Preventing and Fighting Nursing Home Abuse

By on 8-05-2013 in Insurance Bad Faith

It can be difficult for family members to care for elderly relatives, particularly when those relatives require constant medical attention and supervision. In such cases, many people choose to employ the services of a nursing home which advertises effective medical care and an enjoyable living environment for its residents. However, nursing home residents nationwide continue to receive less-than-ideal care or even suffer abuse from employees, leaving many family members wondering what to do.

According to attorneys at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, nursing home abuse often results from a home’s failure to hire qualified professionals and to provide enough staff to care adequately for the residents. A recent study of nursing homes from the Florida-based advocacy group Families for Better Care, which graded states on the average level of nursing home care, found that a vast majority of states failed to meet adequate care standards. Additionally, the report noted varying levels of physical and sexual abuse in nursing homes across the country, which can lead to injuries including malnutrition and broken bones according to the website of Ravid & Associates, P.C.

In order to protect loved ones from abuse, families across the country have considered installing hidden cameras in nursing homes to monitor resident-caregiver interactions. Already the cameras have seen success in South Carolina and Oklahoma, where families caught residents beating and neglecting elderly residents. Some states, including Texas, New Mexico, and Maryland, already have legislation that expands the use of hidden cameras. Georgia Anetzberger, president of the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, said she expects more states to follow suit.

“There’s a comfort level with cameras that can catch actions that are disturbing and unlawful,” Anetzberger said. “Without these cameras, it probably wouldn’t be possible to get these kind of outcomes.”

Avoiding a Truck’s No-Zone

By on 8-05-2013 in Insurance Bad Faith

While all automobile accidents have the potential to cause injury, truck accidents are especially dangerous for anyone riding in a passenger vehicle. Large trucks weigh much more than most vehicles on the road, and so can cause devastating injuries when they are involved in a crash. Trucks pose substantial safety concerns for drivers on the road with them.

Unfortunately, some truck accidents are completely unavoidable, especially if one party involved has been drinking or using illegal drugs that lower awareness and driving ability. However, certain types of truck accidents, particularly no-zone accidents, can be prevented if drivers take the proper precautions around trucks.

Trucks have four major blind spots, called “no-zones,” according to the car accident lawyers at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®. These blind spots, located directly in front of and behind the truck, on the driver’s side near the window, and near the back of the truck on the passenger’s side, can cause accidents if the truck driver isn’t paying attention to vehicles in those areas. To prevent no-zone accidents, always remember if you can’t see the driver’s mirrors they probably can’t see you. Be wary if you have to cross through a no-zone, and do it as quickly as possible while still driving safely. Finally, don’t tailgate a truck closely, because the driver may not be able to see you, and the truck will obscure your vision of the road ahead.

It’s important to always beware of no-zones when you approach a truck. Driving in a safe manner around trucks makes the road safer for passenger vehicles and truck drivers alike, and cuts down on tragic accidents.

Recovering from a Medical Error

By on 8-05-2013 in Insurance Bad Faith

As a patient, you are required to place your trust in doctors to receive effective medical care. However, no medical professional is perfect. Unfortunately, thousands of medical errors ranging from misdiagnosis to wrong site surgery occur each year in the United States. If you are the victim of a medical error, you could develop a new complication, or your current condition could become more serious.

Some medical errors are impossible for patients to prevent, but others can be avoided if the patient is careful and vigilant. In particular, patients can play a role in preventing medication errors, which occur when hospital or pharmaceutical staff prescribe medication incorrectly. According to the website of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, the most common medication errors arise when medical professionals mistake drugs with similar names, give drugs to the wrong patient, or give an incorrect dose of medication. Occasionally, medical professionals also fail to note an allergen that may be present in a drug and administer it to a patient who could have a reaction.

