Archives

choosing-a-nursing-home

Choosing a Nursing Home

According to a study by the New England Journal of Medicine, more than 40% of nursing home negligence cases are due to face injuries from falls, ulcers or bed sores, prompting families to seek experienced Chicago abuse attorneys.

In 2007, approximately 17 percent of nursing homes surveyed were cited for dangerous deficiencies. That number jumped to over 40 percent by 2011. As a result, lawsuits totaling more than $578 million were dispersed in 2006 alone and steadily climbed. Sadly, injuries and deaths have not been curtailed.

For many elderly people, medical conditions are unstable, and a nursing home is the only option. How do you find the appropriate place for your loved one? A little time and patience and a lot of personal visitation will provide insight into how nursing homes managed.

Choosing an Appropriate Nursing Home

Families choosing a nursing home should consider the following methods;

  • It can be difficult to determine the quality of the staff, but ask what kind of physician coverage the home has. Is the physician part-time or full-time? Have there been any difficulties in getting the physician to come to the home, such as issues with distance?
  • Are there any unpleasant odors when you walk through the halls? That could be the likely result of patients sitting in urine for long periods of time–a clear indication that the staff is not caring for patients as soon as an accident occurs. Ask the administrator to explain the smell.
  • Observe the residents you meet in the hallways, dining rooms and recreational areas. Do they seem to wander alone for long periods of time? Do they appear well cared for?
  • Check state nursing home ratings. There are state deficiency reports that detail the problems investigators found at each licensed nursing home. This will provide you with a complete account of how the nursing home treats its patients.

Considering a Chicago Nursing Home Lawyer

Many nursing homes are negligent and fail to provide reasonable care to elderly patients. Determining if you are among the qualified nursing home negligence cases and confronting the various defenses can be overwhelming. In addition to proving injuries, it is necessary to show that the nursing home acted improperly. That an injury occurs does not automatically mean compensation will be awarded. In many cases, a nursing home lawyer will need to prove the following;

  • That the elderly patient suffered an injury under the home’s control and supervision
  • That the patient is owed a legal duty of care and the employees failed to act properly
  • That the failure to act properly was a direct cause of the injury
  • That the patient’s conduct did not cause or contribute to the accident

People slip and fall over large objects and small items and slip on slippery floor surfaces all the time, but the circumstances in a nursing home are quite different from a grocery store. An experienced nursing home lawyer will use several strategies to help the family prevail.

The most important element of any case is consulting a reputable Chicago lawyer who is experienced in handling nursing home negligence cases.

auto-accident-claims-process

The Auto Accident Claims Process

Being involved in an auto accident due to another driver’s negligence or recklessness is usually an overwhelming experience. Typically, a lot of stress and anxiety is to be expected from not only enduring painful injuries, but handling the aftermath of the accident as well. There’s a lot to deal with, namely, the medical bills, loss of time and money from an inability to go to work and navigating the auto accident claims process with insurance companies. It’s smart to relay the details of your auto accident information to an insurance company, but often, accident victims are too quick to immediately get on the phone with an insurance agent to file a claim. Contacting your insurer is part of the auto accident claims process, however, when settlements with insurance adjusters are made over the phone in haste, claimants may settle for much less compensation than they are entitled to, just so they can get the auto accident claims process over with and resume normal life as quickly as possible.

Since auto accidents are completely unexpected, it goes without saying that their effects will be disruptive to everyday life, but dealing with the repercussions becomes a lot less traumatic when an auto accident lawyer gets involved. Seeking legal counsel is the best course of action because an auto accident lawyer will handle everything that needs to be taken care of so you can concentrate on completely recovering from personal injuries. An attorney who specializes in car accidents and personal injury is well educated in all the different types of damages that can be covered by auto accident insurance claims. An experienced attorney will also have the resources and time to initialize an investigation and gather all necessary auto accident information, especially that of the cause of the accident, which is key to getting the compensation you deserve.

