San Diego Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Lawyers
San Diego County is home to 88 skilled nursing homes and roughly 300 assisted living facilities for the elderly. Every year, several of these nursing facilities are held liable in cases of negligence, neglect, and abuse of the residents who reside within. Neglect and abuse come in many forms, but typically arise from the nursing staff's failure to prevent falls, bed sores, malnutrition, or other ailments that would not arise but for substandard care. The San Diego nursing home negligence lawyers at the Southern California Nursing Home Law group are based in San Diego and have represented many families in cases of elder abuse and neglect.Fighting for Nursing Home Justice
For over 20 years, our attorneys have been fighting for justice for San Diego residents who have been the victims of nursing home or assisted living neglect. We have brought legal actions against dozens of San Diego nursing facilities and recovered over $20 million for victims and their families. Our San Diego nursing neglect lawyers have a deep understanding of California nursing home neglect law, are highly rated, and well-known in the nursing home legal community.The California Elder Abuse Act
In California, the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (EADACPA) was enacted, and several times has been amended, to provide remedies to elders who suffer abuse or neglect in the 24-hour custodial care setting, as in a skilled nursing facility (nursing home), or a residential care facility for the elderly (assisted living or board and care). Individuals who are protected must be 65 year or older, or qualify as a “dependent adult,” which is generally a person between 18 and 64 years of age who is unable to carry out activities of daily living due to impairments.
The Elder Abuse Act defines elder abuse 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.
- Neglect: When a caregiver fails to protect an elder or dependent adult from health and safety hazards. Frequently occurs when a caregiver fails to provide the care and treatment necessary for good health, or to address an injury or illness.
- Physical Abuse: The intentional infliction of physical pain or injury, sexual assault or molestation, or the unlawful use of physical or chemical restraints to punish the elder or dependent adult.
- Abandonment: When an elder or dependent adult is abandoned or ignored by someone who is a caregiver.
- Isolation: The intentional prevention of an elder from receiving mail, telephone calls or visitors.
- Mental Suffering: Causing fear, agitation, or confusion through threats, harassment or other forms of intimidating conduct.
- 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.
In the worst cases, neglect in the nursing home or assisted living setting leads to life-threatening injuries and wrongful death. Our San Diego elder abuse lawyers see it develop in a wide variety of situations but the most common are:
- Bed sores (aka decubitus ulcers): Serious bed sores should not develop in a nursing home or assisted living facility, and they certainly should not worse, to a Stage III or IV. Coccyx wounds and heel wounds represent a majority of our pressure ulcer cases.
- Falls/Fractures: Falls that cause injury represent a large portion of our cases. Proper precautions must be taken to prevent nursing home falls.
- Failure to obtain appropriate care: When there is a significant change in the health of a resident, nursing caregivers must be trained to recognize the change, and to obtain appropriate care. We have seen this failure in many cases, and it usually leads to very serious complications and death.
San Diego has a variety of governmental agencies, and non-governmental agencies with services to help the senior population. Below, are links to a few.
California Department of Public Health. The California Department of Public Health regulates over 10,000 healthcare facilities in the State of California, including all skilled nursing facilities. Every nursing home in San Diego should be licensed and certified by DPH, who conducts annual inspections. The DPH will also investigate complaints. To reach the San Diego office call at (866) 706-0759 (San Diego Metro) or (800) 824-0613 (North County) or visit its website.
California Department of Social Services. The California Department of Social Services oversees the operation of all Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly. To make a complaint against a local assisted living facility or board and care facility call (619) 767-2300.
Adult Protective Services. If you have an immediate concern that an elderly loved one is being abused, neglected, or isolated, call the San Diego Adult Protective Services at (800) 510-2020.
San Diego Elder Law and Advocacy. SDELA is a group of experienced elder law staff and trained volunteers who serve thousands of local seniors. It provides free and low-cost civil-related legal services, including Medicare and Medicare counseling, referrals to community senior service providers and community education. Most services are free. Call (858) 565-1392 to learn more.
Consumer Advocates for RCFE Reform. CARR is a San Diego nonprofit created to help the public understand senior care options & to promote regulatory reform aimed at reducing resident risk. It can be reached at (619) 540‑1648Request a Free Consultation
California's Elder Abuse Act has been on the books for over 30 years and is designed to protect nursing home and assisted living patients. To learn whether your situation merits legal action under the law, give Southern California Nursing Home Law Group a call. Our San Diego attorneys never charge a fee to discuss and can let you know whether you have a case that warrants a deeper investigation and, possibly, legal action. Call anytime to (866) 607-1325 or complete our online questionnaire.