Personal Injury Lawsuit Settlement Should I Settle My Personal Injury Case or Go To Trial? Whether you have suffered injuries during a car accident, a slip and fall accident, a cycling accident, or any other type of accident that has caused you to sustain injuries, you will be required to make certain decisions about your claim against the negligent parties responsible for your injuries. When you decide to go to litigation following an injury, it’s important you speak with your lawyer about the pros and cons of settling your personal injury case outside of court, or going to trial. The truth is, only a small percentage of personal injury cases ever make it to trial. The vast majority of claims settle outside of court. Below we discuss some important factors to consider when deciding whether to go to trial or to settle your claim. While each case is unique, for the most part, settling your claim without going to trial has some really strong advantages. Your lawyer can help you decide which route will be more favorable, depending on your unique circumstance. Timeframe Oftentimes, a personal injury lawsuit settlement is faster, meaning you will receive your benefits quicker than going to trial. Majority of cases settle outside of court. For most cases, a judge will request the two parties at least try to come to an agreement, through a process known as mediation, before the case reaches trial. Not only do settlements put money in your pocket faster to help you pay things such as medical bills and lost wages, they also require less effort and resources. Because courts are often backed-up with cases, getting to trial could take months or even years. Settling a case happens quickly, sometimes just weeks after your accident occurred. Costs There will be substantially less legal fees when settling your personal injury case. When a case goes to court, a lawyer is required to spend far more time and resources on your case than if it is settled, which means higher costs. Privacy What happens in court stays in court. Well, not exactly… What happens in court is on public record, and the transcripts of the court proceedings can be accessed by the general public. Settlement negotiations are done in private, and are not part of any public record. So, if you have sustained an injury that you may not want the general public to know about, or perhaps may tarnish your professional reputation, settlement could be the way to go. Assurance Another pro of personal injury lawsuit settlement is that you know you will walk away with some sort of compensation. A major risk of going to trial is that you may end up walking away with nothing, should the jury not side with you. One of the biggest benefits of settlement is the total control over the amount of compensation you receive. When your case goes to jury trial, you take a gamble. The end result of your case lies solely on the decision of the jury and court. While there is a good chance you end up receiving more money than you would if you had settled out of court, you also risk receiving nothing. Less Stress Even with a seasoned lawyer on your side, going to court can be a stressful experience. Testifying in front of a jury and judge can cause unwanted anxiety. Going to mediation is a much less stressful situation, as it is less formal, and typically there are far fewer people who will need to hear your side of the case. With just you, your lawyer, the defendant, the defendant’s lawyer and the mediator, there are less people in the room to cause intimidation. Conclusion It’s important to find an experienced personal injury lawyer who will advocate for you and help guide you through this sometimes stressful process. While your lawyer will help you in making important decisions regarding your case, it is ultimately up to you whether you settle your injury case or go to trial. A good Florida personal injury lawyer will negotiate with the insurance companies, and work tirelessly to obtain the best possible settlement for you. If you have any questions about this topic or other topics relating to Florida personal injury, don’t hesitate to call Robert Gluck at (877) Gluck-Law.
