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How Long Does a Nursing Home Case Take to Get a Settlement?

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Nursing home abuse cases are emotionally and physically draining. Knowing what to expect before you file a lawsuit can help you endure the process better.  Our law firm has represented many victims of nursing home neglect and abuse.

So, we know how to deal with different outcomes. In this article, we’ll share how long settling could take and what it entails.

Summary Of the Key Findings

  • Nursing home lawsuits are complicated and usually take up to 2 years.
  • If a nursing home case goes to trial, it will take longer. 
  • Most nursing home abuse lawsuits are settled.
  • Expert lawyers can accelerate a nursing home lawsuit process.

How Long Does It Take To Settle a Nursing Home Lawsuit?

Holding elder's hand concept On average, settling a nursing home lawsuit takes between 18 and 24 months.

It’s a long legal process, and the most time-consuming part of it is usually the discovery stage.

This stage involves obtaining medical records from a nursing home, which in itself is complicated.

As you can imagine, nursing homes aren’t eager to provide these records promptly since they could indicate abuse or neglect on their behalf.

What’s more, the other side will also gather evidence to increase the chances of winning a nursing home abuse lawsuit.

Because of that, there might be a lot of back-and-forths between the two sides at this stage. Hiring an experienced lawyer can accelerate what’s usually a lengthy process. They can help you reach an agreement faster.

Most nursing home negligence and abuse cases are settled before making it to the court, thanks to experienced lawyers.

Also read: How Long Does It Take to Negotiate a Legal Settlement?

What are the Benefits of Settling a Nursing Home Lawsuit?

An old woman being pushed on a wheelchairChoosing to settle a nursing home case can benefit the injured party in many ways. Here are some of the main benefits:

  • A smaller toll on the victim and his family 
  • Receiving compensation faster 
  • Smaller legal fees
  • Keeping the settlement agreement private 

Nursing home lawsuit settlements are the more practical choice for victims of elder abuse and neglect. But they have their downsides.

Firstly, settling a lawsuit means that the nursing home doesn’t have to admit to any wrongdoings. If you’re not satisfied with this, you should take further legal action instead of settling. 

Secondly, your lawyer may not reach an agreement with the defendants. Instead of settling on an amount you’re not happy with, you can take the case to trial. 

How Does the Nursing Home Lawsuit Settlement Process Work?

Lawsuit lawyer writing in his office A nursing home settlement process usually involves five steps.

But yours may be different if you or the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse have signed a document that requires arbitration

Some nursing homes use such documents to prevent the signees from seeking justice in court.

If you’ve signed it, your claim can only be evaluated by an arbitrator instead of a judge or jury. If you haven’t, the outline below will apply to your case.

Filing a Civil Lawsuit

Lawyer with client Before filing a lawsuit, an attorney carries out a case evaluation. It usually involves:

  • a free initial consultation with the attorney
  • an initial investigation of the claim

If the attorney substantiates your claim, he will file a civil lawsuit against potential defendants. 

Discovery

Composition of an investigationDuring the discovery process, both parties carry out an in-depth investigation to determine what happened. 

Attorneys gather material that proves neglect or injuries, such as:

  • Medical records
  • Photographs and videos
  • Witness testimonies
  • Other documents 

Besides gathering evidence, both sides can exchange written questions which may require a lot of back-and-forths.

They can also hire expert witnesses to substantiate their claims. So, this stage may take several months. 

You should also expect nursing homes to try to conceal their wrongdoings at this stage, which makes hiring an experienced attorney even more crucial. 

Demand Letter

Before taking the case to trial, the plaintiff’s lawyer outlines the plaintiff’s demands in a demand letter.

The opposing party can agree to the proposed settlement amount or make a counteroffer. The negotiation process begins if the parties don’t settle.

Mediation

During mediation, a private mediator or a judge works with both parties to help them reach an agreement.

Settlement Offer

At this stage, the defendant’s attorney may make a settlement offer. If the plaintiff accepts it, the case is settled. But if the defendant refuses it, the case is tried in court.

Need a Trustworthy Lawyer to Represent You?

Nursing home cases can be time-consuming, but they’re worth it. You and your loved one can get compensation and prevent the nursing home from continuing their abuse and neglect. 

Schmidt and Clark law firm is experienced in nursing home litigation and representing victims. Contact us to schedule a free consultation. We’ll walk you through your legal options and help you achieve desired outcomes.

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