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By Jessica Surber, attorney

When you or a loved one enter a nursing home, you are asked to sign paperwork, in order to be admitted. Most of the forms you fill out provide much-needed medical information and cover things such as payment arrangements.

Usually, you’ll also find an agreement that specifies what happens if you or your loved one is injured or dies in the care of the facility, and you believe the facility is at fault. The agreement indicates that should you have a dispute with the care facility, you and the nursing home will go to binding arbitration, rather than court, to settle your differences or to seek compensation if the nursing home patient was injured or died.

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winter morningEach year, thousands of people are injured in fall accidents. According to statistics maintained by the Center for Disease Control, a significant percentage of these accidents result in serious injury or even death. The case we are examining in this blog post was a fall on ice.

In situations in which a person falls on someone else’s property and is injured, he or she may be able to bring a premises liability lawsuit against the owner of the property, if the landowner’s negligence contributed to the accident. If successful, the plaintiff in such a lawsuit may be able to recover medical expenses, lost wages, compensation for pain and suffering, and other damages.

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If you follow this blog regularly, you have probably read several posts regarding situations in which a car accident lawsuit or other type of complaint was dismissed due to the plaintiff’s failure to file a claim within the statute of limitations. It is a common problem, and one of the reasons we emphasize contacting an attorney as soon as possible when you have been injured.

Filing a timely claim in a court of competent jurisdiction is only the first step in the process of filing a lawsuit. The complaint also has to be served upon the defendant according to the applicable rules of civil procedure.

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car doorIt is always a good idea to carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage insurance, but settling a UM/UIM claim can be more complicated than it might initially seem. This is true even when the claimant is the insured person, but settlements can be even more difficult when a person other than the insured is seeking to recover UM/UIM benefits.

The Kentucky Court of Appeals was recently presented with a rather unusual UIM case filed by the friend of the insured under a policy issued by State Farm.

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rodeo riderThe obvious defendant in a motor vehicle accident case is the person whose negligent driving caused the wreck. However, for a variety of reasons, it is possible that other defendants may be named in some lawsuits. In a fatal drunk driving accident, the plaintiff may want to sue those besides the driver who the plaintiff believes is partially responsible for the state of intoxication the driver was in.

It is usually to the plaintiff’s advantage to name as many potential defendants as possible in order to increase the chances of a settlement or judgment, especially if some defendants may be be uninsured, underinsured, or immune from suit.

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By Jessica Surber, attorney
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP

medic-hospital-laboratory-medical-40559Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear announced today that he is suing Johnson & Johnson for false marketing of transvaginal mesh, a medical product that the company sold to doctors and surgeons. The mesh is an implant used to treat pelvic organ prolapse and relieve stress urinary incontinence.

Beshear said in a press conference that the mesh has been implanted in 15,000 Kentucky women without Johnson & Johnson or Ethicon, the medical device subsidiary, providing proper information to women about the product.

The lawsuit doesn’t seek compensation for women harmed by the transvaginal mesh. Instead, it seeks civil penalties against Johnson and Johnson.

This type of lawsuit by an attorney general is unusual, and while it seeks to punish the manufacturer of transvaginal mesh, it doesn’t help women who are suffering because of this product. Anyone who has been injured is strongly urged to seek help from a qualified attorney, who can help them advocate for their rights.

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delirium, brain scan, elderly, nursing homeWhen a person suffers from delirium, he or she may have confused thinking, a reduction in awareness of his or her environment, a general lack of focus, and other symptoms of cognitive impairment. Behavioral changes such as hallucinations, restlessness, and lethargy are also common, as are emotional disturbance issues such as anxiety and depression.

According to media reports, a recent study from Brown University indicated that nursing home residents who are admitted to care with delirium are at increased risk as compared to residents without such a condition. The study, which analyzed over 5.5 million residents’ medical records, indicated that there were almost a quarter of a million seniors admitted to nursing homes with delirium from 2011 to 2014.

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feet on sidewalkProperty owners and business operators owe certain duties to those who come onto their premises for a business or social purpose. A breach of this duty can potentially result in a finding of liability against the landowner and an award of damages in favor of an injured party. This is most commonly referred to as a “slip and fall” case, in which someone is injured because of property that isn’t maintained, such as a cracked sidewalk or other similar issue.

For this reason, it is increasingly common for would-be defendants to ask for a waiver of liability from those with whom they do business. It is up to the courts to determine whether such waivers are valid under the facts of an individual case.

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sidewalk in town

Lawsuits arising from negligent operation of a motor vehicle typically involve two drivers, each driving his or her own vehicle. Passengers in one or both vehicles may also be parties to the suit if they were injured in the collision. Sometimes, the case involves a pedestrian accident.

Regardless of whether the person seeking to recover compensation following an automobile accident is a motorist, a passenger, or a pedestrian, the plaintiff has the burden of proving that the defendant was negligent. This means that he or she failed to act in a prudent manner, causing harm to the plaintiff.

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elderly woman's handsPhysical abuse happens to nursing home residents much more often than most of us can imagine, and often the perpetrator gets away with it. But not always.

Recently, a woman who worked at a nursing home in Pike County, Kentucky, was indicted by a grand jury for the alleged abuse of a nursing home patient in her care. The worker, who was a 32-year-old certified nursing assistant (CNA) at Parkview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Pikeville, Kentucky, admitted to the court that she went into work while under the influence and then injured a resident’s arm.

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