National Baby Safety Month | Baby Safety Tips September is National Baby Safety Month, which makes it a great moment to familiarize yourself with baby safety information. In honor of this national observance we have put together a list of baby safety tips and surprising home hazards for new parents. We hope that after reading our blog, you can walk away feeling a bit more confident and prepared while caring for your new baby. Parenting can be overwhelming and stressful, especially for new parents. There is a plethora of advice thrown at you, yet it is common to feel ill-prepared and nervous bringing a baby home. There are so many fears that many first time (and second and third!) parents feel. While we know you will do your very best to keep your new baby away from harm, it’s never a bad idea to familiarize yourself with a few safety tips and advice on keeping your little bundle of joy safe. Just keep in mind it is totally normal to feel overwhelmed and under prepared. Parenting is a continual learning process. Just remember, you are doing a great job, and it is ok to reach out and ask for help or advice. Baby Safety Tips Product Safety - Before adding those coveted items to your baby registry, make sure the products are age appropriate and safe for your baby. Always familiarize yourself with the instructions and warning labels. Using toys correctly, as outlined in the manufacturers documentation of said products, is very important for the safety of your baby. Remember to discontinue the use of the product once your baby outgrows the age specified on the packaging or instruction manual. Baby Proofing - While there are the obvious home hazards such as sharp objects, electrical cords and medicine cabinets, keep in mind there are always hazards that do not appear as obvious. These can be toxic plants, cleaning products, loose tablecloths that can be yanked down, toilets, dishwashers and more. Also remember to cover electrical outlets, install safety latches on cabinets, and remove hanging cords from curtains. Home, Stairs and Furniture - Place baby gates at the top and bottom of stairs. It is best to do this before the baby becomes mobile. Secure furniture to the walls, as babies like to climb and explore, and loose furniture can fall on children causing great harm and even death. Place bumpers on sharp corners. Another tip is to have your paint tested for lead, and either remove or seal it. Fire Safety - Install smoke detectors in every room, and test them at least twice a year. Also, have at least one working fire extinguisher in the home. Bathroom Safety - Never leave your baby alone in the bathtub. It takes mere minutes for a child to drown, and it can happen in less than one inch of water. It is best to bring everything you need with you to the bathroom before you begin to bathe your baby. If you need to leave, bring your baby with you. Never rely on other children to safeguard your baby. Check the water temperature before putting your baby in the bath. Always drain the water completely after use. Install safety locks on toilets, as it is possible for a baby to fall in. Car Seat Safety - Always familiarize yourself with the reading and instructional material provided by the manufacturer. Children should travel in a rear-facing car seat for as long as they are able to per the car seat manufacturer’s instructions. Register your car seat with the manufacturer so you can be notified for any issues or recalls. The back-middle seat is the safest place for young children to ride. It is best to not use second-hand car seats, as they may have functions that don’t work properly. Home Hazards Magnets - If ingested, magnets can cause great internal damage. Never leave any magnets lying around and avoid toys with magnetic functions. Tipovers - Tipovers of furniture and electronics are one of the leading causes of injury to young children. Remember to safely secure all furniture like dressers, cabinets and televisions using hardware or furniture straps. Loose Change - If ingested, coins can also lead to severe internal damage. Have a safe place where you keep your loose change, away from babies' reach. Kitchen Safety - Never have a baby or child in the kitchen while you are cooking. Scalding water or hot pots and handles can cause severe burns. Also, remember to keep coffee and tea mugs away from the reach of children. Carpets - Loose rugs and carpets can cause slip and fall injuries. Use a grip or pad underneath to avoid injury. Loose Cords - Any cord or string can be a potential strangulation hazard. Always check blinds and curtains for loose cords, as they have killed young children. Other cords can come from electronics, computers, exercise equipment and more. Cleaning Products - Keep all cleaning supplies and products away from children. Most products are toxic and deadly if ingested. Batteries - Batteries contain extremely toxic compounds that can lead to severe injury and death if swallowed. Never allow your child to tamper with toys or electronics that have batteries, and always properly dispose of unwanted batteries. Our goal is that after reading this blog, you feel a bit more confident about keeping your baby safe in your home. You may also want to extend these tips to households where your baby may spend a lot of time, such as their grandparent’s or babysitters’ home. You can never be too careful when it comes to baby safety. If you have any questions, feel free to call my office anytime at (877) Gluck-Law. If your baby was injured due to unsafe conditions on someone else’s property, I may be able to help you get the justice you and your child deserves. Call me for a free case review. Take care and stay safe
Premises Liability Statute of Limitations in Florida If you were injured on someone else’s property in Florida, and wish to file a lawsuit against the property owner as a result, you must do so within four years of the occurrence or your claim will forever be barred by Florida’s Statue of Limitations. Florida, like many other states, imposes a time limit by statute (statute of limitations) for various types of cases. All 50 states have different statutes of limitation for different types of claims. For example, in Florida, while a premises liability lawsuit must be brought within four years of the occurrence, a medical malpractice claim must be brought within two years. A claim for breach of a written contract must be brought within five years of the date the agreement was signed by the parties. Although each of these different types of cases have slightly different statute of limitations periods, they are all designed to accomplish the same goal. That goal would be for defendants accused of a wrongdoing to not have such an accusation handing over their heads for an unlimited period of time. It was felt only fair that there must be some closure for one that is accused of wrongdoing after a certain number of years, without activity on the claim. For an injury on someone else’s property, the legislature in Florida felt that four years was more than enough time to recover from injuries and present a claim. By four years, an injured party would have either settled the claim with the property owner’s insurance company or would know by then that a lawsuit would be necessary to ask a jury to determine a fair outcome for the case. Additional reasons for not wanting a case to drag on so long is that witnesses may disappear and memories of what happened might fade. It wouldn’t be fair to make a defendant wait that long and to then have to worry about what evidence may remain, so many years later, to defend the accusations made against him or her. If you are hurt on someone else’s property, after four years, it is presumed you no longer wish to pursue a claim. At that point, the property owner can be assured that a lawsuit can no longer just “pop up” out of nowhere. If you have been injured on someone else’s property or have any other type of personal injury claim in Florida, don’t wait too long to hire a lawyer to assist you in seeking the justice you deserve. Waiting too long can be the end of your case. Call me if you have a claim that has been lingering for many years and may be getting close to approaching an expiration of a particular statute of limitations. We can file a lawsuit for you before time runs out, if necessary. Call us any time for a free case review at 877 GLUCK-LAW.