It is generally understood that car accident victims may be entitled to coverage for their medical expenses. As they deal with a specific case, an auto accident lawyer can likely find that injured parties may also be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering for mental or physical distress, lost wages or earning capacity due to the inability to continue working and even loss of companionship or affection in the case of married individuals. Contact the Law Offices of Marc J. Shuman & Associates, LTD, to learn more about the types of compensation that may be available in your case. Call 800.722.9744 today for a FREE consultation with an experienced auto accident attorney.

wrongful-death-settlement

Wrongful Death Settlements

The term, “wrongful death” refers to the unfortunate tragic where someone dies or is killed as a result of another’s negligent actions or willful misconduct. In these extreme cases, family members become saddled with the additional burden of figuring out how their family will get by financially, without the income, benefits and/or support that their loved one had provided. Fortunately, our legal system affords an opportunity for the surviving family members of the decedent to recover from the emotional and financial losses that they have endured. With the help of a wrongful death lawyer, the decedent’s heirs and other beneficiaries may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the people or companies responsible for the victim’s death. Wrongful death claims can be rightfully established, not only because a person has lost their life due to another party’s negligence or deliberate act, but because their surviving family members have also been directly impacted, emotionally and financially as a result of their loved one’s death.

Only certain people are entitled to file a wrongful death suit. They include the decedent’s spouse, parents (biological or adoptive), children (biological or adopted) and their estate executor. In order for negligence cases such as these to be successful in bringing about wrongful death settlements, the decedent’s family members need to establish a couple of things up front. It needs to first be proven that the victim’s death was in fact caused by another entity’s (a person or company) recklessness, negligence or deliberate act and not by the victim’s own action or inaction. When that is proven, the surviving heirs then need to demonstrate that they have suffered measurable damages due to the family member’s wrongful death.

Wrongful death claims may arise from many different circumstances. Some common grounds for these kinds of cases include medical malpractice, a work-related death, occupational exposure to hazardous substances or conditions, accidental death caused by a car or airplane accident, an unlawful act during the commission of a crime, and death occurring during a supervised activity. Every case is different, and there are several types of compensation or damages that may be awarded in wrongful death settlements. A judge or jury makes the final decision, but some examples would be coverage for: medical bills; funeral and burial costs; lost retirement, pension or insurance benefits; unearned future wages; punitive damages and compensation for pain and suffering. If you believe you are entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit, call the experienced lawyers at Marc J. Shuman & Associates today at (800) 722-9744 for a FREE consultation regarding your case.

motorcycle-accidents-facts

Motorcycle Accident Facts

Motorcycle accidents claim thousands of lives per year, and motorcycle riders are more likely to be seriously injured or killed in an accident that occupants of any other type of vehicle on the road. One of the sad facts about motorcycle accidents is that, while motorcycles account for only three percent of all registered vehicles on the road, motorcycle operators and passengers account for nearly 13 percent of all traffic fatalities. Consider the following motorcycle accident facts the next time you get on your bike, and be sure to take proper motorcycle safety precautions before you become just another statistic.

Fact: Motorcycles Are More Dangerous Than Cars

While there is no evidence to suggest that motorcycle operators are more careless than people driving cars, the fact remains that people on motorcycles have considerably less protection in the event of a crash. This is one of the main reasons that motorcyclists and their passengers are nearly 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatality on the road than car drivers and their passengers.

Fact: A Motorcycle Helmet Can Save Your Life

The biggest killer in motorcycle accidents is head injuries. The simple act of wearing a helmet can reduce the chances of dying in a motorcycle crash by 37 percent. It is estimated that motorcycle helmets save more than 2000 lives each year, and an additional 800 could have been saved if the driver had been wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. Not all states require helmets, but the numbers prove that wearing one is a good idea regardless of the law in your state.

