How to Report Elder Abuse Across the United States

How to Report Elder Abuse Across the United States

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How to Report Elder Abuse Across the United States

Elder abuse is an unfortunate and horrific reality. Unfortunately, this type of abuse is not uncommon in the United States.
Elder abuse is especially shocking when it is carried out by those who are supposed to care for older individuals. For instance, many older people face abuse in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
Doctors and home health providers are typically required to report instances of elder abuse or neglect. However, everyone has a responsibility to report the mistreatment of older adults.
If you or someone you love is aware of a senior suffering in an abusive situation, you may wonder how to report elder abuse across the U.S. It is important to know what steps to take to help a vulnerable senior person appropriately.
One of the most impactful actions is to speak with a knowledgeable elder abuse attorney. Elder abuse is a serious crime, and the consequences can be severe.
The experienced lawyers at the firm of Morgan & Morgan can help you hold responsible parties accountable for the damage that they cause. Seeking compensation for the harms resulting from these crimes can help to deter future instances of elder abuse.
If you’re wondering how to report elder abuse across the U.S., contact the experts at Morgan & Morgan. To schedule a no-cost legal evaluation, complete the contact form on our firm’s website today!

What Qualifies as Elder Abuse?

Many different circumstances can qualify as elder abuse. Before learning how to report elder abuse across the U.S., it is vital to understand how to identify it. 
Unfortunately, many perpetrators of elder abuse are people in charge of providing victims with care. These individuals often include family members, doctors, or in-home caregivers.

Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes

There are many different types of abuse that older people experience. Sadly, nearly 25% of all nursing home residents have reported at least one instance of abuse.
Some of the most common types of nursing home abuse include:

  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • General neglect

Many nursing homes attempt to decrease their costs by cutting corners. Sometimes this takes the form of understaffing or failing to adequately train caregivers.
Unfortunately, improper training and gaps in provider roles can lead to varying levels of neglect. If someone you love has been abused or neglected in a nursing home context, reach out to the specialists at Morgan & Morgan.

Abuse in Long-Term Care Facilities

Anyone with access to an older adult may be a source of abuse. Because of this, elderly people in assisted living facilities are at risk of being criminally mistreated. 
Some of the possible culprits in these contexts include:

  • Staff members
  • Other elderly residents
  • Family members

Make sure to watch for signs and symptoms of elder abuse and contact a lawyer if necessary.

In-Home Abuse

Many elderly people have in-home caregivers. These individuals have access to many aspects of their patients’ private lives. 
It is vital to hire a caregiver from a reputable in-home care provider. A company that fails to adequately screen its employees may miss red flags in prospective staff members. When those individuals are hired, problems that could have been avoided may arise.
Companies that are negligent when hiring caregivers put the seniors under their care at serious risk of experiencing distressing, traumatic, and dangerous abuse. 

Financial Abuse

Not every type of abuse is physical or psychological. Elderly individuals are very susceptible to financial exploitation. 
In many cases, elderly individuals have other people appointed to oversee their assets and finances. In these situations, your loved one may be financially vulnerable.
Sadly, most instances of financial abuse are perpetrated by those closest to the victim. This includes friends, estate holders, and family members.

Understanding the Warning Signs of Elder Abuse

When someone you love is being cared for by others, it is critical to understand the common signs of elder abuse. By noticing and reporting early warning signs, you may be able to stop elder abuse before it escalates.
If your older loved one or family member displays the following signs, they may have been abused:

  • Unexplained bruising or bleeding
  • Emotionally withdrawing
  • Bedsores
  • Dehydration or signs of malnutrition
  • Mood shifts or apprehension around staff members or caretakers
  • Lacerations, cuts, or bruising around their genital area
  • Unexplained infections
  • Physical pain or discomfort
  • Sudden financial issues
  • Changes in their will, power of attorney, or other documentation

Sadly, some abuse victims feel shame or embarrassment for sustaining this kind of treatment. They may believe that they are somehow to blame for the abuse they have suffered.
Because of this, some older adults will not report inappropriate behavior. They may even hide the facts of their situation from their loved ones.
That is why it is vital to keep an eye out for the signs and symptoms of elder abuse. Even if you know how to report elder abuse across the U.S., you cannot help without noticing the signs. 
By reporting these signs or indicators, you may be able to save your loved one from experiencing further abuse or trauma. Make sure to reach out to a skilled elder abuse attorney to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.

How to Report Elder Abuse Across the U.S.

