legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Nursing Home Abuse Compensation
Victims of nursing home abuse or their families can file injury claims to recover compensation from negligent nursing facilities. In doing so, they can receive nursing home abuse compensation through a settlement or verdict.
Nursing home abuse compensation helps victims and their loved ones pay for medical expenses, disability costs, new long-term care options, and other expenses resulting from mistreatment. Compensation helps people recover from the harm they’ve suffered and gain peace of mind, knowing they’ve held negligent parties accountable.
If you or a loved one suffered nursing home abuse, you could recover financial compensation through a personal injury case. The personal injury attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, can help you take legal action against the at-fault facility and ensure you receive a fair settlement from your claim.
Contact our nursing home abuse lawyers at (800) 926-7565 for a free consultation to learn more about your legal options.What is Nursing Home Abuse Compensation?
Nursing home abuse compensation is a monetary amount given to claimants who bring forth injury cases for abuse or neglect. It can come in the form of a nursing home lawsuit settlement or verdict, depending on which legal path a claimant takes.Nursing Home Abuse Settlement vs. Verdict
A nursing home abuse settlement is a voluntary but legally binding contract between a defendant and a plaintiff. Either the defendant (or their insurance company) offers a settlement amount, or the claimant sends a demand letter stating the amount they think their claim is worth.
In any case, nursing home abuse settlements go through negotiations between the two parties; the defendant and plaintiff must agree to the settlement amount, and only then will the case close. After the parties settle, the plaintiff can no longer sue the defendant for additional damages.
On the other hand, a nursing home abuse lawsuit occurs in court before a jury or judge who will decide the verdict, which can be in favor of either the defendant or plaintiff. If the plaintiff wins, the court determines the amount of their nursing home abuse compensation. Both parties can contest the verdict if they are unsatisfied with the result.Benefits of Pursuing Out-of-Court Nursing Home Abuse Compensation
Nursing home abuse settlements are legal agreements that often take place out of court, meaning they are usually less expensive, less formal, and less time-consuming than civil lawsuits.
However, a settlement negotiation can move toward nursing home litigation if the two parties cannot agree.What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse is any act that causes or creates a risk of harm to a resident, including:
- Physical Abuse: Intentional actions that cause injury or pain to a resident, e.g., kicking, punching, slapping, hair-pulling, pinching, pushing, or restraining without medical reasons.
- Psychological Abuse: Verbal or non-verbal actions intended to cause emotional or mental harm to a patient, e.g., humiliation, name-calling, gaslighting, intimidation.
- Sexual Abuse: Any non-consensual sexual contact with a nursing home resident, e.g., unwanted touching, indecent exposure, explicit photography, verbal sexual harassment, rape, etc.
- Financial Abuse: Any form of theft or exploitation against a nursing home resident, e.g., stealing valuables, forging checks, or using bank cards without permission.
- Neglect: The intentional or unintentional failure to provide a resident’s basic needs and causing harm to their physical or mental health.
Filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit or claim against a negligent facility could help you recover financial compensation for the following losses:
- Medical Bills: Out-of-pocket expenses for hospitalization, emergency transportation, medication, surgery, therapy, and other treatments for injuries or illnesses caused by abuse or neglect.
- Disability: Mobility aids, physical rehabilitation, and other costs of living with a disability if your loved one becomes permanently disabled from their injuries.
- Pain and Suffering: Financial compensation for physical and emotional harm caused by nursing home abuse, including physical pain, emotional anguish, and mental trauma.
- Loss of Quality of Life: Monetary compensation for quality or enjoyment of life lost due to the effects of abuse.
- Lost Wages: Income and benefits lost by family members while caring for their injured loved one.
- Wrongful Death: Funeral and burial costs, pre-death medical expenses, loss of consortium (for spouses), and other related damages if your loved one dies from elder abuse or neglect.
- Punitive Damages: Additional compensation awarded as part of some nursing home lawsuit settlements to punish defendants for egregious negligence.
According to a national survey by the Journal of Health Affairs, the average settlement for nursing home negligence cases is around $406,000. Some nursing home settlements go up to $1 million or more.
