As people grow older, many are unable to care for themselves and must move to retirement communities. We expect these communities to provide comfort, care, and support, so learning that an elderly loved one has been abused in a nursing home can be devastating. If your loved one has suffered nursing home abuse or neglect, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook can help you understand how to pursue a nursing home lawsuit in Oklahoma.
How to Pursue a Nursing Home Lawsuit in Oklahoma
If you’re wondering how to pursue a nursing home lawsuit in Oklahoma, the following will give you a general idea of what to expect:
Investigating the Facts
The first step involved in pursuing a nursing home claim is investigating the facts. Your attorney will examine the circumstances of what occurred, who was present, the extent of your loved one’s injuries, and the various types of economic and noneconomic losses involved. Investigating what happened is important for identifying all of the potentially liable parties, the various legal claims, and the estimated value of your claim.
Sending a Demand Letter
After your lawyer has investigated your case, he or she will draft a demand letter. This letter will outline your legal claims. It will also demand a monetary amount to settle your claim against the nursing home. The nursing home and the insurance company might counter with a lower amount, dispute liability, or accept the demand. If the demand is accepted, your claim might be settled without having to file a formal petition in court. If the company will not agree to a reasonable settlement amount or disputes liability, your attorney might then file a petition against the defendants in court.
Filing a Civil Petition in Court
The petition is the formal civil document that is filed to initiate lawsuits in Oklahoma. Your attorney will draft the petition and file it on your behalf. This is a legal pleading that includes the various grounds on which your claim is based. You will have to pay the filing fee. Once the petition is filed, the court will issue a summons to respond. You must serve the petition and summons on the defendant. The defendants will then have time to respond to your lawsuit by filing their responses. Once the petition and response have been filed, your case will move into a phase called discovery.
Exchanging Evidence (Discovery)
Discovery in a nursing home lawsuit is a period during which both you and the defendants will be required to exchange all of the evidence that you have. During this phase, you and the defendants might be asked to answer interrogatories. Depositions might also be scheduled.
Negotiating and Preparing for Settlement or Trial
Negotiations between your lawyer and the defense attorney will continue throughout the case. Many cases are resolved after the depositions. Depositions allow both sides to question the witnesses and to see what they will testify to if they proceed to trial. However, if the negotiations do not lead to a successful resolution, your case will go to trial. The vast majority of nursing home abuse lawsuits are settled to avoid a long, expensive trial and the publicity it can generate. If your case does proceed to trial, your attorney will work to prepare you for testifying at trial.
Get Help from the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook
Since the legal issues involved in nursing home abuse cases can be complex, it’s important that you work with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer, like the attorneys at the Law Offices of Craig L. Cook, instead of trying to pursue a claim on your own. We have an extensive understanding of the applicable rules, regulations, and laws involved in such cases. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation by calling 479-783-8000 or sending us a message online.