Elder Physical Abuse


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Torrance Elder Physical Abuse Lawyers

Strong representation from Torrance elder physical abuse attorneys

Nursing homes and caretakers have a duty and legal requirement to provide care to all patients. While each patient will have an independent care plan, there are general requirements for every staff member. When there is a failure to meet these requirements, such as physical abuse, it should be reported to the relevant government agencies and law enforcement. Often, nursing homes have been caught hiring individuals who are underqualified for the role to save costs and increase profits. This has led to an uptick in abuse cases. Elder physical abuse involves a caretaker causing physical harm or distress to a senior or impaired individual under their care. Speak to the Torrance elder abuse lawyer from Garcia & Artigliere about your legal options - contact us today.


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What is elder physical abuse?

There are four types of elder abuse, the most common and talked about being physical abuse. When a caretaker intentionally inflicts bodily harm on an individual, that is physical abuse, which can involve:

  • Restraining the person with a rope or other devices
  • Improper administration of medications
  • Withholding prescribed medications
  • Not providing food or water leading to dehydration or malnutrition
  • Hitting, slapping, kicking, biting, or any form of physical pain and suffering
  • Sexual abuse

Often, these actions lead to injuries, but the caretaker will try to cover them up. They know they should not hurt the senior and often have a history of inflicting harm. This means they also have experience hiding their wrongdoing. Family and friends should try to check on their loved ones as often as possible by making impromptu visits and talking to them alone. It is a red flag if the caregiver is leery about leaving you alone. If they are abusing your loved one, you should also seek legal recourse by speaking to a Torrance elder abuse lawyer.

What are signs an elderly person is being physically abused in Torrance?

You may think that physical abuse would be easy to detect, and in some instances, it is. However, in other cases, it can be hidden. If the issue continues, medical records could be altered or injuries not reported. When visiting or speaking to your loved one, look for the following signs of physical abuse:

  • Skull fractures and broken or dislocated bones
  • Black eyes, welts, rope marks, bruises, and lacerations
  • Internal injuries or bleeding
  • Torn or bloody undergarments
  • Open wounds, punctures, and cuts
  • A caregiver is refusing visitors for the residents or refusing to leave visitors alone with the resident.
  • Signs of the person being physically punished, like restraints or bruising in specific areas
  • Various untreated injuries at different points of healing
  • Vaginal or anal bleeding
  • Broken glasses or frames
  • The senior reports mistreatment, sexual assault, or rape
  • Sudden changes in behavior
  • Venereal or genital infections and diseases
  • Lab tests showing potential overdose or drugs not prescribed to the patient

There are many ways that a caregiver can abuse a senior, and it is essential to stay vigilant. Perpetrators often go for seniors they feel are alone or most vulnerable. They will be deterred when they notice family members are involved in care. They want easy targets, and when it is too challenging to abuse someone, they will hold back. While your loved one can be safe, they may look for another target, and reporting the incident to management is necessary. You should also seek compensation from these negligent parties by speaking to a Torrance physical abuse lawyer.

What causes physical elder abuse in Torrance?

The primary cause of physical elder abuse is neglect. There are myriad of factors that can contribute to physical abuse, most of which have nothing to do with the senior victim. Some factors that motivate an abuser's actions include:

  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Criminal background
  • Stress and fatigue from overworking often due to understaffing
  • Untreated psychological issues
  • Financial strain and stress
  • Having a history of being abused

Our Torrance physical abuse lawyer will examine and present these factors during your claim. They could be vital evidence to correlate the abuse to the caregiver and nursing home.

What injuries can seniors suffer from physical abuse in Torrance?

Physical abuse of a frail person can lead to devastating injuries and ongoing medical issues. Physical abuse can range, but injuries may involve:

  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Pressure sores and decubitus ulcers
  • Infections like UTIs and sepsis
  • Medication Errors
  • Unexplained sudden death
  • Anxiety and depression
  • STDs
  • Signs of restraint
  • Tooth loss
  • Sudden hair loss

These injuries may often be attributed to conditions like aging or the resident being a fall risk. Seniors who have cognitive impairments will also be pushed to the side when allegations arise. Caregivers sometimes have the audacity to say that these injuries were self-inflicted to cover up the abuse. When a senior is confused, they may not remember and believe that's what happened. Let our Torrance physical abuse lawyer investigate what is happening and hold abusers responsible.


Who is liable for physical elder abuse in Torrance?

For a successful elder physical abuse claim, you must prove some elements under California Penal Code Section 368 PC. You and your Torrance physical abuse lawyer must prove that the caregiver intentionally inflicted unjustifiable pain on a senior and this action would harm their health or endanger their life. Elder abuse cases can involve a singular incident or repeated abuse stemming months or years.

The perpetrator of the physical abuse can range from caregivers, other residents, and third parties. Anyone can be a victim, and perpetrators should be held liable. When filing a claim, you will have to prove the following to show liability for physical elder abuse:

  • Duty. You must show that the nursing home or caregiver was responsible for providing care and medical treatment to your loved one. This is typically established through contracts, insurance forms, and intake paperwork.
  • Breach. You must show that the facility or the caregiver did not fulfill their duty and committed an egregious action such as physical abuse.
  • Causation. You must show a link between the injuries your loved one suffered and the breach of duty.
  • Damages. You must show that you suffered losses from the individual's conduct or the nursing home.

Another critical factor is the timeframe you must file a claim. You have two years from the date you discovered the abuse to seek compensation. That means you should speak to a Torrance physical abuse lawyer immediately.

How much can you recover from elder physical abuse?

Once you determine who is liable for the elder's physical abuse, you can begin the legal process. If you can establish the main elements of a personal injury claim, you could recover compensation for your damages. The Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act allows victims and their families options to recover compensation for attorney's fees and damages caused by the abuse. Often, these damages involve:

  • Emotional distress and anguish
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Medical treatment costs

Other damages could be available depending on the circumstances surrounding the abuse. Punitive damages are rare but can be issued if the abuse is malicious. The definition can be subjective, but California courts consider malicious to be an intentional action to injure someone or despicable behavior regarding the safety of others. These damages will also require a higher burden of proof.

Do you have a Torrance elder physical abuse lawyer near me?

The team at Garcia & Artigliere is relentless in our fight to protect seniors and others in vulnerable positions. We do not want any perpetrator to walk away without consequences for their actions. We have years of experience holding long-term care facilities, nursing homes, and caretakers responsible for the physical abuse of the elderly. You can schedule an initial consultation with our Torrance physical abuse lawyer today. We have Los Angeles and Long Beach offices and serve clients throughout California.

Call our Torrance elder physical abuse lawyers today

Has your loved one suffered abuse at the hands of a caretaker while living in a Torrance nursing home? Call the office of Garcia & Artigliere or submit our contact form to schedule a free consultation today.

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