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What to Expect With a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
Were you injured in a nursing home? You have legal rights to compensation for your injuries. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients and their families.
Our personal injury lawyers at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, will take you through your options to make an informed decision about how best to handle the situation.
Call our nursing home abuse lawyers at (800) 926-7565 (toll-free phone call) or use the contact form today to schedule a free legal case review. We are here to listen to your story if you want to file a suit against a nursing home for wrongful death, abuse, or neglect.
If you're a victim of nursing home abuse, it may seem like there's nowhere to turn. But unfortunately, the problem with the law is that it takes time for cases to get resolved, and in the meantime, victims are left feeling powerless.
You deserve better than that! That's why we have attorneys ready to take on your case today. We know how difficult this situation can be, so let us help guide you through what will happen next.The Devastation of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
Nursing home abuse is a serious issue that plagues many families, and it's important to know your legal rights when hiring an attorney. Nursing Home Law Center has the experience in this area of law to help you find justice in your situation.
Let us review what might happen in cases like yours with nursing home abuse lawsuits - the victim may be entitled to compensation for their injuries or lost wages:
- In some nursing home abuse cases, the perpetrator may be criminally prosecuted for their actions.
- If an act of elder abuse killed someone, their family could receive financial compensation from the estate.
- A class-action lawsuit may be a good option in some cases where multiple victims suffer similar losses because of one person's wrongdoing.
This last type of lawsuit often benefits the victims greatly because they receive compensation without prosecuting each case individually. Don't let your rights as a victim get ignored. Our attorneys speak with the compassion and experience necessary for you to understand what you can do next.What To Expect with A Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
If you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, it is important to know legal options. These can include filing a civil lawsuit against the abuser and seeking criminal charges if they also broke the law by committing assault.
When considering your next steps in this process, here's what to expect:
- You will be contacted by an attorney who can provide more information about your rights and how we may help you get justice for what was done to you or someone else close to you.
- The initial consultation with our office is free of charge, so please don't hesitate! We'll get started on helping get you back on track as soon as possible.
- After the initial consultation, if you decide to move forward with filing a claim, we'll work hard to gather all of the evidence that's needed for your case, including working with other medical professionals that have treated you or other potential plaintiffs involved in this matter.
- If you do not file a lawsuit right away, it doesn't mean that you've given up your legal rights. On the contrary, you are always free to pursue filing a lawsuit in the future if you choose to do so. However, after the statute of limitations has passed, you'll no longer be able to file a claim.
We can also help with any personal injury matter that involves nursing home abuse.
It's understandable if you don't feel like talking to someone about this matter since it's a sensitive and challenging experience. However, we will take all of the time you need to understand your case as thoroughly as possible.
There are huge risks involved with handling your legal case without professional help, but you won't have to worry about those if you choose to work with us. We'll handle all of the deadlines and paperwork for your case while still providing the personalized attention you deserve.How Long It Takes to Settle a Nursing Home Lawsuit
The time it takes to settle a case will vary depending on the specific matter being discussed. Some nursing home abuse cases can take less than a year, while others may continue for multiple years. If you are working with us, you won't have to worry about this since our team will make sure all your needs are met during this process.
When you or someone close to you has experienced nursing home abuse, it is normal to feel overwhelmed by what's happened. We can help minimize the burden of dealing with paperwork and deadlines so that you can focus on leading a healthier life moving forward.How Much Is a Nursing Home Negligence Case Worth?
The case's value is not determined based on how much money you make per year but all the losses and damages sustained. Your nursing home negligence lawyer can evaluate the case's value by assessing the following:
- You've had to pay the financial costs for medical bills, therapy sessions, and other similar expenses.
- Your physical pain and suffering and emotional distress may even lead to depression or anxiety issues.
- Lost wages earned due to time missed from work, including sick days and vacations that you'll never get back.
- Any medical conditions acquired because of the neglect they were subjected to in nursing homes, including food poisoning, bedsores, and even wrongful death if a loved one passed away due to negligence.
These are just some factors that can be considered when determining how much to ask for in compensation. But, again, your experienced lawyer will arrange an in-depth analysis of your financial records so that they can determine a fair number for this case.What To Do If a Loved One Is Abused in A Nursing Home
If you discover that a loved one is being abused in a nursing facility or assisted living center, there are a few steps to take.
First, you should document everything that happens by taking photos of injuries and writing down important information about any verbal abuse.
If possible, you should also try to record the conversation to provide even more evidence for your claim.
