San Diego Nursing Home Physical Abuse Attorney | CA

Legal Help For
Elder Abuse Victims

Free Consultation
Over 30 years of experience No fees unless we win Free Phone Consultations

California Nursing Home Physical Abuse Lawyer

From Joel’s interview for the Masters of the Courtroom series on

Physical abuse is rampant in California nursing homes and assisted living facilities. According to a 2017 study by the World Health Organization (WHO), 9.3% of nursing home staff members admitted to committing some form of abuse against an elderly patient. Unfortunately, physical abuse in nursing homes is widespread due to the fact that many residents have cognitive and/or physical impairments that prevent them from defending themselves. Additionally, those suffering from physical abuse often do not tell anyone out of fear of retaliation, so the abuse goes on unnoticed.

Any sort of intentional physical harm upon an elderly individual may be considered a form of physical abuse. Such harm includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Hitting/Punching/Slapping/Striking/Beating
  • Bruising/Wounding/Welts/Scaring (especially if appearing on both sides of the body, symmetrically)
  • Pushing/Shoving/Shaking
  • Kicking
  • Scratching
  • Biting
  • Excessively Restraining/Confining (indicated by rope marks on wrists and/or ankles)
  • Sexual Assault and/or Battery
  • Denial of Food and/or Water
  • Force Feeding
  • Overly Medicating (such as a drug overdose that involves hospitalization)
  • Under Medicating (recognized by more left of a medicinal prescription than there should be)
  • Withholding Medical Care
  • Broken Eye Glasses/Frames (indicating strikes or blows to the face, or falls from shoving)

Why does physical abuse happen in nursing homes?

In the United States, physical abuse in nursing homes occurs for a variety of reasons. One common reason is under-staffing. Other reasons include failure to conduct background investigations on employees, failure to properly train staff, failure to properly supervise staff members, and failure to provide the proper ratio of staff to patients. These reasons are no excuse, and nursing homes have a duty to provide residents with a safe place to live. There are also many risk factors that may make you or a loved one more susceptible to becoming a victim of nursing home abuse, including the following:

  • Memory Loss:​ Those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other memory loss diseases or conditions are more prone to abuse as they are vulnerable and fail to recognize abuse as it occurs.
  • Disabilities:​ Elderly individuals who are disabled often are more prone to experiencing abuse as well. These individuals often require a bit more work, assistance, and patience from caregivers, which in turn can frustrate caregivers. Upon becoming frustrated or irritated, a caregiver can lash out at an elderly individual in the form of physical abuse.
  • Isolation:​ Nursing home residents who do not receive regular visits from friends or family are also more susceptible to abuse as they are not regularly monitored.

All elders are susceptible to abuse regardless of whether they suffer from any of the conditions mentioned above, as elder abuse is the choice of the perpetrator. It is important that caregivers are truly passionate about what they do and feel rightfully compensated for their work. Taking care of an elderly patient is never easy and can sometimes be as emotionally frustrating as it is rewarding.

san diego physical elder abuse lawyer

What are some signs of physical abuse in a nursing home?

There are many different indications of physical abuse. The most common signs of nursing home physical abuse appear directly on the victim’s body and include unexplained injuries like bruises, sprains, and burns.

It is also important to verify explanations of injuries and check that the injuries are healing properly. Be sure to note whether the injury continuously appears in the same or other locations. Unfortunately, such patterns often are grave indicators of abuse, in which case a knowledgeable California nursing home abuse attorney such as Mr. Bryant should evaluate the circumstances and assist you to ensure that such abuse does not continue.

How can I prevent abuse against a loved one in a nursing home facility?

Extensive research should be done when considering a nursing home, but sometimes research is not enough. To ensure that a loved one is not being physically abused in a skilled nursing facility, remain in constant contact with them. It is also important to visit in person at random times to limit the possibility of physical abuse being covered up. During in-person visits, look for obvious signs of abuse. It is also a good idea to consider the living environment: is the facility clean and organized? Do the staff seem genuinely happy and attentive when dealing with the patients? Finally, do the other residents appear to be in good care and spirits? These are all important things to consider, as they may be indicators of a much larger problem in the nursing home.

How is physical abuse concealed?

Physical abuse in nursing homes is sometimes hidden. Any injury requiring emergency treatment or hospitalization is a sign of abuse. Any injury explanation that does not make sense could be a sign of physical abuse, as is a resident being kept from seeing family members or guests.

Physical abuse can also be concealed by a victim out of fear of retaliation, if they believe that their family will confront the wrongdoer(s) and then not remove them from the dangerous situation. An elder may also cover up physical abuse out of embarrassment, as they may feel ashamed that they were so frail and vulnerable they were unable to protect themselves from the abuse.

How does one report suspected elder abuse?

If you or a loved one is being physically abused in a nursing home, make sure to reach out to an elder abuse and neglect lawyer immediately. More frail than the general population, elders are more susceptible to serious injury and even wrongful death, should they be physically abused. A knowledgeable attorney such as ​Joel Bryant will be able to immediately help with the reporting process of the situation should he evaluate the circumstances as physical elder abuse.​ Joel Bryant will help you navigate the process of informing local law enforcement and social services of the alleged abuse, as well as provide additional support through his many resources during the duration of the investigation.

Seek help from a California nursing home physical abuse lawyer

Nursing home neglect and abuse must be stopped, and the owners of nursing homes are responsible if a resident in their care becomes the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect. If one of your loved ones was physically abused in a skilled nursing or assisted living facility, ​contact ​Attorney Bryant and his team today. It is important to speak up on behalf of elderly family members because many times, dependent adults are unable to speak up out of fear, embarrassment, isolation, or diseases such as Alzheimer’s that leave them more vulnerable to being abused.

The experienced team of ​San Diego elder abuse attorneys​ at Attorney Bryant’s law firm can help recover the compensation you deserve, ensure that the abuse stops, and hold the perpetrators responsible. Reach out today for a free, confidential consultation with a California nursing home abuse lawyer to see if your loved one’s case justifies legal action through a personal injury lawsuit.

“Joel and his team were the help I needed to approach the nursing home that didn’t take good care of my grandmother. With Joel’s help, my grandmother was fairly compensated for the injuries she suffered as a result of the nursing home’s neglect and abuse.”

Andrea C.

“When one of the most tragic events happened in my life, Joel Bryant and Jason Julius were there for me when I needed someone the most. They both were very professional, honest, compassionate, and supportive."

Brent R.

“Joel was amazingly accessible, by phone, email and often, in person, and still is. He is a professional with an understanding heart, and a sense of humor. I still feel very fortunate to have had him on my side.”

Michelle B.
View All Testimonials