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Statute of Limitations for Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit

nursing-home-abuse-case-statute-of-limitationsAny individual harmed through abuse or neglect at a nursing home has a legal right to file a personal injury claim seeking compensation. Additionally, all surviving family members who lost a loved one through a preventable death can file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Our personal injury lawyers at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, are legal advocates to nursing home residents harmed by caregivers' abuse and negligence.

Call our nursing home abuse lawyers at (800) 926-7565 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free case evaluation.

All confidential or sensitive information you share with our nursing home abuse attorneys remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

What Are Statutes of Limitations?

Generally, statutes of limitations help prevent old claims from clogging up the court system. If someone tries to sue after waiting too long — for example, more than two years — the defendant can ask the judge or jury to dismiss the nursing home abuse case because it is too late, and all evidence may have faded.

Different states have different laws that affect how long you file a personal injury claim or nursing home abuse case.

Can I File a Civil Suit After the Statute of Limitations Has Expired?

Not all states have the same statute of limitations. Some states may have a "delayed discovery" rule, meaning that you can file your lawsuit even after the regular period has expired if you did not discover until later that an injury was caused by nursing home abuse or negligence.

Also, these rules are meant to preserve evidence and memories. Therefore, if the statute of limitations has expired, but you are still available to testify, you can ask a personal injury or wrongful death attorney about filing a "late claim" through your state's court system.

The Type of Claim You Can File

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your abuse, negligence, or death of a loved one, you can file a lawsuit for medical negligence (malpractice), wrongful death, personal injury, and more.

Our nursing home lawyers can help you determine which type of lawsuit is best to hold negligent parties accountable and recover financial compensation for your damages.

Some Examples of Nursing Home Negligence

Nursing home abuse and neglect can often occur, in part, due to staffing shortages, which lead to overworked caregivers unable to provide the level of care necessary to avoid injury or harm.

Other forms of negligence that may cause or contribute to injuries include:

  • Failure to prevent falls
  • Failure to provide proper medical treatment
  • Failure to properly supervise residents who leave the facility, especially those with Alzheimer's or dementia
  • Negligent hiring of under-qualified staff to care for nursing home residents
What Are the Types of Nursing Home Injuries?

Many nursing home injuries can occur, especially when overworked, underpaid staff cannot provide the level of care necessary to avoid harm or injury.

In some nursing home abuse cases, the injuries include bedsores (pressure ulcers), fractures, malnutrition, dehydration, infections, and others.

How Long Does Criminal Prosecution Take? Is it Better to Pursue Justice through a Civil Lawsuit?

Criminal prosecution does not always take as long as a civil suit. For example, in some elder abuse cases, police may file charges within a few months.

Still, more often, it takes between six months and a year for the state attorney's office to finish its investigation and decide whether criminal prosecution is appropriate.

While criminal prosecution provides justice for the community that minimizes the chances of recurring offenses from the same criminal, it does little to restore the victim's damages.

In personal injury cases, the victim is often left with extensive medical bills, hospitalization costs, time away from work, future lost earnings, pain, emotional abuse, and suffering.

Because of that, state laws provide legal opportunities to recover financial compensation through civil lawsuits, out-of-court settlements, and jury verdict trials.

However, the injured party must take quick action and file their claim before the statute of limitations passes. The length of time the statute restricts the victim from filing a case varies between states and contributing factors.

Free Consultation - Nursing Home Abuse Case
The Statute of Limitations on a Compensation Lawsuit

The statute of limitations for filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit is very short. You do not have an unlimited amount of time to file your claim after the incident. You must speak with an attorney who can advise you on what to do next and how long it will take before the statute expires. 

Typically, the state legislature rights bills on the statute of limitations, including various case types like medical negligence, fraud, product liability, criminal cases, and wrongful death.

In some cases, like a sexual assault case or nursing home abuse lawsuit, the victim can file a claim for compensation before the statute of limitations passes. However, afterward, the injured party will no longer have the legal right to seek compensation or hold the abusive caregiver accountable.

