Personal injury lawsuits most often stem from actions caused by someone else's choice to needlessly endanger others. However, there is another type of personal injury claim that is more egregious than an accident — the intentional abuse of an elderly individual.
Elder abuse is a growing concern across the U.S., as the country's aging population increases and more families rely on nursing homes and in-home health care providers to care for loved ones. A 2014 report from the National Center on Elder Abuse states that 9.5 percent of the world's elderly population will experience some type of abuse. The same report says that 91 percent of nursing homes lack adequate staff to properly care for residents and 36 percent have been in violation of elderly abuse laws.
"Mike Hackard and his professional team work hard to achieve results that two other firms couldn't. He never promised anything, but laid out the options and we brainstormed together. He is a brilliant attorney who has the 'trial lawyer threat' your attorney must have if you want to prevail based on fact and the truth. He takes no prisoners and gets results and resolution."
— Julie, a past client
The elder law attorneys at Hackard Law, A Professional Law Corporation, in Sacramento, advocate aggressively on behalf of elder abuse victims and the families of elder abuse victims. We seek to maximize the amount of our clients' recoveries to pay for all the harms and losses caused by the intentional wrongdoer.
What Constitutes Elderly Abuse
Elder abuse includes physical, mental and sexual abuse, as well as financial abuse. Financial abuse includes any type of fraudulent activity that exploits an elderly individual's vulnerability due to reduced cognitive ability. It may involve coercion by another family member to have someone change a will for financial gain. We have the resources necessary to build strong cases and the trial experience to litigate if a fair agreement cannot be reached through negotiation.
It is important to be vigilant about protecting an elderly relative's safety and financial security. Stopping abuse or neglect early requires recognizing the signs. These include:
- Frequent bruises, lesions or other injuries
- Sudden weight loss or other signs of malnutrition
- Depression or agitation
- Unusual behavior patterns
- Lack of personal grooming
- Unsanitary conditions
- Sudden changes in personal or financial affairs
Elder Financial Abuse
Elder financial abuse is a grave threat to the economic as well as emotional and even physical well-being of our elderly loved ones. Known as "the crime of the 21st century," elder financial abuse can range from exploitation and a variety of fraud schemes perpetrated by strangers to misappropriation of a senior's funds and assets, often by a family member. Other potential perpetrators can include caretakers, financial professionals, attorneys, or con artists posing as a "new friend." Many times elder financial abuse runs hand-in-hand with isolation, cognitive impairment on the part of the victim, undue influence and neglect.
In Sacramento and throughout Northern California, elder financial abuse poses a danger to our families and communities. Cases like contractor fraud, insurance fraud, investment fraud and real estate fraud, as well as telemarketing scams, are all too frequently perpetrated against our elderly neighbors and loved ones. Senior citizens are also vulnerable to wrongdoing by their very own relatives, with this situation unfortunately the most common form of elder financial abuse. Abusers within a family will take advantage of their position to hijack their elders' bank accounts and steal their funds and property. At times perpetrators of elder financial abuse will also misuse power of attorney to defraud elderly victims, not to mention the wielding of undue influence to unlawfully change estate documents like wills and trusts.
Elder financial abuse is a serious crime that demands immediate action both in civil court and by authorities in law enforcement and adult protective services. If you suspect financial exploitation of an elderly loved one, we can help. Hackard Law regularly represents victims of elder financial abuse and their families in litigation to protect their interests and hold bad actors accountable.
We Only Collect If You Collect
Individuals may suspect elderly abuse or neglect, but feel they do not have the resources to hire an attorney. If we accept your case, we work on a contingency basis, which means there are no fees upfront and you only pay attorney fees if we obtain a recovery for you.
Our lawyers represent families throughout Northern California in elderly abuse cases. If you cannot make it to our Sacramento office for a consultation, we can conduct one by phone or meet wherever it is convenient for you. Call 916-229-6991 or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation.