How Much Is My Nursing Home Abuse Case Worth?
A nursing home abuse case value is the estimated amount that a legal claim is worth. It tells the person filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit (the plaintiff) how much compensation they may receive from the defendants (those being sued).
Nursing home abuse case values vary, but many past cases have been worth hundreds of thousands — or even millions — of dollars.
To learn the value of your case, work with a skilled lawyer who can estimate your case value before filing a lawsuit. Your lawyer will then work to secure the compensation through a settlement negotiation.
Get a free case review now to learn how much compensation may be available to you. Our team can connect you to a skilled team of lawyers if you’re eligible to file.
Quick Facts About Case Values
- According to a Health Affairs report, the average nursing home abuse case recovered $406,000 in damages per claim
- Settlements offer a relatively fast and secure way to access compensation. Successful trials may award more or less compensation than a settlement. However, if you lose a trial, you may get no compensation.
- Some states limit the amount a jury can award in non-economic and punitive damages, but economic damages have no caps.
Values of Nursing Home Settlements and Trial Verdicts
A victim of nursing home abuse or neglect can receive compensation in a civil court in one of two ways. Which method they choose can have a big impact on a case’s value.
Plaintiffs may get nursing home abuse compensation through:
- A settlement: A nursing home abuse settlement occurs when the defendants agree to pay the plaintiffs a lump sum of money before the case reaches a trial stage. Settlements may award six-figure or seven-figure sums, and they are typically faster than going to trial.
- A trial verdict: If the parties in a case cannot agree to settle, the case may go to trial. Trials rely on a jury’s nursing home abuse verdict to decide the case. Plaintiffs may receive more or less compensation if they win a trial. If they lose, they may not get anything.
Most nursing home abuse cases end in settlements because settlements are faster and more predictable than going to trial. Trials add more time to a case, and there’s no way to guarantee more — or any — compensation from a trial verdict.
Examples of Settlement Values
A nursing home patient received this settlement after a staff member raped her multiple times. The long-term care facility fired the abusive staff member once they found out about the sexual abuse, and he was later arrested.
An 89-year-old woman fell 20 times at a Massachusetts assisted living facility before dying from her final fall. She was found to have several untreated head and internal injuries. The nursing home paid $1 million to settle a lawsuit brought by her family members.
Examples of Trial Verdict Values
Nursing home staff members routinely drugged a resident with Ativan without her consent for her agitation. The drug caused her to develop aspiration pneumonia, and she died not long after.
A nursing home aide rolled a frail resident aside to change the sheets, but the force of the roll caused the woman to fall and hit her head on the floor. She suffered a serious injury to the brain and died a month later. The woman’s loved ones were awarded damages for pain and suffering.
Factors That Affect Nursing Home Abuse Case Values
Nursing home abuse case values are based on damages, which are the costs of the victim’s injuries and losses. They may also include extra money the defendants must pay as punishment.
Three key elements determine nursing home abuse case values:
- 1. Economic damages
These are expenses and financial losses such as medical bills or stolen money. Economic damages are relatively easy to calculate, especially if the victim or their family members kept records of their expenses.
- 2. Non-economic damages
These damages include compensation for the pain and suffering that the defendant’s actions caused. Values for non-economic compensatory damages are harder to determine. They depend largely on a lawyer’s research, experience, and assessment of the case.
- 3. Punitive damages
This money may be included to punish the defendants for careless behavior or intentionally causing harm. These awards also discourage others from committing similar acts.
Damages alone do not determine how much someone may receive from a nursing home lawsuit, however.
Other factors that may affect case values include:
- How much compensation a plaintiff thinks is fair
- How much the defendant can reasonably pay, including through insurance
- The strength of a plaintiff’s argument and evidence
- What juries have awarded plaintiffs in similar cases
Trial juries and lawyers may consider all these factors to determine how much nursing home abuse compensation a plaintiff should receive.
How Case Type Impacts Case Values
The value of a nursing home abuse case may vary based on what type of case a victim pursues. Different types of lawsuits may be filed depending on the circumstances surrounding the abuse or neglect.
Breach of Contract vs Tort Case Values
When victims of nursing home abuse file a lawsuit, they are usually making one of two types of claims.
Breach of Contract Claims
Breach of contract cases address a nursing home’s failure to perform some part of their contract. For example, a resident may sue a nursing home for breach of contract if it failed to provide proper care by employing less staff than required by law.
If a victim wins a breach of contract claim, they may be able to get back any fees they paid to the nursing home.
Unfortunately, plaintiffs may be limited in how much money they can get from these cases if their insurance policies do not cover breach of contract claims. Victims can speak to a lawyer to learn if this claim type is best for them.
Tort cases look at wrongful acts outside of breach of contract that harmed a resident. For example, a nursing home resident may sue a facility after developing severe bedsores due to neglect.
Tort claims involving abuse and neglect are covered under most nursing home liability insurance. These case types usually offer much higher compensation amounts.
Wrongful Death Case Values
Wrongful death occurs when a nursing home resident dies due to staff carelessness or mistakes. The victim’s survivors may file a nursing home wrongful death lawsuit in these cases to access compensation.
Some wrongful death case values include:
An 80-year-old man died after suffering several falls, including one that broke his hip. The nursing home failed to notify his loved ones or his doctors of the injuries due to a lack of staff and resources. Instead, the owner of the facility used these resources to buy luxury homes and expensive cars.
An unsupervised elderly woman at a nursing facility was trying to find her way back to her room when she fell down a stairwell and broke her neck, dying of her injuries.
An 82-year-old man choked to death when a nurse forgot to put in his dentures before he ate.
Learn More About Nursing Home Abuse Case Values
Determining nursing home abuse case values is a complicated process, but it gives victims and their loved ones an idea of how much compensation they may receive.
There is no way to guarantee that you will receive a specific amount of money from your case. However, experienced nursing home abuse lawyers can often provide accurate estimates. In addition, an attorney can advise you on how to maximize your case value and pursue the compensation you deserve.
Learn more by getting a free case review from a trusted legal partner.
Questions About Nursing Home Abuse Case Values
How much are nursing home negligence cases worth?
Nursing home neglect cases may be worth seven-figure sums or more in certain cases. For example, a New York jury recently awarded a woman $1.25 million after mild bedsores worsened during her stay at a nursing home.
Nursing home negligence case values do vary, though. Connect with a lawyer to learn how much compensation may be available in your case.
When will I know the value of my nursing home abuse case?
You can get a better idea of your nursing home abuse case value by talking to an experienced attorney. Lawyers that have handled past cases similar to yours may be able to give you an accurate estimate.
You’ll know the final value of your case once a settlement agreement has been reached or a jury verdict has been rendered in a trial.
How can I get the most money possible out of my case?
You may be able to get more compensation with help from a nursing home abuse attorney. Lawyers that have handled past nursing home abuse cases can use their experience to strengthen your case.
How do state and local jurisdictions affect case values?
Each state and county has its own court system that can make decisions that impact local nursing home abuse case values.
For example, every state has statutes of limitations that prevent people from filing lawsuits after a certain span of time has passed (typically 3 years or less). This means you may not be able to get any money at all if you wait too long to take legal action — even if your case is valid.
Jurisdictions may affect case values in other ways, such as:
- Limiting the non-economic damages a jury can award
- Limiting the punitive damages a jury can award
- Setting precedents for verdict and settlement amounts based on past amounts awarded
A top law firm can help see how statutes of limitations and other jurisdictions may affect your case and its value.