Find out what steps you can take if you or a loved one experienced nursing home abuse.
What Is A Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer?
A nursing home abuse lawyer is a type of specialized personal injury attorney. These lawyers help victims take legal action against facilities that harm older adults living in nursing homes.
A nursing home abuse attorney seeks to prove that:
- The nursing home facility had a legal duty to care for the victim but did not meet the minimum level of care
- Nursing home staff members harmed a resident through negligence and/or intentional acts of violence
- The resident suffered long-term or permanent injuries due to the staff members’ actions
- The resident or their family is owed financial compensation to pay for medical treatment, heal from emotional distress, or pay for funeral expenses
Nursing home abuse lawyers have helped victims and their loved ones recover millions of dollars in compensation through legal settlements and trial verdicts.
The best nursing home abuse attorneys have dedicated their careers to helping people in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other care facilities. They fight to help victims and their families access money for medical bills as well as pain and suffering.
See if you can work with one of our trusted nursing home abuse law firms today. Together, they’ve recovered over $200 million for nursing home abuse and neglect victims.
Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers
Nursing home neglect is one of the officially recognized types of nursing home abuse. Therefore, an attorney who focuses on negligence cases may also be called a nursing home neglect lawyer or nursing home negligence lawyer.
Nursing home neglect occurs when a basic standard of care is not met, resulting in harm to a resident. When a nursing home resident’s needs are neglected, they can be seriously injured or even killed.
Nursing home neglect attorneys helped the family of a 90-year-old woman secure $300,000 in a wrongful death lawsuit. The money was awarded because she developed deadly pressure ulcers after just two months in the nursing home facility.
How A Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Can Help
A nursing home abuse lawyer guides victims through the legal process and helps them access financial compensation for the harm they’ve suffered. Working with an experienced nursing home lawyer gives families a better chance of receiving compensation.
A nursing home abuse lawyer can help with claims related to:
Medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider or facility fails to meet their required duty of care. In a nursing home, this could include making medication errors that cause harm.
Neglect may be at play when nursing home residents are not properly taken care of. Negligence while caring for frail nursing home residents can cause serious injuries, such as stage 4 bedsores or deadly falls.
Physical nursing home abuse is when a resident is harmed at the hands of staff members or other residents. For example, a certified nursing assistant in a California nursing home slammed a resident against the wall in 2021, causing her physical harm.
Sexual nursing home abuse is any type of unwanted sexual contact with a nursing home resident. For example, in 2019, a 71-year-old woman was sexually assaulted by a staff member during a diaper change.
This can occur when nursing home abuse or neglect results in a preventable death. For example, in 2021, a nursing home resident with strict swallowing precautions choked to death after being left alone to eat her lunch.
Additionally, emotional abuse or financial abuse could be red flags that other forms of abuse are occurring. Sadly, statistics show that abuse and neglect in nursing homes are common, with victims being abused in many ways.
“Rates of abuse of older people are high in institutions such as nursing homes and long-term care facilities, with 2 in 3 staff reporting that they have committed abuse in the past year.”
—World Health Organization (WHO)
The best nursing home abuse lawyers have experience handling all forms of nursing home abuse and neglect. Our trusted partners work at reputable law firms across the country and have knowledge of elder abuse laws, access to previous cases, and extensive resources to help clients.
What to Expect When Working with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
When abuse or neglect in a nursing home happens, it can be agonizing for families to handle. Thankfully, you don’t have to face it alone. Working with a nursing home abuse lawyer can help reduce the stress of filing a lawsuit. Below are some things you can expect a nursing home lawyer to do.
Establish the Facts
A nursing home abuse lawyer will first meet with the victim or their immediate family. During this meeting, the lawyer will discuss the alleged abuse or mistreatment, the history of the victim’s nursing home care, and the victim’s mental and physical capacities.
The nursing home negligence attorney will investigate the facts and gather additional evidence to support the case.
This includes medical records, witness statements, and any photographic evidence. The lawyer will use this evidence to support the claims of nursing home abuse that the victim has reported.
Navigate Federal and State Laws
Different laws affect how, when, and where someone can file a nursing home abuse lawsuit. Skilled lawyers know local, state, and federal nursing home laws that can affect case filings.
“Under international human rights law, everyone, including nursing home residents, has the right to the highest attainable standard of health and to an effective remedy for violations of their rights.”
—Human Rights Watch
File the Case
The next step is to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit on the victim’s behalf. When this happens, the victim or their family becomes the plaintiff.
The lawsuit must be filed in the proper court system, and the defendants (those being sued) must be notified with formal documents. A nursing home abuse lawyer can ensure these critical steps are taken without mistakes or delays.
