Oakland Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
By contacting an experienced Oakland nursing home neglect or abuse lawyer, you will find support in protecting your loved ones. A nursing home lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation into the care facility and the perpetrator to find necessary information and evidence. An attorney can also walk you through the legal process and answer any questions you might have.
Moving yourself or a loved one into a nursing home can be a significant change. When family members move into a nursing home, you expect staff and administrators to treat them with respect, care, and dignity. You rely on them for the care and protection of elderly individuals you love, such as parents or a single mother or father. Sadly, some nursing home employees may betray your trust, failing to provide proper care for residents. These senior residents may suffer from debilitating physical and mental health problems because of nursing home neglect and elder abuse.
If you believe that a loved one is the victim of neglect or elder abuse at the hands of the nursing home, contact the legal team of elder abuse lawyers at Cutter Law for a free consultation to get help. We assist senior citizens, home residents, and family members of elderly individuals in taking legal action against nursing facilities and long-term facilities that failed to protect their residents.
What Is Nursing Home Neglect?
Nursing home neglect occurs when nurses, home staff, or the nursing home administration do not provide the proper duty of care required for residents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines this type of elder abuse as an intentional act or failure to act by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust, which creates a risk of harm to the elder.
Abuse can involve physical or sexual abuse, neglect, emotional or psychological abuse, abuse by a fellow resident, or financial abuse. Nursing home abuse or negligence can be devastating for victims and their families. Once you discover the abuse by negligent parties, speak with a nursing home abuse attorney to ensure that you understand and protect the legal rights of your loved ones.
The Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act defines abuse of an elder as physical abuse, neglect, abandonment, isolation, abduction, or other treatment resulting in bodily harm or pain; the deprivation of goods or services necessary to avoid injury, pain, or sorrow, and financial abuse. The Elder Abuse Act also provides two definitions of neglect.
- The negligent failure of any person having a legal duty of care or custody of seniors to exercise the degree of care that a reasonable person in a like position would exercise
- The negligent failure of an elder to exercise the degree of self-care that a reasonable person in a like position would exercise
Nursing homes must provide for patient care and also assist the patient in self-care. The Elder Abuse Act includes a non-exhaustive list of examples of nursing home negligence, including failure to assist in personal hygiene or provision of food and clothing, failure to provide medical care for necessary medical conditions, failure to protect from health and safety hazards, failure to prevent malnutrition or dehydration, and others.
Nursing Homes in Oakland
There are 29 residential care facilities in Oakland, California:
- Alta Bates Summit Campus
- Bay Area Healthcare Center
- Bellaken Skilled Nursing Center
- Bethany Home Care
- Dimond Care
- Excell Health Care Center
- Fruitvale Healthcare Center
- Garfield Neurobehavioral Center
- Heart and Soul Communities
- Holy Family Home
- Jade House Residential Care
- Kindred Nursing and Rehabilitation – Medical Hill
- Lake Park
- Lakeshore Residential Care
- McClure Rehabilitation Center
- Mercy Retirement and Care Center
- Oakgrove Springs Care Center
- Oakhill Springs Care Center
- Oakland Healthcare and Wellness Center
- Oakland Heights Nursing and Rehabilitation
- Oakridge Care Center
- Pacifica Senior Living Oakland Heights
- Park Merritt Care Center
- Piedmont Gardens
- Rehabilitation Center of Oakland
- St. Paul’s Towers
- The Point at Rockridge
- Willow Tree Nursing and Rehab Center
- Windsor Healthcare Center of Oakland
Oakland Nursing Home Abuse Cases
The Oakhill Springs Care Center in Oakland has a history of neglect and abuse by the staff and nursing home administration. Upon inspection, the California Public Health Department found that the nursing home ignored many residents’ specific medical needs. Despite improvements that Oakhill Springs has made to the staff and the nursing home itself, the Public Health Department continues to report problems.
Some reports included evidence that a lack of care plan to assist a patient in maintaining mobility caused her legs to deteriorate within six months. The report also showed that seven patients were not given proper nutrition or sufficient calories. Further, one nursing home did not follow the diet prescribed by a patient’s doctor. In another instance, staff members put an iron tablet in a resident’s feeding tube because the liquid iron was not in stock. And finally, the report found that bed placements did not allow doors to close, which is a hazard to the residents.
