Rights Of A Vulnerable Person
Every state has a law protecting vulnerable people. You have to look to the law of your state to determine whether you are a protected vulnerable person.
In general, the laws protect against:
- People taking advantage of you financially.
- People and nursing homes abusing you physically and/or sexually.
- People and nursing homes neglecting you.
All states have laws about abuse of elders. Elders are defined as people over age 60, 62 or 65 - depending on the state. Some states only cover elders who are frail. Most state laws covering adult vulnerable people also cover people with disabilities. The definition of "Disability" differs from state to state. To locate the appropriate elder law in your state, contact the Eldercare Locator at 800.677.1116 or your local bar association. You can find contact information at: www.findlaw.com/06associations/state.html
If you are taken advantage of financially, you may be able to:
- Recover your damages.
- Receive an amount equal to up to three times the amount of the damages (or a minimum amount if the triple damages are less than the stated amount).
- Be reimbursed for the legal fees you incur recovering these moneys.
The abuser may also be subject to criminal penalties.
If you believe you may be a person who is protected by your state law, and who has been damaged, you can contact the state agency responsible for investigating reports of elder abuse. If the agency won't handle your particular case, contact an experienced elder law attorney. There are attorneys who will work for low cost or for free. You can locate an elder law attorney through the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys .