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Current Administration to Lift Ban on Nursing Home Arbitration Clauses

Published on May 5, 2017 at 6:35 pm in Nursing Home Abuse.

There are more than 2 million cases of elder abuse every year, and those are only the cases that are reported. One out of every 10 people will experience some form of elder abuse. Because families often don’t have the time or resources to devote to the full-time care that seniors sometimes need, they depend on skilled nursing facilities to provide help where they can’t. When skilled nursing facilities care for elderly people, they and their friends and relatives are placing their trust in these businesses. When that trust is broken, it is usually the result of negligence or outright abuse of the elderly person.

Because the senior population has started to grow as more baby boomers continue to age, big corporations have taken to buying or starting skilled nursing facilities. Around 70% of all skilled nursing facilities are run by for-profit companies, and some of them are being purchased by Wall Street investment firms. Unsurprisingly, the new administration has taken note of another way it can assist hedge funds and banks.

In 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services enacted a policy that said nursing homes would no longer receive federal funding if they used forced arbitration clauses in their contracts. Forced arbitration clauses are contract terms preventing people from suing a facility, no matter what laws it breaks. Anyone harmed by illegal acts in these institutions can only bring cases to private arbitrators, who are generally beholden to the nursing homes or the corporations that own them.

Now, the current administration is proposing to lift the ban on forced arbitration clauses. Now, if a nursing home abuses a senior, the family can use the public court system to seek justice. If the ban is lifted, nursing homes benefit from the secretive system of arbitration, which isn’t open to the public, press, or regulators. It also allows gag orders in the form of confidentiality provisions, allowing them to hide their crimes easily.

Medical Culture May Encourage Doctors to Not Admit Their Mistakes

Published on Apr 13, 2017 at 6:36 pm in Medical Malpractice.

Although medical science has allowed us to live longer and healthier lives, it is not without risks. Nearly all types of medical procedures and treatments pose risks to patients. While some risks are unavoidable, many can be effectively managed in order to ensure positive outcomes. Unfortunately, when medical professionals commit errors, deviate from the recognized standard of care, or otherwise fail in their duty of taking reasonable measures to reduce risks, patients can suffer preventable harm.

Medical mistakes on the part of physicians, nurses, and other health care providers injure and kill hundreds of thousands of patients each year in the United States. In fact, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reports that medical negligence ranks just behind heart disease and cancer as the third leading cause of death nationwide. With medical errors as common as they are, one would think that medical providers would be honest and upfront when mistakes occur. According to a recent study, however, most health care professionals would actually work to conceal their role in a medical mistake.

HR Bill 1215 Jeopardizes Justice in Nursing Home Abuse Cases

Published on Apr 12, 2017 at 6:37 pm in Nursing Home Abuse.

Juries typically recognize that nursing home abuse causes severe consequences and permanent emotional scarring, and occurs due to preventable mistakes or intentional harm. As a result, some cases close with a seven-figure award amount that the harmed elder and their family absolutely deserves. A recently proposed bill could counteract progress, though, by seriously limiting how much a plaintiff can collect in noneconomic damages for successful nursing home abuse claims.

HR Bill 1215, which is being advertised as the “Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017,” would limit noneconomic damages in nursing home abuse cases to just $250,000, regardless of the details of the case. The number of victims, the extent of the harm, and the intent of the abuser would all be irrelevant if this bill is allowed to pass. Even in cases where an elder is sexually abused repeatedly, the noneconomic cap would be just $250,000.

Filing a Lawsuit for Misdiagnosis: The Basics

Published on Apr 6, 2017 at 6:38 pm in Medical Malpractice.

Medical professionals have a legal duty to treat patients in accordance to a recognized “standard of care.” When they deviate from this standard, such as when they fail to properly diagnose a condition that should have reasonably been identified, they can be held accountable for their negligence and liable for harm and damages patients suffer as a result.

At Shrager & Sachs, our Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers have recovered millions of dollars in compensation on behalf of patients who were injured at the hands of a physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals. These include patients who suffered preventable harm as the result of a misdiagnosis for a condition that should and could have been correctly detected.

Brain Injuries: What You Need To Know About Concussions

Published on Mar 15, 2017 at 6:40 pm in Personal Injury.

March is National Brain Injury Awareness Month, and our legal team at Shrager, Spivey & Sachs wanted to provide some helpful information that can aid victims and families following unexpected brain injuries. Having served Philadelphia and the state of Pennsylvania since 1978, our personal injury attorneys have worked with many victims who suffered brain injuries in all types of accidents, including car accidents. We know that having the right information is critical to getting the right help and to knowing what to expect.

Traumatic brain injuries are unique in that there is still a great deal to be learned about how they impact the lives of victims and how they can be effectively treated. While medical science is continually exploring the mysteries of the brain in order to find ways to prevent, treat, and understand brain injuries, victims who experience TBI still struggle with what can be profound symptoms and effects. This is why it is important for anyone who has suffered a brain injury, or anyone with a loved one who has, to have the facts that can help them seek appropriate treatment when necessary.

What Should I Ask My Doctor After an Accident?

Published on Mar 8, 2017 at 6:45 pm in Auto Accidents.

If you or a loved one has recently been involved in an accident, such as a truck accident or car accident, it is important that you seek a medical evaluation as soon as you can. Whether you were treated at an emergency room or not, it is always recommended that you get a full evaluation from a medical professional, or a follow up evaluation.

Visiting a doctor is important to your health, as there can be a lot of things you don’t notice in the chaos and frenzy immediately following an accident. Some injuries or pain may also not present themselves until some time has passed. A doctor can conduct tests and exams, help identify any underlying injury, condition, or medical issue, refer you to specialists, or begin the treatment you need. Seeking a timely medical evaluation can also prove beneficial should you choose to file a personal injury claim.

Settlement vs. Lawsuit: Which One is Right for Your Case?

Published on Feb 24, 2017 at 6:46 pm in Medical Malpractice.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident that could and should have been preventable if not for the negligence of another, you have the right to pursue a recovery of your damages by filing a personal injury claim. Personal injury cases enable you to hold the party who caused your accident and injuries liable for any damages that resulted from the incident, which commonly includes medical bills, lost work wages, and pain and suffering, among others.

While all personal injury claims are hinged on proving that the at-fault party in an accident was negligent, and that their negligence “more likely than not” caused a victim to suffer injuries, how it is resolved will vary from case to case. When resolved successfully, a personal injury case may conclude with a settlement or a verdict following the filing of a lawsuit.

Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes: An Unchecked Epidemic

Published on Feb 22, 2017 at 6:47 pm in Nursing Home Abuse.

Nursing home abuse and neglect can take many forms, including the familiar types of wrongdoing such as physical and emotional abuse, neglecting basic needs, and financial exploitation. While families may be generally aware of these issues when choosing an assisted care facility for their elderly loved one, few give a second thought to another more sinister and inexcusable type of abuse: sexual assault.

While the inability or unwillingness of the elderly to speak out about sexual assault makes it inherently difficult to determine the true number of sexual abuse victims in American nursing homes, a recent investigative analysis by CNN has found that the issue is more common than most would believe, and that the procedures in place that should protect victims often fail to do so.

At Shrager & Sachs, our Philadelphia nursing home abuse attorneys have extensive experience representing elderly victims and their loved ones after they were harmed by substandard care, negligence, and abuse at nursing homes – and we have recovered millions of dollars in compensation on their behalves. Having worked many of these cases, we understand the difficulties of identifying abuse, as well as the challenges of holding nursing home facilities and staff accountable.

According to CNN, the difficulty of identifying sexual abuse in nursing homes and assisted living facilities can be far more troublesome than recognizing the signs of other forms of abuse. Additionally, when allegations were made by residents, nursing homes, law enforcement, and even government officials often failed to thoroughly investigate and address issues.

The Cost of Living with a Spinal Cord Injury

Published on Feb 20, 2017 at 7:23 pm in Personal Injury.

When it comes to serious injuries, few have as devastating a potential to upend lives as those involving the spine and spinal cord. The human spinal cord is the most important structure between the body and the brain, and it is filled with nerves, tissues, and support cells. These structures provide the primary pathway that allows the brain to communicate with the rest of the body, and it is essential to the way we live our day to day lives.

Although the spinal cord is incredibly important to how human’s function, it is also susceptible to being injured, especially as a result of trauma and sudden blows that can occur during car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and falls. When the spinal cord is injured, it can necessitate serious medical intervention and aggressive, long-term rehabilitation. In the most severe types of injuries, it can cause permanent impairment and loss of function in certain parts of the body.

At Shrager & Sachs, our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers have helped numerous clients after they suffered catastrophic injuries, including spinal cord injuries (SCI). Because the nature of spinal cord injuries can impact victims and their loved ones in profound ways, we always work to secure the maximum compensation possible. We know this compensation is essential to not only a victim’s sense of justice and emotional losses, but also to the real and substantial costs that living with a spinal cord injury can have.

Common Preventable Medical Errors

Published on Feb 3, 2017 at 7:26 pm in Medical Malpractice.

When people go to the hospital for medical treatment or surgery, they expect that the medical professionals responsible for their care will do the best job possible. The last thing on your mind is suffering further injury.

According to U.S. News, more than 200,000 people die from preventable medical errors each year, and up to 20 times more likely to suffer from errors that severely injure them. A new study suggests that medical errors in hospitals and other healthcare facilities are now the third-leading cause of death in the United States every year, which is more than accidents, respiratory disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s.

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