Many people who are considering pursuing a lawsuit against a nursing home on behalf of a loved one are curious as to how long a lawsuit will last. Civil lawsuits can be complicated but the Attorney will be doing most of the work on your behalf. You will have to gather certain documents and appear at mediations and court. Here is an example of a possible timeline for a nursing home abuse case. Remember, though, that no two cases are ever the same.
Day 1 – Patient and/or family meet with Attorney to discuss the case.
Days 2 – 90 – Once the Attorney agrees to accept your case, an expert in the field of nursing home administration, nursing and/or a physician are usually hired to review the case and determine that the standard of care has been violated. An expert or experts must be retained to testify in a nursing home abuse and neglect case prior to filing a lawsuit in North Carolina.
Days 91 – 120 – Lawsuit is prepared by the attorney.
Day 121 – Lawsuit is filed with the Court.
Days 122 – 240 – Discovery occurs in the case. This provides both the parties in the case an opportunity to question the other sides’ experts as well as any witnesses in the case.
Day 241 – Mediation is scheduled. This brings the parties in the nursing home abuse and neglect case along with a third-party mediator together to review and attempt to settle the case. Often the case will not be settled at mediation.
Day 280 – Case will be tried in front of a jury. The length of the trial may vary from 3 days to two weeks.
It is important to understand that no two nursing home abuse and neglect cases are the same. Some cases are more complicated and will take much longer to get to trial. In addition, the number of pending lawsuits in each county in North Carolina varies and will impact how long it takes to get a case to trial. As a result, the timeline associated with a nursing home abuse and neglect case varies from approximately 10 month to over two years.