The damages you can recover might include:
- Economic damages like medical treatment costs
- Non-economic damages like pain and suffering
- Punitive damages for malicious or reckless behavior
Let’s look at each of these damages more closely.
Economic Damages for Nursing Home Abuse
Economic damages are financial losses the victim suffers because of an injury or harm.
Examples of economic damages include:
- Medical bills
- Prescription medications
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Stolen money
According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), most nursing home residents live at the facility permanently because of mental or physical conditions. Nursing home residents are not typically earning an income, so they might not have lost wages. However, the resident may need medical care to recover from abuse or neglect.
Family members and an attorney can help figure out all economic losses. These damages are the easiest to calculate because they have set values. You can provide bills or records to prove these losses.
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Non-Economic Damages for Abuse or Neglect
Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are harder to calculate since they’re about the victim’s pain and suffering.
Non-economic damages can include:
- Physical or emotional pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Fear, embarrassment, or humiliation
An attorney will use a standard formula to calculate non-economic losses. Most of the time, it’s your total economic damages times a number between 1.5 and five. The number depends on your case details, so talk to a lawyer before assuming your non-economic damages.
Punitive Damages for Abuse
According to OCGA §51-12-5.1, punitive damages are awarded when the at-fault party’s actions are incredibly careless, fraudulent, or malicious. The party shows that they are indifferent to the consequences of their actions.
Punitive damages are an option for many abuse or neglect cases. Unlike economic or non-economic damages meant to compensate the victim, punitive damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer.
How to Fight for Total Compensation
When you contact a lawyer, they can estimate your case value. They’ll look at all of your damages and determine what you deserve in compensation. This will help the victim and their family decide on the best options.
You can usually start by filing a personal injury claim against the nursing home. Your claim should outline:
- The harm that was done to the victim
- The nursing home’s negligence (or carelessness) in what happened
- The victim’s total damages from the abuse or neglect
- What the victim is seeking in compensation
The insurance company might respond with a settlement offer, but it’s usually way too low. Your lawyer will work to negotiate a settlement offer that is fair and reasonable.
Most claims settle out of court. But if you cannot settle, you might consider taking your case to court. An attorney can help weigh the pros and cons of going to trial.
Before the trial date, your lawyer will prepare your side and continue negotiations. You might still be able to settle before going all the way to court. If you do go to trial, a jury or judge will decide your verdict.
Wrongful Death Damages
Some families bring a case after a loved one has died from suspected abuse or neglect. The following family members might bring a wrongful death claim:
A representative of the victim’s estate can also file a claim if there are no surviving family members who qualify.
Wrongful death claims seek compensation on behalf of the deceased loved one. The claim seeks financial recovery for the “full value” of the loved one’s life.
Wrongful death damages can include:
- Medical costs from the loved one’s last illness
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pain and suffering the loved one experienced right before they died
- Loss of companionship
If a family member died in a nursing home and you suspect neglect or abuse, don’t wait. Talk to a lawyer today about your legal options.
Our team at John Foy & Associates can help you understand your rights. We’ll discuss your case and assist you in getting started. We bring the power of the Strong Arm, and to us, each case is personal.
We do not charge a fee unless we win your case. To get a free, no-risk consultation, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.
The Average Settlement for Nursing Home Neglect
Every case is different. But according to the journal Health Affairs, the average settlement for nursing home abuse is about $406,000. However, some cases can reach millions in compensation. It all depends on your situation and the details of your damages.
Although money can never undo what’s happened, a settlement helps bring justice to nursing home residents and their families. Loved ones can recover costs and start the process of moving forward.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Nursing Home Lawsuit?
If you go to trial, it can be a lengthy process. The average nursing home lawsuit usually takes between 18 and 24 months to resolve. That includes preparations for court, the actual trial, and getting the final settlement payment.
If you do not go to trial, your case might settle much earlier. Thankfully, most personal injury claims settle without having to go to court.
There are cases where going to court is the best option. If so, your lawyer should be ready to represent you every step of the way.
You Have Two Years to File
The statute of limitations to seek compensation for nursing home abuse is usually two years from the incident. However, you have less time in some situations. There could also be disagreements about when the abuse or neglect started.
An experienced lawyer can determine the deadline for your case and help you file within that time. This is crucial because if you miss the deadline, you might be unable to recover any damages.
At John Foy & Associates, we are not afraid of complicated or lengthy litigation. We’ll fight for you and your family from start to finish. With over 20 years of experience, we know what it takes to win cases.
Talk to a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer for Free Today
Call us today for a free, no-risk consultation. You pay nothing unless we win you a settlement or court award. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get started with your free consultation.