Slip and Fall Injury Lawyer in Florida In Florida, Following these 5 Slip and Fall Prevention Tips Could Just Save Your Injury Case Over the past 32 years, I have seen how the value of a slip and fall personal injury case can be significantly reduced by the injured party’s comparative negligence. Comparative negligence is a legal term that in Florida, results in a reduction of any recovery you may be entitled to based on your own negligent actions that contributed to the fall or to the severity of the injuries you sustained. An example of this would be that the full value of an injury claim for someone who fractured an arm from slipping on a wet floor in a supermarket may be $50,000.00. (as an example only) If you failed to follow the basic fall prevention tips below, a judge or jury could say you were a certain percentage at fault for contributing to your own injury. If that percentage is 50%, by example, your $50,000.00 recovery would be reduced after the trial down by 50% to $25,000.00. If you have complied with the five slip and fall prevention tips outlined in this article, you would likely avoid any reductions in the full value of your injury claim, should you be forced to present such a claim to a judge or jury due to an injury on someone else’s property that was caused by their failure to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition, failure to warn you of the condition, and/or failure to timely remedy the condition. Footwear 1. Be sure to wear properly fitting shoes that have good grip and tread. If not, your footwear could contribute to causing your fall. As a result, even if the property had a puddle of dirty water that had been sitting there for many minutes, allowing the property owner adequate time to see it, put up wet floor signs and then clean it up, your claim could still be significantly reduced if your failure to wear the proper shoes caused you to slip. Wearing crocks or “flip flops” or other type shoes are a real problem in these types of cases. Vision 2. Make sure to have up to date vision screenings, and wear glasses and contacts if needed. If you fail to do so, the defendant in a slip and fall case could argue that your poor vision caused or contributed to you not observing a condition that others were able to see and avoid. Listen 3. Listen to your surroundings as your hearing can help you predict a future event, or hear a warning. Having up to date hearing screenings are also helpful and will prevent the defendant in your slip and fall case from arguing that your poor hearing prevented you from hearing an adequate warning regarding the condition that caused your fall. Be Aware 4. Be aware of and mindful of your surroundings and always be on the lookout for unexpected changes in your daily routine. This awareness of your surroundings might cause you to notice a hole in the ground, an uneven sidewalk, a foreign substance on the flooring surface in a food store or other such hazards that might cause a slip and fall incident or a trip and fall incident. Go Slow 5. Be more cautious during rainy weather. The slower you go the less likely you will slip and fall. If you do, your method of and speed of walking will be analyzed. Don’t forget that a reasonably prudent person will walk slower during rainy weather. In conclusion, remembering the fall prevention tips above will not only keep you safe but if they don’t, following them could save you thousands of dollars in terms of the value of your injury claim, in the event you do fall and get hurt on someone else’s property. If you or a loved one has such a claim pending and would like my case evaluation at no charge, call me at 877 Gluck-Law 24 hours a day. See below our 5 General Slip and Fall Prevention Tips:
Warning to Florida’s Distracted Drivers: Distracted Driving in Florida Could Cost You Thousands Not Covered by Insurance What is a Distracted Driver? A distracted driver is a driver performing an activity of any kind that diverts attention away from the tasks necessary to drive safely, such as paying attention to the roadway, other vehicles and your vehicle. Thousands of crashes per year occur in Florida due to drivers being distracted by various things including: talking on the phone using a GPS texting using a phone for other apps eating while driving passenger distractions of various kinds loud music Using a Cell Phone While Driving Did you know that police officers can now stop someone they observe texting and issue a traffic citation for that? Section 316.305 Florida Statute, also known as Wireless Communications While Driving Law, states that a person may not operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers or symbols into a wireless communications device to text, email and instant message. Furthermore, Section 316.306 Florida Statute prohibits the use of a wireless communications device in a handheld manner in school and work zones. Wireless communications device refers to a cell phone, a tablet, a laptop, a two-way messaging device, or an electronic game that is used or capable of being used in a handheld manner. According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were a reported 48,537 crashes caused by distracted driving in 2020, with 2,756 causing serious bodily injury, and 308 deaths. Risks of Distracted Driving What you may not know is that even if not observed texting in your vehicle by a police officer or other witnesses, you can still have major problems in the event of a crash while doing so. In fact, if you were talking on your phone, texting, making