What is a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer?
A nursing home abuse lawyer specializes in personal injury and medical malpractice in a nursing home setting. They understand the laws that are supposed to protect elderly residents and the right of patients. They advocate on behalf of nursing home residents and their families.
Most lawyers specializing in nursing home cases have experience negotiating with insurance companies to get victims fair settlement amounts. They should also have experience litigating, taking lawsuits to trial when defendants refuse to admit any liability or offer an adequate amount of compensation to cover damages.
When Should I Work with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer?
The most important thing you must do if you suspect or know that someone has suffered mistreatment in a nursing home is to make sure they are safe. This means reporting the incident or the ongoing abuse, removing them from the situation if not resolved, and calling the police if necessary.
Once you have ensured your loved one’s safety, attempts to resolve the issue and recover any damages may stall quickly. If you are unsure what to do next, you need a nursing home abuse lawyer. This professional has experience dealing with insurance company legal teams and taking cases to trial over egregious abuse and neglect cases. The right lawyer can do several things for you and your family:
- Help you understand the laws and the victim’s rights
- Provide options for taking legal action or negotiating compensation
- Investigate the abuse and find evidence to prove your case, even if your loved one is unable to testify
- Estimate what your case is worth
- Maximize damages recovered in a settlement or lawsuit
- Take your case to trial and advocate on the victim’s behalf in front of a jury
- Take all the legal steps for you, including filing a lawsuit
If you are not sure you need a lawyer, don’t hesitate to contact one. Reputable personal injury lawyers offer free initial consultations. This allows you to discuss your case and options with no risk. They can advise you as to whether or not you need to take additional legal steps.
How to Find a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
When looking for a lawyer to advocate for your loved one in a nursing home, narrow down your search to personal injury lawyers. These are attorneys and firms specializing specifically in the kinds of cases that involve nursing home abuse.
Look for a lawyer through referrals from people you know, including trusted doctors or friends who have been through something similar. Check with your state bar association or contact the National Association of Nursing Home Attorneys. When selecting the right lawyer for your family, look for the following characteristics:
- Experience working for victims of nursing home abuse
- Experience negotiating settlements and litigating cases
- Positive references from past clients along with evidence of wins for those victims
- Regular availability so you can reach your lawyer any time
- Resources, such as qualified experts, to investigate your case
- Clarity about fees for services, which should include a contingency payment plan
In some cases, a nursing home personal injury case may involve medical malpractice. A lawyer with expertise in this complicated area of the law can help you understand how this makes the case different and what you need to do next.
How to Work with Your Lawyer for the Best Results
Choosing the right lawyer is the first step in getting justice and recovering damages, but how you work with a firm also influences the results. Make sure your attorney has everything they need to do the best job for your loved one:
- A police or incident report, if available
- Any other documentation from the abuse, such as your notes, photographs of injuries, and witness notes
- Any correspondence with or notes from communications with the nursing home
- Your loved one’s medical records from before and after the abuse
- Their medical bills related to the incident
- Any legal documents that indicate your ability to speak and act on their behalf
When working with a nursing home abuse lawyer, be open and truthful about everything. They need all the details to be the best advocate. Ask any questions you have and make sure you are clear about expectations for the outcome and fees.
A reputable lawyer will never give you an exact outcome or a guarantee, but they should be able to provide you with a reasonable idea of what to expect. This includes the likely result, damages recovered, and what their services will cost.
Nursing home abuse is a terrible situation. It happens far too often and hurts too many people. What you can do as the loved one of a resident is to be more aware of the care they receive and decisions made. Visit often, talk to the staff, and take legal action with a nursing home abuse lawyer’s help if the worst happens.