There may be no doubt in your mind that your loved one was made a victim of abuse or neglect during their time as a resident of a care facility. Though, you may have more difficulty in detecting who is to blame for such abuse or neglect. Continue reading to learn who is the liable party and how an experienced California elder abuse lawyer at Cowdrey & Jenkins LLP can help you take your claim in the right direction.
Who is the responsible party in an elder abuse claim?
There are different individuals you may be liable for your loved one’s experience with abuse or neglect. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
- The owner of the facility: for example, they may neglect to conduct appropriate background checks on the staff they hire; or they may neglect to train staff once they are hired.
- A caregiver at the facility: for example, they may inflict physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, or otherwise neglect your loved one.
- A medical professional at the facility: for example, they may neglect to keep up with the established standard of care when tending to your loved one.
- A third party at the facility: for example, a security guard may neglect to check the identification of visitors; or a maintenance worker may neglect to sanitize the common areas.
To determine the right party to place your elder abuse claim against, it is important that you take your loved one’s accusations seriously.
What steps should I follow for my claim?
First things first, you must place your loved one in immediate safety, whether this means transferring them to another care facility or having them temporarily stay in your home.
Then, you must report the incident of abuse or neglect to multiple sources. Namely, this includes the Long-Term Care Ombudsman CRISISline at 1-800-231-4024, the California Department of Public Health at 1-833-401-0832, and the California Department of Social Services at 1-844-538-8766. These official reports may lend a hand to the evidence you need for your elder abuse claim.
And for additional evidence for your claim, you should also take photos of the signs of abuse or neglect (i.e., bruises on your loved one’s body, unsanitary living quarters, torn or soiled bedsheets or undergarments, etc.) before they are no longer noticeable. Also, it may not hurt to ask other residents or staff of the care facility to offer oral or written testimony on what they witnessed.
You must remember that there is a countdown for when you are eligible to bring forward your elder abuse claim. More specifically, California’s statute of limitations is two years. So you should not wait too long before contacting a skilled California elder abuse lawyer from Cowdrey & Jenkins LLP.