Signs of Elder Abuse

Our San Diego nursing home injury lawyers have seen many forms of elder abuse throughout our careers. There are several signs you can look for to determine if your loved one is suffering from abuse or neglect while under the care of another, whether at Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF), at a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE), an In-Home Healthcare provider, or other. The following is a listing of some of the more common signs and indicators of elder abuse and neglect. If you suspect that someone you love has been abused or neglected in a nursing home, contact a California nursing home neglect lawyer at our firm today to discuss the details of your situation.

Physical  Abuse

  • Cuts, bruises, abrasions, burn marks, scratches, pinch marks, restraint or rope marks
  • Broken bones, fractures or dislocations
  • Marks to the head, neck and face, such as a black eye or bruises around the neck
  • Bruises or marks around the arms (as if being grabbed forcefully), finger/thumb print-sized marks on the arms, wrists, inner thighs, etc.
  • Presence of old and new bruises in the same place and different colored bruises
  • Marks caused by restraints which are not ordered by a doctor for the patient or resident's safety
  • Signs of sexual abuse, including bruising around breasts and/or genitalia, unexplained venereal disease or genital inflammation, unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
  • Physical signs that the patient or resident is being over-medicated, such as decreased mobility, blank stares, uncontrollable drooling, drowsiness and excessive sleeping


  • Patient or resident falls frequently because proper fall prevention protocol is not in place or not being followed
  • Poor hygiene, including dirty hair, hands, uncut and/or dirty fingernails, dirty teeth and/or bad breath, dirty clothes, patient or resident smells of urine or feces
  • Bedsores on feet, back, shoulders, buttocks, elbows, etc.
  • Resident or patient's living area and common environments are unkept, soiled or disorganized
  • Unsafe living conditions, such as no hot water, frequent wanderings of patients or residents, exposed electrical outlets
  • Person left unattended on toilet, outside, etc.
  • Unexplained weight loss, malnutrition, dehydration
  • Missing dentures, glasses, hearing aids or mobility aids

Emotional and Behavioral Abuse

  • Confusion or disorientation without a medical reason
  • Anxiety
  • Sadness or depression
  • Aggitation
  • Fear of talking openly
  • Patient or resident becomes withdrawn
  • Patient or resident no longer participates in favorite activities
  • It appears patient or resident is being untruthful when questioned about circumstances
  • Caregiver will not allow you to speak to patient or resident alone or person fears being left alone with certain people
  • Unexplained change in sleeping or eating habits

How our San Diego nursing homes negligence attorneys can help

Our California nursing home injury attorneys have years of experience handling a wide variety of elder abuse and elder neglect cases. In that time we have witnessed many different types of abuse, and have learned how to identify instances of neglect before they turn serious or fatal. If you have an elderly family member in a nursing home who you believe has been abused or neglected, share your story with the San Diego nursing home neglect attorneys of our firm. We will do everything in our power to help you, and will fight for the compensation that you rightfully deserve if you have a legitimate case against a nursing home.


Visit the following pages for more information about the different forms of elder abuse/neglect:

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Elder Neglect by Healthcare Corporation
Jean’s mother was a victim of neglect while at a skilled nursing facility, resulting in surgery that she did not survive. Berman was there to listen and provide support that the client needed.
Wrongful Death at a California Nursing Home
Michele’s mother suffered a wrongful death at a California nursing home. William M. Berman and the attorneys at Berman & Riedel, LLP helped litigate the case with successful results.
Wrongful Death Legal Services
Ginny suffered a family loss, and Berman lawyers handled her legal needs with compassion and reassurance, allowing her to feel safe and at-ease through the entire process.
Serious Injury at Skilled Nursing Facility
Ira’s wife suffered a traumatic brain injury due to negligence at a skilled nursing facility, and our team of attorneys worked hard to ensure that Ira’s wife and his family received the compensation that they rightfully deserved.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to common questions people have about personal injury cases and working with a lawyer. During your initial consultation, we will be happy to answer questions that are particular to your case.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?

The attorneys at Berman & Riedel, LLP, accept cases on a contingency-fee basis. This type of agreement means you do not pay any attorneys’ fees out-of-pocket for legal representation. Attorneys’ fees are also contingent on the outcome of your case.

You benefit from legal representation in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of a settlement or jury award. We will only recover a fee if you recover compensation.

Can You Tell Me How Much My Case Is Worth?

There is no way to determine the exact value of a personal injury case, especially early in your case. However, an experienced attorney can give you an estimated range based on their experience with similar cases.

There are many factors that may influence the value of your case, such as:

  • Your total financial or economic damages
  • The severity of your injuries
  • The impact of your injuries on your daily life
  • The strength of your case
  • Whether you share fault for your accident
  • Insurance policy limits 

Some damages are easy to calculate, such as lost wages and medical bills. Calculating the value of diminished earnings for the rest of your life or future medical needs; however, may require the help of experts. Non-economic damages like pain and suffering have no intrinsic financial value. These damages are challenging to calculate. 

If your case goes before a jury, you may potentially be able to recover more than you could through a settlement. However, this introduces a new element of risk: the jury. The circumstances of your accident and even how sympathetic you or the defendant are can influence the outcome.

During your consultation, and throughout your case, we will help you understand how these factors influence your case. We will also work tirelessly to document the value of all your damages and pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.

Will My Case Go to Trial?

The vast majority of cases are resolved by reaching a settlement agreement outside of court. Very few personal injury cases actually go to trial, but it is more likely if the facts in your case are in dispute, a legal issue is being contested, or you have a high-value case.

An experienced lawyer will build your case as if it will go to trial from the beginning. The stronger your case and evidence, the more likely a fair settlement will be reached.

How Do I Know If I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

If your case involves mostly property damage or minor injuries, you likely do not need a lawyer to handle a claim with the insurance company. The more serious your injuries, or the more complex your case, the more important it becomes to seek experienced legal counsel.

Remember that the insurance company is not on your side, even if the insurance adjuster seems sympathetic and you receive a settlement offer. If you are being blamed for your accident or sustained serious injury, a lawyer will help you protect your rights and build the strongest case possible. This includes calculating the full value of your current and future losses.

Legal representation is also vital if your case involves a complex area of law such as elder abuse or neglect, premises liability, commercial vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, or serious work-related accidents. Determining liability, navigating decades of legal precedence, and interpreting specific statutes in these cases is best done with years of relevant legal experience.

Do You Accept Cases Outside of San Diego?

While our law office is located in San Diego, Berman & Riedel, LLP, accepts cases throughout the state of California.


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