Evidence helps prove injuries came from a slip-and-fall accident

Slipping and falling at a commercial establishment in Ohio generally requires a legal action with strong evidence to recover damages from your injuries. At John Brooks Cameron & Associates, we understand how debilitating an accident is, and that taking time off from work to recuperate may present a serious financial setback for you and your family. While your priority is recovering, ours is to prove the establishment’s negligence so that you may obtain compensation for your pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost wages. 

As reported by Fox19 News, when a woman fell at an Ohio casino, surveillance cameras captured the incident. The video footage demonstrated how an employee’s negligence contributed to the painful and debilitating accident. Prior to the woman slipping, the casino placed a sign in the area of the fall warning patrons that this particular section had a “wet floor.” The warning sign, however, fell over. 

According to the surveillance footage, an employee walked around the sign prior to the woman’s fall, but failed to pick it up. If the employee had fixed the sign, the woman may not have fallen on the wet floor. Because a business owes its customers a duty to warn of a possible hazard, the jury awarded the woman $3 million in damages. 

Before filing a legal action, it is usually necessary to compile all of your documents such as an incident report, medical records and any notices sent to you in the mail. A manager working for the establishment where your accident occurred may have attempted to get your signature on a waiver that absolves the company from liability. Gathering any facts about the establishment, evidence of your fall or witnesses may help in facilitating your claim. 

Our page on personal injury provides more information on how we could help you during your recovery. 

What is the difference between neglect and abuse?

With Americans living longer than ever these days, more and more of our beloved elderly population is living in assisted living centers and nursing homes. While the majority of these centers in Ohio and across the United States are run well and with pride, there is no denying the fact that nursing home abuse and neglect is a very real problem. However, in order to help protect your loved ones, it is important to know the difference between abuse and neglect. According to the Nursing Home Abuse Center, the main difference between abuse and neglect is that abuse is seen as activities specifically designed to harm the individual, while neglect is a substandard amount or kind of care. 

Abuse is often easier to spot than neglect. The actions of an abuser, however, may not be noticed until serious damage is done. This is particularly salient with financial abuse of elders. 

Neglect is often a little bit harder to recognize, given that it often develops out of an understaffed and overworked nursing facility rather than malice. In neglect cases, the staff of the nursing facility often are not trying to actively cause harm, but the substandard level of care is still harming the patients. Common signs of nursing home neglect may manifest in the occurrence of bed sores, weight loss, frequent falls, or the nursing home resident exhibiting withdrawn behavior. If there is a sudden change in the hygiene of your loved one, that is also a serious indication of potential neglect. 

Paying attention to the facilities themselves is also very important. A facility that exhibits poor lighting, slippery floors, and broken furniture may also have problems with neglect. 

How can I fall-proof my home for senior loved ones?

With the holiday season finally here, you’ll probably have quite a few visitors at your home over the coming months. Some of these guests may also be elderly and struggle with mobility issues, which increases the risk of a slip and fall incident. In order to protect those you care about and stop a potentially serious injury from occurring, the National Institute on Aging offers the following fall-proof home tips.

If you plan on having friends and family stay over during the holidays, make sure bathrooms are up to par. Bathrooms are particularly dangerous for senior guests, but installing non-slip pads and flooring can greatly reduce the risk of a fall. You can also install grab bars in strategic places, such as around the toilet or within the shower for ease when getting in and out. Because visibility in low light is something many elderly people struggle with, consider leaving a light on in the bathroom or using a night light.

Clutter is another problem in many homes, especially when it shows up within hallways and other heavily-trafficked areas. When preparing for guests, remove things like papers, clothing, books, and other items that can get in the way while walking. If you have a staircase in your home, make sure the railing is properly secured. A loose or otherwise faulty railing may be deadly if a fall on the stairs occurs.

When guests are staying for a few days or more, make sure they can access what they need during their stays. Items should be stored no higher than eye level whenever possible so your loved ones can easily access them. Climbing or reaching for items on high shelves is a recipe for disaster if a person loses his or her balance. Be sure that cords or wires are nicely tucked away and secure area rugs to the floor to prevent slippage.

Please clean ALL the snow from your windshield and vehicle before you drive.

It’s winter and we’ve had our first sizable snowfall. An obvious risk of driving during the winter is hitting patch of ice and losing control of your vehicle. But another risk is vehicles that are only partially cleared of snow and ice. I’ve seen numerous vehicles with only a small section of the windshield cleared. Please don’t be this person. Not only is the lack of visibility dangerous, but the snow that flies off the vehicle while it’s moving can be just as hazardous to the traffic behind it. And it’s unlawful to drive with a snow-covered windshield.

The Ohio Revised Code prohibits people from driving a vehicle that has its windshield, side windows, and rear window covered in nontransparent material (i.e. snow). A violation of this law is a minor misdemeanor that can result in up to a $150 fine, plus court costs. But just as important, driving with a snow-covered windshield, side window, or rear window could result in an accident. So, a minor traffic citation is not the only potential penalty. You could subject yourself to civil liability if you cause an accident that results in bodily injury or other damage.

The bottom line, please remove all the snow from your vehicle before you drive, including the snow on the windshield, side windows, rear window, hood, and roof. If you don’t, you put yourself and other drivers at risk. And you subject yourself to a traffic citation and civil liability if you cause an accident. It’s not worth the risk. Please remove ALL the snow from your vehicle.

Please note that this article provides only general information and does not provide specific legal advice. It should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction.

Signs of nursing home neglect

Having a parent move into a nursing home or another type of long-term care facility can be stressful, especially if your mom or dad becomes somewhat dependent on the staff to help with daily tasks. You are placing your trust in individuals hired to be professional and highly trained to provide your parent with the care needed to continue enjoying life to the fullest. 

Unfortunately, stories of elder abuse and neglect are becoming more prevalent as the number of individuals going into nursing homes increases. It is important that you understand your parent’s rights in the facility so you can alert the proper organization and authorities to correct the facility’s actions and prevent other residents from receiving the same poor treatment. Here are a few common signs of neglect to look for. 

  • Unexplained weight loss 
  • Chronic dehydration 
  • Bedsores 
  • Poor hygiene 
  • Repeated infections or illness without staff reporting it to their doctor 
  • Adult diapers and soiled clothing left unchanged for too long 

Other observations you may want to take note of include rude staff, even staff that does not seem to be present enough. If your parent is unable or unwilling to talk to you about what is occurring in the home, try speaking with other residents and their family members. Preventing further neglect or abuse can improve and save many lives. 

If your parent is in a facility that you believe is not taking proper care of your mother or father or other residents, contact the Ohio Attorney General. If you like, you can also file a complaint with the state Department of Health. There are also Adult Protective Services in most states that can run investigations. If you suspect the situation is much worse and cannot wait for state or federal help, you can begin a lawsuit, just be sure you have the right evidence to support your case.