In case you’ve missed the news reports, Nevada lawmakers are squaring off in a major battle over the state’s budget deficit. A hole of some $3 billion needs to be closed, and Governor Brian Sandoval and many of his Republican allies have taken tax increases off the table even though Nevada’s taxes are among the lowest in the country. It is unclear how this battle will ultimately play out, but one way or another a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases will have to be agreed upon in order to fund the state for the next two years. Even as this struggle plays out, the Nevada Legislature also seeks to resolve a number of other, non-budgetary issues such as improving protections for victims of Nevada elder abuse.
Nevada has not been immune to the startling, tragic epidemic of nursing home abuse that is sweeping the country as more and more senior-care facilities become for-profit franchises owned by large corporations. In too many cases, low-paid orderlies with minimal training are given responsibility for elderly patients with special medical care needs. The results have been shocking: reports of sexual abuse of senior patients in some cases, infected bedsores from neglected elderly individuals in others.
A number of bills under consideration in the Nevada Legislature would do a number of things to protect elderly patients, such as clarifying the definition of Nevada nursing home neglect, updating training requirements for nursing home staff, and expanding the reach of criminal statutes to punish those who commit abuses against elderly Nevadans.
Lawmakers also hope to improve another body of law directed at a vulnerable population – that of employees making workers’ compensation claims. Too often, when Nevada families are seeking their due benefits through workers’ compensation after an on-the-job injury they instead have to deal with the legal obstructionism of the company’s insurer. Hopefully the new measures that are enacted will clarify contentious issues of workers’ compensation law and help affected families get the compensation they deserve with less delay. Today, our experienced Nevada workers’ compensation attorneys are available to help you understand the path to your workers’ comp benefits under current law, and we will remain informed of changes to this important body of law as it changes.