Lancaster Nursing Home Abuse Trial Process
If your loved has sustained abuse while residing in a Lancaster nursing home, you have legal options. In addition to any criminal consequences that occur, your loved one also is entitled to seek civil compensation for their injuries. A dedicated injury attorney could guide you and your family on the potential targets of a civil lawsuit.
Many nursing home abuse cases conclude with a mutual settlement long before trial. Certain cases will ultimately go before a judge or jury at some point. Understanding the basics of the Lancaster nursing home abuse trial process could be beneficial to your family member as the trial approaches. Speak to a seasoned nursing home abuse attorney to discuss the specifics of your case.
Why Neglect Cases Might Go to Trial
There are several reasons why a nursing home abuse case might go to trial. Despite the frequency with which these cases settle, some parties will never approach common ground. Some of the factors that might lead to a trial could include:
- The defendant’s insistence of innocence
- The facilities’ insurance carrier denying the claim
- The defendant’s inability to pay towards a settlement
- Complex issues of law that cannot be agreed upon
It is possible for negotiations to continue up to the point the trial starts. In some situations, resolutions could be reached during the trial process. As the trial date approaches, however, it is crucial for the plaintiff and their attorney to be ready to litigate their claim.
Steps in the Trial Process
While no two abuse cases are the same, they all follow a similar structure at trial. The process begins with the selection of a jury and ends with that jury rendering a decision. In between those two steps, the sides will each put on the evidence that supports their case.
The first step in the trial process is jury selection. Some cases are heard without a jury. These cases, known as bench trials, are decided entirely by the judge. Should either side insist on a jury trial, the selection process will take place at the onset of the trial.
Before trial, the court will call in a large pool of potential jurors. Both sides will take turns asking questions of these jurors and striking names from the list until a jury is chosen.
The trial itself begins with opening statements. The plaintiff will begin, followed by the defendant. These statements are intended to preview the case and the evidence that the jury will see during the trial.
Next, both parties will put on their case. Starting with the plaintiff, both sides will call witnesses and introduce evidence to the jury. Each side will also have a chance to ask questions of the other side’s witness.
At the close of evidence, both sides will make closing statements. The closing statement is the final chance to address the jury, and many attorneys use it to highlight the strongest evidence in their favor.
Deliberation and Verdict
At the end of the case, the judge will give the jury instructions and send them to deliberate. The jury could take minutes or days to reach a decision. When they do, they will return to the courtroom to inform the judge. The judge will then announce the verdict to the courtroom.
Discuss the Lancaster Nursing home Abuse Trial Process with an Attorney
While nursing home abuse trials can be unpredictable, they usually share a similar process. These cases can take a matter of hours or up to a few weeks, depending on the complexity of the case.
Without firsthand experience with handling a similar trial, it can be hard to estimate how long it will take for the process to play out. An experienced attorney could advise you on what to expect during the Lancaster nursing home abuse trial process. Schedule a consultation today.