If a loved one comes to harm because of abuse or neglect in a nursing home, you may be keen to seek justice with a court trial. However, 95% of plaintiffs ultimately choose to settle out of court. Doing so offers potential advantages. To help you understand all your options, here are some answers to questions you may have about settlement of a nursing home abuse lawsuit.
What Are the Potential Advantages of Settling Out of Court?
While you may be able to recover more if you take your case to trial, you may also ultimately lose your case, leaving you with nothing to show for your efforts on behalf of your loved one. The amount that you recover by settling may be less than you would get at trial, but it also does not depend upon the whims of the court. You may also be able to resolve the case more quickly, which means that you pay less in legal fees.
If you try the case in court, the details of your loved one’s abuse will become part of the public record. Settling out of court is a better option if you would prefer that these details remain private. It also saves you and your loved one the extra stress that a full trial would cause.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Nursing Home Claim?
This can vary based on the complexity of the situation, but it typically takes about a year and a half to two years. The defense typically conducts a pretrial investigation to gather relevant information before sitting down at the negotiating table with the plaintiff. This can take several months to complete.
What Is Involved in the Settlement Process?
A judge may order you to attend mediation. This involves meeting the defendants face to face and talking the issue out together. A mediator serves as a neutral third party to facilitate productive discussion, but he or she does not make any decisions. Rather, it is for you and the defendants to work together to reach a mutually beneficial decision.
There are a lot of potential benefits to mediation. However, it does not always result in a resolution. If mediation fails, you can then choose to litigate the case in court.
How Much Can You Recover?
It depends on the facts of your case and also the jurisdiction where you live. Settlement amounts can range from the tens of thousands to the millions.
Settling a case of nursing home abuse can be better for you and your loved one in the long run.
Contact a nursing home lawyer, like a nursing home lawyer in Maryland, to speak with someone who can assess your situation and explain your legal options.
Thanks to Brown Kiely LLP for their insight into answering some of the most important questions regarding a nursing home abuse settlement.