entries on your GPS app. or actively using other apps at the time of a crash, you could be facing money damages that will come out of your pocket that will not be covered by your insurance company. Typically, a lawyer for the injured party will attempt to obtain your cell phone records by issuing a subpoena to your cell phone company that will show your phone usage at the exact time of the crash. If they can show you were actively using the phone and as a result, due to inattentiveness to your driving, caused a car crash resulting in injuries to another party, you can be facing a claim for punitive damages. What are Punitive Damages? Punitive damages are money damages that a jury can award the injured party against you to punish you for driving while distracted by any electronic device, especially if it can be shown that you were texting at the time of the crash. Punitive damages, in almost all cases, ARE NOT COVERED by auto insurance so you could become personally responsible for many thousands of dollars in punitive damages out of your own personal savings, even if you have a one-million-dollar insurance policy. This risk of a claim against you for money damages that your auto insurance company would not cover you for could possibly extend to situations where your inattentiveness to the road was due to other reasons besides the use of electronic devices. These situations would include the reasons mentioned above, but for the most part, the real risk is getting caught texting while driving and causing a crash. Cases Involving Distracted Driving In conclusion, it is not just for your safety that you should remain attentive to the roadway while driving, but for your own economic well being also. Safe driving out there and call me if you have any questions about how texting or using electronic devices at the time of a crash might affect your case. Based in Plantation and Naples Florida, the Law Offices of Robert Gluck represents clients throughout South Florida who have suffered injuries in an accident caused by a distracted driver. Call us today for a free consultation at (877) Gluck-Law, or email us anytime.
What are the Top Dangers of Motorcycles on the Road in Florida | Davie Florida Motorcycle Accident I have been a trial lawyer since 1989 and since that time have represented hundreds of motorcycle accident victims throughout the State of Florida. I have garnered a great understanding of the nuances of this type of accident case. I have learned over the years that presenting motorcycle crash cases to a jury requires a unique set of litigation skills that not all trial lawyers possess. Motorcycle accident and injury cases are different than others and require the lawyer you select to understand the psychological predispositions and opinions (negative in most cases) many people have of motorcycles and motorcycle riders. Your lawyer would also need to recognize that Florida is one of the most dangerous places for a motorcycle rider in the entire country for several reasons. This blog addresses those reasons and what you can do to protect yourself if you ride in Florida. Top Dangers of Motorcycles on the Road in Florida First, there are just more motorcycles here than in other states. We have well over half a million registered motorcycles in Florida. The popularity of motorcycles here culminates each year with the Daytona Bike Week celebration, one of the largest type events in the country each year. With so many motorcycles concentrated in such a small area, that event alone results in significant injury crashes and motorcycle fatalities annually. We have a large population of senior citizens in Florida who are not required to take driving re-examination as they get into their 80’s. This is a significant factor in many crashes. Our younger population has their share of distractions as well. Especially with the elderly, the size of a motorcycle makes it difficult for them to judge its distance. Our brain sees a smaller object and quickly sends a message that this object must be far away. Since a motorcycle is smaller than a car, we sometimes misjudge the distance and the motorcycle is much closer than we originally perceived. This is the cause of many intersectional collisions when a vehicle turns in front of a motorcycle. An additional factor contributing to increased danger in Florida for motorcycles is that we have two highways that are made for biking. I-75 and I-95 are very popular and easy routs with long stretches of open roads. We also have miles and miles of roads along the various beaches of Florida and the beautiful beachside scenery up and down this very long state serves as a distraction to the motorcyclists as well as drivers of the cars and trucks around them. In regard to Fatalities and serious injuries, Florida’s increase in both these categories over the years is mainly due to the fact that our beautiful weather invites long open rides, until the thunderstorms and hurricanes hit and cause many roadway issues and an increase in crashes as a result. Contact our Davie Florida Motorcycle Accident Attorney Wearing appropriate gear such as the right helmet, boots and clothing, along with riding at safe speeds with people you know and trust can significantly increase your chances of avoiding a Florida Motorcycle Crash. If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle crash in Florida, call me now to discuss your situation. I can be reached 24 hours a day on my cell phone at 954-895-7455 or you can check out my website at www.robertgluck.com.
