Irvine Elder Abuse Lawyers
Helping Seeking Justice for Older Individuals Subjected to Abuse or Neglect
Sadly, because of their age and/or health conditions, elders are at a high risk of abuse or neglect. According to the United States Department of Justice, about 1 in 10 older adults 60 years of age or older are subject to some form of harm each year. Elder abuse can take many forms, including physical, emotional, and financial abuse. While it includes willful misconduct committed against an older individual, it can also involve neglect. If you believe that your loved one is currently being harmed or has been harmed in the past, report the incident and take legal action to hold the responsible party liable for damages. Even if your loved one is now deceased, you still have remedies against the wrongdoer for abuse that occurred during the life of the elder.
How Bradley R. Kirk & Associates is Different
At Bradley R. Kirk & Associates, Inc., our Irvine elder abuse attorneys are committed to seeking justice for older individuals subject to any type of harm at the hands of another. We have over 50 years of combined experience in prosecuting these types of cases in the civil courts. We can leverage our knowledge of the law and talents to pursue compensation for our clients. We recognize that no amount of money can undo what was done to an older adult, but financial recovery can help victims or their loved ones get the care and support needed during this difficult time. It also sends a message to wrongdoers that their actions will not be tolerated.
To speak with an elder abuse lawyer in Irvine, contact our firm by calling (949) 220-0969 today.
Forms of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse can be committed in various ways. Generally, the actions or inactions of an individual against an older adult fall into one of five categories.
These groups include:
- Financial abuse. There are many types of financial abuse. This could involve an outright taking of the elder’s assets or tricking the elder into “voluntarily” giving their assets away (often with internet/email scams). Financial abuse also include coercing the elder into changing their estate planning documents or signing other financial papers that are not in the elder’s interest. One latest trend we are seeing is where the abuser convinces the elder to marry them or to enter into a domestic partnership with them – so that when the elder dies, the abuser has property rights in the probate court. Many caregivers are uniquely positioned to financially abuse elders.
- Isolation. This type of abuse is common in estate litigation. It occurs when the abuser isolates the elder from their friends and family in order to prevent them from maintaining their close relationships. Once the isolation is in place, the abuser then will poison the mind of the elder against their friends and family and cause the elder to change their estate planning documents to benefit the abuser.
- Physical abuse. This category includes unwanted or hurtful physical contact with an older person resulting in pain or injury. It also includes sexual assault or unreasonable restraint.
- Neglect. This category refers to the failure of a person to do what is reasonably necessary in a given situation. For instance, a person may be liable for elder neglect if they knowingly did not provide personal hygiene assistance to someone who needed it or if they did not take measures to protect an individual from known hazardous conditions.
- Emotional abuse. This type of abuse involves threats, verbal attacks, or intimidation directed at an older person.
Perpetrators of elder abuse are often people the victim knows, such as children, grandchildren, spouses, or other relatives. In some cases, they are individuals entrusted with the older person's care, such as caregivers or nursing home staff.
Unfortunately, many instances of elder abuse go unreported. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, cases may be underreported by the victim for a variety of reasons, such as fear of retaliation, embarrassment, dependence on the abuser, or physical or mental impairments.
Therefore, it is vitally important that loved ones of older individuals look out for signs of abuse or neglect.
Indications of harm against an older person can include, but are not limited to:
- Unexplained scratches or bruises
- Broken bones
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- Avoidance or fear of certain individuals
- Lack of participation in regular activities
- Uncharacteristic expenditures or investments
- Unpaid expenses
What Should You Do If You Suspect Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse is a serious and distressing issue that can take various forms, including physical, emotional, financial, or neglectful mistreatment of older individuals. If you suspect that someone you know is a victim of elder abuse, it is crucial to take prompt and appropriate action. Here are steps you can follow to address and report suspected elder abuse:
1. Observe and Document Signs of Abuse: Begin by paying close attention to any unusual or concerning signs that may indicate elder abuse. These signs can manifest physically, emotionally, or financially. Physical signs may include unexplained injuries, while emotional signs could involve changes in behavior or mood. Keep an eye out for any sudden financial discrepancies or exploitation.
2. Establish Open Communication: Approach the elderly individual with empathy and sensitivity. Create a safe and non-threatening environment to encourage open communication. Be patient and listen actively, allowing the person to share their concerns or experiences. Sometimes, victims may be hesitant to speak out, fearing repercussions or embarrassment.
3. Encourage Professional Help: If the situation warrants immediate attention, encourage the elderly person to seek professional help. This may involve contacting their healthcare provider, counselor, or a legal professional specializing in elder law. Assure them that support is available and that seeking help is not a sign of weakness but a proactive step towards resolving the issue.
4. Report to Authorities: If you have reasonable grounds to believe that elder abuse is occurring, it is essential to report it to the relevant authorities. This may include local law enforcement, adult protective services, or an elder abuse hotline. Provide as much detailed information as possible, including the nature of the abuse, the individuals involved, and any supporting evidence.
5. Maintain Confidentiality: Respect the confidentiality and privacy of the person you suspect is being abused. Avoid discussing the situation with others unless it is necessary for reporting or seeking professional help. Confidentiality is crucial in protecting the dignity of the elderly individual and maintaining their trust.
6. Offer Emotional Support: Going through the process of addressing elder abuse can be emotionally challenging for the victim. Offer your support and reassure them that help is available. If necessary, help them connect with support groups, counseling services, or community resources that specialize in assisting elderly abuse victims.
7. Follow Up: After reporting the suspected abuse, follow up with the appropriate authorities to ensure that the case is being investigated and addressed. Stay connected with the elderly person to provide ongoing support and assistance as needed.
Our Irvine Elder Abuse Attorneys Can Assist with Your Case
If your loved one is exhibiting signs of abuse, or if your deceased loved one was a victim of elder abuse before they died, take steps immediately to seek remedies in Court. This can both stop future harm and also remedy past harm. Call local authorities to report the incident. If the abuse has occurred at a nursing home or other care facility, file a complaint with officials.
For assistance pursuing a lawsuit against the responsible party, reach out to Bradley R. Kirk & Associates, Inc. We can investigate the matter, collect and analyze evidence, and build a legal strategy to seek compensation for damages such as pain/suffering, medical expenses and financial losses.
Schedule a consultation with a member of our team by calling us at (949) 220-0969 or submitting an online contact form today.
“There was an outstanding debt due to the Estate that posed a more complicated issue, but Jacob’s experience, knowledge, and communications skills continue to help me work the issue. I appreciate the integrity of Bradley Kirk & Assoc. and recommen”- Former Client
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