Steps to Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Claim
Elderly loved ones should never suffer from abuse or neglect, if it happens a nursing home abuse claim must be filed. Family members can file a nursing home abuse claim to recover damages for their loved ones’ injuries and other losses, but the process can become very complex. If a family member has been injured or abused in a nursing home or assisted living facility, the steps to filing a nursing home abuse claim are found below.
Hire an Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
It is not required that you work with a nursing home abuse lawyer when filing your claim, but it is wise to do so. An attorney will bring a wealth of knowledge about the law, will have the necessary experience to help you through the process, and will give you the best chance of securing the full amount of damages your family member deserves.
Report the Abuse
While you can file a lawsuit, it is also important to file a complaint with the Division of Quality Assurance (DQA) of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. The DQA provides an online form that allows you to make a complaint easily. Filing a complaint will help ensure no one else becomes hurt due to abuse or neglect.
Like all personal injury claims, those involving nursing home abuse rely on evidence. The evidence you should collect before filing a claim includes:
- Medical records
- Pictures of injuries and other losses
- A written account of what you or your loved one has heard, seen or experienced
- Any documentation provided by the nursing home
The more evidence you can provide a lawyer with during a consultation, the stronger the claim they can build.
Investigate the Abuse or Neglect
Nursing home abuse investigations typically require the help of an experienced attorney. During an investigation, a lawyer will:
- Review the contract between you or your loved one and the facility
- Interview witnesses
- Visit the facility and document the conditions
- Interview any doctor that treated you or your loved one
- Enlist medical experts that can review treatment records and the injuries
No two cases of nursing home neglect or abuse are identical. After reviewing your case, a lawyer will know the quick and decisive actions to take.
Start Legal Proceedings
After conducting an investigation and collecting evidence, a lawyer will initiate legal proceedings. This step involves filing a complaint with the appropriate court. Your claim will include certain information, including the parties in the case, the facts of the case, the legal issues involved, and the types and amount of damages you are seeking.
After the complaint is filed, the nursing home will receive a copy of the complaint and have an opportunity to answer it. Both parties will then start the discovery process before going to trial. However, most nursing home abuse cases are settled out of court.
The Potential for Arbitration
Many nursing homes include an arbitration clause in their admittance packages. Arbitration waives your right to file a lawsuit and instead, you must meet with a third-party arbitrator that will make the final decision on your case. Arbitration is typically more beneficial for the nursing home than it is for injured individuals.
Call Our Wisconsin Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Today
Going up against nursing homes and their insurance companies is not easy. When you need to file a nursing home lawsuit, our Oak Creek nursing home abuse lawyers at Martin Law Office, S.C., can help you make things right. Call us today at 414-856-4010 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.