Types of Damages in Virginia Nursing Home Abuse Cases 

The types of damages in Virginia nursing home abuse cases are important to understand. Once liability is established in a nursing home abuse case and in other negligence cases, there are generally two categories of damages: special and general damages. Special damages include the medical bills and other easily quantifiable damages that the non-negligent party incurred as a result of the negligent party’s actions.

General damages include the pain and suffering, potential future medical expenses, and other things that are less quantifiable and more speculative. General damages can vary significantly depending on the type of nursing home abuse, the duration of abuse, and the individual characteristics of the patient who was abused. Talk to a skilled Virginia attorney for more on nursing home abuse damages.

Punitive Damages

In other circumstances and under limited circumstances of a nursing home abuse case, punitive damages may be available. Punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer and send a message to society that there is a consequence for the wrongdoer’s actions. Punitive damages are only available under certain types of negligence cases. They are based on the unlawful or willful and wanton disregard of the rights of others. To prove punitive damages, the case must be pled in a certain way where specific initial evidence must be offered. While there are not punitive damages in every case, there can be punitive damages in a Virginia nursing home abuse case depending on the turn of events.

Recoverable Damages

There are two categories of damages in a Virginia nursing home abuse case: economic or special damages and noneconomic damages, also known as general damages. Economic damages are quantifiable and are usually different in a nursing home case because someone in a nursing home does not have the loss wages. There may only be damages for things like medical bills, the cost of replacement or alternative care, or the cost incurred as a result of the injuries sustained like specialized wound care in a bed sore case and things of that nature.

Punitive Damages

People can try to recover economic and non-economic damages. In some circumstances, punitive damages may be also available. Punitive damages are a special category of damages that are not available in every civil case. When the injury or negligence is so wanton and willful that it shows a conscious disregard for the rights of others, punitive damages may be available. 

Future Medical Bills

There may also be economic damages in the form of future medical bills that were unexpected and not needed until the nursing home negligence occurred. There are non-economic or general damages in the pain and suffering category that is specific to each case.

An attorney can add value by enhancing that narrative and working on behalf of their potential client and their family to help the fact-finder understand the tremendous trauma and pain they experienced unnecessarily and how that influenced their life. There is no method to compensate that person other than to award civil monetary damages to try and relieve some of their pain.

Unique Aspects of a Nursing Home Abuse Case

One thing that is unique in nursing home abuse cases is that there are no lost wages. There may be other calculated damages for basic care, general damages, quality of life issues, and whether there is diminished life expectancy as a result of the abuse. Many times, nursing home parties are end-stage patients and are in a nursing home to make their final years more comfortable and more enjoyable than they would be at home. Because of someone else’s negligence, that time is taken away from them. That kind of damage can be unique to a nursing home case.

Damages in Virginia Nursing Home Abuse Cases