If a loved one has suffered serious or fatal injuries in a nursing home as a result of nursing home neglect or abuse, bringing forth a civil claim for damages may be a viable option. In order to recover compensation, however, a plaintiff must not only prove the negligence and wrongdoing of the nursing home, but must also prove damages. Here’s a look at the types of damages that are available in nursing home abuse cases, as well as how to prove damages–
Types of Damages Available in a Nursing Home Abuse Case
In a nursing home abuse case, there are two primary types of damages that a plaintiff may seek: economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are actual monetary losses, such as costs associated with medical care, funeral and burial expenses if injury results in death, and lifetime care costs. Noneconomic damages are intangible losses, such as the value of pain, suffering, anxiety, loss of quality of life, etc. that are suffered.
In some cases, punitive damages–which are designed to punish the defendant rather than compensate the victim–may be available as well. Punitive damages are awarded when the defendant’s conduct is egregious, or when the negligent act was committed with intent or malice.
How to Prove Damages
In order to win a nursing home abuse case, you must prove the degree of damages suffered by the nursing home resident, or by the nursing home resident’s family (if pursuing a wrongful death claim). In order to do this, you will need strong evidence. Some of the best types of evidence that can assist you in substantiating damages include:
- Nursing home incident reports;
- Testimony from nursing home staff;
- Police reports (if the nursing home abuse was reported to law enforcement);
- Notes/journals kept by the nursing home resident or resident’s family about nursing home conditions/abuse and after-effects of abuse;
- Video footage of the abuse or its effects;
- Photos of the resident’s injuries directly following abuse;
- Medical records from a doctor who treated the resident post-abuse;
- Experts’ opinions; and
- Any evidence that exists suggesting the nursing home had a history of abuse, such as proof of complaints filed against the nursing home or previous lawsuits.
It can also be helpful to provide photos and journal entries detailing things the resident liked to do prior to abuse and the relationship that was maintained with family members. Medical bills and proof of other expenses will also be critical in documenting damages.
A Boston Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Who Cares About You
Nursing home abuse is a terrible thing and when it occurs, those impacted deserve to be compensated and those at fault need to be held responsible. At the offices of Tetzel Law, LLC, our experienced Boston nursing home abuse lawyers can help you to bring forth a claim against a nursing home and will be responsible for gathering and organizing all evidence needed to prove abuse and damages.
For your free consultation with our law offices please call us today at (617) 933-3858 or send us a confidential message via our website today.