Skip to Content

Criminal Vs. Civil Nursing Home Abuse Cases

Criminal Vs. Civil Nursing Home Abuse Cases


Nursing home abuse cases most often fall into one of two categories, criminal or civil. The distinction usually comes down to the severity of the abuse, how it was conducted, and what is exactly at stake. The differences are important for those with family members suffering from abuse to understand, as the processes and outcomes of the cases may look different. 

California nursing home abuse attorneys are working around the clock to ensure that their clients find justice. Joel Bryant is one of these attorneys, hoping to help you better understand which paths are available to you when embarking on a case of nursing home abuse. 

The Main Differences Between Criminal and Civil Cases

A civil case is a type of lawsuit in which the abused senior or their family is involved in a dispute over injury or money with the nursing home facility or staff. When the senior and their party files a claim, the civil case is initiated. One of the hallmarks of a civil case is the fact that the plaintiff is requesting a form of financial compensation, in lieu of more serious punishments. Civil cases can evolve into criminal cases as well. 

Usually, criminal cases deal with more serious forms of abuse. This is most often manifested in cases in which the senior is sexually assaulted or experiences physical violence. Authorities such as the police are involved in criminal cases, meaning the punishment may be more severe. 

The Process of Nursing Home Abuse Cases 

It is important to enlist the help of a nursing home abuse attorney when filing a lawsuit or claim. Completing the proper steps required may better ensure a better outcome for your case. 

  1. Investigation and filing of the lawsuit. In this stage, your lawyer will give you a better idea of what lays ahead. The steps that will need to be taken, what to collect to strengthen your case, and other important caveats will improve your case’s chances. Your party may need witness testimonies, contracts, evidence, and more to ensure success.
  2. Discovery. Next, information gained by each party is shared and your team prepares to go to trial. The intention of this phase is to separate fact from fiction, cross examining witnesses and other tools to strengthen your case. 
  3. Trial Prep and Mediation. Your legal team will use the information and analyses gathered in the discovery phase to get a better idea of how the trial could play out. This may be beneficial if the defendants offer a settlement that is beneficial to the senior.
  4. Trial. In the case that an agreement is not settled upon, the case moves to trial, and the decision is reached by a judge or jury. 

Call a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today

Joel Bryant has been working in the legal field of senior abuse for a substantial amount of time. Throughout his experience and passion, he stands out among other San Diego nursing home abuse attorneys who may be looking for the quick way out. Reach out to Joel Bryant today to learn more about how he can help your senior citizens get justice.