In some cases, cases of nursing home abuse can lead to litigation. Litigation is the process of filing a lawsuit. Past instances of nursing home litigation led to high payouts for victims, allowing them to afford medical treatment and start the healing process. Below, learn about nursing home litigation and how to take action.
How To Litigate a Nursing Home Abuse Case
Litigation is an important tool for helping residents who have suffered nursing home abuse.
Nursing facilities are supposed to provide senior residents with medical care, a living space, and a high quality of life.
Unfortunately, some nursing homes have poor reputations and put residents at risk of abuse. When abuse happens, nursing home litigation can be used to right the wrong.
A lawsuit can:
- Allow families to get justice and peace of mind
- Award financial compensation if someone was injured
- Hold the nursing home and the staff accountable
If you or a loved one have faced abuse at a nursing home, you may be able to use litigation to get closure. This can be done by working with a lawyer who focuses on nursing home abuse cases. With the help of a nursing home abuse lawyer, evidence can be gathered, a case can be filed, and compensation can be pursued.
How Lawyers Help With Nursing Home Litigation
Lawyers help with the nursing home litigation process by streamlining things for families. Without the help of an expert, important legal deadlines can be missed and evidence may not be collected or presented properly.
The top nursing home abuse lawyers also work on a contingency basis, meaning there are no upfront costs to work with them. This allows almost anyone to hire a nursing home abuse lawyer if they have a valid case.
The Nursing Home Litigation Process
The nursing home litigation process involves gathering evidence, filing the case, and pursuing compensation. Lawyers can help clients throughout the entire process.
1. Evidence gathering
Evidence gathering is one of the most critical aspects of any case. Without the proper evidence, a case cannot be established. Evidence includes basic facts of the case, images and descriptions of the victim’s injuries, and other vital information.
Once the evidence is gathered, lawyers can use it to draft a case against the nursing home and/or its staff. The next step will be to file the case.
2. Filing the lawsuit
A nursing home abuse lawsuit must be filed in the right court system. There are many different courts located throughout the country.
Further, the lawsuit also must be filed within deadlines known as statutes of limitations. You won’t be able to file a lawsuit if the statute of limitations has passed in your case — typically 3 years or less after the injury/death occurred.
Lawyers can help file the lawsuit in the appropriate court system and within the statute of limitations.
During the discovery phase, the victims’ lawyers and the lawyers for the nursing home and its staff may request information from each other to strengthen their cases.
More information may also be collected through depositions (witness testimonies) during this time.
A lawyer can help you to properly navigate the discovery process in order to get the right information to strengthen your case.
4. Settlement negotiations
Once the discovery phase has been completed, both legal teams will meet to try and come to a legal agreement called a settlement.
Through a settlement, the side being sued agrees to pay a lump sum to those who are suing and the lawsuit ends.
Many nursing home abuse cases are settled but some may end up going to trial, where a judge or jury decides the case. Lawyers will typically want to reach a settlement but still prepare the case in the event a trial is needed.
Examples of Successfully Litigated Nursing Home Abuse Cases
There are several examples of successfully litigated nursing home abuse cases. In the following cases, a verdict or settlement was awarded to victims of nursing home abuse or their families.
$6 Million To Family After Nursing Home Wrongful Death
A jury awarded $6 million to a family after a woman died from nursing home neglect while staying at a facility in New York. The family of the woman claimed that the nursing home failed to move her to a medical facility after her health worsened.
The jury decided on this award after determining that the nursing home played a substantial role in the woman’s death.
$1.2 Million in Nursing Home Neglect Case
A jury awarded $1.2 million to a 72-year old woman after she alleged neglect at a Newfane nursing home. She had initially gone to the facility for wound treatment, but the staff failed to provide basic care.
She developed bedsores while staying in the nursing home that became infected. Eventually, a bone in the woman’s lower back became exposed.
After the lawsuit, the woman left to live in her home in Newfane, where her daughter now cares for her.
Seattle Nursing Home Settles Sexual Abuse Case For $8 Million
In 2019, a woman with multiple sclerosis was raped by a male employee in a Seattle nursing home. One of the woman’s family members put a hidden camera in her room, which captured the sexual abuse on camera.
The woman and her family then filed a lawsuit against the nursing home, alleging that it failed to keep her safe and didn’t properly vet its staff members. The nursing home’s insurer agreed to pay out an $8 million settlement. The male staffer who raped the woman was also jailed.
Start Litigating a Nursing Home Abuse Case
Litigating nursing home abuse cases is an important step to take if loved ones were harmed while living in a long-term care facility. By litigating a case, you may be able to access financial compensation from those who were abusive or neglectful.
Remember that statutes of limitations prevent you from litigating nursing home abuse cases after a set period of time has passed, which means it’s important to explore your options sooner rather than later.
A nursing home abuse lawyer can help you navigate the legal process. Hiring an experienced lawyer can help you to hold abusers accountable and to access financial compensation.
See if you qualify for legal aid right now with a free case review. Our team can help you with your case so that you get the best possible chance at receiving compensation.