Nursing homes typically promise family members of elderly loved ones that they will provide proper care for the resident. Unfortunately, not all facilities live up to that level of care, and some family members suffer for it.
Thankfully, people can seek restitution through nursing home abuse claims. For those considering such filings, it is important to understand a few key facts.
The family must legitimize the case
The first step in an abuse case is first determining that nursing home abuse did occur or is occurring, and that the claimant can prove it. One of the greatest aids to a claimant is the state’s nursing home law. An experienced attorney could be another helpful asset. Not only would the attorney have the knowledge of how to present the case, but he or she would also have the means to collect the evidence and secure key witnesses to solidify the case.
The family must take steps before filing a lawsuit
Before the official filing, the claimant must notify the accused party of the intent to file. This gives the nursing home time to look into the claims and to try to address them, if possible. In some cases, the two parties may engage in presuit mediation to try to come to an agreement outside of court. However, if they are not able to agree to a settlement, the case may then proceed to litigation.
Litigation can still result in pretrial settlement
The litigation process begins after the claimant files the official claim and the courts orchestrate the court date. Both parties perform discovery, then undergo court-mandated mediation. During this time, the parties sit in separate rooms, and a mediator liaises between the two parties to try to come to a settlement. If that is not possible, the case goes to trial, where the court determines the final verdict.