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While most nursing homes in the state of North Carolina provide consistent, quality care to every resident, abuse and neglect is unfortunately not unheard of in assisted living facilities. In the worst cases, a failure by nursing home staff and administrator to maintain sanitary premises may allow infection to spread rapidly through a vulnerable resident population, causing catastrophic and often fatal harm.

If you or a loved one experienced an infection due to poor conditions in a nursing home, you may want to consider talking to a knowledgeable attorney about your legal options. With assistance from a Durham nursing home infections lawyer, you may be able to recover compensation not only for the financial losses you sustained, but also the personal and emotional damage that a viral infection caused you to suffer.

How Infections Spread in Nursing Homes

Like in any other enclosed space, different types of illnesses may spread through person-to-person contact, bodily fluids, or through the air. They can also congregate on and enter a person’s body through medical implements and tools, such as catheters, ventilators, and IV bags.

Fortunately, most diseases can be neutralized with basic cleaning products and sanitary procedures, but if nursing home staff do not establish and maintain thorough cleaning procedures, viruses and bacteria may live for days on metal and plastic surfaces, as well as on fixtures in residents’ private accommodations.

Any infection that stems from negligence by a nursing home staff member—in order words, from them failing to uphold their duty to maintain sanitary conditions—can be grounds for civil litigation. A qualified Durham nursing home infections attorney could also discuss with an individual plaintiff how they could pursue litigation against a nursing home for failure to provide vaccines, failure to diagnose an existing infection, and other forms of medical negligence.

Legal Options for Impacted Residents and Families

Depending on the circumstances, the primarily liable party in a nursing home infection case may be an individual staff member, a nursing home administrator, a physician or nurse retained by the facility, or the owners and operators of the facility as a whole. Regardless of who bears liability, a plaintiff seeking civil compensation for failure to prevent or treat an infection must prove their condition stemmed directly from the defendant’s negligence in order to attain a recovery, which can sometimes be difficult given how quickly and easily some diseases spread.

Assuming liability is proven, a dedicated lawyer may be able to help a victim of an infection in a Durham nursing home recover compensation for a variety of losses, including but not limited to:

  • Additional medical expenses required to treat the illness they acquired
  • Physical and emotional anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of personal opportunities

In cases involving egregious negligence or intentional abuse, punitive damages may be available as well. However, North Carolina General Statutes §1D-25 limits the maximum amount of punitive damages available in any one case to $250,000 or three times the total compensatory damages, whichever is greater.

Talk to a Durham Nursing Home Infections Attorney Today

Everyone who resides in a nursing home or assisted living facility deserves to live in an environment free of dangers to their physical, mental, and emotional health. Given the damage a viral infection can do to all three, it may be particularly important for you to take legal action if you or a loved one suffers harm due to an infection caused by negligent care or upkeep in a nursing home.

A Durham nursing home infections lawyer could be a knowledgeable and steadfast ally in your fight to recover compensation for the damages you and your family have experienced. Call today to learn more or to set up a meeting to discuss your unique case.