Arbitration agreements are proliferating in the senior care industry. Hundreds of nursing homes and assisted-living centers request that elderly people sign arbitration clauses on admission to limit their liability. Although many residents and their families find themselves lost in the fine print of these agreements, they often sign for fear of losing their place at the facility.
The clauses require residents to forfeit their right to a court hearing in cases involving abuse or neglect and sometimes even in cases of wrongful death, opting instead for a more secretive process for resolving claims.
However, the recent breakthrough federal rule barring some 15,000 long term care facilities who receive funding from medicare and medicaid from forcing residents and their families to sign arbitration agreements has called attention to the unfairness and lack of transparency of these clauses for many.
Families and their attorneys across the country are seeking to have arbitration clauses thrown out, particularly in cases where elderly residents appear or have been coerced into signing them.
In a recent case, the Kentucky Supreme Court summed it up for many when they refused to enforce arbitration agreements in three wrongful-death cases, ruling that legal representatives of nursing-homes lack the authority to waive another’s “God-given right” to a jury trial.
If you or a family member has been a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, contact the Law Offices of John T. Hemminger for help. With over 30 years of experience holding nursing homes accountable, Attorney John Hemminger has help many Iowa families pursue justice on behalf of their loved ones. Call today at 515-283-2116.
Despite complaints about the costs, employers are paying the lowest rates for workers’ compensation benefits insurance than at any time in the past 25 years, even as costs of health care have skyrocketed. Although insurance carriers have reduced their rates to employers, it has resulted in workers receiving fewer benefits when they are injured on the job. Many of those injured have to fight an uphill battle to get medical care and lost wages when they need it the most. Some wonder if getting a workers’ compensation lawyer to help them navigate the process would be beneficial. In many cases, the answer is yes. Having a knowledgeable and experienced advocate often results in obtaining maximum benefits from insurers focused on the bottom line.
Denied Medical Treatment by Workers’ Compensation Insurer
From calculating your weekly benefit to obtaining the needed medical care, a workers’ comp attorney can hold your insurer accountable. Sometimes a worker may encounter a situation where an insurer denies recommended treatments or medications made by an authorized doctor. This is in conflict with the insurer’s responsibility to provide what the doctor prescribes. Getting the help of an experienced workers’ comp attorney to take on the insurance company can make the difference.
Don’t Get Short Changed By Quick Settlements
If you have had a significant injury or illness at work, insurance companies will be motivated to settle your claim. However, without experienced legal representation, you will likely be compensated for a quarter of what your case is actually worth. If they can get away with it, insurance companies will try to save money. Therefore, it is best practice to seek the advice of a workers’ comp lawyer before you accept an offer to make sure you are getting what you are entitled to.
Contact an Experienced Des Moines Iowa Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
The labor department recently acknowledged that injured workers are falling into poverty because workers’ compensation benefits are not meeting their needs. To avoid the pitfalls many injured workers stumble upon when seeking benefits, it is very important to ‘get it right’ with the help of an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. Contact the Law Offices of John T. Hemminger for help if you have been injured at work or have been denied workers’ compensation. John has a 30-year, successful track record of getting his clients the benefits they need from insurers when they are injured. Email or call our Des Moines offices today for help 515-283-2116.
Neglect is one of the most common forms of abuse in nursing home facilities. Neglect occurs when a resident does not receive the care he or she needs. Neglect often includes issues regarding basic hygiene, mobility assistance and help with eating. When people do not receive the care that they need and, indeed are entitled to, they can suffer significant physical and psychological damage.
To protect your loved one from neglect, it is important to recognize the signs because a combination of red flags may signal a problem worth investigating.
Something to look for is a resident’s poor personal hygiene. Residents of nursing homes often need help with the basics such as a dressing, brushing their teeth, bathing, grooming and more. Unfortunately, some nursing homes are short on staff or do not provide proper training, which often results in a resident’s basic needs not being met.
Nursing homes are required to provide safe and clean living conditions. If you detect unsanitary conditions, the facility is not complying with federal regulations possibly signaling an overall disregard for their resident’s well-being. Report your concerns to the nursing home administration.
Poor nutrition affects millions of elderly people in nursing homes across the United States. Malnutrition and dehydration can lead to serious medical issues and often arise when there is a lack of individualized care because of inadequate staffing. Ask your family member what they have had to eat and drink regularly to see if they are receiving meals. If they are unable to communicate look for signs of emaciation and dehydration such as thirst, dryness of the skin and fatigue.
It is essential for the elderly to get up and move around regularly and any nursing home worth its salt will make sure that residents stay active for good health. If a person is neglected they may spend long periods of time in bed, which could very well result in a total loss of mobility and infections. Checking in with your family member about their day and asking questions of the nursing home facility regarding activities that your family member is participating in is key. Drop in at different times during the day unannounced when possible to see what your family member is doing at different times of the day.
Injuries that are left untreated may be a sign of neglect. Seniors who are not receiving the assistance they need will often try to do things independently at the risk of injury. Falls, cuts and bruises may result and, left untreated by inattentive staff, can quickly become larger problems for an elderly resident.
We place our loved ones in the care of nursing home facilities and expect that they will be treated with the greatest care and respect. Unfortunately, the elderly sometimes are taken advantage of intentionally or unintentionally because of their vulnerability. If you or a family member has been a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, contact the Des Moines Law Offices of John T. Hemminger for help at 515-283-2116.
Illness, disability and cognitive impairments due to advancing age can make seniors vulnerable to financial abuse. It could be any number of predatory schemes targeting the elderly and sometimes it can be maleficence on the part of someone entrusted with their care such as a nursing home employee or other caregiver.
To protect your loved one, family members and care professionals should take steps to prevent financial abuse. It is important to take preemptive action to discourage those looking for an opportunity to commit fraud.
Oversee Your Loved One’s Accounts
By looking at monthly financial institution statements or having online access to accounts, a family member can look for unusual activity signaling a problem. It may be sizable checks being cashed, ATM withdraws or other transfers that don’t add up. Staying on top of your loved one’s accounts will discourage predators from striking or at least keep fraud from going too far.
Consider a Joint Account or a Trust
You may want to consider opening joint bank accounts with your elderly family member, which will make keeping an eye on things more routine.
Another option is a revocable trust, which will give you access to your elderly relative’s accounts in trust and the ability to step in if he or she should become disabled. Unlike a joint account, it does not give the trustee any ownership interest in the account, but offers a level of protection against fraud.
Stay Involved in the Care of Your Loved One
Not everyone is able to live close to their aging family member, but if you are able to visit frequently and get to know the people who are coming into contact with your family member, this goes a long way in discouraging would-be thieves from targeting your loved one. Alternatively, keeping in regular contact by telephone with your family member, their caretakers and the administrators of the care facility will communicate your high expectations regarding the care of your elderly loved one to prevent potential abuse.
Get the Help of an Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Unfortunately, despite your best intentions to protect your elderly family member, they may be taken advantage of financially or otherwise. It is important to get justice not only for your family, but also those who may be victimized in the future if nothing is done. If your elderly family member has been a victim of abuse, contact the Des Moines Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Law Offices of John T. Hemminger for help today.
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