What Are Your Legal Options for Elder Abuse?

Find A California Personal Injury Lawyer for Elder Abuse


The elderly are one of the most vulnerable groups in society. If you are a loved one is suffering from any type of abuse, consult a California Personal Injury Lawyer to help file Personal Injury Claims.


What Qualifies As An Elder Abuse Claim in California?

Abuse of the elderly can come in a variety of forms. One example is physical aggression, such as when a nursing home employee slaps or moves a resident. It could also be a financial concern, such as when a shady stockbroker dupes an elderly customer into making a risky investment.

It can be challenging to detect in some cases, such as extreme emotional abuse or a caregiver's persistent inability to meet an elder's basic physical needs. Elder abuse laws in California protect seniors from harm in any form and give legal remedies in the event of abuse.

These issues have been brought to the forefront in recent years as the number of people over 65 continues to rise. On the other hand, this problem is not new; only the level of attention paid to it and the urgency with which it must be addressed has changed.

Contact a California Personal Injury Lawyer in your California Lawyer Search. This is the best way to navigate the complicated turns in legal matters.


What Protects Elders from Abuse in California?

Several regulatory systems identify and prosecute abusers, even though more work remains to be done to ensure that none of our senior citizens are subjected to violence again.


Elder Abuse Legislation at the Federal Level


The Elder Justice Act was the first federal law to designate a specific source of government monies to prevent elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. On March 23, 2010, the Act was enacted as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).


Congress created the Older Americans Act in 1965 in response to legislators' concerns about a shortage of community social services for the elderly. The Older Americans Act was reauthorized in 2016, with measures to improve the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program and subsequent elder abuse screening and prevention activities to protect incapacitated elders.


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Regulations against Elder Abuse in California


California was one of the first states to enact strong anti-abuse legislation. The Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Rights Act of 1982 (the "Act") establishes a civil cause of action for a wide range of measures commonly referred to as "elder abuse," such as physical abuse, negligence, and financial abuse. In addition, it requires specific individuals to report alleged elder abuse to the appropriate authorities.


California's Law Against Physical Abuse of the Elderly

Abuse can happen in a variety of ways. Your California Personal Injury Lawyer can elaborate on the details for each of the following cases:

California's Elder Abuse Laws Describe Physical Abuse


Even though the term "Physical Elder Abuse" is widely used as a catch-all for any conduct that causes physical anguish to an elderly person, the Act specifically defines it. According to the Act, physical violence includes all of the following:

  • An individual is attacked or assaulted

  • Assault with a deadly weapon or force capable of causing serious bodily harm

  • Physical restraint that is not required

  • Food or water deprivation for an extended period of time

  • Assault

  • Battery

  • Rape

  • Spousal rape

  • Kissing Without Consent

  • Acts of lewdness or lasciviousness

Negligence is defined as "the irresponsible failure of any individual with care or custody of an elder or dependent adult to exert the degree of care that a responsible person in that situation would exercise."

Neglect can appear in several ways, including the following:

  • Failure to help in the maintenance of personal hygiene is a serious offense

  • There is no assistance in the form of food, clothing, or shelter

  • Lack of ability to provide medical care

  • Failure to protect against hazards to one's health and safety

  • Dehydration and malnutrition are caused by a failure to avoid them

There is also a blurring of the borders between what is considered violence and irresponsibility, leading to misunderstanding. If you have any questions concerning the difference between elder abuse and elder neglect, please contact a California Personal Injury Lawyer.

Elder Financial Abuse


In this state, financial abuse of the elderly and dependent adults is a long-standing and growing problem. California presently has more than 5 million elders (those aged 65 and up), which is expected to rise significantly as the population ages.


With the population aging, understanding the rules that protect the elderly and dependent adults is more vital than ever. In reaction to the reality that "elders and dependent adults may be vulnerable to abuse, neglect, or abandonment" and that "this state has a duty to protect such individuals," the California Legislature established the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Security Act.


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Abuse in Nursing Homes


The most common offenders of Nursing Home Violence against their patients are nursing home employees. Therefore, employers are typically liable for their employees' acts (a notion known as respondent superior), and this idea also applies to elder law.


Rather than pursuing a cause of action against a single nursing home employee who is likely to have limited resources, many victims of nursing home abuse are better served by prosecuting the nursing facility itself, which bears complete responsibility for the activities of its employees.


To win a complaint of physical elder abuse against a nursing home employee's employer under the Act, the applicant must show the following:

  • The employer was aware of the employee's unsuitability before hiring them, the employer accepted or validated the employee's behavior, and the employee participated in oppressive, dishonest, or malicious behavior.

  • For additional information on pursuing legal action against nursing homes and the extent to which employers can be held liable for the conduct of their employees, contact a California Personal Injury Attorney.

Find A Elder Abuse Attorney in California


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