If you have been involved in a car crash, the force of the crash can cause a blow to your head or body that can result in your brain pushing up against the interior lining of the skull. This activity sometimes causes bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain. Recognizing a possible brain injury from a car crash is critical not only for your treating medical providers to properly diagnose and treat you, but also for your lawyer to recognize and understand how this type of injury could affect your case. The terms mild, moderate or severe are used to describe the degrees of damage to the brain from a trauma such as a car crash. Many times, this type of injury, especially if mild, will get overlooked as everyone concentrates on treating obvious neck and back injuries. This blog will explore the signs of both mild traumatic brain injury after a car crash as well as moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries. As we discuss these signs, no mater how severe, always see your doctor if you have suffered any type of blow to the head. As it relates to both types of brain injury, loss of consciousness at the scene is the most significant event that should alert everyone that a possible brain injury may have occurred. Mild Brain Injury In regard to those brain injuries that would be medically classified as Mild, some signs would include headaches that may worsen over time, repeated nausea or vomiting, convulsions or seizures, clear fluids draining from the ears or nose, dilation of the pupils of one or both eyes, fatigue, speech problems or dizziness. In addition to physical symptoms there could be sensory problems such as a bad taste in the mouth, change in smell, blurred vision or ringing in the ears. Cognitive and behavioral symptoms such as memory or concentration problems, mood swings, depression, sleep issues or anxiousness can develop in these mild traumatic brain injury cases as well. Moderate to Severe Brain Injury Moderate to severe brain injuries are manifested by many of the same symptoms as above, but just more severe, such as loss of consciousness for an extended period, persistent headaches that worsen, repeated vomiting or nausea, inability to awaken from sleep, loss of coordination and weakness or numbness in fingers and toes. Cognitive symptoms from a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury could include profound confusion, slurred speech, unusual/combative behavior and a general state of being agitated. There are many new innovative treatments available for brain injury victims and being properly diagnosed is the first step. Thereafter, an experienced personal injury lawyer will need to fully understand the extent of the injury along with all possible future medical care that would be necessary. Even with treatment, many of these injuries leave the injured party with some level of permanent injury. It is for those unlucky few that having the right lawyer is the most critical. They will need monetary compensation now for future care, pain and suffering and possible loss of ability to earn income in the future. If you have questions about how to properly investigate, document and present your brain injury claim to an insurance company in the most effective way possible, call Robert Gluck now for a free consultation at 877-Gluck-Law or on his cell phone 24 hours a day at 954-895-7455. You can also call the office for a free in person consultation any time at 954-583-8999.
