Fatal Nursing Home Accidents
It is not unusual for someone to pass away while they are a resident at a nursing home or long-term care facility. By the very nature of such institutions, many patients who live in them are elderly, are recovering from an injury, or are ill. However, not every death in a nursing home can be blamed on a patient’s physical condition or simply written off as “old age.” Some deaths unfortunately are caused by negligence by the very people entrusted with an elderly person’s care. If you believe that a loved one’s death was a result of a fatal nursing home accident, Rockland County nursing home negligence lawyer Valerie J. Crown can help you determine whether a claim for damages is appropriate.
Some of the more common causes of deaths in nursing homes and assisted living centers include lack of resident supervision, falls, choking, malnutrition, infections, unsanitary conditions, errors in the administration of a patient’s medication, and neglect of basic needs. These types of patient deaths are largely preventable, but they are likely to continue unless nursing home owners are held financially liable in a court of law and made to pay for their wrongdoing. Speaking up for a loved one who may have suffered harm at the hands of a New York nursing home can be hard, but it is very important. While the path to justice can be long, there is peace in knowing that you advocated for your loved one and held a negligent facility accountable for his or her untimely death.Proving Negligence After a Fatal Nursing Home Accident
Nursing homes and other medical facilities can be held liable in a court of law and made to pay substantial monetary damages. However, such cases can be difficult, which makes it important to retain an attorney who is familiar with the applicable laws and procedural rules. The burden of proof is on the family (or the patient’s estate) to prove that the patient’s death was proximately caused by the defendant’s breach of a duty of care. While this may sound like a straightforward proposition, it rarely is. In addition to a thorough review of the patient’s medical records by a qualified medical professional, there must be expert testimony as to the cause of the patient’s death and the manner in which the defendant’s actions caused or contributed to the death. This requires the plaintiff’s attorney to find and retain expert witnesses who can explain how the nursing home, either through its administrators or through nurses, orderlies, or other personnel, failed to act in a reasonably prudent manner, thus hastening the resident’s demise.
If the case proceeds to trial, each side will be allowed to present its version of events. This usually includes testimony from multiple expert witnesses, who likely have very different opinions on the key issues of the case. Ultimately, it will be up to the jury to decide which witnesses to believe and to determine whether the resident’s death was preventable. If the jury finds in favor of the plaintiff by a preponderance of the evidence, damages may be awarded. If either party is dissatisfied with the outcome of the case, there is the possibility of an appeal.Discuss Your Case with a Compassionate Rockland County Lawyer
Even if a loved one has lived a full life, letting them go is never easy. When a fatal nursing home accident was caused by another party’s carelessness, neglect, or abusive conduct, the loss is even more difficult. If you have lost a parent or spouse due to a nursing home’s lack of proper care, you need to talk to an attorney. While a lawsuit will not bring your family member back, it can help with covering the related expenses, and it might prevent another innocent resident’s death by bringing attention to the facility’s conduct. For an appointment to speak with an experienced nursing home negligence attorney, call the Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown at 845-708-5900. You also can reach Valerie on her cell phone at 845-598-8253, or you can contact us online. We handle nursing home negligence cases in Rockland County and elsewhere in Greater New York, including in Westchester, Orange, Dutchess and Ulster Counties.