The mere thought of legal battles against facilities can be daunting. After all, you may not know what you are up against.
The decision to file a lawsuit is often nerve-wracking and frightening. Nonetheless, you may not make an informed decision without preparing for the strategies below. They exist to sabotage your case and help nursing homes limit their legal liabilities. But what if you could know the most common tactics they use?
You can get the upper hand by preparing for these counterarguments. Discover the insights below and ask us for a referral to a nursing home abuse lawyer today.
Preparing for Defense Strategies: The Importance
The emotional toll of abuse on families and loved ones often overshadows the gravity of filing a lawsuit. However, understanding and preparing for the facility’s defense strategies is imperative. Why? Because nursing homes are experts at leveraging these tactics to mitigate their liability. They count on these strategies to weaken cases and avoid accountability.
Identifying how a company will try to refute your claims is a cornerstone of any robust case. You can start to collect evidence, testimonies, and eyewitness accounts that counteract these defenses today. This preparation enhances the credibility of your case and will facilitate your legal team’s efforts.
Common Defense Strategies in Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuits
Leaning on contributory negligence laws is a go-to defense for nursing homes. This strategy seeks to shift the blame onto the resident by suggesting their actions contributed to the harm they suffered. For instance, a facility might argue they did not follow medical advice or acted in a way that led to their injury. Convincing a judge or jury there is fault to go around can significantly reduce or nullify any damages awarded.
Countering this argument requires gathering evidence to refute contributory negligence arguments. The goal is to create a timeline of events, eyewitness testimony, and medical records. These items should demonstrate the resident acted reasonably under the circumstances.
Absence of Staff Negligence
The facility may argue its staff acted according to current standards and the harm was unfortunate but unavoidable. Their defense team may bring up protocols, staff training, and timelines that prove they took reasonable precautions. Generally, their goal is to suggest that the events in question were outside their control.
Establishing a pattern of negligence is the optimal way to counter this defense strategy. Your lawyer may succeed at getting a subpoena for internal documents, logs, or other records. Witness accounts from other residents or conscientious staff members can also be paramount. Ideally, the firm you choose will have relationships with expert witnesses who attest to the standards and practices within these facilities.
Many people associate pre-existing conditions with their insurance policy. Nonetheless, nursing homes may also try to attribute injuries or harm to them in court. This tactic aims to cloud the link between their actions and the resident’s condition to reduce liability.
Your nursing home abuse lawyer may use medical documentation and expert witnesses. Comprehensive records before and after the abuse should contrast the resident’s condition. Moreover, the testimony can analyze this evidence and verify the injuries. They can explain the logic of whether they could have happened without some form of abuse or neglect.
Consent and Assumption of Risk
It is common for facilities to argue the resident knew the risks associated with treatments or health conditions. They will go to great lengths to convince the court they acknowledged and accepted things could go wrong. This tactic can be challenging to navigate because it can involve scrutinizing consent forms.
The best counter to this defense is to have an attorney review contracts and waivers before admission. They can identify ambiguities or overreaches in these documents. Moreover, consent for treatments does not cover negligence or abuse in elder care.
Statute of Limitations
This term refers to the period within which legal action must start. Nursing homes may depend on these time constraints and use them as a defense strategy. They can argue the window for filing a lawsuit has expired. Ignoring or overlooking this possibility can be a costly mistake. Furthermore, it can lead to the dismissal of an otherwise valid case.
Consult an attorney promptly when you suspect abuse or neglect to combat this defense. They may even argue to extend the time frame to file a civil complaint. For instance, the resident may have concealed the abuse because they feared retaliation.
Talk to a Local Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Preparation is vital for any lawsuit, but it can be essential to nursing home abuse litigation. Identifying these tactics empowers you to counteract them effectively. Regardless, even the most prepared individuals can get outmatched by mammoth organizations.
Hiring a seasoned attorney is crucial to clear these hurdles, and we are here to help. We have helped over 5 million people connect with legal counsel in the United States!