What Is a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer?
Nursing home abuse lawyers are a subset of personal injury attorneys who specialize in helping older Americans that were harmed by nursing home staff.
A skilled nursing home abuse lawyer can:
- Help victims take action against the staff members and facilities responsible for their abuse
- Gather detailed information to build the best case
- Use their deep understanding of the legal system to win compensation
Victims of nursing home abuse often suffer from long-term consequences that can devastate their mental and physical health for years to come. Severe cases of abuse may even lead to the wrongful death of a resident, leaving their family members burdened by grief and medical expenses.
A nursing home abuse lawyer can help right some of these wrongs, get compensation to pay for medical costs, and prevent other families from suffering. If you’re interested in connecting with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney, reach out to our team for a free case review.
Lawyers for Nursing Home Neglect
Some nursing home abuse lawyers may specialize in cases that deal with neglect or negligence. Nursing home neglect occurs when a nursing home or its staff fails to properly care for residents, and the residents are harmed as a result.
Nursing home neglect, although by definition unintentional, has serious consequences for victims and their families. Nursing home residents expect to be properly cared for. When a nursing home 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 are fairly compensated and that assisted living facilities are held accountable.
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: Medical records, photographic evidence, and other information are necessary to build a successful case. An experienced lawyer knows what you will need and how to get it.
- File your claim: It’s important to ensure that your claim is filed quickly and 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. Instead, settlements are reached. In a settlement, lawyers representing the nursing home staff agree to pay you financial compensation and the lawsuit stops. If a settlement cannot be reached, a nursing home abuse lawyer can represent you and fight on your behalf in court.
Abusive or neglectful nursing facilities will not hesitate to use their own personal injury lawyers and financial resources to try and avoid being held accountable. Victims deserve the aid, protection, and peace of mind that an experienced nursing home abuse attorney brings.
What to Expect When Working With a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
The prospect of taking legal action may sometimes feel intimidating, particularly for victims who are still struggling with the aftereffects of abuse. 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: During the discovery phase, your lawyer and the defendant’s lawyer will investigate and collect evidence to support their claims. A nursing home abuse lawyer can strengthen your case during the discovery phase by continuing to collect and organize information, such as witness testimonies or a defendant’s history of abuse or neglect.
- 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 end in out-of-court settlements reached through 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’s 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 upfront 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 upfront. 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 negligence and abuse cases can make victims reluctant to reveal details of their mistreatment that they find shameful or embarrassing. 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 a nursing home abuse attorney with significant experience handling cases in your state ensures that they are familiar with all federal, state, and local laws.
- Lawyers who work at national firms often have more resources to build cases (including access to testimonials from previous clients) while still retaining the convenience of a local attorney.
The amount of time a victim has to file a claim can also vary along with other local regulations and precedents, including the average settlement amount. For example, claims filed in Florida and Texas consistently yield larger settlements than the United States average of $406,000.
While you may be tempted to work with a general lawyer close to you, they may not have the resources that a national firm has, resulting in less compensation.
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.
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 $150-400 per hour, which can make going to trial far more costly than settling out of court, as trials regularly take over 50 to 60 hours.
Lawyers working on contingency take a lower percentage if the client settles out of court — usually 33% — than if they take the case to trial where it is common for them to take 40% or more of 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:
- Physical abuse
- Mental abuse or emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Financial abuse or financial exploitation
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.
Find a Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer
Nursing home abuse and neglect can be devastating physically, emotionally, and financially. When the time comes to seek justice and compensation, working with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer can make all the difference.
If you or a loved one have suffered from medical malpractice or negligence in a nursing home and you want to take legal action, request a free case review now. Our team will listen to your case and help you find a skilled nursing home abuse lawyer to work with if you qualify.