DC Nursing Home Abuse Settlements

When a person has been the victim of nursing home abuse, they may wish to bring a claim and it is very possible that they will be offered a settlement in lieu of a trial. Sometimes these settlements are worth accepting, but sometimes proceeding to trial is a preferable option. It is important to consult with a DC nursing home abuse attorney before deciding whether or not to accept a nursing home abuse settlement offer in DC.

Determining the Settlement Value of a Claim

Each claim is evaluated based upon the individual facts and circumstances of that case. The evaluation process takes place over the course of the claim and involves many different factors, some of which include the nature and extent of the injuries, how the incident occurred, the treatments rendered to assist in the recovery, and whether or not the injuries require future or ongoing treatment.

Benefit of a Lawyer

An attorney can draw upon their experience in handling similar situations and advise the client on the adequacy of the settlement offer as well as any potential legal issues that may come up in the course of the trial that could hamper or limit recovery.

There are enumerable factors that go into evaluating a settlement offer, many of which are based upon the individual involved in the litigation and the facts and circumstances of the case.

Accepting a Settlement

An attorney can offer their advice regarding the adequacy of a proposed settlement and/or any potential issues that arise at trial that may hamper or limit the recovery, but ultimately, the client makes the decision to settle or to proceed to trial.

If a case is settled, then it cannot be reopened if new information arises, such as the discovery of new or additional injuries. A settlement is a one-time, permanent resolution of the claims. Because of this, all possible future repercussions must be considered and brought to the client’s attention.

Each case involves a specific set of facts and circumstances that may either favor or work against the plaintiff. It is the attorney’s role to present all of the information that is pertinent to their client’s case so that the client may make an informed decision regarding settlement. In this way, a qualified and experienced attorney can assist the client in evaluating their case and in determining whether a settlement is adequate given the circumstances of that individual’s case or whether the case should proceed to trial.

Possible Justifications for Trial

Each case must be evaluated individually. Sometimes, the settlement offer is simply inadequate to compensate the injured person for their injury. In such instances, the plaintiff is left with little choice but to take the case to trial and allow a jury to decide what, if any, compensation is recoverable.

Statue of Limitations

In the District of Columbia, the statute of limitations for a civil case stemming from any injury due to the negligence of a nursing home or nursing home employee is three years. The statute of limitations begins to run on the date that the incident occurred. Therefore, the statute of limitations is three years from the time of the alleged abuse.

If the abuse or neglect results in the death of a nursing home patient, there is a two-year statute of limitations regarding a wrongful death. In both types of cases, a lawsuit must be filed within the applicable statute of limitations.

Discovery of Harm Rule

The discovery of harm rule is a legal theory that can extend the statute of limitations in certain types of cases. If, for whatever reason, certain abuse or neglect occurs within a nursing home, but the resulting injury is not discovered until sometime later, the statute of limitations will not take effect until the injured party discovers his or her injury, or until the time upon which the injured party would have reasonably discovered his or her injury. In effect, the discovery of harm rule extends the applicable statute of limitations to three years from the day that the harm is first discovered.

Length of the Settlement Process

How quickly a person receives a settlement varies from case to case. Some cases can resolve relatively quickly. However, resolution of any medical liens can take a prolonged amount of time. Conversely, it may take a long time for the individual to obtain a settlement offer and resolve the case.

Each case is unique. Ultimately, attorneys and their clients work towards a fair and adequate resolution as quickly as possible.

Expediting the Process

Because an attorney has handled this issue before, they can draw upon their experience in working to resolve any issues as quickly as possible. Anyone who is not familiar with the process may overlook something or fail to confront a necessary problem. Although such actions may seem expedient in the short run, ultimately, that lawyer will need to confront the error later in the process, which will prolong the settlement as a whole.

DC Nursing Home Abuse Settlements