Archive for January, 2015

Kansas City Personal Injury Attorneys Answer Frequently Asked Questions about Nursing Home Abuse

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

As our nation’s population ages, more and more people are faced with the decision of how to care for their elderly parents. While some families opt to care their loved ones in their own home, for many people, meeting the needs of an elderly parent can be too much. Making the decision to put a parent into a nursing home can be one of the hardest decisions a person has to make. Often times the biggest concern a person has is whether the facility will treat their loved one properly.

It is estimated that there are over 1 million reports of elder neglect and/or abuse in nursing homes each year. If you are considering putting or already have a friend or relative in a nursing home, you probably have questions about his or her safety. The following are just a handful of the most frequently asked questions people have regarding nursing home abuse:

Question #1: What is nursing home neglect?

When a person becomes a resident of a nursing home, there are certain standards of care that must be met. If the staff at the facility are negligent or indifferent to the needs of the resident, then this is considered neglect. While neglect can be intentional, most often it is unintentional and due to a lack of staffing on the part of the facility.

Question #2: How is nursing home neglect different from nursing home abuse?

Nursing home abuse is most often an intentional act by a staff member to the resident. A resident can also be abused by another resident, due to lack of adequate oversight by the staff. The most common forms of abuse include:

  • Physical abuse: Results in a physical (or bodily) injury or unwanted contact to the resident. Examples include a staff member hitting a resident or failing to turn the resident regularly, resulting in bedsores.
  • False imprisonment: Occurs when a staff member purposely isolates a resident in his or her room or other area of the facility. This often done by taking away the resident’s walker or wheel chair or threatening him or her with another form of abuse.
  • Financial abuse: A staff member can steal a resident’s money or property or coerce the resident into giving the staff member these items.
  • Mental abuse: A resident who is mentally abused may be threatened with neglect, abuse and/or verbally assaulted.
  • Sexual abuse: Occurs when a staff member has sexual contact or harasses a resident sexually. Unwanted sexual contact with another resident would also qualify as abuse.

Question #3: Are there any signs that can warn me that my loved one is being abused or neglected?

That are many signs that can indicate abuse or neglect, including:

  • bedsores;
  • bruising or wounds;
  • broken bones and/or unexplained injuries;
  • generalized fear/anxiety or change in personality;
  • malnutrition, dehydration or dramatic weight loss;
  • signs of overmedication/sedation;
  • depression or anger; and
  • contraction of a sexually transmitted disease.

Question #4: What should I do if I suspect abuse or neglect?

If you suspect abuse it is important to act quickly. You may want to consider informing the authorities, filing a complaint with your local social services agency, and/or moving your family member to another facility. Of course, you may also want to consider talking with an attorney to get an understanding of your legal options as well.

If you suspect that your loved one is not receiving proper care or is being abused at a nursing home, you need to seek out help as soon as possible. The dedicated Kansas City Personal Injury Attorneys at Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. have helped clients in situations of abuse and/or neglect fight back. To talk to one of our compassionate Kansas City Personal Injury Attorney, please contact us today at (816) 472-4673 to schedule a consultation. You can trust the law firm of Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P to work hard for you.

Kansas City Motorists: How to Avoid a Tractor-Trailer Accident

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Many motorists are unaware of the dangers that large commercial trucks pose on the roadways. For example, in late December near Kansas City, an 18-wheel tractor-trailer crashed into the rear end of a passenger car that had come to a near stop on the road. According to witness accounts, the truck made no attempt to avoid hitting the car. All five of the vehicle’s occupants perished in the crash, including three children under the age of three.

While some accidents are completely unavoidable, it is important to be aware of the ways you can protect yourself and your passengers while on the road. A driver needs to adopt a different mindset when maneuvering near these large trucks. To help avoid being involved in a tractor-trailer accident, keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • If you cannot keep up with traffic, pull completely off of the road. Motorists put themselves in great danger when they drive at a rate much slower than the speed of traffic. This often occurs when a person’s vehicle is malfunctioning. Drivers of large trucks especially may not notice that a car is traveling at a slower speed until it is too late for them to react properly. If you cannot exit the highway, the next best thing is to make sure you are completely on the shoulder with your hazard lights on.
  • Allow extra space. Driving next to or behind a tractor-trailer is not the same as driving next to another passenger vehicle. These large trucks are not only big, but they are also extremely heavy. Thus tractor-trailers require a much longer distance to come to a complete stop than a car. This is why tailgating a tractor-trailer is so dangerous. If you have to pass in front of truck make sure you allow plenty of space and do so as quickly as a possible.
  • Stay visible.  Due to their considerable size, tractor-trailers have large blind spots. Which means that if the driver of a large truck cannot see you, he or she could hit you. Therefore, when driving near a tractor-trailer, make sure you can see the driver’s rearview mirrors or the driver. It is safe to assume that if you cannot see either, then then driver cannot see you. This is why it is best to avoid driving next to a semi-truck for any significant length of time.

 Be patient. Highway driving requires a certain level of driver patience. It is easy to become annoyed with a truck driver that may be driving too closely or making what appear to be aggressive maneuvers. In this situation, a driver may be tempted to give the truck driver a “brake check” or engage in another type of retaliatory behavior. Road rage is a dangerous game, especially with a large truck. If the truck driver is not able to stop or brake in time, you could die. Cars and even large SUVs are no match when compared to the size of a tractor-trailer.

 If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries after being involved in a tractor-trailer accident, the experienced Kansas Personal Injury Attorneys at Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. can help. Our team of skilled Kansas City Personal Injury Attorneys will make sure that your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve. The team of Personal Injury Attorneys at the Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. have helped countless injured victims around the area, both in Kansas and Missouri. To find out how the attorneys at Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. can help you, call us today at (816) 472-4673 to schedule an initial consultation. At Hubbard & Kurtz, L.L.P. we will make getting back on your feet easier on you.