You hear it too often in the news: an elderly person gets mistreated by their caregivers in a nursing home. Some even suffer for long periods of time. Often, it’s already too late when the crime gets uncovered. A life lost, loved ones left behind with no idea what to do. They have no idea how to select the right nursing home attorney to help them.
What’s more alarming is that this happens so often, that it’s not really shocking when this happens close to home. Authorities report that almost a third of nursing homes all over the country have been cited for violations related to elderly abuse. And oftentimes, these elderly victims are incapable of defending themselves. This puts them at greater risks at the hands of the perpetrators.
But what happens when the news you hear or read about happens to your own loved one? Learning about these happening to your grandparents, mother, or father can really be heartbreaking.
Selecting The Right Nursing Home Attorney
You’ll hear different reasons for the abuse, such as understaffed facilities, overworked caregivers, untrained or negligent aides, and more. It all boils down to the penny-pinching ways of those running the retirement homes, skirting laws and requirements just to keep their pockets full.
The best course of action is to hire the right nursing home attorney. They’ll help you seek justice for the mistreatment suffered by your loved one during their stay in the home. But in order to reach a proper settlement and compensation for the damages or injuries suffered by the elderly victims, you need to get an experienced nursing home abuse attorney.
Simply put, hire a lawyer who can exhaust all the possible courses of action. This way you’ll be justly compensated for the crime committed against your loved ones. Oftentimes, the lack of knowledge or awareness of the applicable laws, rights, and precedents lead to insufficient compensation or reward. Worse, the lawyers representing the nursing home can even get your case dismissed.
Don’t hesitate to seek the specific legal professional for the situation. A nursing home abuse attorney will know exactly what to do to help your case. They know what laws apply to your area and the specific rights of the person who has been violated. Nursing home abuses are complex cases. It’s not always clear what caused them and who should be held responsible. That’s why hiring the right lawyer for the job is crucial to the success of your case.
How Can a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Help You?
The first step that your lawyer should do is to attempt to reconcile the complaint between you and the nursing home. They should explore the most efficient means to resolve the case first. That means talking directly with the opposing party and trying to come up with a suitable settlement. Aside from face-to-face meetings between parties, this could involve drafting a letter addressed the person in charge of the nursing home.
This may seem simple, but resolving the case in the shortest time possible is beneficial for both parties. You’ll all spend fewer resources compared to long, drawn-out battles. Court cases like this easily become extremely expensive. In the letter, your attorney could outline the concerns, as well as request a reply with the course of action that both parties would agree on.
However, if that step fails, your lawyer can now proceed with the case, exhausting all legal remedies first before bringing it to the courts.
These are the usual steps in undertaking a lawsuit
1. Information collection. Aside from the details of the abuse experienced by your loved one, the lawyer will also collect all pertinent information to the case. This includes medical records, documentary or photographic evidence, and if necessary, interviews and witness statements.
2. Getting the legal ball rolling. The next logical step is filing a claim in the court. Of course, the lawyer should consider the proper jurisdiction, as well as notify the defendants by serving them with a notice of action.
3. Pre-trial prep work. Before going into trial, the plaintiff and defendants would have to be deposed. It would also help if the lawyer can get several witnesses to strengthen the case.
4. Getting ready to settle. Or not. Afterwards, your lawyer can now negotiate a settlement, with all the details of your case considered. Civil cases, for example, rarely go to trial since both parties try to reach a settlement, preferring a quick resolution over a long court battle. But if your terms are not met, your lawyer should be confident enough to go to trial and not accept an unfair or insufficient settlement.
5. Battling it in court. If there’s no settlement reached, the next step is to commence with a trial. With the sufficient evidence gathered by your lawyer, your case will now be taken to court. A trial is conducted and the judge or jury will decide based on the facts brought forward by both sides.
6. Resolution. Whatever the outcome, your lawyer must conclude the proceedings in accordance with the law. Appeals could be made by both sides, so expect that this will be drawn out, especially if no one wants to budge and just settle.
When you finally decide to hire a nursing home attorney and sue the nursing home responsible for the abuse of an elderly loved one, be mentally prepared that it may take some time to be resolved. Many of these nursing homes are run by corporations with deep pockets and stacked legal teams. That’s why it is important to choose your nursing home abuse attorney carefully, even with all the evidence that helps your case. Choosing one that has sufficient experience with these cases can really increase your chance of winning, as they already know the ins and outs of negotiating a settlement with these nursing homes.
Again, both sides want a speedy resolution, so it is important to decide the terms that you’re prepared to agree on once a settlement is presented.
It’s unfortunate that some nursing homes, are no longer safe havens for our elderly loved ones. They’re supposed to have top-notch facilities and trained personnel to provide everything your grandparents or parents need. If, unfortunately, a loved one gets mistreated and abused in a nursing home, don’t hesitate to get the right lawyer for the job.