Nursing homes are supposed to be safe and nurturing places for the elderly, but unfortunately, it is not always the case. Nursing home abuse is a serious concern for families with elderly loved ones in long-term care facilities.
When you suspect that your loved one has been mistreated, neglected, or abused in a nursing home, it’s time to take action. One of the first steps is to contact a nursing home abuse attorney. This article outlines the steps you should expect your attorney to take to protect your loved one.
Step 1: Investigation and Evaluation
The first step a nursing home abuse attorney takes is to investigate and evaluate the case. This includes gathering evidence, reviewing medical records, and interviewing witnesses. Your attorney will want to know about the physical, emotional, or financial abuse to determine whether there is a case for nursing home abuse.
They will also ask about any signs of neglect, such as bedsores, malnutrition, dehydration, and unclean living conditions. The goal is to determine whether your loved one has been abused or neglected and, if so, to identify the responsible parties.
Step 2: Filing a Complaint
Once your attorney has evaluated the case and determined that nursing home abuse has occurred, the next step is to file a complaint. The complaint will be filed with the appropriate state agency or court, depending on the severity of the abuse and the state laws.
This complaint will contain the details of the abuse, including the parties involved and the specific legal claims being made. The nursing home will have a chance to respond to the complaint, after which the case will proceed to the discovery phase.
Step 3: Discovery and Depositions
During the discovery phase, your attorney will request documents and other evidence from the nursing home and other parties involved in the case. This phase also allows the nursing home’s defense attorney to request information from your attorney.
Your attorney may also depose witnesses, including nursing home staff and administrators, to obtain information about the abuse. Depositions are interviews conducted under oath and recorded by a court reporter. The information gathered during the discovery phase is used to build the case.
Step 4: Negotiation and Settlement
In many cases, nursing home abuse cases are settled out of court. Your attorney will negotiate with the nursing home to potentially reach a settlement that compensates your loved one for their injuries and damages.
This may include compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages. If a settlement is reached, your attorney will help you understand the terms of the payment and ensure that the nursing home follows through with its obligations.
Step 5: Trial
If a settlement cannot be reached, your attorney will prepare your case for trial. This includes selecting a jury, presenting evidence, and arguing your case in court. Your attorney will work to ensure that your loved one receives the compensation they deserve for the abuse and neglect they have suffered.
The trial will allow your attorney to present the evidence gathered during the investigation, including witness testimony and medical records, to prove that abuse occurred and the nursing home was responsible.
Step 6: Appeal (if necessary)
If the verdict is not favorable, your attorney may file an appeal. An appeal is a legal process in which a higher court reviews the decision of the lower court to determine whether any legal errors were made.
If the appeal is successful, your loved one may be awarded a new trial or a settlement. An appeal can be a lengthy process, and it may take several months or even years to resolve the case.
Contacting a nursing home abuse attorney is a critical step in protecting a loved one. Your attorney will investigate the case, file a complaint, negotiate a settlement, and, if necessary, take your case to trial. It is important to remember that nursing home abuse is never acceptable, and those responsible should be held accountable for their actions.
If you need a nursing home abuse lawyer, turn to Circeo Law Firm. Our award-winning Kentucky injury attorneys will aggressively advocate for justice if you or a loved one were injured due to someone else’s negligence. Get a free consultation.