Needham Kepner & Fish LLP Answers Questions About Elder Abuse in California

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The elder abuse attorneys at Needham Kepner & Fish LLP have extensive experience representing elders who have suffered abuse or neglect throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Below, they answer common questions they receive about elder abuse in California. 

What Is Elder Abuse in California?

Under California's Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act, elder abuse encompasses many types of abuse and neglect. The law prohibits the following behavior towards anyone 65 years of age or older and dependent adults:

  • Physical abuse
  • Neglect, isolation and/or abandonment
  • Psychological or emotional abuse
  • Financial exploitation

What Are Common Signs of Elder Abuse and/or Neglect?

There are many warning signs of elder abuse. Loved ones should look for the following physical signs of abuse:

  • Unexplained injuries, such as bruises, scrapes, burns and lacerations 
  • Sprains and/or broken bones
  • Bedsores
  • Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
  • Decline in hygiene, such as a lack of bathing, dirty clothes or unwashed bedding

Signs of psychological and/or emotional abuse include, but are not limited to:

  • Unexplained change in temperament
  • Anxiety, fear and/or depression
  • Social isolation
  • Strained relationship between the caregiver and the elder

Who Can Be Held Responsible for Elder Abuse in California?

California elder abuse laws allow victims to file civil lawsuits for damages against their abusers. Elder abuse liability varies depending on the unique circumstances of the case. However, liable parties may include, but are not limited to:

  • Nursing homes
  • Assisted living facilities/Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly
  • Hospitals
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Adult Day Care centers
  • Individuals who work at these facilities, such as doctors, nurses or caregivers

What Can an Individual Do If He or She Suspects Elder Abuse and/or Neglect?

If an individual suspects that his or her loved one is in immediate danger, he or she should contact local authorities immediately. If the loved one is not in immediate danger, the individual should consider reporting the conduct to the facility's administration. He or she may also consider reporting suspicions of elder abuse or neglect to local Adult Protective Services. 

The individual should also document as much evidence as possible. Examples of evidence may include:

  • Photos of physical abuse (injuries)
  • Written documentation of abuse or neglect
  • Medical records
  • Records of conversations with residents or staff of the facility

Then, the individual should discuss his or her unique situation with an experienced elder abuse lawyer. A lawyer can help the individual understand his or her legal options.

About Needham Kepner & Fish LLP

Needham Kepner & Fish LLP is a San Jose personal injury law firm that serves clients throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Its attorneys handle many types of cases, including elder abuse, auto accidents, bicycle accidents and wrongful death. The firm also provides arbitration and mediation services in a variety of litigation matters.

Source: Needham Kepner & Fish LLP


Categories: Legal Services

Tags: Elder Abuse Attorney, Elder Abuse Lawyer, Nursing Home Abuse, Nursing Home Neglect

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