Until a few years ago, the subject of elder law was something of a misnomer. Legislators didn’t recognize the need for legislation protecting seniors, which meant that elder law lawyers relied upon often less relevant statutes to help their clients. During this time, senior abuse and other unique problems were rampant and often went unpunished. Today, a litigation lawyer has many more options to help a client who has been the victim of abuse, neglect, or fraud. Although the specifics are constantly changing, understanding the broad subject will help you, whether it’s on behalf of an aging individual or for your own education and protection.
Longer Lifespan, New Legal Questions
The problem of aging is a relatively new one for our society. Many of the characteristic health and well-being problems that are associated with today’s seniors were unknown even 50 years ago. As health care improved, people began living longer, and the gap between the oldest in the population and the youngest became increasingly wide. Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other problems of impaired judgment and functioning began to appear. Care facilities began to pop up, and with them came a host of opportunities for new forms of neglect.
At first, state and national governments attempted to avoid addressing these issues. They didn’t want to recognize it as a problem and weren’t sure what to do about it. In recent years, the issue of abuse has become so prominent that lawmakers are no longer ignoring it. There have been exploratory committees formed and seminars held to make strides toward creating solid elder law. Lawyers have been able to take this information and use it to advise their clients, thus creating the branch of law that specializes in these issues.
Defining Elder Law
There are many different parts which can all be counted under the general umbrella of elder law, such as abuse of an aged person. This could be abuse by a family member or a third party caretaker. This form of abuse is generally physical, but could also be mental or emotional. A litigation lawyer must have a particularly detailed understanding of the unique situation that the aged face in order to properly represent an abuse case. There is little legal precedent that discusses such cases, leaving many questions unresolved and many alternate avenues available to the opposing counsel.
This branch of legislation also covers any kind of extortion or scamming of the aged, as well as issues related to end of life decisions and questions of long-term care. A specialized litigation lawyer can help individuals understand their options, make plans, and get justice when they are wronged.
Do You Need A Litigation Lawyer?
It is important to remember that no article can ever offer legal advice like a litigation lawyer. If you have any suspicion that you or a loved one has been mistreated, you should seek out representation immediately. A qualified elder law lawyer will be able to answer all questions, and will be able to advise you on whether or not to press charges if applicable.