A nursing home claim will most often go to court for one of two reasons. First, the parties are unable to negotiate a settlement, or the case must be filed to preserve a claim.
Generally, a claim begins with a demand package. A demand package, prepared by an attorney, is a summation of the facts of the claim and includes all relevant documents or evidence available, including medical records, photographs, witness statements, expert testimony in the form of an affidavit, and reports of regulatory agencies. The demand package lays out the strengths of the case and previews for the nursing home what a lawsuit may look like. More importantly, the package contains a demand for a specific amount of money to settle the claim, i.e., an exchange of money for the promise not to pursue the claim.
The nursing home receives the package, reviews it, conducts their own investigation, and assesses their own value to the claim. That is to say, what the nursing home is willing to pay to prevent a lawsuit from being filed. Almost always, their assessed value will be lower than the amount demanded in the demand package.
From there the parties will try to negotiate a settlement value. Filing a nursing home case and taking it all the way to verdict can be very time consuming. Trial also has a certain risk to the parties. As such, negotiated settlement is very, very advantageous and often preferred over filing a lawsuit with the court.
The attorneys for the injured resident want to settle for an amount as close to the maximum amount of verdict that is possible for the case, minus expenses. The nursing home seeks the opposite. Paying as little as absolutely possible to prevent the filing of a lawsuit, based on the lowest risk the facility has. But, keep in mind that settlement can, and often does, occur after a lawsuit is filed.
The second reason that a nursing home case may be filed is to preserve the right to bring the claim. In Georgia, most personal injury cases must be filed within two years or the claim is waived forever. Therefore, sometimes there is not sufficient time to prepare and send a demand package, or attempt to negotiate settlement due to that two year statute of limitations.
If your loved one has been injured or neglected at a nursing home, and you are not sure if a lawsuit will be filed, please feel free to call and speak to one of our Georgia nursing home neglect 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.