Civil law offers a person or group opportunities to resolve disputes and collect compensation for injuries suffered due to another’s reckless acts or negligent behavior.
Civil Law vs. Criminal Law
Unlike in criminal law when the government files charges, the injured party files a civil lawsuit. Also, the standard of proof is different. To reach a verdict in a case of civil law, the plaintiff must prove the case by a “preponderance of evidence.” This means that the plaintiff must show the court that the allegations are “more likely than not” true based on the evidence presented at trial.
The standard differs from that of a criminal case, in which the prosecution must prove a case “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Categories of Civil Law
Several categories fall under civil law. When it comes to filing lawsuits against nursing homes, the cases fall under tort law. This branch of civil law deals with torts or civil wrongs and personal injuries, which resulted from the actions of another person or an entity, such as a nursing home.
In these types of cases, a plaintiff files a claim based on an unintentional tort (which is better known as negligence) or an intentional tort.
Understanding Unintentional Torts
To establish a personal injury case based on negligence, these four elements must be present:
- Duty: The defendant had a responsibility to act reasonably (e.g., in a nursing home abuse case, this responsibility involves treating residents with a certain level of care).
- Breach of duty: The defendant breached his/her duty by failing to act in a reasonable manner (e.g., the defendant neglected or abused the resident).
- Causation: The cause of the plaintiff’s suffering or injuries must be due to the defendant’s breach of duty (e.g., the resident suffered bedsores due to the neglect).
- Damages: The plaintiff had to experience a financial, property, or intangible loss (e.g., the resident required medical treatment for bedsores).
Understanding Intentional Torts
When a defendant deliberately causes a person’s injury or harm, it is case of intentional tort or wrongdoing. Common types of intentional torts at nursing homes are physical or sexual assaults or deliberate inflictions of emotional pain.
Get Legal Help for a Nursing Home Abuse or Case
Though many nursing homes do their best to provide quality care, others lose sight of their commitments. The result often is nursing home abuse and neglect. If you believe someone you love is suffering nursing home abuse or neglect, then help the individual get justice.
If you worry your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, get help from a nursing home abuse lawyer. Call 1-800-516-4783 to learn more about your options for getting justice for your loved one.
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