The main purpose of a nursing home is for someone who is elderly or disabled to be cared for in the same loving manner that their own family members would do if the family were able to provide around the clock care. Sadly, that is not the case in some nursing homes. Some nursing homes employ workers that do not have the patience and understanding that is required to be a caregiver. This sometimes results with residents being treated in a cruel or inappropriate way instead.
If this occurs, the resident and their family members have the right to bring a lawsuit against the nursing home and the employee that mistreated them to obtain compensation for the cruelty the resident had to endure. The amount of compensation that can be won in a nursing home abuse case depends on the type of damages the resident has suffered. These are the most common types of damages that are commonly awarded in a nursing home abuse case.
The economic damages are those that are financial. If there is an amount of money the resident lost due to the irresponsible behavior of the nursing home employee, this would be included in the economic damages. For example, if the resident was injured and had medical bills that were due to that specific injury caused by the nursing home employee, this is an economic damage that compensation can be requested for. If the resident believes the employee stole money or other items of worth, such as jewelry or clothing, from them, this too is considered an economic damage.
The resident and his family can also request compensation for non-economic damages. This includes any pain and suffering that the resident had to endure due to the cruel treatment and unethical behavior of the employee of the nursing home. It is not always easy to place a dollar amount on non-economic damages. Normally, the attorney representing the resident researches similar cases where residents have been awarded this type of compensation from a nursing home in the past and uses an amount in the same range of value. However, the judge also has the right to increase or decrease the amount of non-economic damages the resident will receive if he wins the case.
Another type of damage the resident and his family may or may not request is punitive damage. This type of damage is a form of punishment payment or fine the nursing home employee is forced to pay for as restitution for cruel or irresponsible behavior towards the resident. If the resident does not request punitive damage compensation, the judge may still order the employee to pay it to either the resident or the court system.
Fortunately, many nursing homes are now screening their employees more thoroughly before hiring them as caregivers. This is due to the number of nursing home abuse cases that have gone to court over the last several years. Some nursing homes work harder now to prevent these incidents from occurring so they do not have to be held responsible for residents being mistreated.
Contact a nursing home abuse lawyer for more information.