If you have an elderly parent or loved one in a nursing home, you hope he or she is getting the best care possible. Yet despite our best intentions of assuring our loved ones are properly cared for in their elder years, nursing home abuse and neglect are a real problem in the U.S. This can often include physical, sexual, or psychological abuse; financial exploitation; or simply neglecting the needs of the person which can lead to bed sores, malnutrition, dehydration, and more. If you are thinking of filing a claim against a provider, here is some information on nursing home lawsuit settlements and where to go for legal help when you need it most.
Remember, every case is different and no outcome is guaranteed. To learn more, speak with a qualified lawyer in your area.
Q: What are typical nursing home abuse claims?
A: There are two main types of claims that are brought against nursing homes and their employee caregivers. First, owners or employees can be liable for negligence, abuse, false imprisonment, or simply neglect. The more serious matter is when an older person dies as a result of an action or inaction of the nursing home. At that point, you may be able to bring a wrongful death action.
Q: How does a settlement work?
A: A settlement is basically a resolution of your case without having to go to trial. Both sides come to the negotiating table and agree on an amount of money in exchange for giving up the right to pursue any further legal action in connection with the incident. Most nursing home abuse cases end up settling and never having a jury trial. According to one study, only 8 percent of all cases reached the trial stage.
Q: What is the average settlement amount?
A: Here we have to make a BIG disclaimer. It is almost impossible to predict the outcome of any case with precision – particularly in relationship to settlements. Every case has unique facts, evidence, and witnesses. No two cases are exactly alike and juries are always different. Having said that, a recent study by Health Affairs, a health and policy thought and research peer-reviewed journal, found that the average recovery amount among paid claims was $406,000. Some states such as Texas and Florida reported a higher than average recovery.
Q: Is there a limit to how much I can recover from a nursing home lawsuit?
A: Yes, many states now limit the amount of recovery for a plaintiff in a nursing home abuse case. Known as a "damages cap," these are laws meant to limit the amount of pain and suffering damages a litigant can receive in a lawsuit. Pain and suffering damages are also known as non-economic damages because and include emotional distress such a fright, terror, grief, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), or even damages like loss of enjoyment of life. States such as California have a limit on non-economic losses in nursing home cases as a way to manage the high cost of running a nursing home and facilitate tort reform.
Nursing Home Lawsuit Settlement FAQs: Related Resources
Get a Claim Review of Your Nursing Home Abuse Case
Nothing can be more heart-wrenching than realizing your elderly parent is being abused or neglected by their supposedly trusted caregivers. But despite your emotional reaction, now is the time to fight back. You can do that by filing a lawsuit against the caregiver or their parent company. Learn more about filing a nursing home abuse case by contacting a local personal injury attorney who specializes in these types of cases. Begin today with a claim review.
Contact a qualified personal injury attorney to make sure your rights are protected.