Elder Abuse And The Law in Las Vegas
Elder abuse can be described as any action, inaction or neglect that causes harm or distress to an elderly person. This type of abuse can basically be divided into 7 categories:
– Physical abuse
– Emotional, mental or psychological abuse
– Neglect, abandonment and self neglect (refusal of care or assistance)
– Financial abuse
– Sexual abuse
– Violation of Personal Rights
– Medical abuse
The definitions for each of these categories is quite broad and can incorporate a number of different offences. Any person can be charged with elder abuse however it is most common in nursing homes or by a primary caregiver who is a relative. Con and scam artists also prey on the elderly in the form of financial abuse.
While elder abuse is a worldwide problem, it is significantly more prominent in Las Vegas, ranking as one of the worst locations in the United States. As a result, a special task force has been established to deal specifically with these types of cases. The task force will work in conjunction with a fraud investigation unit to deal directly with the financial abuse category.
The Nevada Supreme court is also taking steps to reform the current statutes that are designed to protect the elderly and senior citizens by setting up a panel to investigate and propose changes to the current legislation. One of the most significant findings has been that 85% of senior citizens were not represented in a case where an allegation or charge of elder abuse was made.
This is significant due to the fact that elder abuse is complicated and difficult to prosecute. Most cases involve relatives or a primary care giver that can directly or indirectly intimidate a senior citizen into not revealing the true facts of the case. Senior citizens may also suffer from mental issues that prevent them from recalling events correctly that could be used by the alleged abuser to confuse them.
Legal representation provides a senior citizen with the knowledge and support that they require in order to ensure that their rights are upheld. However,it is important to note that reports of abuse are rarely brought by the senior citizen in question and are most often reported by a third party who has noticed the mistreatment or neglect of a senior citizen.
In the case where a nursing home or other type of senior care facility is being charged, it is most often a family member who reports a case for investigation. In the event that a family member is under suspicion, it is most often a social worker or other relative or family friend who reports the abuse.
On the other hand, one of the factors that contribute greatly to the high rate of incidences in senior care facilities in Las Vegas is the lack of suspected cases being reported. Relatives and friends are often unsure what the signs are or whether they should be suspicious or not.
This is where legal representation and employing the services of an attorney specializing in elder abuse becomes even more important to curb this serious problem. They will investigate any suspicions to establish whether there may be any evidence to support allegations and if a case can be made against a specific member of staff at a nursing home or against the senior care facility itself.
A great concern for many people who suspect or want to report elder abuse is the legal costs that may be involved in bringing a case against a suspected abuser. Elder abuse attorneys work on a contingency basis. This means that there will be no upfront charges for an initial consultation or to investigate the suspicions.
If it is found that there is a probable case of elder abuse, the attorney will take the necessary actions and only receive compensation for their efforts upon successful settlement of the case. They will cover their own legal fees and other costs from any compensation that is received in a civil matter against the facility where the elder abuse took place.
It is important to set an example for caregivers of senior citizens that elder abuse will not be tolerated by reporting, investigating and presenting every suspected case. Learn more about Elder Abuse here.