Deciding to file a lawsuit against a nursing home for abusing or neglecting our loved one can be a big decision. Below are some common questions you may ask yourself and answers to help guide you in your decision making.
I Have A Family Member In A Nursing Home. What Are Some Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse Or Neglect?
- Dehydration/malnutrition. This can happen with a rapid loss of weight and the individual becoming less responsive
- Multiple falls
- Unexplained bruises or cuts
- Infections such as UTI’s, especially if the infection becomes septic
I Believe My Family Member Is Suffering From Abuse Or Neglect In A Nursing Home. What Should I Do?
- Talk to one of the attorneys at Powers Taylor
- Move them to another facility if possible
- File a complaint with Texas Health and Human Services
Can I File A Suit For My Family Member?
- If the resident has dementia, Alzheimer’s or other type of diminished mental state then a family member can file the suit on their behalf.
- If the family member has a Power of Attorney for the resident then the process is fairly straightforward.
- If the resident did not execute a power of attorney before becoming incompetent, there are some extra steps. We would need to petition the court to have the family member appointed as the legal guardian of the resident before we could file the lawsuit.
- If the resident is mentally competent, the resident can hire us themselves. The resident can also execute a Power of Attorney appointing a family member to handle the lawsuit.
What Are The Steps Of A Nursing Home Lawsuit?
- Obtaining all the relevant medical records.
- Having the records reviewed by a medical briefer to look for missing or altered documents.
- Having the records reviewed by a medical expert on nursing home care and having them write the required “expert’s report”.
- File the lawsuit.
- Go through the discovery process. This includes exchanging relevant documents with the defendants. It also involves doing depositions of the most important witnesses.
- Mediation, which is a process used to negotiate a settlement of the lawsuit. Almost all of our cases are settled at mediation.
- Trial if mediation was not successful. It is rare for a nursing home case to go to trial in Texas.
How Long Does A Nursing Home Case Take?
- It usually takes 15 to 18 months for a case to resolve. This all depends on the facts of the case, the defendant, and going through probate if necessary.
How Much Can Be Recovered in a Texas Nursing Home Lawsuit?
Texas has two types of damages on this type of case:
- Economic Damages: Economic damages include any type of loss or expense that takes money out of your pocket. Economic damages are uncapped in Texas so we can attempt to collect any money the individual or family lost due to this injury. They can include:
- Lost wages
- Lost future wages
- Past medical bills
- Future medical bills
- Funeral expenses
- Non-economic Damages: “Pain and suffering” is the most common type of non-economic damage. It is the damage caused by this injury that did not involve money. It is the suffering the individual went through with this injury. It is the loss of companionship the family feels due to the injury or death. By law, Texas has capped non-economic damages at $250,000 for these cases.
What Are Most Of Your Nursing Home Cases Like?
Most of our cases fall into these four categories:
- If you family member developed bedsores, especially stage III or IV bedsores.
- If your family member developed an infection and it became “septic”. This is sometimes described as a “blood infection” or “sepsis”.
- If your family member was admitted to a hospital for dehydration or malnutrition and this lead to an extended hospital stay and or death.
- If your family member experienced a fall that resulted in broken bones or death, especially if they were a fall risk.
How Can I Find A Good Nursing Home Lawyer?
- Nursing home abuse and neglect is a type of medical malpractice case. These cases are very difficult and expensive to litigate. Finding a law firm that has a large focus and many years of experience in medical malpractice cases in Texas is key.
- Although nursing home cases are considered medical malpractice, they are different from traditional medical malpractice cases. You need to find an attorney with experience in nursing home cases. They know how the nursing homes operate, who to go after, and what your best chance of recovery is.
- You need to find an attorney with whom you feel comfortable. A lawsuit is a long process that requires collaboration between the attorney and the client, and that can be hard if everyone isn’t on the same page.
The attorneys at Powers Taylor have over a decade of experience exclusively handling nursing home abuse and neglect cases in Texas. We know how these lawsuits go like the back of our hand. We have been able to streamline our process to keep costs as low as possible and maximize the amount our clients get.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a nursing home, don’t wait. Call Powers Taylor today. Our compassionate and knowledgable team is ready and waiting for your call.