Proving damages means to show evidence that an individual or organization caused harm and losses to another. If you slip and fall in a store due to water on the ground, an attorney would need to prove that the store was negligent in cleaning up the hazard or failed to warn about a wet floor and due to the injury, the plaintiff suffered monetary losses. These are damages and in any case, they must be proved in a court of law in order to compensate the injured party for his or her loss or injury.
It is very common for nursing home residents to be retired or at least, no longer employed so lost wages is rarely a factor, but it isn’t unheard of. If a resident were to be employed and suffer an injury due to negligence, certainly their wages could be recovered, but let’s look at the most common claims made in a nursing home injury case. The first one is additional medical care.
If you or a loved one suffered a fractured or broken bone, additional care will be needed which may or may not require a trip to the hospital depending on the facility in which the resident was injured. The resident may now require monthly, weekly or even daily attention from a physician or a specialist. This usually results in additional medical bills that would not have accrued if the resident had not been injured due to the negligence of the nursing home. These bills are recoverable and most attorneys who fully understand nursing home abuse cases will seek compensation for medical bills.
Pain and suffering is a term that applies to everyone, but more so to elderly patients who have suffered an injury. Recovery time for an elderly patient can be much greater than someone thirty years younger and can usually mean more pain and more suffering due to the lengthy recovery time. While there isn’t any way to take back pain and suffering, it can often be compensated in a case against an individual or organization. Often times, emotional distress can also be compensated and is part of the pain and suffering that a patient would experience, so keep that in mind.
The damages explained above are only examples and of course each case is unique and must be evaluated by an elder abuse attorney. Sometimes proving damages can be difficult for a lawyer who isn’t as well versed in the law of elder abuse and neglect, so make certain that you speak with an attorney who has experience in these types of cases.
Let’s look at the fine details of how damages can be proved. Proving damages can be as simple as keeping a diary that either the resident keeps track of or a close family member. By writing down things like changes in emotional and or social behaviors, using cell phone cameras to take photographs of prescription bottles and even keeping notes of conversations between resident and staff members. Proving damages sometimes can be problematic and difficult, but in some cases a journal or diary has proved to be a helpful resource.
Many people ask us “what does it cost to hire a nursing home abuse attorney?” The answer is we only get paid if we win your case. We work on a contingency basis and we get paid from the award you receive from either a settlement or a jury. You pay nothing out of pocket up front and if we take your case, we do all the work. If you suspect that your loved one is either being neglected, abused or both, call us right now. Don’t wait as there are time limits with these types of cases and if you don’t call us now, you could miss out. The call will cost you nothing, it can mean everything.
Justin is an attorney at Roberts & Roberts and focuses his practice on mass tort litigation, where he specializes in helping individuals who are harmed by recalled or unsafe pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices. He has earned recognition as a “Top 40 Under 40” Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers. Prior to joining Roberts & Roberts, Justin served as an attorney in all three branches of Texas’s state government, including as a Briefing Attorney on the Texas Supreme Court. He also represented electric and natural gas utilities in complex regulatory proceedings before the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Railroad Commission of Texas. Justin is a published author in the St. Mary’s Law Journal.