One of the worries family members have is the occurrence of abuse inflicted on elderly loved ones, especially if they live in care facilities or nursing homes. Aside from making sure that your facility takes serious measures to prevent abuse, it is very important to know the signs of abuse in the elderly. You must make quick decisions regarding protection, future care and legal action necessary to stop the abuse or prevent it from happening. Read on to know if you have grounds for a lawsuit for elderly abuse.
What Is Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse is any form of physical, emotional, sexual and economic abuse or neglect of a person who is 65 years old or older. This may include using physical force to threaten or injure an elderly person, using verbal attacks, isolating the elderly person or causing mental distress and anguish. Sexual abuse, theft, fraud, misuse of the elderly’s finances are other instances of abuse that could give rise to a lawsuit against the caregiver or the facility caring for the elderly individual.
There are various warning signs that point to abuse. These may include:
–physical marks such as slap marks, bruising, welts, blisters and burns
–depression, withdrawal, fear and anxiety, distress seen on the abused elderly
–unexplained financial transactions, altered wills and trusts, unusual gifts or loans
–bedsores, unkempt appearance, weight loss, etc.
Who Can Sue?
The primary person who can file a lawsuit for elder abuse is the abused individual himself or herself. Family members can also file a lawsuit for an abused family member. Most states provide an inclusive definition of legal standing when it comes to elderly abuse that allows family members and interested persons to sue for abuse or neglect in behalf of the person affected, whether or not that person is still alive.
If the elderly person passed, the deceased’s successor, which is also often a family member, has authority to pursue legal action. Other parties that can file a lawsuit include the intestate when interest is affected, or any person legally deemed as an interested party.
What To Do When You Spot Abuse
The first step is to alert the facility management to inform them of the abuse. At the same time, alert adult protective services so they can conduct an independent investigation and provide assistance to the victim. Finally, contact an elder abuse lawyer so you can start prepping for a lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit is the only way to ensure that your loved one and others like him or her are protected from further acts of abuse, neglect or violence. A lawsuit filed by interested persons with the help of a competent legal professional ensures that your loved one gets the protection and compensation that he or she deserves.
If you think that you may have grounds for an elderly abuse lawsuit, get in touch with your lawyer today.