Today, nursing home facilities are increasingly growing concerned over cases of personal injury to their residents, in particular, pressure sores and falls. While only a small number of neglect and abuse complaints get to trial, the increasing awards for damages have resulted to higher premiums on liability insurance. This, in turn, has adversely affected the quality of senior care services. However, advocates of elderly care agree that it is important to keep caregivers accountable.
Liability of Nursing Homes
Senior residents, as well as their spouses, children, or friends, can file a case against a senior living home based on negligence, malpractice, intentional injury, and neglectful supervision and hiring. This is where a nursing home abuse attorney in Springfield, Illinois comes into the picture. The lawsuits may involve everything from failing to treat or prevent bedsores to sexual abuse by staff. The most prevalent basis for nursing home personal injury cases is wrongful death.
In many states including Illinois, laws are in place to set the standard of care that nursing homes must observe. The law establishes the rights of residents that can be used as grounds to file cases against the home, and its administrators and staff.
More Viable Personal Injury Cases Today
In the past, elderly residents were not in a good position to sue for personal injury. Since they no longer earn a lot of money and most have no more dependents, it would be difficult to prove economic losses. An emerging trend is for the residents’ offspring to sue on their parents’ behalf, as well as for their loss of companionship and emotional distress.
Binding Arbitration Requirement
There are nursing facilities that have included arbitration clauses in their admission contracts. First-time residents waive their right to sue the facility, and its administration and staff in court. The residents must instead use binding arbitration that will submit their claims – not to a jury and judge – but to a professional arbitrator. Some homes take advantage of the clause and use it to set a limit on the damages and access to their records that will help strengthen the case against them. In some states, the courts refuse to carry out arbitration clauses.
The laws on injuries caused by nursing facilities can be complex as each case is unique. Thus, you will need the help of an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer.