Fullerton Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Finding out a family member suffered abuse in their nursing home can feel like a personal betrayal. Nursing homes are given trust and confidence to adequately and carefully care for an aging family member and to have that trust violated and result in abuse is reprehensible.

Get in touch with a seasoned attorney today. A Fullerton nursing home abuse lawyer can pursue legal action against the nursing home by investigating criminal penalties, filing a timely claim for professional negligence, and explaining the cap on noneconomic damages in California.

Criminal Ramifications

To willfully allow an elder to suffer physical injury or place the elder in circumstances that would cause the elder to suffer an injury, is a misdemeanor crime in California pursuant to Cal. WIC. Ann. § 15656 (West 2010).

This means that employees of the nursing home who had the custody of the elder could be held criminally responsible for elder abuse and may be sentenced to jail. If the abuse of the elder included theft of the elder’s personal property, nursing home employees could also be held criminally responsible and subject to a potential fine, jail time, or both depending upon the value of the property stolen.

Deadline for Civil Claims of Abuse

If the elder abuse by a nursing home constituted professional negligence, the family can bring a civil suit against the nursing home for injury or death suffered by the elder. The claim against the nursing home must be presented either:

  • Within three years after the date of the abuse
  • Within one year after a discovery that abuse occurred pursuant to Civ. Pro. Ann. § 340.5 (West 1975)

Providing one year to file suit after the discovery of the abuse provides the family of an abused elder an opportunity to prove the nursing home knew or should have known that the abuse occurred while the elder was under their trust and care. Hiring the assistance of a Fullerton nursing home abuse lawyer should also be taken into consideration.

Potential Limits on Recovery

Damages that can be recovered as the result of elder abuse include economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages include the cost of medical care and home treatment or any other expense that has a definite dollar value.

Noneconomic damages are those claimed as the result of pain, suffering, or any other injuries that cannot be quantified. California imposed a cap on the number of noneconomic damages that can be awarded in a civil claim for professional negligence.

The cap on noneconomic damages is $250,000 according to Cal. Civ. Ann. § 333.2 (West 1975). States often cap damages as a preventative measure to prevent any excessive award of noneconomic damages from increasing the cost of healthcare in their state. Speak with a Fullerton nursing home abuse lawyer to learn more.

Call a Fullerton Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today

Elders, who may already be at risk for injury, do not deserve to suffer abuse at the hands of employees within their nursing home. There is no excuse for criminally willful abuse or civil professional negligence to an elder under the care of a nursing home.

Choosing an attorney in Fullerton for nursing home abuse representation can assist the family of an abused elder in holding nursing home employees responsible for any criminal actions and holding the nursing home itself liable for monetary damages resulting from any medical negligence. Call a Fullerton nursing home abuse lawyer today for a free consultation.