Attacked by another resident in memory care facility...

by Linda
(Charlotte, NC)

My husband was in a residential treatment facility for memory issues. He was in bed going to sleep when another resident came in his room and beat him in the head with a shoe. He had to go to the emergency room with abrasions and eye injuries.

Fortunately, the eye will heal in time, according to the eye doctor. I don't think the man who attacked him should have been wandering the halls at night.

I don't know what to do. My husband is on Medicaid and has dementia. He is of course very upset about what happened, and so am I! Who is responsible for this? Is it some kind of negligence or malpractice of the facility or staff? Is the other resident responsible? Any information would be helpful. Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Attacked by another resident in memory care facility...":

Linda (Charlotte, NC):

From the facts you present, the treatment facility should be liable for your husband's medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses (for medications and other related costs). Moreover, the treatment facility should be liable for the emotional distress and pain and suffering your husband endured.

Because your husband's injuries weren't life-threatening, and may be considered relatively minor, you may be able to handle a claim against the treatment facility on your own.

Start by contacting the treatment facility's administrator. Bring along copies of your husband's medical bills, medical records, and receipts for your out-of-pocket expenses. Tell the administrator to turn the documents over to the facility's insurance company.

Make clear you don't only want the medical bills and expenses paid, but you also expect an additional amount for your husband's pain and suffering and emotional distress. A fair amount to ask for, inclusive of medical bills and out-of-pocket expenses, would be about three (3) times the amount of your husband's medical bills.

So for instance, if your husband's medical bills amount to $5,000.00, you would be correct in asking for a total settlement of $15,000.00. This would cover his medical bills, expenses, and a remaining amount for his pain and suffering. You may not get your initial demand from the insurance company. That's just a starting point for negotiations.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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