After discovering that your loved one experienced neglect or abuse in a nursing home, you might have questions about what to do next. One of those questions should be if you have a case or not. It can be hard to decide what to do if you suspect neglect or abuse. This information will help you decide if you should start the process of a legal case. You can do this to take action against your loved one’s abuser.
When filing a lawsuit, the ultimate goal is to remedy the damages caused due to neglect and abuse. The nursing home can only be liable if you can prove the following factors:
- The owner of the home or employees breached a duty of care owed to the injured person.
- The injury got caused by that breach.
- The nursing home owner or their employees’ conduct caused the injury.
These elements refer to the staff, visitors, and residents. Anyone who has caused an injury to your loved one could be held responsible for these things in a lawsuit. If you can prove these three things, you do have a case for nursing home neglect and abuse.
Steps in the Case
After determining that you can prove these three factors, there are four steps in a nursing home case. The first is a pre-suit investigation. A nursing home neglect and abuse case is complex. You will realize this during the pre-suit investigation. You will have to apply the facts to federal and state laws to determine if there is a basis for a suit. Also, you must get the medical records for your loved from while they were in the nursing home. Also get records from five to ten years before living in the nursing home.
The purpose of these records is to see how your loved one’s health changed while in the home. These records can be anywhere from 2,000 to 5,000 pages long. You need the help of someone who understands the medical language if you don’t understand it. The pre-suit investigation also includes the facilities history with past violations and lawsuits.
The second step in the case is discovery. Many times, a larger organization owns a local nursing homes. Because of this, this step could extend deep into the records of the larger organization. To be successful in this step, you must know which documents to request. You have to know how to evaluate policies that are relevant to the neglect or abuse. You also have to know how to analyze data to determine if the facility places profit over certain people.
The third step is to prepare for trial. This is where your lawyer will come into play. The lawyer will go through thousands of pages of documentation to get the key facts. They will prepare expert witnesses and other witnesses that will help the case. The key to their success is to have a good understanding of how the jury might respond. They are not always as sympathetic as you would assume. Your lawyer will build your case so that the jurors understand the complicated issues involved.
The last step is the trial. The nursing home’s attorneys know that it will be hard to build a strong case. But, they also know where they can go to get a good case that will support them. Many cases will end with the defendants agreeing to a large settlement before the end of a case. A settlement is when you and the nursing home come to a compromise. You agree on an amount of money that is going to remedy the damages caused to you and your loved one. This was the purpose of the lawsuit in the first place so this is a good outcome.
Your Loved One’s Case
Deciding if you have a case is hard if you have never been in this situation before. Now that you have this information, you can determine if your neglect and abuse issue can be taken to court. If you decide to take this route, you are going to want to hire a lawyer with a good background on this topic. This lawyer will be able to help you get the best result out of a case. This will benefit you and your loved one after going through this terrible time.