Finding out that a nursing home has abused or neglected your loved one can be a shocking and painful experience. Nursing home neglect and abuse does happen, even to those families who carefully vetted their facility of choice. If the community care setting to which you entrusted your loved one’s well-being has let you down, you are not alone.
A nursing home abuse lawyer at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, PLLC is here to support you and help you hold the nursing home liable for your loved one’s injuries.
There is no risk to discussing your case with us during a free, confidential consultation. Schedule yours today by calling 631-600-0000.
Compensation We Pursue in Nursing Home Cases
Calculating the damages caused by nursing home abuse is not always a straightforward issue. This is one of the many (and most important) reasons to consult with a knowledgeable nursing home abuse lawyer. The factors and compensation in each case vary. Your lawyer will nevertheless divide damages into a few primary categories:
Expenses for which there are bills, invoices, receipts, and statements fall into the category of economic damages. This type of damages is the most straightforward because there is a specific dollar value attached to an expense. Examples of economic damages include:
- Surgery or other medical care that a nursing home resident required due to abuse or negligence
- Ambulance and other transportation expenses incurred to obtain medical care
- Diagnostic testing
- Therapeutic care such as physical therapy or vocational therapy
- Medical equipment
- Repair or replacement of personal property
The legal system refers to a second category of damages in a nursing home abuse case as “noneconomic damages.” These damages do not have a specific dollar value.
Here are some examples of non-economic damages:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress (which can include anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder)
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of hobbies, activities, or pastime
- Disruption and inconvenience of dealing with the neglect or abuse
With all damages, our legal team takes into account not only what damages your loved one has suffered in the past, but also those damages that will have a lasting effect on your loved one’s medical needs and quality of life.
In cases where the abuse and neglect of a resident was particularly egregious, punitive damages may be available. Courts award punitive damages in rare circumstances, for extreme cases.
Unlike compensatory damages (i.e., the economic and noneconomic damages described above), punitive damages punish the offender and aim to deter any further wrongdoing.
The team at Gacovino, Lake & Associates, PLLC will fight for every dollar that the law will allow. If we take your claim, you can rest assured that we will work to get you the most compensation possible.
Who Is Liable for My Loved One’s Abuse or Neglect?
In most cases, your liable party will be the nursing home itself. This is because the nursing home is responsible for its own negligence and for any actions employees take. For example, a nursing home could be vicariously liable for the actions of a violent caretaker or directly liable for failing to maintain its premises.
Nursing Home Abuse Cases We Handle
Gacovino, Lake & Associates, PLLC pursues claims for both negligence and physical and/or sexual abuse. Negligence typically occurs because of understaffing, overworked staff with too high of patient load, and poor employee training. Although abuse can happen because of an overworked employee, abuse more commonly results from insufficient screening and background checking.
When not properly treated, bedsores can lead to several serious, even life-threatening complications. Complications could include squamous cell carcinoma (a type of cancer), osteomyelitis, septic arthritis, cellulitis, meningitis, and sepsis.
A sign of potential nursing home abuse or neglect, bedsores are sometimes called “pressure sores.” They occur when there is continuous pressure to the skin.
If a patient had bedsores upon entry into a nursing home, the facility has an obligation to prevent them from worsening. Many residential patients with bedsores do not receive the care they require, and their condition progresses to the complications described above.
Slip and Fall Injuries
Another common form of neglect, slip and falls happen more frequently than they should in nursing homes. Falls can lead to debilitating injuries and life-threatening complications for residents.
Falls often occur due to:
- Failure to follow a fall prevention plan
- Failure to remedy hazards (e.g., slippery floors, dropped objects, broken handrails, etc.)
Nursing homes have an extremely high duty of care to protect those under their care. The nursing home can be liable for negligent hiring if it hired an abusive caretaker.
Examples of abuse that have taken place in nursing homes are:
- Slapping, hitting, or punching
- Unnecessary use of restraints
- Sexual abuse (both sexual assault and sexual harassment)
However your loved one suffered his or her injuries in a nursing home, we will hold the perpetrator(s) liable and fight for justice for your loved one.
Call Us Today for a Free Consultation
Nursing home abuse can be a family’s worst nightmare To learn how you can further protect and pursue your loved one’s rights, call Gacovino, Lake & Associates, PLLC today at 631-600-0000.