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Upper Marlboro Personal Injury Law Blog

Heroin said to be the cause of fatal accident in Annapolis

No one ever anticipated being involved in a car accident in Upper Marlboro given that most are fairly confident in their own driving skills. The assumption, then, is that being a skilled driver automatically equates to being able to avoid collisions. However. no amount of driving skill may make up for the fact that one is always at risk of encountering another on the road that may share his or her commitment to responsible driving. In such a case, even experienced drivers may not to be able avoid the potentially devastating consequences that can accompany one person's allegedly irresponsible behavior. 

Such behavior is being cited by law enforcement officials as the cause of a multi-car crash in Annapolis. The testimony of a passenger in the vehicle that caused the accident (coupled with observations made by investigators at the scene) confirmed to authorities that the young man responsible for the accident had been driving under the influence of heroin. Officials say he was driving at excessive speeds when he crossed into the opposite lanes and stuck to other vehicles. He himself and one of his passengers sustained serious injuries, while two others were also injured. Sadly, the driver of one of the vehicles that was struck died from her injuries shortly after being transported to a local hospital. 

Typical signs of abuse or neglect in a nursing home

When Maryland residents leave their elderly loved ones in a care facility, they expect that this person will be treated kindly and given what they need to have a happy, healthy life. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case. Neglect and abuse toward the elderly does occur in nursing homes. Here are signs to look for if you suspect that your loved one is facing either.

Fox Business shows who is a potential target for abuse, and what signs to look for. Some of these signs can be found by examining the residents. However, the red flags for neglect can sometimes be difficult to spot or even invisible, especially if the damage is emotional. The person who is being neglected or abused may become more withdrawn or anxious. They may ask to avoid certain staff members. In cases of physical abuse, it's possible to find lesions, bruises, or other damage on their body. Many times, these wounds will be in "hard to find" places like the thighs or back to avoid suspicion.

What can be considered distracted driving?

According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, over 100 deaths on Maryland roads were attributed to distracted driving in 2015 along with more than 16,000 injuries. Chances are, the average citizen has engaged in some form of distracted driving over their driving career.

So, what exactly constitutes distracted driving? The first is a visual distraction. This means you have taken your eyes off the road. This may occur when looking at a phone or at other passengers. Even glancing away for a mere couple of seconds can mean you have driven 50 or more yards without looking at where you are going.

What are non-physical forms of assisted living abuse?

If you have a loved one living in an assisted living facility or nursing home in Maryland, it is important to be mindful of potential abuse. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, those who experience abuse face a risk of death that is 300 percent higher than those not abused. Elderly folks living away from family and friends can be placed in vulnerable situations and may not always be able to communicate the presence of neglect and abuse. For this reason, it is important that those around them keep an eye out for flags.

While physical forms of abuse are the most commonly documented, plenty of others can be present but more difficult to see, such as isolation, verbal abuse or financial exploitation. Isolation may be an issue if the facility or an employee is preventing the resident from reaching out to you or other loved ones, denying access to correspondence or if visits are restricted or denied. Verbal or psychological abuse can include harassment, speaking in a degrading manner, or even intentionally ignoring the patient as a form of discipline or punishment. Financial exploitation can occur if the resident is being taken advantage of in a way that cons them out of money, if their belongings are used sans permission or if property is stolen.

How do heuristics lead to diagnostic errors?

You see and experience things in your life every day in Upper Marlboro (whether it be at home or at work) that help to shape your opinions. Whether you realize it or not, those opinions help to driver your decision-making. Doctors are much the same. They see countless patients in their particular specialties whose conditions, personalilties and behaviors influence how those providers may treat other patients. Their daily treatment methods are also often driven by the popular standards and trends in their respective fields. These general "rules of thumb" could realistically impact how your doctor views and treats you. The question is should they have any influence at all. 

Accepted standards are often referred to as heuristics. It may seem perfectily reasonable for your doctor to rely on them when determining your diagnosis and treatment plan. Yet it is when that reliance prompts him or her to disregard clinical results that you really need to worry. 

How Can I Avoid Distracted Driving?

It’s estimated that as many as nine people a day lose their lives to distracted driving accidents occurring in the U. S. Dangerous behaviors that prevent you from remaining focused on the road must be avoided, which is why it’s crucial that drivers in Maryland take caution when behind the wheel. The following safe-driving tips from Geico can help curb bad habits and preserve the safety of motorists as well as passengers.

Limit Use of Smart Phones

What constitutes nursing home patient abuse?

When you send your loved one to a nursing home or assisted living facility in Maryland, you have every right to expect that he or she will be placed in a safe environment. Unfortunately, cases of abuse do occur. According to the Maryland Attorney General, if you have a complaint that a reasonable standard of care is not being met, the grievance must be investigated within 30 days by the home administrator.

Physical abuse may be the most obvious to pinpoint. This includes any type of action that results in physical injury or pain experienced by the patient. It can include instances where employees push or hit a resident or commit sexual assault.

Knowing the facts about elder abuse

Regardless of the type of need or condition, seniors in elder care residences deserve the utmost care and attention. This standard is maintained among most nursing homes in Maryland, but there are some that fail to meet these crucial and basic requirements. When a family member discovers that a loved one's needs are not being met, nursing home professionals are responsible for addressing the issue promptly and appropriately.

Learning about common forms of abuse that can occur within nursing home walls may not seem an ideal place to start when selecting a residence for a loved one. However, as The National Council on Aging expresses, becoming aware of potential risks in elder care can help family members spot the red flags. The NCOA lists the following as the most common forms of elder abuse: confinement and isolation, physical abuse, sexual abuse and passive neglect. Others include financial exploitation, in which nursing home staff may abuse their own power by withholding or misusing a patient's resources, and willful deprivation, wherein basic needs are made unavailable. These forms of neglect are certainly unsettling, as the NCOA adds that out of the 1 in 10 Americans aged 60 and older who are abused, only 1 in 14 cases ever reach the attention of authorities. 

I witnessed a tractor trailer accident. Are they always fatal?

Maryland highways do see their share of deadly tractor trailer accidents. Tractor trailers are large and heavy and can cause more damage that lighter passenger vehicles, which can also cause deadly accidents. However, they are not always fatal.

Fortunately, if you were able to read some recent news, one very serious accident that involved a tractor trailer resulted in no fatalities, despite how severe the accident appeared to be. ABC7’s WJLA reported on an accident that involved two very different trucks. One was a pickup truck while the other was a tractor trailer.

Could my father be at risk for abuse in his assisted living facilities?

Yes, there is always risk, just like a Maryland nursing home, in ways. Travesties do happen at times.

Keeping a close eye on your father in his assisted living facility is a good idea. Observe for the very things that you would look for in a nursing home.

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