If an older adult is suffering from neglect or physical, sexual, emotional and/or financial abuse in a nursing home or assisted living center, they certainly may have the option to sue. They may deserve financial compensation for the abuse that they suffered, medical bills that were incurred, pain and suffering they had to endure and other losses.
But an abuse victim is not the only person who may want to consider such a lawsuit. Below are three examples of other individuals who may be able to sue on their behalf.
First of all, if the individual is married, their spouse may be aware of the abuse that is taking place. The spouse is also probably the one who is having to cover things like medical costs, or may also be suffering as a result of financial abuse – which would impact them both. They can take action on behalf of the primary victim under these circumstances.
The person’s heirs are individuals who will inherit the victim’s estate. The term “heirs” generally includes someone’s adult children. These individuals are often the ones who notice that abuse is happening, and they may be in charge of making these legal decisions for their elderly parent. This is very common in situations where an elderly person is suffering from physical or cognitive disabilities, which may be what exacerbated their risk of being subjected to abuse in the first place.
A power of attorney
Finally, a victim may have named a power of attorney in order to grant legal decision-making authority to another individual. This person is able to act on their behalf, as well, even if they are not married to them and they are not a direct heir. A power of attorney may go into effect if the creator of that authority is incapacitated in some way or cannot make their own decisions.
What steps can you take?
Have you found yourself in a position where you believe that an elderly loved one is facing abuse? It’s very important to know exactly what legal steps you can take at this time. Speaking with an experienced attorney can provide necessary clarity.