Social media and personal injury claims: here is what to consider. Don’t let a seemingly innocent social media post undercut the value of your personal injury case. In our latest blog, Florida personal injury attorney Robert Gluck examines the important topic of social media, and how it can impact a future or ongoing personal injury case. While it might be second nature these days to share current events in your life on social media, it can severely impact the results of your personal injury case. It is in your best interest to withhold from posting on social media if you have suffered an injury in an accident, or have filed a personal injury claim. The defense can hire a private investigator to not only search your social profiles, but also the profiles of your family, friends and even witnesses. They will challenge the credibility of your claims, and meticulously look for any discrepancies with what you claim in your case and what you share on your social platforms. The defense may request an order from the court to use photos and videos acquired from social media as evidence. This may lead to the judge finding that the conduct of the plaintiff contradicts the allegations of the claim. Case Study In 2014 a personal injury case was filed that made headlines. David Hall and Glenn Taylor of Utah made national news when the duo recorded themselves toppling over an ancient rock formation in Goblin Valley State Park. Not only were they both stripped of scout troop leader status, but they each faced a third-degree felony criminal mischief charge. They fittingly were dubbed the “Gobblin Toppers”. But it doesn’t end there. A month before the two filmed and posted to YouTube a video of them pushing over this famed rock formation, Glenn Taylor had filed a personal injury lawsuit claiming that he suffered ‘debilitating’ physical injuries as the result of a car accident he was involved in years prior. The defense then used this video to argue that Taylor was not “debilitated” because he was able to hike the dirt trails at the park and physically push over the formation, followed by laughing and jumping up and down. The defense lawyer filed a ‘motion to dismiss’, and the case was later dismissed. According to the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, it was deemed to be the most ridiculous lawsuit of 2014. Both men pleaded guilty to criminal charges. Tips for Using Social Media Florida injury lawyers should advise their clients to disable their social media accounts for the time being. If you are not comfortable disabling your accounts, there are certain steps you can take to reduce the chance of jeopardizing your personal injury claim. Follow these tips to ensure you don't post anything that may harm your case. Don’t share any photos or information of your accident on social media Refrain from discussing how you feel or what medical treatments you are involved in that could be case related. Only accept friend requests from people you know in real life Avoid ‘checking in’ to locations that can show your activity and involvement in physical activities. Remove yourself from Facebook search results Make sure your privacy settings are as ‘private’ as possible. At the same time understand that in the social world, nothing is ever really private Set your tagged photos to be viewed by “Only Me” Avoid posting while your case is active If you think you might have a case that we can help you win, please call me today for a FREE consultation: 954-583-8999 in Broward, 239-403-3728 in Naples and 877-GluckLaw from anywhere in Florida.
Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Florida | How Can They Impact Your Personal Injury Case? Motorcycle Helmet Laws in Florida fall in the middle of the spectrum, as compared to other states. Some require Helmets and Eye Protection with no exemptions and others require no helmets or eye protection. Florida has come out somewhat in the middle. Under Florida Law, there are three things you need to know: First, helmets and eye protection are required for any motorcycle occupant under 21. Second, all other motorcyclists (over 21) and motorcycle passengers are required to wear helmets UNLESS they are exempt from doing so. To be exempt, you must have proof of insurance coverage for $10,000.00 to cover medical expenses in the event that a crash causes injury. Third, all riders must wear eye protection even if they are exempt from the helmet requirements. Florida has decided that for young adults, the state must step in and protect them from themselves. They basically allow you until the age of 21 to get into the habit of wearing helmets whenever on a motorcycle and once you are 21 you are on your own as far as the State of Florida is concerned. At the Law Offices of Robert E. Gluck, P.A., we have been involved in motorcycle crash cases in some form or another since the early 1990’s. I have seen significant traumatic brain injury cases that could have been avoided if the injured party was wearing a helmet. With the type of catastrophic injuries that can occur more commonly in a motorcycle related crash, many times there is not enough insurance coverage to compensate the injured party for medical expenses, wage loss and the pain and suffering they will go through with such an injury. An additional factor in many motorcycle crash cases is that Florida is a comparative fault state. That means that if you sue the driver who caused your crash and subsequent brain injury, the other side can hire a doctor to examine you who might say that if you were wearing a helmet, you would not have suffered such a severe brain injury. This doctrine of comparative fault in this situation could reduce any potential recovery by 50% to 90% of what the value of a brain injury case would otherwise be in Florida. If you have been involved in a motorcycle related crash, before you call an insurance company, call us. The team at the Law Offices of Robert E. Gluck, P.A. is ready to get working on your case. I will personally take your calls 24 hours a day and get to the scene of the crash before the insurance company does. Just call me on my cell any time at 954-895-7455.
