Nursing home attorneys specialize in the field of law that specifically deals with nursing home abuse or elder abuse. These attorneys may either have a medical background, or just an extensive amount of experience in this area of law. There are specific statutes that apply to such cases, often referred to as nursing home law. Hiring an attorney who has been involved extensively in this type of litigation may the best way to ensure that appropriate compensation occurs.
Those seeking the services of nursing home attorneys will either be the families of patients, or seniors themselves who feel that abuse has occurred. In the worst-case scenarios, the issue needing to be rectified is a premature or unexpected death. In other cases, the issue may be one of either neglect, or deliberate abuse. These situations can be very serious and lead to other serious medical issues, along with mental health problems.
Most nursing home attorneys will quickly be able to assess a situation, and determine if there is a reasonable chance at being awarded damages. Though this may seem like an impersonal process, it is necessary in order to avoid needless work on the part of the attorneys, and wasted time and expense for family members. Though there are some attorneys that will take nearly any case, most nursing home attorneys will be careful to take just the cases they feel have a chance of being successful.
To determine the chances for success, nursing home attorneys will typically look at various factors. One of the most important will be the amount of available physical evidence. This is most likely to take the form of bruises, lacerations, or other injuries. Finding willing eyewitnesses is another key piece. This will not only include the accuser, if available, but any others who may have seen the alleged abuse take place, or at least seen the evidence of the abuse. The more objective these witnesses are, the more compelling their testimonies will be before a jury. In addition to these, past performance of the nursing home will also be an issue.
While nursing home attorneys may not need all of these factors in order to pursue a case, they will probably need at least one of them. The attorneys in this field will also have an extensive network of medical experts that can add some context to the evidence available. While these individuals will not be able to speak to specific cases, they can provide some conclusions based on their level of education and experiences after examining the available evidence.
There are two ways that fee schedules can work for nursing home attorneys. Some personal injury lawyers, including those specializing in nursing home litigation, will offer a no recovery, no fee option. The other option is a straight-fee contract in which the final costs are determined by the number of hours and expenses an attorney puts into the case. Attorneys are likely to be much more selective in the cases they will take if working under the no recovery, no fee model. Thus, this is another way to test how much confidence an attorney has in the viability of a particular case.