Orange County Elder Abuse Lawyer

Table Of Contents

elder abuse in california

Elderly people deserve to be treated with respect and care. Their loved ones put many elders into nursing homes to receive proper care and attention. Unfortunately, in many cases, we have seen elders not given proper treatment or attention and subjected to neglect or abuse. In such cases, it is wise to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Orange County.

Elder abuse occurs with alarming regularity. This evil raises its ugly head in many settings, including at the family home and in nursing- and assisted living facilities. Perpetrators can be family members, in-home caregivers, healthcare facility staffers, nurses, and doctors. Authorities receive over 500,000 reports of elderly abuse annually, and countless other cases go unreported.

Senior citizens become vulnerable as aging reduces their physical and mental capabilities. Because they have grown frail, they can less defend themselves against a physical attack. When their mental acuity has declined, they are less able to stand up to verbal abuse and harassment. As a result, they may be dependent on others financially and in terms of their daily living tasks, leaving them susceptible to exploitation.

If you or a loved one have been victimized by elder abuse, you have the right to report these offenses and receive compensation. Contact Nordean Law for a free consultation with an elder abuse attorney in Orange County.

FREE Consultation Call With Our
Elder Abuse Lawyer Serving Orange County!

What Is Considered Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse describes a broad range of abusive, neglectful, and sometimes criminal behavior towards vulnerable older people. It often manifests in the victim’s physical, emotional, sexual, or financial harm. 

The American Psychological Association defines elder abuse as one or a combination of the following:

Physical Abuse

Violent individuals may see older adults as easy targets. While a younger person is likely to resist physical abuse and complain if assaulted, the elderly often lack the strength to fend off an attack and may have difficulty remembering or understanding what happened. As a result, it may become more severe and frequent when an abuser realizes they can assault an older person with impunity.

For instance, an in-home caregiver may be responsible for a frail grandmother with dementia. When no witnesses are around, the caregiver might strike the older adult repeatedly as a way of venting frustrations. However, because the victim is physically vulnerable and cannot accurately recall and report the abuse, the perpetrator may feel emboldened and continue the assaults.

Emotional or Psychological Abuse

Emotional and psychological abuse may leave no visible wounds, but they damage victims by robbing them of dignity, self-esteem, and peace of mind. Emotional and psychological abuse consists of behavior that inflicts fear, shame, and degradation on the target. People who engage in this conduct often seek to control their victims by undermining their worth as human beings. 

In terms of elder abuse, this often forms belittling, degrading, and shaming the victim because of the effects of aging and the symptoms of medical conditions. For example, older people may have trouble remembering things, use incorrect words, drool frequently, and experience shakiness due to aging and diseases like dementia. An emotional abuser may make fun of these symptoms and humiliate the elder by cracking mean jokes about drooling, laughing at them for being at a loss for a word, or imitating their shaking hands through exaggerated gestures.

Financial Abuse

It’s an old saying that some people will do anything for money, and this type of villain has no qualms about stealing from the elderly. 

Financial abuse may occur in a healthcare setting or be commissioned by a family member. Often, older adults become the victims of crimes of opportunity. For example, a thief sees that the person struggles to remember things and may feel they can get away with stealing because the victim will forget.

For example, a nursing home resident may have a valuable watch on their dresser. A staffer may notice and steal the watch while the patient is asleep. Since the patient has dementia, they may overlook the theft or only become aware of it long after the fact. This makes it difficult for anyone to identify the thief, and many think the patient imagines things.

In another case, a family member may take advantage of an elder’s difficulty with memory and managing finances to access their bank-, investment-, or credit accounts and pilfer assets or run up large credit balances.  

Sexual Abuse

Sexual predators often see older adults as exploitable. They are physically disadvantaged and may be unable to comprehend or remember a sexual assault. For instance, a predator may work in a nursing home and molest patients with advanced Alzheimer’s or who are comatose.  


Often, older adults with physical and mental handicaps are left in the care of a relative or professional caregiver. Abandonment occurs when a person forgets their responsibility and leaves the person alone to deteriorate and sometimes die. For instance, a relative could leave an elderly person with dementia locked in their room for days. 


Many elderly people cannot manage daily living tasks, such as washing, using the toilet, or changing clothes. When a family member or healthcare professional decides not to help, the elderly person may be stuck wearing dirty garments and unable to shower and soil themselves. No person should be left in these conditions, but it happens terribly.

In the most egregious cases, neglected elderly people are denied access to food and water, resulting in deaths from malnutrition and dehydration.

Get Your Compensation Now!

Do I Need a Lawyer for an Elder Abuse Claim?

Recovering damages in California civil court requires the expertise of an elder abuse attorney. The courts require specific proof of the abuse, and a lawyer helps obtain the necessary evidence. In addition, the defense may offer an alternative explanation, and your attorney will disprove these claims.

What Are Some Signs of Elder Abuse?

Part of the reason elder abuse remains prevalent is that senior citizens with certain disabilities may be unable to defend themselves or communicate what’s wrong to others. As a result, abusers often continue the mistreatment believing they will never face exposure.

Because of this, it’s essential to know the signs of elder abuse, so you can intervene if your loved one becomes a victim.

Signs of Physical Abuse

Many instances of assault, including hitting, misuse of restraints, and application of physical pressure, leave telltale signs. Take it seriously if your loved one has bruises, welts, burns, new scars, broken bones, sprains, or other injuries. How did they happen?  

In addition, destroyed property, such as broken eyeglasses, provide another clue. Strange abrasions, such as rope marks on the wrists, may be signs of abuse with restraints.

Also, pay attention to suspicious behavior by caregivers. For instance, if a nurse refuses to allow you to see an older adult without them present, it could be because of fear the victim will complain.

Signs of Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse can have direct or indirect indicators. Direct indicators include harmful behavior towards the elder you may observe, such as verbal abuse, threats, harassment, humiliation, and intimidation. While some emotional abusers hide their behavior, others may feel they are justified in belittling, demeaning, or insulting the elderly person in front of others. You do not have to tolerate this behavior and have the right to intervene.

When the abuse is hidden, you may still see signs of its effect on the victim’s behavior. For instance, signs of persistent agitation, such as rocking, sucking, or mumbling, may be indicators. Also, negative symptoms, including an elder becoming uncharacteristically withdrawn, anxious, or depressed, can occur because of emotional abuse. 

Some of these signs can be confounded with dementia symptoms. For example, if you spot these behaviors in a loved one, listen to your instincts, investigate, and ensure the person is not harmed.

Financial Abuse

Like physical abuse, financial violations leave markings. When theft or fraud occurs, perpetrators leave a trail of evidence. If you suspect your loved one is being financially exploited, never hesitate to report your suspicions. Signs of financial abuse include the following:

  • Sudden changes in the elder’s financial circumstances
  • Unusual spending or withdrawals from the elder’s accounts
  • Withdrawals made despite penalties, such as early redemption of CDs
  • Suspicious authorized users on bank accounts, credit- or debit cards
  • Missing valuables or cash
  • Unwarranted changes in wills, power of attorney, titles, and insurance policies
  • Unpaid bills
  • Lack of medical care
  • Withdrawals the elder cannot complete alone, such as ATM withdrawals from the account of a bedridden person
  • Shut off utilities
  • A suspicious new “best friend” or “sweetheart.”

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse may leave signs on the victim. Loved ones should be concerned if they notice the following in their elder:

  • Bruises around breasts or genitals
  • Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
  • Torn, stained, or bloody underwear


Many elderly people rely on a caregiver to survive, requiring help to obtain necessities, such as food, clothing, shelter, medication, medical care, and physical assistance.

Neglect leaves them unable to manage, resulting in dangerous and deadly conditions. The following are signs of neglect:

  • Unexplained weight loss 
  • Malnutrition 
  • Dehydration
  • Unattended medical needs
  • Untreated physical conditions, such as bed sores
  • Unsanitary living conditions
  • Poor hygiene
  • Inappropriate clothing for the weather
  • Unsafe living conditions
  • Deserted in a public place

Healthcare Fraud

Unfortunately, the healthcare industry is far from immune to fraud. Unscrupulous and greedy people engage in schemes to rob elderly people or bilk insurance companies. Healthcare fraud may occur through the falsification of patient records or by simply not providing the care. Signs of healthcare fraud include the following:

  • Over-medication
  • Under-medication
  • Inadequate care
  • Billing for services not provided
  • Duplicate billings
  • Misrepresentation of services provided 
  • Charging for a more complex or expensive service than needed or provided

What To Do After Elder Abuse In Orange County?

If you suspect elder abuse, talk to the possible victim to learn as much as possible. However, the senior may not remember, be confused, or be in denial. Instead, report the matter to Adult Protective Services. They will conduct an investigation.

