When Do You Need Experienced Orange County Elder Abuse Lawyers?
Abuse of vulnerable individuals like the elderly shocks the conscience. An experienced elder abuse attorney can help the injured regain safety and dignity.
Older individuals and elderly people deserve the same rights and respect provided by society to the middle-aged and the young. However, when the symptoms of aging make our bodies and/or minds more vulnerable, there are individuals and institutions that can take advantage. Such actions are forms of abuse, and there are laws in place to protect against it.
At Hodes Milman, LLP we have achieved multi-million and six-figure sums for clients and their families who have suffered due to elder abuse. By pursuing justice for yourself or your loved one, you help hold wrongdoers responsible for the harm they’ve caused, and may incentive real changes to safety protocols and living standards for other older individuals.
To speak to one of our experienced attorneys, call our main office in Irvine, California directly at (949) 640-8222, or fill out this online contact form to schedule your free consultation. Your information is kept fully confidential, and your decision to reach out today could be the first step to improving the quality of life for you and your family.
For more information on what qualifies as elder abuse, and how an attorney can help, read on.
What Is Considered Elder Abuse?
We must start with the legal definitions that describe “elder abuse” for a full understanding of who and what qualifies.
An “elder” is an older individual above the age of 55-65. While many families and cultures value elders as any adult noted for their wisdom and good works, legal special protections based on advanced age begin at 55 (The Older Americans Act of 1965), 60 (an “older person” according to the United Nations), and 65 (clinically). In addition, “dependent adults” are those who are not children, but do not have the physical and/or mental capacity to live independently.
“Abuse” generally means any action or neglectful inaction that harms or injures an individual. There are several different kinds of abuse that impact elder persons specifically, each of which are detailed further below.
What Damages Are Available in Elder Abuse Lawsuits?
When proven, the damages covered by elder abuse lawsuits can include compensation for:
- Medical bills for any emergency or ongoing care
- Financial refunds for stolen money or property
- Pain and suffering endured, whether physical or psychological
- Punitive damages also known as “punishment” fees charged to wrongdoers
- Wrongful death expenses associated with funeral costs, estate closures, and the loss of a person’s unique companionship and insight
No amount of money makes up for the abuses and indignities suffered, but it is a tangible way for the law to help. Settlements or verdict awards can help improve a person’s future health by funding medical care, correcting certain wrongs like theft, and sending a clear message that abusive behavior is completely unacceptable.
One’s golden years and retirement accommodations should be peaceful, respectful, and secure. If those dignities are being violated for you or your family member, contact Hodes Milman, LLP today at (949) 640-8222 to discuss your specific needs and circumstances.
Are There Different Types of Elder Abuse?
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), there are seven types of elder abuse. The categories include:
The 7 types of elder abuse are:
- Physical abuse: From visible injuries like broken bones, burns, or bruises, to other forms like delayed care or intentional infliction of discomfort
- Emotional or psychological abuse: Verbal abuse like insults or threats, humiliations like forced nudity, or terrorizing behaviors meant to scare or intimidate
- Financial abuse: Theft or unauthorized use of money, credit, or belongings (like clothes, jewelry, or cars)
- Sexual abuse: Forced or unwanted sexual contact or sexual harassment, including in situations where the older person is not mentally capable of consent (like patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia)
- Abandonment: Desertion of an elderly person by an individual who had custody of them, such as a professional nurse or caretaker relative
- Neglect: While maintaining custody of an elder, abandoning the duties associated with their basic care like hygiene upkeep, medication schedule, and nutrition
- Self-neglect: This category refers to elders who can no longer handle their own basic needs, and require intervention so that appropriate arrangements are made for their care
According to The National Council on Aging (NCOA), elders suffer billions in losses each year due to financial abuse. Those self-reported numbers are likely lower than the true amount, even though elderly individuals are far more likely to self-report financial exploitation than any other form of abuse (physical, emotional, or sexual).
These forms of silence are also why the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) states that neglect is the most common type of elder abuse. At Hodes Milman, LLP we are dedicated to ensuring that elders in need are heard, acknowledged, and helped to the fullest extent of the law.
What Is the Sentence for Elder Abuse?
Depending on the harm caused, criminal injuries to elderly individuals can result in fines or jail/prison time. For example, according to California Penal Code 368, offenses against the elderly (65+) can be prosecuted as misdemeanors or felonies that are punishable by up to 4 years of jail or prison.
