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A Must Read: 3 Things You Shouldn’t Wait to Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse

Hopefully, your family will never experience a situation where a loved one suffers nursing home neglect or abuse.
However, in the unfortunate event that they do, here are the top three things to do:
  1. Speak to a qualified and knowledgeable attorney who has experience handling nursing home cases.

    Why? Because a family who has no experience with nursing home abuse or neglect is at a severe disadvantage 0″on its own when dealing with the nursing home itself after an unfortunate tragedy occurs.  In other words, the nursing home knows the rules of its profession and typically families do not.  This is why you need to make sure you consult with an attorney who can put you on a level playing field with the nursing home.

  2. Seek answers as to the cause of an injury.

    Oftentimes, especially in cases involving falls inside of nursing homes, the cause of an injury or death can unfortunately be obscured by other comorbidities which a patient may have.  It is therefore important after an injury or death inside a nursing home to understand the specific sequence of events which led to the injury or death.

    Again, this is often best accomplished through the utilization of a qualified attorney, like Rob King and Associates, Trial Lawyers.

  3. Make sure the nursing home preserves relevant evidence.

    Again, hiring a qualified attorney can help assist with preserving evidence, but if you did not have the immediate ability to hire an attorney, be sure to put a nursing home on notice in writing that you want relevant evidence preserved.

    What is relevant evidence?  Well, this can be a difficult question to answer sometimes. But generally, you want all medical charting preserved; any video evidence preserved; any audio evidence preserved;  call logs preserved and incident reports too.  Sometimes, these items of evidence are destroyed after a certain time period. Therefore, it is critically important to get your notification out to the nursing home’s executive team as quickly as possible.

Again, the most important action item on the list above is speaking with a qualified attorney who is more knowledgeable about the process than you. By doing that, you entrust your case to capable hands and hopefully gain some peace of mind in what is very trying time.

Five Important Facts You Need To Know About Trucking Accidents In Indiana

Trucking accidents are some of the most serious given the size and mass of semis and the trailers that they haul. Because these cases can often involves serious injury, they require a serious investigation in order to establish liability early on. Here are the top five things to address when you are dealing with the immediate aftermath of the truck accident involving serious bodily injury.

  1. Make sure all witnesses are located and have provided a statement. In truck accident cases, there is no substitute for human witnesses providing their account of how the accident happened. Because memories fade over time, locating witnesses, getting their contact information, and taking a statement of them is vitally important to preserving recollections and accounts of how an accident took place.
  2. Like airlines and many motor vehicles, modern semi trucks have “black boxes” inside of them which records vital information about the truck and its performance. Advising the trucking company in issue to preserve all “black box” data is critical to preserving evidence relevant to your truck accident case. Depending on the age and model of the semi in issue, “black box” data can be obtained and provide important information about things such as: vehicle speed prior to impact; braking application prior to impact; and RPM of engine prior impact. Often times, if black box data is not preserved, it may be conveniently “lost” or overwritten. Therefore, it is vitally important to put a trucking company on notice of your desire to preserve all black box data very early in a case.
  3. If the accident is one of disputed liability, it oftentimes is prudent to obtain an accident reconstruction, performed by a qualified accident reconstructionist. An accident reconstructionist can analyze black box data, witness statements, and physical evidence from the scene to best determine how an accident actually took place. Again, because physical evidence at an accident scene, like tire markings, guardrail damage, etc. is often times repaired, it is important if one intends to pursue an accident reconstruction to do so very quickly and early in the case. Most firms that specialize in trucking accident cases will pay for the accident reconstruction as part of the case work up and will only require reimbursement if a recovery is made. Again, like witness statements and “black box” preservation, time is of the essence with accident reconstruction!
  4. Locate all available sources of insurance coverage: liability, medical, and auto-med pay.The medical bills which a company a truck accident case are often outrageously high. While the trucking company’s liability coverage will likely take care of medical expenses in the long term (when the case is resolved) the liability coverage will not be available to take care of medical expenses in the short term (before the case is resolved). This is because liability insurance does not pay medical expenses incurred relevant to a case in piecemeal fashion. Therefore, it is important to have some insurance to cover medical expenses prior to a recovery being made from liability coverage.Health insurance and one’s own auto med pay coverage can often fill in the gap while one awaits settlement with the liability insurance company. However, apportioning healthcare coverage between auto med pay and health insurance can sometimes be tricky. Also, resolving the liens which often times arise when private health insurance pays medical expenses related to an accident can also be tricky and require a skilled legal professional.So, sorting out the different types of coverage available, deciding which coverage to use and when, is an important aspect of any trucking accident case.
  5. Get an experienced Indianapolis lawyer!If one through four above seems overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be! An experienced attorney who has handled trucking cases before will know each of the four steps above and many more. If you’ve never done a trucking accident case prior to the one you are involved in or have some connection to, it would be nearly impossible to execute steps one through four above and successfully handle your case. That’s why step number five is to get carpet it legal help. Don’t handle your situation alone and make a mess of it! Call Rob King and associates trial lawyers for a free consultation today!

