There are various ways claims of abuse and neglect may go. It is possible that nursing home staff are unaware that your loved one faced abuse or neglect. Or, it may be the opposite. Staff may have been aware of the situation or missed clear warning signs. If a nursing home employee was unaware and there were no clear signs, this falls under the good faith clause.
This may free nursing home staff that was honestly unaware or had zero intentions to hurt another. But, another nursing home staff members could face criminal culpability. This means that they are responsible for criminal actions that took place. They will be held accountable for the abuse or neglect.
Here, you can learn more about the good faith clause. You can learn when it applies to neglect and abuse cases. If a defendant tries to use the good faith clause as a defense, a lawyer can work with you to support your loved one’s case.
Good Faith Clause
In the legal world, there is such a thing as a good faith clause. This means that one person must have no negative intentions towards another. If a person caused harm unknowingly or unintentionally, this could fall under good faith. It may also mean that the person was unaware that another person was causing harm. If a staff member didn’t know that your loved one got abused by another staff member, then they are not at fault. This is especially true if there were no clear warning signs of abuse. Clear signs include bruising, change in personality or other injuries to the individual.
Though this is a saddening situation for those families seeking justice, it does happen. Even the most caring nurses and aides may have overlooked abuse or neglect as an honest mistake. If a case is present then it will usually be directly related to medical professionals. Nurses and other staff have a legal duty to record and report all signs of abuse. If it goes on someone’s record then it’s assumed that is the only abuse that has occurred. Abuse and neglect are not excusable by any means. But there may be circumstances in which it goes unrecognized. This falls into the category of good faith.
Responsible for Neglect or Abuse
There is another side of this situation which can occur. We want to believe that everyone has our loved one’s best interest in mind. But, this isn’t always true. Those who are guilty of neglecting or abusing the elderly will be found to be culpable for their actions. This means that they will have to take full responsibility for their actions.
Culpability is usually not a direct attempt to wrong somebody. But, their neglectful actions cause them to be guilty. They may also be found culpable if they do not carry out a duty which is theirs to fulfill.
Intentions of a Caretaker
If your loved one got abused, the outcome of their case depends on the intentions of their caretaker. Even though they may not have sought to harm your loved one, they still may be guilty. This is due to criminal culpability. But, it is possible that their actions are excusable. This is the case if they did everything within their power to stop or report a situation which had occurred. This, according to the good faith clause, does not put one at fault for something that may have happened.
The outcome depends on the burden of proof. In criminal cases, this burden falls on the prosecution. They must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged actions did actually occur. In civil cases, this burden can fall upon either party depending on the situation. It will generally fall upon the plaintiff to prove.
In order to prove the burden of proof, your loved one might need help. This is where a neglect and abuse attorney comes in. Such a lawyer can help your loved one build their case and refute a good faith clause claim.