However, the variations in nursing home lawsuit settlements are significant, primarily due to the many case types and varying damages. An experienced lawyer can help determine how much your nursing home lawsuit or claim is worth, depending on your case’s specifics.Factors That Influence a Nursing Home Lawsuit or Claim
The value of your personal injury lawsuit or claim depends on several factors, including:
- Damages: Your nursing home lawsuit settlement will primarily depend on the extent of your damages. Generally, the more damages you incur, the higher the settlement amount.
- Severity of Injuries: Nursing home settlement amounts are typically higher for cases involving serious injuries, such as severe head trauma and spinal cord damage. The value is also higher for victims that suffer debilitating pain or become disabled due to the abuse.
- Policy Limits: Nursing homes have comprehensive liability insurance policies to limit liability in negligence cases. The facility’s policy limits may determine how much you can receive in a personal injury case or wrongful death settlement.
- Location: The physical location where the nursing home lawsuit is filed can influence the claim’s value. Cities, counties, and states place varying values on specific elements, such as pain and suffering. Past settlements of similar cases can also affect your total claim value.
- Communication With the Insurance Company: How you communicate with the facility’s insurance company can increase or decrease your nursing home settlement. For instance, the insurance carrier can use your words against you to lower your claim value. Therefore, you mustn’t give recorded statements or sign over any documents to the insurance company.
- Availability of Evidence: Nursing home lawyers gather as much evidence as possible to support elder abuse and neglect claims. The more evidence you have to prove the abuse and losses, the higher your chances of receiving more compensation.
- Level of Negligence: Cases involving gross negligence, such as severe medical malpractice and wrongful death, may result in higher settlements, partly due to punitive damages.
Below are past settlements recovered by our attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC:
- $3.1 million for a resident who developed a pressure ulcer due to nursing home neglect
- $2.3 million for a wheelchair user who fell down an unsafe stairway and suffered a traumatic brain injury
- $1.5 million for a 55-year-old resident who developed a pressure ulcer while recovering from a hip replacement
- $1.5 million for a dementia patient who ingested poisonous cleaning agents
- $1.25 million for a nursing facility resident who suffered over ten documented falls within three months
- $1.2 million for a family who filed a wrongful death lawsuit after their father choked on a piece of solid food despite being prescribed a pureed diet
You can take legal action against a negligent nursing facility through an injury claim. While going against any institution can be daunting, the legal process can be more straightforward with an experienced attorney.Who Can File Nursing Home Lawsuits?
The following can sue a nursing home or assisted living facility for negligence:
- Spouses and common-law partners
- Immediate family members (parents, children)
- Distant family members, if applicable (aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins)
- Non-relatives with powers of attorney
- Legal representatives of the victim’s estate
Every nursing home, assisted living facility, and long-term care establishment is legally obligated to protect residents’ rights, including the right to “be free from abuse and neglect.”
Hence, even if only one person is responsible for your loved one’s injuries, the facility will be accountable for failing to prevent nursing home neglect and abuse.How Does the Legal Process Work?
For abuse and neglect cases, attorneys often recommend filing insurance claims first. The process usually looks like this:
- Gathering Facts: Your lawyer will help you gather the necessary evidence to support your claim.
- Filing a Claim: Afterwards, you can file a claim with the facility’s insurance company.
- Initial Offer: The insurance company may send you an initial offer. However, the first offer may be lower than what your claim is worth. In this case, do not accept the payment, no matter how much the insurance carrier pressures you.
- Settlement Negotiations: Your attorney can help you negotiate a better offer by justifying your claim with evidence.
- Accepting the Offer: The company will offer compensation if the negotiation is successful. This process can take several weeks or months, and the payment will go to your attorney first, who will deduct their percentage before transferring the funds to you.
According to the Journal of Health Affairs, 88% of plaintiffs receive nursing home abuse compensation. Unfortunately, not all cases end in out-of-court settlements. If you must file a nursing home lawsuit, the process may look similar to this:
- Collecting Data: First, your lawyer will gather the facts of the case and as much evidence as possible.
- Filing the Nursing Home Lawsuit: Once they have gathered what they need to build a case, your lawyer will file the lawsuit with the appropriate court.
