What Is Elder Abuse in New Jersey?

  • Dan T. Matrafajlo
  • Fri Jun 2024
  • Elder Abuse,
  • 0
Elder Abuse

The elderly are unfortunately susceptible to many types of abuse. As their loved ones, we should remain vigilant as to the signs of elder abuse, report any actions that may be suspect of elder abuse, and take any necessary legal action to protect their legal rights and get them the compensation they deserve.

Elder Abuse Under New Jersey Law

Elder abuse in New Jersey is defined as any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult.

N.J.S.A §§ 52:27D-406-426 codifies laws that protect vulnerable adults who reside in community settings and who — because of physical injury, mental illness, disability or deficiency — lack understanding and capacity to make, communicate or act on decisions and who are the subject of abuse, neglect or exploitation.

Types of Elder Abuse

Elder abuse can take many forms, including but not limited to:

  • Physical Abuse: Inflicting physical pain or injury upon an elder, such as hitting, slapping, pushing, or causing physical harm.
  • Emotional or Psychological Abuse: Inflicting mental pain, anguish, or distress on an elder through verbal or nonverbal acts. This includes threats, harassment, intimidation, humiliation, or isolation.
  • Sexual Abuse: Non-consensual sexual contact of any kind with an elder. This can include unwanted touching, sexual assault, or exploitation.
  • Neglect: Failure by a caregiver to provide for the elder’s basic needs, including food, shelter, health care, and protection. This can also include self-neglect, where the elder fails to attend to their own basic needs.
  • Financial Exploitation: Illegal or improper use of an elder’s funds, property, or assets. This includes fraud, theft, misuse of funds, or coercion to sign documents like wills or contracts.
  • Abandonment: Desertion of an elder by someone who has assumed responsibility for providing care or by a person with physical custody of the elder.
  • Rights Violations: Denying the elder their rights, including the right to privacy, to make their own decisions, and to access their personal mail or visitors.

Reporting and Addressing Elder Abuse

In New Jersey, anyone who suspects elder abuse is encouraged to report it. The following steps are usually involved in addressing elder abuse:

  • Reporting: Suspected elder abuse can be reported to the New Jersey Adult Protective Services (APS) or local law enforcement. APS investigates allegations of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults.
  • Investigation: APS or law enforcement will investigate the reported abuse. This may involve interviews with the elder, caregivers, and other relevant parties, as well as reviews of medical and financial records.
  • Protection: If the investigation confirms abuse, steps will be taken to protect the elder. This can include removing the elder from the harmful environment, providing medical care, and arranging for alternative living arrangements.
  • Legal Action: Perpetrators of elder abuse can face criminal charges, civil penalties, and other legal actions. Victims may also seek restraining orders and other legal protections.

Call a New Jersey Elder Abuse Attorney

If you or someone you love has become the victim of elderly abuse, you need to hire an experienced New Jersey elder abuse attorney to protect your legal rights. Call Beninato & Matrafajlo Attorneys at Law, LLC at 908-248-4404 to schedule a free, complimentary consultation with our legal team today.

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Dan T. Matrafajlo

Dan T. Matrafajlo

NJ State Bar: #031722003

Dan T. Matrafajlo, Esq., is the managing member and lead partner at Beninato and Matrafajlo, Attorneys at Law, LLC. Renowned for groundbreaking contributions to personal injury law, he has set legal precedents with influential Appellate decisions and garnered recognition in the New Jersey Law Journal. A consistent honoree on Super Lawyers' Rising Star list for the past five years, Matrafajlo's litigation prowess is widely acknowledged. He has won various awards like Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters Association 2019, and Nominated into Super Lawyers as a Rising Star from 2012 until the Present.

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