Law Practice Areas:Los Angeles Elder Abuse Lawyers
Garcia, Artigliere & Medby specializes in elder abuse cases in Los Angeles and the entire state of California. Our elder abuse lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience in elder law.
According to a recent study, 10% of adults 60 years of age and older are the subjects of abuse by caretakers, family members and even total strangers. We understand the amount of anguish that one feels after discovering that their parent or friend was manipulated to meet the needs of the abuser.
As a dedicated team of Los Angeles elder abuse lawyers, we have worked with clients on a wide range of complaints. We have brought justice to victims of abuse caused by bed sores, death and everything in between. When it comes time to get justice for your loved ones, we can help bring charges against the perpetrator.
What Does an Elder Law Attorney Do?
Elder law lawyers are advocates for the elderly and their loved ones. We deal with a wide range of legal matters impacting an older or disabled individual, including problems related to nursing home abuse, financial elder abuse, abuse by home health care aides, personal injury related to abuse, healthcare and long-term care planning.
What is Considered Elder Abuse in California?
Elder abuse consists of physical, psychological or sexual abuse upon a senior citizen. Elder abuse can even result in death. It is often committed by someone that is in charge of caring for the elderly person. In the United States alone, more than half a million reports of elder abuse reach authorities every year, and many cases go unreported.
Elder abuse can take place in institutional settings, particularly long-term care centers, nursing homes and skilled nursing centers. Often in these settings, elders are abused when loved ones are not around, which is a thinly veiled attempt at covering up such treatment. Elders can also be abused at home by family members, including a spouse or adult child.
Elder Abuse Definition and Elements – California Penal Code § 368
According to the California Penal Code Section 368, elder abuse sentencing and subsequent penalties depend on whether the offense is charged as a misdemeanor or felony. This is known as being a “wobbler” in California. In short, the punishment will fit the severity of the crime.
In making this decision, the prosecution will consider numerous elements such as the age of the victim, the degree of the victim’s injuries and the manner in which the supposed abuse took place.
In addition to filing criminal charges, an elder abuse attorney can help victims and their families with civil charges against the nursing home or skilled care facility, the home health care agency and even the caretaker.
What Are the Signs of Elder Abuse?
The physical and psychological effects of elder abuse will vary. Family members and friends should be on the lookout for unexplained injuries or conditions that linger for an extended period. These effects include:
Physical Signs of Abuse
- Welts, bruises and cuts
- Dental issues
- Head injuries
- Bed sores
- Consistent physical pain and discomfort
- Nutrition and hydration concerns
- Sleep disruptions
- Worsening of preexisting health conditions
Psychological Signs of Abuse
- High levels of distress and anxiety
- Withdrawal or increasing depression
- Dramatic change in sleeping or eating habits
- Confusion or contradictory statements
- A feeling of helplessness or hopelessness
- Signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
How to Recognize and Prevent Elder Abuse
Signs of elder abuse can be challenging to recognize, or confused for symptoms of dementia or the senior’s frailty. Many of the signs and symptoms of elder abuse do overlap with symptoms of mental stress. Frequent arguments between the caregiver and the senior citizen or drastic personality changes can signal elder abuse.
Preventing Elder Abuse as a Loved One
As a caregiver or loved one, the following actions can help prevent elder abuse and neglect:
- Visit as often as you can at random times.
- Hold the facility and caretaker accountable; monitor that there is sufficient staff and that they are being attentive.
- Monitor the elder’s medications to make sure they are being taken according to the prescription from the doctor.
- Ask the elder if you can check their checking account and credit card statement for financial abuse and unauthorized transactions.
- Report suspected abuse as soon as possible.
How to Report Elder Abuse in California
If you suspect elder abuse, you should call an elder abuse attorney immediately to get help with the reporting process in California. They will help you navigate the bureaucracy of filing a complaint with the local police department and Adult Protective Services, as well as provide support for you during the investigation. Your lawyer will ensure the rights of your elder loved one and that you are legally protected throughout the entire process.
What Is the Elder Abuse Investigation Process?
Upon receiving a report of abuse, Adult Protective Services will conduct an examination of the reported abuse. The preliminary objective of an investigation is to verify that the elderly person is safe and that they have been informed of their rights. The scope of the examination may include the following:
- A welfare check to the elderly individual’s house or care facility
- Observation of the elderly person
- An interview with the elderly person
- An interview with other individuals who know the elderly person and the situation
- A review of treatment and health care records
In addition to an investigation, the agency can help the individual or family members recognize additional resources that might be of support.
Your Los Angeles Elder Abuse Attorneys
At Garcia, Artigliere & Medby, we understand that this is a traumatic experience for the elderly loved one and caregiver. It is our mission to put an end to elder abuse and recoup all damages associated with such treatment. If you strongly suspect that a loved one is being abused in Los Angeles, or even if you have already discovered evidence of abuse, contacting a law firm that is on your side will ensure the best outcome.
We have been helping senior citizens who have been abused by caretakers at home and in facilities for more than 30 years. When you or a loved one has been abused, we step in to hold abusers accountable. We have handled more than 2,500 elder abuse cases around the country, resulting in more than $1.25 billion in recoveries for victims and their families.
Please contact us at any time, and we will be glad to assist you and your family in the most courteous manner possible. By reaching out, this is a no-obligation, free consultation. Get the help and guidance you need by contacting us today.