Punitive Damages in DC Nursing Home Abuse Cases

Punitive damages is a form of damages that would allow the jury to consider certain aspects of a defendant and their behavior. Punitive damages in DC nursing home abuse cases are only awarded in certain circumstances.

The idea behind this is that it would allow the jury to award an additional form of damages in terms of punishment or deterring them from doing the same behavior again in the future.

Punitive damages are rarely awarded in a nursing home abuse case because punitive damages are only awarded when there is malice of bad behavior. If you or a loved one have experienced this kind of maltreatment at an assisted living facility or from a staff member, an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer can help.

Individual Negligence in Nursing Homes

If someone from a nursing home was acting maliciously, they would likely be acting outside the scope of their employment and the abuse claim would be against the individual person, not the nursing home.

If they do not have training, are short-staffed, forgot to turn someone, or forgot to put the rail up on a bed, those are all negligent acts. If someone falls or gets a bed sore from actions that were not taken or should have been taken, that is considered mistreatment and the person can file for negligence.

Negligence cases deal with unintentional acts. Punitive damages are the opposite; it is intentional behavior.

Calculation of Damages

Punitive damages in DC nursing home abuse cases are calculated by the jury. The court must allow a plaintiff to present punitive damages to a jury. When the court allows this form of damages at a trial, an attorney will present testimony regarding certain actions or behavior by the defendant, which in a regular trial would typically be irrelevant to the matter at hand.

The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the defendant for the malicious behavior and deter other defendants from conducting this same type of behavior in the future.

The jury will award punitive damages and the attorney will take the necessary steps to present the evidence for the jury’s consideration to award punitive damages.

How an Attorney Handles Punitive Damages

It is important to hire a DC nursing home abuse attorney familiar withPunitive damages in DC nursing home abuse cases to evaluate whether or not punitive damages would be applicable to the facts and circumstances giving rise to that individual case.

Punitive damages are rarely awarded in this type of litigation. Therefore, it is important for a client to select an attorney that he or she can trust the opinion of as to whether punitive damages would apply.

If the court allows punitive damages to move forward in a particular case, the DC. nursing home abuse attorney will take the necessary steps to present the evidence and follow a court and court’s rules for the jury’s consideration in awarding punitive damages.