Florida Nursing Home Safety When a family is faced with the difficult decision of placing one or both of their aging parents in a long-term care facility or a nursing home, there are many factors that come into play. A common reason for putting your parents into a nursing home is that your parent(s) need around the clock supervision, medical care and a team of skilled nurses that can come to your parent’s aid at any moment. Another reason for placing an aging family member in a long-term care facility is when they are unable to properly take care of themselves and become fully dependent on others to eat, maintain hygiene, move etc. Sometimes looking after elderly parents in your own home becomes too stressful and time consuming, and for their own mental health, they decide the best thing is to move their family member to a nursing home. When the final decision has been made to move your parent into a nursing home facility because professional care is required, there are certain steps you can take to ensure you have chosen the right facility to care for your loved ones. Some of the most important things to consider before placing your parent into a nursing home are: Nursing Home and Administrative Staff One of the first questions you might want to ask when researching nursing homes is, “what is the staff to resident ratio?” You can come prepared for the answer by researching before you visit potential facilities. A great resource for staffing data listed state-by-state is from the website of the nonprofit Long Term Care Community Coalition. Annually, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services conducts inspections on all nursing and long-term care facilities. Survey data, reports and ratings are all available to the public, and should also be posted at the facility. You should look for low deficiencies, and be on the lookout for deficiencies within the categories of mistreatment, actual harm or immediate jeopardy. These are clear red flags that this facility is not a safe place for your loved ones. On top of these points to consider, you may want to request background checks for staff as well as ask for staff turn-around numbers. Fall Safety and Prevention Measures According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of injury to the elderly. While it is nearly impossible to avoid all falls at nursing homes, there are some measures that the facility can put in place to encourage safer practices amongst staff and residents. Creating unique and individualized care plans for each resident is a great tool for reducing traumatic injuries due to falls. Well trained staff that can pin-point hazards and risks to each patient and make appropriate changes in a timely manner can help drastically reduce the risk of minor and major injuries due to falls. Some other tools to reduce fall risks are promoting physical activity to increase strength and mobility, clearing any hazards from the floor, placing non-slip mats and carpets, and using the correct medical aids such as walkers and canes when moving around. Security Measures in Nursing Homes It’s great if the facility you are considering placing your parent in has a high standard of security measures. There should be cameras in all entrances and exits, as well as protocols for visitors and check-in policies. The use of security cameras not only helps keep residents safe from intruders, it also helps keep those residents with cognitive issues like Alzheimer's from wandering off premises. You can also consider placing cameras inside your parent’s unit in order to monitor their care and prevent nursing home abuse. In addition to cameras, you should also ask about their emergency preparedness and protocols in the event of any local or natural disaster. On top of this, ask about fire safety and evacuation plans. Medication Error Prevention The improper administration of medicine can be a potentially fatal error made by nursing home staff. It’s important to ask what the standard system for administering both pharmaceutical and over-the-counter medicine is. Typically, nursing homes have a well-planned system in place where medications are measured and separated in advance, and placed in sealed plastic bags. Each dose is cross-referenced and double checked. With the ever changing technologies, it has become easier than ever for nursing homes to keep digital records and reports of medications, allergies and adverse effects. Infection Control Due to the living conditions of multi-person nursing homes, most residents are in close contact with each other, therefore the spread of infectious diseases can pose a very real and dangerous risk. We all learned this during the Covid-19 pandemic, which is still affecting our elderly populations. One of the more common illnesses found inside nursing homes is influenza, which could easily progress into pneumonia. Besides staff and residents being vaccinated, it is important to keep up with good hygiene practices like regular washing of hands, keeping common areas clean and sanitized, and wearing masks when necessary. Unfortunately, antibiotic resistant infections continue to be a major problem at these types of facilities. Common ways residents get infections are from contact with others, bed sores, catheters etc. It’s very important the staff and administrators take the risks of infections very seriously! Balancing Safety, Independence and Comfort According to Carol Bradley Bursack, Author, speaker, columnist and eldercare consultant, “Trying to maintain a home-like atmosphere for vulnerable elders while keeping them safe is not an easy task. Yet, the public has increased their expectations of modern nursing homes, forcing them to examine their approaches to common problems and concerns. Many skilled nursing facilities have fostered a culture of safety among their employees and found ways of using technology and person-centered care to improve the quality of care and quality of life for their residents. Perfection may never be reached in these settings, but the happiness and security of elders in nursing homes is becoming a requirement instead of an added benefit. To me, that's great news.” Read the Full Story here If you suspect your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or wrongful death, contact Robert today at 954.583.8999 for a free case consultation.
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