Nursing home abuse is a serious offense and can have devastating consequences on a senior’s emotional and physical health. In the most extreme cases, egregious nursing home abuse or neglect can lead to the premature death of an elderly and frail resident. Seniors with cognitive issues, such as dementia, are particularly at risk, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA).
If your loved one suffered injuries and other damages due to abuse or neglect at their nursing home, you might wonder how to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit. You have the option of filing a lawsuit on your own or working with a nursing home lawyer who will complete all the necessary paperwork for filing your claim. An attorney can also help you build a comprehensive case against a negligent nursing home.
Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
If your loved one got hurt, you do not have to stand for it and can file a nursing home abuse lawsuit. Claimants can take the following steps:
Finding a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Holding a nursing home to account on your own can be stressful, as well as complicated. However, having a nursing home lawyer work for you can take a weight off your shoulders. Your lawyer can help you with all aspects of filing a claim, including preparing the necessary documents, collecting evidence, and negotiating with the nursing home and attorneys.
Preparing the Claim
Once you have found a lawyer, the next step will be gathering evidence and preparing the lawsuit. Your attorney will review documents, such as medical records, witness statements, and any other evidence available. They will also review your loved one’s contract with the nursing home.
Once your attorney determines that you have a case, they will prepare to file suit.
Filing the Complaint
The first concrete step for initiating legal action is filing the complaint. The complaint describes the claims by the plaintiff (you or your loved one) against the nursing home and any other potentially liable parties. You must also attach an affidavit from a qualified expert attesting negligence occurred.
If you do not include a proper affidavit, your lawsuit may be dismissed.
Your attorney will file the complaint in your local court. The defendant will then be served with the complaint. After these steps have been taken, the legal process will take its course. The process can include :
- Gathering evidence and further information
- Interviewing witnesses and expert witnesses
- Preparing to resolve the claim either with an out-of-court settlement or through a trial
Holding the Nursing Home to Account
Nursing home abuse is illegal. Responsibility typically falls on the nursing home, although other parties, such as visitors or other residents, could be the perpetrators of abuse. According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), federal laws, such as the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, are designed to protect nursing home residents from abuse and neglect in a nursing home.
If you can prove that the nursing home did nothing to prevent the abuse or neglect of your loved one, you could hold the nursing home responsible for your relative’s injuries and financial losses. A nursing home can be negligent in various ways, including:
- Not hiring enough staff to assist residents
- Hiring unqualified and untrained employees
- Failing to vet new hires adequately
- Failing to provide adequate security at the nursing home
Neglect and abuse of residents are not always intentional. However, neglect can be the consequence of aggressive cost-cutting to the detriment of residents. Even unintentional mistakes and oversights can potentially put a resident’s life at grave risk.
Compensation in Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuits
Receiving compensation, while it cannot turn back the time, can help with any care and future medical treatments your loved one may need as a result of the abuse. Damages in nursing home abuse personal injury claims can include:
- Medical expenses and future medical bills
- Costs of medical devices
- Transportation costs
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Past and future mental distress
If your loved one passed away due to nursing home abuse or neglect, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit and potentially recover additional compensation that could include:
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of inheritance
We Can Help You File a Lawsuit
Finding out that your loved one suffered mistreatment or neglect can be heartbreaking and infuriating. However, you do not have to struggle on your own. We are determined to help victims of nursing home abuse and could assist you in holding the nursing home to account.
If you intend to file a lawsuit, you should act promptly, as most states set deadlines for personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits. Filing too late can mean that you no longer have legal recourse and will be unable to recover compensation. Call us now for your complimentary consultation at (702) 633-3333.