Damages in Nursing Home Lawsuits
An attorney in Illinois must be able to quickly and astutely estimate the value of a nursing home case. For one thing, it will be probably be one of the first questions that a potential client will ask you. For another, it will be a strong indication of the total fees possible you will be entitled to if you represent the client. Therefore, this page will give you some context to gauge the relative worth of an Illinois nursing home case.
The first place to look for potential recovery is the sites of injuries. Here are some common circumstances of nursing home litigation:
- Bed Sores
- Wrongful Death
- Medical Malpractice
Most of these involve personal injuries to a resident of a nursing home. However, there could also be property damage, loss of income attributable to work/investment opportunities, and so on. Therefore, it is important to gain a comprehensive understanding of how exactly the resident was harmed by the nursing home’s misconduct. Then, you need to funnel all of these harms into legally recognizable damages and that will now be explained.
Damages are probably most important dimension of your Illinois nursing home case. This is so because it is the part where you are asking the nursing home and related defendants for money. Note, there is no exact formula and circumstances vary from case to case but here is a rough guide of the main types of damages you should account for in your suit:
- Economic Damages: These are also known as specific damages or compensatory. They are meant to compensate plaintiffs for the out-of-pockets expenses incurred directly as a result of the nursing home incident. Examples of this in the nursing home context include medical bills, property replacement, or lost income (where relevant) attributable to the defendant’s wrongful conduct.
- Non-Economic Damages: These could also be referred to as general damages or nominal damages. These are geared towards compensating plaintiffs for intangible injuries and are especially relevant to nursing home litigation. Examples of these include pain and suffering, disfigurement, and damage to relationships with family and spouses.
- Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are only awarded if you can successfully prove an underlying harm. If you can do this, then punitive damages may be awarded if the jury believes the defendant’s conduct needs to be deterred. They are reserved for circumstances of extreme negligence or wanton behavior but may be applicable in extraordinary cases of abuse neglect, bed sore, falls, or medical malpractice. Also, there are no set parameters on the application of punitive damages, and juries have been very generous in awarding them. So, it is important to plead and argue for them at trial.
What To Do Next?
If you or a loved one has ever suffered injury while under the care of a nursing home, contact us immediately. We can explain at greater depth the extent and kind of your particular recovery. Also, we can help you take steps to preserve it by obtaining certain forms of evidence and records. We are experienced nursing home attorneys and welcome your call today! Let us work together to get the justice that you deserve!