The decision to pursue legal action against a nursing home on behalf of a loved one can be a difficult one. Without the knowledge and guidance of an experienced attorney, the process may be unnecessarily confusing and frustrating. Nursing home abuse lawsuits can take anywhere from 18 to 24 months, or longer. They require meticulous preparation, hard work, and time to complete.
The accomplished nursing home abuse lawyers at Studinski Law, LLC have built a reputation for excellence in a wide range of cases involving nursing home abuse and neglect. We understand the difficulties of these complex cases and are prepared to help you seek the justice and compensation you and your loved one deserve.
Typically, the process for a nursing home abuse lawsuit includes the following:
The nursing home lawsuit process begins with a free initial consultation with an experienced lawyer and staff. During this stage of the process, you will explain the details of your case and your side of the story. Your lawyer will assess the merits of your claim and explain your rights and legal options.
Once you and your attorney agree to move forward with your claim, your lawyer will begin to build your case, starting with a thorough investigation.
Once the case has been accepted by your attorney, an in-depth investigation will be conducted. Nursing home negligence investigations can be complicated and time-consuming. Your attorney must have the knowledge and resources necessary to gather crucial evidence to support your claim. Studinski Law, LLC has years of nursing home litigation experience, as well as strong relationships with leading experts and investigators who can assist in strengthening your case.
A thorough investigation into the details of your case will enable your lawyer to:
After your attorney has identified the liable party or parties, and depending on the type of facility, the attorney may need to issue a Notice of Claim (NOC) to the potential defendants. NOCs notify the defendants of the injury and your intent to file a lawsuit. An NOC should generally be sent to each defendant 60 days before the lawsuit is filed.
About 60 days after the NOC has been served, if necessary, your lawyer will file a lawsuit with the court. Once the claim has been filed, the defendants are served with the lawsuit and a summons that notifies each defendant of the legal action. Each defendant then has approximately 45 days after being served with the lawsuit to file an answer with the court.
Once your nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuit has been filed, you will be able to gather evidence through the discovery process. During the discovery stage of your case, each side of the case exchanges information with the opposing party. Both sides may request documents and exchange written questions (interrogatories). The parties can take depositions, which involve questions under oath for each other and potential witnesses. The parties can also obtain reports, documents, and depositions from any designated experts from the other side.
Many cases are settled before ever getting to court. Settling a lawsuit before going to trial can minimize costs and still offer the chance to obtain a fair amount of compensation for your loved one’s damages. Negotiations can be conducted quickly, or they can continue over a period of weeks or months. If each party agrees on a settlement amount, an agreement will be drafted and the lawsuit will be dismissed. However, if a fair settlement cannot be reached, you and your lawyer may determine that your best course of action is to take your case to trial.
If the negotiation process is unsuccessful, you and your attorney may choose to take your nursing home abuse claim to court. At this stage of the process, your lawyer will be well-prepared to present your case. The facts in your lawsuit will have been thoroughly investigated, expert witnesses will have been hired, and your most compelling case will be presented. Once each side has had the opportunity to present their case, a judge or jury will decide the outcome of your lawsuit.
Your nursing home lawsuit may not follow the exact steps listed above. In some cases, nursing homes and other care facilities have contract clauses that require a dispute to be resolved through arbitration instead of court proceedings. Arbitration is a type of alternative dispute resolution that is overseen by an arbitrator or arbitration panel rather than a judge or jury.
Unfortunately, you or your loved one may have already signed a document that requires arbitration without even realizing it. It is important to contact an attorney right away to help you determine how best to proceed with your case.
Studinski Law, LLC has substantial experience in nursing home abuse and neglect cases. Our founding attorney, Jason Studinski, is the author of “How to Keep Your Loved One Safe in a Wisconsin Nursing Home.” Our firm has successfully resolved many complex nursing home abuse and neglect claims through litigation and arbitration.
If your loved one has suffered due to the negligence of a nursing home company or its staff, contact the nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Studinski Law, LLC today at (715) 343-2850 to discuss your case for free. We proudly serve Plover, Marshfield, and other areas throughout Wisconsin.