Role of Expert Witnesses & Fact Witnesses in Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuits
Moving an elderly loved one into a nursing home is difficult for all parties involved. Many family members find the only way to cope with the transition is by reminding themselves that their relative will receive far better care at the facility than at home. This, however, isn’t always the case; nursing home abuse and neglect are growing problems in New York and throughout the United States, often leading to serious physical and psychological trauma for the victim, and sometimes even death.
As soon as you realize your relative has been receiving substandard care, it’s only natural to want justice. In many cases, the best way to hold the facility accountable is by filing a nursing home abuse claim to pursue monetary damages.
To win a settlement or verdict, you will need to prove both liability and damages. Depending on the circumstances, this may require deposition and testimony from fact witnesses and expert witnesses.
What Is a Fact Witness?
Also called “eyewitnesses,” fact witnesses are individuals who personally observed the abuse or the damages left in its wake. In other words, they can provide deposition regarding the facts of the case.
Fact witnesses can only provide testimony about what they witnessed firsthand; they cannot share any opinions or assumptions. Depending on the circumstances, potential fact witnesses include:
- Nursing home staff;
- Other residents at the facility;
- People who visited the facility; and
- Medical providers who cared for your relative after the abuse occurred.
What Is an Expert Witness?
Expert witnesses are specialists who provide deposition and testimony to resolve disputes or to clarify the significance and implications of certain evidence. Expert witnesses must meet certain criteria in order for their deposition to be considered credible. The specific criteria will depend on the circumstances, but generally speaking, the expert must have sufficient credentials and experience to be considered an established authority in his or her field.
Below are a few examples of expert witnesses who often play a role in nursing home abuse and neglect cases:
- Doctors: May provide testimony regarding the types of injuries suffered and their severity, or regarding a nursing home caregiver’s failure to use accepted standards of care.
- Pharmacists: If a medication error was the proximate cause of the tortious injury or illness, your attorney may bring in a pharmacist to provide testimony.
- Psychologists: May provide testimony regarding the psychological consequences of the mistreatment suffered by the victim.
- Economists: May provide testimony regarding the value of damages incurred.
Call 716-855-3761 to Discuss Your Case with a New York Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
At LoTempio P.C. Law Group, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial impact that nursing home abuse can have on the whole family. We fight tirelessly on behalf of our clients and devote the time and resources needed to pursue the best possible outcome in every case we handle. To schedule a free case evaluation with a nursing home abuse lawyer in New York, call 716-855-3761 or fill out our Contact Form.