What Role Do Expert Witnesses Play in Nursing Home Abuse Cases?
Expert witnesses can play an important role in just about any kind of personal injury or wrongful death case, but it is particularly common for experts to be deposed in a nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuit. Such deposition is often essential for proving liability, causation, and damages.
Read on to learn about a few kinds of expert witnesses your personal injury attorney might depose to strengthen your case:
- The Victim’s Treating Physician: Your loved one’s doctor may be brought in to provide deposition regarding the types of injuries sustained, their severity, and any medical conditions your loved one had prior to the neglect or abuse. Because most nursing home residents have a medical condition of some kind, it is common for defendants in these cases to dispute “causation.” For example, the nursing home or its insurance company might say that your loved one’s illness or injury existed before the neglect or abuse and, therefore, the associated medical costs and other damages should not be included in the settlement calculations. The deposition of your family member’s treating physician and perhaps other medical experts might be used to counter this defense.
- Other Medical Experts: In addition to the treating physician, your Jensen Beach nursing home abuse attorney might depose a life care planner as well as medical experts who specialize in your loved one’s particular condition. Life care planners are tasked with determining the kinds of care a person will need and the costs of such care. The deposition of various medical experts may be needed to prove the severity and permanence of your family member’s injuries. It may also be necessary to depose a geriatric long-term care expert to prove that the standards of care were not followed.
- Directors (Current or Previous) of Nursing Home Facilities: Did the facility or a caregiver breach the duty of care owed to your loved one? The answer to this question will very likely determine the outcome of your case. Besides referencing the relevant statutes, regulations, and case law to prove the established standards of care, your personal injury attorney might also depose the director (or past director) of a nursing home facility. Such deposition might be useful, for example, if you assert that negligent hiring, training, or management practices contributed to your loved one’s injury.
Types of Evidence Needed to Win a Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Case
Your Jensen Beach nursing home neglect lawyer won’t prevail unless there exists strong evidence of liability, causation, and damages. Such evidence may include:
- The police and/or incident report;
- Surveillance footage;
- Caregiver schedules and keycard data;
- Photos of injuries, the hazard that caused the injuries (if applicable), and the victim’s room at the nursing home;
- Deposition of eyewitnesses, the parties involved in the abuse or negligence, medical experts, and perhaps a nursing home director;
- Medical bills;
- Other medical records;
- Deposition from loved ones about how the abuse or neglect has impacted the victim’s life; and
- Any evidence of intentional misconduct or gross negligence (if punitive damages are sought).
Call 772-266-5555 to speak with a personal injury attorney today.