Calculating Damages in Virginia Nursing Home Abuse Cases

Calculating damages in Virginia nursing home abuse cases can be a complicated process. A qualified personal injury lawyer works through a variety of methods to try and prove damages. They collect medical bills and records and work with the individual and their family to find out how these injuries uniquely affect them. The lawyer may work with experts and expert witnesses to calculate the cost of care, diminished life expectancy, and things of that nature.

Family’s Role in Representing Abused Party

The attorney works with the family of the abused party to make sure they cover every aspect of the abuse suffered by someone through no fault of their own. The attorney can make sure the person is kept comfortable and receives the damages they are entitled to under the law. When punitive damages are available, the civil attorney works to punish the wrongdoer and send a message to the community that this type of behavior is not acceptable.

Developing a Life Care Plan

A life care plan is something an attorney can calculate with expert witnesses to determine what type of care the person received prior to the nursing home negligence and what type of care they need moving forward because of the unforeseen injuries. A fact-finder such as a judge or a jury sees a visual demonstration of how the person’s life was affected and how that life requires medical care that may increase over time. Life care plans are highly contested by defense counsel. However, a well-formulated, well-designed life care plan with a qualified expert is a great addition to the damages calculation of someone’s nursing home negligence case.

Life Care Plan Example

A prime example of a life care plan is someone paying $3,000 per month to a nursing home for care. Because of serious injuries they suffered, their ability to live comfortably becomes complicated. Their condition now requires a heightened level of care. The new care now costs $5,000 per month. The difference of $2,000 is part of the life care that is afforded. Perhaps the $5,000 increases over time as the person deteriorates and their needs increase. A life care plan can help draw that out and directly correlate the action to the future damages as well as the present damages.

Life care plans are hotly contested in a nursing home case because the defense argues that negligence did not cause the increased care. They argue that it is just a person aging and getting sicker. It is helpful when an expert explains that the increased costs are due to the person’s need for a higher level care because of the abuse they suffered. Life care plans are important in calculating damages in a Virginia nursing home abuse case.

Damages in Relation to Other Abuse Cases

As in any civil case and other special cases, liability must come first. An attorney preserves and calculates damages but the damages are a moot point if an attorney cannot work with the individual and prove liability. When there is no liability, damages do not matter. But still, an attorney works through the investigation and development of the case to make sure that they correctly calculate the damages in a Virginia nursing home abuse case.

Damages in Virginia Nursing Home Abuse Cases