Do you know these signs of nursing home financial abuse?

When you placed your aging mother or father in an Ohio nursing home, you hoped the professionals there would take great care of your loved one. Rather than physical abuse, you may harbor concerns of a different misdeed. Could your parent be a victim of financial abuse?

To get a better sense of the potential situation, see what Nursing Home Abuse Support says about financial exploitation in nursing homes. Your loved one does not have to suffer in silence.

Sudden changes to financial documents

If you have access to your parent’s finances and legal documents, look over them for unexplained or sudden changes. Focus on items such as the power of attorney and will.

Odd bank withdrawals

Did your mother or father make any out-of-the-ordinary withdrawals since moving into the nursing home? Monitor retirement, savings and checking accounts for concerning activity.

Poor living conditions

While nursing home residents may live in rooms and spaces below their current financial means to save money, more sinister reasons could be at play. If your parent’s current living conditions are lower than what she or he enjoyed before moving into a nursing home, find out why.

A lack of medical devices

Sometimes, nursing home residents pay for walkers, CPAP machines and other mobility and medical devices that never arrive. If this is the case with your loved one, ask the nursing home staff why.

Taking generic medication while paying for brand name prescriptions

Related to paying for nonexistent medical devices, nursing home residents sometimes pay for brand name medication but receive generic prescriptions. Someone at the nursing home may pocket the difference between the brands.

Do these 3 things if you hit an electric pole

Colliding with an electric pole can have life-threatening consequences, as a Texas family recently discovered. In a tragic incident, a 20-year-old man survived an impact with a utility pole only to die from electrocution after stepping outside his vehicle to survey damage. 

When you drive, you probably pass countless utility poles. You may not, though, understand what to do if you collide with one. Taking three simple steps may save your life. 

1. Call 911 and stay in your car

If you collide with an electric pole, you should stay inside your vehicle and call 911. After all, downed wires may be live, causing them to be an electrocution risk to you. Even if wires are far away, the ground may be carrying a potentially deadly electrical current. 

2. Notify others

Following the crash, friendly Ohioans may stop to help. They may not, however, recognize the inherent danger. Accordingly, you should shout a warning to anyone who is trying to approach. Advise individuals to stay away and wait for emergency responders to arrive. 

3. Jump free

Sometimes, remaining in a crashed vehicle is impossible. If your car is on fire or otherwise dangerous, you must exit it. You should be careful not to complete the circuit by touching your car and the ground at the same time. Instead, jump free from the vehicle and land on both feet. 

After you jump free, shuffle your feet until you are at least 30 feet away from the accident scene. Remember, hitting a utility pole can be stressful, so rehearsing jumping and shuffling before a collision occurs is a good idea. 

Physical and behavioral signs of nursing home abuse

Residents of nursing homes are not always able to report elder abuse to those who can help. Therefore, people close to the resident, especially family members and friends, have a responsibility to pay attention to signs of possible abuse and take appropriate action.

Signs of elder abuse can be either physical or behavioral. Behavioral signs may show up earlier than physical signs, but physical signs are often more recognizable. Loved ones should pay close attention to both to get help for the resident as quickly as possible.

Physical signs

Physical signs of elder abuse are more concrete than behavioral signs. For this reason, they may be easier to identify. The National Center on Elder Abuse identifies broken bones, cuts, welts, burns, sores or bruises as physical warning signs of abuse. These are especially worrisome if the injuries are serious in nature and nursing home personnel are unable to provide a satisfactory explanation for them. It is also a red flag if injuries such as bruises appear in a cluster pattern.

Behavioral signs

Behavioral signs of elder abuse are less concrete than physical signs. According to the American Society on Aging, they sometimes resemble symptoms of mental health problems or dementia. For these reasons, people sometimes ignore or dismiss them, but any unusual behavioral changes warrant further investigation to determine whether abuse may be the cause.

Nursing home residents who have experienced abuse may display submissive or fearful behavior. For example, they may cringe away from physical contact, startle easily or refuse to meet the gaze of others. Irritability or anger without an apparent cause can be a behavioral sign of abuse. The resident may become withdrawn, depressed or apathetic. Conversely, he or she may become anxious or agitated. It is a red flag if symptoms such as these increase in the presence of a certain individual, who may be an abuser.

What help is available for paying personal injury medical bills?

