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Dealing with your loved one being abused or neglected at a nursing home can be an emotional time. Individuals and families who are pursuing this type of legal process may not have anticipated some of the challenges that they might face or even know how to file a nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuit. When you know what to expect in a nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuit, you’re more able to plan ahead and better support your case.
What to Expect with a Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Case
First of all, it’s important to expect a rather long timeline when it comes to bringing a nursing home abuse or neglect case forward. These legal processes do not happen quickly. It’s easy for families and advocates to become discouraged and give up, or to take their eye off the ball as time goes by.
By doing some of the more difficult research upfront, such as documenting the abuse you currently observe or have recently observed, you can build a stronger case and stay more engaged while waiting for a conclusion. For reference, experienced nursing home abuse attorneys estimate that cases can take 18 to 24 months on average to resolve, but sometimes take much longer.
Many of these cases will not be resolved with a jury verdict. Instead, they will eventually end in some sort of settlement out of court. That settlement, again, can take a long time to secure, because defendants or accused parties will fight accusations with their own legal representation.
It’s also important to expect the burden of discovery to continue for quite a while. These cases do not go forward based on a simple claim; lawyers have to conduct extensive research and gather a lot of data to find evidence to prove a case. If you’re wondering how to find a nursing home abuse or neglect lawyer, schedule a consultation with Solomon & Relihan’s attorneys about the best way to handle and support a nursing home abuse or neglect case in Arizona.
What Steps to Take with a Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Lawsuit
Solomon & Relihan attorneys advise that documentation and evidence come first. Before bringing a nursing home abuse case, families and caregivers should review the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect against a nursing home facility or other party should take place. Retaining a lawyer should happen early on in the process. That way, attorneys can provide advice on both the legal process as a whole and each step of a client’s claim
Preparation and Filing
The preparation stage precedes the official filing of one of these cases in court.
After filing comes the process of discovery. At this stage, attorneys will work to gather additional information, either through depositions, discovery requests sent to the nursing home, or chart review. Like other kinds of cases, these cases will move forward based on clear, tangible types of evidence of abuse or neglect.
Much of the help that families first get with nursing home abuse cases comes from state offices. In Arizona, these state agencies provide assistance:
The Federal Bill of Rights for Nursing Home Residents:
A competent and professional nursing home abuse law firm can get you more information and help you to fine-tune a strategy for moving forward with a nursing home abuse or neglect case.
Martin J. Solomon is a principal at Solomon & Relihan PC and has been licensed to practice law in Arizona since 1970. He practices exclusively in the area of personal injury litigation, with an emphasis on nursing home abuse and neglect. Martin is a graduate of the University of Arizona College of Law, a past president of the Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, and has served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Arizona Center for Disability Law and the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest. He is a member of the Nursing Home Litigation Group in the American Association for Justice (formerly the American Trial Lawyers Association), the National Citizens’ Coalition for Nursing Home Reform and the Maricopa Elder Abuse Prevent Prevention Alliance.