October 24th, 2014
How Common Is Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
Nursing homes and long-term care facilities can provide the elderly and disabled with the constant care they need, but research indicates that abuse and neglect is rampant at these facilities. Reports from the National Center on Elder Abuse shows as many as one-third of all Americans over age 65 will become the victims of abuse or neglect at some point this year.
These numbers leave many citizens wondering what some of the most common types of nursing home abuse and neglect are, how they can recognize it, and what they can do to stop it.
Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Cases of abuse or neglect in a nursing home tend to fall into three categories:
- Physical Abuse- This includes any sort of hitting, kicking, or punching of patients. Bruising, lacerations, and even changes in behavior can characterize physical abuse.
- Mental Abuse- Yelling, threatening, and belittling are all forms of mental abuse. It can also be one of the most difficult types of abuse to identify, since changes in emotional state are likely the only signs it is occurring.
- Sexual Abuse- Any sort of inappropriate sexual contact with patients can be considered sexual abuse. If such an incident is suspected, a medical professional should examine the patient.
How Can I Prevent Abuse and Neglect?
The best way to prevent nursing home abuse is to be involved in your loved one’s care. This means visiting regularly and asking caregivers plenty of questions about your loved one’s treatment and routine. If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected, report it immediately. A lawyer may also be able to help you in the process of seeking compensation for the harm that was done.
Ponce Law Can Help
At Ponce Law, our Nashville personal injury lawyers have helped injury victims and their families through some of the most difficult times of their lives, and we want to do the same for you. To speak with a member of our legal team, call (888) 977-9912 today.
October 22nd, 2014
Making ends meet on Social Security Disability benefits can be difficult, as the costs of goods and services often rise every year. That’s why the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers adjusting the amount of Social Security Disability and retirement benefits people receive on a yearly basis.
What Is The 2015 Social Security Disability COLA?
The SSA recently came to a consensus about how much this Cost-of-Living-Adjustment (COLA) should be for next year. According to an article from ABC News, disability recipients should expect to see a 1.7 percent increase in the amount of benefits they receive.
What Does The COLA’s Increase Mean?
While most Social Security Disability recipients welcome any increase in payments, the COLA for 2015 still isn’t much. The small percentage in increase will likely only increase monthly payments by $20, much of which will be taken by the 1.3 percent increase in benefit taxes.
How Is The Social Security Disability COLA Determined?
The COLA is determined through the use of an equation called the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which examines the fluctuation in costs of goods and services—such as food, housing, and transportation—from year to year during a three-month period. The federal government considered changing these rules to a chained CPI—or an equation that considers Americans search for cheaper options when costs rise.
COLA Eases Financial Struggles
At Ponce Law, we know the financial strains that dependence on Social Security Disability benefits can cause. That’s why our team of Nashville personal injury lawyers is hopeful next year’s COLA will help to alleviate some of the financial hurdles many disability recipients face on a daily basis.
October 20th, 2014
The size and weight of a tractor-trailer can make avoiding collisions difficult. That’s why Michael D. Ponce, a Nashville truck accident lawyer at Ponce Law, would like to tell you about four of the most common truck accident causes:
- Driver Negligence- Speeding is one of the leading causes of fatal truck accidents today. Drivers can also hit other vehicles while changing lanes if they fail to properly check blind spots.
- Drowsy Driving- Truck drivers are often paid by the load or by miles traveled, which can make working long hours tempting. But fatigue behind the wheel can impair judgment as much as alcohol, which is why there are limits on the amount truck drivers can operate each week.
- Distracted Driving- The cab of a tractor-trailer often doubles as an office for truck drivers, leaving phones to be answered, online directions to be sought, and scheduling of loads to be conducted while driving. While there are rules against conducting many of these activities while moving, drivers sometimes fail to adhere to the regulations.
- Faulty Equipment- Companies are required to perform regular maintenance on their vehicles and to record each of these services—but many trucking operators fail to comply.
