What to Expect in a Nursing Home Fall Claim
Nursing home fall claims are very common. 60 percent of nursing home residents fall every year. Most of these victims are repeat fallers. These incidents cause severe physical and emotional injuries. Physically, these victims often sustain broken bones and head injuries. Since most nursing home fall victims are in poor health, these injuries are unusually severe. Emotionally, many residents are so afraid of falling again that they become prisoners in their own rooms.
Usually, the nursing home owner is legally responsible for these damages. California law usually imposes a duty of care if the owner knew about the hazard, the owner controlled the premises, and someone was likely to get seriously injured.
Since the nursing home owner is usually an out-of-state holding company, these claims are usually very complex. Only an experienced Carlsbad personal injury lawyer is able to obtain maximum compensation in these claims. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Determining Nursing Home Responsibility
To obtain this compensation, a Carlsbad personal injury lawyer must prove negligence, or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not.
Frequently, nursing home understaffing, a problem that affects almost all nursing homes in California, causes fall injuries. Understaffed facilities don’t have workers near construction areas and in other hazardous areas to assist residents with limited mobility, poor eyesight, and other conditions that contribute to the risk and/or results of a fall.
If the nursing home was legally responsible for the fall, once medical treatment is at least substantially complete, attorneys usually begin settlement negotiations. If a case settles before this point, the final settlement might not account for all future medical costs. If that happens, victims must normally pay these expenses out of their own pockets.
If liability and damage issues are crystal clear, the insurance company usually has a legal duty to settle the case almost immediately.
Liability and damage issues often delay settlements. Nursing home lawyers often use legal loopholes, like comparative fault, to shift the blame for a fall from the tortfeasor (negligent actor) to the victim. Additionally, insurance companies often use the aforementioned pre-existing conditions as an excuse to reduce compensation.
Neither of these arguments usually holds up in court. So, to get things back on the right track, most attorneys file legal paperwork when insurance companies drag their feet.
Delay is frustrating, but delay hurts the party with the burden of proof. So, the longer the case lasts, the greater the chances of maximum compensation. That’s especially true since the lawsuit process includes discovery. During this information exchange process, attorneys often find “smoking gun” evidence that greatly enhances a claim’s settlement value.
Most fall injury claims settle during mediation. A professional mediator oversees settlement negotiations and ensures that both parties negotiate in good faith. Instead of going through the motions and making low-ball offers, they must honestly want to resolve the case and be willing to make some compromises to achieve that result.
Mostly because of the good faith negotiation duty, civil mediation in California is about 90 percent successful.
Count on a Diligent San Diego County Lawyer
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Carlsbad, contact the Pursley Law Firm. Virtual, home, after hours, and hospital visits are available.