Fortunately, patients have some ability to prevent medication error. Being organized is the most effective method of prevention. Keep a detailed list of every medication you are currently taking that you can show to a medical professional–this can prevent the unfortunate situation in which two prescribed drugs react badly to one another and cause adverse symptoms. Repeatedly inform your doctor and other care providers about any allergies you have to avoid being prescribed a medicine you are allergic to. Consider asking your pharmacist about the directions on your medications, and make sure you know exactly how to administer the medication (correct dosage, time of day, frequency, etc.).

If you have any questions whatsoever about a medication or medical procedure, ask your doctor. If a procedure sounds dangerous or risky, wait to hear a second or third opinion from other medical professionals before undergoing it. Medical malpractice is a tragic event, and as a patient, you should take every precaution you can to avoid being victimized by it.

Steps to Take before Putting Your Home on the Market

By on 8-05-2013 in Insurance Bad Faith

Selling your home can be a frustrating experience, especially if it continues to sit on the market for weeks or months at a time. Many sellers wonder why their home is putting off potential buyers. Often, the answer is that the home is excessively cluttered, worse-for-wear, and sloppily presented for sale.

Staging a home, the act of sprucing up the exterior and interior of a house before placing it on the market, has a successful track record. Not only does staging help get your home sold, it also can substantially increase the sale price. Buyers like to envision themselves in a home that has plenty of storage space and new fixtures; as a result, spending some money to stage your home before putting it on the market offers a huge return on investment.

There are a number of different ways to make your home more presentable. Here are a few excellent methods to improve the appeal of a property.

  • Declutter – Removing furniture from a home is one of the most effective ways to make a home appear larger. A cluttered home makes potential buyers feel uncomfortable, and as a result, they are less likely to consider buying your home.
  • Repaint – Applying a fresh coat of paint to a room or wall can spice up the interior of a home and greatly increase its curb appeal. Neutral colors, from tans to soft blues and greens, make living areas brighter and relaxing. Bright, garish walls can actually reduce the value of your home, so replacing them with neutral paint is a cheap and easy solution.
  • Clean – Hiring a professional cleaning service can do wonders for your home’s appeal. In particular, cleaning surfaces that see a lot of use, like hardwood floors and counter tops, can revitalize a kitchen or living room. In fact, professional cleaning services offer one of the highest return on investment ratios of any staging technique. Additionally, it is a good idea to make sure that visible exteriors should be cleaned as well, like entry-ways, patios, and garage doors.

Professionals list poor home staging as the number one mistake sellers can make when putting their properties on the market. This Pinterest outlines a few small changes that can make the entire selling process easier and much more rewarding.

What to Do if You Suspect Insurance Bad Faith

By on 8-05-2013 in Insurance Bad Faith

Americans rely on their insurance companies to negotiate claims in good faith, making sure that insured people receive correct compensation for any damage that is covered by their policy. However, when insurance companies refuse to investigate damaged property, such as a house or a vehicle, or claim that the damage is not covered under a policy, the insurance adjuster may be acting in bad faith.

According to the website of insurance attorneys from Dallas, TX, Smith Kendall, PLLC, insurance companies across the country attempt to save money by cutting corners, taking extended periods of time to reach a settlement, or leaving homeowners without a settlement until they are forced to fix their properties themselves. In the event of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, insurance companies might be unwilling to hold up to their end of the bargain.

If you believe an insurance company is acting in bad faith, you may want to put your grievances into writing and send the letter to your adjuster. Sometimes an accusation of bad faith will spur an insurance company into changing their position and providing correct compensation for the damages. Insurance companies that adopt aggressive positions toward claimants can often bully their customers into under-settling or giving up completely on their claim. Don’t allow insurance companies to prevent you from receiving due compensation.

Winning a bad faith lawsuit, especially against a large insurance company, is a very difficult prospect. If your insurance company has been acting in bad faith, you should broach the issue with your adjuster to see if the company will change its position and award you a settlement. If the letter fails, you may wish to contact an attorney experienced in bad faith lawsuits who can help you win punitive damages in court as recompense.