A nursing home case goes to court when the two parties involved cannot settle the case outside of court – meaning they cannot agree on a recovery amount. Additionally, a nursing home case will not go to court if the resident has signed an arbitration agreement, which usually happens when a resident gains admission to a nursing home.
Under Georgia law, when one party injures another (such as in a car wreck), the party that is at fault must pay the injured party a recovery fee: which includes the cost of related medical expenses, as well as compensation for pain and suffering. The same principle holds true in nursing home cases. If a nursing home neglects or abuses one of its residents, then Georgia law requires that facility to compensate the injured resident for special damages.
Taking a case all the way to court is usually a costly process for both parties, which is why many people prefer to settle cases outside of court. However, in order to settle, both parties must agree on the amount of recovery that the at-fault party (in this case the nursing home) will pay to the injured party (the nursing home resident or resident’s family).
Of course, since the attorney representing the injured party will try to settle for an amount that fairly compensates their client, while the nursing home will try to settle for as little as possible, it can sometimes be difficult to agree on a recovery amount. In that case, the attorney representing the injured party will need to file a lawsuit to bring the nursing home to trial, so that the court (either a jury or a judge) can make a final decision regarding the case.
In order to avoid going to court, nursing homes often make residents sign an arbitration agreement at the time of admission. Arbitration means that a neutral party hears both sides of the argument and makes a decision which is binding and cannot be appealed. Obviously, this agreement benefits the nursing home, but not usually the resident, which is why we always counsel against it.
If your loved one has been injured in a nursing home or assisted living facility, and you are unsure about what to do next, please feel free to call and speak to one of our experienced Georgia personal injury lawyers today. Our consultations are always free. If you would like more information about this topic, be sure to click on our other videos, or better yet, click the subscribe button to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Thank you.