How Williams DeLoatche Screens a Nursing Home Case

At Williams DeLoatche, our mission is clear: we strive to turn victims into victors. We are dedicated to holding nursing homes accountable for instances of abuse and neglect of the elderly. To achieve this, we follow a meticulous approach to screening our cases. In this blog post, we’ll provide insight into our mission, the challenges we face, and the criteria we use to select cases that we believe we can make a difference in.

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The Importance of Accountability

Elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes are grave issues that can have devastating consequences for vulnerable residents. It is our firm belief that those responsible for such mistreatment should be held accountable. However, prosecuting nursing home abuse and neglect cases is a complex and costly endeavor. To put it into perspective, it can require upwards of a hundred thousand dollars and several years to properly pursue a case. We are willing to invest this money and time into our cases because we genuinely believe in the importance of our mission. However, the cost and time resources required to prosecute these cases severely limit the types of cases we can undertake each year.

Selective Case Review

To make the most impact and utilize our resources effectively, we must be selective in the cases we take. We understand that every case deserves attention, but due to constraints in time and resources, we can only accept a fraction of those presented to us. In fact, we take on only about one out of every twenty cases we review. This selective approach ensures that we can devote our full attention and resources to the cases that stand the best chance of success.

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Factors We Consider

When determining which cases to accept, we consider several factors to gauge the potential for success and the severity of the abuse or neglect:

  1. Nature of the Injuries: The extent and nature of the injuries suffered by the nursing home resident are crucial factors. We prioritize cases where residents have endured severe harm due to abuse or neglect. Since the damages awarded are often directly linked to the nature of the harm caused we must choose cases that have a reasonable chance of a significant recovery so that we can pay for the litigation expenses and ensure that our clients who were the real victims see compensation rather than just attorneys, experts and lienholders. 
  2. “The expectation Gap”:  One tool we use at Williams DeLoatche to assist us in determining if a case is one we can pursue is the concept of the “expectation gap”. The “expectation gap” is the difference between what the reasonable expectations were for the resident upon admission to the nursing home versus the outcome that actually occurred. So if a resident was supposed to be in a nursing home for short-term rehabilitation for a few weeks but in reality they died from an infected pressure injury they developed at the nursing home there is a large “expectation gap”. On the other hand, we seldom take cases for residents in hospice because those residents have been certified by a physician to already have a life expectancy of 6 months or less so the “gap” between their expected outcome and what occurred is often more narrow.   
  3. Evidence: The strength of the evidence available is a key consideration. We need sufficient evidence to build a compelling case against the nursing home. It is not uncommon for our resident client to be deceased or demented and unable to assist us through their testimony. More often than not we are left proving the defendant nursing home was negligent through their own employees and what they documented in the chart. As you can imagine, nursing home staff members don’t typically admit or document their own abuse or neglect of residents. Therefore, contemporary emails or writings from the family alerting the staff to problems well before the family sought a lawyer, witnesses who visited the resident, and photographs and videos of wounds or treatments are all important pieces of evidence that can make the difference between whether we can prove a case in Court or whether we know something bad happened but simply can’t prove it. We cannot take a case we cannot prove no matter how high our suspicions may be.


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Choosing which cases to take and which to decline is never easy. Every day, we must make difficult decisions, often declining cases that we genuinely wish we could accept. Our heart goes out to every victim, and it is incredibly challenging to turn away individuals who have suffered injustices.

At Williams Deloatche, our mission is to turn victims into victors by holding nursing homes accountable for abuse and neglect of the elderly. We take a painstaking approach to screening cases, selecting those that have the best chance of success and the most severe instances of abuse or neglect. While we wish we could help every victim, our selective approach allows us to make a significant impact where it matters most. We are committed to our mission, and we will continue to fight for justice on behalf of the elderly residents who have suffered in silence.