It can be heartbreaking to realize that your older loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse occurs every day and, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA),1 tens of thousands of reports are filed regarding gross neglect, abuse, or exploitation each year. Sadly, many more cases go unreported for various reasons.
Some facilities can even gain a reputation for negligent hiring that leads to neglect, abuse, and serious injuries. For example, Brookdale Senior Living Communities is a company that runs many nursing homes throughout Florida and around the U.S. and has faced numerous lawsuits in recent years alleging serious and even fatal abuse and neglect. If you believe that your loved one suffered abuse at one of these facilities, you should discuss your concerns with one of our highly skilled Brookdale nursing home abuse attorneys as soon as possible.
Requirements to Prevail in a Nursing Home Abuse Case
In many cases, in order to receive financial compensation for serious nursing home abuse or neglect injuries, your loved one must file a legal claim against the company or a designated person must file one on their behalf if they are not mentally capable of doing so themselves. Like any other type of personal injury claim, there are two main parts of the claim that must be proven:
- The injuries were caused by the negligence2 or intentional acts of nursing home staff;
- Your loved one suffered actual damages due to the injuries.
- “Damages”3 refers to the monetary value of the harm suffered by your loved one. The most obvious type of damages is medical expenses for the necessary treatment of the injuries suffered due to the abuse or neglect. However, damages in a nursing home abuse case can include many other types of losses, including:
- Physical pain and suffering due to the injuries;
- Emotional trauma from the abuse;
- Mental pain and suffering due to injuries and abuse;
- Punitive damages if the acts of the nursing home were particularly offensive.
In order to prove these damages, you must present evidence to support each of the losses. This can be difficult since “pain and suffering” is an unquantifiable loss and, in many cases, the victim of the abuse may not be able to adequately express the suffering they felt due to medical conditions. A highly experienced attorney will know how to gather and present evidence of your loved one’s losses to ensure they receive the full amount of recovery they deserve for all of their injuries.
Examples of evidence used to prove injuries and damages in a nursing home abuse case can include as follows:
Medical bills – We can present any bills your loved one received for treatment for traumatic injuries during the time of abuse or neglect.
Notes about behavior – If you notice any emotional, mental, or behavioral changes in your loved one, make careful notes as these may be used as evidence of the mental effects of the abuse.
Witness reports – Others can give testimony regarding the changes they have witnessed in the nursing home abuse victim, as well.
Expert analysis – We can employ experts to evaluate the mental and physical state of your loved one to estimate the value of their suffering.
Contact a Brookdale Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer for Help Today
Proving nursing home abuse and related damages can be challenging, especially if your loved one has memory problems or other conditions that impact their ability to recount their experiences. However, this does not mean that your loved one does not deserve to hold Brookdale or companies fully accountable for the abuse and neglect taking place in their facilities. Your loved one deserves to recover every possible penny for the pain and suffering they experienced at the hands of nursing home staff and the experienced nursing home abuse attorneys at the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA are here to help you.
To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call our office today at 727-451-6900 or send us an email through our online contact form.