In the immediate aftermath of your personal injury, you went to an Ohio hospital to receive treatment. You are on the road to recovery, but now you have medical bills adding financial pain to your physical pain. 

You have options for lowering your medical costs. Learn more about those options to ease your financial burden while getting back on your feet. 

Look for errors

Take a careful look over your medical bills, checking for double-billing, odd fees and charges for services or treatment that you did not receive. If you have insurance, make sure your provider covered everything included in your policy. Ask for your personal injury medical records and compare them with your bills. All received services should match what you see in your records. 

Ask about paying the insurance rate

If you either do not have insurance or received treatment that your provider does not cover, ask the medical facility if you can pay the insurance or Medicare rate. Often, individual payees pay more than insurance companies, but the hospital may reduce your bill if doing so means you pay faster and they get something rather than nothing. 

Negotiate with the hospital

Maybe paying in installments makes for an easier option than paying your bill in full in a single payment. Contact the hospital billing office and explain your financial situation and ask if they can put you on an interest-free installment plan. Another option is paying what you can in cash rather than with a debit or credit card. Doing so could net you a discount. 

Even if you qualify for compensation because of your personal injury, you still have medical bills to pay. Work to lower those bills to give yourself one less thing to worry about while you build your case. 

How can you prevent contact with power lines?

According to Occupational Health and Safety Magazine, approximately 10% of all construction workers’ deaths are due to electrocution. Among the many serious injuries that you can sustain from a non-fatal electrical shock are cardiac arrest, uncontrollable muscle contractions and severe burns.

There are many work-related situations in which you risk exposure to potentially deadly levels of electricity. One of the most dangerous possibilities is coming in contact with power lines while working on a ladder. Here are some ways that you can prevent this from happening.

1. Conduct ladder inspections

Before and after every use, inspect the ladder for damage. Make sure the ladders you use are dry and clean. If available, ladders with non-conductive side rails present less risk of an electrical accident but do not provide absolute protection.

2. Carry ladders correctly

You are more likely to come in contact accidentally with an overhead power line if you try to move an extension ladder in the upright position. If you need help moving a ladder, ask a co-worker for assistance.

3. Move away quickly

A ladder that has accidentally come in contact with an overhead power line may become energized. Avoid touching it and move away quickly and safely to avoid a shock. Immediately contact the electric utility company.

4. Maintain proper clearance

Even if you or your ladder do not come into direct contact with the line, working too close to it can still expose you to a shock that can result in death or serious injury. An arc of electrical energy can form if you do not maintain adequate clearance from the energized power line.

Career problems and the risk of a traffic crash

There are many challenges people face, some of which increase their odds of becoming involved in an accident on the road. From health concerns to emotional hurdles such as stress and depression, various hardships in life make drivers more likely to become involved in an auto accident. In fact, many people are facing serious problems in their careers at this point in time, which often raises concerns on the road.

If you are facing problems at work or cannot find the position you want, make sure these struggles do not affect your driving abilities. Likewise, if you are struck by a driver facing these hardships or any other problem, do not let this deter you from standing up for your legal rights.

Job loss, hopelessness, stress and driving

Many people are out of work in recent months, which often leads to a sense of hopelessness, high levels of anxiety and even depression. All of these emotional disturbances have the potential to lead to other difficulties (such as excessive drinking and sleep loss) which further impede a driver’s abilities on the road.

Other career problems

There are also other ways in which one’s career can adversely affect their performance on the road. For example, some people work too hard, either physically or mentally, and this interferes with their driving abilities. Mental and physical fatigue causes many accidents and a lot of drivers often find themselves in a rush because of their career. It is pivotal for accident victims to firmly stand up for their rights and have a solid understanding of legal strategies to help them recover. Our website explores accident topics in more detail.

What should I do after a hit-and-run?

Any automobile accidents can be distressing, but it is important to understand how to handle a hit-and-run in particular. Hit-and-run accidents can be very emotionally taxing, particularly if you are sitting at the scene of the accident while the perpetrator is driving away.

Dealing with a hit-and-run situation is different than a run-of-the-mill fender-bender. According to State Farm Insurance, it is important to stay at the scene of the hit-and-run accident and not chase after the culprit.

Why should I not go after the culprit?

