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How Nursing Home Abuse Law Firms Can Help
Finding out that an older loved one has been hurt while in a nursing home — a place that you trusted to provide health care — can be frustrating and make you feel helpless. If you suspect that abuse or neglect is happening, you might not know what to do.
If you’re convinced that mistreatment has happened to your loved one in a nursing home, there are a few steps to take.
First, if there are clear signs of abuse or danger to your loved one, call the police. You should also make sure to report suspected elder abuse or neglect to state authorities. If you’re unsure of who to contact, the Center on Elder Abuse can help.
A nursing home law firm is a great next step to making sure that your elder loved one is protected. Not only can an experienced nursing home law firm help get your loved one compensated for their suffering, but they can also be instrumental in ending abusive practices.
While it’s essential to report abuse and neglect, many nursing homes don’t change their bad practices until legal action is taken.
The LawFirm.com team can put you in touch with experienced nursing home abuse law firms who can help you receive compensation and protect other nursing home residents from similar treatment. Chat with one of our experts right now.
Cases Nursing Home Abuse Law Firms Handle
Often, nursing home abuse law firms will have expertise in the areas of law where elder and personal injury laws overlap. Every law firm is different, but you can expect any law firm that specializes in nursing home abuse cases to be knowledgeable about the following case types.
Nursing Home Neglect
Nursing home neglect is an unfortunately common type of elder abuse. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), nearly 95% of nursing home residents have either been neglected or witnessed neglect.
Though less violent than other forms of nursing home abuse, neglect can be just as harmful. A nursing home resident who is neglected can suffer from bedsores, malnutrition, dehydration, denial of medically necessary treatment, and a variety of other potentially deadly harms.
Nursing Home Abuse and Elder Abuse
Elder abuse is any type of harm inflicted on an elderly person while in someone else’s care. Nursing home abuse is specifically the type of elder abuse that occurs in long-term care facilities.
Nursing home abuse can include physical or emotional abuse, sexual assault, neglect, or financial exploitation. Though many families put their trust in the nursing homes or assisted living facilities that care for their loved ones, nearly 1 in 3 nursing homes in the U.S. has been cited for abuse.
Medical Malpractice in Nursing Homes
In some instances, nursing home abuse or neglect overlaps with medical malpractice.
For example, giving a resident the wrong medication could be a combination of all three incidents:
- If the mistake was made in the prescribing or administration of the medication, it may be regarded as medical malpractice
- If the wrong medicine was given on purpose, it may be considered abuse
- If it was a medication error or mistake concerning medical records, it may be deemed as neglect
It’s essential to work with a nursing home abuse law firm that has expertise in medical malpractice as well as elder abuse and neglect so that your attorney is able to determine the right type of case to pursue.
Wrongful Death Suits
Unfortunately, some nursing home abuse can lead to the death of a loved one. Through the actions or inactions of nursing home staff, a nursing home resident may lose their life. In such an instance, the way to hold those responsible for this tragic death is through a wrongful death suit.
You can receive compensation for costs associated with the care of your loved one as well as punitive damages to punish the people who caused their suffering.
How to Pick the Right Law Firm
Expertise on the Law and Nursing Home Abuse
The team of nursing home abuse attorneys at an elder abuse law firm have a thorough understanding of these types of cases. Every state has different laws, and there are federal regulations and protections that must be navigated as well.
It’s not enough to know the law, however. The right nursing home abuse law firm will have a team that knows the topic from all angles. After all, nursing home abuse is about physical or emotional harm — it takes an understanding of the medical and psychological aspects of elder abuse as well as an expert grasp on navigating the legal system to support you and get the compensation you deserve.
With a free case review, you can find out if one of the expert law firms in our network can help you.
Experience & Past Success
You might succeed in a nursing home abuse case with a brand new lawyer fresh out of law school. Then again, wouldn’t you feel better about your chances for a favorable settlement or verdict with an attorney who has been successful in nursing home abuse cases for decades?
Nursing home abuse law is complicated, and the lawyers at elder abuse law firms have experience successfully handling these types of cases.
Nationwide Reach With a Personal Touch
If your loved one has been abused in a nursing home across town, you may think that a local lawyer is the best bet.
On the other hand, if the nursing home is part of a company with headquarters in another state, you might want to find a law firm in that state. That might mean never even meeting any of the lawyers on your case, though.
The best nursing home abuse law firms can actually offer both. With a nationwide network, these law firms can find the most favorable place to file your claim and have representatives near you to provide personal attention and keep you as involved as you want to be.
