Do Nursing Homes Have a Duty to Protect Residents from Abuse in California?

elder receiving care

Unfortunately, thousands of Americans fall victim to nursing home neglect and abuse every single year. That said, nursing homes are legally responsible for providing residents with a safe and stable environment, and if you believe that your loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home, we are here to help. Please continue reading and reach out to a dedicated California nursing home abuse lawyer from Cowdrey Jenkins, LLP to learn more about the duty nursing homes have to residents and how our legal team can get you the justice you deserve if your loved one has been harmed by a careless or abusive nursing home. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What is the legal duty of nursing homes in California?

Nursing homes in California are regulated by the California Department of Public Health, Licensing and Certification Division, which enforces the state and federal laws that govern the quality of care and safety of nursing home facilities. These laws and regulations are as follows:

  • The California Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act: This Act provides civil remedies for elder abuse, including physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction, or other treatment that results in physical harm or mental suffering.
  • The California Patients’ Bill of Rights: The California Patients’ Bill of Rights grants nursing home residents certain rights, such as the right to be free from abuse and neglect, the right to privacy and dignity, the right to participate in their own care plan, the right to voice complaints without fear of retaliation, and the right to have access to their own medical records.
  • The Federal Nursing Home Reform Act: This establishes minimum standards of care for nursing home residents, such as the right to be free from physical or chemical restraints, the right to receive adequate nutrition and hydration, the right to receive appropriate medical care and treatment, and the right to be free from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or age.

What should I do if I suspect nursing home abuse is occurring?

If you suspect that your loved one is being abused in a nursing home facility, you should take several steps. They are as follows:

  1. Document any evidence of the abuse. This can include taking pictures/videos of the nursing home facility, the abuse itself, or pictures of any injuries your loved one has sustained.
  2. Ensure your loved one receives the medical care he or she needs. If you suspect he or she is in imminent danger, call law enforcement to the nursing home. They will ensure your loved one receives immediate medical treatment.
  3. Keep copies of all medical documentation pertaining to your loved one’s injuries.
  4. Report the incident(s) of abuse or neglect to the nursing home administrator and the Long-Term Care Ombudsman CRISISline at 1-800-231-4024 or the California Department of Public Health.
  5. Hire an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer who can help you pursue legal action against the nursing home facility and obtain compensation for your damages.

Cowdrey Jenkins, LLP has fought for countless victims of nursing home abuse over the years, and we are here to fight for you, too. Contact us today so we can get started working on your case.