Elder abuse isn’t limited solely to physical abuse and neglect. Sadly, financial abuse is one of the most common forms of elder abuse. Financial abuse can take on many forms and can be very difficult to spot in some cases. In some cases, the abuse can be outright theft. In other cases, they may be voluntarily giving someone money as a result of coercion or fraud. It can be committed by a family member or caretaker, or by someone the senior doesn’t even know, such as in the case of phone and email scams.  

In this post, we hope to raise awareness of this issue and give you the tools to identify and address it.  

Risk Factors

Earlier this month, the New York Times reported on an Atlanta area dermatologist who reportedly wanted to be known as the “dancing doctor.”  The doctor, Windell Davis Boutté, has been recently suspended by the Georgia Composite Medical Board after a video surfaced of her dancing to a hip-hop song while performing a procedure on a patient.  The Board stated that that allowing her to continue to practice would pose “a threat to the public health, safety, and welfare.”

A Pattern of Misconduct

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Medical Board had been investigating malpractice complaints against Dr. Davis-Boutté for two years. There have been multiple lawsuits, and the New York Times reported that over 100 people have come forward to complain. The suspension appears to have been finally sparked by a case that was reported at the end of May when one of Davis-Boutté’s patients was allegedly taken from her office to the emergency room. It was reported that the patient was having difficulty breathing and was bleeding from liposuction incisions. Upon examination, hospital staff reported that the patient had a collapsed lung and was suffering from serious blood loss.

If you’ve been injured in an accident, you know how disruptive it can be. Medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and physical therapy all cost you time and money. People wind up hiring a lawyer because they want to seek compensation for these losses. If you prevail in your case, the jury will typically award compensatory damages – a money judgment calculated to cover your losses. But are you entitled to more?  

A common question we get from our clients is whether or not they can receive punitive damages. This post explains what they are and when punitive damages are available.   

What Are Punitive Damages?  

A faulty product can lead to a serious injury. This type of claim is called a “product liability” case. These cases are often difficult to prove, which is why it is always advisable to speak with an attorney who has extensive experience and a solid track record when it comes to product liability cases. Product liability cases tend to fall into one of three categories:

  1. Design defects. In a design defect case, the plaintiff is claiming that the very design of the product caused the product to be dangerous or defective and therefore led to the plaintiff’s injury. For example, let’s say an aluminum ladder is designed to be lightweight but without sufficient support for someone over 200lbs. The plaintiff, a 250-pound male, uses the ladder when it collapses and causes serious injury.  When he sues, later on, the plaintiff would allege that the lightweight design was defective and caused his injury.
  2. Manufacturing defects. In these cases, the plaintiff claims that the product was poorly or improperly manufactured and thereby lead to the plaintiff’s injuries. Using the example from above, perhaps the ladder’s design was perfectly adequate, but the manufacturer built the ladders without some critical support pieces. The failure to properly manufacture the ladder is the culprit for the plaintiff’s injury.  

In most personal injury cases, the plaintiff (the person who is injured) is trying to prove that the defendant (the person who is at-fault) was negligent and their negligence resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries. For example, the plaintiff in a car accident case might argue that the accident was caused by the fact that the defendant ran a stop sign, which caused the plaintiff’s neck injury. The defendant may argue that he wasn’t negligent or that he didn’t cause your injury.  

Even if he can’t deny liability, there are still a couple of defenses that the defendant may raise.  It’s important to understand what these are and how they work.

Contributory Negligence

No one wants to sue another person, especially when your injuries were caused by an accident – it’s not as if the at-fault person intended to harm you. However, you should understand that who you are really suing is the other person’s insurance company. In exchange for their premiums, the insurance company agrees to compensate accident victims and pay for any property damage that insured person may cause. In addition, the insurance company agrees to provide a legal defense if they are sued.  

It is important to understand this relationship between the at-fault party and the insurer because the insurance company’s primary focus is to reduce the amount of the claims it has to pay. As a result, you should assume that they do not have your best interests at heart.  Instead, they are likely to employ one of the tactics we describe below.

Quick Settlement

Did you know that June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month? Sadly, it is estimated that as many as 5 million senior citizens are abused every year, with many cases going unreported. Our seniors are one of our greatest assets, deserving of our deepest respect. They should live their golden years in dignity, safety, and comfort. As a result, we here at Slappey & Sadd would like to take this opportunity to call your attention to this very serious issue and help you identify elder abuse so that it can be stopped.  

What Is Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse includes any kind of harm to a senior intentionally caused by someone else. Elder abuse is not limited to physical violence and is often caused by neglect or wanton disregard for the senior’s well-being. The following are some common examples of elder abuse:

When someone mentions a workplace injury, people often imagine some kind of awful industrial accident involving heavy equipment that results in a severe injury or even death. While those kinds of accidents do happen, there is a broad spectrum of injuries that can occur in the workplace. It’s important to note that if you’re injured on the job, you may be entitled to compensation, no matter what the injury. In this post, we want to call your attention to some of the most common workplace injuries that people tend to overlook.  

Repetitive Motion Injuries

Repetitive motion injuries (RMIs, for short, but also known as “repetitive strain injuries”) are injuries that arise from actions that are repeated hundreds of times throughout the day or week. An obvious example is working at a computer all day, resulting in carpal tunnel syndrome, deteriorating vision, and muscle strains in your back and neck. However, RMIs are not limited to desk jobs – any motion that is repeated over and over can eventually harm the joints, tendons, and ligaments. 

Many of us have loved ones that are living their golden years in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Because we owe so much to our senior citizens, the attorneys at Slappey & Sadd want to do their part to shed some light on a very serious issue – the neglect and abuse of our senior citizens.  

June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. It is believed that approximately 60% of cases of elder abuse occur in the senior’s home and at the hands of a family member. However, a significant number of cases occur in a nursing home or similar institutional facility.  

Elder abuse is not limited to physical trauma. It can take on many forms such as financial abuse, neglect, or emotional abuse. Seniors are vulnerable because of their advancing age and health problems, but seniors who require institutional care are particularly vulnerable. This is especially the case if the senior is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. You need to be vigilant if one of your loved ones resides in a nursing home or similar institutional facility.  

When discussing injuries that arise from medical treatment, people typically think in terms of a standard medical malpractice case: the doctor or hospital was negligent in providing care in some way which leads to the patient’s injury. However, even when there are no issues with the treatment received, injuries can just as often arise from the medical devices that were used during treatment, or as part of the post-treatment recovery process.

People rarely want to blame their doctor, someone who has earned their deepest trust. The reality is that he or she may have given you the best care available, but the device they used was defective. Don’t ignore symptoms if you’ve received medical treatment but the recovery has not gone as planned. If you’re suffering, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you identify the potential source of your problems.  

Because medical device liability is complicated, it may be helpful to review the ways that these devices can be defective and who may be responsible.  

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