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Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal Injury Attorney in Sacramento Explains Wrongful Death in Nursing Homes

Unfortunately, as the population grows older, elders are increasingly placed in facilitated homes. As hard as this can be for the older individual and his or her family, the last thing a child wants to imagine is that his or her parent is being mistreated in a trusted nursing home. Much worse is when the neglect or abuse becomes deadly. Nursing homes are not likely to blame themselves for the death of a patient so it is up to the loved ones left behind, and their dedicated attorneys, to investigate and prosecute. Often, a death certificate will show the cause of death to be “heart failure,” with no information on what could have led to this heart failure. If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of a trusted facility, speak with a personal injury attorney in Sacramento.

In many cases, nursing homes are overstaffed and funds aren’t allocated appropriately, resulting in unhappy employees and unpleasant living conditions. This stress on workers and the vulnerability of older individuals can lead to abuse and even death. A study in 2009 found that 1 in 7 senior citizens were abused. There have been numerous cases throughout California regarding elder abuse and neglect and subsequent wrongful death. Regardless of the circumstance the employees are in, no one should ever mistreat the elderly. Speak with a personal injury attorney in Sacramento if you, or a family member, has been abused.

Proving Wrongful Death

A wrongful death is defined as the death of an individual due to a wrongful act or neglect by another individual or entity. Wrongful death suits are civil and result in financial damages paid directly to the survivors of the deceased. Any spouse, child, or domestic partner can bring about a case of wrongful death. If there is no survivor from these categories, any individual that can prove financial dependence or who would be entitled to property of the deceased may sue for wrongful death.

When proving the case of a wrongful death, a nursing home attorney in Sacramento will need to prove the facility or individuals were responsible for the care of your loved one and that their conduct resulted in his or her death. It is important to gather as much evidence as possible including images of injuries or malnourishment, statements from other employees, medical records, contaminated clothing, etc.

Wrongful death suits include financial compensation and can include coverage for the following:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Medical and hospital bills
  • Loss of income or other financial support
  • Loss of love, affection, community, moral support, etc.

According to California law, descendants have two years from the date of the death of the loved one to file a wrongful death claim. Failing to do so could limit a family’s right to file at all.

Common Causes of Wrongful Death in a Nursing Home

Elder abuse and neglect encompasses a wide range of actions or inactions against an older individual. The most common symptoms of elder abuse that lead to wrongful death include the following:

  • Serious infection – may be caused by severe bedsores
  • Falls
  • Medication errors
  • Physical abuse
  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition – may be caused by the failure to provide the proper diet for a certain individual or may be caused by the failure to provide adequate water especially for an individual on diuretic medications
  • Unsanitary conditions – may be caused by the failure to provide adequate hygienic care
  • Wandering

If anyone you know has suffered these conditions that led to a death, speak with a nursing home attorney in Sacramento who can provide legal guidance to get you the compensation you deserve.

Welfare and Institutions Code section 15657

This section was added to the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act in 1991 to increase awareness of abuse and neglect on the older generation. This section allows for the coverage of attorney’s fees and costs and post-mortem general damages in cases of death when certain burdens of proof are met. This was meant to increase the likelihood of lawyers taking on cases for disadvantaged Californians as defendants guilty of abuse in a reckless, oppressive, fraudulent or malicious manner can be made liable for the cost of the plaintiff’s attorneys.

A Personal Injury Attorney in Sacramento Can Help You Fight Your Wrongful Death Case

Do you believe your loved one could have died from abuse or neglect at his or her nursing home? If so, it is important to contact a knowledgeable and compassionate nursing home attorney in Sacramento as soon as you can. This will greatly increase your chances to receive the compensation you deserve. Call us at (916) 357-6789 for a free consultation.

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Elder Abuse Attorney in Sacramento

Elder Abuse Attorney in Sacramento Explains Financial Theft as Elder Abuse

Every year, telemarketing and mail scams cost the American public billions of dollars. Often, older individuals fall victim to these cons as they are generally less informed and often have accumulated some wealth. Scammers know that elders often have a generous disposition and a lack of knowledge or understanding of the internet, which makes them susceptible to common scam methods.

It is important to always check with a supposed company and to never send personal or financial information over the internet. If you or a loved on is a victim of financial theft, speak with an elder abuse attorney in Sacramento.