When you become aware of an instance of elder neglect or abuse, make sure to report it as soon as possible. Prompt communication with authorities can protect elderly individuals from further harm.
In the case of immediate or life-threatening danger, call the local police station or 911. The operator will dispatch help to the relevant location. 
If the threat is not immediate, it is still important to tell the relevant authorities about the abuse. Communicate your concerns or suspicions to a local protective services agency or the police.
You can also choose to speak with the patient’s doctors, friends, or family members. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services maintains an Eldercare Locator hotline. Those wondering how to report elder abuse across the U.S. can call this line at 1-800-677-1116.
Most states require caregiving professionals to report instances of elder abuse. For this reason, these professionals are known as “mandated reporters.”
After reporting the abuse, make sure to speak with a skilled legal professional to take action. The elder abuse attorneys at the firm of Morgan & Morgan have decades of experience protecting the rights of abuse victims.
You and your family can help deter future acts of violence and exploitation by holding negligent and malicious parties accountable. 

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

Morgan & Morgan

  • How Can an Elder Abuse Attorney Help in My Case?

    Even if you know that you need to secure the services of an elder abuse attorney, you may be unsure about how a legal professional can help. Seeking financial compensation for instances of elder abuse involves complicated legal processes.
    Victims’ families deserve to focus on their loved one’s well-being. You should not be burdened with the complex requirements of a legal tort case – a civil proceeding in which a person may be held liable for an act or omission that caused harm to another person.
    When you hire a lawyer at Morgan & Morgan, we will oversee every element of your legal claim. Our compassionate attorneys will walk you through every step of the process and keep you updated about the status of your case.
    Our skilled elder abuse lawyers will manage the following elements of your claim:

    • Drafting and filing required legal paperwork
    • Meeting all relevant deadlines
    • Offering legal advice and peace of mind
    • Determining the best legal route in your case
    • Advocating on your behalf
    • Negotiating forcefully with the opposing party
    • Determining the value of your abuse case
    • Speaking with experts and specialists if necessary
    • Investigating your case and gathering relevant evidence

    When a loved one has suffered elder abuse, it is normal to feel angry and overwhelmed. Fortunately, a skilled legal expert working on your behalf can help.
    Hiring the firm of Morgan & Morgan ensures that you can focus on your family’s safety and well-being. Our compassionate attorneys will fight tirelessly to recover the financial damages that you deserve.

  • What Are Common Examples of Damages in Elder Abuse Cases?

    The term “damages” refers to the monetary payments the at-fault party makes to the victim in a legal case. There are many types of damages that may be available to victims of elder abuse.
    Recovering damages will require that the claimant show that the defendant’s actions were carried out with negligence, oppression, fraud, malice, or recklessness. The damages that can be paid to victims in elder abuse cases are similar to those in all personal injury claims.
    Some of the most common examples of damages in elder abuse cases include:

    • Physical pain and suffering 
    • Mental distress ­­– such as anxiety, panic, and depression
    • Emotional trauma
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder
    • Embarrassment
    • Disability or disfigurement
    • Current medical bills and expenses
    • Anticipated medical costs
    • Medical travel expenses

    Accurately calculating the value of a personal injury claim is a complex process. Discuss the facts of your case with a knowledgeable legal professional who will fight for justice and compensation for your loved one.
    Tragically, some instances of elder abuse are fatal. If you have lost a loved one following an instance of abuse, do not hesitate to pursue legal action.
    You and your family may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault party. In these cases, the victim’s surviving family can recover damages for associated losses – including funeral and burial costs.

  • What Are Contingency Fees and Why Do They Matter?

    When you file an elder abuse lawsuit, there are many factors to consider. Understandably, many clients are concerned about their ability to afford legal representation.
    Most reputable tort lawyers are compensated through a contingency fee structure. With this approach, the client pays nothing unless their legal advocate wins or settles their case.
    When you hire a representative through the firm of Morgan & Morgan, you won’t pay a single dime upfront. Instead, a certain percentage of the winnings from your case will cover the costs of attorneys’ fees.
    In short, if you do not get the money you deserve, you owe nothing.

  • Morgan & Morgan Is on Your Side

    If someone you love has been the victim of elder abuse or neglect, reach out to our firm today. The compassionate legal specialists at Morgan & Morgan know what it takes to hold abusers accountable.
    Since our founding in 1988, our firm has successfully won and settled more than a million cases. To schedule a free consultation with one of our legal experts, complete the simple contact form on the Morgan & Morgan website.

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