Best Santa Clara Elder Abuse and Neglect Law Attorneys
Welcome to JS Abrams Law. We are a leading law firm serving as a Santa Clara Elder Abuse Attorneys standing up for senior victims who have suffered from elderly home and financial abuse. Santa Clara seniors and their families rely on nursing homes to provide quality care and a warm caring environment. To ensure that nursing homes provide quality care, there are federal and California laws that govern nursing home operations. The laws provide rights for the seniors and duties for the nursing homes. When nursing homes fail to follow these laws and common nursing home standards, the homes deserve to be held accountable for the harm they cause. Many of the same laws and principles also apply to long-term care facilities.
According to the California Department of Justice, by 2025, nearly 6.4 million people seniors (in just California alone) are expected to live in nursing homes. Currently, “about 110,000 Californians live in about 1,300 licensed nursing homes and about 150,000 live in about 7,500 licensed residential care facilities for the elderly. Another 150,000 or more Californians are estimated to live in unlicensed assisted living facilities that may or may not be able to care for them properly.”
The strongest way to protect your rights and the rights of a senior you care about is to hire an experienced Santa Clara nursing home neglect and abuse lawyer. A financial judgment sends a message to nursing homes by paying for the losses the senior suffers and by letting the nursing home if they don’t corrective measures, there will be further lawsuits.
What are the various types of nursing home abuse?
The National Council on Aging uses the following categories to describe the types of nursing home abuse:
- Physical abuse. Seniors should never be hit, punched, or attacked. Neglect can also cause physical pain and harm.
- Emotional abuse. Seniors should not suffer harassment, intimidation, verbal insults, or threats.
- Sexual abuse. Seniors have the right to be absolutely free from any sexual contact with an adult such as “touching, fondling, and intercourse” “when the older adult is unable to understand, unwilling to consent, threatened, or physically forced.”
- Financial abuse. Nursing home abuse includes pressuring or having a senior unwillingly sign a power of attorney. Financial abuse includes stealing from a senior or mismanagement of any funds a senior has.
- Passive neglect. Nursing homes must be held accountable if they fail to provide food, shelter, or other necessities for a senior. Nursing homes that fail to provide medical care to a senior may also be held liable for passive neglect.
- Improper confinement. A senior should never be restrained or isolated for non-medical reasons.
- Willful deprivation. Nursing homes and long-term care facilities should never intentionally punish or deprive a senior of the basic necessities of life that can cause physical, mental, or emotional harm – unless a competent adult has “expressed a desire to go without such care.”
What signs should friends and family members look for - that may indicate nursing home or assisted-living facility abuse
Residents and their families should look for the following signs of abuse or neglect when they visit a nursing home resident:
- An unwillingness to engage in social activities
- Broken bones
- Medication mistakes and overdoses
- Pressure ulcers also called bedsores
- Withdraw from others
Why do nursing home abuse and neglect occur in Santa Clara nursing homes and long-term care facilities?
Seasoned Santa Clara nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers work to show that the harm to a senior is caused due to one or more of the following reasons:
- Negligent hiring practices. Nursing homes should check the qualifications of the people they hire. This check includes criminal background checks and any complaints filed against an applicant while working for other nursing homes or senior care facilities. Nursing homes should check that any required certifications are current.
- Understaffing and underfunding. Many seniors are abused or neglected simply because the nursing home didn’t hire enough qualified staff to take care of all the seniors in the nursing home.
- Non-compliance with Santa Clara and California and federal health and safety standards. Nursing homes must keep current with federal, state, and local regulations – such as COVID-19 safety precautions.
- Poor design of the nursing home. Nursing homes should anticipate that seniors will have mobility problems, that they may fall, and that they may vision and hearing problems. Nursing homes and senior care facilities should be designed to minimize these difficulties.
- Failure to provide competent medical care. Nursing homes and eldercare facilities that are required to provide medical care, should have physicians and nurses who specialize in geriatric care.
Nursing homes and senior care facilities should routinely monitor and work to improve the care nursing home residents receive.
What are the rights of seniors in Santa Clara nursing homes?
Nursing home facility and senior care facilities that accept Medicare (most facilities do) must comply with the following Medicare rights of patients – the right to:
- Engage in activities
- Be free from discrimination
- Respectful treatment
- File complaints
- Be free from restraints
- Receive quality medical care
- Spend time with visitors
- Manage their finances
- Contact a personal representative
- Suitable living arrangements
California also has its own Bill of Rights for nursing homes and long-term care residences.
Holding Santa Clara nursing home and elder care facilities liable for abuse and neglect
There are two types of claims that can be filed for nursing home abuse or neglect:
- A wrongful death claim. Family members can file a wrongful death claim if a senior dies due to nursing home abuse or neglect. Sadly, many seniors do die if they receive improper care.
- A personal injury lawsuit. The senior can file his/her own claim for any physical injuries, emotional harm, and financial losses. Damages include pain and suffering, financial damages, and medical expenses. Punitive damages, if allowed, pressure the nursing home to take corrective action.
Accountability for financial abuse in Santa Clara
Nursing home staff members, in-home caregivers, family members, and financial members may financially abuse a senior because seniors often have cognitive problems, vision problems, and hearing problems. This makes their Social Security accounts, IRAS, pensions, home equity, and other assets targets for financial abuse.
Financial abuse can include:
- Pressuring or tricking the senior into signing a financial power of attorney
- Stealing from the senior
- Making purchases the senior normally wouldn’t make
Skilled Santa Clara lawyers fight to hold anyone who commits financial abuse accountable for paying back the funds and paying punitive damages.
At JS Abrams Law, our Santa Clara senior care abuse and neglect lawyers work aggressively to hold nursing homes and senior care facilities accountable when they fail to protect their residents. Many claims settle out of court. We’re ready to try your case in court if necessary. Call us at 818-330-4515 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment.