What Is Nursing Home Abuse Compensation?
Nursing home abuse compensation is a financial payment awarded to an older adult who was wrongfully harmed while living in a long-term care facility. This compensation is paid by the nursing home, the abusive staff, and/or their insurance companies.
To pursue compensation, the victim or their loved ones need to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit. These lawsuits explain how the facility or staff member harmed the resident and why the family needs financial aid as a result.
After filing a lawsuit, compensation can be awarded in one of two ways:
- A settlement: A nursing home abuse settlement is an out-of-court agreement between a victim and those they are suing. Through a settlement, the victim receives compensation and the lawsuit ends.
- A trial verdict: A nursing home abuse verdict is the decision made by a jury after a trial where both sides present arguments and evidence. Trials may award more or less nursing home abuse compensation than a settlement — or no money — depending on the jury’s decision.
Whether it’s awarded in a settlement or a trial, nursing home abuse compensation is intended to right a wrong. Compensation can help families cover the financial, physical, and emotional expenses that stem from abuse or neglect.
If you or a loved one were harmed in an assisted facility, see if you can pursue nursing home abuse compensation.
Who Can Get Nursing Home Abuse Compensation?
Anyone who was abused while living in a nursing home may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to pursue compensation. The types of abuse that may result in financial compensation are wide-ranging.
Past victims have received compensation for:
This type of abuse occurs when staff members curse at, belittle, isolate, or otherwise bring emotional distress to a resident.
Financially exploiting, coercing, committing fraud against, or stealing from a resident can be devastating.
Neglect is the failure of a nursing home to properly care for residents. Neglect can cause residents to suffer from infections, bedsores (also known as pressure ulcers), and malnutrition.
This is intentional infliction of harm on a nursing home resident. Physical abuse can lead to cuts, bruises, or broken bones.
Sexual abuse is any nonconsensual sexual contact or advances toward a nursing home resident.
Family members or loved ones can also pursue compensation if a victim is unable to file a case on their own or if they passed away. In the latter case, the next of kin will need to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Attorneys can help both residents and family members properly file their cases and pursue compensation for nursing home abuse.
Nursing Home Abuse Compensation Case Values
A nursing home abuse case value is the amount of compensation a victim is expected to receive from their case. Compensation amounts are often high in abuse or neglect cases — especially when the victim suffers long-term or permanent injuries.
Nursing Home Abuse Settlement Examples
A 67-year-old woman recovering from knee surgery at a nursing home called a caregiver to help her to the bathroom, but the aide refused to provide care. When the woman tried to use the bathroom on her own, she fell and damaged the knee that had been operated on. The severe injuries cost the victim her ability to ever return to independent living.
A 76-year-old nursing home resident writhed in bed for nearly 12 hours, complaining of severe abdominal pain before staff finally contacted her physician. The physician sent a fax telling them to take her to the ER, but the administrators failed to see it in time. The resident died from sepsis the next day.
The family of a 96-year-old woman was awarded this amount after a hidden camera captured physical abuse on video. The footage clearly showed nursing home staff members hitting the resident’s head and forcing latex gloves into her mouth. Sadly, the resident died shortly after the footage was captured.
Nursing Home Abuse Verdict Examples
This amount was awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit after an 87-year-old woman died in a nursing home. The woman suffered head trauma from several falls and likely died of dehydration after the facility failed to provide her with enough water.
A woman was routinely drugged by nursing home staff who ignored her doctor’s orders to only give her medication if she had a seizure. Instead, they used it daily to control her “agitation.” She quickly developed aspiration pneumonia from the medication and died a few weeks later.
An 83-year old man suffered from multiple injuries as the result of a lack of medical care in his nursing facility. This included bedsores, skin tears, dehydration, malnutrition, urinary tract infections, and E. coli infections. Most of the money was awarded as part of punitive damages intended to punish the nursing home for its carelessness.
Factors Affecting Nursing Home Abuse Compensation
Nursing home abuse compensation amounts can vary depending on the factors in each case.
Factors that may impact nursing home abuse compensation include:
Having strong supporting evidence increases the chances that compensation will be awarded. Supporting evidence can include witness statements or camera footage that catches the abusive incident.
Settlement or Trial
Going to trial may positively — or negatively — affect how much nursing home compensation someone receives.
While several high-profile verdicts have awarded very high amounts of compensation for nursing home abuse, there is always a risk that the jury could side with the nursing home. In this case, a victim might not get any money.
Settlements are usually preferred as lawyers are often able to secure compensation in a relatively short amount of time. Past settlements have awarded multi-million dollar payouts in several cases.
Skilled Legal Help
If you want to get the most compensation possible, it’s key to work with lawyers who have handled nursing home lawsuits in the past. Lawyers that do not specialize in nursing home lawsuits may not know how to build the strongest case for you.
Benefits of Nursing Home Abuse Compensation
Nursing home abuse compensation can be a big help to you and your family.
Nursing home abuse compensation can cover:
- Basic living expenses (such as grocery bills)
- Costs of moving to another nursing home
- Funeral expenses
- Lost wages or payments for interest on lost investments or profits
- Medical bills resulting from the abuse
- Mental health counseling and physical rehabilitation
- Reimbursement of stolen or damaged property
- Repayment of the victim’s legal fees
The compensation you receive can also hold those who abused your loved one accountable and discourage nursing homes and staff from abusing others.
Find out if you may be eligible to file a lawsuit with a free case review.
Awarding Nursing Home Abuse Compensation
Victims typically receive nursing home abuse compensation through civil legal action. In civil nursing home abuse lawsuits, the parties being sued are not at risk of going to jail. Instead, they may lose money through a settlement or a trial verdict.
Criminal courts in many states also force a guilty party to compensate their victims, however. This is known as restitution, and it’s especially useful in cases of financial abuse.
In addition to financial restitution, a defendant may be ordered by a criminal court to perform other duties to pay back the victim, often as part of probation or parole. An offender may also have to give money to other entities, such as welfare programs.
Nursing Home Abuse Compensation and Insurance
When a resident is abused, insurance can supplement nursing home abuse compensation.
Nursing homes purchase liability insurance partly to help them cover the costs in the event of a lawsuit. When abused residents sue nursing homes, they may receive compensation from a facility’s insurance company.
A nursing home abuse victim’s personal insurance can also help with care and recovery.
Insurance can help pay for:
- Home-based care: Residents and their families might not feel comfortable with nursing home care after abuse occurs. Insurance payouts may help cover the costs associated with caring for an elder at home.
- Medical expenses: Nursing home abuse can lead to serious injuries that require hospitalization. Medicare and private health insurance may help cover expensive hospital fees.
- Relocation: Insurance may also help cover the costs of relocating an abused elder to another care facility, including paying for temporary home-based care.
- Hospice care: Some cases of abuse and neglect rob an elder of their health. Insurance programs may help cover the costs of caring for an abuse victim at the end of their life.
How to Get Nursing Home Abuse Compensation
If you or a loved one is interested in pursuing compensation for nursing home abuse, the first step is to connect with an attorney. A lawyer who has handled past elder abuse cases offers the best chance of helping you get compensation.
These attorneys can:
- Build a strong personal injury or wrongful death claim on your behalf
- File the lawsuit within set deadlines (known as statutes of limitations)
- Work to negotiate a strong settlement payout for you and your family
- Take the case to trial if a settlement cannot be reached
To see if you’re eligible to pursue nursing home abuse compensation, get a free case review from a trusted legal partner.
Nursing Home Abuse Compensation FAQ
How much compensation can I get from suing a nursing home?
The amount of nursing home compensation you may access depends on the specifics of your case. Previous cases have awarded millions of dollars to victims and their families.
How long will it take for me to get nursing home abuse compensation?
This depends on when your case was filed and if it goes to trial. The sooner your case is filed, the sooner it’ll reach a conclusion that hopefully awards you with compensation.
Remember, most nursing home abuse compensation is secured through settlements, as trials add extra time — and risk — to the case.
It’s also important to file your lawsuit as soon as possible to avoid issues with the statutes of limitations. These are state laws that prevent lawsuits from being filed after a certain period of time has passed. If you miss the deadline, you may not be able to get any compensation.
You need to file your case in 3 years or less in most states or you will never be able to get compensated.
Can I get compensation for nursing home negligence?
Yes. Cases of nursing home neglect can be just as harmful as cases of abuse. You may be able to pursue compensation if an elderly loved one was harmed or killed due to the negligence of staff members.
For example, the family of a retired Kentucky judge received $13 million after he died due to improper care in a nursing home. The judge passed away less than a month after entering the home because staff failed to give him antibiotics for an infection.