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White Plains New York Personal Injury Legal Blog

Falls: A leading cause of injuries in nursing homes

Falls happen often in nursing homes. Sometimes, they're not a result of foul play but are due to an elderly person's weakness or balance issues. Other times, they are a result of nurses or aides who don't come to the elder's aid when needed.

Millions of older people live in nursing homes, and many of them fall. These people, usually 65 years of age or older, may not tell others that they've fallen. That's part of the risk, because without knowledge that a person has fallen or why, it's hard to address the issue.

What you should know about aggressive driving

As a New York motorist, you may be used to navigating the busy roadways alongside other large trucks and vehicles. You may be familiar with traffic congestion and, like many other people, find it difficult to get to work, important meetings and appointments while trudging through the piled-up vehicles all hurrying to various destinations. In some cases, these situations can get overwhelming, and you may experience feelings of anger, aggression and rage. Road rage is not uncommon in New York and across the United States. In fact, a report released by AAA reported that as many as 80 percent of motorists have felt road rage at least once while driving in the last 12 months. Road rage can lead to aggressive driving behaviors, which in turn, can cause devastating car accidents, injuries and even deaths.

Aggressive drivers may engage in hazardous behaviors on the road, including the following:

  •          Yelling profanities and using offensive hand gestures
  •          Obsessive horn honking
  •          Erratically switching lanes between other vehicles
  •          Tailgating or driving too closely behind another vehicle
  •          Failure to obey traffic signals, pedestrian crosswalks and signs
  •          Cutting off other drivers and failing to yield to their right of way

What are some lesser-known instances of nursing home abuse?

You expect nothing but the best when you entrust a nursing home with the care of your elderly loved one. Sadly, this is often not the case. Nursing home abuse and neglect are common in New York and the rest of the country. When the topic of nursing home abuse comes up, you might think about a caregiver slapping your relative or neglecting to feed and bathe him or her. While these are common abuses, they are far from the only ones your loved one might suffer.

According to FindLaw, numerous types of abuse and neglect that go beyond physical abuse may be prevalent in the nursing home you trust to care for your loved one. They may include the following:

  • Failing to administer necessary and sometimes life-preserving medications
  • Not keeping track of a resident’s whereabouts, resulting in a resident wandering off and getting lost or injured
  • Emotional and verbal abuse, such as taunting, shouting or threatening to harm the resident
  • Financial exploitation and manipulation
  • Sexual abuse and harassment, ranging from crude comments to coercion, touching while the resident is unconscious or incapacitated and physical assault of a sexual nature

Making you whole again

Many things that people do in New York are not completely safe. In a perfect world, everybody would realize this and do everything possible to ensure that their neighbors do not suffer injury. Unfortunately, we often find through our work here at La Sorsa & Beneventano Attorneys at Law that this world is far from the harmonious place we would like it to be.

If someone's negligence were to cause you an injury — if you were to slip and fall on poorly maintained property, for example — that could be an example of our civilized system breaking down. We count on each other for our safety — and that is far from an unwritten rule. It is a law, written into our state's statutes on premises injuries and supported by a history of judicial decisions. 

When a car crash results in catastrophic burns

At La Sorsa & Beneventano Attorneys at Law in New York, we are all too familiar with the catastrophic injuries you can suffer in a motor vehicle accident. One of the worst of these injuries is a serious burn.

Unfortunately, the small enclosed space of your car’s interior and the many things in it that can catch fire or become hot enough to burn you make for a deadly combination.

Safety tips for winter storms in New York

Winter draws closer every day, and you know it is going to bring severe storms that blanket New York in snow and ice. It happens every year, and it leads to accidents and injuries. While these incidents may start with serious car accidents, it is important to remember that snow is a hazard anywhere. Many people get hurt in slip-and-fall accidents on uncleared sidewalks, for instance. Others fall in parking lots or at bus stops.

Do not underestimate the damage that a simple fall can do. Broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, cuts and lacerations: Winter weather leads to every type of injury you can imagine.

Do not let an accident ruin your life

Nobody is entirely surefooted. Accidents happen in New York, just as they do everywhere else. The difference is that, in this state, we have a very specific set of rules that determine who would be responsible for any injuries you incur from a slip or a fall.

Any accident you have would probably not be all your fault, so please do not feel as though you should shoulder the burden of your medical bills or other expenses alone. In fact, by pursuing a case against a negligent party, you could help others avoid the same injuries as you incurred.

What happens when doctors leave objects behind?

If you have ever been in the operating room for a surgical procedure, you may have felt at ease that the surgeons and surgical staff was adequately trained and licensed to perform the operation. You are essentially putting your life in the hands of these medical professionals, as well as their experience and knowledge. Surprisingly enough, however, there are a number of incidents where medical negligence causes serious problems for people who leave the operating room. One of the potential complications occurs when physicians leave surgical instruments behind in a patient’s surgical site. These shocking medical mistakes occur more often than you may think.

According to a study published by John Hopkins University, cases involving retained surgical items occur at least 39 times every week in the United States. Surgical sponges are some of the most common items left behind. Surgeons use these sponges to soak up blood, and other bodily fluid from the surgical site. However, once the sponges become saturated with fluid, it is easy for them to blend into the surrounding environment and get overlooked. In one incident, a surgical sponge that was left inside a woman’s operating site adhered to her organs and caused serious infection, nearly taking her life.

Study: Hands free cellphones and distraction

In New York, and in several other states across the nation, drivers are prohibited from using hand-held cellphones while on the road. As a result, a number of motorists have started using hands-free cellphones while behind the wheel in order to stay in compliance and lower the risk of becoming involved in an accident. The problem lies in the fact that hands-free cellphones may not be as safe as some may think.

A study released by AAA discovered that hands-free cellphones are still distractive and may be a danger to those on the road. During the study, researchers measured the amount of cognitive distraction caused by hands-free cellphones in comparison to other distractive tasks, including listening to the radio, talking with another passenger in the car, talking using a hand-held and hands-free cellphone and compose an email using voice activated technology. Participants engaged in these activities while operating a simulator vehicle, as well as a regular vehicle equipped with monitoring devices.

Understaffing in nursing homes leads to neglect

Understaffing in nursing homes is a huge problem across the United States. It is estimated that 90 percent of all nursing homes in the country are suffering from understaffing. The problem is mainly a result of nursing homes being focused on profit, and, therefore, unwillingness to raise salaries or pay for a larger workforce.

While it is recognized that nursing homes need to operate as a business, when they refuse to hire enough staff, and, as a result, the patients in the nursing home suffer, it can constitute unlawful negligence.

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