How Long Does a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit Take?
If you or a family member has been the victim of nursing home abuse, you can take legal action to recover compensation for their injuries and losses. Unfortunately, while there is a legal process in place that can help you recover these damages, it is not a quick one. Under Florida law, you have two years from the date of the abuse to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations though, only governs how long you have to file legal action. The length of time a lawsuit will take will depend on several factors.
Consult with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
The first step to take immediately after suspecting nursing home abuse is to speak to a nursing home abuse lawyer. An attorney will advise on whether a lawsuit is appropriate, and help you through the process. A lawyer may also advise to first file a claim with the nursing home’s insurance company. When this is the case, your lawyer will also negotiate with the insurer to try and come to a reasonable settlement offer that will fully cover the damages. Settlement negotiations can proceed very quickly, or they can take months. If an agreement cannot be reached, you will then need to enter litigation, which will take longer.
The Discovery Process
One of the first steps in any lawsuit is the discovery process. During discovery, each side can ask the other for information that can help their case. For example, if a loved one suffered injuries due to unhygienic conditions, you can ask the nursing home or their lawyer for maintenance records that will prove the elder’s room was not cleaned properly. During discovery, your lawyer will use the information provided to build the strongest case possible for you and your family. Settlement negotiations are often ongoing during the discovery process. Still, discovery alone can take several months or more.
Going to Trial
When settlement negotiations during the discovery phase are unsuccessful, you will have to proceed to trial. No one can determine exactly how long a trial will take. Further evidence may need to be collected, and your lawyer may also reach out to their network of expert witnesses that can testify about the abuse and the damages your loved one sustained. Additionally, all trials are also subject to the court’s schedule, so that will greatly affect the amount of time your case takes. Sometimes, trials can take a year or even longer before a final verdict is issued.
Our Florida Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Can Help with Your Case
No one wants to go through a lengthy claims process or trial but sometimes, it is the only way to recover the financial costs of nursing home abuse. If you suspect your loved one has been harmed in a long-term care facility, our Tampa nursing home abuse lawyers at Kohn Law are here to help. We know how to hold nursing homes and their staff members accountable when they do not provide the highest standard of care, and we will put that experience to work for you. Call us today at (813) 428-8504 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.