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Elders living in nursing homes or assisted living quarters are at the mercy of their caregivers and can be abused. Signs of abuse are:
- Bone fractures
- Poor hygiene
- Pressure sores (bed sores)
- Unexplained bruising
If you have an elder family member that you know or suspect is being abused you should take quick action.
Should I Hire an Attorney?
Yes. Hiring an attorney who is experienced in handling elder abuse cases can put a stop to the abuse, hold the abusers and their employers accountable, and get your elder family member compensated financially for harm suffered.
Time is of the essence. Your elder must file the abuse lawsuit at the earliest possible time or the statute of limitations may prevent the case from going to court at all. The statute of limitations begins when your elder or a person caring for your elder is aware of the abuse.
If your elder family member does not have the mental capacity necessary to sue, you may bring a lawsuit on the elder’s behalf and the statute of limitations begins running when you realize abuse has occurred.
What Can an Elder Abuse Attorney Do?
At an initial consultation, an attorney experienced in elder abuse cases will listen to your concerns and the circumstances as you know them and determine if your elder has a case. Most attorneys offer free consultations.
Your elder’s attorney can:
- Evaluate the circumstances of the abuse
- Determine the severity of the case
- Calculate the expenses related to the abuse
That will help to determine the amount of damages necessary to compensate your elder family member.
Your elder’s attorney will document the abuse by taking photographs, researching medical records and related documents, and talking with your elder family member, if possible.
In building the case, your elder’s attorney will develop evidence supporting the allegations by interviewing witnesses placed under penalty of perjury. Your attorney also can conduct other “discovery” methods to learn what happened and what the abuser’s employer did or did not do to prevent future abuses.
In preparation for trial, your elder’s attorney will make, defend, and oppose pleadings and motions in your elder’s best interests.
Most civil lawsuits are settled for a specific amount of money. Your elder’s attorney will negotiate a settlement based on the compensation involved. If a settlement is not reached, your elder’s abuse case will be scheduled for trial.
Most often in elder abuse cases, attorney fees will be taken from a portion of the settlement or the amount a jury awards in compensation for injuries caused by abuse or neglect.
Click to learn about Elder Abuse Law on LawInfo.