What is the Elder and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act?

In California, the Legislature has adopted a set of laws which are collectively known as the Elder and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act . Welf. & Inst. Code Section 15600 et seq. In California, elder abuse encompasses various forms of mistreatment of individuals aged 65 and older, while dependent adult abuse refers to similar abuses against adults aged 18-64 who have physical or mental disabilities that make them dependent on others for care and protection.

Elder abuse and dependent adult abuse are serious issues that often go unrecognized but can have devastating effects on vulnerable individuals and their families. Both categories of abuse include physical abuse, neglect, abandonment, isolation, or other treatment resulting in physical harm, pain, or mental suffering. Recognizing the signs of abuse is crucial in protecting our elders and dependent adults. Signs of elder and dependent adult abuse include unexplained injuries, sudden changes in mental status, or withdrawal from normal activities.

Under California’s Welf. & Inst. Code Section 15657, victims of elder abuse have access to several powerful legal remedies designed to offer protection and compensation, including compensatory and punitive damages. Importantly, the law also allows for the recovery of attorney’s fees and costs, which is a significant provision that encourages victims and their families to seek legal redress without the burden of high litigation expenses. These remedies not only underscore the seriousness with which California treats elder and dependent adult abuse but also provides a pathway for victims and their families to achieve justice and financial restitution for the harm suffered.

At Johnson Moore, we are dedicated to protecting the rights and dignity of elders and dependent adults. If you suspect that someone you love is a victim of abuse, contact us for guidance and support.

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