Are Security Cameras An Ethical Way Of Preventing Nursing Home Abuse?

The conversation is just getting started: more and more people are starting to realize that the loved ones who spend their final days in nursing homes are more at risk of nursing home abuse than ever before. This phenomenon describes what happens when someone takes advantage of a patient — financially, physically, or emotionally. Many times the people hurting our loved ones are the caretakers themselves. But what can we do about it?

When one woman’s daughter became concerned that her 75-year-old mother was not being properly cared for, she bought a camera to make sure. But the staff manually pointed it away, making the expensive purchase pointless — until she brought the case to the Minnesota Department of Health, that is, and physically attached the camera to furniture in the room. She lodged a formal complaint with the organization to ensure a decision would be reached.

The Minnesota Department of Health ruled in her favor, barring the nursing home from removing or tampering with the camera. At least seven states have already written legislation to give families the right to watch caretakers do their jobs. According to the laws, it gives family members peace of mind and helps deter nursing home abuse

But many have contended that spying on people while they work is responding to unethical behavior with unethical behavior. Not only that, but it can also be considered spying on the very people whose interests family members are trying to protect. So which side is right?

It’s a complex subject, but there are obvious concerns. One is privacy. It can be asked whether or not a resident of a nursing facility would really want each and every potentially personal conversation recorded. Would they really want the care they receive available for their family members to watch? Caretakers help residents change clothes, wash up, or in some cases use a bedpan. As far as invasion of privacy goes, the addition of cameras to care facilities is a big deal.

One person might say, “No problem. All you have to do is obtain consent!” 

Another person might ask, “How do you obtain consent from a person who has dementia?”

And therein lies the problem. Legally, it might seem like a matter of power of attorney. That means children, relatives, or even their lawyers might have the ultimate say in whether or not a camera can be installed. But there’s another rub: nursing home rooms are usually shared between two or more residents. That means a camera installed to keep an eye on one resident might inadvertently capture intimate footage of another resident who didn’t give consent.

We’re interested in hearing from you! Let us know what you think about this conversation. Should cameras be allowed in nursing homes to prevent elder abuse?

Can I Sue Someone In Texas For A Wrongful Death Claim?

The short answer is yes, of course you can. In fact, you can sue someone for wrongful death even if they live abroad. The only thing to keep in mind is that the rules might be different, and you really need to do a little research before you move forward with your case. Usually that means help from an attorney.

It can become even more complicated than that. For example, a couple of Philadelphia-based law firms recently sued three Philadelphia-based manufacturers for wrongful death on behalf of a class of people who live in London! 247 people sought help from U.S. lawyers after losing 72 loved ones to a fire in London’s Grenfell Tower because the aforementioned Philadelphia manufacturers allegedly sold highly flammable products to the building owners knowing they were dangerous and perhaps even deadly.

Which leads us to the next point: let’s say you have a wrongful death case and you’re interested in the pursuit of justice! Who will represent you? A lawyer from your own state, or a lawyer in the state where the person you want to sue resides? It depends on a few different factors, including where the accident took place and who is better suited to proceeding with the case. First, you’ll want to contact a lawyer who specializes in wrongful death in your own state. Sit down for a free consult and discuss your options.

What happens in reverse?

If you’re on the receiving end of a wrongful death lawsuit, you’ll likely want to find a criminal defense attorney. Where do you find one? Again, if the two parties are conducting business in different states, each will want to discuss the suit with a lawyer in their own state to start. If you live in Houston, Texas, for example, then you might want to find a Houston criminal defense attorney before you decide where to hire.

Part of the reason you’ll want to start with an attorney in your own state is reference. Wrongful death regulations and statutes will differ from state to state, and while lawyers in your own neck of the woods won’t necessarily have all the relevant legal information to help you (or they might), but they can often refer you to a qualified attorney who can.

Rest assured that every state has a set of rules that govern wrongful death cases, and these allow most people to sue for wrongful death on behalf of lost loved ones — including spouses, children, or pregnancies that end because of an accident.

What Should You Do When Suffering From A Dog Bite Incurred At Work?

Dog bite injuries can be very scary, not only because of the initial damage that may have been done, but also because infection can often set in and cause a whole world of hurt beyond what you may have initially expected. When a dog bite unexpectedly occurs, it may have been the result of a pet owner’s irresponsible training regimen, a random occurrence, or a dog mistakenly thinking that someone was making an aggressive move and trying to defend itself or its owner.

