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Queens Personal Injury Blog

More than 100 New York nursing homes receive one-star rating

There are a number of federal and state regulations in place that work to better ensure nursing home safety. While a nursing home's failure to abide by these regulations may be indicative of negligent care of their residents, simply because a nursing home complies with all regulations does not mean that it is adequately protecting its residents. This is because regulations set minimum standards, and even those who meet these low bars can provide substandard care.

This is often seen when staffing shortages put residents at risk. A recent rating of the state's nursing homes shows just how treacherous this has become. In part due to staffing shortages, 107 New York nursing homes received one out of five stars based on a rating model enacted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. To come to those rankings, the survey considers a number of factors including not only staffing, but also patient injuries, medication management processes and hospitalizations.

Higher speed limits lead to more fatal car accidents

Most car commercials and advertisements seem to have the same message -- faster is always better. While high speeds might look good in a commercial, they do not look so good for driver safety. According to experts, higher speed limits cause thousands of fatal car accidents.

Higher speed limits reduce travel times for New York drivers. However, shaving minutes off travel time comes at the cost of more fatalities. Despite the growing problem, it does not appear as if any government officials will be lowering speed limits any time soon.

Premises liability and the attractive nuisance

Property owners must keep their premises safe for those they invite onto their property. This often means that the property owner, which may include a grocery store or hospital, must take reasonable steps to ascertain and remedy hazardous conditions. Oftentimes slip and fall accidents that leave victims injured lead to premises liability cases because the property owner failed to take the appropriate steps to prevent harm to invitees. While no protections are generally afforded to trespassers, there is one major exception that can lead to legal action.

An attractive nuisance is something that is deemed to be fascinating to a child to the point that it lures him or her onto the property containing that nuisance. Examples include a pool, certain machinery and even stairs. Those who possess an attractive nuisance should take steps to protect children from the hazards those nuisances pose. For example, the owner of a swimming pool who knows that the toddler next door is drawn to it may need to fence in the pool to avoid liability.

Nursing home neglect and the comprehensive assessment

It can be difficult to make the decision to support a loved one as they transition into assisted living or some type of nursing home. Many New Yorkers find their minds put at ease, though, when they realize that state regulations delineate how these businesses should be operated, which is in a way that protects residents' safety. Sadly, though, far too often New York nursing homes fail to abide by these regulations. Innocent and unsuspecting individuals are injured and killed as a result.

One important regulation that is often overlooked is the resident assessment. When an individual is admitted to a nursing home, staff should conduct a thorough assessment of the resident to better determine the course of treatment that is to be provided to him or her. This comprehensive assessment should look at a number of factors, including physical and mental functioning, existing medical conditions and medical history, sensory impairments and prescribed medications.

Vicarious liability claims can increase chances of full recovery

People who act negligently often do so while performing their job duties. Whether it is a trucker who drives while fatigued or a nursing home employee who fails to properly supervise residents, these individuals' actions or inactions can lead to serious harm. Victims, of course, can take legal action against these individuals when negligence results in harm, but the truth of the matter is that oftentimes the damages suffered by victims are so extensive that individual wrongdoers are unable to fully compensate for them.

This is where a vicarious liability claim can prove beneficial. This legal theory allows an individual to pursue a lawsuit against an employer for the harmful negligence of its employee. Therefore, truck accident victims may be able to sue a truck company, and victims of nursing home neglect may be able to pursue a claim against the company that owns the nursing home in question. By doing so, victims may increase their chances of reaching deeper pockets that are much more likely to pay for the full extent of damage caused.

Are phone mounts harmful or helpful?

These days, our cellphones go pretty much where ever we do. In fact, sometimes they even help us get to our destination. But since these devices were designed to be handheld, they can be dangerous to hold while also trying to steer.

To help drivers use their cellphone’s navigation applications without compromising control of their vehicle or attention to the road, developers have introduced cellphone holding devices that can be mounted in the car.

New York firm ready to fight for victims of nursing home neglect

Recently on the blog we discussed the serious risk bedsores pose to nursing home residents. The sad truth of the matter is that preventable bedsores are all too common in New York nursing homes. Negligent nursing home staff often neglect to turn patients who are incapable of turning themselves, and once these wounds develop they are sometimes left to fester until extensive medical care is needed. As terrifying as this may sound, what is even scarier is the fact that bedsores are only one of the many ways that residents can be harmed by nursing home neglect.

There are many errors that can occur in a nursing home and leave a resident susceptible to harm. Malnutrition and dehydration can prove deadly, inadequate supervision can leave a vulnerable patient at risk of being attacked by other residents, medication errors may result in progressed medical conditions or an increase in symptoms and nursing home staff can engage in abusive behavior. None of these acts or omissions are acceptable, which is why those who have been harmed by nursing home abuse or neglect should think about what they can do to take corrective action.

Number of fatal pedestrian accidents continues to increase

The New York area certainly has its fair share of pedestrians. After all, considering the traffic and parking conditions in our area sometimes walking is the fastest way to get where you're going. The sad reality, though, is that these pedestrians are seemingly in a constant state of danger. Negligent drivers, including those who are distracted, intoxicated or tired, fail to yield to them, veer onto sidewalks and neglect to share the road, all of which can lead to an injurious or fatal accident.

Sadly, a recently released report by the Governors Highway Safety Association indicates that the occurrence of fatal pedestrian accidents is only increasing. The organization found that, in 2018, more than 6,200 individuals were killed in pedestrian accidents. That figure stands as the highest rate of pedestrian deaths since 1990. Over the last 10 years pedestrian fatalities have increased by more than one-third.

Egregious nursing home neglect draws national headlines

Nursing homes are entrusted with one of the most important responsibilities in life: caring for vulnerable and elderly loved ones. Being tasked with this duty means that nursing homes need to ensure that they are abiding by state and federal regulations and laws, including those pertaining to staffing, training, resident supervision and nutrition. Negligence or recklessness in any of these areas, even for a short period of time, can result in tragic consequences.

To see just how devastating nursing home neglect can be, just look at a recent case that is garnering national attention. There, seven people are facing criminal charges related to their mistreatment of two nursing home residents, one of whom died. The egregious acts and inactions of these nursing home staff led to extensive bedsores that developed to gangrene, which caused one of the residents to die from septic shock. The second patient suffered physical harm linked to improper care at the nursing home.

Distracted driving: cell phone use becoming more dangerous

Distracted driving continues to be a problem across our country. A seemingly countless number of drivers take their eyes and minds off the road in order to engage in conversation with others, change the radio, eat and even groom themselves. The biggest culprit of distracted driving, though, is cell phone usage. Whether texting and driving, checking email while behind the wheel, or surfing the Internet while operating a vehicle, cell phone usage can prove extremely dangerous. A recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows just how dangerous of a problem this can be.

That study found that although overall cell phone usage amongst drivers is down, the way in which those devices are used is becoming riskier. According to the study, drivers have been found to be manipulating their phones, which includes any cell phone use other than talking on the phone, 57 percent more frequently than just four years ago. This is a stunning statistic considering this type of device usage can increase the risk of a car accident by 66 percent.

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