There are various ways in which an individual may be approached with a scam, often by a stranger on the phone pretending to act in your best interest. Scammers may also pretend to be familiar to you or to be acting on behalf of someone else you know. Sometimes people fall victim to scams by people they actually do know.

The level of trust is higher with someone you’re familiar with and they may take advantage of that. Elders in assisted care may come into contact with staff with bad intentions and it’s important to stay vigilant when considering sharing finances. Seeking outside advice from an elder abuse attorney in Sacramento is always a good idea.

Here are some frequent manifestations scams may take:

  • Charitable Donations – anyone soliciting for charitable donations must be registered with the state Attorney General’s Office. Any individual may call (916) 445-2021 or visit ag.ca.gov/charities or bbb.org to determine if a charity is registered.
  • Credit Card or Repair – some cons involve selling unnecessary insurance for unauthorized charges made to a credit card – this can usually be resolved with a banking institution. If not, no other individual has the authority to “repair” bad credit/
  • In-person – most cities require door-to-door salespeople to hold a business permit. If a contract was made at your place of residence or temporary place of business (hotel or convention center) you can usually cancel within three business days. If you doubt whether a business is legitimate, contact the Better Business Bureau for verification.
  • Financial Advisors and Investments – most quick money-earning schemes are scams. If it’s too good to be true, it usually is! Always remember to ask the salesperson for credentials and call 1-866-ASK-CORP (1-888-275-2677), the state Department of Corporations, to find out about the company and salesperson
  • Funeral and Cemetery Fraud – call the Cemetery and Funeral Bureau at 916-574-7870 to verify a funeral establishment’s license or file a complaint.
  • Home Repair – be wary paying cash! Also make sure to get more than one estimate, check references, and get everything in writing! A home may not be used as collateral in any home improvement contract for individuals 65 and older. The maximum to pay before work is completed is 10% or $1,000, whichever is less. A contractor’s license may be reviewed at www.cslb.ca.gov or by calling call 1-800-321-2752.
  • Medicare Fraud – Remember that medicare/medi-cal numbers should never be given to a stranger and medicare statements should only include services or equipment actually received. Medicare can be reached at 1-800-633-4227. To report suspected Medicare prescription drug fraud, call 1-877-772-3379. To report suspected Medi-Cal provider fraud, call the Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse in the state Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-722-0432.
  • Living Trust – salespeople may pose as experts in estate planning to gain your trust and confidence. It is now illegal for insurance brokers and agents to claim any senior-related certification that does not meet certain criteria and have the California Insurance Commissioner’s approval.
  • Telemarketer/Mail/Internet – there are many ways in which a con may be perpetrated by mail or internet so always make sure to never send personal identifying information through mail including: social security number, bank routing or account numbers, credit card information. Always investigate a supposed company before engaging in a business deal. Keep in mind that many scams pretend an individual won a prize or trip and asks for payment information to pay a tax or absurdly low price but charging in advance before an individual collects a prize is illegal. For more information or to file a complaint, call the state Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-952-5225.
  • Real Estate – older individuals who own homes are often targeted for scams centering around home equity loans with unsound and possibly illegal rates and fees. Be sure to investigate the supposed lender and make sure you fully understand the loan’s terms. It can be helpful to have someone outside of the company look at the proposal. In the case of late mortgage payments, it is important to take action immediately. Be wary of solicitors who seek you out and offer to renegotiate your loan for you. Call HUD at 1-800-569-4287 for a referral to a free counselor, or call the Homeowner’s Hope hotline at 1-888-995-HOPE.

Do you believe you or a loved one have become a victim of financial theft?

It’s important to contact a knowledgeable and motivated elder abuse attorney in Sacramento to work on your behalf to get you the help you need.

Speak With Our Elder Abuse Attorney in Sacramento to Fight Against Financial Theft!

The elderly are common targets for financial theft for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it comes from strangers but other times, it comes from trusted caregivers. If you suspect you or a loved one has been abused financially, consult with our elder abuse attorney in Sacramento. The Weinberger Law Firm is here to help!

