Elder Abuse and Abandonment
As people age, they often reach the point when they are unable to care for themselves, and family members are forced to enter loved ones into nursing homes, retirement centers, or other care facilities. Caretakers have an obligation to protect elders and perform duties with kindness.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for caretakers to neglect their duty of care. Elders are often subject to abuse or neglect. Elder abuse and abandonment can cause illness, injury, or death, as well as emotional and financial damages. Personal injury lawyers at Burke Argos work with elder abuse victims in the Irvine, CA, area to hold liable caretakers accountable for the damages they cause.
Physical abuse is one of the most recognizable kinds of abuse, but elders can be subject to many different types of abuse or mistreatment. Some common examples of elder abuse include:
- Assault and battery
- Unnecessary or improper use of physical restraints
- Neglect to provide adequate nutrition or hydration
- Sexual abuse
- Failure to diagnose or treat illness or injuries
- Medication errors
- Financial exploitation
Under California law, abandonment is another form of elder abuse. Elder abandonment is defined as the desertion of an elderly person by someone who has assumed responsibility for their care or who has physical custody of the elder. Examples of abandonment include deserting an elder at a hospital, nursing home, or long-term facility, and deserting an elderly person at a public location. To be considered abandonment, desertion usually has to be purposeful and permanent.
Signs of Elder Abuse and Abandonment
Elderly people are often unable to report abuse or abandonment or avoid reporting them because they fear further repercussions. Loved ones should be aware of common signs of abuse and abandonment so they can take appropriate steps to stop mistreatment and provide protection. Common signs of elder abuse and abandonment include:
- Unexplained falls or injuries
- Bedsores or pressure ulcers
- Sudden weight loss
- Poor hygiene
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Withdrawal from friends and family
- Lack of interest in hobbies or activities
- Sudden changes in personality, including the onset of anxiety or depression
- Unexplained financial transactions or loss of money
- Expressing confusion or panic about one’s whereabouts
- Reports of abandonment
Holding Liable Parties Accountable
California law defines elder abuse as the physical, emotional, or financial mistreatment or neglect of a person aged 65 years or older. Citizens can face criminal charges for elder abuse and abandonment. Additionally, liable parties can be sued for the economic and non-economic damages caused by elder abuse and neglect.
Lawyers at Burke Argos in Irvine work with abuse victims and their loved ones to hold liable caregivers accountable for elder abuse and neglect. They help victims recover compensation for damages such as:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial expenses (if abuse or abandonment results in death)
- Punitive damages
If you suspect a loved one has been abused or abandoned by a trusted caregiver, lawyers at Burke Argos in Irvine can help you pursue financial compensation for related losses. To discuss the details of your case, send us a message and schedule a consultation.