Assisted living is often sought as an alternative to a nursing home for elderly people that are largely independent, but still require some assistance. However, four in 10 residents in assisted living facilities suffer from dementia and require much higher levels of care than an assisted living facility can typically provide.
Although assisted living care facilities market their services to people with cognitive difficulties such as Alzheimer’s, many facilities across the country struggle to deliver the care needed to keep residents secure and provide the attention they need and, not surprisingly, many violations occur.
With dementia care the fastest-growing segment of assisted living, there are concerns that cannot be ignored. Many believe that these for-profit facilities do not staff to the level necessary to meet the needs of residents, which all too often can lead to neglect or even abuse of elderly residents in their care.
Contact An Experienced Assisted Care Facility Injury Attorney For Help
If your loved one has been injured by negligence or abused in an assisted living or nursing home setting, it is important to seek help. Contact the Iowa nursing home elder abuse and neglect personal injury attorneys Hemminger Law Firm for immediate assistance today at 515-283-2116.
Although car accidents are the leading cause of death in children ages 1 through 19 in the U.S., death rates from crashes have decreased over the last decade which many attribute to increased seat belt use, car seats for kids, safety improvements to vehicles, better road construction and growing awareness of the hazards of teen drunk driving.
However, recently, researches note a reversal in the downward trend and an annual increase in childhood car crash mortality rates between 2013 and 2016. Although the cause is still being evaluated, many believe that distracted or impaired driving may be to blame for the recent increase.
Cell phone use by far has resulted in more and more distracted driving among teens, putting drivers, passengers and other motorists and their passengers at significant risk. Add to that the changing attitudes about drugs related to the legalization of marijuana in many states or the scourge of opioid addiction among youth and more teens engage in drugged driving.
An editorial on a recent study by the New England Journal of Medicine comparing kids safety in a variety of countries, underscores the sad fact that a child or adolescent in the United States is 57 percent more likely to die by the age of 18 years than those in other wealthy nations and car accidents lead the list of causes.
Although there has been progress, clearly there must be more effort to protect children across the country, particularly in the age of distracted drivers and impaired driving. If you or a family member has been injured in an Iowa motor vehicle accident contact Hemminger Law Firm for immediate assistance at 515-283-2116.
Drivers across Iowa still haven’t gotten the message that texting while driving is prohibited. Texting while driving can not only result in a costly ticket, but worse, a distracted driving car accident.
Since the law changed making texting while driving a primary offense in Iowa, the number of tickets issued to motorists texting while driving has increased dramatically, underscoring just how many drivers are not paying attention to the road.
Although the law does allow some activity on the phone behind the wheel such as using GPS or making a call, officers are pretty astute at spotting the difference and have seen a bounty of texting while driving offenses.
From weaving on the highway to pulling out phones at a traffic stops, officers have issued a steady stream of tickets for texting while driving that never seems to stop.
Ticketing distracted drivers is not without good reason. Robust texting while driving laws are becoming the norm across the country in response to a spike in distracted driving accidents, many of which result in injuries or fatalities.
Distracted driving accounts for nearly 25% of all motor vehicle fatalities and is the culprit behind 58 % of teen crashes, which not only poses a risk to the distracted driver but all motorists on the road and to pedestrians crossing the street.
As the number of citations increase, the hope is that texting while driving will become a thing of the past reducing the number of distracted driving accidents that occur every year. Putting phones away on the road will make the journey safer for everyone.
Texting while driving is still a problem in Iowa. If you have been injured in car accident by a distracted driver, contact the Des Moines personal injury attorneys of Hemminger Law Firm for help at 515-283-2116.
An Urbandale High School employee was hit by a car in the crosswalk in front of the school yesterday in the early hours of the morning just before the students started to arrive. The fatal accident reminds area residents of the dangers presented at the busy intersection and many are calling for increased awareness to prevent future tragedies from occurring.
According to a recent National Highway Safety Administration NHTSA report, on average a pedestrian is killed every 2 hours and injured every 8 minutes with pedestrian deaths accounting for more than 10 percent of all car accidents. The Governors Board of Traffic Safety reports that pedestrian fatalities are outpacing all other traffic deaths, with a 27 percent increase in incidents over the last decade.
While pedestrian accidents correlate with the weather, time of day, economic conditions, demographics, fuel prices, and vehicle miles traveled and the presence of people walking, there are concerns that impaired and distracted driving may also play a role. Alcohol played a role in nearly half of all pedestrian traffic fatalities in 2016 and not surprisingly cell phone use while driving also figures prominently.
Also notable is that children and older adults are especially vulnerable to pedestrian accidents for reasons that include limited pedestrian experience, inadequate risk perception and perceptual judgement in children and fragility, reduced mobility and vision in the elderly. Studies reveal Iowa pedestrian fatalities involving children ages 15 and younger was among the highest in the country between the years of 2014-2015.
Strategies to increase the separation of pedestrians from cars include installing refuge islands on two way streets, use of pedestrian over and underpasses, countdown signals for pedestrians, and traffic signals where warranted. It is also crucial that pedestrians are more visible to drivers so improved street lighting, high visibility crosswalks and flashing beacons alerting drivers to an upcoming crosswalk are suggested. Higher speeds are associated with the greater likelihood of an accident and of greater injuries to a pedestrian. Drivers should adjust speeds down in the presence of pedestrian traffic to reduce the likelihood of an accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured by being struck by a vehicle, contact the Iowa pedestrian accident attorneys of Hemminger Law Firm to discuss what compensation may be available to you or your family member to cover medical bills, lost wages, and damages for pain and suffering caused by negligent motorists.
Workers’ compensation benefits are not typically considered taxable income. However, in many states, if you receive disability benefits through social security such as Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and are receiving workers’ comp benefits, the Social Security Administration may reduce your SSDI or SSI benefit, so the combination of workers’ comp and disability payments do not exceed the threshold or 80% of your average pay. The deduction will be offset by workers’ comp benefits, which are taxable by the amount SSDI or SSI was reduced.
Say for example, an employee’s average current earnings are $2,500. He or she is eligible for a monthly SSDI benefit of $1,500.00 and a monthly workers’ compensation benefit of $800.00, for a total of $2,300.00 per month. Because that amount exceeds $2,000, or 80% of his or her average earnings, SSDI may be reduced by $300.00 so the employee receives $1,200.00 from SSDI and $800.00 from workers’ compensation, for a total of $2,000.00. The employee will be taxed on the $1,200.00 SSDI amount and $300.00 of the workers’ compensation benefit, because the SSDI was reduced by $300.00. If you receive a lump sum, the settlement will be prorated to determine your monthly rate.
Every dollar counts when you are receiving benefits such as workers’ comp and disability payments following a work injury, so it is important to work with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to structure your settlement to minimize the offset of SSDI or SSI and reduce taxes to maximize what you take home. Contact the Des Moines workers’ compensation law offices of Hemminger Law Firm today for assistance. Our attorneys understand what is at stake for individuals and families depending on workers’ compensation benefits and will provide you with a strategy to yield the best results. Whether you are just getting started or have been denied workers’ compensation benefits, give our Iowa workers’ compensation team a call at 515-283-2116 for a free consultation today.
Many families who entrust their loved ones’ care to a nursing home quickly realize they have to keep a close eye on and ask questions about the care their relatives are receiving. Not only is there the risk of mistakes being made that can result in injury or death to a nursing home resident but also the threat unnecessary care for financial gain.
Particularly disturbing is a recent study published in the Journal of American Medical Directors Association (JAMDA) which reveals nursing homes’ increasing practice of providing intense levels of rehabilitative therapies to residents in their final days of life. Practiced by twice as many for profit homes as nonprofit, these last-ditch, expensive services raise questions as to whether they are helpful to residents or simply a lucrative source of revenue for the nursing homes.
Perhaps the most troubling part of the study is the suggestion that residents are not being referred to hospice care where their comfort is the priority, but rather held back to undergo perhaps needless rehabilitative therapies in their final days, spelling big profits for the facilities in which they reside.
Unfortunately with a model of reimbursement based on the delivery of services rather than a patient’s needs, the potential for shenanigans is high. Although some rehabilitative therapy undoubtedly provides benefits to patients, the research suggests that the scope and intensity might be excessive, perhaps even causing discomfort to patients in their final days.
Nursing home abuse and negligence are an unfortunate reality so it is very important for nursing home residents and their families to remain vigilant regarding the care they receive, whether it be excessive or inadequate. Care provided in a nursing home should fit the needs, goals and wishes of the nursing home resident and their families with the help of their doctor – not to improve the nursing home’s bottom line.
If your family member is injured by unnecessary care delivered in a nursing home, or by any other nursing home negligent care, contact the Des Moines nursing home neglect and abuse law offices of John T. Hemminger for immediate help.
If you are involved in an injury accident, you may wonder how personal injury damages are calculated and what compensation you can expect for your losses. Typically, the at fault party’s liability insurance company will pay the injured person for their medical care and lost income, referred to as special damages. However, an injured party may also receive compensation for pain and suffering, permanent physical disability or disfigurement, loss of family, social, or educational experiences and emotional suffering referred to as general damages. Of course it is far easier to determine what someone has spent on medical expenses and the time they had to take off from work, but it is far more difficult to put a dollar figure on missed experiences or pain and suffering resulting from an injury. That is where the damages formula comes into play.
To determine how much to compensate you for general damages, those that are non-monetary in other words, an insurance adjuster will typically begin by adding up your total medical expenses and multiplying this figure by roughly one and one half to five to arrive at a figure for general damages. The more painful, serious or long-lasting the injury or effect thereof, the higher the multiplier. They will then come to the negotiation table with a settlement in mind that includes a general damage figure and lost wages.
It all seems pretty straight forward until you consider that the adjuster is not obliged to tell you whether they are using a formula or give you any specific details regarding the formula when they are. For the most part you will be in the dark as to how the adjuster arrived at the figure for damages and where you stand on the spectrum of compensation. However, it is helpful to understand that the figure is likely fluid and that an adjuster will almost always start on the lower end leaving room for negotiation.
This is where an experienced personal injury attorney is particularly helpful. An attorney who specializes in injury claims can often negotiate a far more favorable settlement simply because the adjuster is confronted with someone who understands the underlying process. Many injured parties receive far more in damages when they hire an attorney than they will on their own. If you or a family member is injured in an accident, contact the personal injury and workers’ compensation law offices of John T. Hemminger for immediate assistance today at 515-283-2116.
In the first 72 hours following an injury accident it is important to document details regarding the accident and continue to make notes to increase your chances of receiving all the compensation you are entitled to. It is not uncommon to settle an injury claim months or years after the event, so it is crucial that you keep detailed notes regarding the events surrounding your accident including the accident itself, the injuries you sustained, and economic or other losses you suffered as a result.
Begin by noting where you were going and what you were doing on the day of the accident. Include the date, time, weather, and who you were with, making sure to record every detail you can recall about what you saw, heard and felt immediately before, during and right after the accident. Make a particularly detailed account of impacts to your body perceived at the time of the accident – slams, jolts, or other and any sensations felt at the time of the accident. If there were friends or witnesses present who did or said anything in response to the accident, jot those details down too.
It is always best to seek medical attention immediately following an accident even if you think that your injury is minor. If you decide to make a claim, your medical records will serve as evidence that your injuries were caused by the accident. Be sure to include details regarding your visit to the doctor in your notes: who, when, where, what was said and what tests were taken and any other information regarding the appointment.
Sometimes the extent of your injuries are not immediately apparent, but show up hours, days or weeks later. In the days immediately following your accident, start taking notes detailing the pain or discomfort caused by your injuries. If you suffered a whiplash injury in a car accident for example, you may have a stiff neck, headaches, trouble sleeping, anxiety and more. Be sure to jot down any and all problems you experience so you can demand compensation for injuries that may not show, but are nevertheless debilitating. On subsequent visits to your medical care provider, be sure to share details you have recorded for entry into your medical record.
Documenting Your Injury Accident
Medical bills and pain and suffering are just part of the damages you may receive. There are also economic losses and family, social, educational or other losses. As you document your experience, be sure to write down times you have missed work, job opportunities you have not been able to participate in, missed classes, family or social gatherings you could not attend or other activities you would have benefited from or enjoyed but were unable to because of the accident.
Most memories grow fuzzier with the passage of time, even those that are traumatic such as being injured in an accident. Because compensation for your injuries often hinges on your ability to provide a detailed account of your experience along with any tangible evidence you can provide, getting it down in writing is key. Having notes to remind you of what happened before, during and after your accident will make it far easier and accurate to recall important details that may help your case.
If you have been injured in a personal injury accident, contact Des Moines personal injury attorney John T. Hemminger for immediate assistance at 515-283-2116.
In 2016, nearly 20 percent of Medicare recipients discharged from the hospital were readmitted within 30 days. In what researchers are calling post-hospital syndrome, the stress of staying in a hospital and disruptions such as interruptions to sleep, weight loss, and physical deconditioning present an overall health at risk to seniors who may never regain their health without proper care following discharge.
When seniors emerge from hospitals, often in a weakened state, many require a continuation of enhanced care. Discharge marks the start of a 60 to 90 day period of increased health related vulnerabilities stemming from the hospitalization itself and it is vitally important that the elderly receive competent care in nursing homes, assisted living facilities or the home environment.
Researchers say hospitals can do a better job and those caring for the elderly after a hospitalization must be vigilant. Addressing issues such as awakening a patient at all hours of the night to take vitals, serving irregular meals, lack of mobility, and pain management gaps – all of which can have negative ripple effects on health – may be a good place to start. When elderly patients are discharged back to nursing homes, assisted care facilities or private homes, it is equally important to provide the correct standard of care or risk a return to the hospital.
The after effects of hospitalization can be profound, sometimes robbing a loved one of their health and independence. If your family member has been neglected in a nursing home resulting in an initial or subsequent hospitalization, it is important to seek help of an experienced nursing home neglect and abuse lawyer. Contact the Des Moines nursing home injury attorneys Hemminger Law Firm for immediate assistance at 515-283-2116.
When someone is injured at work, their employer may choose where the employee goes for medical attention. However, if there is a disagreement regarding the doctor’s evaluation, you, the insurance company, the state, and even the employer may request an independent medical evaluation or IME.
If your employer asks for the IME, they are responsible for medical expenses you incur including transportation to and from the exam. If you refuse to participate in an IME, you may forfeit your right to compensation under the law. If, on the other hand, you as the employee requests an IME, then you will have to cover the exam fee, but may later be able to request reimbursement from the employer if it is a compensable injury.
Independent medical exams can affect your benefits of course. An independent exam will speak to your level of impairment, whether it is temporary or permanent, and what the appropriate course of treatment is. A doctor’s opinion can be used as testimony in your case, so it can either work for you or against you.
It is important to consult an attorney if you are asked to participate in an IME following a work injury or if you are considering one because you believe you are not receiving appropriate treatment or have been misdiagnosed.
If your employer and the insurance company are requesting an IME, it can be anything but independent because they are the ones making the referrals and paying the doctors. If you are seeking an IME yourself, the doctor you select can make all the difference in your case so it is important to see one familiar with Iowa workers’ compensation law.
An experienced Iowa workers’ compensation attorney can provide you with referrals and help you prepare for your independent medical evaluation. Your attorney will ensure that the doctor has all the relevant information and documentation to present a complete picture of your condition. Because your time in front of the doctor is limited, it is critical that they understand your injury and associated impairment.
If you have been asked to have an independent medical exam or feel that you need a second opinion after seeing your employer’s doctor, contact the Iowa workers’ compensation offices of John T Hemminger first at 515-283-2116. We have helped many Iowa workers get the medical treatment and compensation they need to recover and we welcome the opportunity to assist you too.
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Motor Vehicle Accidents
Nursing Home Neglect