Reporting Nursing Home Abuse

Entrusting care of your elderly loved one to a nursing home can be a difficult decision. You will be sending your aged relative to an unfamiliar territory. When you do decide to entrust them to such facility, you always have the assumption that they will be treated with dignity and compassion. This is not happening, unfortunately. According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, nursing home abuse is quite prevalent even under unlikely circumstances.

Nursing home abuse can be a difficult problem. It is something that is hard to define and identify. If there are indications of abuse, seldom is it reported to authorities. According to a two-year study by the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee, nursing home violations occur in 30-percent of US nursing homes. Most of them are unreported and if reported, proving it can still be a challenge. Here are the steps in reporting nursing home abuse:

Pre-suit Investigation

Right at the onset of filing the case, the complexity of nursing home abuse becomes evident. You will have to acquire medical records for the elderly. These documents will then need to be reviewed not only for the time the elderly was residing in the facility but also 5 to 10 years prior to admission. Likewise, you will have to look for any signs of abuse such as bedsores, bruises, behavioral changes, and others.

Discovery

Once abuse has been confirmed, you will then have to file an incident report. If the caretaker of the facility is a doctor, social worker, or other government employees, they are required by law to report nursing home abuse. Citizens can also report suspected nursing home abuse. Make sure to include important details of the abuse when reporting.

Filing

There are several ways to file a nursing home abuse report

  • Through the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116
  • The state resources page of the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) by the Administration on Aging (AoA) to locate the proper authorities for reporting nursing home abuse in the state. There may be several hotlines you need to call.
  • Through the elderly’s primary health care doctor, social worker, elder care advocate, or their immediate health care term provided they are not part of those who are being reported.
  • For severe cases of nursing home abuse, call 911

The elderly people are on the twilight of their lives. As they count down to their last days, they expect utmost care and attention and not the other way around.

Read More

Worst Case Scenarios: Amusement Park Edition

Nothing bad ever happens at amusement parks, right? When you think about them, only pictures and maybe memories of fun times with friends and family are the pictures that come to mind. From the phrase itself, “amusement parks” are places where people smile, laugh, and have a good time and so it’s easy to momentarily suspend your disbelief for a moment and genuinely think that nothing bad could ever happen to you when you’re at an amusement park.

Unfortunately, as according to the website of the lawyers with Williams Kherkher, this is far from the actual truth.

Though there are people within the management of amusement parks who are held accountable to deliver on their duty of care towards their audiences, sometimes there are just some instances that slip through the cracks.

People expect some thrills from certain attractions at certain parks, after all, but they don’t agree to allow themselves to be barely strapped into a metal contraption that goes who knows how fast through metal hoops, fifty feet in the air, unless they knew that the attraction itself was safe. They want the adrenaline and the adventure but with the promise of safety, which is exactly what amusement parks are expected to deliver.

For example, a roller coaster car could accidentally stop in the middle of a loop or a car of a ferris wheel could suddenly break while it’s at the top of its ascent. These are dangerous situations that may not seem plausible but are definitely possible if the management does not care for the attractions appropriately or enough.

Amusement parks need to be equipped and prepared for worst case scenarios and that includes preventing them in the first place. Each and every attraction must first be inspected and tested before it is opened to the public, and even then—they must be regularly inspected for any damage so that necessary repairs or safety upgrades could be installed. If they fail to abide by this standard of care then they would be held legally accountable to all the damages done by their negligence. Click here for more information on personal injury statistics within the US workforce.

Read More

Design and Manufacturing Defects in Automobiles

Our car is one of the most important products in our lives and one that we rightfully expect to be entirely safe. Unfortunately, cars can become defective or even sold to us with a defect risking our or our family’s safety. Sadly, negligent car manufacturers often know of the defects or failed to take the proper precautions to prevent them, putting drivers of the vehicle and other drivers at the road at increased risk for an accident.

There are two common kinds of defects that can occur in an automobile. The first is known as a design defect and occurs when there is an inherent problem in the vehicle’s design, making every car in the product line defective. This can include a brake pad that tends to go out over time or an airbag that fails to deploy during accidents. The other most common kind of defect is a manufacturing defect, which is when a flaw in a vehicle is not related to the design, but rather a problem when the vehicle was being made. Although they may not occur in every vehicle in a line, manufacturing defects can include an improperly installed car battery or a cracked window. When either of these defects occur and cause injury to the driver of the vehicle or another on the road, lawsuits can often be filed against the car manufacturer as they can often be held responsible for the defective products they distribute, according to http://www.shw-law.com/. Accidents caused by defects can not only lead to extensive medical and auto repair bills, but emotional and physical turmoil.

