Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit in Washington DC

Many claims and allegations of nursing home abuse in Washington DC never reach court. This is because the facts that lead to these claims are rarely in dispute and a defendant nursing home will be quick to save their reputation and money in settling the case out of court.

However, in rare instances, an injured resident may need to file a complaint alleging nursing home abuse in court. This is a technical process that involves identifying the proper defendant, choosing the proper cause of action, and filing the complaint in the correct court.

An attorney could help individuals with filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit in Washington DC. Seasoned nursing home abuse lawyers work with injured victims to investigate their cases, to apply the facts to the correct laws, and to author complaints that demand proper compensation.

When Should a Case Go to Court?

Filing a complaint in court should always be a last resort for an injured plaintiff to collect compensation. Long before a case gets to this point, a plaintiff should be working to gather evidence of the abuse and talking with the nursing home in an attempt to settle the claim out of court.

In fact, most cases end this way. Either the nursing home admits to their guilt and offers a cash settlement to avoid litigation, or the plaintiff drops their claim. In either event, these cases will never appear in a Washington DC courthouse. It is only when a plaintiff has a solid case, but the parties cannot agree on an adequate settlement feature that the case should go to trial. An attorney could help the victims of nursing home abuse to evaluate settlement offers and to decide when to take the case to court.

Choosing the Correct Courthouse

All civil claims for monetary damages are heard by Washington DC’s Superior Court. This court contains a pair of divisions for handling civil cases depending upon the dollar amount demanded in a complaint. All cases in excess of $10,000 are matters for the Civil Division.

All complaints demanding less than $10,000 are small claims. Accordingly, these claims are heard by the Small Claims Division. These cases in nursing home abuse claims are rare. The medical bills alone in these claims can often exceed the monetary limits for small claims. An attorney could help individuals to choose the court that is right for their case when filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit in DC.

Authoring a Complaint

Once a plaintiff identifies the correct court, they must choose a cause of action for their complaint. There is a collection of causes of action that allow plaintiffs to demand payment from a defendant. As applied to nursing home abuse cases, plaintiffs can typically allege:

  • Negligence
  • Negligent hiring
  • Intentional infliction of emotional distress
  • Assault
  • False imprisonment

A proper complaint must outline the legal theory concerning the case. This includes stating facts, how those facts have injured the plaintiff, and a dollar amount demanded for compensation. An attorney could help individuals to author these complaints and submit them to the appropriate court.

Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit in DC Could Bring Necessary Compensation

Filing a complaint in a Washington DC civil court could be a person’s only opportunity to collect compensation for their losses. In the rare instance that a plaintiff must file a complaint in court, it is important to know the requirements to do so.

An attorney could help clients to gather the information needed to author a complaint, to choose the correct court to hear the case, and to identify the correct cause of action to demand compensation. Contact an attorney today to learn more about filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit in Washington DC.