If you notice a pattern in your loved one's stories or behavior, it may be time to investigate facilities that provide better care. Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are legally required to provide each of their clients with the following:
- A clean, healthy living environment free from dangers or threats, including protecting them from being neglected or not receiving adequate nutrition and hydration
- Appropriate medical treatment is administered by skilled professionals in what they are doing, including access to the necessary equipment needed to do their job well
- A responsive staff that helps when needed and works with each client to tailor their care based on their needs, preferences, and personalities
If your loved one is not provided with all services listed above, there may be a problem. We have worked with many clients who were forced to find new care homes for their loved ones after discovering abuse behind closed doors.How Difficult Is It to Sue a Nursing Home?
Unfortunately, some people may think it's more difficult to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit than any other type of case. However, this couldn't be further from the truth.
After all, these companies are required by law to keep their clients safe and healthy. If they don't follow through with this duty for whatever reason, you should seriously consider taking legal action against them.What Does a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Do?
Nursing home abuse lawyers are legal professionals that work to represent clients who have been subject to physical, emotional, and verbal abuse by a nursing home or assisted living center. We can also help clients whose loved ones were not properly looked after by these facilities.
If you are in this situation, find an attorney specializing in this field so that your case will be handled by someone who truly understands the kind of harm brought upon you or a loved one.
Our medical malpractice lawyers have years of experience working with clients all across the nation with their health affairs. Our legal team ensures the injured victims and surviving families get the justice they deserve for damages caused by neglect in a nursing home or assisted living facility.
Call the Nursing Home Law Center today at (800) 926-7565 or complete our online contact form to set up your legal consultation with one of our compassionate attorneys. Together, we can help you take a step towards achieving the best possible outcome for your claim.Civil Lawsuits Vs. Criminal Nursing Home Lawsuits
Local law enforcement (police or Sheriff's Department) and the federal/state Attorney General's office can file criminal charges based on the evidence or a grand jury indictment. These charges can hold the alleged abuser criminally accountable.
However, criminal charges do not provide financial compensation to the victim and surviving family members. Conversely, the injured parties can initiate a civil suit against the facility, doctor, nurse, or other health care provider whose negligence led to the victim's harm.
In a civil lawsuit, the plaintiff must have suffered some financial loss/harm or future loss. In other words, if an elder has been abused with the expectation of further abuse in the future and is moved to a safe facility with no income reduction, there would be no damages.
Other common types of damages that may be sought include pain and suffering, mental distress, medical expenses, loss of money/property (e.g., funds transferred to the abuser), loss of consortium (services provided by a spouse), etc.
A nursing home abuse lawsuit can be filed against any person or entity believed to have caused harm to an elder, including the facility, employee staff, physicians, nurses, therapists, facility directors (management companies), etc.
Before filing your nursing home abuse lawsuit, you must initiate a claim with the facility, demonstrating that it is financially solvent and has liability insurance. If this fails, you will need to retain an attorney who specializes in nursing home negligence cases.Things To Expect When Filing a Negligence Lawsuit Against an Assisted Living Facility
The civil lawsuits process can be confusing, exhausting, and overwhelming for some. We have put together a list of things to expect when filing a negligence lawsuit against a nursing home to make the process easier:
- A settlement or verdict in your favor is not guaranteed
- The defendant (the nursing home) has the right to request additional time to investigate your claim
- The defendant can also offer you a "low-ball" settlement to get the case dismissed by the presiding judge before the litigation process starts
- If the case goes to trial, it can result in days of lost work time and high legal costs for both parties that could result in an unexpected outcome
There are essentially three ways a nursing home negligence case is resolved: 1) mediation, 2) arbitration, and 3) trial. Settlements typically occur before a settlement conference, while arbitration and trials tend to happen if the case is not resolved by mediation.
If you have lost a loved one or family member in a nursing home or assisted living center and suspect neglect played a part in their death, we urge you to call the Nursing Home Law Center at (800) 926-7565.
Nursing home lawyers are familiar with the process of filing a civil suit. However, many clients are often surprised by what happens next.What is the Value of a Nursing Home Abuse Settlement? Is it Better for Injured Nursing Home Residents to Go to Trial?
The value of a nursing home abuse settlement depends on several factors. In general, the following cases tend to be more favorable to plaintiffs:
- Nursing homes or assisted living centers with a history of neglect or abuse
- Cases involving negligence among nursing home residents in common areas such as dining areas and hallways
- Cases involving wrong medication, bedsores, malnutrition, etc.
However, elder abuse occurs in various settings and circumstances, so it is difficult to predict how a judge or jury may rule. In addition, the average settlement will likely be influenced by the severity of the victim's injuries which could include bedsores, malnutrition, dehydration, fractures/broken bones, etc.
In most cases, a plaintiff has the option of going to trial or settling out of court with a defendant.
