Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing Home Abuse Settlements: How the Value of a Claim is Decided

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Nursing Home Abuse Settlements: How the Value of a Claim is Decided

The decision to move into a nursing home is never easy. Elders may feel vulnerable and rightfully reluctant to give up their independence, and their loved ones may hesitate to entrust their care to complete strangers. 

The root of this reluctance is often one basic fear: the unthinkable idea that you or your loved one could become the victim of negligent care or even physical and sexual abuse at the hands of nursing home staff. 

Unfortunately, the unthinkable often becomes reality: an increasing number of nursing homes have been accused of abuse, neglect, and exploitation in recent years. For victims, taking legal action is often the only way to get justice and receive the compensation necessary to recover and heal. 

If you suspect nursing home abuse and are considering filing a lawsuit, you may wonder how a court determines the value of a nursing home abuse claim. The answer comes from two main factors: first, the court must determine the facility’s liability for the victim’s injuries; then, they assign awards for all involved damages—and the total of these make up the final judgment amount.

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  • Determining Liability

    While legal culpability will vary by state, most courts will determine liability based on whether the plaintiff can prove the following:

    • The nursing home breached its duty of care. Some actions, such as abuse, are an obvious breach of duty of care. Proving neglect, however, may require expert medical witnesses to testify how the facility’s negligence represented a legal breach of duty and caused injury.
    • The nursing home’s breach of duty caused the patient’s injury. Nursing homes in legal disputes often assert that the elder’s injury was the result of advanced age or pre-existing health conditions, not a breached duty of care. However, any condition that was made worse by the facility’s actions, or lack of action, could make them liable for damages.
    • The nursing home owners’ or employees' conduct caused the patient’s injury. It’s possible that the nursing home may try to assert that the victim’s injuries were caused by something other than misconduct. Your attorney can dispute this by gathering the necessary evidence and enlisting expert witnesses.
  • Calculating the Claim Amount

    The basic principle of calculating the dollar amount of a nursing home abuse claim is to cover all expenses caused by the misconduct. This can be broken down into separate areas that include:

    • Cost of medical treatment. A court may find the nursing home liable for past, present, and future medical expenses incurred as the result of abuse or neglect.
    • Lost assets. Nursing home employees sometimes steal from residents or manipulate them into giving their assets away. This is classified as exploitation, and victims of it are entitled to compensation for their losses.
    • Pain and suffering. These awards are often determined by setting a specific amount of compensation per day of neglect or abuse and then multiplying that amount by the number of days the condition existed.
    • Punitive damages. This award is often used in cases of severe neglect or proven intent to harm. Its purpose is to punish the perpetrator and to discourage the behavior going forward.
    • Wrongful death. In the worst cases, nursing home abuse and neglect can contribute to wrongful death; this determination could be central in calculating the award.
  • Recent Settlements and Awards

    Hiring an experienced legal team is essential to winning the compensation you deserve in a nursing home abuse or neglect case. The following are some recent awards Morgan & Morgan has won from nursing home abuse and neglect cases:

    • Wrongful death: $280,000
    • Medication overdose: $170,000
    • Stage three bedsores: $110,000
    • Hip fracture: $75,000
    • Malnutrition and weight loss: $30,000
  • Contact Morgan & Morgan

    At Morgan & Morgan, we know that nursing home abuse can be shocking, traumatic, and painful for everyone involved. With a team of experienced lawyers who can navigate the complexities of elder abuse laws and do everything it takes to fight for full and fair compensation, we can help you fight for justice. 

    When you choose Morgan & Morgan, you’re not just hiring a single attorney; you are tapping into a network of 1,000 lawyers and 4,000 team members to fight for you. And if you’re worried about costs, don’t be. Your initial consultation is free, you never pay anything out-of-pocket, and there’s no fee at all unless we win your case. 

    If you suspect nursing home abuse, don’t delay. Fill out our free, no-obligation case evaluation form, and a lawyer will be in touch soon. Find out for yourself why there’s only one Morgan & Morgan.

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