The harm caused to your loved one may be eligible for damages in civil court. For instance, a civil fraud case can collect missing money, lawyer’s fees, and punitive damages.

Hear From Our Community Of Satisfied
Raydrea E.
Raydrea E.
Read More
The best lawyer in the area! He and his team will take great care of you. They are very good with taking questions and answering them without lying to you. I will use Sam and his firm for any cases I might encounter. Highly recommend!!
Ricardo Dagher
Ricardo Dagher
Read More
I was rear ended on the highway by a driver that was not paying attention. He didn’t even slow down. After the collision, I couldn’t even walk. Sam and his team helped me every step of the way. They made sure that I received the best treatment. I don’t know what I would’ve done without them. They fought the insurance company to make sure I received full value for my car. Sam was able to get all my bills covered and on top of that held the other driver and his insurance company accountable. I received the settlement that I deserve and helped me move with my life after an accident that changed my life.
Erica Z.
Erica Z.
Read More
If you are worried about your claim you should contact Nordean Law. Sam Nordean and his team are not only true professionals with integrity, but also sincerely care about their clients well being and state of mind throughout the process.
Diana S.
Diana S.
Read More
Sam Nordean is a great lawyer. He handled my case with the utmost professionalism. After taking my case, Nordean was always very straightfoward about all proceedings. He never sugarcoated things and was very honest. As the client, I appreciated that Sam Nordean would advise me about the proceedings but that my opinions and voice was also heard. Sam Nordean fought for me as the victim in my case and I was very happy with the outcome. Sam Nordean is a great lawyer and I would recommend him for anyone in need of a personal injury lawyer.
Aldo Z.
Aldo Z.
Read More
Nordean Law is working on my injury case. and can't thank them enough. Sam and his team have been reaching out and keeping me informed with all pending matters. I appreciate that because with all that is currently going in right now, I need some stress off my shoulders. Thank you Nordean Law!!!
Michael Ruddle
Michael Ruddle
Read More
My family and I were involved in an auto accident. I was referred to Sam Nordean through a good friend of mine who is a current client. That meant a lot to me. I called Sam immediately and he answered the phone. I thought, "Wow, an attorney who actually answers his phone". I explained to him what had happened and he and his Team immediately took over. They have already taken care of our property damage issue and are making sure we have the best medical treatment available. We still have a ways to go, but I know Sam is working hard for my family. And, when I call him he still picks up. Thank you Nordean Law
Donna Melik
Donna Melik
Read More
I can’t thank the Nordean Law group enough! The amount of clarity they provide by walking you through every single step is beyond relieving. The entire team is so professional! And they truly fight for justice! Our family has been with them since 2017 and appreciates all the hard work! Don’t look any further, go for the representation of Nordean Law
 Boyce Osife
Boyce Osife
Read More
Very knowledgeable and experienced law firm. Very polite service representatives who care about your needs and help you find the right help.
Alice Alqueen
Alice Alqueen
Read More
Nordean Law, APC represented me and helped me through my insurance case when they refused to pay my bills. Sam was very patient, experienced, and well-knowledgeable such qualities are hard to find in one attorney. No matter how many times I called or asked questions he was always attentive and understanding. I would recommend them to anyone in a heartbeat! Thank you for winning my 2 cases!
Sukhwinder Kaur
Sukhwinder Kaur
Read More
Sam and his team are amazing. My mom experienced a major fall and ended up getting seriously hurt. Sam and his team stood by her side every step of the way and took her under their wing making sure she got all the care that she needed. Communication is key to any relationship rather it be business or personal and Nordean law made sure their was no confusion and all points were made aware to both parties. Thank you sharmin, Alyssa, patty and Sam ! Your time and hard work is definitely appreciated!

Orange County Elder Abuse Lawyer Near Me

How Much Is My Elder Abuse Case Worth / Compensation for Victims?

Elder abuse cases often result in substantial damages in the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. For instance, a case of physical abuse in a nursing home could be worth up to $250,000 and $1 million if the management knew of the abuse and failed to intervene. Damages can include the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Property damage or loss
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages

Contact a Top-Rated Orange County Elder Abuse Lawyer Today

sam nordean: orange county based personal injury lawyer

Sam Nordean has made a commitment to helping victims get back what was taken away from them. He fights for people that are injured and can’t fight for themselves.

“Going to court or negotiating a settlement is not akin to my client winning a lottery ticket. It’s about balancing the scales; it’s what they’re owed.”