Automobiles should be held to the upmost safety standards and we should trust automobile manufacturers to release viable products to the public. When automobile companies violate this trust, the effects can be devastating. Driving should never be made more dangerous due to a design or manufacturing defect in a vehicle.

Read More

Medical Malpractice: What Causes Wrongful Death?

Medical professionals hold an astounding amount of responsibility in their hands. Physicians, nurses, and other health care personnel are accountable for millions of patients every day. From simple ailments to live-threatening conditions, medical professionals are expected to give their patients the best care and treatment they can offer.

Sometimes, reality paints a grimmer picture. There are moments when the medical professionals fail to live up to the standards mandated by the fields of medicine and health care. In some cases, these incidents lead to fatalities that could have otherwise been easily prevented. As pointed out by Hach & Rose on their website, around 10,000 individuals are expected to die due to medical malpractice and hospital negligence each year. This significant number shows that wrongful death is a serious issue in the medical profession.

Wrongful death happens when physicians, nurses, and other medical staff commit negligent errors. Sometimes, these errors may seem like of little consequence. However, considering the stakes involved in such cases, slight mistakes can’t be excused. The errors that lead to such tragic outcomes often include the following:

  • Wrong or delayed diagnosis
  • Surgical errors
  • Failure to follow standard procedures
  • Inability to properly care for and observe patient

According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, a patient’s death can be justly compensated through a medical malpractice suit if it was caused by any negligent behavior on the part of medical staff and the hospital or institution they are serving. With an experienced personal injury lawyer, surviving family members can receive appropriate damages for the pain and suffering caused to them by an incident of medical malpractice. If you are in a similar situation, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer practicing in your area to learn more about your legal options.

Read More

Claiming Social Security Disability Benefits

There’s no way to account for accidents that might happen. While people can do their best to prevent the risk of such incidents from occurring, it’s best to be prepared for any possible outcome. Insurance is one of the most sure fire way to make sure accidents and the injuries they cause won’t get in the way of financial opportunities. For individuals who have been disabled in an unforeseen scenario, claiming Social Security Disability benefits can be viable option.

Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI is a form of financial assistance that allows individuals with disabilities to receive regular compensation. The payments made under the SSDI program are intended to help cover costs form medical care, lost income opportunity and other financial needs. Benefits from SSDI can be claimed by the person with disability or those who are responsible for their immediate care.

To qualify for these benefits, a claimant will have to meet the following criteria:

  • Aged 65 and below
  • Insured Social Security members
  • Employed long enough to make Social Security payment contributions and earned sufficient credits
  • Diagnosed with total disability for at least the last year that is expected to last for another year

The amount of compensation and the length of time it will be received by approved beneficiaries will depend on a variety of factors. An Indiana Social Security disability lawyer could further explain this, but primarily, the amount of payments they’ll receive is determined by the nature and severity of their current condition.

The process will start by filing an application with the Social Security Administration. Because applications can often take time to get approved, it would be best to seek out legal counsel to learn more about the appropriate steps required. This can also help speed up the process. To learn more about making Social Security Disability Claims, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced lawyer practicing in your area.

Read More

What are the Most Causes Common Motorcycle Accidents?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) emphasizes the dangers of motorcycle accidents by reporting that there are 26 times more fatalities in crashes involving motorcycles than cars. According to the webpage of the Pete Leehey Law Firm, P.C., this alarming number is mostly due to the fact that motorcyclists aren’t as well protected as drivers and passengers riding in other vehicles.

The first step to preventing these fatalities is ensuring motorcycle accidents are prevented through taking necessary safety precautions. To help in that regard, we have listed some of the most common reasons why motorcycle accidents occur. Learning more about the following incidents can help motorcyclists avoid potentially dangerous scenarios.

  • Sudden stop collisions aren’t as dangerous for cars and other larger vehicles as they are for motorcycles. Rear-ending a vehicle can cause a motorcyclist to fall off their bikes.
  • The size and speed of motorcycles contribute to the risk of accidents occurring on the road. Collisions between motorcycles and other vehicles happen mostly because the riders are hidden by blind spots.
  • Motorcycle accidents can also occur due to road conditions and mechanical defects or malfunction. A motorcycle can skid on the road due to slippery roads. It can also go off-track due to a busted tire.
  • Motorcycle accidents are also caused by collisions with open car doors. This is especially common in residential streets and urban areas where drivers might leave their car doors open for a significant amount of time.

Fatalities aren’t the only cause of concern regarding the motorcycle accidents listed above. When a motorcyclist survives an accident, he can still come out of the incident with some pretty serious injuries. According to the website of The Ausband & Dumont Law Firm, motorcycle accidents typically result in injuries like road rash, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and internal organ damage.

