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Establishing Liability in Cherry Hill Nursing Home Abuse Cases

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As defined by Cherry Hill law, liability is whoever was at fault for these injuries. If a loved one is in a nursing home, they fall, they get injured, or bedsore has resulted, it is important to contact a skilled nursing home abuse attorney who can help you begin establishing liability in Cherry Hill nursing home abuse cases.

Establishing liability includes determining who is at fault, why the injury happened and who is responsible for the incident. The way that it applies in a nursing home case is one needs to show whether or not the nursing home deviated from the standard of care that would be required of the nursing home staff in that setting.

The Duty of Care in a Nursing Home

The duty of care in a nursing is interchangeable with the standard of care. The standard of care is what a medical provider, whether it is a nurse, a doctor, or a nurse’s assistant, should be providing to their patient and to their residents. When someone deviates from that standard of care, they do something that is unacceptable to their medical profession and that results in injury to a resident. They have deviated from the standard of care. They are liable to that individual for the injuries that they have caused.

Every case is different about what particular behavior breaches that duty but it is going to be any behavior that deviates from what the normal standard of care would require. The way to prove liability in Cherry Hill nursing home abuse cases is by having an expert in that same field. If it was a nurse who deviated from the standard of care, a nursing expert would review the records, review what was done, and tell us exactly how they deviated from the standard of care. Every case is unique but that is how to figure out whether they breached that duty.

Evidence Used to Establish Liability

Every case is unique but normally the type of evidence to establish liability is going to be the medical records and the entire medical chart from the facility. It is important to establish what the procedures that were in place from the time that the resident came to the facility to the time that this incident occurred.

Usually, when that person came into the facility there is a plan of care that was laid out after they first came in. Sometimes, that plan of care changes throughout and is needed in order to figure out what they were doing.

When establishing liability in Cherry Hill nursing home abuse cases, an attorney can also look at the policies and procedures of the particular facility. Once they are able to get the policies and procedures from the nursing home, a lawyer can go see that the staff, whether it is a nurse, a doctor, or a nurse’s assistant,  to better understand who was not following their own policies and procedures and that is what resulted in this abuse.

Recovering Damages

When establishing liability in Cherry Hill nursing home abuse cases, there are two elements of damages and then there are subparts to that. There are compensatory damages and punitive damages. Under compensatory, there are both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are going to be anything that someone could actually put a firm number on. Medical bills, Medicare or Medicaid liens, health insurance liens, any lost wages that may be incurred, and out-of-pocket expenses are economic losses.

The other element of compensatory damages are non-economic damages and that is going to be for the pain, the suffering, the loss of enjoyment of life, and the impact that this abuse and the injuries have had on this loved one and their family.

In some cases, a person reaches that second element of damages, called punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish the facility and punitive damages are only warranted if the behavior and actions of the nursing home reached a certain level. Punitive damages usually mean the responsible party was not just negligent, not just a deviation of care and that their neglect was an actual willful disregard or a gross negligence.

Role of the Client

The recommendation for potential clients when establishing liability in Cherry Hill nursing home abuse cases is to keep a good record of evidence and facts for the case. Everything should be documented in the medical chart at the facility but that is not always seen by lawyers or their clients. Sometimes, the staff is trying to cover themselves by not documenting everything the way they should. If a family member or a resident is able to, document as much as they possibly can. Other instances of abuse or neglect or injury should be documented as well.

If possible, the potential client should keep track of any times that the resident or loved one has been sent to an outside medical provider. If there was an injury, sometimes, they get the person to a hospital, or they get a doctor to come in and look at them. If they are able to get that information, then getting those medical records should determine what the extents of the injuries are.

A person will want to get an attorney involved as soon as possible because it allows us to conduct an investigation closer in time to when the incident occurred. If they wait too long, the evidence may be missing. There is a two-year statute of limitations on nursing home abuse cases. If two years have passed since the abuse, they may be completely barred from doing anything.

Hiring a Lawyer

A person should have an attorney who has the experience establishing liability in Cherry Hill nursing home abuse cases because every case is unique. There are a lot of things that go into this, a lot of analysis and lot reviews of medical records, charts, policies, and procedures. An attorney can be helpful to your case when they have the resources and experience to hire the correct the experts to review the records, review the policies, review the photographs if there are any and the incident reports, and come to an expert determination about who was at fault here and how it could have been avoided.