A report in the journal Health Affairs found the average settlement for a nursing home abuse claim was $406,000. However, each settlement depends on the case details.
The following factors can affect the settlement you receive.
Your Total Damages
The value of your claim depends on your “damages.” Personal injury damages are about what the at-fault party has cost you physically, emotionally, and financially. In a case against a nursing home, you’ll seek compensation for damages from abuse or neglect.
Nursing home abuse damages can include:
- Medical bills
- Prescription or over-the-counter medications
- Psychological counseling
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
An abused resident will probably need medical care as they recover. They’ll also deserve compensation for mental and emotional suffering. Before filing a claim, you’ll need to consider all of the possible damages.
Some victims will qualify for punitive damages, too. These damages are available when there has been a total lack of care or maliciousness. Abuse and neglect often fall under those criteria. Punitive damages are about punishing the at-fault party and preventing similar future actions.
A nursing home abuse lawyer can help calculate the damages. Experienced attorneys know how to account for all losses that a victim has suffered. They can determine what type of settlement you deserve based on your damages.
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Wrongful Death Claims
Family members might bring a wrongful death claim after a loved one has died. Maybe the family suspects abuse or neglect led to the deceased’s death. The nursing home or a staff member might be liable for what the resident suffered before they died.
Wrongful death claims for nursing home abuse have some of the highest settlements. The damages might include:
- Medical expenses from the loved one’s last treatment
- Pain and suffering the loved one experienced before they died
- Funeral and burial expenses
A lawyer can help your family know your legal options. Specific family members can bring a wrongful death claim on behalf of a loved one who’s died.
Caps on Personal Injury Damages
Some states will limit how much an injury victim can receive in a settlement. In Georgia, there are no caps for economic or non-economic damages.
The state can limit punitive damages to $250,000, according to OCGA §51-12-5.1. However, there are no limits when the case involves intentional acts, such as if a nursing home worker acted with hostility. Nursing home abuse cases can fall into that category.
Settlements vs. Trials
How far your case goes will also influence your settlement. Most cases settle outside of a trial, meaning they may be lower than a court verdict. However, settlements can still be in the hundreds of thousands or millions.
After you file a claim, the nursing home’s insurance company might offer you a low settlement. An experienced lawyer can help negotiate for a higher settlement offer. If you’re successful, you can cover your damages without having to go to trial.
Your attorney can determine the best course of action for you. To discuss your case during a free consultation, call us at John Foy & Associates. We have 20-plus years of experience, and we do not collect a fee unless we win your case.
Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get started with your free consultation.
Timeline for a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
You’ll settle your case sooner with a settlement versus going to trial. However, taking a case all the way is the best option in some situations.
Lawsuits typically take between 18 and 24 months to resolve. If you go to court, the timeline could be longer. Your lawyer can also give you the best estimation of your case timeframe.
Here are the best involved in seeking a settlement.
After family members learn about nursing home abuse, they’ll typically contact a lawyer for help. The lawyer can examine the best and add up the victim’s damages. They’ll begin to prepare the demand letter.
Sending the Complaint
The demand letter, or complaint, is a document stating:
- The abuse or neglect that has occurred
- How the nursing home was negligent
- How much the victim is seeking in compensation
You’ll file the complaint with the nursing home or their insurance company. If you don’t already have a lawyer, this is the time to start looking for one.
The nursing home might offer the victim a settlement. If you accept compensation, it will end your ability to seek additional money. So, make sure any offer you get is fair before taking it.
It’s best to consult an attorney before taking any money. The first offer might seem like a good deal initially, but it’s almost surely a lowball. You’ll need to negotiate with the insurer for an offer that actually deserves your damages.
A nursing home abuse attorney can handle the negotiations. In many cases, an experienced lawyer can achieve a settlement deal that works for both parties.
If you cannot settle with the insurance company, you might decide to move towards trial.
Both sides will enter the pre-trial process known as discovery. Then, each party will prepare their cases and gather additional evidence. The case might move to mediation or arbitration to help both sides reach an agreement. If that doesn’t happen, you’ll set a trial date.
If the case goes to trial, both sides will present their cases, and a judge or jury will give a verdict. Trials are lengthy and complicated, so you’ll want to work with a lawyer who is prepared to fight.
Our attorneys are not afraid of complicated cases. Our founder earned a reputation as the Strong Arm because we stand up to insurance companies and fight for your rights.
What Is the Statute of Limitations?
In Georgia, you must bring a lawsuit within two years of the injury date, according to OCGA §9-3-33. In some instances, you could have less time. That means you should start working on your case today.
At John Foy & Associates, we can help you take the right steps if a loved one has suffered abuse or neglect. We understand healthcare facility regulations and tort laws related to your situation.
We have over 20 years of experience and over $1 billion in results. Our lawyers also do not charge a fee unless we win you money. Reach out today to learn what type of settlement you can expect.
Get a Free Consultation with a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
To get a free, no-risk consultation, call (404) 400-4000 or reach out through our contact page.