Los Angeles Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Lawyers
Los Angeles County is home to 409 skilled nursing homes and over 1000 assisted living facilities for the elderly serving over 100,000 senior Angelinos every year. And while most nursing facilities in Los Angeles provide satisfactory care to their elderly residents, too many are being held responsible for the neglect and abuse of the patients that reside within.
The neglect or abuse of a nursing home resident occurs in a variety of ways. In general, however, it is most often the result of nursing caregivers to prevent falls, malnutrition/dehydration, bed sores, and other injuries or harms that would not occur but for negligent care. The Los Angeles nursing home negligence lawyers at the Southern California Nursing Home Law group have represented many families Southland families in cases involving elder abuse and neglect.Fighting for the Rights of Elder Neglect Victims
The Los Angeles elder neglect attorneys at the Southern California Nursing Home Law Group have been fighting for the rights of nursing home residents for more than 20 years. Our law firm has brought lawsuits against skilled nursing facilities and assisted living facilities throughout Southern California and have recovered over millions of dollars for victims and their families. Our attorneys have a deep understanding of California elder neglect and abuse laws and understand the serious and solemn nature of these cases.The California Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act
Enacted in 1991, California’s Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (EADACPA) is an independent legal cause of action available to individuals who believe they have been abuse, neglected or abandoned in the nursing home or assisted living setting. The body of law is found at Welfare & Institutions Code §15600 et seq. and was enacted after the California Legislature recognized that California seniors (over age 64) elders are particularly subjected to acts of abuse and neglect. The law also applies to a “dependent adult,” which is a person between 18 and 64 years of age who is unable to carry out activities of daily living due to impairments.
In enacting this body of law, the Legislature wanted to "direct special attention to the needs and problems of elderly persons, recognizing that these persons constitute a significant and identifiable segment of the population and that they are more subject to risks of abuse, neglect, and abandonment.”
Under EADACPA, elder abuse or neglect is defined as “physical abuse, neglect, abandonment, isolation, abduction, or other treatment that results in harm, pain or mental suffering.” It can also mean the deprivation by a care custodian of goods or services that are necessary to avoid physical harm or mental suffering.
- Physical Abuse: This type of abuse is defined as the intentional infliction of injury or physical pain upon the person, including sexual assault or molestation, or the unlawful use of physical or chemical restraints to punish the senior resident or dependent adult.
- Neglect: The neglect of a person can arise a variety of ways but is typically when a caregiver fails to protect an elder or dependent adult from health and safety hazards. Neglect often occurs when a caregiver fails to provide the care and treatment necessary for a patient to have good health, or to violate treatment order for an injury or illness.
- Abandonment: When an elder is left alone or otherwise abandoned or ignored by someone who is engaged to provide care.
- Negligence: Any conduct by caregivers that falls below the recognized standard of care and results in injury, illness, or death to the elder or dependent adult will be considered negligence. Negligent conduct is just as actionable as intentional conduct and neglect.
Our Los Angeles nursing home neglect lawyers have seen neglect and abuse arise under a variety of circumstances. In 20 years of practice, however, we have noticed patterns of cases.
- Falls with injuries: A resident rated as “high risk” for falls should not fall in a skilled nursing facility. Proper precautions and interventions must be taken. A sizable percentage of case here at Southern California Nursing Home Law Group arise when a resident falls and suffers an injury such has a fractured hip, pelvic, or skull.
- Bed sores and pressure ulcers (aka decubitus ulcers): A pressure related skin wound can be life-altering event for residents who experience them. With proper precautions, these wounds should be prevented. When a Stage 3 or 4 wound is developed to the coccyx or heel in a nursing home or assisted living facility, it is almost always the result of negligence.
- Failure to obtain medical care: Nursing caregivers must be trained to know when a resident needs to be seen by a physician or taken to the hospital. On too many occasions, when a resident is in obvious need of care, nursing staff refuses or resists the effort to have the resident seen by a doctor, frequently with disastrous outcomes.
The County of Los Angeles has a variety of resources for seniors and their families who have been subject to abuse or neglect. These agencies, both governmental agencies and non-governmental, can be an excellent recourse.
California Department of Public Health. To make a complaint about a nursing home, or to learn if a home or care facility has a history of complaints or citations, visit the website or call the state Health Facilities Inspection Division at (800) 228-1019.
To learn if a skilled nursing facility has been issued citations for conduct that resulted in a patient's death visit CDPH's website or call the state Health Facilities Inspection Division at (800) 228-1019.
Department of Social Services. To make a complaint against an assisted living facility call (323) 980-4935 (Central) or (818) 596-4334 (North L.A.).
Ombudsman. The Los Angeles County Ombudsman Office can be obtained by calling (800) 231-4024.
Adult Protective Services. For any immediate concerns about the wellbeing of an elderly Los Angeles County resident call Adult Protective Services at (800) 491-7123. You also may report abuse online here.
Los Angeles County Elder Abuse Hotline. To report other concerns about senior abuse (877) 4-R-SENIORS ((877) 477-3646).Request a Free Consultation With an Experienced Los Angeles Lawyer
The EADACPA (the Elder Abuse Act) has been the law in California for over 30 years. If you have a case involving you or a loved one and want to know your rights under California laws, please give Southern California Nursing Home Law Group a call. Our Los Angeles lawyers provide free consultations and will let you know if you have a viable case. Call (866) 607-1325 or complete our online questionnaire.