There are several stages of a nursing home lawsuit. After an injury occurs in a nursing home, an attorney conducts an in-depth investigation of the abuse or neglect claim, determines the validity of evidence, and then files a lawsuit with the appropriate court. If you are filing a case as an individual, you will file a civil case, and if there are criminal charges involved, the state will file the lawsuit.
Processes Involved in Filing a Nursing Home Lawsuit
The law is on your side regarding nursing home abuse and neglect, as a series of reforms now include that nursing homes must maintain a certain quality of life and work to ensure safety.
However, even with these new initiatives, nursing home abuse and neglect occur all too frequently. Nursing home neglect and abuse take on many forms, which include physical, emotional, or financial abuse. The process of a nursing home lawsuit depends on what type of neglect or abuse occurred.
Before prompting any legal action, first, make sure that your elderly loved one is safe from any further harm. This can include frequently monitoring their condition in person or even removing them from the facility altogether. Additionally, filing a complaint through the nursing home’s standard grievance procedure can work to resolve the issue or begin a paper trail that may come in handy later.
When you hire a nursing home abuse attorney to examine your case, they will investigate and collect evidence supporting the claim that your loved one was a victim of maltreatment.
Elder abuse and neglect can qualify as:
- Physical abuse, such as bruises, scratches, and burns.
- Emotional abuse, which may manifest as withdrawal or depression.
- Financial abuse, such as caretakers withholding social security checks or a sharp decline in bank balance.
- Neglect, including bedsores, poor hygiene, and unattended medical needs.
- Verbal or emotional abuse, where caretakers belittle or make threats to establish an imbalance of power.
If your nursing home lawyer can find substantial evidence that supports your claim of elder abuse and neglect, you may decide to pursue a lawsuit. In its initial stages, defendants will receive a Notice of Claim (NOC) regarding the abuse or neglect of the victim, and the intent to file a lawsuit. The nursing home must be aware of the impending proceedings and have adequate time to respond to these allegations before legal action can take place.
After the facility receives this notification, the nursing home may move to remedy the complaint, issue a settlement offer, or file a motion to dismiss. Your legal team will keep you and your family updated on how the nursing home chooses to respond. If you decide to take your case to court, you will enter the “discovery” process. Witnesses will have the opportunity to make depositions, and your legal team may examine current evidence.
Finally, before the case appears before a jury, you will have the opportunity to participate in a mediation process with the facility, and explore resolutions outside of court under the supervision of a neutral party. These resolutions may include a financial settlement, a written agreement, or another conclusion.
However, if no agreement can be reached or if the mediation process does not take place, your legal team can present your case before a judge and jury.
Statute of Limitations for Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawsuits
Many variables can affect the timeframe to file a lawsuit against a nursing home for abuse or neglect.
These factors include:
- The type of abuse or neglect endured.
- The statute of limitations of your state.
- When the abuse or neglect began.
- When the family discovered the abuse or neglect.
- When the victim or the victim’s family should have reasonably become aware of the instances of abuse or neglect.
The legal process, starting from when the first complaint surfaced, ending with a judge’s verdict, can take anywhere from a few months to over a year. The length of the judicial process depends on the number of defendants, the nature of the case, and the cooperation of both parties.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 794-0444
Contact a Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer Today
The multiple facets of elder abuse can add layer upon layer on top of what is already a difficult situation. At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we want to learn more about your situation and help you decide upon the best course of action. We can go over the details of your case, help collect information to assert its validity, and keep you updated throughout the legal process. We do not shy away from even the toughest of cases. We work on contingency, meaning that we do not accept any payment until we secure compensation for you. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 842-6336.
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