Filing A Nursing Home Case Is A 4-step Process
Even when nursing home neglect seems evident, building a case that leads to a fair award or settlement is difficult.
Some common questions that often arise, include:
Is the injury or decline in health due to neglect or the residents pre-existing health problems or to what extent did one have an impact on the other?
How do you prove neglect what happened; what is the standard of care; and was the standard met?
How do you determine a dollar value for damages when the victim is elderly and has serious medical conditions?
Building a successful case requires:
- Extensive knowledge of the long-term care industry, applicable law and standards of care.
- Ability to research, understand and manage enormous volumes of medical and financial records.
- Unique resources including a proven network of expert witnesses.
- Experience developing and presenting nursing home neglect cases to juries.
Click "here" to download a helpful checklist.
Pre-suit investigation: The complexity of nursing home neglect becomes apparent immediately in the initial process of applying the facts to Federal and State laws and industry standards of care to determine if there is a basis for a suit.
Medical records (doctors, hospitals and nursing homes) for the resident must be acquired and reviewed not only for the entire time he or she was in the facility, but also for 5 to 10 years prior to admission.
Medical records will run 2,000 to 5,000 pages or more and the researcher will need to understand medical diagnosis, language and abbreviations.We will identify the areas of medical expertise needed to prove the case. In addition, the pre-suit investigation includes researching the facility's history including past violations and lawsuits.
Discovery: In determining the pattern, procedure, policies and people underlying the neglect,Â Pitman, Kalkhoff, Sicula & Dentice will rely on its understanding of the industry as it reviews as much as 10,000 pages of the facility's operational, personnel and staffing, purchasing and financial documents.
Because local nursing homes are often owned by larger state or national corporations, it is common for the process of discovery to extend deep into the records of the parent corporations and their subsidiaries, and to multiple states.
Success in this stage requires knowing what documents to request, how to evaluate operational, purchasing and personnel policies relative to the neglect, as well as how to analyze financial data to determine if the corporation or an individual facility places profit over people.
Preparation for trial: Pitman, Kalkhoff, Sicula & Dentices skill and experience comes to the foreground at this stage as they develop the strategy for the case. Thousands of pages of documentation are sifted down to the key documents supporting the case.
Expert witnesses are prepared and other witnesses are located and served. Key to their success is an understanding of how juries tend to respond to various presentations of nursing home neglect. (Juries are not as automatically sympathetic or generous in the case of nursing home neglect as you might intuitively believe.)
A Pitman, Kalkhoff, Sicula & Dentice will build the case in such a manner that lay jurors will understand the complex medical and legal issues involved, appreciate the magnitude of the neglect and its consequences, and provide a deserving award.
Trial: The fact is, attorneys for nursing homes and their insurance companies know how difficult it is to assemble a strong case of nursing home neglect. But they also know who has the background, resources and commitment to do it aggressively.
Pitman, Kalkhoff, Sicula & Dentices track record demonstrates success as defendants agree to large settlements.
Need Help? Contact Us Today
At the law offices of PKSD, we are Wisconsin's largest nursing home abuse and negligence law firm.
For more information about our services and how we can help you, contact us today toll free at 877-877-2228 or click "here" and fill out our "Free Case Evaluation" form.
At PKSD, we're here to help and your first consultation is 100% FREE.