Our Illinois nursing home neglect lawyers have frequently explained that much more nursing home abuse occurs than is ever reported. The disconnect between the mistreatment and the frequency of reporting is alarming, because proper legal accountability is a cornerstone of the system which ensures adequate care is provided to all local seniors in these homes. When abuse is not brought forward, a lawsuit is not filed, and accountability is not had, then much more likely than not another senior will fall victim to Illinois nursing home abuse.
When a loved one is hurt or killed because of events which could have been prevented had proper care been provided, many families remain unsure if a lawsuit should be filed. Few want to make it seem as if they are simply trying to get money from the facility and many others feel like it would be an unnecessary stress to file the suit. But we urge families to remember that the civil justice system is actually an integral part the accountability mechanism in the state. In other words, if families do not hold their wrongdoers legally accountable, then it is as if part of the system specifically designed by legislature to ensure proper care is not functioning.
This principle is best understood by considering the source of law relevant in most Illinois nursing home neglect lawsuits. When families meet with an attorney and ultimately file a suit, they are usually doing so pursuant to both federal or state law and the common law. The common law is the general body of civil rules and regulations built up over the centuries by judges working on specific cases. Conversely federal and state laws are actual statutes passed by Congress and state assemblies addressing certain issues. If an elected body so chooses they can pass a law which essentially “trumps” the common law. Or they can pass a law that essentially “supports” it and provides more avenues for recovery for victims of certain conduct.
When it comes to nursing home neglect, both the common law and statutes specifically call for accountability to be had by those harmed. Regarding the statutory laws, a strong reason why these governing bodies have carved out rules to allow family members to file lawsuits is because these bodies understand that the regulatory system is woefully insufficient to provide accountability on their own. There are only a minimal amount of regulators and far too many homes to check on a consistent basis. The gaps are filled by regular community members using the legal system when mistreatment is provided. When families do not use that system then the accountability schemes envisioned by our lawmakers falls apart.
Our Chicago personal injury attorneys believe that minimizing nursing home abuse and neglect is a goal that all local community members should support. That is exactly why all families who feel that their loved one has been harmed because of mistakes and lapses in care need to come forward and demand accountability. It is only then that these facilities are consistently held to the standard of care to which the law demands and all community members should expect.
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