The decision to send your loved one to a nursing home is always a complicated one, wrought with emotion. That’s why it’s especially devastating and infuriating to learn that your loved one was injured because of negligence from the very nursing home you trusted to take care of them.
Fortunately, it is possible to sue nursing homes when their negligence leads to the injury or death of a nursing home resident. This article will walk you through how to sue a nursing home for neglect.
Filing a Nursing Home Negligence Lawsuit — Where Do You Start?
So you’ve learned that your parent, grandparent, or loved one was injured due to nursing home negligence. This is a form of medical malpractice, and a betrayal of the standard of care that nursing home staff are meant to provide. You want to hold the nursing home responsible and receive compensation to care for your loved one. But where do you start?
First, this will require the right paperwork, and second the right legal team.
Compile Documentation for Your Complaint
Your complaint is the beginning of your case. A complaint is a document in which you state to the court how the nursing home’s negligence caused an injury to your loved one and what compensation you seek. You may need to attach documentation to back this up, such as a medical report of your loved one’s injury, images, and any documentation that speaks to the nursing home's negligence.
It’s helpful to keep a log where you record any incidents of suspected neglect and any effort you made to stop or report the neglect. The more specific this documentation is, the better.
Have an Attorney File a Nursing Home Neglect Lawsuit
Once you have the documentation you need for your complaint, take these documents to your attorney and have them file a nursing home neglect lawsuit. The attorney will likely draft the complaint to begin the lawsuit and will coordinate with you about the next steps of the case.
It’s important to have a legal team that cares deeply about getting you the justice you need, as well as a team that has experience with similar cases. This will already be an emotionally taxing process, and the right team can make all the difference.
File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit if Necessary
In the worst case scenario, nursing home neglect could even cause the death of a loved one. This is a devastating blow to you and your family. You deserve to be compensated. In these cases, your attorney will also file a wrongful death lawsuit.
To do this successfully, they will need to be able to prove that the nursing home’s neglect led to the death of the victim. Again, this is where keeping a detailed log can be crucial as the case goes on.
How Difficult Is it to Sue a Nursing Home Facility for Negligence?
It is possible to sue a nursing home facility for negligence and win, but it is a drawn out and complex process. Nursing homes often have measures in place to protect themselves from liability and lawsuits. It often takes medical experts, as well as copious amounts of documentation and evidence to prove that the nursing home’s negligence led to the injury or death in question.
Although legally, you may choose to sue a nursing home facility for negligence without representation, it’s not advisable. An attorney, especially one who handles injury cases and has worked with nursing home negligence cases in the past, can mean the difference between winning your case or feeling as though you’ve been doubly abused by the nursing home.
The Right Time to File a Nursing Home Lawsuit
So, how long do you have to sue a nursing home for neglect? Most lawsuits come with a statute of limitations and every state can vary. When it comes to nursing home neglect, most states require you file the lawsuit within one year of the incident. But that doesn’t mean that you have to rush.
It’s important to make sure you’ve gathered enough documentation to make your case strong. You can work this out with your attorneys to decide the best time to sue.
How Much Can You Receive in Financial Compensation?
When it comes to compensation, it depends on whether the case is settled out of court or whether you win a lawsuit. According to the Nursing Home Abuse Center, the average settlement payment for nursing home neglect or abuse cases in the United States is $406,000. When the case moves to court, plaintiffs can sometimes be awarded upwards of $1 million.
This compensation is designed to cover:
- Emotional suffering
- Medical care expenses
- Punitive damages
- Potential lost wages or funeral expenses
Of course, financial compensation will vary from case to case. In wrongful death cases, there will likely be higher compensation. Punitive damages can vary depending on the nature of the neglect. There is no set standard of financial compensation in these cases.
Here, again, the right nursing home abuse lawyers can help you determine the right amount needed for your particular case.
Have the Right Legal Team Hold Nursing Homes Accountable
Nursing home neglect cases are important for multiple reasons. The nursing home’s negligence has caused your loved one and your family deep pain and suffering, in addition to likely a number of medical bills.
The goal of your nursing home neglect lawsuit is to help receive compensation for that suffering. At the same time, nursing home neglect cases can hold nursing homes accountable, deterring others from committing the same neglect. These cases let negligent nursing homes know, “You won’t get away with this.”
Let The Moore Law Firm help you with your nursing home neglect case. We are experienced injury attorneys dealing with a variety of different types of cases, including nursing home neglect and medical negligence. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you or to set up a free consultation.