Top 5 Things To Know About Nursing Home Abuse Cases

So you suspect that your loved one might be the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect?  Here are the top five things you should look for:

  1. Has the condition of your worsened since his or her arrival at the nursing home?
    • Did your loved one enter into the nursing home without bedsores and now he or she has one or even several?  Did your loved one entry into the nursing home without any broken bones and now has one or several?  Increased injuries to a patient or the aggravation of an injury to a patient can be a signal that the nursing home is not doing its job.  In this instance, it is important to aggressively coordinate with nursing home staff to ascertain the precise cause of a new injury sustained inside a nursing home so appropriate remedial action may be taken.
  2. Is my loved one considered a fall risk?
    • The Morse Fall Scale is a method that medical providers will often use to determine the degree to which someone is at risk for falling.  Since unprotected falls account for a large share of nursing home injuries, you want to make sure that your loved one has been assessed for the risk of fall?  You also want to ask if there are any indications, whether documented in the chart or not, that your loved one has already fallen.  And, if your loved one has been determined a fall risk, what are the procedures that have been put in place to prevent my loved one from falling?  Or, does the nursing home have a fall risk management program in place?
  3. Is my loved one at risk for development of a bedsore?
    • Under Indiana law, a nursing home facility must ensure that a resident who enters a nursing home facility without a bedsore does not develop one unless that patient’s clinical condition demonstrates that it was unavoidable.  In addition, a determination that a bedsore was unavoidable may be made only if routine preventative and daily care was provided.  Therefore, you should ask what the turning and repositioning schedule is for bedridden patients and also ask how often are patients assessed for the presence of bedsores.
  4. Is my loved one receiving proper nutrition and hydration?
    • Nursing homes frequently employ trained dieticians and nutritionists to ensure that residents are receiving proper nutritional care.  Be sure to ask about your loved one’s nutritional and hydration plan, whether the resident is losing or maintaining his or her weight, and what the staffing ratio is.  Ask to see your loved one’s nutritional plan and compare it against your loved one’s chart to help confirm appropriate nutrition and hydration is being received.
  5. Is the overall “quality of care” being provided to your loved one in accordance with their comprehensive assessment and care plan?
    • Per Indiana Administrative Code (410 IAC 16.2-3.1-37), each resident must receive “the necessary care and services to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being in accordance with the comprehensive assessment and care plan.”  Nursing home facilities are also required to assist residents in obtaining transportation to doctor visits outside of the nursing home facilities.  They are requires to have adequate nursing care performed by nurses with state-mandated training.  Finally, nursing homes in Indiana are required to have written policies and procedures that prohibit neglect.  Ask to see those procedures and compare them against your loved one’s chart to confirm the highest practicable care is being received by your loved one.

Last, the most important action item not on the list above is speaking with a qualified attorney who is more knowledgeable about the process than you. By doing that, you entrust your case to capable hands and hopefully gain some peace of mind in what is very trying time.

