As our population grows older each year, the country must increasingly depend on specialized institutions for our aging population–most particularly through nursing homes and skilled care facilities.
The nursing home injury lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm represent families and individuals harmed by elder abuse throughout the country. Our commitment to this area of the law is total–we can even travel to you at no extra cost, as we bring decades of experience and unparalleled insight from our 10,000+ resolved nursing home cases.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer FAQs
Each case and family affected by nursing home abuse is unique, but there are certain questions that most of our clients ask. We’ve provided the answers to them here so you can easily access the information you need.
How do I File a Claim Against a Nursing Home?
Your nursing home abuse attorney can file a formal claim on your behalf. For a successful claim, your lawyer will need to show that:
- The facility owed a duty of care to your elderly loved one.
- The facility was negligent when they breached their duty of care.
- This negligence led to your loved one’s injury or death.
- The injury or death resulted in monetary damages.
If your lawyer proves these elements, the facility may offer you a settlement without going to trial. If they don’t, we’ll see them in court.
Should You File a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit?
If you suspect abuse in a nursing home, filing a claim is the first step in holding the facility accountable. By doing so, you will get justice for your family member and, we hope, force the nursing home to hold their staff and management to a higher standard.
What Should I Expect During a Nursing Home Lawsuit?
After contacting the proper authorities, many of the families who have had loved ones suffer from abuse decide they want to take legal action. Before you do so, it’s important to understand the various factors that go into nursing home abuse lawsuits.
Before the Lawsuit
Prior to filing a lawsuit against a nursing home, Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF), Assisted Living Facilities, or Community Integrated Living Arrangements, there are certain things you want to establish. You may notice the signs of abuse, but you need to make sure you have enough proof to bring forth a claim. You can take pictures of the injuries and speak with your loved one to let them know it’s okay to talk if they’ve been hurt.
You want to be sure you have the evidence you need to pursue legal action, as well as documentation regarding how long your loved one was in the nursing home and when the abuse may have started.
During the Lawsuit
In order to reach a successful resolution regarding your nursing home lawsuit, you must show direct negligence (such as a caretaker refusing to help your loved one out of bed or taking advantage of your loved one financially). You may also be able to show mental and emotional abuse if your loved one has had a change in behavior and starts exhibiting fear or other tell-tale signs of abuse.
Any documentation you collect could end up being helpful during the settlement process. Make sure to keep all records and bills associated with your loved one’s abuse in the facility in a safe place so you can make sure it ends up in your attorney’s hands.
After the Lawsuit
You may be hesitant to look for another nursing home to care for your loved one after abuse has taken place. It’s important to know that the actions you take can help you move forward. It may be emotionally traumatic for your loved one to return to any nursing home, but if it is a necessity, you should take measures to ensure their safety.
Discuss their options and make sure everyone is happy with the next step. This can make your loved one feel more comfortable.
How Long do You Have to File a Lawsuit Against a Nursing Home?
A statute of limitations sets the deadlines on claims that people have to file a lawsuit against a negligent party. This time limit will vary depending on what type of case your attorney files against the nursing home. There are three types of claims:
- Personal injury: Personal injury law seeks to provide restitution to nursing home residents who sustained injuries from a negligent provider. Common types of nursing home personal injury claims involve abuse, discrimination, improper care, and assault.
- Medical malpractice: Medical malpractice occurs when the nursing home does not meet the standard of medical care required by law. Common types of nursing home medical malpractice cases involve diagnosis or dosage errors.
- Wrongful death: Wrongful death is a type of personal injury case involving the negligent injuries that caused the death of a loved one. Nursing home wrongful death can stem from several negligent sources commonly seen in personal injury and medical malpractice cases.
Each of these will have a different statute of limitations depending on where the facility is located. You must file your claim and follow the laws in the state where the abuse took place. Your nursing home abuse lawyer will tell you what the laws are in your case.
Nursing Home Laws By State
Every state has its own laws regarding nursing homes. More information on your state’s unique laws can be found on our nursing homes state laws page.
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What to Do if You Think You Missed the Civil Lawsuit Timeline
If you miss the deadline, it is probable that the nursing home will present a motion to dismiss your case. The judge will likely agree and approve the motion, which means you won’t be able to pursue a claim. However, there may still be an opportunity to file, even if you missed your deadline.
