Are you concerned a loved one may have suffered abuse in a nursing home?
According to the WHO, 1 in 6 nursing home residents experienced a form of abuse. Sadly, this horrific problem is not uncommon and can have devastating consequences.
If you suspect criminal actions, it’s essential to act quickly. We will explore what an attorney can do to help in the immediate and long-term. Their involvement can range from investigating abuse to finding a new facility.
If you or someone you know is experiencing nursing home abuse, don’t hesitate to seek legal help. Read on to learn how a lawyer can help stop the facility from causing more harm.
Investigate the Abuse
A nursing home abuse attorney will scrutinize the facts to determine if abuse occurred and who is responsible. This investigation can be time-consuming, but it needs to happen to seek justice.
The attorney will examine information about the nursing home, including its ownership, staff, and policies. They will also get medical records and other documents related to the abuse.
Interviewing staff members is another tactic to obtain information about the suspected abuse. This process may include nurses, aides, and other employees who know the resident.
Moreover, your lawyer may examine the living conditions, including their room and common areas. They may find signs of neglect, such as unsanitary conditions or bedsores.
File a Lawsuit
When filing a lawsuit for nursing home abuse, a lawyer will typically take the following steps:
- Preparing a formal complaint that outlines the allegations. It also specifies the damages sought.
- Serving the document to the nursing home and any other defendants. This procedure typically involves a process server delivering it in person.
- Assembling a plan for the trial. This phase includes preparing witnesses, gathering further evidence, and developing legal arguments.
Negotiate a Settlement
Your attorney will prepare for mediation by reviewing the evidence and developing arguments. They will also prepare the resident and their family for the process.
Next, the parties involved will select a mediator experienced in nursing home abuse cases. They are usually a neutral, impartial, and distinguished individual. In most circumstances, this person is an ex-judge, attorney, or highly-trained counselor for the job.
Your attorney will present evidence to the other parties during the mediation process. Medical records, witness statements, and other relevant documentation will play a central role.
Generally, you might not do much talking. Your lawyer will negotiate to reach a fair and just settlement.
When mediation fails, the next step is a bench or jury trial. While it is less likely, the facility still has the option to settle anytime before final deliberations.
Go to Trial
The mechanisms of a trial take years to learn and navigate. They can also seem confusing when your attorney has to debate their nuances with the judge. While it may seem tedious, they must fight for every advantage possible. Even a smaller series of wins can snowball into a significant victory.
An overview of each phase they will manage during a nursing home abuse case includes the following:
- Jury Selection: identifying impartial individuals to ensure the resident receives a fair hearing.
- Opening Statement: both sides will outline the evidence and legal arguments.
- Evidence Presentation: demonstrating the evidence to support the case, such as medical records and witness testimony.
- Cross-Examination: challenging the credibility of witnesses.
- Expert Testimony: descriptions of the resident’s injuries by medical experts.
- Closing Argument: giving another summary of the evidence and making a final plea.
- Verdict and Compliance: receiving the final decision and determining the next steps.
Find a New Nursing Home
Your attorney may offer to evaluate specific needs and preferences. The factors they examine may include location, level of care, and amenities. They will take these details and research potential nursing homes to find options that meet the resident’s needs. This service may involve reviewing reputations, visiting facilities, and talking to staff members.
Your attorney can also review the contracts for the new nursing home to ensure they are fair. There can be clauses that may be harmful to your loved one’s best interests. After such a traumatic experience, the firm may want to ensure your loved one receives the services they deserve.
Schedule a Consultation With a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Near You
A nursing home abuse attorney can provide invaluable assistance during this time. They also have the legal tools and knowledge to hold a facility accountable for its actions. If you suspect your loved one has been a victim, take action by scheduling a consultation.