Many residents of Pennsylvania live in various types of long term care facilities, such as:
- nursing homes,
- specialty long term care centers,
- rehabilitation centers, and
- group homes for disabled children/adults.
The elderly and disabled are especially vulnerable and therefore at risk of suffering injuries from abuse, neglect and accidents, and in many cases, a facility may be held liable and ordered to pay damages to the injured individual and/or their family.
Damage Claims in PA Long Term Care Facility Abuse-Accident Cases
Under Pennsylvania law, people who are injured due to the actions of others have legal recourse, i.e., take the responsible party to court. A wrongdoer who is found to be liable may be ordered to pay financial compensation to the injured party. A financial award in a long term care facility lawsuit case often includes compensation for the following:
- medical bills,
- lost wages,
- other economic losses, and
- pain and suffering.
It is important to note that in especially serious injury cases, an injured individual may be able to make a claim not only for the losses and damages that have occurred in the past, but also those that are reasonably expected to occur in the future. For instance, if an injured resident needs repeated surgeries, their case may include a claim for future medical bills.
In a typical nursing home accident or abuse case, the injured resident will be receiving some form of government medical aid, such as Medicare. When a resident needs medical treatment, including emergency care, Medicare will step in and pay the medical bills. If the individual has private health insurance, their private health insurance pays the bills.
In a subsequent accident-injury lawsuit, the injured individual has a right to plead and prove all medical damages, i.e., the injuries and treatment which resulted from the accident. In addition, under Pennsylvania law, the injured individual may also make a claim for medical bills, even those that were paid by another source, such as Medicare or private health insurance. If the individual receives financial compensation for medical bills, then the individual may be required to reimburse the source. This is known as subrogation.
For example, a nursing home resident in Pennsylvania is injured in an accident at the home. He files a claim against the nursing home and makes a claim for his medical bills, which were paid by Medicare. Under federal law, the resident will be required to reimburse Medicare. However, Medicare is only allowed to receive a certain portion of what it paid out on the injured resident’s behalf. In general, this is how subrogation works in Pennsylvania accident and injury cases, including nursing home injury cases.
It is important to note that subrogation is very complex, and depends on various state and federal laws. Therefore, the rules and laws that apply to one type of provider, may not apply to another.
Stay tuned for part 2 of this article which will discuss lost wages and other economic loss claims in nursing home/care facility injury cases.
Pennsylvania & New Jersey Nursing Home Injury Lawyers
The elderly, infirm and disabled absolutely deserve justice, no more and no less than anyone else. If you or a loved one was injured at a nursing home or long term care facility, please contact our office to arrange a free consultation with our PA and NJ nursing home abuse/neglect lawyers. (215) 985-0777
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