As much as we wish we could take care of our aging parents and grandparents, sometimes their needs become too great. Nursing homes care for our older loved ones when their needs are beyond our capabilities. Unfortunately, nursing homes do not always take care of our loved ones the way we want them to do so. Abuse and neglect plague nursing homes, and many older patients suffer serious injuries from the abuse.
In cases of nursing home abuse, neglect, or death, you may have the option to settle out of court. Plaintiffs and defendants tend to prefer settlements as it allows them to resolve the case without going through a long, grueling, and expensive trial. However, a settlement should only be accepted if it represents the fair and reasonable value of your claims. An attorney can help you negotiate for the highest settlement amount possible.
If your loved one was the victim of abuse or neglect while living in a nursing home, our nursing home abuse lawyers can help you get a fair settlement. Contact Wruck Paupore Injury Lawyers to arrange a free case review at (219) 322-1166.
Nursing home abuse or neglect incidents in Indiana happen all over the country. Like most other civil lawsuits, these kinds of cases tend to settle out of court more often than they go to trial. Nursing home settlement amounts vary from case to case, as no two incidents of abuse are identical. However, average nursing home lawsuit settlement amounts provide some insight in what has happened in other cases.
A survey conducted by Health Affairs, a peer-reviewed journal on health and health-related policies, purports that the average nursing home abuse settlements are about $406,000. Keep in mind that this number might have changed over time since the survey was conducted, and it is not necessarily indicative of what your specific case might be worth.
However, it is safe to say that average settlements for nursing home abuse and neglect cases can be very substantial. Many cases settle for several hundred thousand dollars. More severe cases have settled for upwards of a million dollars. Speak with our Hammond, IN nursing home abuse attorneys to get a more accurate idea of your potential nursing home neglect settlement.
Like any settlement, a nursing home wrongful death settlement will vary based on the unique circumstances of your case. However, it is worth noting that wrongful death settlements can be a bit higher than average nursing home abuse settlements because the case involves a tragic death.
Wrongful death settlements may be substantial due to losses of surviving family members, particularly if the victim of nursing home abuse is married. The loss of companionship from losing a spouse is a significant loss and wrongful death damages in Indiana are not capped for when a spouse is the victim of wrongful death. Unfortunately, Indiana’s adult wrongful death statute caps damages in this area at $300,000 if the victim is unmarried and has no dependent children. Even with this cap, however, it is often worth pursuing the wrongdoers and holding them responsible.
It is important to note that South Bend, IN wrongful death laws vary from state to state. Illinois, for example, does not cap damages for unmarried adults as Indiana does. Some states might also consider the emotional grief of family members when assessing wrongful death damages. Other states might not. You should speak with a nursing home wrongful death lawyer in your state about your case to get a more accurate idea of what kind of settlement you can get. Our Fort Wayne nursing home abuse attorneys are also available to discuss possible settlement options.
When we resolve cases against Indiana nursing home abuse cases, many of the facilities involved do not want us to disclose the amounts we were able to receive on behalf of our clients and require that our clients sign a “non-disclosure” agreement that prevents them from sharing the amount of their award. However, it is useful to review reported settlements and verdicts to understand the potential value of an abuse case.
For example, in 2020 a nursing home neglect case was brought against an Indianapolis residential care facility on the grounds that it provided negligent medical care to the resident, resulting in her death. A settlement was reached in that case with the nursing facility and the Indiana Patient Compensation’s Fund (PCF) in excess of $650,000.
In another wrongful death case involving inadequate care which led to the death of a 91-year-old resident in a Kokomo, Indiana nursing home. In that case, a wrongful death case was filed by the victim’s husband against Manor Care Health Services and a verdict was obtained in Marion County court in an amount exceeding $1,097,000. The jury determined that the nursing home staff was negligent in caring for the elderly woman, causing her to fracture her hip, and subsequently causing her death. Damages included the husband’s loss of love, companionship, and affection from his elderly wife.
In yet another Indianapolis nursing home abuse case, a lawsuit was filed after a resident received inadequate care leading to a stroke. The resident suffered neurological damages, including seizures, as a result of the incident. After settling with the nursing home and filing suit against the PCF, the plaintiff recovered $1,112,000.
Every case of nursing home abuse and neglect is different and you can’t determine the value of your own case by these results. However, they do prove that judges and juries can and do award significant compensation in nursing home abuse cases. For help determining the value of your own case, contact one of our South Bend nursing home abuse attorneys for a free case evaluation.
You must raise all potential damages during settlement negotiations if you want to get the fair and full nursing home negligence settlement you deserve. Compensatory damages are those that cover various out-of-pocket expenses incurred because of the abuse or neglect. Perhaps the most prominent compensatory damages are medical bills. When a nursing home patient is abused or neglected, they often suffer grievous physical wounds that require treatment. The abuse could also exacerbate medical conditions that already existed, requiring additional medical treatment.