In some personal injury lawsuits, especially sexual abuse cases involving young children, the statute of limitations could be extended based on unique circumstances.

Statute of Limitations for Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Every state has time limits set which include a statute of limitations on filing a civil suit. There are generally three different deadlines you must follow. These include:

  • An injury or harm can't happen to the same person twice, so it is considered "stale" after the time limit expires.
  • The statute of limitations may be "tolled," or stopped for a period, in personal injury lawsuits involving minors and young adults including, someone injured when an infant or a minor does not have legal rights until age 18 to file a case without a guardian.
  • Even if the person is temporarily incapacitated, like in a coma at a nursing home facility, the statute of limitations will not be extended.

Were you or your loved one injured by negligence or abuse? Have you missed the statute of limitations deadline to file a home injury civil suit?

If so, contact our nursing home abuse attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center for immediate legal assistance.

The Average Length of Time Someone must File a Civil Lawsuit for Negligence

The time limit for filing an injury claim varies from state to state. You must file a claim before the statute of limitations passes. If your home state doesn't have a set time limit, you can potentially sue on "tort" claims in some states, which means you have three years to file your home injury suit.

Under the federal laws concerning medical negligence cases, the statute of limitations is two years. So, if your state's medical negligence time limit exceeds two years, you'll have to follow the home state's statute of limitations.

The Statute of Limitations for a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Qualifying surviving family members who lost a loved one through a preventable death can file a wrongful death civil suit within a certain amount of time. The State Legislature determines the statute requirements for filing a wrongful death claim.

Generally, the time limit varies from two to three years and starts running on the date of death or when it became clear that the injury resulted in death. However, some home states allow you to file within one year if there was an intentional wrongful act.

The time restriction starts on the day the victim died, not the day home healthcare neglect or abuse occurred. You can't file an injury claim or a medical malpractice suit if your home state's statute of limitations is longer than two years.

For example, New York has a three-year statute of limitations for medical negligence injury claims and wrongful death lawsuits.

If you file a claim after the expiration date, your home state or home healthcare agency may be able to prevent you from filing a civil suit. If this happens, the responsible party will not face legal liability for their home injury actions.

What if I Missed the Statute of Limitations?

If you missed the home injury statute of limitations deadline in your home state, it's vital that you immediately contact our nursing home abuse attorneys for urgent legal assistance.

Our injury claim review team will review your injury case and determine if there is still time to file. If so, we'll help hold home healthcare agencies and negligent home health aides accountable for their unacceptable actions.

How Long Does It Take to Resolve a Home Injury or Wrongful Death Claim?

A home injury or nursing home abuse claim usually takes between six months and one year from filing the complaint through trial, arbitration/mediation, settlement, and appeal. However, it could take longer if the defendants filed motions to dismiss or summary judgment, limiting the statute.

Don't hesitate to contact our elder home injury attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center for immediate legal assistance if you or a loved one were abused, neglected, injured, or died unexpectedly in a home care setting.

We are available 24/7 to take your home injury claim and start protecting your legal rights. In addition, you can reach us by calling toll-free at (800) 926-7565 to schedule a free consultation.

The Statute of Limitations and a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

Nursing home abuse and neglect can happen to anyone, at home or in the hospital, but it's especially devastating when your parent is victimized. They place their trust in nursing aides who are supposed to be trained and bonded to help them, not harm them.

When the elderly come home from a hospital or rehab facility, many often require home care support. Therefore, it's vital that they only select home health aides who are reliable, trustworthy, and caring.

Unfortunately, home healthcare agencies can put together home care staffs who lack proper training and home healthcare aides who are only in the home to steal from, harass, injure, or worse.

One of the biggest problems facing home healthcare is the inability to provide home care aide training. That's why home health agencies are constantly looking for home care aides who have the skills needed for quality home healthcare.

Unfortunately, they can't always find home care aides with the right skills, which is why home health agencies sometimes hire nursing aides who lack adequate training, and nursing home injury lawsuits skyrocket.

