When you take your loved one to a nursing home, it is often one of the toughest decisions that you will make in your life. You are entrusting the care of someone you love to complete strangers and the fear and guilt of this decision can be a difficult burden.
What helps is knowing that you are giving the safety and health of your loved one over to people who can take care of them better than you can, but sometimes that does not happen. Nursing home elder abuse is thankfully not common, but when it happens, the people responsible must be held accountable.
Here are 3 of the main types of damages that are recoverable through a lawsuit when nursing home abuse happens.
Elder Abuse in the Nursing Home: 3 Recoverable Damages
1. Medical expenses from staff abuse. Whether the abuse was due to intentional misconduct or neglect, the results end up the same. Your loved one is injured, and the nursing home staff must be held accountable.
Helping nursing abuse victims is important because they often can’t defend themselves and sometimes don’t even understand they are being abused. Neglect or misconduct that results in injury, such as a fall, can be compensated for in an elder abuse lawsuit.
These types of lawsuits often award compensation for damages such as doctor’s office and hospital bills, surgery and rehabilitation, physical therapy, medications, transportation to and from appointments, and more.
2. Non-economic, or “quality of life” damages. These types of damages are awarded when a victim of elder abuse receives injuries that affect their quality of life permanently. If they can’t do things they used to do, or are so traumatized by the events that they are mentally unable to enjoy life as they used to, it may be possible to obtain compensation for their pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment.
3. Punitive damages for excessive abuse. Sometimes the abuse crosses the line from ordinary negligence to deliberate, malicious abuse. When this happens, the court may decide to punish the nursing home by awarding the victim with punitive damages.
Punitive damages are monetary compensations given to an injured party with the sole intent to make the at-fault party take notice of their wrongdoings and not do them again in the future. There are usually caps set on these types of damages, but they are awarded when your attorney can prove that the defendant acted in a manner that was not only negligent but also intentional and malicious.
Stand Up for Elder Rights
Many times our loved ones can’t defend themselves. Maybe they are not cognizant of their surroundings or they have signed over their guardianship rights to the nursing home or another party. No matter what the case is, everyone should be treated with dignity and respect.
If you know someone who was abused or neglected in a nursing home, contact an elder abuse attorney today to see how you can help them stand up for their rights.