The decision to place an elderly loved one into a nursing home is never easy. Families trust the staff to care for their loved ones, but assisted living facilities do not always provide the safe environments that families expect. If you discovered your loved one was abused by personnel at a nursing home facility, you might be wondering how to hold negligent parties accountable.
The decision to file a civil lawsuit against a nursing home can be difficult. Before filing a claim on behalf of your loved one, we recommend becoming familiar with the Mesa nursing home abuse trial process to avoid frustration and confusion. An experienced nursing home attorney could provide you with the legal guidance needed to navigate these steps.
In Mesa, the nursing home lawsuit process begins with an initial case evaluation consisting of a consultation and an investigation of the claim. A skilled attorney could gather and evaluate the details of the abuse and the resulting injury. Once it is determined that the act of abuse, neglect, exploitation, or wrongful death occurred as a result of a nursing home staff negligence or willful conduct, the lawyer could start gathering evidence in support of the claim.
In addition to the attorney’s investigation, the loved one should also provide any documentation of abuse or neglect. Nursing home abuse comes in several different forms and the evidence available will vary. Helpful documents may include medical records, accident reports, photos of the injuries, and witness statements. Once the investigation occurs, the lawyer could review all the evidence and facts surrounding the incident and pursue case settlement or proceed to trial.
In elderly resident abuse cases, there will often be a period of settlement negotiations to determine whether the parties can come to an agreement instead of going to trial. In some cases, the defendant will settle without going to court if the evidence presented by a claimant is overwhelming. However, if the two parties cannot agree on a fair settlement amount, the family of the elderly resident may need to take their nursing home abuse case to court.
Cases typically go to trial only when there is a genuine disagreement regarding the facts of the case. To begin the trial process for a nursing home abuse case in Mesa, an individual must first file a claim in court within the statute of limitations. Under Arizona Revised Statutes §12-542 a plaintiff has two years to file a lawsuit.
Several civil claims could be filed against an assisted living facility, including negligence, breach of contract, medical malpractice, and wrongful death. Proving that the nursing home staff deviated from the standard of care first requires defining those legal standards. Identifying relevant statutes and regulations are an essential part of the nursing home abuse trial process to prove that the facilities failed to meet the standard of care.
For example, under Arizona personal injury laws, a claimant must prove at trial that the defendant was negligent by establishing:
Different civil claims require different standards to be met. An experienced attorney could determine what type of claim a case falls under and what elements need to be proved to be successful.
After establishing a defendant acted negligently, the next step is to pursue damages. Elderly residents who suffered abuse could recover compensation for economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. An experienced attorney could help determine what damages are available to compensate for the nursing home abuse.
Navigating and filing a civil case alone can be difficult. Speaking with a compassionate attorney could help you and your loved one be successful in court. A lawyer could explain the Mesa nursing home abuse trial process and answer any questions you may have. Schedule a consultation today to discuss your options.