Friday, October 28, 2016

Why Nursing Home Abuse often goes Unreported

According to the National Center for Elder Abuse (NCEA), elder abuse is likely a much bigger problem than anyone knows. This is because most cases of elder abuse go unreported and are possibly never detected. It is heartbreaking to know that residents of facilities like Brookdale Senior Living are suffering abuse or mistreatment in silence in the last years of their lives. The following are only some reasons why such elder abuse goes unreported so frequently:

Family members do not visit - A surprising number of nursing home residents do not have regular visits from family members. Family may have moved away or simply may neglect to make time to visit the resident. If they never see family members, they may not believe there is anyone they can trust to help stand up for them or anyone who will care.

Fear of what may happen - Often, when abuse is reported, a resident may be relocated to another facility immediately. This may mean losing contact with friends they have made and losing their routines. In addition, they may fear that the treatment at the new facility will be worse than the treatment they are currently suffering.

Threats or intimidation - In too many cases, a staff member who abuses a resident may threaten retaliation if the resident tells anyone about the abuse. In other instances, overt threats may not even need to be made, as residents may fear retaliation on their own and so they choose to keep quiet about what has happened.

Feelings of shame - Many instances of abuse can cause substantial feelings of shame in victims. This is especially true when abuse makes an adult feel weak because they are not able to defend themselves or in cases of sexual abuse. This shame alone can often be enough for a nursing home abuse victim to not report the abuse to anyone.

Lack of understanding of the abuse - Many nursing home abuse victims have dementia or other mental conditions. These conditions can make them more vulnerable and therefore easier targets for abusers. An abused resident with cognitive conditions may not fully realize that they have been abused but will still feel pain and may have the feeling that something bad has happened to them. However, they will not be in the mental state to know how to express what has happened or report it.

Not knowing how to report abuse - Many neglected or abused nursing home residents may think there is a special procedure for reporting mistreatment. They may not know who to trust in the nursing home and may not be aware that they can tell managers or family members.

These are only some of the reasons why abuse or neglect victims may not report or may be reluctant to report their mistreatment. For this reason, it is essential that you visit your loved ones in nursing homes often and let them know they can trust you. Ask frequent questions about their experience in the nursing home and about how they get along with the staff. Be on watch for any unexplained wounds or behavioral changes that may indicate abuse. Because chances are likely that your loved one may not report abuse on their own, you play an important role in their lives to ensure they are receiving the treatment they need and deserve.

Call Our Compassionate Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys for Help Today

It is always distressing to know that your loved one has been suffering, especially if they have been suffering in silence for some time. Once you find out that any type of abuse or neglect has occurred at Brookdale Senior centers or anywhere else, you likely will want to take immediate action to both safeguard your loved one and obtain justice for their suffering.

You can trust that our nursing home abuse attorneys at the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, Florida are here to help you. We work to hold facilities like Brookdale accountable for any harm they have caused, so please call today for a free consultation at 727-451-6900.

(727) 451-6900

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

How Cargo Loading Can Lead to Truck Accidents

The key purpose of large commercial trucks is to carry goods across the country. However, carrying large, heavy loads of cargo can also be dangerous if the cargo is not loaded into the truck properly. The following are some of the ways that cargo loading can lead to truck accidents and injuries.

Improper Securement of Cargo

Cargo carried by a large commercial truck can come in all shapes and sizes, from furniture to foodstuffs, to clothing, and more. No matter what the shape and size of the cargo, however, it must be properly secured inside the trailer. If cargo is not secure, it can easily shift inside the trailer when the truck switches lanes or takes a turn. If a significant amount of cargo suddenly shifts, it can cause the trailer to be thrown off balance. An off-balance trailer can sway into other lanes and can make the truck incredibly difficult to control. Many truck drivers may lose their control over the truck in this scenario, which often results in serious collisions. There are two main types of crashes that result from shifting cargo, which include:

Rollover - If heavy cargo shifts, it can tip the trailer over onto its side. This often results in a cargo spill, which can cause additional crashes if cargo is in the path of traffic.
Jackknife - Shifting cargo can also cause a trailer to sway on the coupling and, if the trailer swings out perpendicular to the cab or tractor, it is called a jackknife accident. Jackknifed trailers can take out vehicles in its path and can make it very difficult for the driver to stop the truck.

Proper cargo securement is so important that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has specific rules and regulations1 requiring certain types of securement systems for certain types of cargo. Tiedowns, anchor points, and other tools can be used to keep cargo from shifting mid-trip and leading to a serious crash. The FMCSA also provides a cargo securement handbook2 for drivers to use. If a driver or cargo-loading company fails to properly secure cargo in a trailer, they should be held responsible for their negligence and should have to compensate any accident victims who were injured as a result.


