What Is a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer?
Nursing home abuse lawyers are a subset of personal injury attorneys. This specific type of lawyer specializes in helping elders who were abused by nursing home staff while living in a care facility.
A skilled nursing home abuse lawyer can:
- Gather detailed information to build the best case
- Help victims take action against the staff members and facilities responsible for their abuse
- Use their deep understanding of the legal system to win compensation
Nursing home abuse victims can suffer from long-term mental and physical effects. Severe cases of abuse may even lead to the wrongful death of a resident, which can leave family members burdened by grief and medical expenses.
A nursing home abuse lawyer can help your family access compensation to pay for medical bills. Pursuing legal action can also prevent other families from suffering from nursing home abuse.
Lawyers for Nursing Home Neglect
Some nursing home abuse lawyers specialize in neglect and medical negligence cases. Nursing home neglect occurs when a nursing home or its staff fails to properly care for residents.
Nursing home neglect can have serious consequences for victims and their families and may require long-term care. Nursing home residents expect to be properly cared for. When an assisted living facility doesn’t meet the basic standard of care, residents may get hurt, contract illnesses, or die.
Nursing home neglect attorneys can help ensure that victims receive compensation. A lawyer will also hold these nursing home facilities accountable for their actions.
How Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Help
Nursing home abuse lawyers allow you to pursue legal compensation with ease. These lawyers handle nearly all the work that comes with filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit.
An experienced nursing home abuse attorney can help you:
- Gather information: Your lawyer will gather medical records, photographic evidence, and other information are necessary to build a successful case.
- File your claim: It is important to ensure that your claim is filed correctly. Paperwork errors can derail or prolong a case, costing you time and money. Also, there are laws known as statutes of limitations that prevent you from filing your lawsuit after a certain deadline. An attorney can file your claim on time without problems.
- Resolve a lawsuit: Many elder abuse cases never go to trial but will resolve in a settlement. Settlements result in a direct payout to the plaintiff, and the lawsuit will stop. If a settlement cannot be agreed upon, a nursing home abuse lawyer can represent you and fight on your behalf in court.
Nursing facilities will use their own lawyers and financial resources to avoid being held accountable. Victims deserve the aid, protection, and peace of mind that an experienced nursing home abuse attorney brings to fight on their behalf.
What To Expect When Working With a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
A nursing home abuse lawyer will take on all the stress of the legal process. Working with a nursing home abuse attorney can streamline the process and allow victims the time and space they need to heal.
Nursing home lawsuits tend to follow a regular pattern:
- Filing: Having completed an initial claim investigation, your lawyer will then file the lawsuit. Once the lawsuit has been filed, the defendant — in this case, the nursing home — will deliver their response.
- Discovery: Both parties will investigate and collect evidence to support their claims. A nursing home abuse lawyer will collect information such as witness testimonies and the defendant’s past cases of abuse.
- Mediation: Each side presents their evidence to the other and mediation begins. Through mediation, the lawyers will try to resolve the case without going to trial with help from a third party (such as a judge).
- Settlement: Most nursing home abuse and neglect lawsuits resolve in settlements during mediation. Your lawyer will work to negotiate the highest possible amount of compensation based on the available evidence.
- Trial: If you and your lawyers do not believe a fair settlement amount was offered, you can reject the agreement. The case may then go to trial. Your lawyer will represent you in court, presenting the evidence to a judge and jury. They can also help you file an appeal if needed.
When working with a nursing home abuse lawyer, it’s important to be as transparent and honest as possible. Withholding information, even information that may seem damaging, can harm your case.
Your lawyer will do everything they can to build the strongest case possible for you once they have all the facts related to your case.
How To Choose the Best Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
It is usually not enough to work with a general lawyer to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit. You need to find a dedicated nursing home abuse lawyer with the right skills and experience so you can get the most amount of money possible.
Find the most important factors all great nursing home abuse lawyers share below.
The best nursing home abuse lawyers work on a contingency basis, meaning you won’t have to pay any money up front to work with them. Instead, the lawyer takes a percentage of the settlement or trial award after it is awarded. If the lawsuit is not successful, the lawyer isn’t paid.
Some lawyers expect clients to pay up front. They may charge an hourly rate or a flat fee. Working with these lawyers can be risky, as you still have to pay even if they cannot secure any money for your case.
Expertise can make all the difference when it comes to filing a lawsuit. Ideally, you want to find a nursing home abuse lawyer with years or decades of experience successfully handling this type of case.
When speaking with a lawyer, make sure to ask them about their experience. How long has the attorney been handling this type of case? What is their success rate? What do former clients have to say about them?
The sensitive nature of nursing home abuse cases can make victims feel embarrassed to reveal details of their mistreatment. It’s important to find an attorney who makes you feel comfortable and with whom you are prepared to speak freely.
Remember that the right lawyer will always be happy to answer any questions you have and ready to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys by State
Choosing a nursing home abuse lawyer whose office is close by is more than a matter of simple convenience. Top nursing home abuse lawyers work with national law firms that have offices in every state.
This is helpful because:
- Laws regarding what constitutes abuse and neglect can vary from state to state. Working with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney ensures they are familiar with all federal, state, and local laws.
- Lawyers who work at national firms have more resources to strengthen your claim. These resources may include access to testimonials from previous clients in your area.
It is important to work with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer at a national law firm. Working with a general lawyer in your area may result in a weaker claim and less compensation.
The amount of time a victim has to file a claim can also vary due to the statute of limitations. Each state has a statute of limitations which sets a time limit on how long you have to file a lawsuit.
Average settlement amounts can vary by state due to local regulations. Claims filed in Florida and Texas yield larger settlements than the United States average of $406,000.
Find a Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer
Nursing home abuse and neglect can be devastating physically, emotionally, and financially. Working with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer can help your family get the justice and compensation you deserve.
If your loved one has suffered from medical malpractice or negligence in a nursing home, get a free case review today. Our team will listen to your case and help you find a skilled nursing home abuse lawyer if you qualify.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer FAQ
How much does a nursing home abuse lawyer cost?
The cost of a nursing home abuse lawyer is highly variable, and lawyers can structure their fees in a variety of ways. Ask a lawyer how much their services will cost before you agree to work with them.
Remember, that you shouldn’t have to pay any money upfront in order to work with a good nursing home abuse lawyer. Be sure your lawyer offers a free consultation.
What is the average cost for a lawyer fee for a nursing home abuse case?
Lawyer fees for nursing home abuse cases can vary widely depending on location and the lawyer’s level of experience. Hourly rates range from $150 to $400 per hour. This can result in a trial being more costly than settling out of court, as trials can take over 50 to 60 hours.
Lawyers working on a contingency fee basis take a lower percentage of earnings if the client settles out-of-court. Nursing home abuse lawyers generally take about 33% of earnings from a settlement and around 40% from a trial award.
When can you sue a nursing home?
If you or a loved one have suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home, it’s important to act as quickly as possible. Statutes of limitations vary from state to state, and if you wait too long you might never be able to file a lawsuit and pursue compensation.
Are there different types of nursing home abuse?
Nursing home abuse can take the form of:
- Financial abuse or financial exploitation
- Mental abuse or emotional abuse
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
Signs of nursing home abuse depend on the type of mistreatment that takes place. For example, warning signs of physical abuse may include bruises and broken bones. On the other hand, common signs of neglect include bedsores, noticeable weight loss, and lack of personal hygiene.