There is an increase in the number of older adults moving into nursing homes and other care facilities. Unfortunately, there has also been a marked increase in the number of reported injury and abuse suffered by older adults. Often such injuries and abuse are happening in nursing homes. In most cases, these injuries are due to the negligence of the nursing home staff. However, the injuries and abuse may be intentional by caregivers in other cases. This article will discuss proving nursing home injury in cases relating to nursing home abuse and neglect.
Are you considering making a legal claim for nursing home abuses and injuries? There are processes that need to be undertaken as well as having to prove damages.
Proving Nursing Home Injury
One option is to put forth a civil lawsuit to claim for damages resulting from nursing home injury or abuse. The basic process in a civil lawsuit is:
- Filing a petition or complaint with the court clerk in the local county or state court
- Once the nursing home responds to the complaint through filing similar paperwork with the court, parties enter the ‘discovery’ period. This involves the exchange of documents and witness deposition
- If parties do not reach a resolution, the court schedules the case for trial
When the case goes to trial there are a number of legal elements that must be satisfied. Thus, you and your lawyer have the burden of proving these elements to the court. Generally, injury cases caused by negligence on the part of the nursing home require the plaintiff to prove the following, the nursing home:
- Owed a duty of care to their resident – this is based on the care contract entered into between the nursing home and resident
- Breached this duty of care by doing something or failing to do something
- Breach of duty of care resulted in the resident suffering harm
In abuse cases these elements may vary slightly.