If you’ve been injured as the result of a Nashville truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Our Nashville personal injury lawyers are available to talk about your case 24/7, just dial (888) 977-9912 today.
October 17th, 2014
Teens are at an especially high risk of being involved in Tennessee car accidents. Numbers show that last year alone, roughly 39,000 crashes in our state involved a driver who was 20-years-old or younger. That’s around 13 percent of all crashes that were recorded in the state last year.
To help reduce the number of teen driving accidents that occur each year in our state, two government agencies are partnering up to promote a teen driving safety campaign next week.
According to an article from News Channel 5, the Governor’s Highway Safety Office and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has declared the week of Oct. 19-25 as Teen Driver Safety Week in Tennessee. Officials say the program aims to give parents the information they need to effectively talk to their children about safe driving, while also getting the conversation going among teens and their peers. Last year, the program unveiled the “5 To Drive” initiative, which touched on the five most dangerous behaviors behind the wheel.
At Ponce Law, we understand the importance of teaching teens safe driving techniques. That’s why our Nashville auto accident attorneys encourage parents to talk to their teen drivers on a regular basis about driving safety. We also urge the use of a teen driving contract, that establishes an agreement between teens and adults that they will not engage in risky behaviors behind the wheel, such as speeding, drinking and driving, texting and driving, or operating vehicles with numerous passengers.
October 15th, 2014
Tennessee state law requires that an individual be compensated for the work that they perform. An exception to this rule is made for student athletes, who are often required to sign releases stating they are not being paid. However, 10 former athletes who say these releases are “unconscionable and vague” have filed a Nashville wage dispute claim.
Court documents show the athletes were all participants in televised games. They believe the broadcasters and networks that aired the games were making billions of dollars, while the athletes were only receiving compensation for their costs to attend the game. According to an article from ESPN, the athletes believe they should be fairly compensated for the use and licensing of their names and images.
Furthermore, attorneys accuse the broadcasters of “colluding” with conferences, like the SEC, to control and limit the amount of compensation student athletes can receive.
The case was filed on Friday in U.S. District Court in Nashville and will be heard sometime in the near future.
At Ponce Law, we understand the importance of having laws in place that protect workers’ rights to fair and equal compensation. That’s why our team of Nashville employment lawyers are hopeful a decision in this case will bring closure to the athletes who feel they have been treated unfairly.
October 13th, 2014
When a loved one dies as the result of another person’s negligence, the family of the victim can seek compensation through civil litigation. But medical bills, funeral costs, or pain and suffering aren’t the only damages plaintiffs can demand through Tennessee wrongful death cases. Sometimes, families just want answers, closure, or even just to ensure another person doesn’t go through a similar situation.
That seems to be what one woman from Nashville is seeking after her son’s death. She claims medical staff failed to take appropriate action when responding to a medical emergency involving her son that occurred just after 3 A.M on Aug. 13.
The woman told News Channel 5 reporters that police and emergency crews responded to her son’s residence in Hermitage after receiving a call from a roommate that the man had suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Rather than transporting the victim to a local hospital immediately, emergency crews left him at the scene because they were instructed by a doctor that the victim’s injuries were “not compatible with life.”
Paramedics were called back to the scene a short time later and only then took the 32-year-old man—who was still breathing two hours after suffering his injury—to the hospital, where he later died.
Now, his mother hired an attorney to help find out why transcripts of the calls to police and emergency dispatchers have not yet been released to the public. She hopes this information can be used to prevent similar incidents in the future.
At Ponce Law, we know how difficult the loss of a loved one can be. That’s why our Nashville personal injury attorneys would like to send our condolences to the mother of the victim and hope legal action will bring her the closure she is seeking.
October 10th, 2014
Take a moment to think about the numerous physical tasks you complete on a daily basis. Now, imagine being unable to move your body and how this could affect your ability to lead a normal life. This the daily life of anyone suffering from Quadriplegia.
