If you have an elderly loved one who suffered abuse at the hands of a caregiver, you know exactly how devastating the toll can be. Elder abuse can lead to serious declines in a loved one’s mental and physical health, to a loss of financial stability, and even to untimely death. If you have an elderly loved one who you believe has suffered from abuse at the hands of a caregiver, get the legal help you need to seek compensation for their injuries. Contact the Hughey Law Firm today at (843) 881-8644 to schedule a free consultation.
At Hughey Law Firm, we represent the victims of wrongdoing by others, including victims of elder abuse. We have recovered millions for our clients across a wide variety of personal injury-type matters. When we work with a client on an elder abuse case, our determined team of lawyers works to obtain the maximum compensation available for your loved one’s injuries and losses.
Injuries That Vulnerable Elders May Suffer
Elder abuse can occur in a variety of ways and lead to several different types of injuries, depending on the circumstances.
Physical abuse occurs when an elderly individual is pushed, hit, burned, overly restrained or otherwise physically harmed. Physical abuse can lead to:
- Broken bones;
- Head trauma; and
- Sprains and strains.
Sexual abuse occurs any time there is unwanted contact with an elderly individual’s genitals. This may include vaginal or anal penetration, forced sexual acts, or forced contact with genitalia. Sexual abuse may lead to infection and disease, physical trauma, and emotional trauma.
Emotional abuse takes place when a caregiver or other individual deliberately manipulates an elderly individual’s emotions. The caregiver may stoke fear, or deliberately withhold care or affection in an effort to create a specific type of behavior. Emotional abuse may also take the form of anger or manipulation.
Neglect occurs when caregivers neglect to take care of the elderly individual in their care. Neglect may occur when nursing homes or other facilities fail to take proper care of a patient in their facility, or it may occur in the home, when a caregiver fails to provide appropriate care for an individual in their home. Neglect can lead to:
- Increased risk of injury;
- Sores, including bed sores; and
Financial abuse occurs when caregivers, friends, or family members manipulate an elderly individual into giving up control of their finances. They may:
- Fail to pay the elderly individual’s bills in spite of adequate funds to do so;
- Manipulate the elderly individual into giving them expensive “gifts”;
- Mismanage funds; and
- Transfer funds from the elderly individual’s account to a private account.
Who is Responsible for Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse can occur at the hands of a variety of individuals. These include:
- Caregivers in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Caregivers are intended to provide a high level of care and enhanced quality of life for the elderly individuals living in these facilities. When abuse occurs, however, these caregivers may turn on the elderly individual or fail to provide them with appropriate care. In these instances, the individual caregivers and their employer may be liable for damages associated with that abuse.
- Caregivers in the home. Often, families choose to hire in-home caregivers to help their elderly loved one stay home for as long as possible. As with nursing home and assisted living caregivers, these individuals and their employers may bear responsibility for abuse or neglect at their hands.
- Friends and family members. Family members and friends have been known to take advantage of an elderly individual’s vulnerability. They may neglect to provide appropriate care, or they may abuse that individual. Financial abuse is especially common at the hands of family members and friends of the elderly person. Often, this abuse occurs without the knowledge of other family members, since the elderly individual either may not know about it or stay silent about it.
Expenses Elder Abuse Victims Can Recover
The damages potentially recoverable for elder abuse can’t undo the harm suffered by your elderly loved one. They can, however, make it easier to move forward. Damages recoverable may include:
- Pain and suffering. If the elderly individual has suffered substantial abuse or pain, including emotional pain, as a result of the abuse, this may be included as part of the damages.
- Medical expenses. Were there substantial medical expenses associated with recovering from the abuse? If so, they may be covered by as damages.
- Funeral and burial expenses. If a loved one died prematurely as a result of neglect or abuse, you may be able to recover damages for funeral and burial expenses.
- Financial damages. In cases of financial abuse, your elderly loved one may be entitled to compensation to recover money stolen or misappropriated.
Nursing Homes Will Protect Their Bottom Lines
There are several common tactics those legally liable for elder abuse may use to reduce their financial exposure. These include:
- Denying abuse. This is particularly common when an elderly loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s, dementia, or confusion, since it is often their word against a caregiver’s.
- Shifting responsibility. Caregivers may attempt to prove that they weren’t the ones responsible for the abuse, attempting instead to shift it to another individual. They may, for example, try to claim that the elderly individual harmed themselves.
- Offering a low settlement. Nursing homes or other care facilities may offer a low settlement that doesn’t reflect the full damages your loved one has suffered. Consulting with an experienced elder abuse attorney can give you a better idea your elderly loved one’s legal rights to compensation.
Get Legal Help After Your Elderly Loved One’s Abuse
At Hughey Law Firm, we offer all potential clients a free consultation. We accept our clients on a contingent fee basis, in which we only receive payment if we recover a settlement or judgment on our client’s behalf.
If your elderly loved one has suffered abuse at the hands of a caregiver, family member, or friend, don’t wait to get them the legal help they need. Email the Hughey Law Firm today or call (843) 881-8644 to learn more about how we may be able to help.