Our California Elder Abuse Attorney Can Help You

With aging, an individual’s life undergoes a lot of change. Our health, energy and resources deteriorates as our age increases. You will not be able to execute laborious tasks and may require assistance for even the most basic tasks like bathing and eating. During such difficult times, we need reliable people around us who don’t take advantage of our vulnerable situation. Many elderly people in California have faced financial and physical abuse at the hands of their caretakers, relatives, own children and scamsters. California has more than twice the number of elder abuse complaints compared to the national average, with 13 percent versus 5 percent nationally. If you know someone around you who is a victim of elder abuse or you yourself are one such victim, then speak with our California elder abuse attorney. Our expert attorneys can help you get out of this difficult scenario and will fight for rights to put an end to your sufferings.

Types of Elder Abuse in California

An elder is defined as any person residing in California, 65 years of age or older. On the other hand, a dependent adult is defined as any person between the ages of 18 and 64 who resides in California and who has physical or mental limitations that restrict their ability to carry out normal activities or to protect their rights. In California, elder abuse encompasses a variety of wrongful acts directed towards individuals aged 65 and older, as well as dependent adults aged 18 to 64 who have physical or mental limitations.

The types of elder abuse recognized under California law are as follows:

1. Physical Abuse abuse involves acts of violence that may result in bodily harm, pain, or distress. Such acts include:

        • Assault and battery.
        • Assault with a deadly weapon.
        • Unreasonable physical constraint, or deprivation of food or water.
        • Sexual assault, including rape and sexual battery.

2. Financial Abuse occurs when a person or entity illegally or improperly uses an elder’s money or property. This can include:

        • Taking, secreting, appropriating, or retaining property for wrongful use or with intent to defraud.
        • Financial dealings that involve undue influence to obtain the elder’s property.

3. Neglect refers to the failure of those responsible for the care of an elder to provide necessary food, clothing, shelter, or medical care, leading to the elder’s harm or distress. It may include:

        • Failure to assist in personal hygiene.
        • Not providing essential medical care.
        • Ignoring the elder’s safety, leading to health hazards.
        • Failing to prevent malnutrition or dehydration.

4. Mental Suffering encompasses actions that cause fear, confusion, severe depression, or emotional distress to an elder, including:

        • Intimidation or threats.
        • Deceptive acts or misleading statements made with malicious intent.

5. Abandonment, Isolation, and Other Forms

        • Abandonment is when a person who has custodial responsibility for the elder deserts them.
        • Isolation includes actions that prevent the elder from receiving mail, phone calls, or visitors.
        • Abduction or moving the elder out of the state against their will.

Victims of elder abuse, or those who suspect abuse, can seek help through Adult Protective Services, local law enforcement, or by contacting California elder abuse attorney for legal advice and representation. The state’s approach to elder abuse is comprehensive, aiming to protect its elderly and dependent adult population from harm and exploitation

Legislative Framework on Elder Abuse in California

Elder abuse in California is comprehensively addressed through both criminal and civil laws, focusing on the protection and justice for elders and dependent adults.

Criminal Prosecution

Under California Penal Code 368, elder abuse is recognized as a criminal offense. The law outlines specific criteria for prosecuting an individual for elder abuse, which can either be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony based on the severity of the abuse. Key conditions for felony charges include:

        • Knowledge that the victim was elderly or a dependent adult.
        • The abuse (physical or mental) was committed purposefully with the intent to cause pain.
        • The abuser is a caretaker who willfully allowed harm to come to the one in their care or created an environment that could lead to harm.

Punishments under this law vary depending on the age of the victim and the severity of the abuse, including jail time and fines. For instance, causing significant bodily injury can result in up to 5 years in state prison if the victim is over 70, while financial exploitation can lead to fines and jail time as well.

California Elder Abuse Attorney
California Elder Abuse Attorney

Civil Protection

The California Elder Abuse Act (CEAA) provides a civil avenue for elder abuse victims to pursue their abusers. This act is designed to make it easier for victims to file civil suits against their abusers, potentially recovering expenses required for physical or mental treatment and ongoing care. It serves as a safety net allowing victims to seek justice and compensation, even without criminal charges

Legislation AB 1417: Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Mandated Reporting

The Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act mandates specified individuals to report cases of elder or dependent adult abuse. AB 1417, an amendment to this act, reorganizes reporting provisions, especially concerning incidents in long-term care facilities. It specifies that:

        • In cases of non-serious bodily injury caused by a resident with dementia, a written report must be submitted within 24 hours to the long-term care ombudsman and local law enforcement.
        • For all other abuse instances, an immediate verbal report, followed by a written report within 24 hours, is required.

Mandated reporters include staff across various facilities, including long-term health care, community care, residential facilities for the elderly, hospitals, and anyone involved in counseling, caring for, or handling finances for elder and dependent adults

California’s approach to combating elder abuse involves a combination of criminal prosecution and civil protections, ensuring that perpetrators can be held accountable while providing victims with avenues to recover damages. The legal jargon can be tough to understand for any individual, that is why you shouldn’t hesitate to consult with a California elder abuse attorney to better understand the applicability of laws according to your case details.

Addressing the Warning Signs of Elder Abuse

Recognizing the signs of elder abuse is crucial for intervention and prevention. Some common indicators that may suggest elder abuse is occurring at a healthcare facility include:

      • Physical Indications: Bruises, bedsores, pressure ulcers, broken bones, or any other visible signs of physical abuse or neglect.
      • Mood and Energy Changes: A sudden and dramatic decline in mood, energy, and alertness, which could suggest psychological abuse or neglect leading to depression.
      • Overall Well-being: Any noticeable decline in the general well-being of an elder, which could hint at various forms of abuse or neglect.

Given the complexity and variety of elder abuse, these signs only represent a portion of what might be observed. It’s essential for family members, caregivers, and professionals to remain vigilant and proactive in identifying and addressing potential cases of elder abuse.

Addressing Elder Abuse

For those who suspect elder abuse, taking immediate action is critical. Reporting the abuse to the appropriate authorities, such as care facility administrators, ombudsmen, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), or even involving the police is necessary. Seeking legal advice from a California elder abuse attorney can ensure that the rights and well-being of the elderly individual are prioritized and protected

California’s laws offer protection against elder abuses through various statutes contained in the Welfare and Institutions Code and the Penal Code. The state mandates reporting of suspected abuse by certain professionals and provides both criminal and civil penalties for violators. For instance, failing to report known or suspected elder abuse is punishable under the Welfare and Institutions Code § 15630, with penalties increasing if the failure results in death or great bodily injury.

Are You a Victim of Elder Abuse? Consult with our California Elder Abuse Attorney

If you or someone close to you has suffered abuse in any form, Pacific Attorney Group is here to help you. Don’t suffer in silence, schedule a free consultation with our California elder abuse attorney and get expert legal help at zero cost. Elder abuse is an unfortunate reality that many seniors face. It encompasses a range of offenses, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial exploitation, neglect, and more.

Our California elder abuse attorney is highly experienced in this field and committed to protecting the rights and dignity of seniors. The attorney can provide the necessary legal advice, represent you in court, and fight tirelessly to ensure justice is served. Reach out to our California elder abuse attorney today for a confidential consultation.