How Long Does It Take To Settle a Nursing Home Negligence Case?

Posted by PKSD New Mexico Law Firm on March 11, 2024 in Nursing Home Neglect

close up of legal gavel, with open law book Do you have a family member who was injured in a nursing home in Albuquerque, New Mexico?

Nursing home negligence should never happen and it is unacceptable, especially when it causes someone harm. Families facing physical, financial and emotional losses often push family members to take legal action. You may suspect, correctly, that these cases are complicated to bring, but you may have other questions too, such as how long it takes to settle a nursing home negligence case.

At PKSD New Mexico, we are dedicated to holding at-fault parties accountable for their actions, whether these actions led to nursing home negligence or nursing home abuse. We have a dedicated team of experienced nursing home abuse lawyers in Albuquerque ready to help you get the full and fair compensation you need.

Call for a FREE case review. Our staff can take your call 24/7. 505-677-7777

How Long Does it Take To Settle a Nursing Home Negligence Case?

The first thing you should know about pursuing compensation for nursing home negligence cases in New Mexico is that it is not a one-size-fits-all process. Lots of factors come into play that determine how quickly or slowly a case progresses. Understanding the various things that could delay a case can help you to set realistic expectations:

Complexity of the Case

Every case is different, but when someone gets injured in a nursing home, it is almost always challenging. Gathering evidence for a nursing home negligence case takes considerable time.

To begin with, your attorney will need to conduct a full investigation into the incident or incidents that caused your loved one harm. Often, there are stacks of medical records to go through. Finding credible witnesses is always challenging, and there are likely to be a lot of legal intricacies for your attorney to navigate as well.

Nursing home negligence cases require a meticulous approach to ensure every aspect is considered. As frustrating as it is for the victims, this process can extend over a considerable period.

Negotiating a Settlement

Negotiation is a pivotal stage in the resolution of a nursing home negligence case. This phase of an injury claim may take months or longer to get both parties to settle. In some cases, the parties involved may not be able to reach an agreement at all. If that happens, the case could be unnecessarily delayed or move to a more formal resolution through the courts.

Pre-trial Motions

While most cases end up settling out of court, there are always a few cases that end up going to trial. Before that, the pre-trial phase might also involve various motions and legal strategies by both parties. These motions can address evidence, procedural matters or attempts to resolve the case without a trial. Each motion requires time for filing, response and court ruling, adding to the overall timeline.

Court Docket Congestion

If a nursing home negligence case ends up in court, the case is dependent upon available court resources. Scheduling the hearing date and an available judge can further delay a case from moving forward. Overloaded court schedules may lead to prolonged waiting periods for a trial date, delaying the resolution of the case.

The Length of a Trial

Even as a trial goes forward, there is a lot that has to happen before a case concludes. Trials involve detailed presentation of evidence, witness testimonies and legal arguments. All of these stages can span days, weeks, or even longer, depending on the case’s complexity.

Appeals Process

The conclusion of a trial does not always mark the end of a legal battle. If either party is dissatisfied with the outcome, they may appeal the decision, introducing a new phase of legal proceedings that can extend the resolution timeline even further.

Given these factors, striving for a negotiated settlement is often the most time- and cost-effective path to resolution.

Does New Mexico Have Filing Deadlines for Nursing Home Negligence Cases?

Understanding the legal timeframe is crucial in pursuing a nursing home negligence case. In New Mexico, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, which includes nursing home negligence, is three years from the date of the incident. This period is your window to initiate legal action; however, the settlement itself is not constrained to this timeframe.

Under certain circumstances, the state provides special provisions to extend this deadline. One example of this is if the victim suffers incapacitating injuries. This provision offers victims more time to file a claim.

It is worth mentioning, however, that seeking legal help from an attorney who has significant experience managing nursing home negligence claims is vital. Victims who have legal representation often recover far more compensation for their damages than those who do not. Additionally, an experienced nursing home attorney understands how to:

  • Protect your interests
  • Effectively navigate any deadlines
  • Help you avoid making mistakes that could damage your claim

What Compensation Can I Recover in a Nursing Home Negligence Case in New Mexico?

