Pain and Suffering Damages for Nursing Home Abuse

Pain and suffering is something that a resident who is a victim of nursing home abuse will certainly be entitled to. Nursing home residents are among the most vulnerable segments of society, and it isn’t right that they should be exposed to the cruelty or negligence of people who owe them a high duty of care. But damages for pain and suffering are not easily quantifiable, and can be difficult to prove.

As many Santa Ana personal injury lawyers would agree, proving negligence in court requires hard evidence that the plaintiff suffered significant harm because of the actions, or failure to act, of a third party. In nursing home abuse, the easiest cases would be that which leave a paper trail, such as medical records of injuries.

However, abuse it is not always physically manifested because the abuse may not be physical. As mentioned on the website of the law firm Pohl & Berk, LLP, the harm that a resident suffers from verbal or psychological abuse can be as much or even more damaging to someone who may already be mentally fragile, and certainly warrants consideration for pain and suffering.

It is estimated that as many as one in three nursing homes have incidents of abuse or neglect. Some facilities cited for this negligence claim that staff shortages may have contributed to incidents of neglect where residents suffered injuries such as bed sores or falls. Texas, which was named as the worst state for nursing homes according to the 2013 report of the Families for Better Care, failed in 6 of 8 categories under federal quality statistical measures for nursing homes. A Texas nursing home abuse lawyer would most likely cite one or more of these measures in a nursing home abuse case. Tennessee didn’t fare much better, ranking 13th as the worst nursing home state.

Unfortunately, many cases of nursing home abuse go unreported. If you suspect an elderly loved one to be suffering from nursing home abuse, take the necessary steps to secure their future well-being and compensation for past and ongoing abuse. Consult with a nursing home abuse lawyer to find out your legal options.

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Pain and Suffering in Car Accidents

There are many phrases that make their way to common lexicon without most people understanding what they actually mean. One of these phrases is “pain and suffering” in reference to tort law, and most people consider it the gravy in a personal injury case. However, pain and suffering which is part and parcel of “non-economic” damages, are not always applicable, especially when there was no actual physical injury involved. A good example would be a lawsuit alleging emotional damages i.e. invasion of privacy, where an award for pain and suffering would not likely to be awarded unless the actor’s conduct was outrageously excessive.

A Dallas personal injury lawyer can certainly demand compensation for a client’s pain and suffering, and depending on the circumstances of the case, this can be quite considerable. However, when it comes to medical malpractice suits, there is a cap ranging from $250,000 to $500,000. Where a case falls will depend on several factors, which may have different weights for different states, but which generally include:

  • Degree of severity, resulting in permanent or long-term disability and/or pain
  • Plaintiff’s age, where younger victims tend to get larger awards for having to endure longer periods of debilitation than older subjects
  • Intensity of suffering at the time of the accident and subsequent recovery

Because non-economic damages cannot be quantified in a standard manner, a jury is typically tasked to come up with a reasonable award given the circumstances of the case. Most people involved in something like car accidents are more likely to sustain severe injuries that would warrant compensation for pain and suffering. A Tennessee car accident lawyer can seek the maximum $750,000 allowed under state law, or even $1M if the injury resulted in the amputation of a limb, traumatic head or spine injury, or severe burns. Unlike Texas, though, the cap on non-economic damages applies to most personal injury cases in Tennessee, not just medical malpractice cases.

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Drunk Driving Charges in Dallas

From football players to police officers, Dallas certainly gets its fair share of suspected driving while intoxicated (DWI) incidents, often resulting in severe consequences to the accused. In fact, Dallas is considered among the worse of the top 25 major cities for drunk driving. In many instances a conviction means jail time, loss of career, and a criminal record. And yet things are not always what they appear to be.

Police officers can arrest a person for DWI if they have probable cause for stopping a vehicle and asking the driver to submit to a field sobriety test. In case of an accident, it is automatic to test all drivers for alcohol or drug intoxication. However, even when a field sobriety test comes out negative, the police can still put a person under arrest until such time as the defendant challenges the arrest. This is what happened to a man in Austin who spent a night in jail and a year under a cloud for a completely unwarranted DWI charge.

The unfortunate man had plans to file a grievance against the arresting officer with the help of his outraged lawyer according to the latest updates, and rightly so. Even being merely arrested on a suspicion of DWI can have significant repercussions for the life and career of the average person; more so when there was no basis for it. A Dallas DWI lawyer would have no hesitation to advise a client unfairly arrested for drunk driving to do the same thing.

If you have been arrested for DWI charge, you should not give up without a fight, especially if it was unwarranted. Take your Miranda warning to heart and say nothing before you have had to consult with a DWI lawyer in your area to advise you about your rights and your options.

