If your loved one was neglected or abused by nursing home staff and you intend to file a claim, you may be wondering whether you will have to go to trial. The idea of facing off against a major healthcare institution is understandably stressful, but you can take comfort in the fact that most nursing home abuse cases are resolved without going before a judge or jury.
Whether yours will be one of them will depend on the circumstances. If the plaintiff signed an arbitration agreement, it may be necessary to resolve the case through arbitration rather than going to trial, depending on the language of the agreement and other factors.
If no such agreement was signed or if the tort in question was not covered by the agreement, it is possible that your case will proceed to trial if a dispute arises. Your lawyer will try to resolve disputes through negotiations, discovery, and perhaps through alternative dispute resolution, but depending on the circumstances, going to trial might be the best option if the opposing party proves uncooperative.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take that might increase your chances of winning fair compensation without having to proceed all the way to trial. Examples include:
Compile All Available Evidence of Liability
What made you suspect the abuse or neglect in the first place? Did the victim exhibit a sudden change in mood or behavior? Did you notice bedsores or unexplained bruises and lacerations?
You should record everything you remember about the incident in question and bring that description to your free consultation with an attorney. You should also bring along any photographs, medical records, relevant contact information (other residents, caregivers, and the victim’s healthcare providers), and any other evidence that might contribute to your case. This will give your legal team a strong starting point for building your claim, which could help them mitigate or avoid disputes.
Hire a Lawyer Who Works with Well-Credentialed Experts
Disputes regarding causation are fairly common in nursing home abuse cases because most victims have preexisting conditions. In other words, the opposing party might argue that the damages incurred were the result of a preexisting injury or illness and not caused by abuse or neglect. If such a dispute arises, it will be important that you have an attorney who works with well-credentialed medical experts who can provide deposition regarding how the injury or death occurred.
Preserve Evidence of Damages
Keep track of all the costs your family incurs as a result of your loved one’s injury or death. This will help your attorney approximate a fair settlement figure and may prevent the opposing party from disputing the value of damages. Save all relevant bills, receipts, and invoices for expenses stemming from the incident, as well as medical records, journal entries, and documentation of psychological evaluations.
Call (727) 821-1500 for a Free Consultation with a Florida Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you want to sue a Florida nursing home for providing substandard care, contact Emerson Straw. Our attorneys have more than 40 years of combined experience representing the injured and their families. Call (727) 821-1500 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free case evaluation with a nursing home abuse lawyer in Florida.