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Southern Indiana Personal Injury Lawyer Blog

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The Nursing Home Investigation and Selection Process
. Entrusting a loved one, such as a mother, father, sister or brother, to the care of a nursing home is one of the most difficult decisions many of us will ever make. In spite of a long, thorough investigation into suitable nursing and rest homes and assisted living centers, it is often difficult to get a true feel for the environment when you leave a loved one in the care of strangers. Often times it is not possible to witness the actual care being given so it is important to notice the overall state of care such as cleanliness, the quality and temperature of food items, how medications are delivered, changes in personality of the loved one, and missing personal items. When you arrive at the facility are the staff actually engaged in helping residents or are they out on the front porch in groups smoking, texting and checking social media on their cell phones? Has the rest home, nursing or assisted living facility changed ownership or administration often? Have medical directors changed or are they rarely or never present?What have State nursing home survey inspection findings been for the home?

Keeping Tabs on Conditions and Care

While it is likely impossible to meet the ideal conditions we would like to see for a loved one, some nursing, rest and assisted living homes fall well short of meeting even the most minimum standard of care. Sometimes failure to ensure proper staffing levels means the routine care of a loved one suffers. Pay careful attention to your loved one’s mood changes. Do they seem anxious or concerned when they see particular staff? Are you seeing a lot of different faces and are those faces less friendly than when the stay began? Do you hear yelling or exasperation from staff as you walk by other rooms, administration or the nursing station? Does your loved one exhibit signs of dehydration such as dry eyes, flaky skin or chapped lips? When you arrive, do they have a full or empty drinking cup in their room and within their reach and are they eating or refusing to eat reminiscing about home-cooked meals? Are they losing weight or exhibiting skin changes? Do you notice flies or uncleaned restroom facilities? If they had bedsores or pressure ulcers upon admission, have these gotten better or worse? If they were continent when they started are they now incontinent? Or, if they were incontinent when they started at the facility and were on a scheduled toileting program, has the facility now suggested they are continent to avoid the burden of scheduled toileting? Has your loved one fallen from a wheelchair, bed or been found wandering outside the facility?

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At one time or another, most drivers have been passed by or stuck behind a large truck hauling a trailer enclosed by a loose tarp or an open bed of rock, gravel or rip-rap. Oftentimes, the truck has a sign that reads, “NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR BROKEN WINDSHIELDS,” suggesting such vehicles are protected from the harm they may cause on the roadway. Not true.

Commercial truck drivers have a duty to ensure the safety of their cargo and equipment. Federal regulations provide that commercial truck drivers must perform a safety inspection. No shipper can force a driver to accept a load the driver believes is unsafe. Nonetheless, a shipper may face liability if a defect in the load could not be uncovered by the driver through ordinary observation.

Commercial Truck Drivers Careless loading and hauling of cargo and equipment can cause chipped paint, dents and broken windshields. However, sometimes serious and catastrophic injuries and even death can occur when a a vehicle is struck by unsecured cargo or equipment, such as a crane boom, or must leave the road to avoid such dangers. Because many companies and their insurers will seek to shift the blame to the victim for purportedly following too closely or not taking equally dangerous evasive maneuvers, the only recourse in such situations may be to seek a legal remedy.

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Many people may already associate premises liability claims with what is referred to as slip and fall injuries. However, these claims can involve a lot more than slipping on a store floor and getting hurt. In Indiana, there are a wide variety of situations that can lead to a premises liability case.

If a store or establishment has the ability and means to protect against a preventable injury, that place has the legal responsibility to enforce those protections. This can mean ensuring an uneven sidewalk is fixed or labeled as broken or uneven. If you break an ankle on an uneven sidewalk, you could have a a viable claim for monetary damages.

Banisters and sidewalks can be the source of injury just as easily as a store floor that is wet without a warning sign. If a banister leading up the stairs — inside or outside — breaks and gives way, an unexpected fall can lead to serious injuries. Also, a single step in a state of disrepair or otherwise unsafe can collapse and also lead to serious injuries.

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Not every car accident can be cut and dry to assess. In fact, many multi-vehicle car accidents can be difficult to sort out and assign any kind of culpability. One car accident in Indiana is currently being investigated as there were six vehicles involved.

The multi-vehicle accident happened around 6:30 p.m. on a Saturday evening. According to an initial assessment of the accident, a pickup truck was westbound and hit several cars that were at an intersection. Then, the same pickup truck is believed to have hit another vehicle that was southbound at the time, although there is no word for sure as to what exactly unfolded.

Authorities said a van was pushed over a curb and a red pickup truck was in the center of the intersection when the incident was assessed. Two vehicles were also said to be smashed together in front of a service station. The crash in being investigated, and four people were injured in the melee. There was no word as to exact nature or severity of any injuries suffered.

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When a driver runs a red light and smashes into another vehicle, the consequences can be far-reaching and life-altering for those in that driver’s path. This scenario is the cause of the many car accidents in Indiana. One such accident recently resulted in a man suffering critical injuries.