Important Things to Know About How Insurance Works in Your Car Accident Case

Today, insurance can get complicated when dealing with a car accident case.

First, there is what is called “liability insurance.” Liability insurance is insurance that covers the driver who has caused an accident. Compensation, payable from an auto liability policy, is available to those who have been harmed by an the at-fault driver’s negligence. In Indiana, liability coverage is mandatory in the amount of $25,000 for every individual harmed or $50,000 for every group of individuals harmed. Medical payments coverage is a different type of insurance.

Medical payments coverage is an optional coverage some people buy when purchasing their own liability policies. With medical payments coverage, a certain amount of coverage is available to pay for medical related expenses regardless of whether you are at fault or not in an accident. So, if you are struck by an at-fault driver, you can in theory pull from at least two insurance policies to pay for accident related medical expenses: your own policy and the at fault driver’s.

Then, there is uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. These types of coverages are sometimes available to pay compensation when the driver who hit you either does not have any insurance coverage or does not have enough. Like medical payments coverage, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage are optional coverages which are purchased when you buy your liability policy. Very importantly, if you are making an underinsured motorist claim, there are important legal requirements that must be satisfied. If they are not, your underinsured motorist claim will be jeopardized.

Your own private health insurance may have some role to play with the insurance coverages above. Oftentimes in catastrophic cases, health Insurance is used in the short term to pay for medical expenses which would otherwise be payable through liability coverage. Why is this when the other driver is responsible for your health insurance charges? Because liability coverage will not pay out in piecemeal fashion. In other words, liability coverage will not pay medical expenses as you go or as they are incurred. Therefore, private health insurance and medical payments coverage can be used in the short term to pay medical expenses which will eventually be part of the liability coverage case.

When a liability coverage settlement is obtained, sometimes your healthcare insurance company or medical payments insurance company will have a lien on your liability settlement. Lawyers experienced in personal injury law have various tools at their disposal to reduce the amount of road healthcare insurance companies and medical payments insurance companies.

Does all of the sound confusing to you? If it does, let my firm handle these matters for you. We find that oftentimes we can confer a huge value on the case because of our ability to understand the various insurance coverages which come in to play in a car accident case and how they interrelate to each other.

Call Rob King and Associates, Trial Lawyers today at (317) 916-0000 for help understanding the insurance coverage issues which are affecting your case!

Nursing Home Abuse in Indiana

As the population of elder Americans rises, more and more of our loved ones are being placed in nursing homes these days.  Unfortunately though, nursing homes sometimes don’t provide the quality care that we expect them to and, as a result, our loved ones become subject to neglect, malpractice or, even worse, abuse.

But did you know that there are rules, both state and federal, that govern the way a nursing home must treat its patients?  At Rob King and Associates, Trial Lawyers, we know nursing home rules and regulations and bring that experience to bear when representing clients who have been harmed by nursing home neglect or abuse.   Our knowledge of nursing home rules and regulations has led to our firm obtaining significant financial recoveries on behalf of patients and their families who have been affected by nursing home neglect.

Nursing home cases can include the following: failure to properly monitor a patient who is a fall risk; failure to administer proper nutrition; failure to administer proper medication; failure to properly monitor the interaction between staff and residents; failure to prevent the formation of bed sores and failure to prevent sexual abuse.

In one of our cases, which our firm took all the way to the Indiana Supreme Court and one, we fought for a family that believed they had been lied to about the cause of their mother’s death in a nursing home.  Evidence had been assembled that the family’s mother had actually been attacked by another resident.  But the nursing home said that she just fallen.  The family’s mother died of her injuries.  Our firm battled the nursing home all the way to the Indiana Supreme Court and won, eventually resulting in a favorable settlement for the family.

If you would like the same aggressive p pursuit of justice brought to bear on your nursing home case, call or email our firm today for a free consultation.  If we take your case, we only take a fee if we win the case.