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Divorce Law News in North Carolina

Divorce is typically a legally complex and emotionally difficult process for any couple, and the decision to get one is not one that is usually made lightly. Some legislators in North Carolina think the laws are still too lax, though, making divorce the “easy” solution to marital problems.

A bill was submitted to the North Carolina senate in April 2013 which proposed that easy access to divorce was to blame for the high divorce rate in the country. While the divorce rate in North Carolina (3.8 per 1000 in 2009) is actually below the national average, it recognizes no-fault divorces with a current stipulation of a one-year waiting period in which time the couple must have lived apart. The new bill, dubbed the “Healthy Marriage Act,” would extend the waiting period to two years during which time the troubled couple must live together.

The bill further requires that the couple attend marriage counseling that aim to improve methods of communication and conflict resolution. Those with issue will be required additional four-hour training on the effects of divorce on children. The bill was proposed by state Senator Austin Allran with the collaboration of Warren Daniel and Norman Sanderson. The bill is currently pending in the 2013-2014 Session of the North Carolina General Assembly.

Proponents of the bill believe that the extended waiting period will give spouses a chance to deal with their issues and to judiciously weigh the impact on offspring (if any) before taking that final step. Critics, on the other hand, contend that it is gross interference in the personal life of state residents, something that would not stand up on appeal. Any Raleigh divorce lawyer would be interestedly watching for developments as this would have a considerable impact on future mediation and divorce proceedings.

All in all, the object behind the bill is laudable, but its stipulations may not be acceptable to many North Carolinians, or most Americans for that matter. Only time will reveal which will prevail: the preservation of marriage, or the exercise of freedom of choice.

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The State of Outsourcing in the Philippines

It is no secret that developed countries are farming out certain business processes to Asian countries like India and the Philippines because it is cheaper than to do them in-house. What is quite amazing is that the Philippines is even considered in the running against a country like India.

The Philippines is a small country with a total population of 96.71 million (2012) compared to the much larger India with a population of 1.237 Billion.  Even if one only considers the number of the typical employee population (between age 25 and 54), India still outclasses the Philippines 12 to 1. The Philippines should be at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to business process outsourcing (BPO) simply due to sheer numbers. And yet the Philippines has taken over 10% of India’s share of the BPO market in the last half decade.

BPO watchdog the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) states that part of the reason for this competitiveness is the Data Privacy Act of 2012 passed under Benigno Aquino Jr., current president of the Philippines. BPO service providers such as Pinoy Partners Outsourcing Center Inc. benefit from this law because it ensures the protection of the sensitive data that is often handled by BPOs for their principals such as credit card information. The Act provides international privacy standards to these BPO clients.

However, BPO experts in India aver that it is the English language capabilities of the average Filipino that gives the Philippines its greatest advantage. It may very well be true. A report by GlobalEnglish Corporation – Pearson English Business Solutions in 2013 found that the Business English Index (BEI) of the Philippines was the best among the 30 countries surveyed (7.95 out of 10) for the second year in a row, beating out the US, UK, and Australia. The average global BEI score was 4.75 out of 10.

The IBPAP projects that the 21% growth in BPO jobs registered in 2012 will continue, and that by 2016 there will be 1.3 million Filipinos employed in the BPO industry.

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Reporting Workplace Injuries

Eligible employees for workers’ compensation insurance take it for granted that when the need arises, they will have no problems getting compensation for a legitimate workplace injury. However, there are guidelines that must be followed to avail of workers’ comp that most employees are not aware of. Failure to satisfy these guidelines could invalidate claims.

Workers’ comp is a no-fault insurance, so there is no need to prove causation aside from the fact that it was work-related. Even then, employers are not eager to make claims with their insurance companies because this will result in more costs to them in terms of premiums. So if an employee assumes the employer will take care if everything, then they could be making a costly mistake.

Each state has different guidelines for reporting a workplace injury, an important first step in making a claim. A Minnesota workers’ comp lawyer would be well aware that while the state Department of Labor and Industry emphasize that the employee is not responsible for submitting the First Report of Injury (FROI) form for workplace injuries in a timely manner, they do have to report the injury to the employer within 14 days of the incident or risk losing coverage on a technicality and obtain certain documents to validate a claim such as a Report of Work Ability form from an accredited health care provider.

In South Carolina, however, the time frames are different. When a claim is denied because the employer declares that the employee failed to report the injury immediately, a Charleston workers’ compensation lawyer will argue that the state allows a worker 90 days to report the injury. The employee may also file a claim directly with the state’s Workers’ Compensation Commission if the employer fails to do so.

It is important to know your rights and responsibilities as an employee when it comes to workers’ compensation. If in doubt, consult with a workers’ comp lawyer in your state for clarification and assistance for disputed claims.

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