The Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit Process in Alabama
An attorney explains how to file a nursing home lawsuit
Thousands of people put their trust in nursing homes to care for their loved ones, but many facilities break that trust. When a negligent nursing facility causes harm to someone you love, you may have recourse through the civil justice system. A nursing home abuse lawyer can help you navigate the legal process from start to finish and look out for your family’s best interests.
Filing a lawsuit against a nursing home in Alabama can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Working with an attorney can often make a meaningful difference in the outcome of your case.
At Shuttlesworth Law Firm, P.C., our legal team is dedicated to protecting the rights of families affected by nursing home abuse and neglect. We deeply understand Alabama’s laws and regulations for the nursing home industry and know what it takes to get our clients the results they deserve. If you suspect your loved one was abused or neglected in an Alabama nursing home or assisted living facility, contact us for a free consultation to review your legal rights and options.
What is a nursing home abuse lawsuit?
A nursing home abuse lawsuit takes legal action for an elder who suffered severe injuries at a nursing home facility because of the facility’s negligence, generally due to abuse or neglect. A lawsuit seeks compensation from the negligent nursing facility for the victim’s damages. In short, a nursing home abuse lawsuit allows victims to seek accountability, justice, and financial compensation for their losses.
Why file a nursing home lawsuit?
A nursing home lawsuit can hold the negligent facility accountable for what happened to your loved one and help your family cover the cost of your loved one’s medical expenses and other damages. Holding the nursing home accountable can also protect other residents from experiencing future harm due to the facility’s negligence.
Moreover, lawsuits are how victims can recover compensation for their losses. Nursing home abuse and neglect can have devasting consequences, including severe injuries and death. A successful nursing home lawsuit settlement or court verdict may include compensation for the following:
- Your loved one’s medical bills.
- Prescriptions and medical devices.
- The cost of doctor visits and physical therapy.
- The cost of moving your loved one to a different facility.
- Your loved one’s pain and suffering.
- In certain circumstances, punitive damages.
If your loved one died in a nursing home, their estate can pursue punitive damages through a wrongful death lawsuit. Note that under Alabama law, a wrongful death claim can only pursue punitive damages, not compensatory damages of any kind.
The key is to get an attorney involved in your case as soon as possible to ensure your losses are calculated correctly and accurately covered in the lawsuit. A lawyer will be able to provide the actual value of your claim and advocate for the maximum compensation you’re entitled to under Alabama law.
Who can file a nursing home abuse lawsuit in Alabama?
If you are the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, you may file a lawsuit. If your loved one died in a nursing home, the administrator of their estate can file a wrongful death lawsuit. Filing a nursing home neglect lawsuit is often the best way to demand justice and accountability, but only a lawyer can tell you if it’s in your interest to do so.
How to file a lawsuit against a nursing home
If you suspect a loved one has been neglected or abused in a nursing home or assisted living facility, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit. Here’s what you should do:
Call a lawyer – Although you are not required to hire a lawyer to file a lawsuit, it is in your best interest to do so. An attorney can launch a thorough investigation into what happened, review medical records, consult with other experts in the field, meet critical legal deadlines, file your lawsuit in the appropriate court, and negotiate for a settlement that meets your family’s needs. If your case goes to trial, your attorney can present a compelling case for the compensation you deserve.
Call the police – Filing a complaint and taking legal action can take a while. If you believe your loved one’s life is at risk or they are the victim of a crime, contact local law enforcement immediately.
Gather evidence – Evidence is important for any case and particularly crucial for a nursing home neglect lawsuit. With the help of a lawyer, an investigation can uncover evidence that supports your claim. Evidence may include medical records, personnel records, accident reports, photographs, and witness testimony.
Filing a complaint – Your complaint will consist of everyone involved in the lawsuit, why you are filing, and the specific claims you are bringing against the nursing home. Again, an attorney can file a formal complaint on your behalf and keep your case moving forward.
Notify the nursing home – Your attorney must inform the nursing home in writing that you will take legal action. That way, there is a record that you formally sent a complaint.
How long does a nursing home lawsuit take?
Nursing home lawsuits are often lengthy, complicated, and contested. Sometimes it’s possible to reach a relatively quick settlement. But if you have to file a lawsuit and your case moves toward trial, it can take 12 months or longer to resolve, depending on your case’s specific details and whether it goes to trial.
If you decide to take legal action, you will have limited time to pursue a nursing home abuse lawsuit. In Alabama, you have two years from the date of abuse to file a lawsuit. In a wrongful death nursing home lawsuit, you have two years from the date of the victim’s death to file.
Justice for your loved one is our top priority
Nursing home abuse and neglect cases are complicated because nursing facilities may deny responsibility and sweep evidence of wrongdoing under the rug. That’s why it is in your best interest to hire an experienced lawyer to help you find the facts that matter and navigate these obstacles.
At Shuttlesworth Law Firm, P.C., we work tirelessly to help people affected by nursing home abuse and neglect. Our goal is to hold negligent nursing facilities accountable, and pursuing legal action is one of the best ways to do that. Contact us for a free and confidential case evaluation to find out how we can help with your potential nursing home lawsuit. Our office is in Birmingham, and we serve families throughout Alabama.