Selecting a Nursing Home Injury Lawyer
Kansas City metro, including Jackson, Cass, Clay, Lafayette Counties
Because most nursing home residents are elderly and vulnerable, nursing home injuries can lead to devastating consequences, including unplanned hospitalization or an untimely death of the injured resident. As sons and daughters, we put our parents in nursing homes in order that they will receive professional care which will enable our father or mother to live out their years in comfort and dignity. When our expectations are interrupted by negligent nursing care, the next actions we take become very important in restoring our loved one’s quality of life or redressing a wrong.
In almost all cases involving a nursing home accident, it is advisable for family members to meet with a nursing home injury lawyer in order to determine if there is a case against the nursing home. Below are some guideposts that will help you select the right attorney and law firm.
While you should never select an nursing home attorney based solely on a website, a law firm’s website can give you some general information about the law firm and the nursing home accident cases they have handled. Before you call to make an appointment for legal consultation, you should have some expectation as to which attorney you will be meeting with, and his or her qualifications. In addition to the website, online reviews can also provide helpful information about the lawyer and law firm.
Legal consultation is an opportunity for the potential client and/or his or her family to determine who is the right lawyer in their case. In the same way, legal consultation allows the lawyer an opportunity to learn about the case and determine if he or she can be of substantial benefit to the prospective client. It makes no sense for the lawyer to take the case unless he or she can be a substantial benefit, especially in a more complex case like a claim against a medical/nursing provider.
Taking Care of Immediate Issues
The legal consultation will allow you, as a potential client, to more fully evaluate the lawyer. First, the lawyer you select must be detailed in his or her approach to the medical evidence. You should expect that the lawyer to be very interested in obtain all the detailed medial records that pertain to the injured resident. While there might be other important evidence surrounding the case, the medical evidence will be critical to a favorable outcome.
Additionally, right from the start, the lawyer you are meeting with must be able to identify the relevant legal claims and state laws that are applicable in the case. Regarding the legal claims, in my experience, nursing home negligence usually occurs because of one or more of the following reasons:
- Inadequate/Inattentive Care
- Failure to Properly Monitor or Supervise Residents
- Medication Errors
- Understaffed or Overburdened Nurses and Aids
Because every case involves special circumstances, there may be other issues that require immediate attention, including continuing medical care needs, health insurance issues, and other items that relate to the best interests of the prospective client and their family. Your attorney should be prepared to handle these matters even though they may not pertain to the legal claims.
Gaining the Upper Hand
The attorney you select should have a track record of success in similar cases and be able to advise you as to the important legal aspects of the case.
Without getting too detailed into the complexity of a legal case against a nursing home, your attorney must be able to prove that the nursing home was negligent and their negligence caused the injury or led to a pre-mature death. In this regard, the lawyer you hire must retain expert nursing and medical witnesses who will testify that the nursing home deviated from an accepted standard of care. In the initial legal consultations, before you select a lawyer, it is important that you have discussions with the lawyer about the general strategy they expect to employ in proving the nursing home was legally responsible for the injury or pre-mature death.
Finally, you want a nursing home accident lawyer who is capable of maximizing recovery in the case. Your lawyer must be able to explain how the case value will be determined. If a lawyer takes on your case, his or her responsibility is to obtain a fair and full recovery. This means financial compensation that is usually paid by the insurance company for the the nursing home.
A full recovery is determined by many factors, including compensation for:
- Medical Expenses
- Future Medical Expenses
- Pain & Suffering
- Loss of Health (past, present, future)
- Loss of Quality of Life
While not all damages are known at the time of early legal consultation, your attorney should be able to take you through an initial evaluation to determine whether the case is worth pursuing.
About Doug Horn
Since 1990, Lead Attorney Doug Horn and The Horn Law Firm has represented persons who have been injured in nursing homes throughout Missouri and Kansas. Horn Law has a track record of success in obtaining full and fair recoveries in a variety of nursing home negligence cases, including cases that involve falls, transfer injuries, medication mistakes, failure to provide proper medical care, and unexplained injury/trauma.
Horn offers office, home, and hospital legal consultations/investigations at no charge. His primary office is located in Independence, Missouri on Valley View Parkway across the street from Costco.