Eyes On Living had an interesting blog post recently ‘Florida Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuits Increasing Thanks To Aggressive Lawyers.’ The article is a little tongue in cheek with respect to how attorneys want to help victims out of the kindness of their own heart, but the author does acknowledge that lawsuits filed in states with a substantial elderly population has actually improved the quality of nursing home care.
This got me thinking about the impact of nursing home litigation has on the overall care received by nursing home residents. Do nursing home lawsuits have an impact on the quality of nursing home care? The answer, in my eyes, is a resounding ‘yes’.
Sure, we all hear about juries awarding people with superficial injuries large awards and the recipients going out and spending their awards on lavish things. The reality of the overriding majority of nursing home injury cases, it that many of these people have been downright neglected or abused and their lives have been forever changed by the acts of nursing homes for the worse.
For many victims of nursing home abuse and neglect their golden years have become anything but happy and satisfying. Too often, the lives of seniors have been cut short or painfully altered by the acts of facilities that were intended to care for them.
The purpose of the Nursing Home Care Act in Illinois is similar to laws in place in Florida and Texas–it is intended to help residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities from being taken advantage of and ultimately injured. These laws also allows for attorneys to recover their legal fees if they are successful in their case against the nursing home.
Bad nursing homes are being forced to change their ways. Many facilities that once cut corners with respect to patient safety can longer do so or they face claims and lawsuits for serious injury. If improving patient safety and care means that some facilities are forced to close their doors, in the long run we all will be better off.
Excuse me while I go look look for a billboard…