Non-Economic Damages in Cherry Hill Nursing Home Abuse Cases
Economic damages are damages that a person can actually put a number on, such as medical bills, lost wages, and things of that nature. Non-economic damages are a bit more difficult to evaluate, because a person cannot assign a number to someone’s non-economic loses. These losses include pain, suffering, the effect this has had on the person’s life, and the effect this has had on loved one’s lives.
To best understand how non-economic damages may factor into your Cherry Hill nursing home abuse case, it is imperative to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. A knowledgeable Cherry Hill nursing home neglect lawyer can assist in building a case to help recover any potential damages you may be entitled to.
Determining the Amount
Determining the amount of non-economic damages in an individual’s Cherry Hill nursing home abuse case is subjective. There is no concrete number that says that a particular injury is worth an amount, and the impact that had on this person’s life is worth a particular amount.
Every case is different and needs to be evaluated by an experienced attorney to try to determine what would be fair in light of the situation.
Importance of Non-Economic Damages
In Cherry Hill nursing home cases, especially, the non-economic damages are so important because that is the main element of damages. Unfortunately, when a person is dealing with nursing home cases, the person is usually dealing with a vulnerable population.
A lot of times, the victim is retired. Because of this, there are not a lot of economic losses. There is no lost wages because they do not work, and they are in this nursing home because of the fact that they need someone to take care of them.
The real elements of damages in Cherry Hill nursing home abuse cases are the non-economic damages. The pain and the suffering, the effect that this deviation and this negligence have had on this individual’s life, and how it has impacted their family member and their lives is crucial. All of those factors come into play when determining non-economic damages in an individual’s Cherry Hill nursing home abuse case.
Capping Damages in Cherry Hill
There is currently no cap on non-economic damages in a nursing home abuse case under New Jersey law. However, under Cherry Hill cases, there has been a discussion of legislation to put caps on damages and a cap on non-economic damages. The legislature would issue a statute that says the non-economic damages cannot exceed a certain amount of money such as $250,000 for non-economic damages.
Regardless of the facts of the case and the effect this has had on this individual and their families, if the legislature puts a cap on damages, the most the person would ever be able to get would be whatever they decide was the cap. It is something that nursing home abuse lawyers will fight vigorously, and we think that that is completely unfair and unconstitutional. Assessing the amount of damages should include looking at each case on a case-by-case basis and the facts of that particular case, yet other states have issued general caps on non-economic damages.
Benefit of an Attorney
There are sometimes caps on damages with regard to certain situations if it is a charitable organization and those types of things. The facts of the case can sometimes get that cap waived, such as if the person is able to prove that the conduct was reckless, if it was grossly negligent, or if there could punitive damages involved. There are other things; it would come down to the exact facts of the negligence. How egregious was the nursing home’s behavior? A person needs to hire an attorney with experience in handling similar types of cases to be able to evaluate it and determine on what would be a fair number in terms of non-economic damages.
If a person went into this without any experience and tried to evaluate the losses on a non-economic damage claim, they could be doing themselves a disservice because they have nothing to compare it to. It is very important that a person hires someone who has the experience in evaluating these claims. Not only is there no frame of reference for the people to evaluate and analyze, but there is no frame of reference for a jury. If a person is ever to get to a jury that is going to make this decision, they are not given any chart, book, or anything else to make that determination about what the non-economic losses are.
An attorney does not tell them about how much these non-economic losses should be in a Cherry Hill nursing home abuse case. A jury needs to come up with that number entirely on their own after looking at the total picture of the case and hearing the trial.