In the United States, the average lawsuit for nursing home abuse settles out of court for approximately $406,000, but a successful court trial can have even a higher payout. When physical and emotional abuse happens, elderly patients suffer a variety of negative health conditions that lead to immobility and premature death.
Nursing Home Abuse Cases
Nursing home abuse is a growing problem around the country in both private and federally funded facilities. National health statistics show that at least one in six patients in nursing homes and long-term care facilities suffer some type of abuse by nurses, caregivers, and aides.
When nursing home abuse occurs, injury victims are entitled to file a lawsuit through a nursing home abuse lawyer, who can take the case to trial or settle it outside of court. According to the journal of Health Affairs, injury victims who file nursing home abuse lawsuits win their cases about 88% of the time. This is three times the success rate of medical malpractice claims. Depending on the nature and severity of injuries, compensation awarded ranges from $400,000 to more than $1 million.
In litigation cases, a high payout rate for certain types of claims is a positive sign that those cases have successful results. In nursing home abuse cases, courts typically award compensation for punitive damages based on egregious, negligent, or reckless behaviors of the perpetrator. Egregious behaviors of caregivers seen by nursing home abuse lawyers include:
- Use of physical restraints against a patient’s will
- Withholding food or water
- Ignoring necessary trips to the toilet
- Ignoring unsanitary living conditions
- Over-medicating patients to avoid duties
- Financial exploitation
Many cases of nursing home abuse also involve physical attacks, sexual assaults, and emotional abuse that causes trauma. These cases are especially prevalent among bedridden and immobilized patients suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. These patients are often targeted because perpetrators know they are easier victims and less likely to say anything to authorities. These are particularly cruel and egregious behaviors most likely to carry strong penalties and large payouts to injury victims.
To avoid long, costly court trials, many nursing home abuse cases are resolved through settlement agreements between insurance companies and nursing home abuse lawyers. Settlement awards usually cover the costs for the victim’s medical bills, emergency hospital services, necessary medical devices, prescription medications, ongoing care expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and relocation expenses if the patient moves to another nursing home.