Whatever the reason for the bite, it might seem like the situation became even more complicated if it happened while you were on the job — but that isn’t the case. You should react in much the same way as if you were just going about your daily business.

Here’s what you should do!

  1. You have the option of calling the police, but when attacked by an animal it might be more prudent to make an inquiry to animal control. If the animal in question has a pattern of aggressive behavior, this may be the only way to truly prevent a repeat occurrence. Remember: children are more often the victims of aggressive dogs, and their injuries are often more serious.

  2. Write down the contact information of anyone who witnessed the attack.

  3. Write down the contact information of the pet owner. If you cannot find the owner, call the police to let them know about the dog; they will find the owner if possible. In addition to contact information write down insurance information and vaccination information if it’s available.

  4. Photograph your injuries from multiple angles if possible, and do so again after you receive medical attention.

  5. Seek out immediate medical attention. Keep diligent records of bills. Your employer will want this information for the workers’ compensation paperwork. If you file a lawsuit, your lawyer will want the information as well.

  6. Keep a journal to record your thoughts and feelings throughout recovery.

The only thing that really makes a dog bite that occurs on the job different from one that occurs anywhere else is options. When mauled at work or on the job, you would immediately tell your employer what happened. Your employer would go through the usual motions to make sure you get workers compensation. However, you still have the option of suing the dog’s owner, because pet owners have strict liability. Keep in mind, though, that a personal injury case is icing on the cake, and judges are less likely to rule in your favor when they know you’re only out to make a profit.

Either way, you should still consult with a personal injury lawyer to learn more about your options. Why shouldn’t you? Consultations are free!

What is a catastrophic injury?

If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you might have the right to sue the at-fault party for compensation to help cover expenses otherwise known as economic damages. Economic damages include things such as medical expenses, lost wages and future earning potential.

However, in certain states, you must have suffered what is known as a “catastrophic injury” in order to sue for non-economic damages. Common non-economic damages include what is commonly referred to as “pain and suffering” and mental anguish.

What is considered catastrophic injury in California?

Under California State code §3796b, a catastrophic injury is defined as an injury that permanently prevents an individual from performing any gainful work. Basically, the injury has to be severe enough that a person’s life, career and family are forever changed. Common catastrophic injuries include:

A catastrophic injury usually leads to a lifelong disability which requires ongoing medical treatment, rehabilitative treatment, ongoing therapy, long-term care planning and sometimes permanent assistance. If the catastrophic injury is severe enough, some victims do not recover from their injury and their friends and family can struggle financially to provide care for their loved ones.

Causes of Catastrophic Injuries

Like with most personal injury cases, the injury has to come from another person’s negligence or recklessness and not be a pre-existing injury. Common causes of injuries through negligence include:

If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury due to someone else’s negligence, you might be entitled to economic and non-economic damages. The best course of action is to contact one of our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys for a free consultation regarding your case. Contact us today by calling us or filling out one of the contact forms.

The Worst Reports Of Elder Abuse In The Last Decade

There is a growing epidemic of elder abuse cases across the United States, in part because so few people know about the problem. Personal care workers aren’t always aware that what they’re doing is wrong, but most elder care homes and facilities have video surveillance in order to make sure their employees are properly caring. But what happens when the facility fails to take the right measures? What happens when a family member is the one committing the abuses?

If you suspect your elderly loved one has been abused by a caretaker, then please contact the authorities–and an attorney–right away. Here are a few of the worst reports of elder abuse in the last decade!

  1. The Kingstree Nursing Facility in South Carolina found itself in hot water in 2012 when an elderly patient in its care was discovered by a family member with a broken hip and severe bruising all over her body. According to the patient, she was attacked by two women. This case brought to light the fact that both authorities and the facilities in question were allowed to withhold details stemming from private investigations into elder abuse, a policy that the resident’s son fought tooth and nail to rescind. He wants closure for his mother, who died only a few weeks after the alleged attack.

  2. When Peggy Quesenberry called an ambulance for her mother’s shortness of breath, what authorities found instead was described as a nightmare the likes of which they’d never seen before in the their professional lives. Quesenberry’s mother was covered in urine and fecal matter, and her blanket was fully adhered to her skin. She died weeks later, and Quesenberry was subsequently arrested for elder abuse. Because of the severity of the situation, she faced a psychological evaluation before she was sentenced.