When a truck is overloaded, it can exceed the safe weight limits3 for the size of the truck and the number of axles. When a truck is overloaded, it can become very difficult to slow down or stop the truck, especially if a driver has to do so quickly to avoid a hazard or collision.


Underloading is mostly a risk when it comes to tanker trucks, which transport liquids. When a tank is not filled up enough, the liquid can splash and slosh around, which can cause the trailer to come off balance and can result in a rollover or another type of collision.

Many different factors can cause truck accidents, many of which cannot be immediately identified by someone who is not familiar with the trucking industry, risks, and requirements. Determining that cargo was not loaded into a truck’s trailer properly can require investigation and analysis by a trucking industry and accident expert. In addition, after an accident, if the truck is able to continue on to its destination, the cargo will likely be dropped off, erasing much of the evidence that the cargo was the cause of the crash. However, this does not mean that you lose your right to recover for your accident-related losses. It is simply imperative to have a law firm handling your case with the resources needed to fully investigate the cause of the crash in order to gather evidence of the cargo-loading errors.

Contact an Experienced Florida Truck Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation

At the Dolman Law Group, our team of skilled truck accident attorneys has helped many clients obtain full compensation for their losses from trucking companies and other related parties. We have the ability to handle cases involving accidents caused by driver error, trucking company negligence, negligent cargo-loading, improper maintenance, and much more. If you suffered serious injuries in any type of accident with a large commercial truck, please call our office at 727-451-6900 to discuss your case today.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765

Friday, October 21, 2016

Sexual Abuse can Occur in Nursing Homes

When you think of injuries sustained by nursing home residents, you likely think of medication errors, falls, or other injuries caused by neglectfulness. However, many injuries are caused by intentional abuse of residents. In fact, one family recently won a large settlement from Brookdale Senior Living,1 a company that runs many facilities, for the abuse and wrongful death of their loved one.

In addition, if you think of nursing home abuse, you probably consider physical abuse, such as shoving or hitting residents. You may not immediately think of sexual abuse of nursing home residents. Unfortunately, sexual abuse of elderly residents of nursing homes is more prevalent than you may believe. Sexual abuse may include fondling, exposure of residents, exposing oneself to a resident, taking nude photographs of residents, forcing sexual contact, or forcing sexual penetration.

Sexual Abusers in Nursing Homes

Sexual abuse can be committed by many different parties in nursing homes, including:

Staff member
Another resident
Third-party intruder or stranger to the resident

While a nursing home certainly has the duty to monitor its staff members to ensure that no type of abuse is occurring, these facilities also have the duty to provide adequate security to protect residents from abuse by other residents or strangers who may enter the facility. Therefore, nursing homes may be held liable for sexual abuse even if the abuse was not committed by a member of their staff.

Common Signs of Elder Sexual Abuse

In many situations, an elderly loved one may not come to you and open up about the sexual abuse they have experienced in their nursing home. The can be for different reasons - maybe they do not have the mental capacity to understand or remember what happened, perhaps they have been threatened by staff members to remain quiet, or maybe they feel too ashamed to say anything. For these reasons, you must be fully aware of the signs of sexual abuse so you can recognize if your loved one may have been a victim. Some of the most common signs include the following:

      Having trouble sitting or walking

Thumbprints or bruises on the breasts, inner thighs, buttocks, or genital area

Unexplained itching, redness, or soreness in the genital area

Genital bleeding

Blood stains on undergarments or bedding

Sudden sexualized behavior that is inappropriate or aggressive

Unexplained genital infections or diagnoses of sexually transmitted disease

Withdrawal or shamefulness

Reluctance to get undressed

Showing fear of certain staff members or of physical contact

These are far from the only signs of sexual abuse in nursing homes. If you notice any physical, emotional, or behavioral differences in your loved one, it is always wise to have them examined by a medical professional.

What to do if You Suspect Sexual Abuse

If your loved one has been abused in a Brookdale Senior Living facility or any other type of assisted living or long-term care facility, it is critical that you ensure their safety first. Often, the best option is to remove them from the home and select another residence for them. In addition, you must ensure they receive all of the medical attention they need. They should be tested for sexually-transmitted diseases and any lacerations or contusions should be properly treated.

After their safety and physical health are attended to, you should not delay in contacting a dedicated Florida nursing home abuse attorney to discuss the possible courses of action to obtain justice for your loved one. In addition to criminal charges against the perpetrator, your loved one has the right to file a claim for personal injury against the nursing home and the offender. In this claim, your loved one can seek damages for the following and more:

Physical pain and costs of medical treatment needed;

Emotional trauma and injuries;

Punitive damages.

