If you have a loved one in a nursing home, the last thing you want to consider is that your elder is being neglected or abused. But it happens more frequently than you might imagine.

Ways That a Nursing Home Covers Up Abuse or Neglect

The decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is never easy. You want to feel confident that they are being well cared for. However, that is not always the case. Below are some ways a nursing home may cover up abuse or neglect.

Blaming the Resident

If your loved one is injured, the staff may try to blame them and say they weren’t following the rules or that they fell due to dementia or instability. Staff members may even blame the abuse on another resident. Therefore, it’s essential to watch out for new injuries and ask many questions.

Falsifying Paperwork

The nursing home management may encourage staff members to falsify documents claiming that staff performed routine checks and other duties as expected. They might backdate information if something was skipped or lie altogether.

Failing to Keep Up with Medical Records

Another telltale sign that your elder may not be receiving proper care is that their medical chart is not updated. It may indicate missed medications, skipped doctor’s appointments, and other signs of neglect or abuse.

Not Reporting Abuse or Neglect

Even though nursing homes are required by state law to report any abuse or neglect, often staff members are pressured not to report anything. As a result, nurses or orderlies may continue to do their jobs but fail to take proper action and report the nursing home for infractions because they fear losing their jobs.

Signs of Abuse or Neglect

If your elder shows signs of malnutrition, frequent injuries, infections, bedsores, or changes in their mood or behavior, investigate immediately. When abused or neglected, elders often become withdrawn, depressed, or anxious

Where to Turn for Help

If you suspect your senior loved one is being abused or neglected, contact Baron and Herskowitz for help today.

Entrusting your senior loved one to a nursing home can be an emotional decision. Choosing the right facility with good staff is critical. It’s important to understand that negligent hiring and supervision can lead to nursing home abuse which you want to avoid at all costs.

How Negligent Hiring and Poor Supervision Lead to Elder Abuse

Nursing homes are tasked with caring for elder Americans who cannot take care of themselves. However, improperly trained, or supervised staff members can lead to severe neglect and abuse.

Negligent Hiring Practices

It is the responsibility of the nursing home facility to vet nurses and other caregivers properly. If a person provides fake credentials and they cause problems, the nursing home may be liable. Therefore, it’s essential for management to perform a full background check before hiring anyone.

If a staff member with bogus credentials performs CPR on a patient and they die, it is an example of how negligent hiring could lead to abuse. Additionally, if someone without the proper training gives the wrong medicine or improper dosage, it could lead to an emergency situation or death. Someone with a history of mental health or behavioral issues would also be a risky hire for a nursing home.

Improper Supervision 

Many facilities are short-staffed, and therefore, a stressed manager or director may make bad decisions in terms of staffing. A couple of examples are: 

Where to Turn for Help

Even if you vet the nursing home facility before placing your loved one in their care, things could still go wrong. If you suspect neglect or abuse and need help with your case, contact Baron and Herskowitz today for a free consultation. We care deeply about you and your family and want to help. 

Sexual Abuse, Image of a hand on woman's face.

Sexual abuse is a serious crime with far-reaching consequences and long-term effects for victims. To learn more about the devastating crime of sexual abuse, consult the frequently asked questions below.

What is sexual abuse 1st degree?

Sexual abuse in the 1st degree is when someone forces another person to engage in sexual contact. First-degree sexual abuse also constitutes forcing someone to engage in sexual conduct when the victim is incapable of providing consent due to mental incapacity, physical weakness, is under the age of 12, or has a delayed development issue. Sexual abuse in the 1st degree also covers someone 21 or older who forces a 16-year-old to have sexual contact or engages in self-pleasure while a 16-year-old is present or watching. First-degree sexual assault is a Class C or D felony, depending on the victim’s age.

What sexual abuse 2nd degree?

Sexual abuse in the 2nd degree is when someone between the ages of 18-21 forces a victim who is younger than 16 years old to engage in sexual contact. Second-degree sexual abuse usually entails an adult who supervises young people, such as an employee of a juvenile detention center that houses kids younger than 16. It may also apply to a peace officer who abuses someone in their care or custody. Sexual abuse in the 2nd degree is a Class A misdemeanor.

