale, Burbank, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Santa Monica, Venice, Long Beach, and various parts of Orange County.

Call our law firm today at (213)LAWYERS (529-9377) to receive your free consultation with one of our Los Angeles nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers.

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L.A. Lawyers

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Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
Phone: (213) LAWYERS
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