Abuse sometimes involves damage to the personal property or belongings of the victim. It is not unheard of for nursing home staff to abuse patients through intimidation, such as breaking their personal items or even outright stealing. The loss of any property should be considered in nursing home lawsuit settlements.
Although an exact value may be hard to pin down, a victim's pain and suffering deserve consideration when calculating nursing home negligence settlements. The victims in these cases are not only abused but they are often unable to leave on their own. This effectively traps them in a prison of abuse, and they often suffer severe psychological trauma. This trauma is on top of any physical pain they have had to endure.
In wrongful death cases, certain losses suffered by family members can be obtained. If the victim was married, their spouse may collect damages for a loss of consortium, which encompasses damage to a domestic or spousal relationship. Similarly, loss of society and companionship refers to losing other immediate family members' love, support, and company. Wrongful death damages can vary between states, so you should check with an Indianapolis wrongful death lawyer about your damages.
Recovering damages for elder abuse will likely involve filing a lawsuit and proving the nursing home staff was acting negligently. Our attorneys can help you file your lawsuit and get the compensation your family needs and, just as importantly, hold the nursing home responsible for their conduct to make it less likely to occur again.
You can file a lawsuit against the staff responsible for the abuse and neglect. In many cases, a few staff members might be committing abusive acts against patients without the knowledge of the nursing home administration.
These abusive staff members can be sued personally for damages, although the nursing home is usually also responsible. The fact that a nursing home administration did not know about the abuse does not necessarily absolve them of liability. Employers can be held liable for the negligent actions of their employees and made to pay for it. You should also include the nursing home itself in your lawsuit for nursing home abuse compensation.
Depending on the business structure of the nursing home in your case, you might also be able to sue at a higher corporate level. Some nursing homes are large corporations that have multiple facilities, possibly in several states. If the corporation tolerated the abuse or enacted negligent hiring or training policies, they may also be liable for damages.
As mentioned before, average nursing home settlement amounts might indicate what is possible in other cases but should be taken with a grain of salt and cannot tell you what your claim is worth. Many factors might influence your final nursing home negligence lawsuit amount.
First, the severity of any injuries, including how long the injury persisted, degree of pain, and recovery time, must be considered. In short, a minor injury will likely receive less compensation than a more significant injury. The longer it takes to recover, and the more painful the injury is, the greater the compensation is likely to be.
We must also think about the behavior of nursing home employees. Did they treat your loved one's injuries immediately? Was your loved one left to languish? Was the abuse intentional? Was the abuse repeated over a long time? All these questions deserve answers when negotiating nursing home abuse compensation.
The death of the abuse victim and the effects on their surviving family will also determine a nursing home lawsuit settlement. Our Indiana nursing home neglect lawyers can help you evaluate your case and prepare for settlement negotiations.
If your parent or grandparent suffered abuse, neglect, or other trauma while living in a nursing home, you and your loved one deserve compensation. Call our nursing home abuse attorneys for help. Call the Indianapolis personal injury lawyers at Wruck Paupore at (219) 322-1166 for a free case review.
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Don is a founding partner and one of the nation’s top-ranked personal injury litigators. He is a member of the Multi-million Dollar Advocates Forum, which includes less than 1% of the nation’s trial lawyers, and awarded the highest ranking given by Martindale Hubbel and AVVO.
More importantly, Don understands representing personal injury victims is about more than recovering the best settlement: it’s about helping clients get back on their feet and supporting them in every aspect of their recovery.
In nearly all cases, our clients seek compensation from the wrongdoer’s insurance company. Before forming Wruck Paupore, Jason worked for a prominent law firm representing some of the world’s largest insurers. This experience gives Jason a deep understanding of the insurance industry and the strategies it uses to pay injury victims as little as possible.
Jason -- and our entire team -- put this inside knowledge to work to force insurance companies to pay what is actually owed. Often, we use the insurance company’s own tactics against them as we fight for the full compensation our client deserves.
For more than four decades, Keith has been fighting for injury victims. During that time, he’s watched the insurance industry change, with insurers now more interested in protecting their stock price than treating injury victims fairly.
Since the beginning, Keith has put people first. From his childhood in Gary, Indiana during the 1960’s and working his way through law school, Keith has risen to become one of the Midwest’s most respected trial lawyers. He has never forgotten that being a lawyer is about helping people -- and seeing injury victims through struggles in a way that could change their lives forever.
Over the decades, Keith, Don and Jason have fought relentlessly for clients, even when other lawyers have said the case was impossible to win.