Making the decision to move a loved one into a nursing home can be difficult, especially when your understanding of such places is limited. There are many different kinds of nursing homes, from assisted living to full-time adult care facilities, but what happens when your loved one is injured or abused while residing in one? You may want to file a lawsuit against the people or place responsible, and knowing what to expect may help you feel more confident about moving forward with your case.
The Initial Consultation
Before an attorney agrees to take your nursing home negligence case, he or she will require some basic information. Depending on which lawyer you choose, your initial consultation may be free of charge. The attorney may ask you to provide an array of data that could include:
- The date and time of the injury
- Who was present
- The result and nature of the injury (broken bones, brain injury, etc.)
If the lawyer decides to take your case, it will then move into the planning stage.
Litigation and Representation
Once you commit to filing a lawsuit, your attorney may want to discuss the particulars of who will represent the injured party. You will likely have several different options; for example, your attorney can represent your family or your loved one. If the injured person is too infirm or weak to appear as a litigant, your attorney can represent his or her interests. You will probably be asked to sign notarized directive documents if you want your lawyer to act on your behalf at any time during the lawsuit.
Data Gathering and Investigation
This phase of the lawsuit is usually the most time-consuming. Paperwork and medical records are gathered, witness statements are taken and those who were in the vicinity when the injury happened may be questioned. Your attorney may work with a medical expert who can examine x-rays and written reports and then give his or her expert opinion to the court.
Sending Notice of Litigation
The defendants involved in your claim will likely be notified of your intent to sue once supportable evidence is discovered. In most states, claims must be sent out at least three months preceding the filing of the lawsuit. This Notice of Claim letter is to inform the defendants of their rights and why they are being sued.
Arbitration or Court
You may be able to solve your nursing home injury case in arbitration, where an objective 3d party listens to both sides and then grants or refuses a claim based on what was heard. If this type of mediation is not successful, then the case will likely go to court. Overall, the completion of this kind of case could take up to two years to resolve.
When your loved one is hurt in a case of nursing home neglect, the path to receiving compensation can be puzzling. Speak with nursing home malpractice lawyers today and feel confident about your options.