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Sacramento Nursing Home Lawyer

Sacramento Nursing Home Lawyer Explains Physical & Psychological Elder Abuse

Recent estimates conclude that over 400,000 elderly individuals live in nursing homes or elderly care facilities in California. That staggering number is only increasing as our population grows. In California, elder abuse is considered neglect, exploitation, or “painful or harmful” mistreatment of anyone who is 65 or older. Elder individuals are at a higher risk for abuse as they generally are physically more vulnerable and often are isolated from family members.

Older individuals may also not know what constitutes abuse and may have memory problems that prevent them from reporting or acting on abuse. These factors increase the number of elders abused in California. If you suspect an elderly citizen is being abused, speak with a Sacramento nursing home lawyer to learn what legal actions to take.

Why Does Abuse Happen?

It’s unfortunate physical and emotional abuse even occurs, but there are a variety of reasons it happens, including the following:

  • Understaffed facilities
  • Staff is underpaid
  • Failure to conduct thorough background checks
  • Failure to train and supervise staff members

None of the above serve as an excuse for elderly abuse. It is important you speak with a Sacramento nursing home lawyer if you or someone you love has been a victim of abuse. It’s important to remember that elder abuse does not necessarily mean outward violence towards an older individual. There are other forms of abuse, such as:

  • Emotional abuse – threats, isolation, ridicule
  • Neglect – endangering an individual or failing to care for an individual for example by feeding or bathing them
  • Sexual abuse

California Law

The state of California has several laws covering four basic requirements each nursing home should provide:

  • Physical, mental, and medical assistance
  • Ensuring the patient’s situation does not worsen unless it is unavoidable
  • Ensuring the patient has maintained or improved health through medical care and treatment
  • Ensuring the patient has the right to choose whether or not to engage in care and treatment offered.

Violations of these legal obligations and malicious or neglectful abuse may lead to misdemeanor or felony penalties. When the defendant’s actions were likely to cause great bodily harm or death, California nursing home abuse is what is known as a “wobbler” in California law. It can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the specific circumstances.

Misdemeanor nursing home abuse carries the following maximum consequences:

  • 1 year in county jail
  • A fine of $6,000

Felony nursing home abuse carries the following maximum consequences:

  • Four years in California state prison – an additional 3 to 7 year sentence may be implemented if the victim actually suffers great bodily harm or death
  • A fine of $10,000

Penal Code 243.4 PC is California’s sexual assault law. It prohibits the unwanted touching of an individual’s intimate parts for an individual’s sexual gratification, arousal, or pleasure. No one wants to imagine their loved one being taken advantage of in such a perverse manner, but fortunately there are laws protecting them and consequences for individuals deemed responsible. If anyone is a victim of any type of abuse, it’s important a Sacramento nursing home lawyer brings them to justice.

Misdemeanor abuse typically applies when an individual’s life was not put in danger. The below examples of felony sexual abuse are exceptions to this rule. Felony sexual abuse penalties may apply when the victim:

  • Was unaware of the nature of the act because it was done under the guise of professional necessity (e.g. a breast exam)
  • Was unlawfully restrained
  • Was institutionalized and either medically incapacitated or seriously disabled.

As per California Penal Code 290, an individual convicted of a misdemeanor or felony sexual battery charge must register as a lifetime sex offender. The following must be established for that consequence:

  • The contact was made to an intimate part of the victim
  • The contact was made against the victim’s will
  • The contact was made for specific purposes of sexual arousal, gratification, or abuse

Who Can Be Charged?

Every case is different but generally, cases relating to nursing home abuse charges can be brought against both:

  • The individuals who work directly with the patient
  • Administrators or other individuals responsible for supervising nursing home staff involved in the case

Speak with a Sacramento nursing home lawyer regarding your specific scenario to learn the best course of legal action. Remember, even if you are not the victim, it’s imperative you report any suspicion of elderly abuse.

What to Do If You Suspect Abuse

Report suspected elder abuse immediately! If there is a possibility that the individual is in immediate danger, call 911! If you are worried about the care of an elderly family member and are not able to check in at their assisted living residence, you can call the local police department and ask for a welfare or well-being check.

Call A Sacramento Nursing Home Lawyer For Questions Regarding Elder Abuse

If you or a loved one may have been a victim of physical or psychological abuse at a nursing home, it is important to contact a knowledgeable and motivated Sacramento nursing home lawyer. The sooner you find legal advice, the more likely you are to receive the help you need and the compensation you deserve. Give us a call at (916) 357-6767 for a free consultation.

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