According to estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are over 15,000 nursing home facilities in the United States, with more than 1.7 million licensed beds. The sad fact is that not all of the members of this very vulnerable population are well treated. Physical and emotional abuse, as well as neglect, happens much more often than family members and the general public would like to believe. Serious harm and even death may result. People who suspect that their loved one has been mistreated should consider the possibility of taking legal action so that those who were responsible may be held accountable. The Raleigh nursing home abuse lawyers at Maurer Law can help you investigate your loved one’s injury or death and decide whether legal action may be appropriate.
If a particular nursing home employee is found to have engaged in deliberate physical abuse of a nursing home patient, that employee may be prosecuted criminally. This is a separate matter from a lawsuit by the victim’s family, however, and it is not likely to result in substantial financial compensation for the victim or their family. In order to recover monetary damages to help with expenses and provide a sense of justice, it is usually necessary to pursue a civil lawsuit against the nursing home itself and possibly individual employees.Holding a Facility or Staff Accountable for Physical Abuse
In many cases seeking fair compensation after an act of physical abuse results in injuries or death, the primary claim is negligence against the nursing home. “Negligence,” simply defined, is a failure to act in a reasonably prudent manner to avoid causing harm to others. In the nursing home physical abuse context, it may include legal theories such as negligent hiring, understaffing, inadequate training, or the violation of a right created by a statute or regulation. To prove negligence, the plaintiff must establish four elements. These are duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. The burden is on the plaintiff to prove all four of these elements of negligence by a preponderance of the evidence.
For example, a plaintiff may be able to prove that the nursing home in which their loved one resided had a duty to provide a properly vetted and well-trained staff, that the employee who physically abused the loved one should not have been hired or was not properly trained, and that the abuse occurred because the nursing home breached its duty to take reasonable measures to protect the resident from harm.Discuss Your Nursing Home Abuse Case with a Raleigh Lawyer
Physical abuse cases arising in the context of a nursing home negligence claim must be thoroughly investigated. The nursing home will probably try to avoid liability if at all possible, so it is important that plenty of time is allowed for the investigation and pre-trial stages of the litigation so that a sound case may be built. To talk to an experienced Raleigh nursing home abuse attorney about your loved one’s case, call Maurer Law today at (919) 229-8359 or contact us online. The longer that you wait to discuss your case, the more likely it is that valuable evidence will slip away, causing your case to lose value or become increasingly difficult to prove. Our injury attorneys assist people in Raleigh, Fayetteville, Durham, Chapel Hill, and throughout Orange, Edgecombe, Cumberland, Durham, Mecklenburg, Guilford, New Hanover, Randolph, and Wake Counties.