Oakland Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Nursing home abuse is something that no family wants to contemplate. Abusing, neglecting or exploiting an elderly individual is a grotesque crime that demonstrates an extreme disregard for the welfare of a vulnerable population. At Milanfar Law Firm, PC, our California trial attorneys are passionate about bringing those who mistreat the elderly to justice. We can represent you and your family in a civil lawsuit brought against a nursing home in Oakland for elder abuse or nursing home neglect.
Why Choose Us?
- We have the knowledge and skill to go up against any defendant, big or small.
- Our lawyers have years of experience handling nursing home abuse and neglect cases.
- We have achieved many positive settlements and verdicts for past clients.
- We use a personalized approach to personal injury law, customizing each client’s legal strategy.
- Our trial lawyers are not afraid to go to court in pursuit of maximum compensation, if necessary.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse? What Does it Look Like?
Nursing home abuse refers to an employee at a nursing home – such as a caregiver, nurse or administrator – causing harm to a resident through willful, wanton or malicious acts of violence. Nursing home abuse occurs more often than most people realize but is widely unreported. There are many types of nursing home abuse:
- Physical abuse. Intentionally causing physical harm to a resident (e.g., punching, kicking, slapping, burning, etc.).
- Emotional or psychological abuse. Inflicting mental or emotional trauma on a resident through verbal harassment, isolation, restraints or other means.
- Sexual abuse. Sexually assaulting or raping a nursing home resident. Any sexual relationship between an employee and a resident is unethical.
- Financial exploitation. Taking advantage of a nursing home resident for financial gain, such as a fraud scheme or robbery, is considered financial abuse.
- Neglect. Failing to take proper care of a nursing home resident, such as failing to provide food, water, medical care or basic hygiene.
Nursing home abuse can have detrimental effects on a resident. A victim may suffer serious injuries, such as broken bones, hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries that put him or her at risk of death. Infections, illnesses and bedsores are also common in neglected nursing home residents. Daily suffering due to nursing home abuse can also impact a victim’s mental health and quality of life – increasing mortality rates.
How Common Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Data available from the US Department of Justice indicates that at least 10% of adults aged 65 and over experience some type of elder abuse each year. It is not uncommon, according to the DOJ, for an elderly person to experience more than one type of abuse.
However, the data available is likely not representative of how much elder abuse actually occurs. The National Council on Aging states that only one out of every 24 cases of elder abuse gets reported to proper authorities.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Nursing Home Abuse Case?
There may be various types of compensation available for victims of nursing home abuse if their claim is successful. Our team works diligently to recover both “special” and “general” damages on behalf of every client that we assist. For a nursing home abuse case in Oakland, this may include:
- Special damages. These are also referred to as economic damages and include calculable expenses a victim will likely incur as a result of the nursing home abuse. This can include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Medical bills associated with the abuse
- Payment of any mental health counseling needed
- Coverage of movement to a new care facility
- Replacement of any stolen or misused assets
- General damages. These are referred to as non-economic damages and include less calculable damages a victim will likely incur as a result of the abuse. Non-economic damages are designed to provide compensation for a victim’s:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional and psychological pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of quality of life
Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA), elder abuse or neglect is challenging to detect due to the similarity of some signs to self-neglect. Another issue arises in nursing homes where residents often lack the mental or physical capacity to seek help or protect themselves, making them vulnerable and frail.
There are several indicators that elder abuse may be taking place such as:
- Cigarette burns or other types of burns
- Marks possibly caused by aggressive restraint with ropes or straps
- Unusual hair or tooth loss
- Broken bones
- Dislocated joints, sprains, bruises, bite marks
- A delay between when the injury occurred and when the patient seeks medical attention
- A sudden shift in behavior from your loved one
What Are the Rights of a Nursing Home Abuse Victim in Oakland?
In California, a senior citizen who has been subjected to nursing home abuse or neglect has the right to file a civil lawsuit in pursuit of justice and financial compensation. Most of these cases are brought against the nursing home facility itself, either for the criminal acts of one of its employees or the establishment’s failure to protect its residents.
Nursing homes have a responsibility to reasonably ensure residents’ safety and well-being, as well as to maintain or enhance their quality of life. If a nursing home falls short of this obligation, such as by failing to conduct background checks on new workers, ignoring complaints or understaffing the facility, it can be held liable for a case of elder abuse.
Proving a nursing home abuse case requires clear and convincing evidence that the victim more likely than not sustained his or her injuries due to negligent, abusive or criminal acts committed by the defendant. Evidence to support this type of lawsuit may include medical records, eyewitness statements, video surveillance footage, photographs and expert testimony.
How Can You Help Prevent Nursing Home Abuse?
One of the best ways to prevent nursing home abuse is for family members and friends to stay involved in their loved one’s life. This includes not only making phone calls to the nursing home resident but also regularly visiting the facility to check on the individual as well as the state of the nursing home. Nursing home residents will be much less likely to incur abuse if family members and friends are regularly involved in their day-to-day lives.
If any type of abuse is suspected, including physical abuse or emotional and typological abuse, you should report your suspicions. It may be a good idea to contact an attorney who can examine the facts of the case and help give advice about how to move forward with a claim if one is warranted.
California Statute of Limitations for Nursing Home Abuse Claims
Nursing home abuse victims and/or their caretaker or guardian must file a lawsuit against an alleged negligent party within two years from the date the injury occurs or from when an injury or illness caused by abuse is discovered. Failing to file a lawsuit within this two-year time frame will likely mean that the nursing home abuse victim is unable to recover any compensation for their losses.
There are some exceptions to the personal injury statute of limitations, and we encourage you to reach out to an attorney for assistance with your claim as soon as possible.
Contact an Oakland Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Today
No one should ever suffer the torment of abuse or neglect at a nursing home in what should be the golden years of life. The lawyers at Milanfar Law Firm, PC, are dedicated to shedding light on nursing home abuse and mistreatment in the Oakland community. We can represent you and your family in a case against a long-term care facility in Oakland that harmed your loved one. If you suspect nursing home abuse, neglect or mistreatment, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation from a nursing home abuse attorney. Call (925) 433-6003 today to get started.