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Many States Do Not Require Nursing Homes to Carry Liability Insurance

Earlier this month, the daughter of a Virginia woman was awarded $300,000 in damages after a wrongful death trial against the nursing home where she had fallen 8 times in less than a year, plus another fall that ultimately caused her death in August 2012.

The deceased, 87 year old Alice Allen, fell in her room at Colonial Manor on Pocahontas Trail in Williamsburg, VA. She suffered a subdural hematoma and was not taken to an emergency room until the next day, despite taking blood thinners. A nurse who served as an expert witness for the plaintiff stated during trial that “Any prudent nurse with an unwitnessed fall with a possible head injury on [a blood thinner] would be sent to the emergency room immediately following the fall. Time is of the essence.”

The nurse also testified that it did not appear that the facility had a well developed plan for fall prevention or treatment, which was evident by the number of falls Ms. Allen had endured and by the manner in which she was treated after her fatal fall in August 2012.

No Insurance Likely Means No Payment
After the verdict, it was reported that Colonial Manor does not carry nursing home liability insurance and is planning on filing for bankruptcy, both of which allow a nursing home to be relieved of having to pay out any settlements or verdicts and judgments made against them. For Ms. Allen’s daughter, this means she will likely not see a dime of the damages the jury awarded her. Virginia, like Illinois, does not require nursing homes and assisted living facilities to carry liability insurance. They are also allowed to buy relatively small insurance plans, such as a $250,000 policy, a practice which is quite common in our country. This allows the nursing home to falsely reassure prospective families who inquire about whether or not they have liability coverage that they do, in fact, have insurance. Sadly, if a family sues facilities such as these, they soon find out that such a small policy will not begin to cover the economic and non-economic damages they’re faced with.

The Illinois nursing home abuse attorneys at Levin & Perconti are dedicated to seeking justice for those who have been injured due to nursing home abuse and neglect. Since 1992, we have helped families such as yours in Chicago and throughout Illinois fight back against nursing homes that have allowed their loved ones to suffer. A consultation with one of our experienced attorneys is free and no money is required unless we recover money for you. Please, contact us online or by phone, (312) 332-2872, to discuss your potential case.