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 When abused or neglected, elders often become withdrawn, depressed, or anxious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. 

Teen drivers are by far more prone to accidents than adults. The grim statistic shows that car accidents are the leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 15 and 20.

Reasons for Teen Car Accidents

When driving in the car with other teens, the risk of an accident increases considerably. Due to their inexperience, teen drivers are less aware of the dangers of driving, and they cannot correctly evaluate road conditions.

Some of the most common reasons for teen car accidents are:

What to Do After a Teen Car Accident

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a car crash that involves a teenager, contact us for a free consultation to find out about your rights and how to proceed. 

 

Malls and shopping centers are usually jam-packed with lots of cars pulling in and out of large parking lots with pedestrians delicately navigating the traffic to return to their own vehicles. All that chaos is ripe for car accidents and pedestrian injuries.

Who is at Fault?

Typically, malls and shopping centers are owned by corporations, and then each store is leased to individuals. When an accident occurs in a mall parking lot, the question becomes who is at fault. If the driver of the car was being negligent or was distracted when they hit you, they may be legally liable. However, conditions that exist beyond the driver’s control may indicate that the corporation or owner of the store is also responsible for the accident. If any faulty equipment was involved in the accident, a manufacturer may also be liable.

For example, if a car attempts to brake and slides on ice in the parking lot and hits you, the owners of the mall or shopping strip failed to keep everyone safe by putting down ice melt. 

Even if you failed to cross the parking lot in a designated area and were then struck by a car, you still could have legal recourse. 

You may be able to seek compensation from one or all of the following:

Depending on the situation, you may have a situation with more than one responsible party. These things tend to get complicated quickly, and it’s a good idea to consult the experts. 

What to Do if You Have Been Injured at a Mall or Shopping Center

First, get immediate medical attention for your injuries. Second, contact your personal injury lawyer for a consultation and to determine who is at fault. 

Many people injured in pedestrian accidents at malls or shopping centers do not realize that they have any legal recourse and could receive compensation for their medical bills, recovery, and mental suffering. 

No matter how severe or minor, car accidents are no fun. If you are involved in a car accident, regardless of whether or not you are at fault, follow the steps below to minimize your risk and facilitate the best possible outcome.

Assess the Situation

Is anyone hurt, and does anyone need medical attention? If so, get help immediately. If no one is hurt and it appears there is only property damage, call the police to report the accident and stay where you are. Never leave the scene of an accident, or you could face criminal charges.

Protect the Area

If you can, pull off to the side of the road to a safe place. Put up cones or flares to keep other traffic away and direct them around the accident until the police arrive.

Document Everything

Even before the police get there, you can take pictures of everything. If you see witnesses nearby, get their contact information, and ask if they saw what happened. You might want to audiotape or videotape those conversations (with their permission, of course).

Give a Complete Report to the Police

Tell the police all the facts as you know them. However, do not admit guilt, and if you are not sure of something, be honest and tell them that. The police may have you come down to the station to fill out a formal report, or they may take one there at the scene.

Swap Information with the Other Driver

Be sure to get the other driver’s contact information and insurance company details. You may need these to get your automobile repaired. If they agree, take a picture of their driver’s license in case you need it later for legal purposes.

Contact Your Personal Injury Lawyer

If you are unsure of the circumstances or someone was seriously injured during the accident, be sure to contact your personal injury lawyer to ask for assistance with the next steps. It’s too important not to ask questions now before things escalate. Protect yourself with one quick phone call. 

 

The holidays can feel like a crazy time rushing around to get things done before getting together with family and friends. It’s also a high time for car accidents. There are a few reasons for this.

Weather Conditions

Colder weather and ice create more dangerous road conditions. Even high winds and low visibility can make driving unpredictable and scary. 

Impaired Driving

The holidays mean parties, and parties often lead to alcohol and drug use. More people are apt to drive while impaired around the holidays and potentially get into a car accident. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, impaired driving accidents spike each year. You do not want to be one of them. 

Distracted Driving

Another issue that intensifies during the holidays is distracted driving. With so much on your mind, it’s easy to take your eyes off the road or be lost in thought, which can cause a car accident. Texting, driving, and even phone calls are some of the top distracted driving behaviors responsible for serious car accidents, including those with fatalities. Distracted driving combined with worsened weather conditions is a recipe for disaster.

More Traffic on the Roads

During the holidays, traffic increases, and congestion may be a more common occurrence. The more traffic on the roads, the higher your chances are of a car accident. Hurried, frustrated, late drivers often do unsafe things to get where they are going, and you could be at risk if you are on the roads along with them. 

Where Can I Turn if I Suffer an Accident Around the Holidays?

The consequences of a serious car accident can be devastating, such as a life-altering injury or even death. If you or someone you love is involved in a car accident around the holidays this season, you need a personal injury attorney you can trust. Contact Baron and Herskowitz for a free consultation today. 

Texting while driving is one of the worst distracted driving issues, and Florida is second in leading the nation in distracted driving citations. Just four years ago, Florida saw 50,000 accidents because of distracted driving. Therefore, in late 2019, Florida passed a new law, making texting and driving a primary offense. 

The New Law and Fines

As of January 1, 2020, law enforcement can now pull drivers over if they are seen texting while driving. Previously, officers could only cite you for texting and driving (secondary offense) if they pulled you over for another infraction beforehand (primary offense). 

The first offense will cost you a fine of $30. If you are caught texting and driving a second time, you will have to pay a $60 fine, and your driver’s license will earn 3 points. After that, you could end up losing your license. Additionally, violators could pay court fees on top of the fines.

An Alternative to Fines

A first-time offender of the new law can avoid paying the fine if they complete a safe driver program and show proof of purchasing a hands-free Bluetooth device for their car. 

Exceptions

The new law does not apply to drivers who are using their phone as a navigation system. Drivers can also use their phone when stopped at a stop sign or red light. The new law only applies to a car in motion. 

However, an officer has to prove that you were texting and driving. To do this, they would need to examine your phone, and that is considered a search. It would be illegal for a police officer to confiscate your phone after stopping you based on the suspicion of texting while driving. The issue becomes a bit murky and can be difficult to prove. 

Injured by a Distracted Driver?

Texting while driving is extremely dangerous and can cause serious car accidents, injuries, and even fatalities. If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a car accident where the driver was texting, contact us today to find out about your options. 

Understaffing in nursing homes is one of the major causes of elder abuse and neglect. Experts estimate approximately 90-95% of nursing homes are not staffed adequately to care for their resident population.

Why are Nursing Homes Understaffed?

Although there are various reasons why nursing homes may be understaffed, the most prevalent is money. The cost of running a nursing home is expensive. Management may choose to push their current team harder rather than hire the correct number of nurses and support staff. 

Another reason for understaffing is that a nursing home environment is stressful, and it may be difficult to keep good people. When staff turnover is an issue, existing employees may be asked to work double shifts to make up the deficit. This can lead to burnout and poor morale and eventually elder abuse and neglect. The fewer people on board, the less likely it is for new employees to be adequately trained, creating further issues.

The Dangers of Understaffed Nursing Homes

One of the most dangerous understaffing problems in nursing homes is that residents do not receive the care they require. If staff is already stretched thin, they may not prioritize moving immobile patients to prevent bedsores, infections, and other more serious medical conditions. 

When staff is overworked, tired, and not well trained, they are less likely to notice a change in a resident’s health, leading to serious illness, mistakes, injuries, or even death. 

Nursing home aids are supposed to monitor patients to ensure they are eating regularly, taking medication, bathing, and using the bathroom. Surveys show that almost half of all nursing home staff say they do not have the time to provide the level of care that each resident needs.

What You Can Do

Understaffing in nursing homes is a big problem. Due to state laws, a nursing home may be fined or even shut down if an investigation substantiates complaints of abuse and neglect. If you believe your loved one’s nursing home is understaffed and your family member is not getting the care they deserve, call today to find out what you can do.

Placing a loved one in a nursing home can be a difficult decision. Before choosing one, you want to make sure you are entrusting your family member to a facility that cares about their well being and has not been cited for any abuse or neglect. The way to do this is through nursing home reviews.

Yelp

Yelp is a very popular review website offering anyone the chance to openly share their experience about businesses of all types, including nursing homes. You can type in “nursing home” in the search bar and select your local area to see ratings (1-5 stars), how many people offered a review, and read the comments. It’s important to read all the reviews to ensure you are getting a balanced opinion and not missing anything.

Medicare

Medicare, the federally funded insurance for seniors, also has a 5-star rating system and a searchable database of approved nursing homes.

Other Review Options

You can also review the nursing home’s website for information, check social media to see if any of your connections has experience with the facility and talk to acquaintances who might have some referrals.

How to Review a Rating

When reviewing nursing home ratings, pay close attention to ranking for quality of care, staffing (understaffed facilities mean trouble), health inspections, and any reports of abuse. The higher the stars, the better the service/rating. If a nursing home has a 3-star rating and some complaints from families, it’s best to stay away from that one. Take notice of how many people rated the facility. If you see only two reviews with all five stars, they could be fake. Look for reviews with high numbers of comments from real people.

Sadly, nursing home abuse and neglect are on the rise, and you cannot be too careful. Use these helpful tools to research before selecting the perfect nursing home facility for your loved one.

If you are concerned your loved one may be abused or neglected in their nursing home, contact us today.

Bedsores are often a sign of elder abuse or nursing home neglect. They are preventable, and therefore, they do indicate a lack of proper care and treatment. If your loved one develops bedsores, it is time to ask some questions and dig deeper to find out more.

Signs of Bedsores

Bedsores, also called pressure ulcers and decubitus ulcers, are injuries to the skin due to prolonged pressure. With proper treatment, they can heal, but if left untreated, some may never recover. The primary cause of bedsores is immobility. If your loved one has trouble moving and cannot reposition themselves when lying or sitting, they may develop bedsores on their heels, ankles, back, hips, and tailbone.

Some signs of bedsores are:

Additional risk factors for bedsores include poor nutrition, dehydration, and sensory deprivation. Elders confined to the bed or a wheelchair are especially at risk.

Nursing Home Preventative Measures

Nursing home staff are supposed to be fully trained in the identification and treatment of bedsores. If educated properly, they should prevent them from occurring by performing position readjustment every fifteen minutes or so for elders who are at risk. 

Another technique for preventing bedsores is regular skin assessments, from head to toe to ensure that the resident is not developing any skin irritations or bedsores.

What to Do if Your Loved One Develops Bedsores

If you notice signs of bedsores on your loved one, it could indicate a problem with your nursing home or caregiver. If you suspect an issue, first ask a few questions:

If you are not happy with the answers or the staff and management are evasive in their responses, contact one of our nursing home and elder abuse attorneys to see how we can help.