Many laws have been established to protect individuals who live in nursing homes. While many people may think of these laws as protecting the residents’ physical safety and health, they also protect mental health. In the state of Indiana and many others, payment for mental suffering is a type of monetary damage that may be awarded to a resident or a survivor.
Economic vs. non-economic damages
The court classifies damages into two main categories. These include economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages have specific monetary values placed on them. Examples of economic damages include medical bills and insurance bills.
Non-economic damages are those that don’t have specific monetary values, such as emotional distress. Mental suffering falls into the non-economic damages category. In many nursing home neglect cases, nursing homes are required to pay both economic and non-economic damages to the complainant. Traditionally, non-economic damages tend to outweigh those of economic damages.
Survivors, heirs, and dependents
In the event that the nursing home resident died, his or her survivors may bring a lawsuit against the nursing home. “Survivors” is a general term given to heirs and dependents. the recoverable damages a survivor can receive are for the following:
- Loss of parental guidance
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
- Burial and funeral expenses
Nursing homes are intended to be a place where the elderly can go to receive the added care they need in a safe and comfortable environment. Unfortunately, sometimes their stays at a facility may be one that creates undue mental anguish and suffering. In this event, the residents or their survivors can seek mental suffering damages from the nursing home. If you are wondering what to do about nursing home neglect, you should consider whether an attorney could help you.