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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Nursing Home Abuse in Tennessee? Everything Clients Must Know

In Tennessee, the statute of limitations defines how long clients have to take legal action. Many families are not aware of the fact that they have to file a lawsuit as soon as possible if they want to get compensation for nursing home exploitation, abuse, or neglect. This article explains it all.


What Is the Statute of Limitations?

What Is the Statute of Limitations?


The statute of limitations is a specific time period in which a party can initiate legal proceedings. It could be bringing financial charges or filing a civil lawsuit.


Regardless of the case, state or federal law determines the statute of limitations, and it will vary depending on the nature of the criminal or civil case.


Nursing Home Abuse Cases in Tennessee


Knowing the statute of limitations for the case is essential if someone's loved one suffers from nursing home abuse. In Tennessee, it's generally one year after the person discovered the situation.


However, there are exceptions to the statute, so the person must contact a nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible if they want to know the specific laws that apply to their case. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys has more information on what the most common nursing home abuse is?


Different Types of Nursing Home Abuse


The elderly are vulnerable to different types of neglect, abuse, and exploitation. Since numerous older adults are in nursing homes, mistreatments have a bigger chance of happening. Some of the most common situations are the following:

  • Willful deprivation

  • Physical abuse

  • Passive negligence

  • Emotional abuse

  • Financial exploitation

  • Sexual abuse

  • Confinement

Depending on the form of treatment the victim suffered, they might experience different symptoms. Therefore, people must keep a watchful eye, and if they believe nursing home staff are abusing their loved one, they should call law enforcement agents, report it, and hire a lawyer as soon as possible.


Signs of Neglect, Deprivation, and Physical Abuse


Abuse perpetrators are counting victims' loved ones not noticing. Therefore, family members must know some of the signs that regularly appear:

  • Broken bones, particularly more than one in a span of a few months.

  • Withdrawal from activities they typically enjoy.

  • A disheveled appearance, such as dirty clothes or messy hair.

  • Bedsores, especially if they persist during numerous visits.

  • The repeated presence of bruises, cuts, burns, scrapes, lesions, or similar indicators of rough physical contact.

  • Signs of abuse-induced anxiety, such as flinching from touch, acting jittery or restless, and rocking back and forth.

  • Unexplained weight loss.

  • Confusion, which could be a sign of trauma-induced insomnia.

  • Uncharacteristic outbursts, especially violent ones.

  • Uncontrollable crying, seemingly out of nowhere.

Family members should never dismiss abnormalities since they could be a sign of nursing home neglect or abuse. Personal injury lawyers are ready to help clients file a lawsuit if they need to, and they'll guide them as they take the best decisions to get a settlement for their case.


Potential Signs of Elderly Financial Exploitation


Allowing the elderly to maintain some of their finance could help them retain a sign of independence. However, it could also open the possibility of exploitation by those who are around them.


Unfortunately, there are numerous nursing home abuse perpetrators in these facilities, so people must always be prepared in case their loved ones start displaying signs. The following are common indicators of financial exploitation:

  • Purchasing at stores the older person does not usually shop at.

  • Unexplained cash withdrawals.

  • Purchases for which the older person does not have a corresponding item in possession.

  • Lost or missing items, such as jewelry or cash.

  • Purchases that the older person does not remember.

  • Changes to details in financial accounts, such as addresses and phone numbers.

Many people seek to take advantage of others, and they often see the elderly as easy targets. However, nursing home residents have the right to be safe in the facilities, so their family members can sue if they have proof of negligence or abuse.


How Lawyers Can Help in a Nursing Home Abuse Case


Once people have alerted the authorities of their suspicions, they should call a nursing home abuse lawyer to begin their civil case.


The attorney's job is to guide the person through legal action. They'll most likely encourage them to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit and help them in different ways, such as suggesting the best alternatives for their case. Lawyers can assist people by:

  • Meeting with them and their loved ones and documenting any signs of exploitation, nursing home abuse, and neglect.

  • Documenting any visible injuries or signs of mistreatment.

  • Initiating legal proceedings soon to make sure the case abides by the Tennessee statute of limitations.

  • Alerting the nursing home to legal action and kindly requesting cooperation to interview staff, residents, and administrators.

  • Interviewing the previously mentioned parties and documenting perpetrators and witnesses of exploration, neglect, and nursing home abuse.

  • Handling every legal responsibility from start to finish.

  • Protecting the older person's rights throughout the legal process.

  • Managing all legal paperwork and documents.

  • Defending the case in court if it's necessary.

If the nursing home abuse lawyer proves negligence and reaches a settlement, clients could receive compensation for their losses.


Financial compensation might not be enough to make up for nursing home neglect, abuse, or exploitation. The emotional scars the person will have to deal with might not get better. However, it's a step in the right direction since perpetrators will pay for what they did.


Potential Awards - Should People Take Legal Action?


People should always take legal action if they believe their loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse or medical malpractice. Both often go hand in hand, and they could cause the person serious harm.


Tennessee law used to consider nursing home abuse cases as medical malpractice cases. Even though it changed in 2017, both situations still frequently happen in the same facilities.


