How Long Does It Take to Settle a Nursing Home Claim?

Nursing Errors Lawyer

Filing a nursing home injury lawsuit can be a difficult decision. Being unfamiliar with the legal process can leave you confused and frustrated, wondering how long the whole process will take. Lawsuits can be a lengthy process. Generally speaking, the whole case from beginning to end can take anywhere from 18 to 24 months — possibly longer. Lawsuits take hard work, preparation, and time to complete, and one of the best things you can do is to become familiar with the process of filing a suit so that you know how much progress has been made.

Initial Evaluation

The initial evaluation will consist of two parts: the preliminary consultation and investigation. Potential clients are interviewed to collect information about the specifics of the case. An attorney will then evaluate the information and either accept or decline the case.

Upon the acceptance of the case, if the client decides to hire an attorney, an investigation will be launched to determine if the case meets requirements for malpractice. An attorney will appoint an expert — usually a doctor or legal nurse consultant — to examine the gathered evidence and review it for liability. At this point if no liability is found, the client is notified and the case will end.

Notice of Claim and Lawsuit

Assuming that the expert finds liability and the firm decides to pursue the case, a Notice of Claim (NOC) will be sent to all potential defendants to notify them of the impending lawsuit. A NOC is required by law to be sent to each defendant sixty days before the filing of a lawsuit.

Once the lawsuit has been filed, the defendant is served with the lawsuit, as well as a citation. Each defendant must answer to the court within about a month after being served. Following the defendant’s response, the suit may move into an expert report stage depending on the state where the lawsuit has been filed. During the expert report stage, the plaintiff must serve an expert report to defendants within 120 days of their answer to the lawsuit. The discovery stage follows, which allows each party to exchange and examine evidence from the other side.

Settlement, Mediation, or Trial

Most cases are settled through either settlement or mediation. Settlement can occur at any time after the initial filing of the case. Mediation brings in a neutral third-party to help both sides agree to resolve the case. If neither of these methods are successful, the case will go to trial where a judge will make a final decision.

If you or someone you love has been injured while at a nursing home, investigate legal counsel to help walk you through the process of seeking compensation. During a difficult time, it helps to have someone fighting for your rights. Contact a skilled nursing home abuse attorney, like a nursing home abuse attorney in Trenton, NJ, for more information today. 



Thanks to Davis & Brusca Trial Lawyers for their insight into how long it takes to settle a nursing home claim.