It can be shocking to discover that a loved one is being abused in a nursing home. The home has a responsibility to protect its residents and by allowing abuse to occur, the nursing home is neglecting that responsibility. In that instance, it only makes sense to pursue West Palm Beach nursing home abuse litigation. If you or a loved one is experiencing nursing home abuse, get in touch with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney who can fight to hold the responsible parties accountable.
Duration of Nursing Home Trials
A nursing home abuse trial in Palm Beach Gardens can be very short, as little as a few days or can be as long as two or three weeks. The length of time needed for the trial is case dependent. Some of the factors that can influence these are how long the resident was in the nursing home and the type of abuse. When there is a situation where the nursing home was not paying attention, the abuse may have occurred over a period of weeks, months, or even years. Typically, the more parties in a trial, the more plaintiffs and defendants, the longer the case takes, and it becomes more complex.
Process of a Nursing Home Trial
The first step in the process of a nursing home trial is jury selection. The nursing home abuse lawyer works hard to get a jury that is open and fair. The juror should be able to listen to evidence without any pre-conceived bias. When the jury is selected, both sides present their opening statements, the plaintiff who is the resident and has the burden of proof goes first and then the defense has an opportunity to present their statement. After opening statements, the plaintiff presents the evidence including witness testimony and documents. Both parties then make their closing arguments where they sum up for the jury what the evidence proves. The jury deliberates and tries to reach a verdict.
Important Elements in Abuse Trials
The important elements in West Palm Beach nursing home abuse litigation, are consistent witness testimonies and the jury’s reaction to the witnesses’ statements. The lawyer makes sure that the record is properly preserved in case there are appellate issues.
There are many important elements, but the most important is the story the person wants to tell about the bad things that happened and the harm that was caused by them. It is important that the story comes before the jury in a coherent manner so they can understand what happened. Nursing home trials are usually jury trials. Sometimes nursing home cases end up in arbitration rather than jury trials. A person has one to three arbitrators who decide the case.
Statute of Limitations
In Florida nursing home abuse cases, the statute of limitation is the time period that a person has to bring the lawsuit. It typically begins to run when the person knew or should have known of the reasonable possibility that somebody did something wrong. The statute of limitations in a Palm Beach Gardens nursing home abuse case is two years from when the person or their family members knew or should have known that the person was abused or neglected. There can be no more than four years from the date of the incident of abuse or neglect.
In nursing home abuse cases, the statute of limitations is calculated from when the resident knew or should have known of the reasonable possibility that somebody did something wrong. Often, it is not the date of an incident because people may not realize there was abuse or neglect until much later.
The lawyer tries to determine when that two year time period starts to run. It is not enough that a person knows that there was harm, they must also have a reasonable suspicion that the harm was caused by the wrongdoing of the nursing home, which is referred to as the discovery of harm rule.
Benefit of a Lawyer
A litigator is most proud of the preparation that goes into preparing the case for trial, making sure to not leave any stones unturned. They have a strong relationship with their client because they want to tell the person’s story about what happened. The reward from representing someone who needed help is to be able to make a positive difference in their lives. If a person believes that a family member was abused or neglected in a nursing home, it is imperative to contact a Palm Beach Gardens nursing home abuse lawyer. West Palm Beach nursing home abuse litigation can be complicated and expensive. A person needs a professional with the experience who can go the distance, organize the facts, get the proper experts, and present the case to the insurance company or to a jury.