Defenses To Elder Abuse Charges In The USA

by Jeffrey J. Downey, Esq.

It is a sad reality that some people, for various reasons, lack respect for the elderly and will either physically or mentally harm them. While there are laws that protect elderly adults from abuse, it’s becoming more difficult to enforce these laws as more and more elder abuse cases come up each year. Often, elderly patients with dementia cannot remember the events or advocate for themselves. As such, elder abuse is often not reported.

The Result of an Elder Abuse Charge

Elder abuse is a serious problem in the United States, with an estimated 5 million adults 65 and older being victimized yearly. If you are aware of elder abuse, it is important to understand that your rights need to be protected.

A charge can result in many different penalties, depending on the severity of the offense and the state in which it occurred. In some states, elder abuse is considered a felony, while in others may be charged as a misdemeanor. A person may face jail time, probation, and fines if convicted.

In addition to any criminal penalties imposed, a person convicted of elder abuse may also be subject to civil action. This means that the victim of the abuse or their family could file a lawsuit against the abuser. They may be awarded damages, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, and even punitive damages.

Suppose you have been experienced elder abuse. In that case, it is important to speak to an experienced elder abuse attorney who can help you understand the charges against you and what options may be available.

Report and document

The defense may dispute that the abuse occurred, so its important to document, photograph and report the suspected abuse.  Such abuse can be reported to adult protective services or the facility’s licensing agency.

In Virginia you can call a 24 hour hotline at 888-832-3858

Is self-defense a defense – probably not

If one is accused of elder abuse, one possible defense is that he/she acted in self-defense.

If the abuse occurred in an institutional setting, professionals should understand that you never strike an elderly person in self-defense.  Professional healthcare providers should be trained to know how to redirect demented patients who become aggressive.

Call to Action

If you or a loved one has experienced elder abuse, it is essential to know and protect your rights.   Call the law Office of Jeffrey Downey for a free consultation today. The firm has a track record of success in protecting the rights of elders.

About The Law Office of Jeffrey J. Downey, P.C:

The Law Office Jeffrey J. Downey, P.C. is a leading personal injury and accident law firm that people can call a medical malpractice attorney in Maryland.

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