  3. A judge dropped the hammer on the Heartland Nursing Home in Charleston, West Virginia with a $91.5 million verdict after an 87-year-old Alzheimer’s patient succumbed to dehydration and malnutrition. According to authorities, in 19 days at the facility she had barely been provided with any water at all.

  4. The details of the last case are becoming increasingly common among elder care patients, proving our indifference to our own families. Workers have been taking humiliating photos of residents only to post them to social media later. In one case, a worker’s friend posted a picture of a resident’s genitals after a friend sent them to her. The police arrested them both.

The Biggest Personal Injury Cases And Awards

When you receive a settlement for a personal injury claim, the amount awarded is usually dependent on the pain and trauma incurred by the victim. Sometimes the biggest personal injury cases can lead to enormous cash settlements, although the circumstances underriding these awards are as rare as they are. Here are a few of the biggest historical cases that led to gigantic payouts–in some cases for an individual.

  1. When an 8-year-old boy was sexually abused and then set ablaze using gasoline, he miraculously survived. His body was 99 percent covered with burns. Later, he passed away after a bout with skin cancer that was attributed to those injuries. When his family sued the perpetrator, they were awarded a groundbreaking $150 billion. Of course, the defendant couldn’t pay, but the award made a symbolic point that people will never forget.
  2. Cigarette consumers were awarded almost $145 billion after they banded together with a personal injury lawsuit to tackle a number of cigarette manufacturers. These included Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds, among others.
  3. R.J. Reynolds was also the target of Betsy Bullock, who sued him after she came down with lung cancer. She was granted a whopping $28 billion which was later slashed after a lengthy appeals process. Bullock won despite her lifelong habit.
  4. GM was forced to pay a family of six who were badly hurt in a car accident when they were struck by a drunk driver. The collision exposed a defect which caused their fuel tank to explode, which landed them a subsequent $4.9 billion settlement. Superior Court Judge Ernest George Williams cut that amount to $1.2 billion on appeal.
  5. When Mark Force was out driving, he was struck by another car head-on. This exposed a seat-belt defect which allowed him to be ejected from the vehicle. Force was granted a $32.5 million verdict, blaming Ford Motor Co. and Mazda Motor Corp for the accident.
  6. It’s no wonder why people hate public transportation so much! A city transit bus hit Gloria Aguilar in 2005, and in 2009 she was awarded $27.5 million for her injuries, which included an amputated leg.

Does Defamation Constitute A Personal Injury?

You know that old saying “stick and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”? Well, that’s not quite true and we all know it. Words can have an impact that far exceeds any physical damage a person can suffer, especially if you and your company are worth millions. What is defamation, and is it considered a part of personal injury? You might be delighted to know that, yes, defamation is a part of personal injury law.

Defamation (or slander) occurs when a person knowingly or unknowingly uses a written or verbal statement in order to damage someone’s reputation. What happens when defamation turns into bullying? If the other party causes you significant emotional or psychological distress, then you’ve suffered a personal injury and have the right to sue for damages.

If you own or co-own any stake in a company and that company’s ability to earn is damaged by someone who defamed you, then you have suffered a “personal injury” in the form of monetary loss, and you have the right to sue based on that.

Although not always, sometimes you must prove that the defamation was false. Either way, damage can be done to your character, and you shouldn’t ignore it.

It is important to seek appropriate legal counsel as soon as possible for cases such as these because defamation is difficult to prove. The faster you begin to document what happened and collect information relevant to your case, the better your chances of success. The reason it can sometimes be difficult to beat the assailant in court is because the Constitution protects free speech. If you have a journal documenting the distress you’re in now that the attack has occurred, then you can win.

If your business or personal life has suffered due to someone defaming you, then don’t hesitate to contact or call our personal injury attorney. We will launch an investigation and get you the compensation you deserve.

Why Negligent Security Is Not A Laughing Matter

Something is a common trope in American films is the lackadaisical security guard. The security guard is at his desk, fast asleep and the bad guys sneak passed moving very slowly as to not wake him up. Sometimes the security guard is watching TV and is distracted missing the obvious bad guy outside of the door. As humorous as this might be, this happens in the real world too, not just in film and television.

When a criminal makes his way past the security and commits a crime and that crime injures someone, there are severe consquences not only for the criminal but for whoever is in charge of keeping visitors safe. When a victim suffers injuries that result from crimes such as robbery, assault, sexual assault and battery they might have the right to file an additional personal injury lawsuit against the security guard or whoever is responsible for their safety as well as bring a civil lawsuit against the person who committed the crime.

