According to a federal government report, more than 90% of U.S. nursing homes are understaffed. Because of this, many of these homes are providing substandard care and residents who live in understaffed nursing homes are more likely to suffer from bedsores, weight loss, malnutrition, dehydration, and infection.
In situations where understaffing and other examples of neglect cause harm to a patient, the patient is entitled to sue for compensation. Depending on the specific situation, the patient and his family may be able to get compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and death if caused by the facility.
To successfully file a claim against a nursing home, a patient must hire a lawyer with experience with nursing home abuse cases. A high quality and experienced lawyer will provide the best chance that a patient and his family can get the compensation that they deserve.
Nursing home abuse cases are a complicated area of personal injury law. A plaintiff will need an experienced lawyer to prove that the nursing home was negligent. In order to prove negligence, the lawyer will have to prove:
Once you decide that you would like to file a lawsuit, you need to get the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer, especially one who specializes in nursing home cases, will gather information and records, research relevant regulations and laws, and begin filing the lawsuit. It is also important to consult with a lawyer because he can help you evaluate all your legal options and determine if a lawsuit is in your best interests.
In order to successfully build and argue this case, you will need all the relevant documents. This includes medical history and all the medical documentation that was recorded while at the nursing home. Your attorney will also need to speak with the physician and others who can provide insight into what happened and why it happened.
After you have gathered enough information and are ready to sue the nursing home, your lawyer will file the lawsuit in court. At this point, the defendants, usually the nursing home and possibly their employees or third party employees, will be served. It may take longer than you realize before you can officially file the claim, so it is important that you contact a lawyer immediately so that you can file your claim before the statute of limitations is over.
After the lawsuit has been filed, your attorney will begin the discovery phase where he will gather pre-trial information such as depositions from witnesses. At this point, your attorney will also issue subpoenas for necessary documents that he was not able to access before filing the claim. He will also consult medical experts in order to develop reasoning he can use in court to prove that negligence was the cause of the injury.
There are a few different ways that your nursing home lawsuit may end including: mediation, dismissal, trial, or settlement. A large amount of nursing home lawsuits are settled before going to trial. In fact, only 8% of cases ever go to trial. Your lawyer will help you during this phase, and if mediation or settlement is an option, he will help you determine which way is the best way to proceed.
“Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes.” Nolo. Nolo. Web. 28 May 2013. http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/elder-abuse-nursing-homes-30162.html
“Interagency Coordination.” Center for Elders and the Courts. National Center for State Courts. Web. 28 May 2013.http://www.eldersandcourts.org/Elder-Abuse/Elder-Abuse-Assessment-Resources-and-Coordination.asp&xgt;
“Judicial System.” National Center on Elder Abuse. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Web. 28 May 2013. http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/Stop_Abuse/Partners/Judicial/index.asp&xgt;
“Nursing Home Abuse Increasing.” CBS News. CBS News, 11 Feb 2009. Web. 28 May 2013.http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-201_162-304038.html