Frequently Asked Questions
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What steps should I take if I believe a loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home?
There are several measures that can be employed if a family member or a friend believes such neglect is occurring in a nursing home.
Step 1 involves making a complaint to the regulatory board or agency in the state where the nursing home is located. Such a complaint can trigger a review by the state to determine minimum compliance with state promulgated regulations governing the care of residents in the nursing home.
Step 2, a civil lawsuit can be filed on behalf of the family or resident if neglect is suspected, which will then be adjudicated and resolved through the civil court system.
Finally, if the abuse is of such a severe nature that criminal negligence may be at issue, a criminal complaint can be brought through contact with the local district attorney’s office.
How is nursing home neglect defined?
Generally speaking, nursing home neglect exists when a nursing home fails to provide the care, services and supervision necessary to adequately provide for the needs of its nursing home residents.
This care includes the provision of food, medicine and physical attention needed to prevent the onset of sickness.
A particularly common condition affecting nursing home patients is the onset of bedside sores, known as decubitus ulcers, which often result from the failure to properly turn nursing home residents.
If I am not satisfied with the results of my surgery or treatment, does that mean that I have a medical malpractice claim?
There are no guarantees about medical outcomes in any surgery or treatment provided to a patient. The question of whether there is medical malpractice is ultimately determined through evaluation by similar physicians or health care providers in the field at question. In other words, if you believe there was medical malpractice during an open heart surgery, a thoracic surgeon would give an opinion as to whether the actions of the surgeon who performed that surgery were appropriate.
Who actually testifies at a medical malpractice trial?
Typically, the parties to the case (the plaintiff and the defendant physician) will give their testimony (i.e., their side of the story as to what happened). In addition, the great majority of medical malpractice cases require the testimony of expert witnesses. These witnesses are physicians or other health care providers who will give testimony as to whether the health care provider being sued complied with what is known as the “standard of care.” The standard of care essentially is defined as what a reasonably prudent practitioner would do in similar circumstances. These expert witnesses are extremely critical in explaining to and educating a jury as to the medicine involved in the case and whether the defendant was negligent in providing the health care services at issue in the trial.
How long does it take for a medical malpractice case to come to trial?
Generally speaking, it will take 1½ - 2 years for your case to come to trial, measured from the date that the complaint (the actual paper filed with the court to start the case) is filed with the court. During that time period, the lawyers representing the plaintiff (the injured party) and the defendant(s) (the doctors/hospitals/or other healthcare providers) do discovery and prepare the case for trial. The possibility during that time period always exists that the parties will agree to settle the matter, therefore, eliminating the need to proceed to trial.
I suffered serious injuries from a medical device, but I don't know the manufacturer. Can I bring an injury claim?
These days there are so many new medical products and devices, consumers almost never know who the manufacturer was, especially if their doctor or surgeon used that device during surgery or as a prosthetic for a hip replacement or new replacement as just a couple examples.
This is why you probably should consult a medical device personal injury law firm like ours. We can obtain the medical records and in those records usually there will be information, just like any other product, showing the manufacturer, the model, and sometimes even a UPC sticker.
More importantly, product liability injury lawyers are constantly sharing information nationwide, about whether there are any class action lawsuits, or any mass claims for similar consumer injuries from a medical device. Please consult with us for a free confidential evaluation. We handle these claims on a nationwide basis.
Q: If I suffer an accident on the job that leaves me paralyzed in some way, am I limited to Worker's Compensation, or is there a right to sue a different company for negligence?
You would definitely be entitled to Worker’s Compensation for an on-the-job accident that leaves any paralysis, but the question often asked is whether there is the right to sue a different company under negligence law where you can obtain a jury trial and all sorts of damages for the injuries you suffer-not limited like under workers compensation. Worker's Compensation provides medical benefits and a percentage of lost wages, but does not give a jury trial and has ceilings on the amount of damages that can be recovered. On the other hand, if your accident was caused by negligence of a third-party besides your own employer, or because of a faulty product on the job, a personal injury lawyer can investigate what is called a third-party negligence action, with a jury trial. You should obtain a confidential consultation so we can evaluate whether there is a third-party negligence claim available.
If I am seriously injured by a product that someone else bought and it's not within the written warranty period, but I know that it's fairly new, can I bring a faulty product claim for my injuries?
You are not limited to the written warranty timeframe, but that depends on the nature of your injury. Faulty product liability law requires that all products have certain implied warranties, like that they are fit for the normal and usual purpose. Therefore, even if the product only had a 90 day written warranty, and within the very first year it completely fails for the normal purpose of use, causing serious injury, you should consult a faulty product injury lawyer. Many consumers believe they are strictly limited to a written warranty, but a product cannot be completely faulty, or cannot be negligently designed. This area of the law is fairly complicated and you should consult with a product liability injury lawyer at our law firm for a free evaluation.
Q: If I suffer an amputated finger, thumb, arm or leg on the job, is there the right to sue a third-party, or am I limited to Worker's Compensation only?
If a body part like a finger or thumb is traumatically amputated at work, there is not only a Worker's Compensation claim, but if the accident is caused by a defective part, or faulty equipment that was sold or provided by a different third-party (meaning not provided by your own employer) a personal injury lawyer may bring a negligence law claim against that negligent third-party. The right to bring a third-party negligence claim is in addition to a workers compensation claim. The experienced personal injury lawyers at this law firm have analyzed a number of such situations and we have routinely handled what we call third-party negligence claims, where there was also a workers compensation claim for the client. Please contact us for a free confidential evaluation of your potential claim.
I suffered a serious injury from a faulty product, but I don't have a sales receipt can I still bring a claim?
There is no requirement that you have an original sales receipt, but there is a requirement that you and your personal injury lawyer must prove a sale occurred. This can be proven in many ways besides having a sales receipt.
First, you may have some other evidence like a credit card receipt, or the original product packaging, or some other evidence that verifies the purchase. Also, the law doesn't even require that you be the purchaser, like in situations where you get a new product by gift or by simply being near the dangerous product when you are injured.
Also, in medical device transactions, like where a device is implanted through surgery, you won't likely ever have a sales receipt.
So the bottom line is a sales receipt is not required but corroboration is necessary to prove the transaction or sale did occur. As well as evidence showing the product type, make, and model is critical. Never return that evidence to a manufacturer or distributor without first consulting a personal injury lawyer about the claim.