Elder Abuse Lawsuits

Filing an Elder Abuse Lawsuit

There is a huge increase in elder abuse lawsuit actions across the country because the size of the problem is simply astounding. Unfortunately, many cases of elder abuse go unreported.

The majority of the cases are filed against “licensed” facilities where you would think that the care would be the best. Many nursing homes, assisted living situations and residential homes for the elderly are charged with elder abuse each year. The estimates are around 2000 facilities being charged a year.

While grossly underreported (only 1 in 14 cases are ever brought to the attention of authorities), the numbers are still staggering:

  • 6% of elders in a nursing home likely suffer from some sort of abuse.
  • 33% of senior women with disabilities that are living in an institution are likely to experience IPV (interpersonal violence).
  • A study of 342 senior disabled men reported that 55% experienced some sort of IPV (slapping, hitting, shoving).
  • A study of 200 senior women indicated that 67% had been physically abused by staff members/care givers.

The numbers are absolutely heart wrenching. The problem is at epidemic levels. In many cases, the only way to get the abuse to stop is to file an elder abuse lawsuit. Unfortunately, the value of the dollar is often put ahead of the value of life. Nursing homes that permit this type of behavior against their residents often only respond once an elder abuse lawsuit is filed.

Why People Do Not Report the Abuse

One of the key factors in reporting is being aware of the situation. Many family members “trust” the staff of the nursing homes and do not question some of the information that is shared about their loved one.

Seniors that suffer from disabilities, dementia and other illnesses many not be able to fully explain their situation to a loved one. Often, when a loved one approaches staff members with questions, they are shot down. The explanations seem reasonable, so the inquiry stops.

In other situations where the senior is lucid and able to explain their situation, they may be afraid to come forward. The fear of suffering future abuse if they speak up can be very real. In essence, these seniors are held captive.

Some seniors do not report the abuse because they do not want to cause “trouble” for their families.

It is a complex dynamic that can be difficult for seniors and family members to work through. On one hand, you have seemingly authoritative professionals that are telling you one thing and then you have a sick elderly family member telling you another. It can be very easy to be duped into doing nothing.

Lawyers Can Help

You can call in local authorities and request an investigation. Sometimes the investigation is speedy and it stops the abuse, but sometimes the investigation can take months while the abuse not only continues but in many cases gets worst.

Securing legal counsel can be one of your biggest assets. Of course, you will need an attorney to file an elder abuse lawsuit but they can offer you and your loved one so much more.

An attorney can:

  • Help you notify the proper authorities
  • Help you to make other arrangements for your loved one
  • Help to get the damages that your loved one deserves
  • Help you to conduct an investigation to substantiate your beliefs about the abuse

Going It Alone

No one should have to try to navigate the system on their own. It can be a confusing system that is fraught with tons of red tape. Our seniors are not disposable; they deserve fair treatment sans abuse. If you suspect that your loved one is being abused, please contact the authorities and get an attorney on board that can file an elder abuse lawsuit.

Sources

http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/Library/Data/

http://www.nationallawjournal.com/id=1202674698582/The-Ins-and-Outs-of-Bringing-an-Elder-Abuse-Lawsuit?slreturn=20150524081102

https://www.usfca.edu/uploadedFiles/Destinations/School_of_Law/Academics/Co-Curricular_Programs/(7)SAN47-3Madow.pdf

 

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