Elder abuse law is a specialized field. It often involves personal injuries resulting from mistakes or negligence by healthcare providers, but the best lawyer to take on a case involving elder abuse or nursing home neglect is not just any personal injury lawyer or medical malpractice lawyer. You need an attorney who is knowledgeable about EADACPA, the California law designed to protect the most vulnerable adults, including those in nursing homes.
What is EADACPA?
EADACPA is the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act. According to the law, an “elder” is defined as any person 65 years or older, regardless of health. It defines a “dependent adult” as a person between the ages of 18 and 64 who has a disability severe enough that the person must depend on others for care and who cannot fulfill the functions of daily life without this care.
EADACPA protects elders and dependent adults from physical and financial abuse, whether or not they live in nursing homes. Actually, most of the provisions in the law have to do with financial abuse. EADACPA also offers important legal protections relating to the physical abuse of elderly people in nursing homes. The provisions of EADACPA give protections and rights to plaintiffs in elder abuse cases that laws relating to personal injury and medical malpractice in general do not give. Therefore, only a lawyer with a thorough knowledge of EADACPA can get you the best possible outcome in an elder abuse lawsuit.
How EADACPA can Help Your Elder Abuse Case
EADACPA is built on the knowledge that many elderly people who suffer nursing home neglect are not healthy enough to file lawsuits on their own behalf. Health problems such as dementia and limited mobility would make it difficult for a patient being abused in a nursing home to follow through with a lawsuit. In fact, EADACPA was passed for this very reason, to prevent nursing home employees from taking advantage of people who cannot defend themselves.
EADACPA makes it possible for the family members of abused elders to receive compensatory damages for the abuse their elderly relatives endured. Before EADACPA was passed, the assumption was that there is no point in paying compensatory damages to someone who is already dead. In the old days, elderly people in poor health may have hesitated to sue, thinking that they would not live long enough to receive a settlement for the lawsuit. Additionally, it was easy for lawyers to turn down what they might have perceived as futile lawsuits on behalf of dying people.
EADACPA also extends the statute of limitations for filing an elder abuse lawsuit. Plaintiffs must file the suit within four years of becoming aware of the abuse.
Case Barnett Specializes in Elder Abuse Law
The attorneys at Case Barnett Law are knowledgeable and experienced in taking on elder abuse cases. Contact Case Barnett in Costa Mesa, California, if you think that your relative has been a victim of nursing home neglect.