Fact: There Are Ways To Avoid A Motorcycle Accident

While there is no foolproof way to prevent a motorcycle accident, there are ways to reduce the risk of being involved in a crash. Obeying the speed limit and other rules of the road and never driving while intoxicated are two major ways to avoid risk. It is also important not to engage in risky behavior like lane splitting, as this may increase your risk of crashing.

As these motorcycle accident facts illustrate, driving a motorcycle is a big responsibility. Make sure you have taken adequate safety precautions before you hit the open road. The personal injury attorneys at Marc J. Shuman & Associates, LTD, provide experienced representation in motorcycle accident cases. If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, call (800) 722-9744 today for a FREEconsultation regarding your potential case.

medical-malpractice-2

What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice cases are governed by very intricate rules that can vary considerably from one state to another. For this reason, it is essential to seek advice and representation from a skilled medical malpractice attorney who has a wealth of experience in handling medical malpractice issues. Medical malpractice is the area of personal injury law that provides an avenue for harmed or injured patients to recover compensation for the losses they have incurred due to substandard care by a medical professional.

So, just what constitutes medical malpractice?

Medical malpractice liability occurs all the time and arises out of a multitude of situations. When a physician, hospital, or other health care professional, through either a negligent act or a failure to act, causes injury or harm to a patient, those health care providers may be held liable in a court of law. There are so many examples of what constitutes medical malpractice. Some of the more common circumstances include:

  • A misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose
  • A breach of doctor-patient confidentiality
  • Not ordering proper laboratory tests
  • Misreading or ignoring lab test results
  • Unauthorized treatment or lack of informed consent
  • Performing unnecessary surgery
  • Errors in surgery
  • Prescribing improper pharmaceuticals
  • Giving the wrong dosage of medication
  • Premature discharge from a medical facility
  • Poor follow-up care
  • Not recording or taking improper patient history
  • Delayed treatment

There is a common misconception about what constitutes medical malpractice. While it is true that a medical malpractice lawsuit may be brought against a surgeon or physician, those kinds of cases are not the only types of medical malpractice issues. Actually, any medical professional who provides care can come under scrutiny for malpractice liability. Unfortunately, negligence in this arena goes beyond the boundaries of the physician. Errors are often also made by medical assistants, anesthesiologists, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, radiologists, lab technicians and hospital personnel, to name only a few. It is not always easy to prove negligence in medical malpractice issues which is why when pursuing a claim for compensation it is so important to work with a professional medical malpractice attorney. If you have been injured or a loved one was killed by the negligence of a medical professional, call 800.722.9744 today for a FREE consultation with an attorney at the Law Offices of Marc J. Shuman & Associates, LTD.

The Importance of Auto Accident Reports

Nothing can ever fully prepare you for a car accident – it can happen in an instant. Auto accident reports are so important because the suddenness of an accident makes the details very difficult to remember, even for those with the greatest memory. The facts about how, when and why the incident occurred tend to become blurred, especially if you’ve been hurt. Odds are, that if you’ve been injured and/or your car has been damaged in some way, there will be medical and auto repair bills to pay. For this reason, those moments immediately following the crash are a critical time to document as many of the details as possible, so you can recoup as much of your losses as possible with the help of an auto accident attorney.

Auto accident reports can never contain too much information. So often, drivers remember to ask the other party or parties for their insurance information but forget simple details like phone numbers and license plate numbers. Auto accident attorneys recommend that you always dial 911 to call the police to the scene even for minor fender benders. A police officer will be equipped with the proper forms and fill out the details so nothing important is left out.

Auto accident reports always contain contact information with names, addresses and phone numbers of all drivers involved in the accident as well as each driver’s auto insurance company and policy information. Talking with drivers, passengers and witnesses will also provide details of the event from different perspectives, to add to the documentation. All of this information is important to auto accident attorneys when fighting for client settlements. If you were injured or not thinking clearly enough after the accident to collect all the appropriate information, then you, your lawyer and your insurance company representative will always have the police report to refer back to.