- Demand Letter: Your attorney may send a demand letter to the nursing home to try and get an early nursing home negligence settlement. The letter will explain why you deserve compensation and how much you need. From there, the defense attorney may send a counteroffer or reject the demand letter.
- Pre-trial Investigation: Both parties will collect evidence during the pre-trial investigation, also known as the discovery phase.
- Settlement Offer: The defense will make a nursing home settlement offer that you can accept or reject. If you take the offer, you will receive compensation according to the agreement, and the case will close. Otherwise, your nursing home negligence case may go to trial.
- Trial: If your case proceeds to litigation, the judge or jury will come up with a verdict, determining if you should receive compensation and how much. This process can take several months or more than a year. However, nursing home abuse cases can be settled before or during the trial.
As the plaintiff, the burden of proof rests on you. Your lawyer will help you gather as much evidence as possible to prove nursing home neglect or abuse, such as:
- Medical records
- Photos of injuries
- Incident reports
- Surveillance footage, if available
- Citations and violations from government agencies
- Witness testimony from nursing home staff members, family members, visitors, and other residents
- Expert testimony
- Autopsy report in case of a wrongful death lawsuit
States have varying statutes of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. In most states, plaintiffs have two to three years to file a case.
It’s crucial to pursue a nursing home lawsuit settlement immediately. Missing the deadline will ultimately lead to the denial of your case, meaning you won’t be able to recover nursing home abuse compensation.
Our lawyers can help you start injury or wrongful death settlement procedures as soon as possible to ensure you don’t miss the window for filing.When Are Nursing Home Lawsuits Necessary?
Sometimes, litigation is necessary to recover a nursing home neglect settlement. Your attorney may proceed with a lawsuit instead of a claim if:
- The defendant denies responsibility for your loved one’s injuries
- The defendant’s insurance company refuses to make a fair offer or denies the claim
- Settlement negotiations have stalled
Furthermore, filing a suit in civil court may be vital in a nursing home wrongful death case. Since wrongful death damages are often higher than injury claims, some defendants try to avoid paying what claims are worth.Litigation Alternatives
Plaintiffs and defendants can reach nursing home lawsuit settlements through arbitration or mediation. An arbitrator hears the facts and renders an award, while a mediator facilitates negotiations to help the parties reach an agreement.
Arbitrators and mediators are neutral parties and are not bound by legal precedent. However, they must follow Financial Industry Regulatory Authority codes.How Can a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Help?
You can recover nursing home abuse compensation independently. However, reaching a fair settlement is more manageable with legal help, as most nursing homes hire defense lawyers during nursing home lawsuit settlements.
An experienced attorney can help you recover fair compensation for medical bills, punitive damages, and other losses by:
- Investigating case facts, including how, why, and when the abuse happened
- Identifying liable parties and establishing their negligence
- Collecting evidence to support your claim
- Determining the value of your claim by calculating your losses and researching past personal injury settlements
- Filing a claim on your behalf
- Negotiating a fair nursing home lawsuit settlement
- Filing a case in civil court, if necessary
Pursuing nursing home abuse compensation is not the only way to hold a facility accountable for its negligence. You can also file a complaint to:
- Local law enforcement
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Adult Protective Services
- Department of Public Health
- Long-Term Care Ombudsman
- Office of the Attorney General
Call 911 if you think your loved one or another nursing home resident is in immediate danger.
The police may charge the perpetrator with a felony or misdemeanor for abuse, neglect, or medical malpractice. In any case, nursing home lawsuit settlements occur separately from criminal proceedings.Seek Legal Help from an Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Thousands of older adults suffer physical, emotional, and sexual abuse yearly in nursing homes. Unfortunately, many of these victims experience lasting consequences from their mistreatment.
The attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, help victims and their loved ones recover fair nursing home abuse compensation through out-of-court settlements or litigation. If you or a family member suffered mistreatment at a nursing home, our experienced lawyers are here to help you seek justice.
Contact our nursing home abuse attorneys at (800) 926-7565 or use the contact form for a free case review. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team will remain private under an attorney-client relationship.
Our lawyers handle all accepted cases on a contingency fee basis. This agreement ensures you don’t have to pay our legal fees unless we recover a nursing home neglect settlement for you.Resources: