When employees are injured at work, a recent study reveals that receiving more than a one week supply of opioids or two or more opioid prescriptions soon after an injury doubles a worker’s risk of disability at one year post injury, compared with workers who do not receive opioids.
The detrimental impact of prescription painkillers can continue after a worker returns to work, as anyone taking painkillers for for several weeks may already be dependent and developing tolerance to the drugs resulting in higher dosages. Not only do employers face increased workers’ compensation costs, but may also be held financially accountable for problems in the workplace and overdose deaths of injured workers related to opioid treatment.
Although the prescribing opioids has come under increased scrutiny, prescription opioid use and misuse is still an issue that employers grapple with everyday. Nearly all employers believe taking opioids even as prescribed can impair job performance, not to mention common incidences of abuse or misuse, yet few employers have clear policies regarding prescription opioid use on the job:
If you have been injured at work contact the Des Moines workers’ compensation attorneys at Hemminger Law Firm for immediate assistance and your free consultation at 515-283-2116.
According to the National Safety Council, workplace fatigue is to blame for over 10 percent of all workplace injuries. Nearly 50 percent of workers are sleep deprived, with those grinding out the night shift, irregular shifts and overtime facing an increased risks of workplace injuries.
A recent report reveals that nearly every worker has at least one workplace fatigue risk factor and more than 80% have two or more. When multiple risk factors are present, the potential for injuries on the job increases. It is important for employers to recognize that safety performance decreases as employees become tired and certain workforce populations may be at increased risk.
Fatigue on the job has become a critical safety issue among the nation’s 24/7 workforce and it is important for employers and employees to recognize the risks. If you have been injured at work, contact the Des Moines workers’ compensation attorneys of Hemminger Law Firm for a free consultation at 515-283-2116.
A New Jersey nursing and rehabilitative facility was fined $600,000 after nearly a dozen children died and many more were sickened after an adenovirus swept the facility. An investigation by state and federal officials reveal that poor hand washing practices and lapses in infection control posed a severe risk to the vulnerable patients in the facility likely contributing to the spread of the virus.
Even after the adenovirus took hold, nurses and other personal were observed not washing their hands between handling equipment attached to patients and themselves or other equipment, including respirators and feeding tubes, providing a means for the virus to spread in the patient population.
Although adenoviruses typically cause mild illness, medically fragile patients are at naturally higher risk for developing life threatening symptoms. Poor hygienic practices in the nursing home and a failure to respond to the growing crisis likely played a role in the severity of the outbreak.
Unsanitary conditions in a nursing home can easily put a family member at risk for serious health problems. Patients and their families have a right to expect the nursing home to be clean and hygienic and that the residents personal hygiene needs are met. Along with food and water, hygiene is the most basic level of care that should be expected, however many nursing home residents are forced to live in filthy conditions putting their health in jeopardy.
If the lack of hygiene in a nursing home becomes more than an isolated incident, it may constitute nursing home neglect. Certainly, when residents are subject to unsanitary environments, the likelihood of developing infections or other medical complications increases. Nursing home and rehabilitative care facility residents are often unable to stand up for themselves and may endure unsanitary conditions or other types of nursing home neglect or abuse that put them at risk. If your family member has been injured in a nursing home due to negligent care or nursing home abuse, contact the Des Moines nursing home abuse lawyers of Hemminger Law Firm for assistance at 515-283-2116.
If you are involved in a car accident, there may be several responsible parties involved. If you suffered an injury or have property damage to your car through no fault of your own, you will want to seek compensation from all responsible parties.
Initially, most people involved in car accident look to all drivers of the vehicles involved, including the driver of the vehicle where a passenger may have been injured. However, if the at fault driver is not the owner of the vehicle, the owner may be responsible.
Many who are involved in an accident due to the negligence of another driver are not aware that if the at fault driver is an employee on company business at the time of the accident, the employer may be liable also. If an employee is running company errands during their lunch break, for example, and causes a motor vehicle accident resulting in property damage or injury, the employer may be on the hook for damages.
Teenagers are at highest risk for being involved in an accident and if they do not drive in a reasonably safe manner and another driver is injured, they may be legally liable for resulting damages including medical bills, lost wages, vehicle damage and other losses. If you are involved in an accident with a minor, his or her parents may be responsible, most certainly if they own the car.
Keep in mind, a finding of negligence in a car accident is not limited to drivers. If someone who was not in a vehicle contributed to the accident, such as a pedestrian jaywalking or a property owner who left an obstruction in the roadway, they may be responsible for damages. Say for example, a construction company leaves debris on the roadway after leaving a site. That company may be liable for any damage to your vehicle or injuries you suffer if you are involved in an accident as a result of the obstruction left behind.
And finally, remember your own vehicle’s insurance company. If you are injured in an accident, you can make a claim under your own insurance company to cover medical bills and if you have uninsured motorist insurance you may be able to recover even more. The reason people secure insurance in the first place is to obtain coverage in the event of an unforeseen accident. Your insurer should work with you, not against you, to provide you with the coverage you are entitled to.
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact the Iowa personal injury car accident attorneys of Hemminger Law Firm for immediate help at 515-283-2116. We seek maximum compensation to help our clients recover lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and future medical and rehabilitative care.
Nursing home abuse is a serious issue, with neglect considered one of the most common forms of abuse found in facilities across the country. Neglect occurs when a nursing home resident does not receive the care he or she needs – the very reason many families trust their loved one to a nursing home in the first place! The level of care needed varies of course, but it often includes basic hygiene, assistance with meals and helping residents with mobility which some nursing homes do not provide on a consistent basis, putting vulnerable residents at risk for health problems.
To prevent injury to their loved ones, family members should remain vigilant and look for signs of neglect and abuse in the nursing home setting. There are a number of signs which may point to a problem which often include poor personal hygiene, unsanitary living conditions, loss or lack of mobility, poor nutrition, injuries and psychological issues.
Personal hygiene is a big part of the responsibility that nurses and staff provide in a nursing home setting. Many residents require help bathing, brushing their teeth, getting dressed and combing their hair every day. Hygiene is a key part of staying healthy, especially when it comes to dental care which is a serious issue in nursing homes across the country.
Nursing homes must provide a safe and clean environment for residents. Failing to establish and maintain an infection control program designed to provide a safe, sanitary and comfortable environment for residents may point to neglect. Unsanitary living conditions can set your loved one up for a host of problems.
Mobility is by far one of the most challenging aspects of getting older. To prevent health issues such as bed sores and infections, nursing homes must help residents to move around, exercise and remain as active as possible. Residents should be encouraged and provided assistance to build muscle tone and strength, improve circulation and increase balance to prevent injuries from occurring. If your loved one is left in bed for long periods of time, he or she runs the risk of losing all mobility and their health can deteriorate quickly.
Some percentage of nursing home residents suffer from malnutrition and dehydration often caused by inadequate staffing. Poor nutrition affects millions of people in nursing homes across the country and can result in rapid physical decline.
If your loved one has suffered broken bones, head injuries or has unexplained bruising, these may be indicators of neglect. Just by not helping an elderly person walk across the room might set them up for a fall when they try to do things for themselves. Falls are very prevalent among the elderly and can led to significant disability and even death so it is important that nursing home provide assistance.
Emotional changes should be taken seriously also. If your loved one grows distant or seems depressed, anxious or fearful, there may be a problem with the care they are receiving. They may even begin to neglect themselves by refusing to eat, take medication or perform basic hygiene when they are suffering from emotional duress.
Unfortunately neglect is a pervasive issue across nursing homes and can causes serious physical and psychological harm to residents. If your family member is injured in a nursing home setting and you suspect negligence played a role, it is important to seek help. Contact the Iowa nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys of Hemminger Law Firm for immediate assistance at 515-283-2116.
Unfortunately, nearly every day we read accounts in the newspaper regarding negligent care in nursing homes around the country that have resulted in injury. Some negligence has even resulted in the deaths of nursing home residents. Although family members who have lost a loved one in a nursing home may think that it was unavoidable, all too often, injuries in nursing homes occur because of neglect. Families who later become aware that neglect played a role in their loved ones injury often want to hold nursing homes accountable for injuries to stop it from happening again.
A lawsuit claiming that a nursing homes staff’s negligence caused the death of a women is playing out in Kansas demonstrating how quickly things can go wrong for elderly residents. The lawsuit alleges that the resident, an elderly woman of 88, injured her leg on the foot pedal of a wheelchair, resulting in an injury that continued to worsen despite the administering of antibiotics. When the family asked to have their loved one transferred to a wound care facility for treatment sooner than the scheduled date, they were refused and eventually the woman was admitted to a hospital where she deteriorated quickly – all for what started out as a bruise. The lawsuit claims that staff negligence caused the death of the resident and the plaintiffs are asking for a jury trial and tens of thousands in compensation to right the wrong.
In yet another case out of Virginia, a lawsuit is ongoing regarding a man who developed life threatening bedsores months after being admitted to a nursing home. Bedsores are areas of skin that become damaged when a person stays in a position for too long and typically form in higher pressure areas where bones are closer to the skin, such as at the ankles, back, elbows, heels and hips. They can be prevented by keeping skin dry and clean, changing positions regularly and relieving pressure, but if they are allowed to set up and go untreated, they can cause life-threatening infections. In the suit, attorneys for the family allege the decedent sustained injury and/or death as a direct result of the defendants’ negligence and are asking for 3 million in compensation, which, if awarded, will likely result in changes at the facility.
Family members who have had a loved one suffer from an injury that occurred in a nursing home may be unaware that there may not have been adequate staff on hand, that there may have been hazards that were not addressed, that training was non-existent, or that protocols were ignored that resulted in the injury. If your family member is injured at a nursing home facility it is always a good idea to discuss your concerns with an experienced nursing home injury attorney who can determine if negligence was a factor. The best way to check nursing homes guilty of abuse and neglect is to hold them accountable so that they will change their practices and provide the care elderly residents really need. Contact the Iowa nursing home injury, elder abuse and neglect attorneys of Hemminger Law Firm for help at 515-283-2116.
Following a car accident, the police may respond to the scene to take a report. An officer will typically note the location of the cars involved, take witness accounts and include other relevant information in the accident report. Sometimes the officer’s report will clearly state that one driver violated a specific vehicle code that caused the accident and that the driver was issued a citation. Even the mention of careless driving will help an injured party show that the other driver was at fault.
All drivers have a duty of care which is an obligation to avoid injuring someone or putting them in a dangerous situation. The duty of all motorists is to obey the law and to exercise common sense when driving. A car accident that results from a breach of this duty will typically result in a finding of fault.
For example, an accident may result when a driver is traveling too fast for conditions such as icy roads or reduced visibility in a snowstorm where any reasonable person might have slowed down. It may a situation where a motorist disregards the law by texting while driving or fails to stop at a stop sign. If an officer’s report shows that a driver’s careless or illegal actions led up to an accident, it can clearly establish fault so that an injured party can seek compensation for injuries or property damage.
If an officer was on the scene of your accident, the insurance company for the other driver should receive a copy of the police report, but you will want to make sure and also get a copy for yourself. If you are working with a personal injury attorney, they will certainly collect all the necessary information and documentation surrounding the accident including the accident report and will often go further to photograph the scene, follow up with witnesses, check for prior incidents on the other driver’s record and more, to show that the other driver is in fact responsible for your damages.
If you or a family member has been injured in a car accident, it is important to seek knowledgeable advise. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you get compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and property damage that will often result in a higher payout from the insurance company. Hemminger Law Firm has handled hundreds of Iowa motor vehicle accidents over more than three decades. Our attorneys have the trial and negotiating experience to reach a fair settlement that will compensate you for your injuries and losses. To schedule a free consultation, call 515-283-2116 or contact our offices online today.
Using a phone while driving increases the risk of having an accident significantly and, unfortunately, 75 percent of the over 200 million people that own a phone say that they use them while driving. A study out of the University of Toronto reveals that using a phone while driving quadruples the risk of being involved in an accident – the same risk associated with drunk driving. The NHTSA reports that 80 percent of all accidents are attributed to inattentive or distracted driving which unfortunately includes pervasive texting while driving.
If you are involved in a car accident with someone who was on their phone, texting or otherwise, you would have a good argument that the person on the device was at fault. If the accident happens to occur in a state or city where texting and driving is illegal, you will have a powerful negotiating tool when trying to settle your claim with the insurance company, whether your damages are limited to property or you are injured.
Although you may believe texting and driving was to blame for the other driver’s negligence, proving the other driver was on the phone before the accident may require witness accounts or an admission by the driver when confronted by law enforcement. In the event there are no witnesses and the driver does not admit fault, cell phone records can be scrutinized to establish negligence in court.
If you or a family member has been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, it is important to seek the help and guidance of an experienced Iowa car accident attorney. For over three decades the Des Moines car accident lawyers of Hemminger Law Firm have handled hundreds of Iowa motor vehicle accidents and our attorneys have the trial and negotiating experience to help you reach a fair settlement that will compensate you for your injuries and hold those responsible. To schedule a free consultation, call 515-283-2116 or contact our offices online today.
Care related to sepsis is the most common reason for transfers of nursing home residents to hospitals, resulting in more fatalities than hospitalizations for other conditions. Sepsis, a bloodstream infection, can develop in bedridden patients with illnesses such as pneumonia, but can also be a result of untreated bedsores which are preventable if the necessary precautions are taken.
Because bedsore infections are a well-known danger it follows that patients who are immobile should be turned and re-positioned at regular intervals and checked for signs of a developing bedsores in order to treat them before they progress. Yet year after year, nursing homes across the country fail to prevent bedsores and other infections that lead to sepsis, putting patent lives in jeopardy.
If bedsores and associated infections are preventable and highly treatable in their early stages, why are so many nursing home patients afflicted? Unfortunately, it boils down to low staffing levels according to regulators and patient advocates. Not having enough hands on deck diminishes the quality of nursing home care overall so patients do not receive the care they need to prevent bedsores, and by the time problems are detected, little infections have turned into big infections that are difficult to treat.
Not surprisingly, many families of nursing home residents across the country have file lawsuits alleging that bedsores and other common infections have caused serious harm or death. The outcome of the numerous cases that are brought every year is not known because most result in a settlement with confidential terms, however, nursing homes likely pay substantial sums when their negligence results in injury or death.
Contact an Experienced Bedsore Infection Lawyer
If your family member is suffering sepsis from untreated bedsores or is injured due to the negligence or abuse in an Iowa nursing home, contact the Des Moines Law Offices of John T. Hemminger for immediate help at 515-283-2116.
New drivers and even people who have been driving for decades can make mistakes on slick and icy roads when winter weather strikes. All too often drivers do not slow down when conditions become hazardous and do not know how to handle a skid if they hit a patch of ice. When drivers do not adapt their driving to weather conditions, accidents can result and sometimes people can get hurt.
On dry pavement, drivers can often get away with accelerating quickly, slamming on their brakes and even making sharp turns, confident that the tires will grip the road. However, when winter storms start brewing, it is time to prepare for a slippery ride and driving has to slow down, become smoother, to avoid an accident.
Many liken it to walking on ice, where you take smaller, tiny steps to avoid a fall. It is much the same when operating a vehicle – every movement must be minimized and slowed to keep from colliding into traffic, hitting obstructions, or rolling into a ditch. All drivers have a duty of care to their passengers and other motorists to drive according to conditions – a failure to do so may result in a finding of negligence.
Every year, twenty percent of the roughly 6 million car crashes involve hazardous weather. Over 5,000 fatalities annually are due to weather related crashes and hundreds of thousands are injured. Slick surfaces can easily result in an accident especially when drivers do not take the necessary precautions so it is important to act responsibly on Iowa roads this winter season.
If you or a family member has been injured in an Iowa motor vehicle accident during slippery road conditions and from the negligence of another driver, contact the Des Moines personal injury law offices of John T. Hemminger for your free consultation and help at 515-283-2116.
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