Negligent Security cases are a form of premise liability. Plaintiff’s need to prove that the property owner failed to provide adequate security which led to a crime which led to their injuries. Failure to do security patrols, non-functioning lighting, broken fences, and hotel/motel locks not working are all circumstances that could and should have been avoided, therefore making the landowner partially responsible for their injuries.

These crimes can happen in several locations but mostly occur in parking lots, apartment complexes, hotels, bars, shopping plazas, and business complexes. These types of cases are often difficult to litigate, however, our personal injury lawyers have experience handling these types of cases and getting compensation for our clients’ injuries sustained through a crime. For more information contact our personal injury attorneys.

What To Do If You Slip and Fall On The Job

Slip and fall accidents do happen. We hate when they do, and we may try to keep them from happening, but inevitably one will happen.

Construction sites are common places for slip and fall accidents, as are food-service businesses. Whether you are working at heights or you are around slick liquids like grease or oil, there will likely be a risk of a slip and fall accident, despite some of our best efforts. That, of course, does not mean we should not put every precaution in place. After all, a serious slip and fall accident can lead to litigation that is time and capital-consuming – which then, of course, impacts the bottom line.

In a litigious world such as ours, it is always important to take all necessary and prudent precautions to prevent these types of accidents. On the other hand, if you are someone who has, or could have, suffered a slip and fall injury, you have to be vigilant in making your case. You almost have to treat such an incident like you would a car accident. Here are five things you should do when you are in a slip and fall incident:

  1. Check yourself.

First thing’s first. Before you start talking or thinking about how much to sue for, you need to make sure you get yourself checked out medically to ensure the extent of your injuries. Oftentimes, we may not feel very hurt at first, but some significant injuries don’t’ manifest themselves until later. Always best to get a medical opinion first.

  1. Inform.

At this point, it is a good time to let the owner of the property know (and any supervisors on shift at the time) about the accident. Be careful not to be angry or vindictive about it, trying to lay blame. Just provide as much information as you can in a very impersonal way – the who, what, when, where, why and how.

  1. Curate.

Document as much as you can, including the name(s) of those you directly informed about the incident. Take pictures of the incident scene and record any interviews or conversations when you can so you have documentation. If you have witnesses to the incident, get statements from them as to what they saw and heard.

  1. Speak little.

Stick only to the facts of the incident when discussing it with anyone –even an attorney, when you hire one. Leave emotion, speculation and blame out of the equation. And do not discuss the issue with anyone not directly or indirectly involved with the case – which means, social-media silence, for sure.

  1. Lawyer up.

Find a competent accident or personal injury lawyer to represent you and stand up for your rights. Once you find a lawyer, say nothing more about the case and let your lawyer speak for you. Don’t’ risk legal jeopardy more than necessary.

California Wildfires – What Can You Do

In December 2017, 29 wildfires broke out in Southern California. But only 6 out of the 29 were responsible for the damage and personal injuries that were caused. In total, there were 230,000 evacuated and 184 destroyed homes. These wildfires also destroyed so much of the land that it is responsible for the mudslides that occurred in early January 2018 as well. The mudslides alone led to 21 deaths, 28 injuries, and destroyed 129 homes and 307 other properties.

The exact cause of the Southern California Wildfires has not be pinpointed but it is believed that it was a combination of electrical equipment failure and Santa Anna winds. There have been several cases brought against Southern California Edison (SoCal Edison) as it is believed that their power lines might have played a part in the starting of the wildfires. In fact, the city of Ventura has filed a lawsuit against SoCal Edison, however, the case was dismissed because they are co-defendants on other Thomas Fire cases. 

California has something called the inverse condemnation law which states that if your property damage was caused by the wildfires then you are entitled to compensation from SoCal Edison whether it is determined if they are negligent or not. It is a bit more tricky with personal injury. In order to successfully file a lawsuit for personal injury, the fire department has to prove that SoCal was indeed negligent and that their negligence was responsible directly for your injuries. This differs from those who suffered from the Northern California fires as it has been proven that PG&E was negligent.

Contact Our California Wildfire Attorneys

If you have been impacted by the file, then it is in your best interest to contact a personal injury attorney who is knowledgeable in burn injuries as well as wildfire negligence. Contact us for a FREE consultation