Investigate the Case
During what is known as the discovery phase, both legal teams collect and organize information to build the strongest case possible. This may involve witnesses giving testimonies to each legal team.
Negotiate a Settlement
Most nursing home abuse cases rarely go to trial. Instead, both parties usually reach a settlement that awards the plaintiff a financial payout to close their case. Skilled nursing home abuse lawyers will work hard to negotiate the highest settlements on behalf of their clients.
Go to Trial
In the unlikely case when a settlement cannot be reached, it goes to trial. During a trial, a judge or jury will decide on a verdict after hearing the facts presented by each side. This includes how much money (if any) will be awarded to the plaintiff.
Lawyers representing each side will try to resolve the case in the most favorable way for their client. In some situations, the side that loses the trial may be able to file an appeal to overturn the ruling.
Elder abuse attorneys work to prepare a strong case in the event the case goes to trial. They also update their clients on the status as the trial progresses since some cases can continue for years.
Signs You Need a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If you or a loved one was harmed in a nursing home, you might not know for sure if abuse occurred or if an elder abuse lawyer is needed. However, it never hurts to look into your legal options.
You may need an elder abuse attorney if:
- A resident’s behavior or mood has suddenly changed for the worse
- A resident has unexplained injuries (bedsores, broken bones, genital bruising)
- A resident hasn’t received proper medical treatment for wounds or illnesses
- Staff/caregivers have made serious health care mistakes (medication errors, etc.)
- You notice signs of neglect in a loved one (malnutrition, weight loss, dehydration)
- Your loved one wound up in a hospital after staying in a nursing home
- You and your family now face financial hardship due to a resident’s injuries
When in doubt, get a free case review to see if possible warning signs of nursing home abuse or neglect may warrant legal action. Our Patient Advocates can see if you are eligible to work with a nursing home abuse attorney.
Working With a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you’re looking to work with a nursing home abuse lawyer, there are a few different ways to make the process easier.
When speaking with a prospective nursing home abuse lawyer:
- Be transparent and open about the facts in the case
- Compile all available evidence, including the history and timeline of abuse or neglect
- Research the law firm to see if it has successfully handled past nursing home lawsuits
Remember, working with an experienced attorney with your best interests at heart is much easier than filing a lawsuit yourself. If you try to file a lawsuit on your own, you could make mistakes that delay the case or cause it to be rejected.
How Much Does a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Cost?
Top nursing home abuse lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means they charge no upfront fees for their services. Further, they do not get paid unless you win the case.
In these fee arrangements, elder abuse lawyers usually take a percentage of the winnings from a settlement or trial verdict to cover their legal costs.
Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers by State
Nursing home abuse laws vary by state and can affect how and when you file a lawsuit. These laws include statutes of limitations, which are state deadlines placed on how long you have to file a claim. If you miss the deadline, you may be forever prevented from taking legal action.
States with high rates of nursing home abuse include:
While these states are known for higher rates of nursing home abuse or neglect, it tragically happens everywhere. Chronic understaffing in care facilities is a global crisis that puts the well-being of vulnerable residents at risk for harm.
You can find attorneys in your state by working with a national nursing home abuse law firm. These firms have the resources to help clients across the country.
Find a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Near Me
In a perfect world, long-term care facilities treat all residents with the respect and care they deserve. Unfortunately, older adults who fall victim to nursing home abuse may carry physical and emotional scars for the rest of their lives.
By working with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer, residents and their families can recover from the trauma and afford necessary medical care.
Get a free case review today to learn about local nursing home abuse lawyers in your area. Our team can provide you with key information right now.
FAQs About Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
What does a nursing home abuse lawyer do?
Nursing home abuse lawyers handle much of the work that comes with a lawsuit. They can file a lawsuit on behalf of a victim or their family and represent their best interests as the case moves forward.
The overall goal of a nursing abuse lawyer is to secure compensation from those who harmed an older person.
What kind of lawyer can sue a nursing home?
Personal injury lawyers who handle nursing home abuse cases are the best option for those looking to file a nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuit. These lawyers have the experience, resources, and dedication needed to maximize the value of your case.
General personal injury lawyers may not know how to build the strongest case possible. This could mean victims could wind up with no compensation or less money than their case is worth.
How much does it cost to work with a nursing home abuse attorney?
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means they charge no upfront fees for their work. They will only get paid if they secure compensation for their clients.
What types of cases do nursing abuse lawyers handle?
Nursing home abuse lawyers can take on many different nursing home abuse cases. This includes cases involving wrongful death, physical abuse, sexual assault, and neglect.