If you believe that you missed the statute of limitations, you can discuss the potential of filing a claim with a nursing home neglect and abuse lawyer. Some particular events and circumstances may allow you to proceed. A licensed and experienced legal professional can help you determine if it’s still possible for you to file despite the passage of time.
Can a Lawyer Settle My Nursing Home Injury Case without Me?
Your lawyer cannot settle your nursing home injury case without you. While your lawyer can handle many aspects of your nursing home case on your behalf, under no circumstances can a lawyer accept an offer without your consent unless you have given the attorney preauthorization to do so previously.
Your Lawyer Cannot Accept an Offer without Your Consent
It is unlawful for them to settle on your behalf without your approval. Relying on your attorney for legal counsel and guidance is part of the process. However, the final decision on whether to settle is always up to you.
When You Must Be Present for Your Nursing Home Injury Case
If you live out of state, having nursing home abuse lawyers who can handle your case can be beneficial. While the attorney will handle the majority of your case from their office, there are certain moments where your physical presence may be requested, including:
- Pre-trial and trial court dates
- Mediation or arbitration
- Testifying in court
There are other scenarios where a judge can order your physical presence. Your lawyer can act as a buffer between you and the courts by advocating on your behalf. We will ensure that the courts are aware of your location, and your lawyer will seek out opportunities to accommodate your limitations.
What Is the Average Cost for a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer?
You do not have to have any money upfront to hire nursing home abuse attorneys. We work strictly on a contingency fee basis, which means that we only get paid if we win your case and you get paid.
Because they take on the full financial risk in bringing a case forward, nursing home abuse lawyers typically get up to 40% of your case’s settlement or court award, depending on the complexity of the claim.
Can a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Represent Me in Any State?
Our attorneys are able to represent clients in any state, either through the reciprocity of a state’s bar rules, court approval, or through local co-counsel. In over two decades, the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has represented clients in almost every state.
Accommodations Are Available for Out-of-State Residents
There are a few ways in which your attorney for nursing home abuse will look to accommodate you as an out-of-state party. Depending upon how far away you live, the following arrangements may be possible for managing your case:
- Telephonic appearances
- Video conferences
- Remote depositions
- Remote mediation or arbitration
- Seeking restitution for your travel expenses
Unless a court orders you to be physically present, your attorney can work to make the justice process easier on you and your loved ones by taking advantage of these options.
What Is the Average Settlement for Nursing Home Neglect?
Here are some examples of compensation our nursing home abuse attorneys have secured on behalf of our clients in different types of cases. Your claim’s value will depend on the evidence and your damages:
- $3 million for a woman who developed bedsores so severe that they became infected and took years to heal
- $1 million for an elderly woman who was sexually assaulted by an employee of the rehabilitation center where she lived
- $1 million for a man who died after falling out of his wheelchair and suffering a head injury
- $950,000 for a woman who required monitoring that she did not receive, resulting in a fall and broken bones
- $917,000 for a man who died after not receiving his medication during chemotherapy in a nursing home
- $500,000 for a man who choked to death when he was not supervised while eating in a nursing home
- $450,000 for a woman whose bedsores were so severe that her leg had to be amputated
- $360,000 for the parents of a child who passed away as the result of severe neglect in a children’s nursing home
How Long does It Take to Settle a Nursing Home Lawsuit?
On average, it can take anywhere from 18 to 24 months to settle a nursing home abuse lawsuit. This can vary depending on the complexity of your claim and certain other factors. It’s important to be patient during this process because settling too soon could mean settling for less than you are entitled to.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Helps Resolve Nursing Home Injury Cases
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm works with families during nursing home abuse lawsuits. We can handle most aspects of your case on your behalf. We are prepared to:
- Answer any questions you have
- Keep you updated at every stage of your case
- Represent you in court, if necessary
- Handle communication with other parties
We have a proven record of success. Our firm has represented residents and families throughout the country. Don’t hesitate to fight for the rights of your loved one. With millions recovered since 1985, you can trust that our firm has a knowledgeable advantage in your case.