Since there are so many older people in nursing homes and many of them suffer from various illnesses, they are vulnerable to experiencing neglect, malpractice, and abuse.


Once the person's loved ones contact nursing home abuse attorneys, they'll make sure justice is served and will do everything in their power for the clients to get compensation.


If the personal injury attorneys are able to prove nursing home abuse, they might get a settlement to make up for what the client went through. Some of the awards could be the following:

  • The cost of the person's stay in the nursing home when mistreatment happened.

  • Pain and suffering the person endured.

  • The value of financial assets or items the person lost while living in the nursing home.

  • Punitive damages against liable parties and the nursing home.

  • The cost of any medical care the person required due to nursing home abuse, medical malpractice, or neglect.

Nursing home abuse cases can be heartbreaking, and in many cases, devastating because the victim experiences intense symptoms of trauma. At the same time, some of the worst situations end in tragic deaths.


Unfortunately, some abuse perpetrators are so negligent that their actions result in the victim's death. In those cases, laws might differ, so families should contact a lawyer to help them.


Abiding by the statute of limitations and other laws when it comes to filing a nursing home abuse case is essential. At the same time, the rules and regulations that apply to each one might change depending on the client's specific circumstances.


Therefore, the only way to increase the chances of winning and getting compensation is to hire a nursing home abuse lawyer who can be the legal guide throughout the process.


The Legal Process and How Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Will Guide People


When family members suspect medical malpractice and that nursing home abuse might be happening, they may not know what to do or how to talk to their elders.


The sad part of it is that many elders don't understand what's going on. Instead, all they experience is pain, emotional suffering, and more. Therefore, hiring a professional to help people through this process is essential.


Once people are sure they want to take legal action for their nursing home abuse case, they should follow the next few steps.


Hiring an Attorney


Firstly, victims' families should hire a specialized lawyer with experience in medical malpractice claims and nursing home abuse cases.


Lawyers might offer a free consultation, in which the victim's loved ones can explain what's happening and tell them about their suspicions.


After the Nashville nursing home neglect attorney assesses the information, they'll decide whether to take the case or not and recommend specific suggestions to the family.


Collecting Evidence


In many cases, specialized lawyers will tell the family they need evidence to support their nursing home abuse or medical malpractice claim.


Many professionals will not want to proceed quickly until they've collected some evidence. Therefore, having proof of what's going on is crucial.


If the victim has suffered physical abuse, for example, their family members could show photos of the injuries.


When people suffer from financial exploitation or theft, they could show proof of the items they used to have, demonstrating that they disappeared. Copies of bank movements are also fantastic pieces of evidence.


Filing a Claim


Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can advise one questions such as, "How do I report a nursing home negligence in Tennessee?" While families and the lawyer themselves are still collecting evidence, the attorney might recommend filing a claim to make sure they abide by statutes of limitations.


Nursing home abuse and medical malpractice cases have a specific time within which a person can file them. Therefore, the victims' loved ones shouldn't wait - they must start the legal process as soon as possible.


Fortunately, it's the lawyer's job to keep track of all the dates and be aware of the different statutes of limitations depending on the case. Therefore, people can fully trust these experts since they'll explain what to do every step of the way.


Negotiating


In many cases, once someone files a nursing home abuse or medical malpractice claim, the organization (in other words, the facility) will try to settle out of court.


The victim or their families might receive a notification or a letter offering a specific amount of money to ensure the case doesn't go to trial.


Generally, victims shouldn't take the first offer they get. Instead, they should carefully evaluate it, renegotiate it, and make sure it matches the pain and suffering they've gone through.


The best way to approach the situation is by letting the lawyer handle things because they'll be able to determine if the victim is getting a fair offer or not.


If they're not, the attorney might encourage them and their families to continue the legal process and go to trial.


People can file a personal lawsuit against the perpetrators of nursing home abuse and medical malpractice. However, they may also file a civil suit that includes the facility because employers are responsible for the actions of their employees.


Going to Trial


Even though it sounds daunting, some lawsuits involving nursing homes go to trial. In some ways, it could be more convenient because an impartial judge will take a look at the evidence and decide how much money the person should have as a settlement for their suffering.


Lawyers will passionately defend people if they go to trial, so hiring them is crucial if the victim's family is planning to pursue legal action. They'll aggressively throw all the arguments they need to put up a strong narrative, proving that the person experienced intense suffering due to someone else's negligent, abusive, and reckless actions.


Getting Compensation


If the family and their lawyer win the case, they'll receive financial compensation for what they went through, which could help pay for medical expenses and other kinds of treatment the victim might need after suffering abuse.


What If There Was Medical Malpractice That Resulted in Death?

What If There Was Medical Malpractice That Resulted in Death?


Wrongful death cases due to medical malpractice in a nursing home abide by slightly different laws. Therefore, hiring a knowledgeable lawyer is crucial because they can tell the family the best actions to take.


Hiring an Expert Lawyer


At Schuerger Shunnarah, attorneys are ready to defend clients if they've suffered from nursing home neglect, abuse, or exploitation. They'll go to war for them, so victims should never hesitate to contact the firm if they need help.


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