Auto accident reports are the best way to document the accident, and they are very important when trying to retrieve financial compensation for the medical and vehicle repair bills that will start to pile up. If you have been injured in an auto accident, contact the Law Offices of Marc J. Shuman & Associates, LTD today for a FREE consultation with the experienced auto accident attorneys at our firm.

product-liability-types

Types of Product Liability

Most American consumers trust in the fact that products that have made it to the market carry certain assurances. They believe that these items have been properly vetted and tested to determine whether they are safe to use. Sometimes, however, a product line can be found to suffer from a dangerous defect; when this occurs, injured parties sometimes exercise their rights to sue a negligent company or manufacturer for these defective products. Below is a brief description of the three primary types of product liability.

Manufacturing Defect

Cases involving manufacturing defects target negligent actions and decisions that affect the process of physically producing a product. Often these claims center on the quality of materials used during manufacturing or shoddy workmanship. Examples include tainted medicine, vehicles that were assembled with inferior parts and children’s toys made with lead paint.

Design Defect

When a product’s design is inherently flawed, dangerous or useless, consumers can bring design defect lawsuits against the company. These claims have nothing to do with how the product was made; even if manufactured perfectly the items would still be unsafe or would not meet up to ordinary quality standards.

Failure to Warn

This type of liability is also known as a marketing defects claim. These lawsuits are aimed at products that do not carry warning labels or instructions that adequately describe the item’s potential dangers or proper method of use. Generally these claims center on the argument that a product was unsafe in a way that would not be obvious to users, therefore consumers should have been provided some sort of warning about the dangers of using it.

The above descriptions illustrate the basic types of product liability, but it is important to note that in many states these are not the technical claims that plaintiffs pursue. Instead, claimants’ suits are usually based on torts or contract law. Under the former, the argument usually rests on negligence; under the latter, plaintiffs are generally pursuing breach of warranty claims. Because the details of these lawsuits can be very technical, those who are considering bringing product liability cases may want to consult with a product liability attorney. Call 800.722.9744 today to receive a FREE consultation from an experienced defective products attorney at the Law Offices of Marc J. Shuman & Associates, LTD.

medical-device-problems-device-failure

Medical Device Problems Can Lead To Device Failure

Health issues that result from medical device failure might sound like an uncommon occurrence or a statistical oddity. In reality, though, the sad truth is that  medical device problems  or failures — and the resulting health consequences — happen more often than you may think. There are a number of common problems that can cause medical devices to malfunction and ultimately fail.

Common Causes of Problems with a Medical Device

Faulty product design, use of substandard materials, and poorly planned assembly processes are three common flaws that lead to medical device problems. Flaws in the product’s initial design will be present in every unit made, even if the company’s manufacturing and shipping procedures go exactly as planned. Poor quality control procedures are also a systemic error, and lack of adequate quality control allows flawed products to reach the public.

A flaw in the device’s production or shipping procedure can also cause users to experience problems with medical devices. This kind of problem won’t be widespread or apparent in every device; a company may make one set of devices that function perfectly, only to have a problem render the next batch useless or dangerous. Contamination, incorrect assembly of a specific part during production, and other mishaps can cause medical devices to fail.

Other Reasons for Device Problems and Failure

Sadly, the medical devices used in a hospital or other care facility will not always function correctly. Often these devices arrive in working condition, but deteriorate over time. This could be due to poor maintenance, improper storage or overuse, and it is more likely to happen when inexpensive, lower-quality devices are purchased.

Regardless of the cause, medical device failure can have devastating consequences. In minor cases, patients have to endure pain, extra expenses, and inconvenience; in extreme cases, patients will face debilitating side effects and injuries. Some medical device problems can even prove fatal. Victims who have been affected by a faulty medical device should speak to a lawyer about getting compensation for their suffering. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to medical device failure, contact the Chicago product liability lawyers at the Law Offices of Marc J. Shuman & Associates, LTD today at 800.722.9744 for your FREE, no-obligation consultation.

medical-malpractice-claims

Proving Negligence in Medical Malpractice Claims

Medical malpractice claims are often a hot topic in news headlines, but like many legal issues, the details of these cases can be difficult to fully comprehend. Read on for a discussion of a few misconceptions many people have of about the evidence requirements in these types of lawsuits.