Who can I hold responsible for nursing home neglect or abuse?
Multiple parties could be potentially liable in a claim for nursing home neglect. The parties that may have legal obligations include:
- The nursing home
- Independent contractors who maintain the equipment used at the site
- The abuser
- Anyone who may be involved in the manufacture of materials or the care of the nursing home’s residents
Responsibility is not always limited to the individual that committed the act of mistreatment or the nursing home that allowed the physical and emotional abuse to occur. By seeking services from a nursing home abuse attorney, you will receive legal advice and learn who may be held responsible in complex cases. Elder abuse attorneys will help you gather evidence, such as medical records and other documented signs of abuse, to ensure that all responsible parties are held liable.
How can I prevent nursing home neglect or abuse?
In 1990, California adopted the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act, allowing abused patients to get help from neglect attorneys and seek punitive damages against the perpetrator. The Elder Abuse Act specifies the mandatory reporter for any abuse or neglect and the method for investigating reports to protect the victim.
For friends and family members, there are steps to take to prevent nursing home neglect. You could appoint someone to visit your loved one regularly if you are unable to, make random and unannounced visits, and review financial statements if your loved one is unable to manage their finances. You can also check for signs of elder abuse, including broken bones, weight loss, or losing passion for life.
Common causes of nursing home abuse:
- Low staff to patient ratio, especially with residents with dementia
- Difficulty hiring qualified staff
- Poor training and supervision
- Stressful work environment
- Overworked staff
- Inadequate staff guidance on resident aggression
- Resident vulnerability
When researching nursing homes, it is a good idea to look into the history of the nursing home, the training that staff undergoes, the number of staff members that the nursing home employs, and if the nursing home has adequate materials and knowledge to care for specific needs of the patient. The California Department of Justice has also released a Citizen’s Guide to Preventing and Reporting Elder Abuse.
The Attorney General’s Office created the Division of Medi-Cal Fraud & Elder Abuse to investigate and prosecute by trial those who defraud taxpayers and divert healthcare resources from the needy. The Division also has a mission to protect residents in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. They are helping protect elderly residents by instituting mandatory reporting.
The California Welfare and Institutions Code § 15630 requires staff reporting for any:
- Residential facility for the elderly
- Long-term health care facility
- Community care facility
- Residential facility for the elderly
- Individual handling the finances of an elderly and dependent adult
The Division provides training materials and publications for health care providers, loved ones of residents and elderly, and staff of care facilities. The Division also offers resources for mandatory reporters or anyone who wants to report elder abuse or nursing home neglect. These resources provide information on how and where to report abuse. Some of the agencies you can contact include the California Ombudsman Services, the Department of Public Health, the California Adult Protective Services, and the California Department of Social Services.
When do I have to file a claim for nursing home neglect or abuse in Sacramento?
When filing a claim for nursing home neglect or abuse, there are different methods with varying statutes of limitations. The statute of limitations sets a time limit for filing a lawsuit. If the time limit has passed, recovery is barred for that claim. Most nursing home neglect or abuse claims in California are brought under a personal injury claim and usually represented by a personal injury attorney. Under the California Code of Civil Procedure § 335.1, an action for injury to someone because of the wrongful act or neglect of another has a two-year statute of limitations.
Plaintiffs can also bring claims under the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act. Under California Code of Civil Procedure § 338, an action for liability created by a statute must be filed within three years.
Suppose nursing home treatment results in the unexpected death of the elderly person. In that case, the family of the deceased can file a wrongful death lawsuit, which has a two-year statute of limitations under the California Code of Civil Procedure § 335.1. With different avenues to file a claim for nursing home abuse and differing statutes of limitations for each one, it is vital to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer in Oakland.
Our legal team at Cutter Law has decades of experience and can help you navigate the legal process and decide which avenue has the strongest chance of success for your claim. One of our Oakland personal injury lawyers will help explain the process and the reasons for which claim to file a lawsuit under, such as a personal injury claim or a claim under the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act.
How can an experienced Oakland nursing home neglect or abuse lawyer help me?
You can schedule a free initial consultation with our legal team at Cutter Law by filling out our online contact form, calling us, or visiting our Oakland office. Our legal team at Cutter Law has years of experience investigating claims and advocating for our clients. We give each client the personal attention necessary to seek compensation for vulnerable individuals suffering from mistreatment in a nursing home.