Pam: So if a family is unhappy with the care their parent is receiving in a nursing home, do they have to hire a lawyer to file a lawsuit?
Barry Doyle: So, one of the things I tell people when they are thinking about whether or not they want to hire a lawyer is, if you’re an adult, you’re free to make all kinds of decisions, including bad ones that can cost you thousands of dollars or months of delay in resolving a case. When you’re actually acting on behalf of somebody else, the estate of somebody whose passed away, somebody who’s not able to manage their own affairs, then the law actually doesn’t allow you to go ahead and act on behalf of somebody else, so you actually do have to hire a lawyer, and you really need to make a decision to hire the right kind of lawyer.
Pam: Why? What makes someone the right kind of lawyer?
Barry Doyle: These cases really are their own kind of animal. Nursing homes are businesses that are operating in a very specific way. They’re covered by a very specific set of regulations that are issued by the federal government and by the state, by the Illinois Department of Public Health, and having a really good understanding of what those regulations are, and how they’re put into operation and practice really is sort of a fundamental basic part of being able to prosecute these kinds of cases effectively.
When you know how a nursing home is operated, and you’re looking at a chart, you have a very good idea of what the real significance is of the data that’s in the chart, and just as importantly you have a really good handle on what’s really significant in terms of what’s not in the chart. When you have this background, when you the skillset, it gives you a very specific set of lenses that you use to look at these kinds of cases.
So prosecuting these cases is a very specific kind of skillset and even people who are really experienced personal injury lawyers, really don’t understand it if they’ve not been handling a lot of these cases over a long period of time.
The bottom line is, this isn’t an area for dabblers and even people who are otherwise really very good, very skilled personal injury lawyers, when it comes to this particular kind of case, they are dabblers.
Pam: You’re watching Fighting for What’s Right with Attorney Barry Doyle. Feel free to subscribe to our channel and check out fightingforwhatsright.com.