Damages For Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuits in South Carolina
In nursing home abuse and neglect cases, where there is physical injury, this is pain and suffering (often mental suffering) as well. (This is different from legally defined emotional abuse). Under the law, your loved one has rights to receive compensation for pain and suffering, disfigurement, impaired enjoyment of life as well as damages for mental suffering sustained related to an injury, or felt before death. To file a lawsuit against a nursing home, there must be evidence of loss or suffering from the facility’s misconduct.
We are often asked what one can expect to recover from negligence or abuse by a nursing home or patient care facility employee. Below please find general information about compensation and legal filings to seek justice. Each case is unique and we welcome the opportunity to offer a free consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss the facts of your case.
Damages Under South Carolina Law
Under South Carolina law, the following types of damages may be compensable:
- Necessary and reasonable medical expenses;
- Actual past expenses for physician, hospital, nursing and laboratory fees, medications, prosthetic devices, etc.;
- Anticipated future expenses;
- Harm from conditions caused by prolonged immobilization;
- Pain and suffering from physical injuries;
- Pain and suffering reasonably likely to occur in the future;
- “Phantom pain” and other subjective pain that may not be readily apparent to others;
- Mental suffering;
- Harm from loss of sleep;
- Past and future impairment of the ability to enjoy life;
- Shortened Life Expectancy; and
- Punitive Damages.
Damages that are common in other personal injury cases, such as lost earning capacity, future pain and suffering, and future medical expenses, will not be as significant for older victims in nursing home neglect cases. This makes punitive damages, a monetary compensation designed to punish the party being sued, an important legal option. It may be awarded in cases where it is shown that a nursing home engaged in malicious or reckless conduct. In these cases, you can argue that the nursing home resident was deprived of his or her statutory rights.
Awards against nursing homes are comprised for the most part of punitive damages. Damages for mental anguish, pain and suffering experienced by the injured person, medical expenses, and the loss of affection and companionship by the surviving spouse or children may also be awarded.
Structured settlements are settlements that involve periodic future payments, rather than one lump sum payment. They are used increasingly in personal injury litigation today, but involve special considerations for the elderly.
For an older person, a structured settlement has the advantages of safety, and income that will not be taxed or need management.
However, that the recipient of the structured settlement dies sooner than expected, he or she will lose the benefit of their future payments. On the other hand, the injured elderly person can have a settlement structured so that his or her grandchildren or other beneficiaries will receive guaranteed settlement payments after his or her death.
Mental suffering for which one may recover damages can include the following:
- Fear of the consequences of an injury while awaiting help;
- Fear experienced in the period between realizing an incident likely to cause injury was going to occur and the time of occurrence;
- Fear experienced after an injury about what else could have happened;
- Anxiety about one’s physical health and future well-being;
- Fear of the need for future surgery as a result of one’s injuries;
- Fear of increased vulnerability to future injury;
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Call Today for a Free Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Consultation
If your loved one has been injured, neglected or abused, or experienced pain and suffering while under the care of a nursing home, contact the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation to discuss your best possible course of action. We offer flexible appointment times and will aggressively fight for justice.