Abuse of the elderly can happen to anyone, anywhere – even in a nursing home. According to statistics, between four and ten percent of seniors aged 65 and above experience abuse at least once a year, and more than 3 million individuals in the United States experience neglect or abuse while in the nursing homes.
Why an Attorney is Necessary
When you want to get help for nursing home abuse, it is always advisable to hire an attorney. Lawsuits filed against nursing homes are often complex since they involve state and federal regulations, wrongful death claims, and specific medical knowledge. To win this case, you will need the verify if the abuse or injury was as a result of negligence or intentional act. All these are legal standards that are well known to the attorney.
Sometimes, the nursing home will try and prevent the victim of abuse from moving to a different facility. In such a case, the attorney can offer guidance and present the victim with other legal options available to them. The nursing home will have their own lawyer, so it’s essential that you have similar guidance or expertise on your side.
State Laws & the Statute of Limitations
Statutes of limitations vary from one state to another. Your attorney will let you know how much time you have after abuse has taken place. Consult with your attorney and make sure you fully understand what the statute of limitations in your states indicates so you don’t take long before filing a claim.
Apart from that, your state could have other laws which determine who can file a claim against the nursing home. Such laws may also indicate the reasons for filing a claim and the amount you can be awarded as compensation. Your attorney will help you to understand your state’s limitation so you can make the right decision regarding your case. They can also take you through the abuse guide so you can know what you are dealing with.
Taking the Case to Court
In the absence of an attorney, many families will find it hard to file their claim, collect evidence, and then proceed with the case in court. Especially in cases where medical expertise of knowledge is involved, it can be challenging for one to win a case if they have not appointed an experienced legal expert.
An attorney can assist you to maneuver the process if both of you (nursing home and the victim of abuse) are willing to settle your case out of court. The legal counsel will read through the agreement and determine if the settlement is fair and whether or not you require a better deal. Once all the options have been availed to you, you can now decide what is best for you and your family.
Nursing homes must never be allowed to get away with neglect or abuse. What’s more, it can be a burden if you are allowed to handle medical bills yourself after an abuse has occurred. Seeking legal assistance will assist you to get the best possible outcome when it comes to handling cases of nursing home abuse.