While every lawsuit relating to an injury at a nursing home tends to follow a certain process, every case is a little bit different. Therefore, even though you can expect a suit to follow a certain pattern, it is difficult to predict exactly how long it will take to resolve the case. Here are a few examples of factors that can make a difference in the length of the proceedings in your nursing home injury suit.
Negotiation Versus Litigation
The factor that can make the biggest difference to the length of your nursing home injury lawsuit is whether you must take the case to trial or if you are able to settle out of court. If you are able to negotiate a settlement out of court, it may not take as long to resolve the case as it would if you were to take it to trial.
An attorney will conduct an investigation into the case to determine whether the claim is viable. A significant part of the investigation is hiring an expert to evaluate the evidence. In the case of a nursing home injury case, the expert may be a doctor. The time that the doctor takes to evaluate the evidence and write the report can extend the length of the legal process because many doctors have very busy schedules.
Statute of Limitations
Personal injury cases, including nursing home injuries, have a statute of limitations. In other words, you have a limited time in which to file your lawsuit. The length of the statute of limitations varies by state. If the statute of limitations is close to running out, your attorney may file more quickly, even before obtaining an expert evaluation. However, filing in haste does not necessarily mean that the case will proceed more quickly.
During the discovery process, each side shares evidence with, and asks questions from the other side. This helps each side in constructing its argument. Depending on the complexity of the case, this process can last from nine to 18 months.
As a general rule, you can expect a nursing home injury case to last approximately one to two years before reaching a resolution. Hiring an attorney does not necessarily mean that the case will progress more quickly, but it could mean a better outcome for you when the case is finally resolved. Contact a nursing home abuse lawyer, to arrange a consultation to go over your case.