Our lawyer at Orange County understands how to identify elder abuse and prove it in court. If you suspect a loved one is suffering from mistreatment or fraud, contact Nordean Law’s elder law attorney’s in Orange County.

Elder Abuse Lawyer Near Orange County, CA

Hiring the right Elder Abuse Attorney will make a huge positive difference in this unfortunate and difficult part of your life. You can spend countless hours at the Orange County Courthouse trying to piece together what you need to do next on your own. By not hiring an attorney, you are throwing countless hours out the window, you will also get on average 40% less when the settlement finally comes around, which will happen much faster with professional help.

It’s free to talk with us, please reach out if you have any questions or would like an estimate of what you could be owed. In California, you have up to two years to file a claim and sue for compensation. If you wish to take this court journey alone, Orange County Courthouse is located at 700 W Civic Center Dr, Santa Ana, CA 92701.

If you want to take professional help, our Elder Abuse Lawyer in Orange County will be more than happy to help you.

Get directions to Orange County Courthouse.

99% Client Win Rate, Contact Us For FREE Consultation

Compelling Results

Orange County Car Accident FAQs

Elderly people deserve to be treated with respect and care. Unfortunately, in many cases, we have seen elders not given proper treatment or attention and subjected to neglect or abuse. Below are answers to frequently asked questions about elder abuse as a quick reference. 

Talk to the senior about what may happen if you see signs of elder abuse. This could shed light on the situation; however, it’s possible that the senior won’t recall due to memory issues, may be confused, or is in denial.


You do not need evidence proving elder abuse to report it to Adult Protective Services. Investigating the case is their job. When you contact Adult Protective Services, you need to let them know why you suspect abuse, and they will take it from there. If additional abuse occurs after your first complaint, follow up with additional reports.

Proving elder abuse in California civil courts requires demonstrating three elements:

  1. The abuse occurred.
  2. The victim was over 65 or legally dependent.
  3. The abuser knew or should have known that their actions harmed the victim.

Civil courts use the standard of a preponderance of the evidence in deciding cases, a bar substantially lower than reasonable doubt. A preponderance of the evidence means it is more likely than not. As such, if you prove it is more likely than not that the abuse occurred and the abuser knew or should have known they caused harm, you are likely to win an elder abuse case in California courts.

Some elder abuse is criminal. For instance, beating an older person is assault and draining their bank accounts is fraud. To determine if a criminal case exists, you need to speak to the local police or the district attorney’s office. However, a criminal conviction is not necessary to win an elder abuse claim in civil court.

You must file a civil suit within two years of the last act of elder abuse or when you became aware of it. For instance, if you discovered that your elderly parent was defrauded three years ago, the two-year “clock” starts when you uncovered the abuse, not when it occurred.

Avoid assuming that the statute of limitations has run if more than two years have passed since the abuse occurred. The clock may start at a different date in your case, so consult an elder law attorney in Orange County, CA, before deciding against pursuing legal action.

Many elder abuse cases qualify for contingency fee arrangements. A contingency fee agreement means that you pay only if you collect monetary damages, and the fee comes directly from those proceeds. Nordean Law elder law attorneys in Orange County, California, offer free consultations for contingency fee elder abuse cases.


“We never lose sight of the pain and suffering of your recovery, not to mention emotional trauma that lasts for years.”
Contact Sam Nordean Of Nordean Law

About Orange County, CA

Orange County, which lies in Southern California, is a compact yet vibrant region known for its diverse cities, stunning landscapes, and rich history. Home to popular cities like Anaheim, known for Disneyland, and Santa Ana, the county seat, it also boasts coastal cities like Huntington Beach and Newport Beach.

The county is connected by the Interstate 5 (Santa Ana) Freeway and hosts shopping centers like South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. Tourist attractions include Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park and Mission San Juan Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano.

Geographically, it’s adorned with features like the Santa Ana Mountains and the Santa Ana River. With a pleasant average annual temperature of 68 °F (20 °C), Orange County offers an unforgettable experience for all.

From our office in Costa Mesa, we are proud to extend our services to a wide range of cities within Orange County. This includes Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, and Mission Viejo. We also cater to clients in Newport Beach and larger cities such as Los Angeles, Anaheim, Irvine, Huntington Beach, Long Beach, and Norwalk. We’re committed to serving these communities with dedication and excellence.

Orange County Local Resources

Get A Free Consultation

Take the First Step Towards Justice and Compensation

Compelling Results

Get A Free Consultation

Take the First Step Towards Justice and Compensation


Scroll to Top