If you feel that there has been some inappropriate conduct involving your relative in a nursing home or an assisted living facility, you should err on the side of caution and obtain specialized legal advice. You are not expected to know, let alone understand all of the laws and regulations that may apply in a particular situation. That is a job for a specially trained legal representative who is able to assist you.
Can I Afford to Sue?
Many legal firms understand that these types of nursing home abuse cases can get complicated very quickly, especially dealing with a large corporation representing the nursing home or assisted living facility. You can be certain that the facility has a staff of nursing home abuse lawyers on their payroll. In addition, they know that having a case wind its way through the legal system could involve a lengthy amount of time—time where the money that you had to pay to start the case is out of your pocket.
Because of this, some attorney firms will accept a case on a contingency basis, with no money upfront from you. In other words, the legal fees would be paid when there is a final judgment in your favor. When a law firm agrees to this type of arrangement, they are the ones accepting all the risk, and of course, they will thoroughly evaluate your case beforehand to make certain the odds are in their favor.
Do Most Nursing Home Cases Go to Trial?
The chances of a case going to trial involve a number of variables, including the court calendar, how the defense and plaintiff’s attorneys view their chances of winning, and how committed the plaintiffs themselves are to the case. All of these items increase and decrease in strength as time goes on, so they are in a constant state of flux. For example, the defense counsel may see the case as an easy win at the very beginning, but after a period of time with a number of motions going against them, and a similar lawsuit in another court being decided for the plaintiffs, they might be more anxious to reach an agreement.
More personal injury cases are settled out of court than those that go to trial. With experience, and a view of the evidence for and against each side, our legal team will be in the best position to advise you on how best to proceed.
After the nursing home’s attorneys and your attorneys have a chance to review the strength of their defense against your claim, one side may determine that the other side will present a more convincing case in front of a judge and jury, and decide to offer a pre-trial settlement.
If the nursing home’s attorneys know that they cannot defend themselves against your claims, they will be motivated to settle out of court. That way, they don’t waste their time trying to defend what cannot be defended. Instead, they will save time, energy and their reputations by offering an out-of-court settlement.
A structured settlement is one way of paying out this option. This occurs when both parties agree on a settlement figure, however instead of receiving all the money upfront immediately; the entire settlement is spaced out over a specified period of time. Because of this series of payments, the entire settlement provides financial security for the claimant over that time period.
If either such offer is made, your nursing home abuse attorney would contact you and discuss the settlement terms offered. Your attorney will advise you if the settlement is appropriate. If you and your attorney do not feel that what they are offering is fair or adequate, your attorney will advise you how to proceed.
How long does it take to settle a nursing home abuse case?
We’ve all heard of nursing home abuse cases that took years before they settled or went to trial. Each case is unique. Some cases may settle out of court, quick and clean, while others take much longer. The amount of time it takes to settle your nursing home abuse or negligence case depends on several factors.
Even if your claim of abuse of neglect seems very obvious and easy to prove to you, it may not be. The nursing home’s attorneys may have their own point of view, dispute your facts, and seek to minimize or eliminate their liability. If they find the nursing home’s actions indefensible after months of review, they may offer a settlement to move you away from heading to court.
There is no way to say exactly how long it will take for your case to be settled, or whether it will be settled with or without a trial. There are too many variables involved to know for sure, but your nursing home abuse attorney will be able to advise you about what you can expect in your particular case.