What Does a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Do?
Nursing home abuse attorneys are a subset of personal injury lawyers. They specialize in helping elders who suffer from abuse while living in a care facility.
These attorneys dedicate their time and resources to build strong cases for victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. As a result, they may be more qualified to help elder abuse victims than general personal injury attorneys.
A skilled nursing home abuse lawyer can:
- Gather detailed information to build the best case
- Help nursing home residents take action against abusers (caregivers and facilities)
- Use their deep understanding of the legal system to secure compensation
Nursing home abuse victims can suffer from long-term mental and physical health problems. 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 treatment, and hold the facility and staff legally accountable. See if you qualify to work with a lawyer with a free case review.
Lawyers for Nursing Home Neglect
Some nursing abuse lawyers specialize in cases related to neglect or medical negligence.
Nursing home neglect occurs when a facility or its staff fails to properly care for residents. The residents may get hurt, contract illnesses, or die if an assisted living facility does not meet a basic standard of care.
Nursing home negligence attorneys can help ensure that victims receive compensation. Neglect attorneys have sometimes been able to secure millions of dollars for victims.
How Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Help
Nursing home abuse lawyers allow you to pursue legal compensation with ease. These lawyers handle much of the work that comes with filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit.
An experienced nursing home abuse attorney can help:
- Gather information: Your lawyer may gather medical records, photographic evidence, and other information needed to build a successful case. Your lawyer can build the strongest case possible for you once they have all the facts.
- 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 called statutes of limitations that prevent you from filing your lawsuit after a certain deadline (usually within 3 years). An attorney can file your claim on time without problems.
- Ease your burdens: The legal system is very hard to navigate if you are not an attorney. Working with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer makes the legal process easier for you.
- Navigate discovery: Once the case is filed, both legal teams request more information from one another about the case during the discovery phase. Your lawyers can collect statements, records, or other pieces of evidence from those being sued to strengthen your case.
- Resolve a lawsuit: Many elder abuse cases never go to trial but resolve in a settlement. Settlements result in a direct payout to you. If a settlement cannot be agreed upon, a nursing home abuse lawyer can fight on your behalf in a trial.
Nursing facilities will use their own lawyers and financial resources during the legal process. Victims deserve the aid, protection, and peace of mind that an experienced nursing home abuse attorney brings.
Get connected with an experienced team of lawyers. Chat now with our advocates.
Signs You May Need a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
You might need a nursing home abuse attorney if a loved one was seriously harmed while living at a long-term care facility. You may also need help from a lawyer if you believe a nursing home is providing a substandard level of care.
Any of the following warning signs could mean that a long-term care facility is abusing or neglecting residents.
- Bruising or bleeding around the genitals, indicating sexual assault
- Dirty bedrooms or living areas
- Lack of medical care for wounds, bedsores, or infections
- Medication errors
- Negative changes in an older person’s behavior or appearance
- Nursing home staffing issues (understaffing or lack of staff training)
- Serious injuries that go untreated
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.
Common signs of neglect include bedsores, noticeable weight loss, and lack of personal hygiene.
What to Expect When Working With a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Working with a nursing home abuse lawyer can streamline the legal process and allow victims the time and space they need to heal.
Nursing home lawsuits tend to follow a regular pattern:1. Filing
Having completed an initial claim investigation, your lawyer can then file a lawsuit. Once the lawsuit has been filed, the defendant — in this case, the nursing home — must respond or they could automatically lose the case.2. Discovery
Both parties will investigate and collect evidence to support their claims. A nursing home abuse lawyer will collect information such as witness testimonies.3. 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).4. 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.
According to the Health Affairs journal, the average nursing home settlement in the U.S. awards around $406,000.5. Trial
If you and your lawyers do not believe a fair settlement amount was offered, you can reject the offer. Sometimes, a settlement may not even be reached. In these instances, the case may then go to trial.
The trial may award more money than settlements, but they take longer. If you lose, you may not get any compensation at all.
Your lawyer will represent you in court and present the evidence to a judge and jury. They can also help you file an appeal if needed.
Lawyers will be with you every step of the way, reducing the stress that a lawsuit can bring.
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. This can help you get the most amount of compensation 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. 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 very risky as you still have to pay even if they cannot secure any money for your case.
You may end up losing money by working with lawyers who do not operate on a contingency basis.
Expertise can make all the difference when it comes to a nursing home abuse lawsuit.
Ideally, you want to find a nursing home abuse lawyer with years or decades of experience successfully handling cases.
When speaking with a lawyer, make sure to ask them about their experience.
Ask an attorney questions such as:
- How long have you been handling this type of case?
- What is your success rate?
- What would your former clients say about you?
The sensitive nature of nursing home abuse cases can make victims feel embarrassed to reveal details of their mistreatment.
It’s important to find a trustworthy attorney who makes you feel comfortable.
Remember that the right lawyer will always be happy to answer any questions you have and can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys by State
Top nursing home abuse lawyers work with national law firms that have offices in every state.
This is helpful because:
- Laws regarding abuse and neglect can vary from state to state. Working with an attorney who is part of a national law firm 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.
- The amount of time you have to file a claim can also vary due to the statute of limitations. Each state has a statute of limitations that sets a time limit on how long you have to file a lawsuit.
- Average settlement amounts can vary by state due to local regulations. For example, claims filed in Florida and Texas may possibly yield larger settlements than the United States average of $406,000.
Working with a general, local lawyer may result in a weaker claim and less compensation.
Find a Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer
Nursing home abuse and neglect can be physically, emotionally, and financially devastating. Working with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer can help your family pursue the justice and compensation you deserve.
If your loved one has suffered from medical 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?
You shouldn’t have to pay any money upfront in order to work with a good nursing home abuse lawyer.
Top lawyers only take a percentage of the money they secure for you.
Ask a nursing home abuse lawyer how much their services will cost before you agree to work with them. Also, be sure a lawyer you’re interested in working with offers a free consultation.
When can you sue a nursing home?
You may be able to file a lawsuit with a lawyer’s help once you know nursing home abuse or neglect has taken place.
If you or a loved one have suffered neglect or abuse in a nursing home facility, it’s important to act as quickly as possible.
Statutes of limitations vary from state to state. If you wait too long, you might never be able to file a lawsuit and pursue compensation. In most states, you need to file a case within 3 years or you could lose out.
Are there different types of nursing home abuse?
Nursing home abuse lawyers can handle cases related to:
- Emotional abuse
- Mental abuse
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
Contact our team now to see if a nursing home abuse lawyer can handle your case.