If you or someone you love has been injured or abused while under the care of a nursing home, you may be wondering how long it will take to settle your claim. There is no clear answer, as the length of time necessary will vary from case to case. Because nursing home neglect and abuse cases are more complicated than other types of claims, it can take anywhere from several months or more depending on several factors.
The Settlement Process
When it comes to a nursing home abuse or injury settlement, there are five basic actions or steps that are involved.
- The initial filing of the lawsuit. The first step that has to occur involves a complaint being filed with the court by the victim. This complaint should include the names of the parties they wish to file against and what grievances occurred.
- The pre-trial investigation. Typically the defendant won’t be interested in discussing settlement options until the pretrial investigation commences. This investigation essentially allows the lawyers from both parties to gather all the facts and determine if the plaintiff has a case.
- The demand letter. Depending on the advice that comes from the plaintiff’s lawyer, the demand letter may be sent before or after the defense asks for a settlement. The demand letter is written by the plaintiff’s attorney and includes the desired compensation amount. The compensation amount outlined in the demand letter may be accepted or rejected by the defendant, or they may make a counteroffer.
- Mediation. If there can be no agreement on the settlement amount as a result of the demand letter, mediation may be necessary. During mediation, a judge or mediator will help facilitate an agreement between both parties.
- The final settlement offer. Generally speaking, the defense will come back with a settlement offer that can either be accepted or rejected by the plaintiff. If the offer is accepted, the plaintiff will receive compensation according to whatever agreement was made. If the plaintiff rejects the offer, however, the case will go to trial where a jury will decide whether the plaintiff should receive a settlement and how much it should be.
It’s important to note that a case will take much longer to settle if it has to go to trial. Most cases are settled outside of court as an agreement between the two parties. If you have been injured or abused in a nursing home, be sure to talk to an experienced nursing home lawyer, like a nursing home lawyer in Baltimore, MD, to help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Thanks to Brown Kiely LLP for their insight into what the settlement process looks like for a nursing home abuse claim.