Deciding to place a developmentally disabled adult in a group home can be emotionally wrenching for a family that is trying to balance the needs of the disabled family member with the abilities of the rest of the family to provide the required care while still having some life of their own. The last thing the family expects is that their disabled relative will end up drowned in a bathtub or repeatedly raped by a member of the group home staff. But instances of abuse and neglect do occur far too often, to the obvious detriment of the disabled resident as well as to the family.In circumstances as emotionally trying as this, the family faces the added burden of deciding how to hold the people who caused the injuries or death accountable for their actions. A Phoenix group home abuse lawyer experienced with the problems of protecting vulnerable populations, and the nuances of Arizona law, can take at least a portion of the burden off the family’s shoulders.
In Arizona, group homes for the developmentally disabled are licensed by the state Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), but are owned and operated by private companies. The developmentally disabled are ensured specific rights under the law that established the DDD. In addition, many adult developmentally disabled people are entitled to the protection of Arizona’s Adult Protective Service Act, which has very specific provisions protecting “vulnerable adults” against neglect and abuse.
Both in group homes and society in general, the developmentally disabled are vulnerable to intentional abuse. Research has reported that as many as 83% of adult females and 32% of adult males who are developmentally disabled are sexually assaulted at some time in their lives.
In the group home environment, several factors make residents susceptible to abuse and neglect, primarily the fact that they are so dependent on staff and, especially in smaller group homes, few other people are around to see the mistreatment. Residents are also reluctant to speaking out when it comes to mistreatment, having been taught from a very young age to obey the people in charge, even if what they are asked to do makes no sense to them.
All of this puts a premium on:
When the staff that has been employed to protect the disabled residents of group homes abrogate their obligations and injure the residents, rather than protecting them, the residents have only relatives and friends to speak up for them. Holding someone responsible for injuring a member of your family who was placed in their care for protection is a serious responsibility. The personal injury lawyers at Knapp & Roberts in Phoenix, Arizona understands the emotional nature of the effort. We offer the integrity and compassion you want during such an anxious time. We also provide years of experience with the nuances of Arizona law to maximize the chances of success in handling neglect and abuse cases involving care facilities.
The cases tend to be very dependent on what you can prove. If you even suspect improper care at a group home, you should arrange for a transfer to another home and, at the same time, document as much as you can about the treatment and conditions at the current group home. Take pictures of anything that can be photographed, and take notes that document times, dates, and the names of people involved. All of it may be useful in establishing that the wrongful actions occurred, that they were foreseeable, and that there was evidence of the mistreatment, which was ignored, allowing it to continue.
At Knapp & Roberts, there is no cost involved in letting a Phoenix elder abuse lawyer know what you think has been going on. In fact, there’s no charge at all, unless we succeed in obtaining a settlement or a verdict in your favor. Call us today to arrange to tell us your story.
The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona, at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.