The accident occurred on a Sunday night as a man drove a Hummer through a red light. His vehicle struck another vehicle operated by a 32-year-old man. The victim suffered critical injuries as his vehicle was pushed into a ditch, causing him to be trapped in his vehicle until help arrived at the scene.

The driver of the Hummer left the scene. Witnesses said the Hummer was going roughly 80 mph. Police are currently working to track down the owner of the vehicle. The family of the man who was seriously injured have stated it hopes someone with information comes forward.

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The sheer force and unexpected nature of a head-on car accident can leave devastating consequences behind for the injured and for the family of victims who die as a result. Head-on car accidents in Indiana in particular are responsible for countless injuries and can be deadly for innocent victims. One recent head-on car accident took the life of a 57-year-old innocent driver.

The accident occurred on a Sunday night, roughly around 9:30 p.m. A 61-year-old man was driving north on the highway. For some reason, his car drove left of the center line and hit another vehicle head-on. That vehicle was driven by the 57-year-old woman.

That woman was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. The man who hit her vehicle was air lifted from the crash. He was being treated for serious injuries. There is currently an investigation into the accident, but police indicate they do not yet know if alcohol or drugs played a role in the car accident.

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When drivers come upon stopped or slowed traffic on the road, quick reaction may be needed to avoid an accident. Truck accidents in particular can be devastating and lead to injuries due to the sheer size of trucks on the road compared to the other vehicles that share those roadways. One recent truck accident in Indiana led to injuries for two people in another vehicle.

The accident took place on a stretch of road on a Saturday morning. There was slowed or stopped traffic on the roadway when a Freightliner driven by a 26-year-old came upon the scene. The Freightliner hit a car with a driver and passenger.

The car that was rear-ended was a four-door Mazda. Both people inside who were injured were 23 years old. One was taken to a nearby hospital while the second injured passenger was lifelined to a hospital in Indianapolis. There was no word as to any citations or charges against the driver of the truck that hit the Mazda. There was also no word as to the extent of the injuries suffered by the women.

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Any kind of vehicle collision can spell disaster for innocent drivers and passengers traveling on the roadways. When the situation involves truck accidents, the results can be even more devastating for innocent victims due to the sheer size and force of tractor-trailer trucks traveling on Indiana highways. Despite the unpredictability of truck accidents, there are common reasons or situations that may make a truck accident more likely.

One reason a truck may lose control and wreck into an innocent victim in a car is that trucks sometimes have an unbalanced load. This can lead to swerving and tipping of a truck. Also, when an accident occurs and tipping over of a load results, that in itself can pose a hazard on the road and may endanger people who were not even involved in the original crash.

Another common reason a truck may crash is driver fatigue. While drivers are only supposed to drive for a certain number of hours, some may be tempted by incentives to go above that amount, putting others at risk. Equipment failure can also lead to truck accidents. This can include faulty brakes or improperly maintained tires.

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Shopping at stores is a regular part of life for most people. These visits have become so common that many may take for granted that they will be safe while visiting. Unfortunately, this is not always the case as store patrons are hurt every day in incidents that could have been prevented had the store taken certain steps. The injuries that could occur in stores run the gamut but include tripping or slipping or having an object fall upon a shopper, inflicting harm.

Sometimes the injuries are minor and don’t disrupt the life of the shopper. Other times, however, they are catastrophic and leave the person unsure of how they will complete tasks they once took for granted. For people in the latter situation, how to cover costs associated with everyday life may become an issue. Depending on the circumstances surrounding their injury it is possible these individuals could decide to file a premises liability lawsuit against the store where they were hurt.

To succeed in this type of lawsuit several things must be established. The first is that the owner of the store either knew or, in the alternative, should have known that there was a dangerous condition located on the store property. Second, that the owner of the store did not adequately maintain the store property or inspect it regularly. Next, it must be shown that if that dangerous condition did not exist, the patron would not have been hurt and the injury suffered by the shopper was due to that dangerous condition. Last, the injured customer must show that he or she suffered actual “damages” due to it.

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When most people think about devastating or life-changing injuries, their minds may naturally gravitate towards car accidents. However, it may surprise Indiana residents to realize falls related to premises liability situations are the number one cause of injuries. Injuries related to premises liability should be taken seriously and dealt with properly to ensure the best recover and the least amount of financial hardship.

The first step to evaluating if compensation for a slip and fall injury is possible is to understand what constitutes premises liability. Slipping and falling on a floor that is wet or slippery and not properly labeled or being injured by a broken step at a store certainly may be premises liability. However, many may not realize that being bitten by a dog and suffering injuries can also lead to a premises liability case.

A slip and fall premises liability situation can lead to mounting medical bills. Also, recovery time or rehabilitative needs may mean significant time away from work. If the injury has led to the death of a loved one, the costs of a funeral may be financially devastating also.

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