Myth 1: Misdiagnoses Are Grounds for a Malpractice Suit

While misdiagnoses can lead to heartbreaking results, they are not in and of themselves sufficient for bringing malpractice suits. Physicians, nurses and other medical providers do hold a legal duty to their patients, but this does not mean that negative outcomes can always result in successful lawsuits. Rather, it simply means that they must follow professional standards and protocols at all times. If a health care provider followed all appropriate procedures, ordered all necessary tests, and came to a reasonable diagnostic conclusion based on these findings, she probably cannot be sued for delivering an incorrect diagnosis.

Myth 2: Doctors Will Not Testify Against Other Health Care Providers

In many cases, expert witnesses are brought to court to testify about medical facts that have bearing on legal issues. As medical malpractice suits deal with the protocols accepted and followed by the medical community, it makes sense that some of these witnesses would need to be physicians. There is a misconception that civil suits will fail because doctors will not testify against other health care providers; this is simply not true. Many physicians entered their professions because they wanted to help people, and are themselves upset when they witness medical negligence. These professionals are more than willing to speak out against health care providers who do not take patient care seriously.

Myth 3: Malpractice Suits Must Conclude Before the Statute of Limitations Expires

The statute of limitations is a time limit imposed on the filing of medical malpractice claims, and has nothing to do with when the case concludes. Potential plaintiffs who are concerned that it will take a long time to gather all necessary information to prove their case only need to worry about their filing date in regards to this time limit.

There are a number of technical nuances to proving a medical malpractice case. If you have any questions about the process, you may find it beneficial to speak with a medical malpractice attorney. Call 800.722.9744 today for a FREE consultation with an experienced attorney from the Law Offices of Marc J. Shuman & Associates, LTD.

x-ray-brain

The Effects Of Brain Injury Can Be Traumatic And Permanent

Many types of accidents or injuries can be debilitating in the short-term, but overcome with rehabilitation and time. Unfortunately, this is not always the case for the effects of brain injury, especially if the injury was severe. A brain injury can cause serious and persistent effects that truly change a victim’s life.

Mental and Physical Effects can Linger

People often overlook the fact that many brain injury effects can be physical. Those who have suffered from brain injuries may have trouble seeing, hearing, speaking, and carrying out complex or coordinated motor tasks. A brain injury can also cause persistent feelings of dizziness or vertigo, which might make it hard for victims to carry out basic tasks. Headaches are another common side effect. Victims may learn ways to cope with these symptoms, but the effects may never go away.

A decline in cognitive functions such as memory and reasoning ability is one of the better-known effects of a brain injury. People who have suffered such an injury may be forgetful — whether of past events or new things that they are trying to learn — and may have trouble staying focused or staying attentive. Brain injury victims may be repetitive in their words or actions. Often, a brain injury can also impair judgment. This makes it harder for victims to make decisions, and it can make it harder for them to behave appropriately.

Behavioral Changes May Be Dramatic

Finally, a serious brain injury can truly affect a person’s personality and temperament, and this can be one of the worst effects to face. Victims may become continually depressed and exhausted after experiencing an injury, or they may become more inclined to have outbursts or act without thinking. Changes in judgment can make victims more likely to display behavior that is considered inappropriate for certain social situations.

Counselors can help victims learn to focus on their behavior, avoid challenging situations, and accept the changes in their lives. However, some effects of brain injury never truly go away. They can affect a victim’s relationships, ability to work, and overall quality of life. Anyone who has suffered from a brain injury should consult with an attorney about receiving compensation for the injury and its lasting effects. If you have suffered a brain injury, contact the Chicago brain injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Marc J. Shuman & Associates, LTD today at 800.722.9744 for a FREE consultation.