Nursing Home Settlements

A settlement is the most common outcome of a nursing home abuse lawsuit, with about 92% of cases settling out of court. Through a nursing home settlement, victims may get compensation without going to trial. Settlements do not take away the pain of your loved one being mistreated, but they can bring justice to victims and families. The average settlement amount for nursing home abuse cases is around $406,000, according to the journal Health Affairs.

What Are Nursing Home Settlements?

Nursing home settlements occur after lawsuits have been filed by plaintiffs (victims of abuse and their family members) against the defendants (usually nursing home staff members and/or administrators).

In a nursing home abuse settlement, the defendants agree to pay the plaintiffs for the harm that was done. The case is then dismissed.

Settlements award compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Punitive damages for pain and suffering
  • Other expenses as needed

Settling the lawsuit often allows plaintiffs to receive compensatory damages relatively quickly and avoid going to trial, where either side could win the case. Most lawyers will encourage clients to reach settlements, but the decision is ultimately up to the person filing the claim.

Benefits of Settling a Nursing Home Abuse Case

Nursing home settlements are often the more practical option for victims of elder abuse, neglect, and medical malpractice who wish to seek financial compensation.

Benefits of choosing to settle a nursing home abuse case include:

  • Decision-making flexibility
  • Maintaining privacy (sensitive information doesn’t have to become public knowledge)
  • Reducing stress that trials may cause
  • Resolving the case and getting compensation quicker
  • Saving expenses in legal fees

Some victims of nursing home abuse may seek a trial in order to receive more compensation. However, there is no way to guarantee a jury verdict will award more money than a settlement.

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How Much Money Can I Get From a Nursing Home Settlement?

The exact dollar figure for nursing home settlements varies in the United States depending on the specifics of each case. On average, though, nursing home settlements amount to roughly $406,000. Some cases may award more or less than this amount.

Below, find examples of settlement amounts awarded to victims of nursing home abuse and neglect.

Nursing Home Abuse Settlement

Two nursing home employees were caught on film pushing and attempting to suffocate a 96-year-old resident at a long-term care facility. The resident’s family won $1.2 million in compensation after filing a lawsuit and reaching a settlement.

Nursing Home Neglect Settlement

An 84-year-old nursing home resident in Illinois endured severe burns after being placed in a bath that was too hot by staff members of the nursing facility. The resident received a nursing home negligence settlement of $1.5 million.

For nursing home patients and families who have experienced traumas such as those listed above, suing for nursing home neglect is a key step in recovering money after an injustice has taken place.

Factors Affecting Nursing Home Settlement Amounts

In addition to specific evidence and details of the case, the factors listed below may affect the amount of money a victim or their family receives.

  • Jurisdiction: The state and even the county in which the abuse took place help to determine where the case will be heard.
  • Case Type: There are two main case types in nursing home abuse settlements: Personal injury and wrongful death. In a personal injury lawsuit, the caregiver or nursing homeowner is liable for negligence, abuse, or similar actions. In wrongful death cases, the actions or inaction of the owner or staff members caused an older person to lose their life.
  • Settlement Amounts For Similar Cases: A precedent for nursing home abuse settlements may be based on previous cases, but they can also vary depending on the jury.

Nursing Home Settlement Process

Filing a lawsuit and seeking a nursing home abuse settlement can be intimidating — but with help from an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer, the process can be much easier.

Many victims of nursing home abuse and their families choose to pursue a settlement because settling out of court is generally less expensive than a trial. It can also save a lot of time — time that older victims of nursing home neglect and abuse may not have.

Plaintiffs have the option to settle their case before or during a trial. Nursing home litigation typically follows the same five basic steps, which are outlined below.

File a Civil Suit

After the initial case evaluation, lawyers for the victim of nursing home abuse will file a lawsuit against those who may be responsible. The defendants will then have to respond to the lawsuit.

Pretrial Investigation (Discovery)

Each party will begin collecting evidence that supports their side of the story. This can include documents, medical records, witnesses, film and photographs, and using tools like interrogatories and depositions.

Demand Letter

Depending on the case, the plaintiff’s lawyer may choose to begin settlement negotiations informally, or they may issue an official demand letter. The defense may choose to make a counteroffer. If they do not, the bargaining begins.

Mediation

If the lawyers cannot negotiate a settlement, then a mediation begins with a private mediator or judge who works with the two parties. The mediator meets with both parties together and then separately to reach an agreement.

Settlement Offer

If the plaintiff accepts the offer from the defense attorney, then the case is settled. The attorney can send out their acceptance through email, phone, fax, letter, or a combination of the above.

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Nursing Home Settlement FAQ

How long does it take to settle a nursing home lawsuit?

It can take several months to reach a settlement in a nursing home abuse lawsuit. How long it will take typically depends on settlement negotiations. Some lawsuits may reach settlements right before or even during a trial.

As your lawsuit progresses, your lawyers will let you know if and when to expect a settlement.

How much is a nursing home wrongful death settlement?

Nursing home wrongful death settlements can vary just like any settlements do. Depending on the nature of the case, wrongful death settlements may award millions of dollars.

For example, a 74-year-old resident at an assisted living facility in Illinois shared a room with a younger resident with violent tendencies. The older resident died after being attacked and beaten, and the family received $1.3 million in compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit.

A nursing home abuse lawyer can help you estimate how much money you’ll receive through a wrongful death settlement.

What is the statute of limitations for nursing home abuse?

The statute of limitations is the amount of time someone has to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit. United States nursing home lawsuit statistics indicate the time limit to file these cases ranges from one to six years, but most states set their statutes at either two or three years.

If the statute of limitations passes in your case, you won’t be able to file a lawsuit or reach any type of settlement. However, there may be other ways for you to access compensation. Speak to a lawyer to learn more.

Get Compensation for Nursing Home Abuse

Victims deserve the opportunity to receive compensation from a nursing home lawsuit settlement for the injustices they have suffered.

The first step that a victim of nursing home abuse should take to file a lawsuit is to find an experienced lawyer. Nursing home abuse lawyers at national law firms can help victims and their loved ones navigate the complex legal process and get the maximum settlement amount possible for their case.

If you or a loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Nursing Home Abuse Justice today to get a free case review and learn if you qualify.

You deserve justice. Get a free legal case review now.

Author:Nursing Home Abuse Justice Team
Nursing Home Abuse Justice Team

Nursing Home Abuse Justice was founded to shine a light on nursing home and elder abuse. Every day, thousands of people in nursing homes and assisted living facilities are abused. Our team helps educate seniors and their loved ones on the common causes, signs and preventions of nursing home abuse. We report on real-world studies and current events from respected news outlets to expose this national problem.

Last modified: December 1, 2020

View 3 References
  1. FindLaw. (n.d.). Nursing Home Lawsuit Settlements FAQs. Retrieved June 2, 2020 from https://injury.findlaw.com/torts-and-personal-injuries/nursing-home-lawsuit-settlements-faqs.html

  2. FindLaw. (n.d.). What Does it Mean to Settle a Case? Retrieved June 2, 2020 from https://litigation.findlaw.com/legal-system/what-does-it-mean-to-settle-a-case.html

  3. Nolo. (n.d.) Proving Damages or Injuries in a Nursing Home Abuse Case. Retrieved June 2, 2020 from https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/proving-damages-nursing-home-injury-abuse-case.html