When a nursing home resident experiences abuse or neglect from the nursing home administration or staff, they can file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for the harms they suffered. Many who are considering pursuing legal action wonder what this compensation could look like.
As every case is different, it is difficult to predict how much any given lawsuit could be worth without additional information. However, by using publicly available data with the legal classifications of damages, you and your lawyer can come up with a figure that you can use to make decisions about your legal options and compare against potential settlement offers.
When dealing with such a serious issue as nursing home abuse damages, you should always have the backing of a seasoned Indiana nursing home abuse attorney. To get a free initial case assessment, reach out to Wruck Paupore’s offices today by calling (219) 322-1166.
You may have heard stories in the news about what some notable nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuits have recovered or settled for in Indiana. However, every case is unique, and damages are calculated along a series of different theories that are intended to address various area of harm. In some cases, there may be additional damages available if the abuse was so malicious and heinous that the court determines additional punishment is necessary for the sake of justice.
The first step in evaluating the potential value of any case is computing all the direct financial consequences to the victim as a result of the injuries. For nursing home abuse cases, this category is often comprised of medical expenses. Suppose the abuse caused the victim to sustain bodily injuries or disease or exacerbated conditions from which the victim was already suffering. In that case, economic damages will provide for the cost of treating, curing, and rehabilitating the victim’s present condition following the abuse. This could include emergency procedures, necessary surgeries, physical therapy, specialist appointments, psychiatric counseling, and live-in nursing care.
In any nursing home abuse case, the consequences of the injuries go far deeper than just what a spreadsheet shows. That is why Indiana courts will award non-economic damages, which are based on the resident’s pain and suffering as a result of the abuse and any subsequent injuries, as well as their loss of enjoyment of life. This is particularly important in verbal, sexual, or emotional abuse cases, where the victim might not have required substantial medical treatment but still suffered a great deal of psychological and emotional damage. You would be wise to discuss your case’s potential non-economic damages with an experienced Indianapolis nursing home abuse lawyer, as these are often the largest portion of your damage claim and require skill and experience to prove.
Punitive damages are the third category by which a nursing home abuse victim can be compensated, but they are not available in every case. It is at the discretion of the court whether to award punitive damages, which are based on the reckless or intentionally malicious conduct of the defendant. Because nursing home abuse is often intentional and targets a particularly vulnerable section of the population, punitive damages are more commonly seen in nursing home abuse cases than in other personal injury decisions. Per Health Affairs, nationally one in every six nursing home abuse cases that reaches a verdict in court contains an award of punitive damages. Because these damages can be substantial where available, you should always discuss their possibility in your case with your dedicated Indiana nursing home abuse attorney. Indiana has a number of unique limitations and requirements regarding punitive damages which we can discuss with you during a free consultation.
You must have an accurate understanding of what your case is objectively worth in order to effectively negotiate any settlement with the defendant or its insurance company. A settlement is an agreement between a plaintiff and a defendant where typically the defendant provides compensation to the plaintiff in exchange for the plaintiff’s waiving of their right to pursue their claim in court.
Settlements can be useful legal tools for injury victims who want to avoid the delay and uncertainty of a civil trial. However, that does not mean that a settlement is right for everyone. In many cases, the other side may offer a settlement that is far below the actual value of a case in the hope that the victim does not understand the true value of their case and will accept much less than what they are entitled to.
You are never under any obligation to agree to any settlement offer that gives up your legal right to pursue your claim in court. You are free to reject settlement offers, counter with more favorable terms, and negotiate even after you have already filed your lawsuit and are actively trying your case. In fact, many cases reach a settlement in the days or hours before the actual trial is set to begin. These are called “courthouse steps” settlements and are frequently more lucrative than the first offer that the plaintiffs received when they started the process.
Never accept any settlement offer on your case without thoroughly evaluating all of your options with your Milwaukee nursing home attorney. If you are concerned about your ability to pay for legal fees while litigating your case, talk to Wruck Paupore about our Zero Fee Promise. We always offer a free case evaluation, and if we take your case, there is no money required for us to represent you and you owe us nothing unless we recover money for you.
You should never have to take on your nursing home abuse injury recovery efforts alone. To get started on your path to recovery with a free case evaluation, contact the South Bend nursing home abuse lawyers at Wruck Paupore by calling our offices at (219) 322-1166.
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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.