It is an unfortunate reality that it may be necessary to report elder abuse at some point to protect a loved one. While inconceivable to most of us, elder abuse is a widespread problem with about 1 in 6 people 60 years and older reporting abuse in a community setting within the past year, according to a study by the World Health Organization.
This is an extremely sad statistic for some of the most vulnerable members of our society, but it is one that we can fight back against by being aware of the types and signs of abuse and – most importantly – reporting it when we see it.
Here, we are going to explain how to report elder abuse in Wisconsin, along with a brief overview of the types of abuse and how a lawyer may be able to help. At Boller & Vaughan, we are committed to supporting elders and doing everything we can to hold abusers accountable for their actions.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services provides adult protective services where you can report abuse of an adult or an elderly adult at risk. There are a few options for reporting abuse:
However, keep in mind that if the abuse is serious, placing someone in immediate, life-threatening danger, call 911 right away to report the abuse so no time is wasted getting the elder out of harm’s way.
Once you are in contact with the Department of Health Services, you will be asked to give as much information as possible about the situation so that a caseworker can thoroughly understand the situation and establish a plan of action.
Some of the information you should be prepared to provide:
Ultimately, the more details you can provide, the better, so take a few minutes to write down as much as you can and don’t hesitate to follow up with the caseworker if you remember further details.
While anyone can report elder abuse – and should do so as soon as they suspect elder abuse is occurring – there are some individuals who are required by law to report abuse, including:
If these individuals witness or suspect elder abuse but fail to report it, they could be charged with a crime on top of facing a civil claim for the damages caused by their negligence.
While the term “abuse” generally causes us to think about physical abuse, elder abuse comes in various forms that we all should be aware of, including:
It is also worth mentioning neglect, which is not technically abuse but can still result in significant mental, emotional, and physical damage to elders. Unlike abuse, neglect does not involve an intent to cause harm; instead, it is the result of a caregiver not providing an elder with the attention and care they need and deserve to stay healthy and well.
While elder abuse is a crime that can lead to fines and jail time, it can also result in a civil case where the individual(s) responsible for the abuse has to pay compensation to the elder and/or their family for the damages sustained as a result of the abuse. These damages can include medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.
However, proving negligence, gathering evidence, calculating damages, and fighting for compensation require experience, know-how, and substantial time investments. An elder abuse lawyer can provide each of these, giving abused elders and their loved ones the legal knowledge and experience needed to pursue compensation against the wrongdoer.
If you believe you or a loved one may have a right to compensation for elder abuse, we encourage you to get in touch as soon as possible for a FREE case review after you have reported the abuse.At Boller & Vaughan, we are staunch, compassionate advocates for elders, and we are here to do everything we can to obtain justice for you and your family. Get in touch with the Madison elder abuse lawyers at Boller & Vaughan today by calling (608) 268-0268 or filling out our contact form.
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We live in Friendship, Wisconsin, and Boller & Vaughan came to our doorstep to discuss our mother’s wrongful death claim on a Saturday morning. Not only were we pleased with the large recovery, we were so thankful to have lawyers who were willing to explain to us every twist and turn along the way. It is great to know there is a law firm that will fight for the rights of elderly people all over Wisconsin.
Mr. Boller and Ms. Vaughan were incredible in working on my case and my daughter’s case. I was out of work and in the hospital with a new baby. Mr. Boller and Ms. Vaughan protected our rights and it was a pleasure to work with them. I hope never to be in another motor vehicle accident, however, if I am and I am injured, I will contact Boller & Vaughan immediately.
I was referred to Michelle through a friend. I have never had a better experience. It took a little over a year to get my settlement but the staff there stayed in constant contact and kept me in the loop. Oh, and Michelle actually got me MORE money than we discussed. I will refer anyone to this firm. Words cannot do justice the thanks that I have for Michelle and her staff (Mary especially) thank you guys so much!
After my husband died as a result of a motor vehicle accident, Boller & Vaughan spent countless hours talking with me, meeting with me in person, and making sure that I was okay. The drunk driver who hit us did not have any insurance, and we had to make a claim through our own insurance. Boller & Vaughan was fantastic at explaining the law to me and the handling of our claims.
After my son was injured in a daycare setting, Ms. Vaughan took the time to thoroughly investigate our case and my son’s injuries. Michele was approachable and had answers to our questions. Talking with her helped to relieve many of our anxieties.