What You Need to Know About Suing a Nursing Home for Abuse or Negligence
Neglect and abuse in nursing homes can come in many shapes and forms. Lawsuits against negligent facilities thus don’t have to bear identical details. If you suspect your loved one has been subjected to abuse in a care home, do not hesitate to file a lawsuit and seek justice and compensation for them.
Most cases of neglect and abuse go unaddressed. Some lack obvious evidence because the victim cannot express themselves, or it’s hard to attribute harm to the direct actions of a caregiver. You can get around these hurdles and create stronger cases if you understand some of the basic facts about nursing home negligence lawsuits. Here is what you need to know:
1. Abuse doesn’t have to be physical
While physical abuse is perhaps the most detrimental and dreaded form of abuse an older adult could be subjected to, there are many other forms that easily fly under the radar. These include sexual abuse, psychological or emotional abuse, material or financial exploitation, and abandonment. You might need an expert investigation to obtain evidence for some of these, so make sure to involve a lawyer. Derrick Law Office has some of the most experienced nursing home abuse attorneys if you are looking for someone to perform the investigations and file a lawsuit on your behalf.
2. Neglect and abuse are not the same
Abuse occurs when a caregiver or an administrator at a care home deliberately mistreats a resident. Neglect, on the other hand, is typified by a lack of sufficient care and attention and generally entails passive problems. Oftentimes, negligence is seen as a less aggressive form of abuse. The difference needs to be observed when preparing a lawsuit as the two forms of mistreatment attract different penalties and different settlements.
3. You can file a civil lawsuit or criminal lawsuit or both
The word “lawsuit” is often used to refer to civil court cases, but it can describe a criminal proceeding too. Usually, it’s the circumstances of your case that will determine the most suitable lawsuit to pursue. Differences between civil and criminal cases include the following:
- You can request the state for a lawyer in criminal cases, while you must hire one yourself for a civil case
- Criminal cases focus on punishing the nursing home. Civil cases are about compensating the plaintiff
- The government is usually the plaintiff in criminal cases. The victim is the plaintiff in civil lawsuits
4. There are several types of civil lawsuits
The two main categories of nursing home negligence lawsuits are tort cases and breach-of-contract cases. Tort cases, which make up the bulk of care home lawsuits, include physical and emotional abuse, neglect, medical malpractice, negligence, and wrongful death. Your lawyer will give you a clear picture of your loved one’s case and inform you of what to expect.
Any complaint from your relative or friend in a nursing home shouldn’t be taken lightly. Negligence and abuse are pretty common, and nursing homes tend to get away with them regularly. The best thing to do is expect the worst and take immediate action at the hint of negligence or abuse.