Understanding the Elder Abuse Laws in Arizona

Elder abuse includes acts of any physical, emotional, financial, or sexual mistreatment of an elderly individual. Neglect and abandonment of an elderly person can also be considered elder abuse.

Most states have enacted elder abuse laws to address elder abuse specifically and to protect older individuals. Elder abuse can happen anywhere—whether in the home of a trusted family member or caregiver or a nursing home or long-term care facility.

What Are the Different Forms of Elder Abuse?

“Elder abuse and neglect are crimes in the state of Arizona. In fact, it is classified as a Felony.”

 Most instances of elder abuse fall within five main categories. These categories include:

  • Physical Abuse
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Financial Exploitation
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Neglect or Abandonment

Many victims of elder abuse experience more than one form of abuse. If you believe an elderly individual is a victim of elder abuse, it is crucial to seek help for them right away. Depending on the situation, you may need to contact law enforcement or Adult Protective Services to report the suspected abuse.

What is Elder Abandonment?

Elder abandonment is one form of elder abuse. This type of elder abuse occurs when someone who has assumed responsibility to provide care to an elderly person deserts or abandons that person. Generally, it is considered abandonment when the desertion of the elderly individual by their caregiver is both purposeful and permanent.

In Arizona, the elder abandonment laws are tied in with the laws against elder abuse and neglect. Essentially, elder abandonment is a form of neglect according to state law.

What Are the Elder Abuse Laws in Arizona?

The state of Arizona has senior citizen abuse laws in place to protect elderly individuals from abuse and neglect. According to Arizona’s Adult Protective Services Act, a successful claim for abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult must meet requirements set forth by the statute. A.R.S. § 46-455. These requirements state that the victim must be either a vulnerable or incapacitated adult who sustained an injury that was caused by abuse or neglect committed by a caregiver.

In addition to state laws that address elder abuse and neglect, there are also federal laws in place to protect older individuals. The federal Elder Justice Act makes it a requirement for certain individuals at long-term care facilities to report any crimes that are committed against elderly residents.

Is Elder Neglect a Crime?

Yes, elder abuse and neglect are crimes in the state of Arizona. In fact, it is classified as a Felony. The perpetrator of the crime—legally referred to as the defendant may face criminal action and punishment depending on the severity of the incident.

If the case does move forward to a trial, the victim and any witnesses may need to testify. While the prospect of testifying at a trial may be daunting, it is important to report elder abuse and neglect to make sure that everything possible is done to protect an elderly victim. You may even be helping countless others by helping to ensure that a perpetrator of abuse is stopped.

The civil case, which compensates victims for damages, allows for the recovery of damages, or potentially injunctive relief against the at-fault facility. This would, potentially, allow a victim to shut down the facility under extreme circumstances with a court order.

Other Considerations Under Arizona Law Regarding Elder Abuse

“One extremely important consideration when considering filing an elder abuse case is the relevant statute of limitation.”

In addition to defining what elder abuse is and what facts must be present in order to bring a successful claim, there are also other laws and considerations to keep in mind during an elder abuse case. One extremely important consideration when considering filing an elder abuse case is the relevant statute of limitation.

Under Arizona law, a claim for abuse or neglect of an elderly (or any vulnerable adult) must be filed within two years from the date of injury or the actual discovery of the cause of action. An elder abuse lawyer in Arizona can help you understand how the statute of limitations may impact your case.

It is also essential to understand that there may also be other causes of action that may be applicable depending on the facts of your elder abuse law case. For example, the defendant caregiver may also be liable for medical malpractice, wrongful death, or negligence.

Goodnow McKay – Elder Abuse Attorneys in Arizona

The Arizona elder abuse attorneys of Goodnow McKay have fought tirelessly for the rights of their clients for many years and have obtained successful outcomes in a number of different cases involving elder abuse and neglect. Our attorneys are fiercely committed to working hard to achieve the best outcomes for their clients.

Goodnow McKay is ready to help you fight for the compensation that you deserve. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation to meet with one of our attorneys and begin moving forward with your elder abuse case to pursue justice and a fair settlement.