SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Caretakers are never allowed to endanger the elderly. When they do so, they are responsible for the harms they caused. Elder abuse involves both physical and financial harm. When family members learn that their loved ones have been abused, they feel shocked. Sometimes they feel guilty. What more could they have done? Neighbors learning of the abuse often share shock and even guilt. We know this can happen again. How do we prevent this abuse in the future?
Criminal prosecution of abusers rests legally with law enforcement. Civil prosecution is another matter – we at Hackard Law prosecute abusers in the civil courts. We represent families who have learned that elder abuse can happen to anyone. These civil cases can proceed all the way to a jury trial. A jury serves as the conscience of the community, and a jury can render a verdict as a warning to all future abusers that the community will not stand for elder abuse.
We have prosecuted a number of elder abuse cases in California. While the neighborhoods might be different, the common signs of abuse are the same. The house seems unvisited. Blinds and curtains are shut. Neighborhood memories of the house that once held families are fading. The house is old and silent now, the children gone, and grandchildren who once visited rarely seen. Just one aging parent is left. Her health is not good; maybe she's not fully "with it." She has a caretaker.
Neighbors can be first responders. Their calls to family members are a matter of safety, not intrusion. Neighbors should care. What happens to their neighbor could happen to them or a member of their family.
Adult Protective Services should be called when there are inklings of abuse. Financial abuse is hidden, but once exposed, common harms are present - looted bank accounts, stolen checks, and unexplained credit card charges.
Stand up for community safety and speak out if you suspect elder abuse. Hackard Law's experience counts.
About Hackard Law, a Professional Law Corporation Hackard Law focuses on litigation matters. Michael A. Hackard is the principal attorney of the Sacramento-area law firm representing clients in wrongful death, catastrophic injury and estate and trust litigation. For information about Michael A. Hackard, please visit:
SOURCE Hackard Law