However, criminal law is separate from the justice you can pursue individually with a civil lawsuit. At Hodes Milman, LLP we represent clients for cases concerning elder neglect, medical malpractice, and nursing home abuse, including these specific case results:
for a 58-year-old father who became quadriplegic due to faulty tires causing a vehicle rollover. He will now need 24/7 care going forward.
for a 71-year-old patient who was scheduled to be transferred from intensive care to a hospital. In the process, nurses failed to notice severe desaturation, and made critical errors during a blood transfusion. We secured a $2.4 million settlement over the defendant’s initial offering of $1.5 million.
for a 61-year-old veterinarian who suffered a disabled hand due to negligent surgery. Since the injury happened to his dominant left hand, he was unable to continue to work as a cow veterinarian.
Criminal acts of abuse are dealt with in criminal courts, but a civil lawsuit is about you: your injuries, your needs, and the justice that you deserve. A judge may also add additional awards to your verdict to essentially punish the wrongdoers if appropriate — such punitive funds are only considered in addition to the losses that you already deserve to have compensated.
What Can You Do if You Notice That a Patient Is Suffering From Abuse?
Elder or dependent adult abuse is often hard to detect. Whether you’re a family member who suspects nursing home abuse, or a loved one who suspects family member neglect, there are actionable signs of elder abuse.
Your loved one may be a victim of elder abuse or neglect if they:
- Develop bedsores
- Become malnourished or dehydrated
- Live in unsanitary conditions
- Display unusual behaviors of fear, anger, or listlessness
- Have unexplained bruising, burns, or other injuries
- Otherwise have a decline in their condition or functioning
If you see any of these signs, the experienced and compassionate elder abuse attorneys at Hodes Milman, LLP are here to help. Please contact us today at (949) 640-8222 to talk about your concerns. All calls are completely confidential and without cost or obligation.
Contact Knowledgable Elder Abuse Attorneys
The lawyers at Hodes Milman, LLP have helped secure justice for elderly individuals and their families for over 30 years. We will fight to ensure the abusers are held accountable for their actions, as well as work to secure the maximum compensation for you and your family.
We can be reached at (949) 640-8222, or via our online contact form—your consultation is free, and your information is confidential. At Hodes Milman, LLP we offer supportive, strategic representation in a trusted, compassionate environment.
Every human being has a right to a safe environment, dignified care, and individual respect. When you’re ready, our elder abuse attorneys are here to help you assert your rights and improve your future.
Elder Abuse FAQs
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How common is elder abuse?
The amount of abuse and neglect suffered by the elderly and dependent adults has reached crisis proportions. This is a result of new generations reaching their senior years, and far-reaching pandemics affecting our nation’s nursing care capacity.
Sadly, it’s a sensitive issue that is more often overlooked than addressed and can be difficult to expose without a strong support system. That is why it’s all the more important to act on the signs of elder abuse right away—by reporting it to higher-ups in a nursing facility, alerting family members who can take custody of the elderly individual, or seeking legal counsel.
Where can I report elder abuse?
Elder abuse can be reported through many different channels. You may contact local police authorities or state elder abuse hotlines. If the abuse has occurred in a nursing home or care facility, you should inform the administration there.
It’s important to contact a lawyer as well if you anticipate initiating legal action. This is especially true because national and statewide hotlines mostly offer advice and local resources to seek out if available, but can do very little to make hands-on improvements for your situation. On the other hand, a lawsuit can bring about substantial personal benefits.
When is an elder care facility liable for elder abuse and neglect?
An elder care facility may be liable for elder abuse and neglect when they owe a certain duty of care to the patient, yet fail to follow that standard, causing harm to them. For instance, if the facility is required to follow certain standards for cleanliness and bathing, yet fail to follow these guidelines and cause harm in the process, they may be held liable for elder neglect.
Elder abuse can also include intentional conduct, such as when a facility allows caretakers to cause intentional physical or emotional harm to a resident. Cases involving intentional conduct may result in more serious legal consequences for the facility, such as a loss of operating license.
How long do I have to file an elder abuse lawsuit?
A “statute of limitations” (SOL) is essentially a filing deadline that a person has in which to bring a legal claim. After the SOL expires, it is no longer possible to file a lawsuit. In the state of California, the deadline for elder abuse cases is 2 years of the incident of abuse.
Due to these filing limitations, it’s in your best interests to contact an elder abuse lawyer as soon as possible when you discover an incident of abuse. Contact the elder abuse lawyers at Hodes Milman, LLP by calling (949) 640-8222 to begin legal action.
ABOUT HODES MILMAN, LLP
Hodes Milman, LLP has won $200 million and has over 30 years of experience securing justice for victims of negligence. We are proud to call our clients family and offer them the resourceful, committed and accessible legal advocacy they deserve.
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