It is unlikely that there are no eyewitnesses to the hit-and-run accident. If the eyewitnesses see both cars driving off after an accident, they will not know who the perpetrator actually is. Plus, if anybody sustains injury as a result of the accident, it is important for you to call 911.

If nobody has injuries, your first action should be to call the police to file a report. Filing a police report can help lead to the capture of the culprit, and may be necessary for insurance purposes.

Should I talk to eyewitnesses?

Absolutely. Having multiple people back up your version of events is a good idea from a legal and insurance perspective. Additionally, since most people have smartphones this means that an eyewitness may have taken video or a photo of the culprit. It is also possible that an eyewitness was able to take down the license plate number of the perpetrator.

It is also a good idea to document the scene of the crime yourself. Make sure to take photos of any damage to either your vehicle or surrounding property. You can also record eyewitnesses giving you accounts.

Workers’ Comp: What Is Third-Party Liability?

In Ohio, as in most other states, the workers’ compensation system is a compromise between employers and workers. By design, injured workers are entitled to receive compensation for their workplace injuries without having to file a lawsuit or prove fault. Conversely, employers are protected from employee lawsuits in exchange for providing workers’ compensation insurance coverage.

The latter concept is known as the “exclusive remedy” provision. Because workers’ compensation is available, injured employees must rely on it as the exclusive remedy for their injuries and are barred from suing their employer. That being said, some workers who are injured on the job have an additional option for compensation: a third-party liability claim.

The exclusive remedy provision bars you from suing your own employer (or others who work for the company) for workplace injuries. But if your on-the-job injuries were caused or exacerbated by a negligent third party, you can sue that third party for damages in addition to seeking workers’ compensation benefits.

Examples of Third-Party Claims

Here are some scenarios that could lead to a third-party liability claim:

Example 1: You are a commercial driver driving an airport shuttle for a hotel. While working one day, you are struck by a drunk driver and severely injured. You could sue the drunk driver for negligence.

Example 2: You work in an office, and the office is cleaned by an independent company contracted by your employer. After mopping the bathroom floor one day, a janitor for the cleaning company leaves the floor wet and does not post a “wet floor” warning sign. You slip and fall in the bathroom, leading to a traumatic brain injury. The cleaning company could potentially be sued for negligence because they are an independent third party.

Example 3: You work on a construction site, and the project you are working on requires the use of a tower crane. The crane is owned and serviced by an independent company, and it was constructed on site by the company. One day, the crane collapses, seriously injuring you and several others. You can likely hold the crane company liable for your injuries.

Pursuing Benefits and Damages

Workers’ compensation is an important benefit, but it may not completely cover the costs of your injuries, lost wages and other financial losses. But if your injuries were caused by a negligent third party, you can file a lawsuit against that party while also collecting workers’ compensation benefits.

In both cases, it can be very helpful to work with an experienced personal injury and workers’ compensation attorney like those at our firm.

Long-term effects of a spinal cord injury

Back and spine injuries can be devastating. Whether you suffer an injury on the job, in a car wreck or by the actions of a negligent property owner, it may help you to know the various ways in which a spinal cord injury (SCI) can affect your life in the long-term.

You may find that the impairments to your life are beyond significant. Such impairments include:

  • Cardiovascular problems: It is not uncommon for problems like orthostatic hypotension, cardiac atrophy and other heart and blood-related complications to arise in SCI victims.
  • Chronic pain: Chronic pain like what you may experience from an SCI can seriously affect your overall quality of life. The majority of SCI victims suffer from some form of chronic pain.
  • Bladder and bowel dysfunction: Functionality on the bladder and bowl level is dictated by the central nervous system. SCIs can disrupt the nerves on which the bladder and bowel rely to function correctly. Dysfunction in the urinary or bowel systems may require regular therapy.
  • Respiratory issues: SCIs can affect your respiratory muscles and cause ineffective coughs, chest and lung wall compliance issues and create a higher demand of oxygen needs in breathing.

Additionally, these impairments have the potential to cause psychological stress and issues with general social well-being. Other potential effects of an SCI include:

  • Sexual functionality, fertility and sensitivity
  • General loss of sensation or change in sensation
  • Problems with everyday movement and coordination

It is vital that you see a doctor after a serious accident, even if you are only experiencing minor effects from an SCI; some issues may take time to develop.