No Upfront Costs
Whatever law firm you work with should be transparent about any fees and costs involved in pursuing your case. Most of the top nursing home abuse law firms will work on a contingency basis.
A contingency basis or contingent-fee arrangement means:
- You will pay nothing upfront
- You will have no out-of-pocket expenses
- If the law firm doesn’t secure compensation for you, you never pay anything
- If they do secure compensation, they will keep a fraction of the compensation to cover expenses and pay for their work
Most elder abuse law firms will also offer a free consultation to help you understand your legal options before you agree to work together.
What to Expect When Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
Case Evaluation & Filing the Lawsuit
The first step in a nursing home abuse lawsuit is to determine if you have a case that is worth pursuing. Generally, this means figuring out if there’s been abuse and who is responsible.
After agreeing to work with a law firm, their team of experts will begin to gather evidence to build a case on your behalf.
Once there’s a clear case, the elder abuse law firm will determine which court is appropriate and file the claim. It’s essential to file the claim in the right court as a mistake in filing can result in delay or even rejection of your case.
When a lawsuit is filed, the plaintiff — the victim of the abuse and/or their loved one — is sending a message. That message is basically that there has been harm done by the defendant — the nursing home, company, staff, or whoever is responsible for the harm —- and they must compensate the victim for the harm.
Once the lawsuit is filed, the defendant has a certain amount of time to respond. They can either confirm or deny the claims. If they confirm the claims, they agree to compensate the victim, and the lawsuit settles.
If they deny the claims, the case moves forward. Remember that a settlement can be offered at any time during a lawsuit up until a verdict is reached.
Weighing a Settlement Offer
Very few lawsuits actually go all the way through to a verdict. In many instances, the defendant would rather avoid the cost of going to trial and will offer a nursing home abuse settlement.
These costs aren’t just financial, either — a defendant could end up paying for a lawsuit in the cost of litigation, the amount of the verdict award, the harm to their reputation, and the creation of a public record of wrongdoing that can be used in other nursing home abuse cases.
Your attorney and the experienced team at the elder abuse law firm will advise you on settlement offers. Remember that the law firm can’t accept a settlement on your behalf — you must decide whether or not to accept a settlement.
Going to Trial
If no settlement is reached before the trial begins, your nursing home abuse law firm will present the evidence in open court. Very few cases reach this point, and even fewer will get all the way through trial without additional settlement offers.
Your nursing home abuse lawyer will be experienced in negotiating settlements to get you the most compensation possible, even during trial. As juries can be unpredictable, it’s usually worth considering any offer your attorney thinks is appropriate. Though, as mentioned above, you have the final say on accepting a settlement offer.
Finding a Nursing Home Abuse Law Firm Near You
While dealing with the tragic circumstances of nursing home abuse, finding a law firm can seem overwhelming. Our team of experts can try to make this difficult time easier by connecting you with top nursing home abuse law firms that can work with you locally and wherever the case requires you to be.
Our team has helped connect elders and families with elder abuse law firms that have gotten $1 million or more in compensation for nursing home abuse —- call [phone number] and we can help you get started today.
FAQs About Nursing Home Abuse Law Firms
How much compensation can a nursing home abuse law firm get me?
Although every case is different, the law firms we partner with regularly get clients $1 million or more. To learn more about how our nursing home law experts can help with the specifics of your case, get your free case review here.
How much time do I have to contact a nursing home abuse firm?
Nursing home abuse lawsuits are subject to the statute of limitations, which is determined by each state separately. In most states, you have two to three years to file a claim, but in some states it’s only one year.
So it’s important to reach out to a law firm as soon as you suspect nursing home abuse to make sure you have time to hold the people and companies that harmed you or your loved one responsible.
Do nursing home abuse firms take on class actions?
A nursing home abuse or neglect class action would be rare.
In order to qualify for a class action, there must be a lot of similarity between all the members of the class both in how they were harmed and how they should be compensated.
It’s possible that a class action would be appropriate in cases where the harm was financial — imagine a large nursing home company with dozens of nursing homes that was systematically overcharging all residents — but elder abuse firms deal with far more personal injury or wrongful death cases than cases involving purely financial harm.
How does a nursing home abuse law firm get paid?
Nursing home abuse law firms are paid on a contingent fee basis. There are no out-of-pocket costs to clients, and if the firm doesn’t secure compensation, the client pays nothing.