When Should You Settle Your Iowa Nursing Home Abuse Case?

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Posted by Pressley Henningsen

Has your loved one has recently been hurt at an Iowa nursing home at the fault of someone else?  The nursing home insurance company may be reaching out to you to see if you are ready to settle your claim.  But when is it a good time to settle your case?

Understanding What Settling Your Iowa Personal Injury Claim Means

It’s important to understand what settlement actually means for your case.  A personal injury settlement agreement means you’ve reached a compromise with the person who injured you.  In this case, the nursing home and their insurance company will be the parties you settle with.  It signals the end of your case.  Once you sign settlement paperwork, you will not receive any more compensation.

That’s why you need to make sure that settling your case is the best thing for you and your claim.  How do you know when you should settle your case?

Iowa Nursing Home Abuse Claims and the Statute of Limitations

There is a time limit on how long you have to either settle your nursing home case or bring a lawsuit.  This is known as the statute of limitations.  In Iowa, you have two years from the date your loved one was injured to either sue or settle your claim with the nursing home.  If you miss this deadline, it is unlikely your loved one will receive compensation for their injuries.

Don’t Settle Your Nursing Home Case Too Early

However, it’s also important that you don’t settle your claim too early.  If your loved one has been injured, and you settle the claim before they have completely healed, it will be up to you to cover their medical bills.  Once you sign settlement paperwork, the nursing home and their insurance company will no longer be responsible for paying any bills.  The bills will need to be paid out of the settlement amount – or out of your own pocket.

That is why your loved one needs to be completely healed, or as healed as a doctor says they’re going to get, before you start thinking about settlement negotiations.  If the statute of limitations is coming up and your loved one is still treating their injuries, your attorney will likely file a lawsuit on your behalf.  Filing a lawsuit will help protect that statute while letting your family member continue to heal.

Depositions and Mediation – When You May Hear Talk About Settling Your Case

While you can legally settle your claim whenever you choose to, there are specific times during your case where talk of settlement is more likely to come up.

The first time settlement may come up is after the other side has taken your deposition.  A deposition is a sworn statement where an attorney for the defendant will ask you questions to learn your side of the story.  Your attorney will be there during the questioning, and a court reporter will also be present to record everything that is said.  Once depositions are completed, the other side may want to begin settlement negotiations.  They may also ask that the case go through mediation.

A mediation is an in-person settlement discussion.  A mediator will lead the discussion.  This mediator is a neutral third party that reviews both sides of the case and then discusses terms of a possible settlement with both you and the defendant.  Usually Iowa personal injury cases will settle at this point.

If your case does not settle, then the next step is a jury trial.  An experienced Iowa trial lawyer that has recently been to trial will be crucial at this point.

If you have questions about settling your Iowa nursing home abuse case, call RSH Legal today at 1-319-774-1783.

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