Have you or a loved one been the victim of nursing home negligence? Learn what to do when filing a nursing home negligence claim. Call us now!
1) Choosing the Correct Attorney
One of the most emotionally significant types of cases that we encounter on a regular basis are nursing home negligence cases. These are cases that arise when a person who is in the care of nursing home workers has been injured because the worker was negligent or careless. In looking for an attorney to handle this type of case, it’s extremely important to have someone who knows how these cases work and has experience handling them. These are not easy cases to work up, and they’re heavily reliant on expert testimony to get a successful result. At The Gunnels Law Firm, we have handled these cases on many occasions, and we know how to get the best possible results for our clients.
Another thing that you need to make sure is that you have an attorney who has knowledge of how the insurance system works. Before beginning to represent victims in these types of cases, I represented insurance companies and defended the people that caused the harm. I have since realized that I was on the wrong side and my skills were put to better use in helping people that need to receive compensation for what they have had to endure. Now I can put that knowledge and experience to use for my clients to help them achieve the best possible resolutions for their own cases.
Finally, as in any type of personal injury case, you must find an attorney who has demonstrated he or she will go to trial when called upon. There are many attorneys who will not go to trial and do not try cases, and insurance companies know this. Those attorneys never get the best possible offers on their cases because insurance companies know they will simply take the last offer.
At The Gunnels Law Firm, we pride ourselves on taking cases to trial and letting juries determine the appropriate value of an injury. This is often the only way to get proper compensation for our clients. We are never going to be known as a law firm who will not try cases, and you can count on us to take cases all the way through trial when it is necessary.
2) Avoid These Mistakes
When we have clients seek our help with potential nursing home negligence cases, they often find that they’ve harmed their case without even knowing it. One thing that we see potential clients do is not report the negligent conduct to the nursing home itself. Nursing homes generally have an oversight staff and risk managers whose job it is to make sure that things are done properly. If you don’t report these things to the nursing home staff, then they never get documented, and when we seek to bring a claim about them later on, it looks like you were simply raising them well after the fact. Reporting and pursuing these types of matters is something that often will curb this careless behavior, and by your actions, you may help people down the line not have to deal with the same problems as your loved one.
Additionally, we see people harm their cases when they delay too long and don’t hire the right attorney. If you hire an attorney who doesn’t know how to handle a nursing home negligence case, you run the risk of evidence being lost and your claim not being preserved in a manner that allows it to be presented later. Make sure you hire the right attorney to handle your case.
3) Understand the Settlement Timeline
When clients come to see us over claims that involve nursing home negligence, we are often asked how long they should expect these cases to take. The answer is that nursing home cases usually take quite a while to resolve. Oftentimes, nursing home cases, because of their nature, are not usually the types of cases that can be resolved prior to filing a lawsuit. These types of cases involve a lot of discovery of information and gathering of evidence to support the claim, and usually involve numerous expert witnesses.
Under Georgia law, a statute of limitations for a personal injury case, such as a nursing home negligence case, is two years from the date of the incident. Once the lawsuit is filed, that process can take quite a while to work through. In general, it’s probably good to expect that those cases may last three to five years from the time of filing the lawsuit before you’re able to get a resolution. While we can often get very good results, they often don’t come quick.
4) Know the Case Value
When we’re called upon to evaluate a nursing home negligence case, one of the first things our client wants to know is the value of the claim. There’s no way to determine this right at the beginning. In order to get to that point, you need to have information about the extent of the injury and the negligence that caused it. If this is an injury the person can fully recover from, it’s going to have a much less valuable resolution to it than a case where the person is permanently injured as a result of the negligent treatment. Additionally, if the negligence was egregious, the value of the case becomes higher as well.
We have to look through all of those things in order to evaluate the value of your case. Once you have discovered all the facts and information, you’re in a better position to start applying what can be recovered in that situation. We look at two different categories of damages.
The first one is special damages, which generally refers to medical expenses and lost wages. These are often easy to determine. The aspect that’s much harder to determine is called non-economic damages. These are things like pain and suffering and the loss of enjoyment of their life. If your loved one has a very limited amount of life left, those claims may be seen as having more value because the time is so short, so that’s a thing that has to be taken into consideration.
While nursing homes generally have plenty of liability insurance to cover their claims, proving liability in those cases is often very difficult to do. In a nursing home case, you’re not going to have the nursing home admitting that they did something wrong. They’re going to have lawyers that are fighting to defend them. They’re going to have experts that they’ve paid to come in and say that they’ve done nothing wrong. The level of persuasiveness of that defense and how a jury might perceive it has a lot to do with what the case is worth as well.
As you can see, there are a lot of factors that go into determining this case value. My advice is that you immediately consult a lawyer who can start making sure your case is preserved in the best possible manner, so it can be presented and get you the most effective outcome.
Have you or a loved one been the victim of nursing home negligence in Georgia and have questions about what to do when filing a nursing home negligence claim?
Contact the experienced Atlanta nursing home abuse attorneys at The Gunnels Law Firm today to arrange a free consultation and case evaluation.
Let our experience work for you.
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