Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit in Virginia

If a person is abused while in the care of a nursing home, they may have a right to financial compensation for their pain and emotional suffering. Filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit is the first step to obtaining compensation, but winning a lawsuit is often easier said than done.

If you are considering filing a lawsuit against an abusive Virginia nursing home, you will probably need to hire an attorney with experience. An experienced attorney can help you better understand your chances of success, and if you do need to go to trial, they can act as an advocate and advisor.

Important Legal Factors in a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit

As with any lawsuit, the plaintiff (person filing the lawsuit against the nursing home) must prove certain elements. If a case involves a nursing home, the plaintiff and their attorney must prove:

  • The nursing home was legally obligated to provide a standard of care.
  • The nursing home failed or refused to provide this standard of care.
  • The facts laid out in the case resulted from the failure or refusal to provide the standard of care in question.

The court will also consider the following when evaluating a lawsuit:

  • The validity of the claim.
  • The reliability and trustworthiness of the plaintiff and defendant (nursing home).
  • Statements from the plaintiff and defendant.
  • Evidence introduced by the plaintiff and defendant.
  • The compensation requested by the plaintiff.

In general, compensation is higher for survivors of gross negligence and abuse. In other words, the more abuse a person was subject to, the more compensation they may be entitled to.

The Steps of a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit

Before a nursing home abuse lawsuit can go to trial, certain measures must be taken. To start with, both sides must collect evidence to support the validity of their statements. Evidence may include medical records, witness and expert testimony, photographs, or recordings.

During the trial phase, the evidence is placed before a judge. Witnesses are also cross-examined under oath. If the court believes the evidence is sufficient enough, an actual trial will be granted. Trials are time-consuming and expensive, and if the court does not believe there is a case, they may refuse to hear the case.

If the court chooses to hear a case, lawyers from both sides will have the opportunity to assemble an argument and devise a legal strategy. They will also examine evidence and perform legal research.

Finally, the trial will determine whether the defendant is responsible for the abuse sustained by the plaintiff. The jury will decide this, and if necessary, it will also decide how much compensation the plaintiff actually deserves. The judge may choose to adjust the amount of compensation awarded by the jury or throw the verdict out altogether.

Individuals filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit should know many cases are settled outside of court. Occasionally, a nursing home will the other party a settlement. If the other party accepts this settlement, they must agree to drop the lawsuit completely. Accepting or rejecting a settlement is the responsibility of the plaintiff – lawyers may only offer advice and guidance.

Talk to a Lawyer About Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit

No one likes to file lawsuits, especially against large companies or institutions. Fortunately, you may be able to fight back if you are the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect. Filing a lawsuit is your first step to justice, but you should never do it alone.

Reach out to an attorney today to discuss the process of filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit in Virginia.