It’s a harrowing possibility; your loved one experiencing the horrors of nursing home abuse. There are no words for the frustration and betrayal you must feel. It’s difficult to articulate and even more challenging to understand. You’re asking questions, and not receiving any satisfactory answers.
Is It Difficult To Sue A Nursing Home?
If you or a loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse and want to seek justice, you may be considering filing a lawsuit. To do so successfully will require the help of an attorney. They will compile evidence and negotiate the terms of a settlement. They will also represent you if your case goes to court. It is a lot easier to sue a nursing home for neglect or abuse when you have the right lawyer.
Things To Consider When Selecting A Lawyer
Are They Experienced?
This isn’t the best case for an attorney to get their feet wet. It’s a complex litigation process with several moving parts and unanticipated outcomes. Someone new to this particular field of counsel may not be prepared for the task at hand.
You need a lawyer that has dealt with these types of lawsuits before. Someone that understands exactly what you’re getting into and the information you need to receive proper justice for your loved one. When you’re researching firms, look into their years of experience as well as testimonials from previous clients. If they can provide the outcome you’re looking for, contact them and ask what are the next steps to have them represent you in your grievance.
If they have experience in this field, they will be well versed in the relevant state and local laws. There are specific statutes of limitations that must be adhered to when filing a lawsuit against a nursing home facility or its employees.
Experienced attorneys will be apprised of any changes in nursing home abuse law that might affect your case. They will have the knowledge to build a case that’s void of inconsistencies or loopholes the responsible party may use to get out of a settlement negotiation or court proceeding. You need someone that can provide the outcome you’re searching for.
Are They Cooperable?
The relationship between a client and their attorney is vital to the strength of an abuse case. They need to be a considerate and good communicator.
Some attorneys may try to take on too much control in this situation. It’s important that they establish a mutual level of respect but not cross over into becoming unyielding or overwhelming. You should feel like you’re in charge of the case and your decisions are being heard.
If you feel like you can’t approach your attorney with questions or concerns, it will only add to the stress of an already difficult situation. They need to be someone that is easily accessible and accommodating.
Your attorney is entitled to their compensation, but their percentage of the payout shouldn’t be their only focus. They need to be advocating for the health and safety of your loved one. Their focus should be on getting you the justice you deserve. You hired them to represent your needs and demands, not theirs.
Your lawyer shouldn’t leave you in the dark about any of the legal proceedings. Make sure they keep you informed at each step in the process.
If at any point in the lawsuit process, your counsel is no longer advocating for your needs, you are within your right to switch to a different lawyer in that firm, or another firm entirely.
Be selective in your search.
Are They Affordable?
It’s important to consider the financial aspect of hiring an attorney. A lawyer will typically be paid a contingency fee, which is usually around 40% of any settlement or judgment from your case. It’s also common for them to ask for an initial retainer that varies depending on the firm and complexity of your case.
The more experience the attorney has, the more expensive they will be. Nursing home abuse is a specialized field that comes with copious amounts of research, evidence, and communication. The evidence for cases like this is very “he said, she said,” it’s your word against theirs. The defendants will come up with excuses for any injuries your loved ones sustained. You’ll need enough medical proof that directly correlates to your claim, and someone to properly articulate the information in a legal proceeding.
Check out my tips for how to track your daily expenses to make it easier to manage your finances
If you can’t afford to hire a lawyer, you still have options. There are many attorneys that offer free consultations and will give advice on your case before deciding whether or not they want to take it on.
If they do decide to accept your lawsuit, then the retainer fee is usually waived as well as any upfront costs associated with building the case.
Choose whoever works best for your budget and needs.
Experienced nursing home abuse lawyers are critical to your success in court. Choose someone that’s willing to advocate for you and the rights of your family. Once you have representation in place, you can seek help for your loved one whether that be abuse therapy or rehabilitation.
Your loved one deserves justice; it’s all about choosing someone that can obtain it for you.