Generally speaking, every potential nursing home abuse or neglect case is going to be unique in its own way, and the legitimacy or chances of success will always depend on the facts or circumstances pertinent to that case. For these reasons, it is almost always beneficial to consult with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer about your legal rights and options for pursuing a personal injury claim or lawsuit for damages.
That being said, there are a few common factors that an experienced personal injury attorney will look for when it comes to the evaluation process of any potential nursing home abuse or neglect case.
Bodily Injury Or Suffering
In order for a person to pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit against a nursing home, that person must have justifiable injuries or other damages that resulted from the misconduct on the part of the facility as a whole, or by an agent acting on behalf of the facility.
A person could theoretically bring a claim or file a lawsuit against a nursing home facility for abuse or neglect which did not actually result in bodily injury or another form of physical harm. However, the financial cost associated with the legal process typically dictates that the damages should be serious enough in order to justify that cost.
An experienced nursing home abuse attorney will typically only agree to pursue a claim or file a lawsuit on behalf of an injured victim who has suffered some form of abuse, such as physical or sexual abuse or neglect, and wishes to recover damages from the negligent facility and/or their insurer.
In nursing home abuse and neglect cases, the nursing home facility’s misconduct is typically what drives the level of damages that may be recovered by the victim or the victim’s family. When a nursing home patient has suffered at the hands of serious or egregious misconduct, proving the case in court or during settlement negotiations is much easier to accomplish.
In the most serious cases we’ve seen, facts and details of a case which easily shock the conscience of the average juror provide us with more leverage in settlement negotiations with the nursing home’s legal team and insurance company representatives. In these cases, preservation of evidence and timely contact of eyewitnesses is pertinent to a successful outcome.
The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services regularly investigates reports of neglect, abuse, and noteworthy instances of bodily injury at nursing home facilities throughout the state. When it comes to holding nursing home facilities responsible for negligence or abuse, records of previous violations against the nursing home facility can help prove misconduct.
This is one of the many reasons that it is important for victims and their loved ones to report instances of abuse, neglect, or negligence on the part of a nursing home facility. A paper trail showing a history of misconduct can serve as evidence that the nursing home facility has had issues in the past and has failed to correct those issues. It may be more difficult to prove a case against a facility which has no record of previous violations or discipline.
Contact A Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Of course, these are simply generic guidelines that may apply to certain types of nursing home abuse and neglect cases. If you believe you or a loved one has suffered as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect, it is likely in your best interests to at least consult with an experienced personal injury attorney about the facts of the case and your legal rights. Use the contact form on this page to have your case personally reviewed by Seattle attorney Chris Davis and the rest of our award-winning legal team.