In a nursing home abuse claim, you can prove pain and suffering by collecting evidence of how the abuse impacted the victim’s:
- Physical health
- Mental wellbeing
You will want corroborating evidence from as many sources as possible to back up your claim. This could come from friends, family members, other staff members, and even the victim themself. A lawyer from our firm can be a big help when it comes to seeking and obtaining such evidence.
Pain and Suffering in a Nursing Home Abuse Case
“Pain and suffering” simply refers to any physical or emotional distress a person experiences as a result of injury or abuse. Proving that your loved one experienced pain and suffering and that their distress was a direct result of the nursing home’s actions can be tricky. Potential sources of evidence include:
- Personal testimony: Your loved one can attest to the abuse they experienced if they are capable of doing so.
- Witness testimony: Friends and relatives can testify about any changes they noticed in the victim’s health or behavior. In addition, a lawyer can track down and interview nursing home employees, residents, visitors, or anyone else who has information regarding your loved one’s pain and suffering.
- Medical records: Your loved one’s doctor will have records of injuries they sustained, treatments they received, concerns they expressed, and so on.
- Police records: If the authorities investigated the abuse or protected your loved one, they may have filed a report detailing the incident.
Qualifying for Compensatory Damages
Pain and suffering is a non-economic damage. In other words, it does not directly involve a loss of money or financial security (although treating the effects of pain and suffering may involve additional expenses). Other types of non-economic damages you could sue for include:
- Disability: If your loved one’s injuries cost them the use of any body part (e.g., a limb, an organ, or a bodily function)
- Reduced quality of life: If your loved one can no longer enjoy life as they once did
- Scarring or disfigurement: If the abuse left your loved one with permanent marks
- Loss of companionship: If your loved one passed away due to the abuse
You may also be eligible for economic damages like:
- Medical expenses: If the abuse was serious enough that your loved one needed to see a doctor, a psychiatrist, or a specialist
- Funeral expenses: If you paid to lay your loved one to rest or to settle their affairs
- Loss of income: If you had to take time off work to help your loved one recover from the abuse, find them a new nursing home, and so on
Per New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules (CVP) §214, you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit based on nursing home abuse. Cases involving medical malpractice or wrongful death have their own deadlines. To ensure you do not lose your right to sue, speak to an attorney as soon as you can.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse That Can Cause Pain and Suffering
The New York State Department of Health published a document—the Nursing Home Incident Reporting Manual—that details the many situations and circumstances that a nursing home must report to the proper authorities within 24 hours. These situations include but are not limited to:
- Physical abuse inflicted by any party
- Sexual abuse inflicted by any party
- Verbal abuse inflicted by any party
- Photographing or recording residents without permission
- The perceived threat of any of the above
- Reports or complaints regarding any of the above
Any or all of the above incidents can cause pain and suffering for a nursing home resident. If the nursing home fails to report any instance of abuse or mistreatment, it can prolong the resident’s suffering.
What an Attorney Can Do for Your Claim
An attorney can make the process of proving pain and suffering easier on you. Our team knows what types of evidence to look for and how to present it in a way the insurance company or court will find persuasive. In addition to finding evidence, our firm will:
- Explain your options and the risks and benefits of each one
- Speak with the liable party on your behalf
- Assign a dollar value to your case
- Fill out all paperwork
- Negotiate for the fairest possible settlement
- Prepare for and represent you at trial, if necessary
Let Our Law Firm Assist You with Your Case
At Morelli Law Firm, our team will fight for as long and as hard as we must on behalf of our clients. We can help you prove pain and suffering in a nursing home abuse claim, negotiate with the insurance company for a pretrial settlement, and more. Call our office at (212) 751-9800 today for a free case evaluation.