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Proposed Illinois law may help conceal nursing home abuse

Checks and balances are vital to every organization in the United States. The government, large corporations and small businesses all require some oversight in order to ensure the protection of citizens and consumers. Most want stringent regulations with regard to laws that protect people in nursing homes and assisted living care, especially as many stories have surfaced about nursing home abuse in the past several years. However, new Illinois legislation may make it difficult for those aware of abuse in this setting to come forward without disclosing their personal information.

The bill that is being considered by Illinois lawmakers would require anyone reporting nursing home abuse to disclose their name and information in order make a claim. It would also allow authorities to ignore anonymous calls about abuse or neglect in nursing homes. Those in support of this law believe that it will cut down on false claims, and thus save money and time spent investigating them. On the other hand, anonymous claims are often made by people who work within an organization and see evidence of abuse or neglect firsthand. Employees facing these situations may want to report the problem(s), but cannot jeopardize their job in order to do so.

There are many facets to nursing home abuse, such as mistreatment, medication errors and unsanitary conditions. Legal counsel may assist many patients and loved ones in determining the correct steps to take in cases of nursing home abuse. Reaching out to an attorney regarding these matters does not typically require clients to pay any up-front costs, as many work on a contingency basis. This means that there is no initial cost to the plaintiff in order to file a lawsuit and seek damages.

It is difficult to imagine caregivers abusing, neglecting or taking advantage of residents living in nursing homes, but tragically, it does happen. Illinois residents facing these difficult situations could benefit from discussing their concerns with an attorney. A lawyer who is experienced with personal injury litigation and the unique issues surrounding nursing home abuse may be in the best position to recommend the best steps to take legally.

Source: usnews.com, "Illinois Bill Would Require Identity of People Who Complain About Nursing Homes", Kimberly Leonard, April 22, 2016

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