Class action lawsuits are brought by groups of victims who have been harmed by the misconduct of another. These suits are helpful in resolving problems for many individuals in an efficient way that does not require the use of multiple legal actions. Certain types of incidents are more likely to involve class action suits. For example, class action suits may be necessary when thousands of individuals are exposed to deadly toxins or if many consumers are affected by unfair business practices. Class action lawsuits are less common in brain injury cases. However, in certain ways brain injury victims may become involved in one of these actions as a result of their situation.
For example, Mass Live published a story today on four traumatic brain injury victims who sued their state for access to community based care. One of the victims had developed a brain injury after a driver crossed over the center line and hit his car head on. The man was initially not expected to survive. He pulled through but not before a debilitating brain injury left him in need of close care. During his long rehabilitation he spent time in two different nursing homes, both of which, he explains, did not provide ideal living conditions. He then moved to a different long-term care facility.
The man wanted to have access to individual, community-based care. However, the state rules at the time did not allow that care to be provided via use of public funds. Instead, the man was forced to bounce around from one institutional setting to another. Eventually, the man and his family joined a lawsuit seeking to force the state to provide community-based care. The suit ended with a successful settlement. The state agreed to place more than three hundred brain injured residents into living environments that were not nearly as restrictive as traditional nursing homes or long-term care facilities.
Now, with the help of a nonprofit organization committed to helping individuals in similar circumstances, these victims have found placements in community-based live-in programs. He now lives with four men who also suffered brain injuries. They receive around-the-clock care but are given much more freedom than in other settings. The men participate in outings and have a range of personal living choices. One explained that the simple pleasures of making his own food and deciding when to go outside have made a tremendous difference in his overall well being. It has also allowed him to see marked improvement in his functioning. He has taken up photography and spends some time as an “antiques picker.”
Our Chicago brain injury attorneys believe that all victims should have fair access to the care that they need to make themselves well. In addition, the quality of life of these residents must not be forgotten. Ensuring that victims will have access to the resources they need to get their lives as close to normal as possible is one key part of all Illinois brain injury lawsuits. If you or a loved one has suffered this type of harm which was caused in full or part by the misconduct of another, consider visiting with a legal professional and seeing what options are in front of you.
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