As many of our discussions have tackled, issues of insurance are very essential to protecting the rights of injury victims, and while insurance companies seldom willingly pay all of what they should, Illinois’ mandatory insurance laws at least make sure there’s a system in place to make sure that injury victims have a possibility of compensation.
That’s why it comes as such a disheartening surprise that the Illinois General Assembly shot down, for the second time in four years, a proposed bill that would have required nursing homes to carry liability insurance. Amongst other things, the bill would have:
- required nursing homes to carry at least $1 million of coverage per year;
- allowed the Illinois Department of Public Health to revoke nursing home license for owners without the necessary coverage;
- forced disclosure of each nursing home’s policy to the public;
- forced a nursing home licensee to pay three times the actual damages, or $500, whichever is greater, and costs of attorney’s fees to a resident whose rights have been violated.
While it’s true that the vast majority of nursing homes still voluntarily maintain liability insurance — which makes sense, as to go uninsured would likely take only one or two big lawsuits to put them out of business — the real pressing issue, as the article mentions, is that many nursing homes use this lack of regulations to drastically underinsure themselves, thus limiting the amounts that victims and their families generally receive, if not outright dissuading them to file suit in the first place.
Such practices are par for the course in this area, unfortunately, and provide nursing homes one more way to try to save money at their patients’ expense.
You can contact us here 24/7/365 (and we really mean that as we will answer our phone) if you have anyquestions and to learn how we may be able to help you or your loved one who has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect – in particular, you will find that we listen, take your phone calls and e-mails (and even text messages!). We would be honored to help you with your matters – large or small.