Recently, a video was released of an in-home caretaker physically abusing her 94-year-old patient in Texas. The video shows the caretaker yelling at the patient regarding feeding the dog and repeatedly hitting her on the head before ordering her to go to bed. The video is a shocking display of abuse. But what makes matters worse is that the patient’s situation is not unique. According to the National Council on Aging, one in 10 individuals over the age of 60 suffer a form of elder abuse, including physical violence.
Elder abuse can lead to civil and criminal lawsuits in Texas. If you know of a friend or loved one who has been physically or sexually abused, do not hesitate to reach out to the New Braunfels personal injury and elder abuse attorneys of the Bettersworth Law Firm. We have years of experience helping our elderly clients receive the care they need and holding those who hurt them responsible.
Texas’ Crime Victims’ Institute Findings
Elder abuse is an issue across the country, including in Texas. However, there may be some good news. The Crime Victims’ Institute found validated investigations of abuse of elders and vulnerable adults decreased between 2010 and 2015. There were 56,053 validated investigations of elder abuse in 2010, which fell to 43,759 validated investigations. This was a 21.9 percent drop.
While this may show an actual decrease in elder abuse, it may not be as good as the numbers make it seem. Elder abuse is notorious for being under-detected and under-reported. Many abusive situations go unnoticed because people do not know the signs of physical, sexual, emotional, and financial abuse. This makes it difficult for family members and friends to notice when it is going on. Also, many elderly individuals who are abused have few family or friends living in their areas, which makes them easy to isolate and take advantage of. Additionally, there is often intentional non-disclosure at nursing homes. Staff members may turn a blind eye or willfully hide signs of abuse from visitors or regulators.
Civil Legal Options for Elder Abuse
Elder abuse is illegal in Texas, which means it can lead to criminal charges. However, in addition to charges brought by prosecutors, the victims of elder abuse may file civil lawsuits against individuals or businesses responsible for their injuries.
Victims of elder abuse who have suffered physical and psychological injuries can file personal injury claims against their abusers. At the Bettersworth Law Firm, our first priority will be that you or your loved one receive necessary medical care. Once their injuries are being treated, we will investigate their situation for signs of negligence. If there is evidence that an individual or the staff at a facility was negligent in caring for you or your loved one, we can help you seek compensation through a personal injury claim, which can include:
- Medical expenses;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental anguish;
- Disability; and
Contact a New Braunfels Elder Abuse Lawyer Today
If you believe your loved one is being abused or died under suspicious circumstances, contact our passionate New Braunfels elder abuse attorneys at the Bettersworth Law Firm. We can investigate the situation and explain your legal options.