Elder Physical Abuse


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San Diego Elder Physical Abuse Lawyers

Relentless representation from San Diego elder abuse attorneys when seniors are hurt, restrained, or denied care in California

No senior should ever live in fear of being hit, restrained, or denied necessary medications. Every person who physically abuses a senior should be required to pay full compensation for the harm they cause – along with being subject to criminal charges where warranted. Every caretaker, from small in-home agencies to large nursing homes, should be held financially accountable if they could have taken steps to prevent, stop, or respond to the abuse and failed to do so. It’s never an excuse that a senior had cognitive challenges. At Garcia & Artigliere, our San Diego physical abuse lawyers have helped thousands of seniors obtain justice for elder care abuse and neglect, including physical abuse. We’ve obtained more than $3 billion for our clients.


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What is physical abuse?

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines physical abuse of a senior as occurring “when an elder experiences illness, pain, injury, functional impairment, distress, or death as a result of the intentional use of physical force and includes acts such as hitting, kicking, pushing, slapping, and burning.” Physical abuse also includes the unauthorized use of physical or chemical restraints and denying a senior his/her medications.

Physical abuse also includes sexual acts without the senior’s consent.

Physical abuse should never be used to control, intimidate, discipline, or punish a senior who lives in San Diego.

The American Bar Association states that seniors who have cognitive impairments such as dementia or Alzheimer’s are often targeted for physical abuse because they can’t resist and won’t report the abuse because they can’t remember what happened.

What signs of physical abuse should San Diego families look for?

Everyone who cares for a senior who resides in a long-term care facility, lives at home with in-house care, or visits an adult care facility should look for the following signs of San Diego physical abuse:

  • Broken bones, bruises, cuts, and any complaints that the senior is in pain
  • Personality or mood changes
  • Infections and illnesses that are untreated
  • Nonparticipation in social activities
  • Fear of staff members of other residents
  • Insomnia and other sleeping disorders
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Weight changes
  • Emergency room care
  • Nonsensical answers to questions
  • Sudden death

Why does elderly abuse occur in San Diego?

At Garcia & Artigliere, our San Diego elder abuse lawyers have more than 150 years of combined experience fighting for seniors who suffer any type of abuse or neglect. We are skilled at showing why the caretaker facility or owner should be held liable for any abuse committed by their staff members, other residents, or anyone with access to the caretaker’s facility or a senior’s home.

Some of the reasons San Diego physical abuse occurs include:

The abuser:

  • Has alcohol or substance abuse problems
  • Is antisocial, mean, or a criminal
  • Lacks the education and experience to work with the elderly – especially seniors with physical, emotional, or cognitive disorders

The caretaker:

  • Is understaffed
  • Doesn’t have written policies and procedures for recognizing, preventing, and responding to physical abuse
  • Failed to conduct background checks
  • Failed to discipline or terminate the abuser
  • Failed to notify the police, the state or local ombudsman, or local adult protective services
  • Failed to immediately provide medical care for the senior who was or is still being abused

What types of harm does physical abuse of the elderly cause in San Diego?

Every step should be taken to prevent the abuse of the elderly because most seniors already have physical challenges such as arthritis, poor hearing, back problems, and balance difficulties. Seniors (60 and older) need more time to heal than younger people and often don’t heal as well.

Physical abuse can cause all types of physical harm, including fractures, internal organ damage, burns, bruises, sexual trauma, and head trauma. Victims may suffer loss of circulation and other disorders when physical or chemical restraints are used. Some physical abuse may cause a senior to lose the function of a body part. Most physical abuse causes severe pain and suffering. Seniors in San Diego who suffer any type of physical abuse are likely to suffer emotional abuse too.

Seniors receive specific medications to cure, prevent, or treat specific disorders. The failure to receive those medications can cause those disorders to occur, worsen, or become intolerable.

Tragically, some physical abuse of the elderly in San Diego can be fatal.

Who is liable when seniors are physically abused in San Diego?

The person who commits physical abuse may face criminal charges. At Garcia & Artigliere, our San Diego elder abuse lawyers coordinate your civil claim against the abuser with any criminal actions.

In most cases, we file complaints against the caretaker on the grounds that the caretaker could have prevented the abuse. Some of the reasons nursing homes, in-home service agencies, and other caretakers may be liable for the physical abuse of your loved one are because the caretaker failed to:

  • Run background checks on new hires
  • Have written policies and procedures in place to identify and prevent abuse
  • Comply with federal laws, California laws, or caretaker best practices
  • Monitor and respond to complaints of abuse by staff members, residents, and visitors
  • Rotate the staff so an abuser doesn’t have complete control of a senior
  • Failed to have a reporting system and failed to respond to complaints of abuse

San Deigo caretakers may be vicariously liable for the misconduct of their employees.

What is the value of a physical abuse of the elderly claim in California?

At Garcia & Artigliere, our San Diego physical abuse lawyers obtained more than $50 million in recoveries for our clients in California in 2022. We pay attention to all the small details, including all the necessary medical care, each type of injury, the full scope of the patient’s pain and harm, and all other damages.

We demand compensation for your loved one’s current and future damages, including:

  • Medical costs for ER care, hospitalizations, doctor visits, rehabilitative therapy, psychological counseling, medications, and assistive devices
  • Daily physical pain and emotional suffering
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of function of any body part
  • Any scarring or disfigurement

We file wrongful death claims on behalf of families when physical abuse causes a loved one to die. We demand compensation for the funeral and burial costs, any financial damages, and the personal damages of the family members, including the loss of comfort and guidance your loved one would have provided each family member.

If elder physical abuse occurs, we usually seek punitive damages because the harm is severe and the acts of the abuser are normally deliberate.

What are the time requirements for filing a San Diego physical abuse claim?

The California statute of limitations for physical abuse and wrongful death actions is two years from the date of the abuse. Please contact us as soon as possible so we can:

  • Explain exactly when you need to file your claim
  • Investigate how the physical abuse occurred and who is responsible
  • Speak with any witnesses while they can best remember what happened
  • Help your loved one obtain the medical care they need
  • Contact the authorities such as law enforcement and the local ombudsman
  • Stop the physical abuse so it doesn’t continue
  • Possibly arrange to have your senior transferred to a different caretaker
  • Take other actions depending on the type and severity of the physical abuse

Do you have a San Diego physical abuse lawyer near me?

Garcia & Artigliere represents elder San Diego residents who are physically abused by their caretakers. Don’t let your loved one suffer any longer. Help your loved one by contacting our seasoned elder abuse lawyers today. We demand full compensation for every way physical abuse harms your loved ones and changes their lives.

Protect your loved one in San Diego with help from our elder abuse lawyers

At Garcia & Artigliere, our San Diego physical abuse lawyers fight for seniors when the unconscionable happens. Physical abuse of any form on any senior is never justified. Every type of physical abuse is traumatic. To help your relative or friend, call us or fill out our contact form now to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

We represent the elderly in San Diego – and Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Francisco, and across California. We also represent clients in Arizona, Kentucky, and Louisiana. We handle physical abuse of the elderly claims on a contingency fee basis.

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