Making the decision to move an elderly loved one into a nursing home was undoubtedly difficult. In many circumstances, however, this is the best option to provide family members with the care they need. Sadly, nursing home abuse and neglect are on the rise.
If you suspect a caregiver has been abusive, you may be able to pursue monetary damages from the facility. Once you decide to take action, you can expect the opposing party to do everything in their power to challenge your claim. One common defense asserted in these cases is that the plaintiff is seeking compensation for a preexisting condition.
Read on to learn how a preexisting condition might complicate a nursing home abuse lawsuit:
A Dispute over Causation Might Arise
To win a settlement, you must be able to prove that the damages being claimed would not have accrued but for the abuse or negligence. This is called proving “causation.” The defense might contend that you are trying to recover compensation for medical bills and other damages caused by your family member’s preexisting condition. While it is true that damages arising from a preexisting condition are not recoverable, it may be possible to collect damages for the aggravation of a preexisting injury or illness.
Additional Evidence May Be Needed to Recover a Fair Settlement
If the defense disputes causation, you may need evidence to prove the aggravation of the preexisting condition. Such evidence may include:
- Deposition from the Victim’s Treating Physician: The doctor who has been treating your loved one might be deposed regarding how his or her condition has changed since the abuse or neglect.
- Deposition from Other Medical Experts: Your attorney might depose healthcare providers who specialize in your family member’s particular medical condition.
- The Victim’s Medical Records: If the medical records show a clear deterioration in your loved one’s condition after the incident, they will serve as valuable evidence of causation.
Much of the evidence needed to strengthen your case will likely be in the nursing home’s possession. That means there’s a chance that key evidence will be withheld or even altered to cover up negligence. It is important that you contact an attorney right away so evidence can be gathered while it is still available. Your attorney can perform an immediate investigation and file subpoenas to obtain evidence that is being withheld.
Discuss Your Case with a New York Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
At LoTempio P.C. Law Group, we are passionate about holding nursing home administrators and staff accountable for their misconduct. Our attorneys have won several multimillion-dollar settlements and verdicts in personal injury cases, and they are well-versed in the case law and statutes pertaining to nursing home abuse and neglect.
Fill out our Online Contact Form or call 716-855-3761 to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer in New York. We accept personal injury and wrongful death cases on a contingency fee basis, so you won’t owe any attorney’s fees unless we win.