Contact a Clearwater Nursing Home Abuse Attorney as Soon as Possible

At the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, Florida, we firmly believe that nursing homes such Brookdale should take appropriate action to prevent any type of abuse in their facilities, especially sexual abuse. If you believe that your senior loved one has suffered any type of harm, please do not hesitate to call our office to discuss your options. We are here to provide compassionate and confidential assistance throughout your case, so call our nursing home abuse lawyers at 727-451-6900 for a free consultation today.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Pedestrian Accidents Cause Particularly Serious Injuries

Millions of Americans walk along or across roads every day. Whether it be commuting to work, running errands, or just going for a leisurely stroll, pedestrians are an important part of the roadways in most big cities. In Florida, where the year-round warm weather leads to more people being outside, pedestrians are an even more common sight.
Unfortunately, accidents involving pedestrians often result in greater injuries and even death than those involving cars. Without seat belts, air bags and car frames to protect them, pedestrians are at a much greater risk of severe injury or death. In 2013, 4,735 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the United States alone.1 Accidents involving pedestrians are most likely to happen in urban areas at night and most often take place outside of intersections.
Who Is at Risk?
Children: Children are likely to be involved in pedestrian accidents as they are likely to be in the road unexpectedly and their small size makes them more difficult for drivers to see. In 2013, of all of the children under the age of 14 who died in traffic accidents, one in five was a pedestrian.
Elderly: The elderly are also more likely to be involved in pedestrian accidents. Pedestrians aged 65 and older accounted for 19% of all pedestrians deaths in 2013.
Alcohol-Impaired: Of all of the pedestrian accidents reported that resulted in a death in 2013, 49% involved alcohol consumption, with the pedestrian being over the legal limit in 34% of the fatal accidents.
Typical Injuries for Pedestrians
The nature of a pedestrian accident is that there is no protection from being hit by the full force of an oncoming vehicle. Without the additional protection that cars afford, injuries to pedestrians tend to be more severe in nature and are more likely to require emergency medical attention. Many are fatal.
Injuries to pedestrians can be primary or secondary. Primary injuries occur at the point of impact. Secondary injuries are inflicted when the impacts pushes the pedestrian into another solid object, like a wall, or when they hit the ground. For example, a primary injury of a broken rib may happen when a car hits a pedestrian. That same pedestrian may suffer a secondary injury of a broken arm when they are flung into a light pole nearby.
While the kinds and severity of pedestrian injuries range with each case, some of the most common include:
Lacerations, contusions, and scrapes – These more minor injuries will occur in nearly every collision involving a pedestrian. While generally mild, they should still be treated by a doctor to ensure that there are no underlying injuries (such as an internal bleed) and that no infections will develop from any open cuts.
Broken Bones – Pedestrians who have been struck by a car often suffer broken bones as a result of the collision. Broken bones can be set at a hospital and in most cases the pedestrian will make a full recovery.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) – Traumatic brain injuries2 occur when some sort of external force acts in such a way that brain function is disturbed or impaired. TBIs usually result from a heavy blow to the head or body and can result in bleeding, skull fractures, and even death. More minor TBIs will usually result in bruising and tissue damage. Symptoms can include loss of consciousness, confusion, nausea, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, blurred vision, mood changes, vomiting, depression, memory problems, seizures, numbness in extremities, slurred speech, and falling into a coma.
Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) – Spinal cord injuries occur when damage is done to any part of the spinal cord or to the nerves surrounding the ends of the spinal cord. This is usually caused by impact to the neck or back. Symptoms may include weakness, problems with coordination, muscle spasms, numbness, pain, loss of mobility, and loss of use of limbs and extremities.
Soft tissue injury – A soft tissue injury is the most common type of minor injury suffered in auto accidents. Essentially it is a strain, sprain or bruising of muscles, tendons, or ligaments throughout the body. The symptoms usually are pain, stiffness, weakness, minor loss of use of the affected area, and loss of range of motion. Treatment usually involves physical therapy and some combination of muscle relaxers and/or pain medication.
Accidents involving a vehicle and a pedestrian can be complex. Given the potentially severe consequences for the pedestrian involved, if you are a pedestrian who has been hit by a vehicle, you should contact a Florida injury attorney right away to ensure that you recover all that you are entitled to.
Contact a Clearwater Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today for a Free Consultation!
If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, contact a Clearwater pedestrian accident lawyer at the Dolman Law Group right away. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers, call our office today at 727-451-6900 or send us an email through our online contact form.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765