How Long Does a Fort Lauderdale Nursing Home Case Take to Get a Settlement?
Gregg Hollander | March 18, 2022 | Nursing Home Neglect & Abuse
It could take years for a nursing home case to settle once you file a notice of claim. The accused nursing home generally does not admit to wrongdoing. You must prove that the nursing home and its staff members or other parties were abusive or negligent. Continue reading for more information about the timeline and phases of a nursing home case.
What Factors May Impact the Timeline Of a Nursing Home Case?
Many factors affect the timeline of a nursing home abuse case. Even before a lawsuit is filed, you need to investigate the allegations of nursing home abuse. That could take several months to a year, depending on the circumstances.
Additionally, one or more government agencies may conduct abuse investigations of a nursing home, which may provide evidence for your case.
Your loved one’s injuries may also impact the timeline of a nursing home case. You shouldn’t settle a nursing home abuse case until your loved one has completed medical care. Therefore, it is crucial to know the extent of the injuries and damages caused by the nursing home to ensure that a settlement demand includes all economic damages and non-economic damages caused by the abuse or neglect.
Each case is different, so your loved one’s nursing home case could settle before you file a lawsuit or go to trial. A case may settle within a few months without the need for a lawsuit. However, if the nursing home abuse case involves wrongful death or severe injuries, it could take several years to resolve.
What Is the General Timeline for a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit?
Florida law does not set a definite timeline for a nursing home abuse case. Each case proceeds through the judicial system based on the unique factors of the claim. However, there are phases that each case goes through before it reaches trial.
The initial investigation begins when you hire a Fort Lauderdale nursing home abuse attorney. The attorney investigates the allegations of abuse and neglect. Your lawyer works to gather evidence of abuse that might include:
- Medical records
- Videos and photographs of abuse
- Statements from eyewitnesses, staff members, family members, other residents, and any other parties involved
During this time, your lawyer files a notice of claim with the nursing home and its insurance provider. Generally, the insurance company and the nursing home investigate the allegations simultaneously.
If overwhelming evidence proves abuse or neglect, the nursing home or insurance provider may agree to settle the matter before a lawsuit is filed.
Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
The Florida statute of limitations for filing a nursing home lawsuit is two years from when the incident was discovered or should have been discovered. However, if you can show that there was intentional misrepresentation of facts or fraudulent concealment that prevented the discovery of an injury, the filing deadline can be extended.
After you file a complaint, the defendants have 30 days to respond. They may request a 30-day extension to respond, which the court usually grants. After the initial pleadings are filed, you will enter the discovery phase of the lawsuit.
The discovery phase could last several months. During this phase, each party continues gathering evidence. Several tools that help gather evidence include:
- Depositions (testimony under oath outside of court)
- Interrogatories (questions answered under oath by the other party)
- Requests to Produce Documents
- Requests to Admit
The discovery phase allows each party to determine the strength and weaknesses of the other party’s case by looking at their evidence before trial. The other party may refuse to provide documents or information. If so, you may need to schedule hearings to request the court to compel the party to respond.
Delays during discovery can lengthen the timeline of a nursing home case. For example, it could take several months to obtain a hearing date for motions, and the availability of witnesses for depositions could extend the timeline.
The parties to a lawsuit may negotiate a settlement after the discovery phase. After reviewing the evidence alleging abuse or neglect, the insurance company and the nursing home may realize that they don’t want to take their chances at trial. In some cases, the parties may agree to mediation, which could take several months.
Pretrial Motions and Trial Preparation
If the parties cannot settle the matter through negotiations, the case proceeds to trial. Each party may file several pretrial motions to settle matters before the trial begins.
Pretrial motions may deal with evidence and witnesses. Additionally, the parties may ask the judge to dismiss the case or grant summary judgment. Depending on the issues that must be addressed before trial, this phase could take another couple of months or longer.
Trial and Appeals
The court’s schedule impacts how long a case takes to go to trial. Once the case is ready for trial, it is placed on the trial docket. The defense lawyers may try to delay the trial as long as possible. An experienced Fort Lauderdale nursing home abuse lawyer will closely monitor the court’s schedule to obtain a trial date as quickly as possible.
The trial could take several days or weeks to complete, depending on the complexity of the case and the number of witnesses testifying. However, most nursing home cases are decided by a jury in less than two weeks.
Once the jury reaches a verdict, the case concludes. However, either party may appeal the verdict. Appeals could take several years to resolve.
Contact One of Our Personal Injury Attorneys in Fort Lauderdale For Help With a Nursing Home Case:
The best way to resolve a nursing home abuse case as quickly as possible is to seek legal advice from an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The sooner you meet with an attorney, the sooner the attorney can begin working on getting justice for your family member.
Contact Our Nursing Home Abuse Law Firm in South Florida – Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers
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