Every nursing home abuse case is different, but most will settle out of court. Trials take a lot of time and resources. You might decide to accept a settlement instead of going through the court process.
It’s best to talk to a lawyer before deciding what to do. Even if you get a settlement offer, it might not be enough to cover your damages. Your attorney can calculate what a fair settlement looks like and help you negotiate a good offer.
Settling Out of Court vs. Going to Trial
If a loved one suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home, you can take legal action. The first step is usually to send a demand letter to the facility and its insurance company. The insurance company might then respond with a settlement offer.
If you accept a settlement, you’ll close the case and agree not to take things any further. So, you’ll want to ensure the settlement is fair. Settlement money can help a family recover costs and achieve some justice. However, sometimes it’s impossible to get the type of compensation you deserve.
If you cannot achieve a fair settlement agreement, you might consider going to court. If you go to trial, you’ll either win higher compensation or win nothing. Going to court is riskier than negotiating a settlement, but you have a chance of a better outcome.
Before accepting any money from the other side, talk to a nursing home abuse lawyer. An attorney can help you decide what’s best based on your situation. They’ll also help protect you from common insurance company tactics used to pay you less.
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Work with an Attorney Who Has Gone to Court
Although settling out of court is best for most people, avoid law firms who only get fast settlements. Known as settlement mills, these firms cycle through cases quickly without fighting for each client’s best outcome. Find an attorney who has taken claims to trial and is not afraid of a court case.
At John Foy & Associates, we have over 20 years of experience fighting for injury victims and their families. We’re the Strong Arm of Georgia because we don’t back down from the other side and their insurance companies.
Learn more about what we can do for you during a free consultation. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.
Finding Out How Much Your Settlement Should Be
The compensation you deserve depends on your damages. When you work with an attorney, they’ll calculate your total personal injury damages.
Here are common damages a victim has from nursing home abuse.
Medical Treatment Costs
The nursing home resident might need medical treatment due to the abuse or neglect they suffered.
Treatment expenses might include:
- Doctor or hospital bills
- Prescription or over-the-counter medications
- Psychological counseling
- Future or ongoing treatment costs
You can include any medical expenses in your claim. If a loved one suffered abuse, family members can help them save bills and other evidence of their costs.
Pain and Suffering
Nursing home abuse can result in much physical and mental pain and suffering. These are non-economic damages that you can include in your claim.
Calculating non-economic damages is complicated. Your lawyer will use a formula that usually involves multiplying your economic losses by a number between 1.5 and five. The total will be your non-economic injury costs.
Courts might also award punitive damages after neglect or abuse. Unlike the above damages, punitive damages are about punishing the at-fault party and preventing similar behavior from happening again.
An experienced lawyer can determine if you deserve punitive damages.
Lost wages are also common damages in personal injury cases. However, most nursing home residents no longer earn an income. Lost wages are usually not a part of these abuse cases.
Your attorney can add up all of your damages to see what type of settlement you deserve. Ideally, the compensation should cover all of your losses from the harm the nursing home has done.
How Long It Takes to Settle a Nursing Home Lawsuit
The average for a nursing home abuse lawsuit is usually between 18 and 24 months. However, you get a settlement sooner if you don’t go to court. In some instances, trials can last much longer.
Settling out of court will bring a resolution sooner, but you’ll want to make sure your offer is fair. Your attorney can help you decide what’s best for you and your family.
Some victims choose to settle sooner and not draw out the process, especially if they are in poor health or too frail to handle a trial.
For a free legal consultation, call 404-400-4000
Can You Sue a Nursing Home for Neglect?
Neglect is a type of abuse in nursing homes. It can include:
- Not providing enough food or water
- Failure to help with personal hygiene
- Neglecting a resident’s medical concerns
- Emotional or social neglect
Nursing homes must follow the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH)’s HFR laws and regulations. Residents’ rights include abuse and neglect prevention. If a loved one has been neglected at a nursing home, they probably have a legal case.
Wrongful Death Cases
Family members can help a loved one bring a claim for damages from abuse or neglect. If a resident dies from this behavior, certain family members can bring a wrongful death claim.
Wrongful death damages may include:
- Medical costs from the loved one’s last treatment
- Pain and suffering the loved one experienced before they died
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of companionship
Whether the resident or a family member brings a case, they can seek a settlement. A nursing home abuse lawyer can help fight for what the victim deserves. That could be in a form of a settlement outside of court or a verdict at trial.
How Long Do You Have to Settle a Case?
You have two years to file a lawsuit in Georgia, according to OCGA §9-3-33. If you miss the deadline, you’ll miss your chance to recover any compensation. To make sure you have enough time to build a case, call an experienced attorney.
At John Foy & Associates, we are not afraid to take your case as far as necessary. Contact us today to learn your legal options and how we can help. We do not collect a fee unless we win your case.
Talk to a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney for Free
To get a free, no-strings-attached consultation today, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.