What Is Gross Negligence in Nursing?
A nurse may be considered grossly negligent if they display reckless or deliberate disregard for the safety of their patients. If their negligent actions result in an injury, the nurse could be held legally liable for losses incurred by the harmed patient.
If you or a loved one were injured due to a nurse’s reckless disregard for their patient(s), we urge you to consult with a personal injury attorney who can help you recover compensation for your losses. Continue reading to find out how an experienced attorney can help you file a claim for gross negligence in nursing.
Defining Gross Negligence
Gross negligence is generally defined as “reckless disregard for the safety or lives of others” that “appears to be a conscious violation of other people’s rights to safety.”
Ordinary negligence, which is more common, is different than gross negligence. Ordinary negligence typically involves carelessness or failing to exercise adequate caution in a given situation. Gross negligence, on the other hand, is characterized by a reckless or intentional disregard for the reasonable treatment or safety of others.
Gross Negligence in Nursing
When visiting a medical facility to treat a health condition, we usually trust that the utmost care will be taken to ensure we are safe. As a result, most people do not see a healthcare provider or undergo surgery expecting they will incur additional harm or injury. However, negligent acts in the medical field – either unintentional or deliberate – are unfortunately common.
Gross negligence in nursing often falls under medical malpractice, but not always. Concerning , gross negligence refers to reckless behavior or conduct so mistaken that it is obvious to practically anyone, even those without medical training.
However, not all injuries that occur in a medical facility are medical malpractice. For example, if a nurse is grossly negligent and causes an injury, but their carelessness or recklessness is not related to providing healthcare services, the proper claim would be related to ordinary or gross negligence.
Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice and Negligence Claims
In Nevada, the statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims is one year from the date the patient identified the injury or three years from the date the healthcare provider inflicted the injury, whichever is sooner.
The statute of limitations in Nevada for negligence and personal injury claims is usually two years from the date of injury, but this can change depending on certain factors. If you have questions about how much time you have to file your claim, contact a personal injury attorney right away.
Examples of Gross Negligence in Nursing
So, when would a nurse be liable for gross negligence? By law, they would have behaved recklessly or deliberately, resulting in an injury. For example, gross negligence can occur if a patient is purposely administered the wrong medication and becomes ill.
A nurse could also intentionally make or fail to document an error during routine patient care, such as drawing blood or taking blood pressure. Other examples of gross negligence include treating a patient while intoxicated or failing to attend to a patient because of discrimination.
In examples like these, the nurse was not just careless but downright reckless in failing to fulfill their duties.
Recoverable Damages in Gross Negligence in Nursing Cases
Several types of damages can be recovered for patients in gross negligence cases involving a nurse, including:
#1. Medical Expenses and Future Medical Costs
Many plaintiffs in personal injury cases that involve gross negligence ask for compensation for medical expenses. Even if you are covered by health insurance, you could still be charged exorbitant amounts for co-pays and deductibles. Also, if you incur substantial injuries that require continuous care, you might be able seek compensation for future medical care and treatment.
#2. Loss of Earnings and Future Earning Capacity
Following a severe injury or illness, a patient is likely to miss at least a few days or weeks of work. It may be months or longer before the victim recuperates and can return to their job full-time – and some can never return at all. Filing a personal injury lawsuit can help a person in this situation replace their lost wages and take care of financial obligations.
In the unfortunate event that an injury causes permanent impairment to your ability to work, your lawyer may advise you to ask for damages that cover the loss of future earnings as well.
#3. Physical Impairments or Disfigurements
If your injuries partially or wholly disable you, you can seek compensation for the loss of enjoyment of life – especially if physical and emotional wounds make it impossible or less possible to participate in activities you once enjoyed, such as hobbies or sports.
Disfigurement damages compensate you for unwanted changes to your appearance due to your injuries, such as burns or scars.
#4. Physical Pain and Suffering and Mental Anguish
Patients can also seek compensation for past, present, and future physical pain and suffering and mental anguish. For physical pain and suffering, the type of injury incurred and the frequency, intensity, and duration of your pain are used to calculate your monetary award.
Mental anguish is characterized by a high level of distress or psychological anguish beyond general anger, fear, or disappointment. Again, the level of your mental anguish determines your compensation.
#5. Punitive Damages
Unlike the compensatory damages noted above, punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for intentional misconduct – they are not tied to a tangible injury or loss. Gross negligence is a common factor in cases that may justify the awarding of punitive damages.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney From Our Firm Today
A personal injury lawyer can review your gross negligence in nursing case and explain what it may be worth. Be sure to act quickly since your legal time to file is limited.
When deciding on your legal counsel, it’s best to work with a firm that earns the trust of its clients through honest and straightforward representation and has proven success with cases that are similar to yours.
In Nevada, De Castroverde Accident & Injury Lawyers is one of these firms. We offer free and confidential case evaluations. Contact us today to find out how we can help you recover the compensation you deserve.