What Is the Statute of Limitations for Nursing Home Negligence in Texas?
Anyone planning to file a lawsuit for nursing home abuse or neglect should consider the statute of limitations, which varies between one and six years from state to state.
The statute of limitations sets how long people have to take legal action after someone else's wrongful act.
However, understanding nursing home negligence statutes of limitations is challenging without the advice and guidance of an experienced attorney.
Fortunately, here's all the information victims need to file a claim against at-fault parties. Contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys for exactly what constitutes elder abuse in Texas.
Understanding Nursing Home Negligence Statutes of Limitations
Essentially, the statute of limitations is a law that sets a cap on the amount of time people have to initiate legal action against negligent parties.
Established by each state government, statutes of limitations cover different cases, including personal injury and medical malpractice. In this regard, these laws define how long victims have to file a claim for nursing home neglect.
The statute of limitations is one of the most crucial aspects in each case. If it expires, people lose the right to take legal action and seek justice or pursue financial compensation. However, some exceptions could extend this period.
Why There Are Statutes of Limitations
Many state governments have established statutes of limitations to encourage claimants to file lawsuits in a timely manner, as it may benefit their cases.
The faster victims act, the more chances they have to hold at-fault parties accountable and win their cases. If the lawsuit is filed long after the nursing home abuse or neglect occurred, key witnesses could forget important details, or claimants could lose access to evidence.
Mental or physical health conditions may affect older adults' memory, for example. If they're victims of nursing home abuse, they may forget what happened or struggle to recall facts.
In addition, courts use statutes of limitations to keep things relatively fair for all parties involved, as they provide enough time for plaintiffs to collect time-sensitive evidence while preventing people from filing a claim decades later, which benefits defendants.
Nursing Home Negligence Statute of Limitations in Texas
As mentioned, the statute of limitations varies from state to state. In Texas, people who plan to take legal action for a personal injury have up to two years to file a claim. Therefore, most victims work with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer to build their case and know if it falls within the deadline.
Also, as mentioned, certain cases qualify under specific conditions even if they're outside nursing home statutes of limitations.
Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations on Nursing Neglect Cases
Each state has also defined exceptions to the statutes of limitations that can extend how long people have to take legal action.
In Texas, the statute of limitations is extended if the case involves fraud to conceal the cause of action, the plaintiff is mentally disabled and cannot bring a claim, the victims are absent from the State of Texas, and more.
However, these are the most common exceptions for nursing home negligence cases:
The injury resulting from the nursing abuse appeared years later
The defendant commits fraud to conceal evidence or key facts on purpose
The plaintiff has a physical or mental disability and is not able to file a lawsuit against at-fault parties
The nursing home commits fraud to prevent the plaintiff from filing the claim
The statute of limitations for cases involving government-owned nursing homes or other facilities may also vary.
Can Victims File a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit After the Statute of Limitations Passes?
Most individuals won't be able to file a claim for nursing home negligence after the statute of limitations expires. However, victims shouldn't assume anything but contact an attorney to learn about the exceptions and determine if their cases are eligible.
An experienced lawyer can determine if victims still have time to file a lawsuit against a nursing home.
Filing a Lawsuit Within Nursing Home Negligence Statute of Limitations
If the statute of limitations has not passed, this is what victims must do to file a nursing home lawsuit:
Seek help from personal injury attorneys
Collect solid evidence to build their nursing home abuse cases
Review state and federal laws
Collect documents to support the case
Notify the nursing home administration of the abuse
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
In addition, victims must prove nursing home neglect to win the case, hold the at-fault party accountable, and recover compensation. Therefore, it's important to identify the signs of elder abuse.
The National Institute of Aging (NIA) explains that there are several types of nursing abuse and neglect, including the following:
These are the common signs of those types of abuse:
Depression and social withdrawal
Unexplained bruises and other injuries
It's important to note that victims may show other signs of nursing abuse, such as broken bones when they face physical harm or fall.
Also, there's nursing home neglect, which happens when caregivers fail to assist with meals or harm individuals indirectly.
Documents to Prove Nursing Home Negligence
Victims have the grounds to file a claim if they can show the nursing home violated their duty of care and harmed them or their loved ones. This process involves proving negligence according to state law.
Nursing home lawyers can help claimants understand their rights and collect evidence to prove their cases, which may include the following documents:
The patient's medical records
Photos of the injury
Statements from a doctor
Statements from witnesses
Records of past violations by the nursing home
How a Lawyer Can Help Nursing Home Residents File Personal Injury Claims
Personal injury cases are complex, especially if victims experience nursing home abuse. The statute of limitations can make things more difficult sometimes.
However, this deadline can favor plaintiffs. Additionally, as mentioned, victims may qualify for exceptions that extend the statute of limitations, giving them more time to file a nursing home abuse claim.
Fortunately, an experienced attorney can help them understand the entire legal process and discover if their case falls within the statute of limitations.
In addition, nursing home attorneys can help victims gather the evidence they need to file the claim before the deadline. They can also advise on things like what causes the most cycling accidents in Texas.
Personal injury lawyers also have extensive experience handling nursing home abuse cases and can help victims take legal action through different types of claims, such as the following:
Personal injury claims if someone is injured by someone else's actions
Medical malpractice claims if a doctor, hospital, or another healthcare professional was negligent
Wrongful death claims if a loved one died from nursing home abuse or neglect
Contact Schuerger Shunnarah's Elder Abuse Attorneys Today!
Individuals who have suffered nursing home abuse or their family members are entitled to compensation and legal justice. At Schuerger Shunnarah, we can help them hold at-fault parties accountable for their actions. Call us today and get a free consultation. Our law firm goes to war for victims!