What is sexual abuse 3rd degree?

Sexual abuse in the 3rd degree is when someone forces another person to engage in sexual conduct without their consent because they are underage (less than 16 years old). The abuser is between the ages of 14-18. This type of sexual abuse is classified as a Class B misdemeanor.

What is sexual abuse in a relationship?

Sexual abuse in a relationship is when one partner uses force, manipulation, or intimidation to control their intimate partner. It usually involves any type of unwanted or non-consensual sexual act or contact. Whenever a person coerces their partner to perform a sexual act that they do not want to, it constitutes sexual abuse. Relationship sexual abuse is more common than most people realize.

What causes sexual abuse?

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. Sexual abusers may victimize others for various reasons. Some of them were victimized or neglected as children and carry that trauma. Others may have unnatural urges or desires, and they act out their feelings by abusing victims. Some abusers suffer from undiagnosed and untreated mental illnesses. Most often, sexual abuse comes from a desire to have power over others. Whenever an abuser feels insecure about their own lives, they may abuse others to gain back a feeling of being in control.

When is it considered sexual abuse?

Whenever someone forces another person to have sexual contact or engage in sexual conduct of any type (even watching) without the victim’s consent, it is sexual abuse. Sexual abuse refers to any non-consensual sexual act between two or more people.

When to report sexual abuse?

Any victim of sexual abuse, no matter how young or old, regardless of the circumstances, should report it to the authorities and seek help immediately. The long-term effects of continued abuse may be challenging to overcome. However, the sooner the victim reports the abuse, the sooner they can begin to heal.

Where to report sexual abuse?

Anyone younger than 18 should report the abuse to a trusted guardian or adult. Anyone over the age of 18 should report the abuse to local law enforcement. They can also contact RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the national organization designed to help victims report and recover from sexual abuse. They also have programs to help bring sexual abusers to justice. Call RAINN at Call 800.656.4673.

Baron and Herskowitz is investigating overheating problems with the DJI Action 2 camera. The DJI Action 2 camera provides less than 20 minutes of 4K 24 recording time before the camera gets too hot and stops recording and shuts down. 

Can you record more than 20 minutes on the DJI Action 2 without it melting and shutting down? 

Please call at (305) 670-0101 or email us at jon@bhfloridalaw.com to learn more about our investigation.

The Law Firm of Baron and Herskowitz is investigating Resmed Inc. for potential defects in its CPAP devices. The potential defect is likely present at purchase and presents with (loud) noise during the user’s sleep effecting the usefulness of the CPAP device. Resmed has refused to accept responsibility to fix and/or replace the defective device. Resmed has required the user to pay for the repair and/or a new device. If you own a Resmed CPAP device and have experienced this defect, please contact us to learn more about the investigation and whether you may have a claim.

If you own a ResMed CPAP Machine and have a question you can email us at jon@bhfloridalaw.com or call the office at (305) 670-0101.

At some point in life, most people decide they need a life insurance policy to provide for loved ones after their passing. However, when that day comes, that last thing anyone expects is to have the life insurance company refuse to pay the death benefit.

What to Do if You are Denied Death Benefits

Death brings with it a lot of strong emotions. If you are a family member of the deceased and you are named the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, you have the right to claim those benefits. If you are met with delays or denial, it can significantly add to your stress and pain of the event.

You may not realize it but that these types of cases can quickly become complicated and difficult to resolve on your own. There are various reasons why a claim may be denied and the process of appealing can feel overwhelming.

Reasons for Life Insurance Denial

Some of the reasons why a life insurance company may deny someone benefits include:

Payment – If the policy dues are in arrears, a company may deny paying out the benefits. If the policy lapsed at any time and was never properly reinstated, then it was not legally in place at the time of death.

Misrepresentation – If the policyholder misrepresented any information on their application such as a health issue, smoking, or total income, the company might deny benefits on that basis also.

