All Illinois drivers are required to be covered under a basic insurance plan. The reason is obvious. Driving is a privilege that comes with risks of harming others on the road. All drivers are made safer in the knowledge that if hurt by the negligence of another, some basic insurance policy exists to provide redress.
It is reasonable to believe that similar requirements exist in other situations where one’s health and well-being depend on the care provided by others, like nursing homes. Each Chicago nursing home neglect attorney understands the power that these facilities have over those in their care. It is reasonable for these homes to be required to have insurance such that misconduct which causes harm can come with compensation for those hurt.
Some Illinois legislators have attempted to pass legislation which would requires nursing homes operating in our state to have liability insurance. Yet, as recently reported in Edwardsville Intelligencer, twice in four years those proposed measures have failed–the last defeat coming last month. This means that some victims of Illinois nursing home abuse will not be able to actually recover fully for their losses, even after a favorable legal decision.
Introduced in January, the measure failed to advance out of committee. The lead sponsor of the measure, Rep. Kelly Cassidy of Chicago, explained that strong opposition from the nursing home industry makes it difficult to advance the bill.
Various versions of the bill exist but most essentially require facilities have have a minimum level of insurance–often $1 million–or be denied a license from the Illinois Department of Public Health. In addition, most proposed measures require facilities to disclose their insurance status to the public Penalties would also be imposed for those facilities which fail to abide by the new rules.
However, considering the measure was assigned to the Rules Committee and not passed out, it is clear there is a long way to go before legislation of this type has the support to advance throughout the process.
Each Illinois nursing home neglect lawyer at our firm understands what this means. Most families who have loved ones in nursing homes assume that the facility will be able to provide redress in the event that neglect causes harm. Yet, some nursing home carry no insurance at all and many others are drastically underinsured. The result is simply a lack of accountability and harm that goes unredressed.
In terms of a nursing home neglect lawsuit, the lack of insurance often means that pursuing a case is not possible. Litigation has a cost, and it is illogical to pursue the litigation and pay the costs without any potential for recovery down the road. This means that many negligent facilities are given a free pass, without being held accountable for their misconduct.
This yields serious long-term harm. Without accountability, facilities have little motivation to change practices to make things safer for everyone. As a result, more seniors will continue to suffer falls, have bedsores go untreated, and otherwise be hurt by inadequate care.
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