Nursing Home Abuse: Proving Legal Elements
Have you or a loved one has suffered injury or harm as a result of the negligence of a nursing home caregiver? If so, you may be eligible to pursue a claim for damages as a result of the nursing home injury or abuse. In a lawsuit, a petition or complaint is filed with the court clerk of the local county or state court. After the nursing home responds to the lawsuit by filing similar papers with the court the parties enter into a period known as ‘discovery’. The discovery period is whereby documents are exchanged and witnesses are deposed. At this time, if the parties are unable to reach an out of court resolution of the case, the court will schedule the case for trial. Thereafter, there is need for proving your claim.
Proving Legal Elements
At trial there are legal elements that the plaintiff (person filing the lawsuit) will need to prove. If these elements are proved the person will win the case. Therefore, in a case in respect of nursing home negligence the plaintiff will be required to prove the following:
- The nursing home had a duty of care to the resident, this is based on the care contract
- The nursing home breached the duty of care to the resident
- Due to the nursing home’s breach of the duty of care, the resident suffered harm or injury
However, in respect of nursing home abuse the legal elements will vary slightly.
It is stated in respect of damages that, “damages are generally intended on compensating the resident for any injury, harm or abuse that he or she has suffered. Hence, the importance of proving the elements of the case”. So, while all the other elements can be proved, the resident must also prove that they suffered specific harm. It must be noted that near misses do not count!
Contact Vinson Law Office for a free case evaluation, legal advice and representation.