Quadriplegia is a condition where all four limbs are paralyzed. The condition is most commonly the result of a severed spinal cord. Estimates from the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center show that roughly 125,000 Americans are considered quadriplegic.
The costs associated with quadriplegia can be enormous. Data indicates that in the first year alone of being quadriplegic, a victim may rack up as much as $1.1 million in expenses. If the individual is age 25 at the time of their injury, they can expect to accrue as much as $4.5 million in medical bills and other costs throughout the course of their lifetime.
Luckily, negligent parties can be held liable for damages in the event that their actions cause quadriplegia. Proving such a case can be complex though, which is why hiring a legal representative can be vital if a victim is considering filing a personal injury lawsuit.
At Ponce Law, our team of Nashville personal injury lawyers is versed in helping those who have been injured due to another person’s mistake, and we can help you. To find out more about how we can assist with your case, call us today at (888) 977-9912.
October 8th, 2014
Pedestrian and bicycle safety is a very serious problem in Nashville. Statistics from the Nashville Metro Police Department show a Nashville pedestrian accident occurs twice a month on average in the downtown area. Even more are recorded when you add the number of cyclists struck by cars.
Luckily, one of the major projects being considered to improve pedestrian safety in Nashville was recently approved.
An article from The Tennessean explains the city council recently took one step closer to approving Mayor Karl Dean’s project to build a pedestrian bridge between The Gulch and South Broadway. The council voted 30-2 in favor of a $1 million price tag on land acquisition and property interest so the project can break ground. A majority of the project will be funded through taxation of the businesses that will most benefit from the foot traffic the bridge will supply.
The new bridge isn’t the only way the city is looking to make improvements to pedestrian safety. Mayor Dean also pledged $17 million to sidewalk projects across Davidson County and more funding for similar projects the following year.
At Ponce Law, we recognize the importance of pedestrian safety in a town where many choose to walk. That’s why our Nashville personal injury lawyers would like to applaud the city for implementing these projects.
October 6th, 2014
Fall is in the air in Middle Tennessee and for many student athletes, that means it’s the beginning of the high school football season. While this can be a wonderful pastime, it can also put players at serious risk of injuries.
One of the most common medical emergencies experienced by football players today are traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Estimates show sports are the second leading cause of TBIs in athletes between ages 15 -24, with football accounting for almost 30 percent of those injuries.
So what’s being done to protect our student athletes? An article from WKRN 2 News explains the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association has created policies designed to ensure players get the treatment they need when TBIs are suspected. The rules state that if a player takes a blow to the head and complains of the symptoms of a TBI—including headache, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, and confusion—he or she will be pulled from play. A medical professional must then clear the individual before they can return to the field.
Many coaching staffs are also teaching “heads up” hitting techniques, while others are using new helmet technology to identify potentially devastating blows to the head.
At Ponce Law, our team of Nashville personal injury lawyers are excited to see coaches, schools, and parents working together to protect our state’s young athletes, and we hope to see further advancements to prevent TBIs on sports fields in the future.
October 3rd, 2014
Studies have shown that receiving formal training on how to ride a motorcycle can significantly reduce the chances of motorcycle accidents. Now, a group of soldiers in Middle Tennessee are using their motorcycle training as an opportunity to do good for others as well.
The Fort Campbell Courier reports soldiers with the 5th Special Forces Unit and the 101st Airborne Division spent several days partaking in the Motorcycle Safety Program, which offers participants instruction on how to safely operate motorcycles. The soldiers completed training in a classroom setting on topics such as cornering, swerving, and braking. Then they applied what they learned on a ride to Nashville to deliver teddy bears to children receiving care at the Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial. The ride not only let the soldiers practice some of the techniques they had learned during the course, but also gave them an opportunity to put a smiles on children’s’ faces.
At Ponce Law, we recognize the importance of motorcycle safety and giving back to the community. That’s why our team of Nashville personal injury lawyers would like to applaud these soldiers for their act of kindness and encourage you to participate in a motorcycle safety course if you’re considering learning to ride a motorcycle.