Dealing with any form of nursing home abuse can have a major negative impact on the emotional health of all victims involved. If you’re seeing or have seen a loved one suffering from foul treatment in their residential facility, you’re most likely to be feeling that suffering as well.
No one should have to endure that kind of distress, which is why there are certain steps you can take to realize the rights of your loved one and file a claim. In order to properly file a claim, you should refer to the assistance of a qualified attorney who is well versed in this particular subject.
The Initial Stage
To begin with, you want to check who is responsible for bringing the claim. If your loved one is incapacitated or deceased and cannot make the claim themselves, their spouse or the next person in the family line can take responsibility.
In order to have access to a victim’s necessary documents (medical records, reports, etc.), your attorney will have to identify the person or those who are permitted to make the claim. Since each state has its own laws governing who can file the claim, you’ll have to check with those laws, first. Generally, however, most states allow for a claim to be made by a spouse.
If the one bringing the claim would like to file a lawsuit for any suffering of a deceased victim due to nursing home abuse, then this can only be done through the deceased’s estate. An attorney can help set up an estate if the deceased doesn’t have one, and they’ll also be an efficient source for additional details pertinent to the process.
The Investigative Stage
A skilled attorney will be able to properly and confidentially examine all of the facts of the case, including significant documents. This will help with detecting proof of abuse or neglect, and even tampering with evidence. A competent attorney will have the best medical practitioners reviewing medical information to prepare your claim.
If you try to find all those necessary documents yourself, the nursing home will make it extremely difficult for you to have access, and once you have all the documents, it’ll cost you thousands to copy, scan, ship them, and so forth. Once an attorney gathers these files, they’ll organize them and save you a lot of time—like hundreds of hours—and resources.
Your attorney will ask you for pictures of your loved ones showing any injuries, and they’ll also ask whether someone recently visited them to help with providing more details about the matter at hand. Using all the necessary tools, your lawyer will also look into finding evidence of whether the nursing home had ever been cited for violations of various scales and whether they’ve been part of a lawsuit before. In addition, they’ll look into whether the nursing home had a shortage in staff, too.
The Pre-Settlement/Lawsuit Stage
Once your attorney analyzes all of the gathered information and completes the research phase, which might also include several interviews with loved ones as well as fellow nursing home residents and staff, they will determine if the facts back a legal cause of action. Expert doctors and nurses will be brought in to review the facts, too, to determine whether there is enough evidence of neglect or abuse.
When the investigation process is finalized, the attorney will most probably contact the nursing home and ask for its insurance information. Then, they’ll meet with you and your family to go over the optimal settlement amount. This will later be written up as a demand letter issued by your attorney to the nursing home.
Usually, nursing homes are willing negotiate, but sometimes, they might ask that both parties mediate with a third party before reaching an agreement. This can lead to a settlement, but if it doesn’t, then your attorney will have to prepare a lawsuit.
Call the Law Firm of Eric J. Hertz
As mentioned earlier, it’s absolutely critical to work with an attorney who’s experienced in nursing home abuse. The law office of Eric J. Hertz is highly knowledgeable on everything from the various factions of a nursing home including the standards and regulations it’s governed by. We have a proven track record of success, and can help you with reaching a resolution.