Elder Physical Abuse


California Lawyers Handling Claims of Physical Abuse of the Elderly

California attorneys fighting for seniors who have suffered physical harm

Physical abuse of seniors occurs all too frequently at assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and private homes. Many of the people who suffer physical abuse have cognitive difficulties. Physical abuse often occurs because the long-term care facilities or private caretakers are understaffed and not properly trained. Sadly, many seniors who are physically abused don’t report physical abuse out of fear of another assault. At Garcia & Artigliere, our California physical abuse lawyers file personal injury and wrongful death claims when physical abuse causes broken bones, head trauma, other serious injuries, and death. We’ve obtained more than $3 billion in recoveries for people who suffer due to abuse or neglect.


What is physical abuse?

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines physical abuse as causing a senior pain, injury, functional impairment, illness, distress, or death – due to the “intentional use of physical force.”  Examples of physical abuse include slapping, kicking, hitting, burning, and pushing.

Physical abuse can include active acts such as hitting the elderly or engaging in sexual acts without the consent of the senior. Passive physical abuse includes the use of physical restraints to confine a senior and chemical restraints to control a senior.

Among the elderly, the American Bar Association states that seniors who have cognitive disabilities such as dementia or Alzheimer’s are common targets of physical abuse because they usually don’t respond in ways that caretakers expect, because they don’t resist, and because they’re unlikely to complain.

At Garcia & Artigliere, our California elder abuse lawyers demand justice for seniors who suffer any type of physical abuse. There’s absolutely no justification for causing intentional harm to a senior. We work with the police and prosecution when criminal charges are filed. We demand full compensation when elder abuse causes personal injuries or the tragic death of your loved one.

What are the signs of physical abuse of the elderly in California?

Relatives, friends, the staff of long-term facilities, and anyone who advocates for the elderly can help seniors who suffer physical abuse in California by recognizing and reporting the signs of physical abuse.

These signs include:

  • Cuts, bruises, scars, broken bones, and other injuries that can’t be explained
  • Personality changes
  • Illnesses and infections
  • Staying away from people the senior should normally trust
  • Anxiety, irritation, and depression
  • Weight loss
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Hospitalization
  • Implausible answers to questions about their injuries
  • Sudden death

What are the causes of physical abuse of the elderly in California?

At Garcia & Artigliere, our California physical abuse lawyers understand the causes of physical abuse and the people who are likely to abuse a senior.

Caretakers may lack the education, training, and ability to work with the elderly who have cognitive impairments. These caretakers may use force to silence a senior instead of responding and treating the senior’s concerns. Nursing home residents with dementia may attack another resident without even knowing it. Substance abuse and antisocial behavior are common causes.

Assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and other long-term facilities may be liable for the physical abuse of a resident if the facility:

  • Is understaffed
  • Fails to conduct background checks
  • Doesn’t have the experience and knowledge to handle patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s
  • Fails to respond to complaints of physical abuse
  • Doesn’t have reporting and disciplinary procedures in place

What injuries occur when a senior is physically abused in California?

Seniors are more likely than younger people to suffer serious injuries because their bones are more brittle, their immune systems are less strong, they already have other ailments, and for many other reasons. Most seniors need a long time to heal – and time is the one thing seniors don’t have.

The type of injuries depends on the type of physical abuse. Active abuse may cause broken bones, spinal cord damage, paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, nerve damage, burns, muscle damage, and many other types of injuries. Passive physical abuse such as the use of chemical restraints can cause internal damage. Intentionally refusing to give a senior his/her medications can cause whatever illnesses the medications were intended to treat to reappear or worsen.

All physical injuries are likely to cause emotional suffering. Some injuries cause scarring and disfigurement. Many California victims of physical abuse never fully recover. Tragically, some victims die from physical abuse.

Which defendants are liable for the physical abuse of seniors in California?

Intentional physical abuse may result in criminal charges against the abuser. Our California physical abuse lawyers work with the prosecution when criminal charges are filed. At Garcia & Artigliere, we file personal injury and wrongful death claims against the individuals who abuse your loved one.

We also file claims against the entities that could have prevented the abuse or responded sooner – and failed to do so. Nursing homes and other senior facilities may be liable if:

  • They failed to conduct background checks
  • The assailant was an employee
  • They failed to have a reporting system for handling and responding to complaints
  • They failed to follow standard nursing home practices
  • They were aware of similar assaults and failed to respond

How much is a senior’s physical abuse claim worth in California?

At Garcia & Artigliere, our California physical abuse lawyers demand compensation for every way a senior’s life is affected by physical abuse. Compensation for physical abuse of the elderly includes payment of the senior’s current and future:

  • Medical bills of any nature, including hospitalizations and rehabilitative therapy
  • Physical pain and emotional suffering
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Any scarring or disfigurement

In many cases, we seek punitive damages because physical abuse is intentional and to ensure no further abuse happens to your loved one or anyone else in the care of those responsible.

How much time do I have to file a California elder abuse claim?

California’s statute of limitations for physical abuse of the elderly claims is generally two years from the date the abuse started. There may be shorter deadlines depending on what happened and who’s responsible.

We recommend that you or the senior contact our California elder physical abuse lawyers as quickly as possible. We’ll answer all your questions and work with your doctors or own network of doctors to fully understand the severity of the senior’s injuries and the medical care required. We’ll investigate the claim to determine who is liable and why they’re liable. We’ll speak with everyone involved, including other seniors to encourage them to speak on your behalf and to come forward with their own claims.

Do you have a California physical abuse lawyer near me?

Garcia & Artigliere represents victims of physical abuse throughout California. We maintain offices in Long Beach and Los Angeles. In 2022 alone, our lawyers obtained $50 million in settlements and verdicts for our clients. We’re ready to help you protect yourself and your loved one today.

Stop physical abuse now. Call the California physical abuse lawyers at Garcia & Artigliere now

We immediately put nursing homes and private caretakers on notice that any physical abuse needs to stop immediately. Our California physical abuse lawyers have helped seniors nationwide obtain strong and just settlements and verdicts. We’re skilled at showing who is responsible for the physical abuse and the full severity of the physical and emotional injuries. At Garcia & Artigliere, our senior physical abuse lawyers have more than 150 years of experience fighting for seniors who are physically abused.

Call or contact our offices now to schedule a free, confidential consultation. We proudly serve California, including Long Beach and Los Angeles. We maintain additional offices in New Orleans, Phoenix, and Louisville. We handle elderly physical abuse claims on a contingency fee basis.

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Additional services for victims of elder abuse in California