Victims of nursing home negligence often face significant emotional and financial burdens. These damages impact family members as well.

Every case is different, and some cases are valued higher than others. If victims, or their attorneys, can prove negligence, New Mexico allows victims to recover compensation for various damages, including:

  • Medical Care Expenses: All reasonable and necessary medical costs resulting from the incident that causes a nursing home resident physical, emotional, financial or sexual harm are included.
  • Costs for Physical Therapy and/or Emotional Counseling: The psychological impact of abuse or neglect can be profound. Victims suffering from verbal, emotional or physical abuse may require professional counseling and therapy.
  • Repayment for Stolen Properties: When nursing homes or their employees financially exploit the elderly, victims may be eligible to seek compensation for property or money that was stolen. They may even be able to recover items that were stolen.
  • Pain and Suffering: In addition to the injuries and other losses suffered, non-economic (pain and suffering) damages consider the physical pain and emotional distress the victim endured.
  • Emotional Distress: Beyond immediate pain, the lasting psychological impact of abuse is compensable.
  • Wrongful Death: If negligence leads to death, families may be able to pursue wrongful death claims. These claims cannot bring your loved one back. However, they can help you to cover things like funeral and burial expenses, among other damages, for their loss.
  • Punitive Damages: Under certain circumstances, such as if the perpetrator or perpetrators committed especially egregious misconduct, punitive damages may be awarded. These damages are not intended to reward the victim. Rather they are assessed to punish the offender and deter future acts of negligence or abuse.

What Should If I Suspect Nursing Home Negligence in New Mexico?

From the moment you suspect something may be off concerning your loved one’s care, it is a good idea to start documenting. Include anything odd, such as unexplained bruising or injuries. You should also look for changes in behavior, such as if your loved one stops talking, becomes atypically unsocial or suddenly becomes withdrawn.

You should be prepared to take these and other steps if you suspect a loved one is a victim of nursing home negligence:

Report Your Concerns Immediately

Report any concerns to the administrative directors at the nursing home. However, if you believe your loved one’s life is in jeopardy, you should take immediate steps to remove him or her from that facility. You should also contact emergency services or Adult Protective Services to ensure your loved one’s safety.

Contact Law Enforcement

If the facility’s response is inadequate or inappropriate, you should report your concerns to the police so they can initiate a formal investigation.

Seek Legal Help Right Away

You may not be sure whether you have a valid case, but this is why it is crucial to reach out to an experienced nursing home neglect lawyer in Albuquerque. They can discuss your situation with you and help determine whether you may have a valid case. If the attorney believes you may have a case, he or she can provide expert guidance on your legal options and explain the steps necessary to pursue a claim. Your attorney can help you gather evidence, file the necessary legal documents and advocate on your behalf throughout the process.

How Can an Attorney Help Me With My Case?

Having the right legal team working on your behalf is invaluable. When it comes to navigating the many complexities of a nursing home negligence case, you want someone on your side who knows what they are doing. Still not sure whether it is worth it to seek legal help?

  • In nursing home negligence cases, experience and knowledge matters: PKSD attorneys have been handling these cases for decades. If you entrust your case to this firm, you will soon find out just how effectively they will navigate the system on your behalf.
  • Having a dedicated legal team gives you peace of mind: A reputable firm will offer a team of skilled attorneys and legal professionals committed to your case and protecting your interests.
  • Fiercely representing you: Your attorney should work tirelessly to hold the at-fault party liable and advocate for your rights.
  • Handle your case on contingency: Many personal injury firms offer free consultations and operate on a contingency fee basis, including PKSD NM. This means, you only pay if we win your case.

Nursing home negligence cases are complex, but there is no reason for you to navigate it alone. Victims who work with an attorney typically recover far more compensation than those who go it alone.

At PKSD NM, there are no upfront fees or costs to pay. We only get paid if you do. When we take on a case, we fight for justice; we fight for compensation; we fight for you.

PKSD. Experienced Lawyers Fighting for You. Call: 505-677-7777 Today.

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