Nursing Home Negligence FAQs

Our law firm understands that many families have unanswered questions concerning nursing home negligence and how to hold the institution and caregivers legally accountable. A personal injury lawyer has answered some of those questions below.

Call our law office at (800) 926-7565 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form for additional information and answers to your questions.

Can you sue after the statute of limitations expires on nursing home abuse cases?

Most state legislators have enacted a statute of limitation law restricting the amount of time you can file a civil suit seeking monetary recovery for your damages.

However, there are exceptions to the rules, especially in cases involving childhood sexual abuse when the victim has repressed their memories of what occurred or was too young to file without a parent or legal guardian.

Additionally, the statute of limitations typically starts when the victim had knowledge, or should have had knowledge, that they were harmed through another's negligence. For example, in some product liability cases, the victim was harmed by a defective medical device, like a broken hip implant, and did not realize the damage until experiencing severe side effects.

Can you sue someone for something that happened years ago?

Yes, you can file an injury suit for abuse or neglect that occurred years ago. However, the Statute of Limitations (time limit to file) usually begins to run when the injury occurred and not when you discovered the abuse or negligence.

Can you file a nursing home injury case if the home aide is related to you?

The home injury victim can recover damages against an individual defendant that caused their home injuries. In addition, depending on the home state, home family members may be held liable for home nursing home neglect or abuse.

What damages are compensable in wrongful death cases?

Damages recoverable in premises liability, nursing home negligence, and medical negligence cases include:

  • Hospitalization costs
  • Medical care expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Out of pocket expenses
  • Home health care costs
  • Home repair and replacement costs
  • Adaptive equipment expenses required to accommodate a loss or disability
  • Infliction of emotional distress brought on by experiencing or witnessing the event
Can I sue a person, business, or government entity several years later?

Yes, depending on the cause of home injury or nursing home neglect, you may have that much time to file a civil suit. However, laws limit how much time you have from the date of the home injury or nursing home neglect before filing a claim.

In some nursing home abuse cases where people or businesses intentionally conceal knowledge of serious injuries or neglect, you may have as much as three years before the Statute of Limitations expires to file a home injury or neglect case.

What damages are recoverable in wrongful death cases?

Damages recoverable in premises liability, nursing home negligence, and medical malpractice cases include:

  • Hospitalization costs
  • Medical care expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Out of pocket expenses
  • Home health care costs
  • Home repair and replacement costs
  • Adaptive equipment expenses required to accommodate a loss or disability

Do you have questions about negligence, nursing home abuse laws, wrongful death cases, medical malpractice lawsuits, product liability cases, or injury compensation? Don't hesitate to contact us at (800) 926-7565 if you experienced infliction of emotional distress brought on by experiencing or witnessing the event.

Preventing Pressure Ulcer Development
Do Not Delay Seeking Legal Representation – Nursing Home Negligence

With a restricted time limit of about two years for nursing home negligence cases in nearly every state, time is of the essence. Consider speaking with a nursing home abuse attorney now who can review your case's merits to determine if there is sufficient evidence for monetary recovery.

After a comprehensive review, your personal injury attorney will discuss all your legal options to move your case forward while pursuing justice and seeking financial compensation for your damages.

The longer you wait, the more challenging it might be to file a claim, gather evidence, speak to eyewitnesses, and build a solid case for the most successful outcome.

Get Your Free Case Review: Speak with Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Today

Are you, or a loved one, the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect? Are you seeking to take legal action to ensure that those responsible are held financially accountable for what they did to you?

The personal injury attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center can ensure that your negligence claim is filed before the statute of limitations expires. Call our legal team at (800) 926-7565 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case's merits.

Our affiliated attorneys accept all injury claims, wrongful death cases, and nursing home abuse lawsuits through contingency fee agreements. This promise ensures you pay nothing until your case is resolved through a negotiated settlement or jury award.

When you are ready to talk, a nursing home abuse attorney is here to help.

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Client Reviews

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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
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After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric