Why would a firm sit on a case for a year then decline to take it?
12 months ago I hired a legal firm who specialized in eldercare abuse. We provided video, photos and detailed records of the events that occurred.
My mother had advanced dementia – between the 19th and 24th of March, 2016 she experienced 4 traumatic events at the nursing home to include being left out of her room for 12 ½ hours that day, then, an aide drops her in the restroom tearing the skin off the top of her left hand. She literally shuts down, refusing food, medicine or anyone touching her. Two days later they tell us they have found burns on her legs and the 4th day a 3” bedsore split open on her butt area. On the 25th they tell us she is in the active stages of dying and she passes on the 31st.
For 11 months I tried to get an answer to my question “are you taking the case or not?” Always an excuse as to why that question could not be answered. 2 weeks ago the attorney they had assigned to us call to say they would be unable to take the case. I asked for all the information from the case – which contained nothing more than all of her medical records and a court request for the Coroners records (with no records included).
5 attorney answers
It can take time to collect records and evaluate a case, but I agree with you, 12 months is a very long time. You still have time to file a lawsuit so I would suggest you contact other lawyers who focus their practice on nursing home cases and go with the one you feel comfortable with. The Avvo find a lawyer function will help you do this. You shouldn't delay finding another lawyer because if you wait until the statute of limitation is about to expire, many lawyers will turn the case down for this reason alone. Good luck.
Nursing home abuse cases (especially wrongful death claims) can take months to investigate. I would assume the firm was obtaining all your loved one's records and having them reviewed by experts.
Regardless of the reason, that law firm turned down your case. You need to speak with a new lawyer ASAP. It is important to remember that your nursing home wrongful death claim is subject to a strict statute of limitations. Do not delay in finding a new nursing home negligence attorney.
Best of luck,
Nothing in this answer is to be interpreted as legal advice. I would need more facts to fully assess your case. This does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
It's hard to know why there was a delay. Finding the right lawyer is key. When you find one that agrees to review it, get a commitment on a deadline of acceptance or rejection.
The delay could be due to a number of reasons, but a year is unusual. The decision to turn down the case may have been predicated upon their review of the records, a consultation with an expert, or a failure of the facility to have insurance or collectible assets. Regardless, you should have another attorney review your case as soon as possible.