Outside of Scope – If the claim falls outside of the scope of the policy, then denial is probable. For example, if the deceased’s family did not claim benefits within the reasonable period (usually a few years after death), their claim may no longer be valid.

Suicide – If the policyholder takes their own life, it will invalidate the policy.

Illegal Act: If the person died while performing an illegal act, the policy will most likely be denied.

What to Do if You are Denied Death Benefits

The first thing you should do is secure legal counsel. Appealing a death benefits claim can be a frustrating and complicated process. You need someone with experience who can help resolve it efficiently.

Your attorney will help you gather evidence and provide proof while helping you contest the denial of your life insurance benefits. Your lawyer can help you navigate the legal system and, if necessary, take legal action against the insurance company if they still fail to honor the policy.

Life insurance companies don’t want to pay out big sums of money. If you have been denied your life insurance benefits, contact Baron and Herskowitz today for a free consultation and guidance.

With all our modern advances in technology and other areas of life, one issue that remains constant is the frequency of sexual assault on college campuses. Statistics show that one in five women experiences sexual assault during college. The first and second semesters at college are the riskiest for young women. Shockingly gay, lesbian, or bisexual women are more often targets for sexual assault than heterosexual women. 

Why is Sexual Assault so Prevalent in College?

Although sexual assault happens to both men and women, it is particularly prevalent on college campuses. Here is why.

Peer Pressure – Young adults are prone to peer pressure and may engage in activities that they wouldn’t in other settings, such as going to parties, drinking, and using drugs.

Alcohol/Drugs – The prevalence of alcohol and drugs on college campuses may make it difficult for young people to make good decisions, or they may be too intoxicated to understand what is going on until it’s too late.

Reporting – Sadly, only 1 in 5 women who are assaulted sexually while in college report it to the police. 

Campus Rules – Often, when reported, some college administrators will choose to deal with the situation in-house rather than report it to the police. Perpetrators may expect this and receive a light punishment or none at all.

How to Be Safer While in College

Some things you can do to stay safer while in college include:

What Should I Do if I am Sexually Assaulted While in College?

If you find yourself in a situation where you have been sexually assaulted, understand this is not your fault. You did nothing wrong. If you need immediate medical help, call 911.

If your attacker was another student, you might want to contact school administration and report it there as well. You should also contact the police and report it to them. Contact a close family member or friend for emotional support.

You can also use the National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-4673) for additional resources.

Consider hiring a sexual assault attorney for help with your case. Call Baron and Herskowitz for a private, respectful, compassionate consultation today. 

Sexual assault is a damaging crime, and survivors may experience long-term side effects. Family and friends may not know what to say to support someone who has suffered sexual abuse. You may need to be extra patient and understanding with victims. In addition, survivors of rape and sexual trauma may experience mental health issues and need help learning how to cope. 

Below are some tips on how to talk to a survivor of sexual abuse and some ideas on how to handle things.

How to Speak to a Rape or Sexual Assault Victim

Regardless of whether you are working in the mental health field or you are a friend or family member of a sexual assault survivor, you need to know the best way to communicate with them. 

Remember to stay calm and speak in a soft, comforting voice. Even if you feel angry or distressed, try not to express it in front of the victim. You may cause the victim more distress. Instead, positively reinforce the fact that they had the courage to confide in you. 

Stress the fact that you believe them and want to do all you can to support their wellbeing. Let the survivor make their own decision about how to handle it. Sexual abuse takes away power. Be sure to give them back a sense of control by letting them decide on their own coping strategies and what steps they want to take or not take. Assure them of your confidentiality. Let the victim decide who to tell and who not to.

Be present and hold space for them to express their emotions. If they need to be angry and yell or cry, be that shoulder for them. Just listen and be patient. They are not mad at you, but survivors need to get these emotions out to process them and start to heal. Recovering from rape or sexual trauma can take time. 