There is no standard settlement amount when resolving a case. In general, it depends on your specific case and its unique circumstances. However, several factors influence the value of a nursing home abuse settlement that you should consider when deciding whether to go to trial or settle:
- The severity of Injuries: In cases where a victim suffered moderate injuries, the settlement may be lower when involving severe injuries such as broken bones and bedsores. However, it all depends on the severity and location of the bedsores (e.g., a victim could have bedsores on the shoulder, which is not considered a "sensitive" area) or a fracture that may require therapy and rehabilitation or even corrective surgery.
- Type of Injury: In cases where the injuries are more severe, you can expect settlement amounts to be higher. For example, if a victim suffered from a broken hip, this would likely result in a higher settlement amount than suffering from an arm injury.
- Liability: If you have documentation to prove that a long-term care facility is at fault (elderly abuse/assault was captured on surveillance cameras), or many victims are willing to testify against the nursing home for negligence. In that case, you will tend to see higher settlement amounts.
- Negligence: If there is evidence showing the nursing home staff was aware of your loved one's condition but neglected to provide them with aid or assistance, you can expect higher settlement amounts
- Abusive Behavior: Did the staff or another elderly nursing home resident hurt the injured party? In this case, this could raise settlement amounts for the victims of nursing home abuse if physical, emotional, mental, financial, sexual abuse or neglect were involved.
- Location of the Nursing Home: Is the case involving a state-run facility, for-profit nursing home, or assisted living center? State-run facilities must always have a certain number of nursing home staff members on duty, influencing settlement values. In addition, it is important to remember that if the facility is for profit, they are required to have an operating budget which could factor into settlement amounts.
- Plaintiff's Response: If you file a lawsuit and the defendant files a counterclaim against you, it will negatively influence the value of your case during the legal process. On the other hand, if defendants fail to respond or acknowledge requests made by your lawyer, your case could be resolved faster and at a higher settlement amount.
- Expert Testimony: If an experienced social worker, geriatric care manager, or other elder abuse expert testifies on your behalf, this can influence the value of your nursing home settlement. However, you need to factor in their rates and potential costs when making this decision.
- Settlement Negotiation: It is important to remember that it is possible to settle before trial. In addition, the higher your settlement demand, the more you will tend to receive in your nursing home abuse case.
- Trial Length and Expenses: Nursing home litigation involving abuse and neglect can be lengthy and expensive. Therefore, if a jury trial has not already been requested, defendants will likely seek to settle your case sooner than later.
- Jury Verdict: If a jury finds in favor of the defendant or insufficient evidence showing the nursing home caused your serious injuries, it could lower settlement values. However, you should note that if a jury decides to award more significant damages under certain circumstances, this could raise settlement values.
- Costs and Fees: Will your attorney be charging you hourly or a percentage of the settlement?
- Contributory Negligence: If you (or a family member) were partly at fault for your injuries, it might lower the settlement amount. For example, if you were in excellent health and did not take certain precautions that led to your injury, you will likely be held partially at fault by the courts, which can affect settlement amounts.
- Joint and Several Liability: Settlement values could increase if the court decides that all defendants are responsible for your injuries. However, any question about their level of responsibility or contribution to the injuries suffered could result in lower settlements.
- Punitive Damages: Did the defendant engage in egregious conduct that led to your injury? Did their actions go against the basic moral values our society holds? If so, you could receive punitive damages in addition to general damages. However, these can vary based on state laws and caps (or lack thereof), influencing settlement amounts.
- Offer Rejection: If you make an offer and the defendant rejects it and recommends a lower amount, your settlement value could decrease. Or, if you make a settlement offer and they accept it, this will most likely result in higher settlement amounts.
- Attorney Negotiating Skills: If your law firm is highly skilled at negotiating nursing home abuse settlements, they can often influence values and how quickly a resolution is reached.
- Offer and Acceptance: If the offer is lower than your demand and you accept it, settlement amounts will likely be reduced. However, if the settlement offer is for more than what you asked for and you reject it, your case could be resolved faster at a higher amount.
- Nursing Home Abuse Case Evaluation: This may not directly influence settlement amounts, but you should consider what evidence an expert evaluator considered when determining the value of your case. In addition, if this person has worked on cases that have been like yours, their insight could influence your settlement negotiations and trial verdict.
At the Nursing Home Law Center, our accident injury attorneys can ensure you receive all the money you deserve. We can help with any personal injury case, including car accidents, defective product injuries, and other types of cases that lead to serious harm or death.
Call our affiliated attorneys at (800) 926-7565 to schedule your free case review if you are ready to file a nursing home neglect lawsuit. All confidential or sensitive information you share with your nursing home abuse attorney remains private through an attorney-client relationship.Resources: