Fall at Nursing Home Case Result | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

What Happened 

Our client, an 80-year-old woman, was admitted to a skilled nursing center. At the time of her admission, she was bed-bound for more than three years. She had contractures of both her legs and suffered from up to 18 pressure ulcers and/or bedsores. Our client was completely dependent on others for her mobility. While at the nursing facility, our client suffered a fall from her bed resulting in a serious fracture of her left tibia and fibula. Due to our client’s previous medical issues, the fractures could not be treated surgically and she ultimately underwent an above-the-knee amputation of her left leg. 

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Key Legal Strategy

Our team of Virginia nursing home negligence lawyers examined the facts of the case and discussed the best path forward with our client. We decided to try and resolve the nursing home negligence case through arbitration before moving forward with a jury trial. Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution. Under certain circumstances, arbitration can be an effective way to resolve a personal injury claim outside of the courtroom. Arbitration offers individuals certain benefits when compared to full-blown litigation. For example, arbitration is more cost-effective than a multi-day jury trial. When a personal injury or nursing home negligence case goes to trial, there are numerous costs such as the fees charged by expert witnesses to come to the courthouse and testify at trial. If you decide to arbitrate your case, a written expert report can be used as evidence, a videotape deposition of the witness can serve a similar purpose. This will ultimately save you money in reduced case expenses. Arbitration can, in some circumstances, save you as much as $10,000 in case expenses.

Arbitration is also more flexible and can be done start-to-finish in less than two days. This is quite different from a jury trial, which could take weeks to litigate. Parties can also agree to certain procedural aspects in presenting the facts and evidence of the case, unlike a formal court proceeding where all of the evidence rules are governed by the Virginia Rules of Evidence.

Probably the most beneficial aspect of arbitration is that the parties can reach a resolution in under six months as opposed to anywhere from 12-to-24 months that is typically required for personal injury litigation. Traditional litigation takes so much longer because because of pre-trial discovery where multiple witnesses will likely need to be deposed and hearings leading up to the trial will need to take place. If your case is arbitrated and a decision is rendered in less than six months, it typically allows the injured party to achieve closure and possibly enjoy any potential recovery far sooner than with a jury trial. 

Arbitration Result

  • After a 2-day arbitration hearing, our client was awarded $300,000.00.

Attorneys and Staff

  • Eric K. Washburn, Attorney
  • Richard N. Shapiro, Attorney
  • Cindy E., Paralegal

Court & Date

  • (Confidential)
  • Virginia, August 2018