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How Long Does It Take To Settle an Assisted Living or Nursing Home Lawsuit?

In many cases, families of abused nursing home residents prefer to settle a nursing home lawsuit out of court. If your family’s claim settles, you won’t need to go to trial—and you won’t have to deal with the emotional stress and inherent uncertainty of asking a judge or jury to render a favorable decision. 

Negotiating an out-of-court settlement is also quicker than taking a nursing home neglect or abuse claim to trial. With that said, the amount of time it takes to negotiate a favorable settlement—and whether you should settle at all—depends on the specific facts and circumstances involved. 

Factors that Determine the Timing of a Nursing Home Lawsuit Settlement in Wisconsin 

So, what are the factors that determine how long it takes to settle a nursing home lawsuit? While every family’s case is different, the primary factors involved typically are: 

1. What Evidence Does Your Family Have Available? 

The more evidence your family has to prove nursing home neglect or abuse, the stronger its claim will be. Generally speaking, stronger claims are more likely to settle—and more likely to settle quickly. With that said, even when a nursing home resident has clearly experienced neglect or abuse, it can still take several months to go through the process of dealing with the nursing home’s insurance company and negotiating a favorable settlement. 

2. Is the Nursing Home’s Insurance Company Willing to Negotiate in Good Faith? 

The insurance company’s willingness to negotiate in good faith is also a key factor that will play a role in determining the length of the settlement process. Simply put, some insurance companies have more reasonable settlement policies than others. If the nursing home’s insurance company is willing to acknowledge liability and negotiate based on the evidence your family’s lawyer presents, this will facilitate a more efficient settlement process. Conversely, if the insurance company is unwilling to negotiate in good faith, this will lead to unnecessary (but unavoidable) delays.

3. What is Your Family’s Claim Worth? 

The value of your family’s claim can also impact the settlement timeline. The more your family is entitled to recover, the more the insurance company is going to fight (in most cases). With that said, it is imperative that your family seeks the full financial compensation available. This is true even if this means that it takes longer to receive the financial compensation you deserve. 

4. How Long Does Your Family Have to Go to Court? 

Nursing home neglect and abuse claims are subject to a time limit known as the statute of limitations. If the statute of limitations for your family’s claim is close to expiring, the nursing home’s insurance company may try to wait out the clock—hoping that your family won’t go to court in time. This is one of several reasons why it is best to speak with a lawyer about your family’s legal rights as soon as possible. 

5. Does Your Family’s Law Firm Have a Record of Success in Court? 

If your family’s law firm has a record of success in court, this can also help to facilitate efficient settlement negotiations—once again depending on the insurance company. In many cases, if an insurance company knows that it will need to go to court if it refuses to offer a fair settlement, this will help to spur good-faith settlement negotiations. 

How Do You Know When (and If) You Should Settle Your Nursing Home Lawsuit?

Ultimately, when you have a nursing home lawsuit, it is up to you to decide when (and if) to settle. How do you make this decision? The key is to have a clear understanding of:

  • The amount your family is entitled to recover; 
  • The benefits (and drawbacks) of settling; and, 
  • The likelihood that your family will receive more if you decide to go to trial. 

When you engage a law firm to represent your family, your family’s lawyer will help you make informed decisions throughout the process. If a settlement offer is on the table, your family’s lawyer will tell you exactly how much your family will take home if you accept—and then you can use this information to decide what is best in light of the facts and circumstances at hand. 

Contact Our Madison Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers for FREE

Do you have questions about filing a nursing home lawsuit in Wisconsin? If so, we invite you to get in touch. 

To learn more in a FREE, no-obligation case evaluation, call 608-268-0268 or contact us online today. We welcome clients from Madison and across Wisconsin.