Reassure the victim that they are not alone, and you are there for support and anything else they need. Let them know that no matter what happens, you will be there. Tell them they did nothing to deserve this; they are not at fault. Many sexual abuse victims believe they caused the abuse. Tell them you are sorry and that it shouldn’t have happened to them. These kind, caring words go a long way in the healing process.

Do not threaten the suspect in front of the victim. It may cause them to worry about you or fear retaliation from their attacker. 

Avoid being judgmental about how long the victim takes to process and heal. These things can take time, and everyone proceeds at a different pace. Instead, help them to practice healthy self-care and soothing techniques. 

Encourage the victim to get help through counseling or other therapies. Provide them with the RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) hotline, so they will have a number to call for help when they are ready. 

Recovering from rape or sexual drama is a process and may take some time. In addition, you may experience some mental health issues and need help with coping strategies. 

The Definition of Sexual Assault

Sexual violence is unfortunately very common in the U.S. The CDC states that 1 in 5 women is a victim of sexual assault during her lifetime. Sexual assault is any type of sexual act where one person has not consented. 

Types of Trauma

There are a few different types of sexual abuse trauma. The first is verbal, where someone expresses or implies unwanted sexual content. Another type is covert sexual abuse which includes stalking, photographing or videoing you without your consent. One of the most damaging is physical sexual abuse, including rape and other types of sexual trauma. 

How to Recover

Learning how to cope after rape or sexual assault may be difficult. However, your well-being is the most important concern. There are dozens of helpful resources you can turn to for help. Some initial steps to take are:

Who Can Help?

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the largest national anti-sexual violence organization, and they can help. They offer an 800-number for victims. They coordinate with thousands of counselors and sexual abuse trauma treatment providers and can suggest one in your local area. 

How to Restart a Normal Life

The first step in getting your life back is to seek medical attention and then report the sexual abuse. It’s essential to have a healthy support system of friends and family while you go through the process of healing. 

Hiring an Attorney

As you rebuild your life after sexual assault, understand that this was not your fault, and you did not deserve the attack. It’s important to take steps to re-empower yourself and gain your confidence back. This may include proceeding criminally against your attacker or a civil lawsuit. If you need help with your case, please contact Baron and Herskowitz for assistance, even if a long time has passed since the attack. We are here for you. 

The holidays are filled with laughter, family, and fun, but it can also be one of the most dangerous times of the year.

Some Common Personal Injuries During the Holidays

Although most of us feel a sense of excitement around the holidays, we may also feel stressed, rushed, and overwhelmed. These things can lead to accidents. Some of the most common holiday personal injuries include:

Car Accidents – With more people on the roads in a rush to finish holiday shopping or get to a festive party, the possibility of a car accident increases profoundly. During the holidays, the number one personal injury is serious or even fatal car accidents.

Back Injuries – Back injuries are also more common during the holidays as people lift and carry heavy packages, decorations, and lug around suitcases during holiday travel. Snow clean-up can also cause severe back injuries. 

Slips and Falls – Icy steps and walkways can be disastrous, and many slips and falls occur during the holidays. Hanging holiday decorations from ladders may also cause injuries.

Fires and Burns – Extra cooking and burning candles around the holidays can lead to fires and burns. Holiday lights on Christmas trees also lead to fires causing more than a thousand injuries each year and damages totaling $990 million.

Electrical Shock – Holiday lights also cause electrical shock. An average year may see more than 5,000 electric shock victims. Electric shock can result in burns, nerve damage, cardiac arrest, and muscle and tissue damage. 

Cuts or Lacerations – Opening packages, cutting boxes with knives, and even excess cooking can result in severe cuts and lacerations. 

Shopping/Mall Injuries – More people visit the malls around the holidays, which could mean disaster for some. Mall and shopping accidents could include stampedes, customer disputes, trips, and even slips and falls. Black Friday has been the cause of many violent conflicts in the past. 

Help with Personal Injuries

If you or someone you love is injured during the holidays, you may need help with your case. Contact Baron and Herskowitz, experienced personal injury lawyers, for assistance and a free consultation.