Read More

When Employer Negligence Leads to Workplace Injuries

Construction work is often regarded as one of the most dangerous professions in America. This comes as no surprise considering the nature of tasks involved in the labor-intensive industry. Construction workers are typically exposed to different risks such as accidents involving heavy machinery and toxic hazards. These accidents then result in serious illness or injury. Sometimes, they can also lead to fatalities.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) under the Department of Labor, around 3,929 private industry construction laborers died in the year 2013. Their report also identifies the common causes behind these fatalities. Based on available data, injuries in construction work are typically caused by the following incidents: falling, getting caught in between objects, getting struck by an object, and electrocution.

Preventing future incidents like these require plenty of work. It’s important to emphasize that majority of the responsibility should lie on the employer. Construction firms and companies are accountable for any negligence that occurs in the workplace. According to the website of Robert Wilson & Associates, employer negligence is often characterized by the following scenarios:

  • Inability to provide proper safety gear and equipment
  • Failure to adequately train employees
  • Violation of safety codes mandated by law

When these instances of negligence lead to unsafe working conditions, employers will need to provide sufficient workers’ compensation for aggrieved employees. As pointed out by the website of attorneys Wilson & McQueen, PLLC, workplace injuries can place employees in difficult financial situations. Serious injuries will require expensive medical care, as well as a long period for treatment and recovery. Workplace injuries rob employees of an opportunity to earn an income, costing plenty of stress for their families and dependents. These financial issues should be properly addressed by employers through workers’ compensation benefits.

Read More

Business Concerns: Bankruptcy and Intellectual Property Issues

According to statistics gathered by Forbes from the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses have been responsible for generating 65 percent of new net jobs since the year 1995. The data also approximate that around 543,000 new businesses get established every month. Despite the active role they play in today’s economy, small businesses can also be a challenge to get started and run. In fact, the SBA’s data show that 7 out of 10 newly opened businesses survive at least two years, about 5 of 10 last until 5 years, and a third remain open for 10 years. Only a quarter of small businesses stay open for 15 years or more.

How can business owners ensure the longevity of their livelihoods? Most of the time, small businesses shut down due to financial issues. Other times, small businesses are forced to shut down because of legal hurdles. Here, we will address two of the most common concerns that might arise for small business owners. Learning these issues will help business owners prepare for scenarios that might cost the stability of their firms or establishments.

Addressing Debt Problems

A small business that’s just starting out will require plenty of resources to gain stability and longevity. In order to do this, most business owners take out loans in order to fully fund their operations during the start of their run. Unfortunately, there are times when these debts pile up and cause heavy financial burden on the business. According to the website of Ryan J. Ruehle Attorney at Law, LLC, these scenarios is especially common considering the constant variations in the economy and business cycle in the recent years. In most cases, businesses can address debt problems and regain financial stability by filing for either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Intellectual Property Protection

Another common hurdle for small business owners are issues involving intellectual property. Small businesses thrive when they are able to maintain a unique brand identity. Having specialized logos and products or services ensure that they keep a competitive edge. When particular aspects of a business are infringed by another, a business owner can lose a lot of valuable market opportunity. According to the website of Gagnon, Peacock, & Veerke, P.C., common intellectual property issues include copyright infringement, trade dress infringement, and unfair competition.

Read More

California Traffic Laws: When is a DUI Considered a Felony?

Drunk driving is considered a serious offense across America. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that there were a total number of 32,719 alcohol-related traffic fatalities for 2013 nationwide. Considering the high rate these accidents occur, it’s easy to why drunk driving is often met with harsh punishment. Even as policies vary from state to state, anyone charged with driving under the influence (DUI) can expect to meet some pretty steep penalties. In California, for example, certain circumstances involving drunk driving violations can be charged with a felony.

According to California traffic laws, an individual operating a vehicle with blood alcohol content (BAC) that exceeds a specific level can be charged and later convicted with a DUI. The first three DUI offenses are often considered misdemeanors. A DUI arrest becomes a felony when the driver involved commits a fourth offense within the span of 10 years or causes vehicular homicide. The Law Office of Daniel Jensen, P.C. points out on its website that a DUI can also be considered a felony if it involves other traffic violations such as reckless driving.

Similar to most states in America, California DUI laws mandate that private individuals are not allowed to drive with a BAC level of 0.08 percent or higher. The rules are more stringent for drivers of commercial vehicles—having a BAC level at or above 0.04 percent is illegal. Meanwhile, driving with a BAC level above 0.01 percent for anyone younger than 21 will merit and DUI charge.

Penalties for a felony DUI will depend on the circumstances of an arrest. If the incident is proven to have caused personal injury, the defendant will have to undergo a restitution hearing and pay a specified amount to cover damages. Meanwhile, a driver proven to have committed a fourth DUI offense within 10 years could end up facing a maximum of 180 days in jail, up to $1,000 in fines, and a four-year license suspension.

Read More