There are many factors to consider when seeking a settlement from a careless nursing home facility. This article will tell you what you need to know about settlements in nursing home negligence lawsuits, including:
- The legal deadlines for filing a lawsuit
- What constitutes nursing home negligence
- How to find out who is legally liable for your loved one’s injury
- What goes into deciding a settlement and who pays for it
The Statute of Limitations
The legal deadline for filing a lawsuit against someone is called the statute of limitations. In South Carolina, nursing home cases are governed by S.C. Ann. § 15-3-530, which states that:
- Nursing home negligence victims (or those acting on their behalf) must start their legal case within three years of the incident.
- Surviving family members have three years from their loved one’s passing to start their nursing home negligence lawsuit.
- If the incident was not discovered right away, the victim or their family has three years from the date of discovery to start the case.
If you do not file your lawsuit within the appointed time, it can prevent you from recovering compensation.
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What Is Nursing Home Negligence?
S.C. Ann. § 43-35-10(6) defines neglect as follows:
- The victim is a “vulnerable adult” who relies on a caregiver to remain alive and healthy.
- Either accidentally or on purpose, the caregiver failed to watch the victim closely enough to prevent injury or provide the victim with access to necessary medical treatments, clothing, food, or other necessities.
- The caregiver’s failure to provide proper care caused or could have caused the victim serious harm.
Negligence is not the only way a nursing home can mistreat and harm its residents. You can also sue if your loved one suffered:
- Physical abuse (including sexual abuse)
- Psychological abuse
Who Is Liable for Nursing Home Negligence?
In many nursing home negligence cases, the liable party is:
- The individual caregiver who neglected your loved one
- The nursing home where the negligent caregiver works
A nursing home abuse lawyer from our firm can collect evidence to determine whose negligence played a role in your loved one’s injuries and who is liable for the resulting damages.
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How Nursing Home Lawsuit Settlements Are Determined
The amount of money you could get from a nursing home lawsuit depends on what injuries your loved one suffered and the types of monetary losses you incurred. Common damages awarded for nursing home negligence include:
- Physical and emotional suffering stemming from the neglect
- Any negative impact on your loved one’s ability to enjoy life
- New disabilities or the worsening of preexisting conditions
- Medical expenses for treating negligence-related injuries
- Income you lost from having to take time off work and tend to your loved one or their case
A lawyer from our team can help you compile a complete list of the damages your family has sustained. We will take the time to assign an accurate value to limit any out-of-pocket costs for you.
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Who Pays Nursing Home Lawsuit Settlements?
Nursing homes are generally insured against lawsuits. In other words, if you receive a settlement, it will likely come from the facility’s insurance company, not directly from the facility.
Many lawsuits end in settlements. Most liable parties and their insurers do not want to spend significant time and money going through the court system. Instead, they may be willing to:
- Meet with your lawyer
- Negotiate in good faith
- Agree to pay an amount that covers all of your damages
Do I Have to Go to Court?
It’s critical to note ahead of time that the insurance company may not offer a fair settlement quickly – or at all. Although many cases end without ever going to trial, some do end up in the courtroom. This scenario generally means:
- If you get any money, it will be via a jury award, not a settlement.
- It will take longer for your case to end.
- You (or your lawyer) will have to prepare and present your case in front of a judge and jury.
- You (or your lawyer) must be ready to appeal if the jury does not decide in your favor.
You could benefit from the guidance of a law firm that is willing to represent you in the courtroom and fight just as hard for a jury award as they did for a settlement. Our attorneys believe that while the possibility of going to trial may be remote, it is better to be prepared for all eventualities.
Let Us Help You Seek Compensation for Nursing Home Negligence
Hammack Law Firm treats every client the way we would want our loved ones to be treated. Call (864) 326-3333 for a free case review. We can tell you what you need to know about nursing home negligence lawsuit settlements and help you file a lawsuit for fair compensation.