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Elder Abuse FAQs

Q: What is the average lifespan of a case for elder neglect against a skilled nursing facility or assisted living facility?

A: Though there can be a huge range of timeframes for this type of cases depending on various factors, the average case goes from beginning to end in approximately 9 months-1.5 years. However, the California Code of Civil Procedure includes a provision that gives trial preference to elders age 70 and above if their health is such that trial preference is necessary to prevent prejudicing the party’s interest in the litigation. This means that if the legal requirements can be met, the trial will be set within 120 days of the hearing on a motion for trial preference.

Q: Does your firm charge for the initial client consultation?

A: No. Stebner Gertler Guadagni & Kawamoto does not charge for the initial client consultation. We operate on a contingency fee basis, meaning that there is no hour charge to the client, no up-front cost to the client, and no risk to the client in the event that an award or settlement is not obtained.

Q: What will happen if I contact Stebner Gertler Guadagni & Kawamoto about my potential case?

A: Our staff will work with you to gather relevant information so that the liability and damages you or your loved one suffered can be evaluated by our team in order to decide what the next steps might be.

Q: How much time do I have to file a lawsuit?

A: It is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after you become aware of or suspect an incident of elder abuse or neglect, as the Statute of Limitations may vary depending on the potential defendant(s) in the case. Additionally, with the passage of time, witnesses can become difficult to reach, documents may be lost or destroyed, and memories fade.

Q: What is the value of my potential case?

A: The value of a potential case is something that is typically not apparent at the time of an initial consultation, and there may be a big range of values between cases that at first blush seem similar. When evaluating a case, our team will look at medical and other records, speak with witnesses, obtain bills and/or financial documents and take other steps to fully evaluate all aspects of a potential case. We look primarily at defendants’ liability (i.e., whether we can prove that someone did something wrong with regard to the subject incident) and then at whether what defendants did or did not do caused injury to the potential plaintiff (the damages). Additionally, the value of a case will be affected by deposition testimony of both plaintiffs and witnesses for the defendant.