If your loved one was abused or neglected in a nursing home, it’s only natural to feel some combination of anger, depression, and even guilt. While there’s no way to turn back time and undo what has happened, it may be possible to hold the at-fault caregiver and facility accountable for their egregious behavior by filing a nursing home abuse or neglect claim. In this blog, we will discuss a few factors that can influence the settlement calculations in these claims.
The Victim’s Life Expectancy
Victims of personal injury have the right to pursue compensation for the damages they are reasonably certain to incur in the future such as anticipated medical bills, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment in life; however, the value of future damages will be limited by the victim’s life expectancy.
Whether Punitive Damages Are Warranted
Punitive damages and attorney’s fees may be recoverable under New York Public Health Law (PHL) § 2801-d. If your loved one was deprived of a particular benefit or right while living in a nursing home, it may be possible to bring the claim under NYPHL. Punitive damages, if warranted, are typically awarded against the nursing home rather than the at-fault caregiver, which is often a good thing since the nursing homeowner will likely have greater assets and will, therefore, be in a better position to pay punitive damages. There are, however, some scenarios when punitive damages are awarded against a caregiver. This may happen, for example, if a doctor at the facility tried to fraudulently cover up evidence of negligence.
Whether a Pre-Existing Condition Was Aggravated
If your loved one had a pre-existing injury or illness—which is likely the case—the opposing party might argue that the damages being claimed would have been incurred regardless of the abuse or neglect. This is called disputing “causation.” To counter this defense, your lawyer will have to prove that the damages being claimed would not have accrued but for the abuse or neglect. Valuable evidence may include the deposition of medical experts, your loved one’s treating physician, and his or her medical records from before and after the incident.
The Kinds of Injuries Sustained and Their Severity
Did your loved one suffer a permanent disability as a result of the abuse or neglect while in a nursing home or assisted living facility? The kinds of injuries sustained and their severity can have a major impact on the settlement calculations. More serious injuries tend to cost more to treat and warrant higher awards for non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
Speak with a New York Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today
At Emerson Straw, we have more than four decades of experience representing the injured and their families. Our attorneys have the knowledge and resources to help you fight for the highest possible settlement. There’s no cost for the consultation, and we accept nursing home abuse and neglect cases on a contingency fee basis. That means you won’t have to pay any attorney’s fees unless we resolve the case in your favor. Call (727) 821-1500 or send us a message to speak with a member of our team.