Legal Steps to take to Initiate a Nursing Home Trial
The legal system is a formalized dance. It is a back and forth process with specific timing, contents, and structural requirements. However, he first move in any case is the complaint. Then, normally defendant(s) will file an answer to that complaint. Here is more information on this stage of your nursing home lawsuit.
After holding the initial and subsequent meetings with your client, conduct specific legal research, and investigating the various wrongs the nursing home and its agents or employees committed, you need to build a theory of your case. This theory is like a basket and it holds several things, including the following: the background of the plaintiff (your client), the exact nature of the wrongful conduct of the defendant(s), and the resulting injuries. This theory must be comprehensively drafted and filed in the form of the complaint. It is what kicks off the lawsuit and embodies all aspects of the case. To be sufficient, your nursing home complaint should contain the identities of all parties involved, jurisdictional/venue/statutory authority of the court, negligence and other wrongful conduct of the defendant(s), and the damages that resulted directly and proximately from this conduct. Normally, you will have two years to file the case following the incident. (735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/13-202). Here are a few sample Illinois nursing home complaints to give you a better idea of how to draft your own:
- Complaint 1-Negligence and Wrongful Death Nursing Home Case
- Complaint 2-Nursing Home Neglect Case
- Complaint 3-Nursing Home Pressure Sores Case
- Complaint 4-Nursing Home Fall Case
- Complaint 5-Nursing Home Care and Wrongful Death Case
Of course, your allegations will not be taken at face value and high-priced lawyers representing nursing home defendants will thrash and fight back at them in their answer. This is the formal response to your complaint. Within it, defendants must respond to every fact and claim in one of the three following ways: admit it, deny it, or state they do not have enough information to respond to a certain item. The timeframe for the answer is normally dictated by the first day of trial. By that date, they must file their answer unless the judge has amended the deadline for a particular reason. Note, however, that defendants are also entitled to raise affirmative defenses and counterclaims in their prayer for relief. If the defendant chooses to raise these, the plaintiff is then required to respond to all of them in a reply. Here are two sample answers from Illinois nursing home cases.