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Should I Hire an Iowa Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer or Settle the Case On My Own?

Posted By Pressley Henningsen - 06.25.20

If you believe your loved one is a victim of serious nursing home abuse or neglect in Iowa, you may think hiring an attorney is the only way to get justice. However, there are pros and cons to hiring a lawyer for a possible Iowa nursing home abuse claim.  Unless your loved one has suffered serious injuries or death because of a nursing home’s negligence, it may not be worth getting an attorney involved.

Why You Should Not Hire an Iowa Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

There are a couple of reasons for this. The biggest issue is one of cost. Simply put, it can cost $50,000 or more to investigate a serious nursing home abuse claim and take it to a jury trial. This high cost is due to hiring experts for the case, investigating the claims of abuse, and preparing for trial. If your loved one was not seriously or permanently injured, you may decide that hiring a lawyer isn’t a good financial decision for your family.

It also may not make sense to put your family through a rigorous, invasive process like a nursing home claim. During the case, you may hear details about the abuse your loved one endured. That can be a very emotional experience, and some people find it can be too much to handle.

Proving Nursing Home Abuse in Iowa is Difficult

Serious nursing home abuse or neglect claims are complex cases. When you bring a case against a facility, the burden of proof is on you to show that the nursing home was negligent, and that their negligence resulted in your loved one’s serious injuries or death. This is more difficult and expensive than you may think.

A complete investigation of the accident is the only way to know what happened. The first part of the investigation involves the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals. Iowa law requires you to ask the Department of Inspections and Appeals to do an investigation into the incident to learn if it was neglect or abuse. You can do this part of the investigation yourself.

Contact the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals either by phone or mail. The IDIA will investigate your claim and report back whether they found evidence of nursing home abuse or neglect. This report will be crucial to proving your loved one was injured because of the nursing home’s fault.

If your report was substantiated – meaning they found evidence of abuse or neglect – then your next step is to call an experienced Iowa nursing home abuse lawyer. Most attorneys offer a free initial consultation where you can explain the abuse or neglect and show them any evidence you’ve collected, including the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals’ report. If an attorney decides to take your case, they will inform you of the next steps to take.

Keep in mind you only have two years from the date your loved one was injured to file a lawsuit or settle your claim. This is known as the statute of limitations. Two years can pass deceptively quickly, so it’s a good idea to contact an experienced Iowa nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible.

If you would like more information about Iowa nursing home claims, including 10 things to know if you suspect nursing home abuse, download your free copy of the Law Guide to Iowa Nursing Home Abuse Claims.

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