Nursing homes in Oklahoma City and in fact much of the nation face grave pressure to reduce staff but increase their resident numbers. This paves the way for a dangerous situation in which patients are at risk for isolation, abuse, and even negligence. When you or a loved one have suffered negligence at the hands of nursing home staff or nursing home providers, the best way to fight back is by hiring a nursing home negligence attorney. An experienced nursing home negligence attorney can advocate on your behalf and fight for fair compensation.

8 Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Nursing Home Negligence Attorney

1. Evidence Needs to Be Preserved

Most of the evidence needed for your case is likely to be in the nursing home’s possession. Administrators may refuse to hand over this evidence because they want to keep the odds in their favor. And if it’s not handled properly, certain evidence may be altered or destroyed.

A nursing home negligence attorney can intervene and conduct an immediate investigation. This will happen while key evidence is still available to keep your case as strong as possible. If necessary, an attorney can even file subpoenas to obtain evidence the nursing home previously withheld. Additionally, preservation letters can be drafted and sent to the nursing home’s attorney or business office to ensure that spoliation does not occur. Last but not least, your attorney will know the evidence most relevant to your claim, which may include:

  • The nursing home resident’s medical records
  • The nursing home facility’s hiring and training procedures
  • Nursing home staff schedules
  • Depositions from eyewitnesses and medical experts
  • Caregiver keycard data

2. You Need Someone in Your Corner

As you might have already guessed, nursing home administrators aren’t likely to be on your side after they learn about an instance of neglect or abuse. It’s reasonable to believe they will reach out to you directly in an effort to handle the situation internally. Although they may seem helpful and compassionate, you must remember their interests conflict with your own. Meaning they want to avoid bad press and pay as little as possible in damages to your family.

You, on the other hand, need to look out for yourself and your family. This may lead to bad press for the nursing home and corporate attorneys will be eager to settle. An attorney can handle negotiations with the opposing side and identify a recompense that’s appropriate to the case.

3. Help You Receive an Equitable Settlement

We need to continue the conversation about a fair settlement because many times, the potential for recovering non-economic and punitive damages is overlooked altogether. If you represent yourself, you risk losing out on certain damages you’re simply not familiar with; the opposing party may likewise undervalue damages, and without previous legal experience, you may not realize your case is being undermined. 

The last thing you want is to accept a low-ball offer and sign a release only to later discover the settlement was vastly undervalued. You can’t go back and pursue additional damages or compensation at this stage. It’s much better to work with an Oklahoma City nursing home negligence attorney who can properly value your case from the beginning and fight for the highest settlement possible.

4. Avoid a Costly Mistake

It’s easy to jeopardize a claim of nursing home abuse without even realizing you’ve done so. To illustrate, you might let a crucial deadline pass or post information about the case on social media. The latter happens frequently, and although such posts may be entirely innocent, they can be used against you and your family. Even something as simple as a photo posted of the alleged victim can harm your chances of receiving fair compensation.

Additional ways you may inadvertently jeopardize your claim include failing to account for certain damages or starting negotiations before your loved one has reached maximum medical improvement. In contrast, an experienced attorney is far less likely to make a costly mistake. He or she will deftly handle the logistics of your case and simultaneously help you navigate the legal process, advising you on matters like social media and a settlement offer.

5. Let the Nursing Home Know You’re Serious

Many nursing home facilities are run by very large corporations with the resources to pay top-notch nursing home defense lawyers. This makes it hard for a lone individual to come out ahead in a nursing home negligence case. But working with an experienced lawyer gives you a much-needed edge. He or she knows case law and is also familiar with local, state, and national nursing home laws. In most cases, the presence of an experienced nursing home negligence attorney makes the opposing party more inclined to cooperate.

6. Use Tactics Specific to Your Nursing Home Case in Oklahoma

No two cases are alike. If you’re doing online research, you may have found resources that suggest nursing home abuse claims can be handled with a simple formula. This information, however, is very misleading. No one-size-fits-all approach exists for calculating a fair settlement. 
In addition, the evidence needed to support your argument may be vastly different from that needed in another nursing home case. A seasoned attorney will identify the tactics necessary for your case and tailor his or her approach accordingly.

7. Fight for a Just Outcome

Many cases of nursing home neglect go unnoticed, meaning the alleged abusers never face justice. A nursing home negligence attorney will advocate not only for you and your family but for the whole of justice. He or she will gather evidence and check the guarantees made by the facility. Your attorney will then fight to ensure a repeat offense does not occur in that same facility by contacting:

  • The Oklahoma State Department of Health
  • The Oklahoma State Nursing Board
  • Your health insurance company
  • Your primary care doctor
  • A social worker 

Experienced nursing home negligence attorneys can also help you and your family receive the professional help needed to reduce or eliminate the abuse trauma. They have a network of professionals, including psychologists and life coaches, who can guide you through the recovery process. Meanwhile, the nursing home and its staff will face stiff consequences if the abuse allegations are confirmed in court. Additionally, your case may be investigated by one or more state agencies, independent from the nursing home, by taking advantage of the resources provided by the state. 

8. Argue Your Case at Trial

It’s rare for nursing home abuse cases to go to trial – most are settled out of court. But this course is sometimes the only way for an injured party to receive just compensation. 

The steps involved with filing a case are complex. A plaintiff must identify the correct course of action in demanding compensation. Keep in mind abuse cases can involve fraud, physical or emotional abuse, negligence, or any combination therein. Your attorney will identify the best path forward and author documents that substantiate your case. Additionally, the road to trial in a nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect case can be difficult and take a long time. It is important to hire an experienced Oklahoma nursing home attorney that will help guide you through each step of your case and fight for you as your Fierce Advocate.

Once the Nursing Home Trial Begins

At the actual trial, your attorney will present evidence to demonstrate the abuse and/or negligence your loved one suffered while in the nursing home. He or she will also refute arguments presented by the defense. The media, and television in particular, makes court preparation seem easy, but it is in fact time-consuming and labor-intensive.

As we said earlier, few cases make it to trial. Alternative dispute resolution methods, like mediation and arbitration, can be used in some cases; these options provide closure faster than going to trial can. But if a court trial does become necessary, you can rest assured knowing your attorney will fully advocate for you and your family.

Families place their trust in nursing home facilities, and justice must be sought when that trust is betrayed. An experienced attorney in Oklahoma City can collect evidence, listen to your story, and build your nursing home abuse and/or nursing home neglect case. He or she will then fight to protect your rights and ensure justice is upheld. Don’t let nursing home neglect go unnoticed. Contact Cannon & Associates today for a free case evaluation.