S T E P S I N A P E R S O N A L I N J U R Y L A W S U I T
STEP 1DISCOVERY OF
STEP 3CLAIM FILED AGAINST
A HOME OR AGENCY
STEP 5PRETRIAL MOTIONS
If your loved one would like to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault party, he or she will have to file paperwork with the court. It is up to your loved one and his or her attorney to prove that 1) neglect or abuse occurred, and 2) that your loved one’s injuries were sustained as a direct result of the actions taken by the defendant.
Your loved one will most likely want to build an argument by proving that the at-fault party breached his or her duty toward your loved one. If your loved one is injured, chances are that the injury was a result of the employee’s breach of his or her duty toward your loved one. In order to prove breach of duty, your loved one will have to prove that the employee violated a protocol in some way.
In addition to proving that wrongdoing occurred, your loved one will have to prove that he or she sustained injuries as a result of this wrongdoing. A nursing home employee breaching a duty or a contract does not mean that you can just file a personal injury lawsuit. The breach must result in an injury.
Your loved one can prove his or her injury by documenting it with a doctor. As soon as possible after an accident occurs, encourage your loved one to go to a doctor and get an evaluation. This evaluation can be used as proof in a personal injury case. In addition, the defendant’s insurance company may ask that your loved one have an independent medical examination done by an independent doctor. During an independent medical exam, the doctor may try to downplay your loved one’s injuries, which is why it is important that your loved one has his or her own report from a doctor explaining the injuries. Another way to prove the injuries is by having an expert witness who is a doctor testify to them in court.
Before a personal injury trial, a settlement might be proposed. If the defendant realizes that he or she does not have a strong case, your loved one might be offered a settlement opportunity. Settlements have their benefits and drawbacks. One good thing about settling the case is that your loved one will receive compensation without having to go to trial. This can save a lot of time and frustration, as trials can be difficult to go through. However, the plaintiff will rarely get as much compensation in a settlement as he or she could get from going to trial. You and your family will have to determine how to approach a settlement if one is offered to your loved one. If you decide to turn down a settlement option, the case will proceed to trial.
C O M P E N S A T I O N
The purpose of pursuing a personal injury case against an at-fault party is to receive compensation for your loved one’s injuries. If your loved one has been emotionally, physically, and financially burdened at the fault of someone else, the at-fault party should be responsible for paying damages. There are two major types of compensation: economic and non-economic. Economic compensation is for financial damages, such as surgery, hospital bills, rehabilitation bills, medication, etc. Non-economic compensation covers the pain and suffering that your loved one has gone through.
H I R I N G A L A W Y E R
Navigating the civil process can be overwhelming for the average person. Furthermore, a plaintiff may be taken advantage of in a settlement agreement or in court if he or she does not have a lawyer present. For these reasons, hiring a lawyer with experience in nursing home neglect and abuse is in your best interest. This lawyer can coordinate important meetings, gather evidence on your loved one’s behalf, and make sure that he or she is not taken advantage of during this process. From beginning to end, a personal injury lawyer can answer questions and make sure that your loved one’s rights are protected.
In addition, many personal injury lawyers offer their fees on a contingency basis. This means that they will not charge a client unless that client receives compensation for his or her injuries. This can make getting a lawyer much more affordable, as your loved one will not have to pay out-of-pocket. Instead, he or she will give a percentage of the compensation received to the lawyer. If you are interested in hiring a personal injury lawyer for your loved one, or if you have questions about a case that you would like to discuss, please feel free to contact our office. We are available for a free initial consultation at a time that is convenient for your and your family, and would be happy to help you during this difficult time.