Many people entrust the care of their elderly or disabled loved ones to nursing homes in Arkansas and Oklahoma. While nursing home care might be necessary for people who are no longer able to live on their own, abuse and neglect in these facilities is a devastating issue. If your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, an attorney at the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook can help you file a nursing home lawsuit. How long does it take to settle a nursing home lawsuit? Scroll down to learn more.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Nursing Home Lawsuit?
So, how long does it take to settle a nursing home lawsuit? The timeline depends on the various factors involved.
If the nursing home and its insurer decide to fight your claim or deny liability, it might take several years to negotiate a settlement or win a verdict. If the nursing home and its insurer agree to settle your claim, it could still take several months.
Your attorney will need several months to gather all of the relevant records, investigate what happened, and draft and send a demand letter. Once the insurance company receives the demand letter, it can then make a counteroffer, accept your demand, or dispute liability altogether. If that occurs, your attorney can file a formal lawsuit on your behalf in the appropriate civil court. While your claim might settle at any time before you head to trial, it can take a couple of years for a trial to be scheduled.
Why do nursing home lawsuits take a long time to resolve?
Nursing home abuse and neglect cases are complex, which means they often take more time to resolve than other types of personal injury cases. In general, nursing home negligence claims require significant investigation and also often necessitate the involvement of experts. The investigation will determine what happened in the nursing home, which parties were involved, and the extent and nature of the injuries to the nursing home resident.
Your attorney will likely need to review records from both the nursing home and the medical facility to which your loved one was sent. They might also need to work with a medical expert to evaluate the quality of care the nursing home provided. In many cases, staff members either make errors or fail to follow the residents’ care plans, resulting in injuries. For example, a resident might develop pressure ulcers when staff members fail to turn them regularly. Whenever a nursing home lawsuit involves injuries and medical and legal issues, it will increase the claim’s complexity and take more time.
Do you need an attorney for a nursing home lawsuit?
The federal and state nursing home regulations in both Arkansas and Oklahoma are complex, and it can be difficult for most people to properly analyze and apply the rules to their cases without help from experienced attorneys. While it is possible for people to represent themselves in court in civil matters, doing so is rarely a good idea. Pro se litigants are expected to understand the laws, rules, and courtroom procedures to the same degree as attorneys. If you represent yourself, you might have trouble navigating the complex rules and laws and have difficulty admitting relevant documents into evidence.
An experienced attorney who regularly handles nursing home abuse and neglect claims will have a thorough understanding of the applicable laws and regulations and be up-to-date with any changes that might have occurred. They might also help you navigate the court and litigation process and potentially recover more compensation for you than you might otherwise be able to secure without help.
Talk to the Attorneys at the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook
If your loved one has sustained injuries while staying in a nursing home because of abuse or neglect, we understand how devastating the situation can be. Our attorneys are experienced litigators who have represented many families in nursing home abuse and neglect lawsuits. We strongly believe in holding nursing facilities accountable for their negligent and wrongful actions and helping our clients recover full compensation for their losses. Contact the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook today to request a free consultation by calling 479-783-8000 (Fort Smith), 479-455-2210 (Fayetteville), or 918-912-2132 (Tulsa) or sending us a message online.