If you are headed into the ordeal of a nursing home lawsuit, you might be apprehensive because you don’t know what to expect. Speaking with your attorney is a great way to obtain more information so you can be prepared for what’s next, but the following are some steps your lawsuit might entail.
After you lawyer takes on the case, he or she will begin to conduct an investigation into what happened to your loved one in the nursing home. In many cases, the misconduct is due to medical malpractice, and the lawyer can determine if that is so with your case. It could take some time for the investigation to conclude, as the lawyer’s team will collect health records, witness statements, physician statements and more.
The Notice of Claim
Before you can file the lawsuit, your lawyer will help you put together a Notice of Claim. The NOC will go to any potential defendants and will notify each that you plan to file a lawsuit. You generally have to get this done at least 60 days before filing.
It’s possible you can avoid going to court by settling the case through negotiations and mediation. It could take some time for you and the negligent party to settle on something that you both feel is fair, but doing it this way could reduce costs, and could also reduce the amount of time spent at trial. The other party could reject everything offered, which could make negotiations hard or impossible, and in that case, a mediator might step in.
If your case goes to mediation, that party is basically trying to help you settle outside of court, as a last-ditch effort. If the mediator can get both parties to come to an agreement, the lawsuit will be settled. If not, you’ll move ahead to court.
In a nursing home negligence trial, there may be witnesses that come forth to present the case before a judge and/or a jury. Trials could take quite a bit of time, but it could conclude in just a day or two as well. The jury or judge will make a verdict at the end of the trial, and that will be the final settlement.
This whole process could take anywhere from 18 months to a few years, depending on the complexity of the case and how cooperative each side is during negotiations. If other victims come forward, it could also complicate the case, making it possibly take longer.
What to Do Today
If your loved one has been suffering due to negligence in a nursing home, it’s time to take action and get your loved one out of there. Contact your nursing home lawyer today to learn what you should do next.