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12 Signs of Nursing Home Negligence

Published on Jan 12, 2017 at 9:00 am in General.
12 Signs of Nursing Home Negligence

When we place an elderly loved one in a nursing home or long term care facility, we can’t be expected to be there 100% of the time. This makes it difficult to find out how they are being treated and taken care of. Unfortunately, nursing home negligence and abuse both occur more often than we’d like to admit. Our loved ones aren’t guaranteed to be safe in these institutions.

It’s a fact that Kentucky nursing homes are generally understaffed. Understaffing can lead to staff member negligence on multiple levels when residents are not given the time they require. Failing to keep an eye on a wandering resident or not properly caring for bed sores, for example, can cause life-threatening injuries. In rare cases, employees may wrongfully handle or be abusive to residents thinking they will not get caught.

When Can I File a Nursing Home Wrongful Death Claim?

Published on Jan 9, 2017 at 11:26 am in General.
When Can I File a Nursing Home Wrongful Death Claim?

Wrongful death lawsuits can enable a grieving family to recover from a tragic loss that shouldn’t have happened in the first place. They can provide financial assistance to cover the deceased’s final medical bills, lost wages, companion/suffering costs, and more. In the case of a wrongful death claim filed on behalf of someone who was a resident at a nursing home, that compensation can go towards the same things, but the rules somewhat change.

In a nursing home wrongful death lawsuit, the claim is generally aimed toward the nursing home itself or a specific staff member that contributed to a loved one’s passing or allowed it to happen. Wrongful death claims aren’t criminal claims, but are instead civil. They require one or more of four circumstances to occur: negligence, carelessness, reckless behavior, or another type of wrongful behavior.

4 Things You May Not Know About Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Published on Dec 8, 2016 at 8:00 am in General.
4 Things You May Not Know About Wrongful Death Lawsuits

When a family loses a loved one due to a tragic accident that was caused by another’s negligence or recklessness, that family can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the guilty party. At the Law Office of Todd W. Burris, we see a great deal of misinformation regarding wrongful death cases, how they work, and in what conditions they can be filed.

We’d like to put an end to some of that misinformation if possible. Here are 4 things you may not know about wrongful death lawsuits:

  1. Wrongful death cases are about negligence—not about breaking the law.

When someone breaks the law and a loved one dies, that’s when a criminal investigation generally begins. If no laws are broken and a loved one dies due to the negligent, careless, or reckless acts of another human being, that’s not a criminal matter necessarily, but it is one that can be considered a wrongful death.

Protect Yourself with the Right Car Accident Insurance

Published on Dec 6, 2016 at 1:30 pm in Car Accident.
Protect Yourself with the Right Car Accident Insurance

Being involved in a car accident can set your entire life back weeks, months, or even years. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may find it almost impossible to recover the costs of your medical bills or lost wages. With the right type of car insurance coverage, however, you may be able to have an easier time recovering from a financially difficult situation.

The right type of insurance coverage can turn the tables during the aftermath of a car accident in a major way. Unfortunately, many Kentucky insurance agents don’t tell you what you need to know upfront. They may hide the coverage details within the small print or fail to tell you what the different types of coverage imply.

5 Motorcycle Safety Tips That Can Save Your Life

Published on Nov 3, 2016 at 11:00 am in General.
5 Motorcycle Safety Tips That Can Save Your Life

Kentucky motorcyclists enjoy an immense amount of freedom on our state’s open highways and streets, but they do so with an understanding of the fact that riding a motorcycle alongside larger, heavier vehicles comes with a risk. Whenever a collision happens between a passenger car or truck and a motorcycle, the motorcyclist will generally always experience a more devastating impact. Motorcycle accidents can cause serious injuries or even death.

Keeping this risk in mind, it’s important for motorcyclists to always prioritize safety. By doing so, they have a greater chance of avoiding an accident and can protect themselves better if an accident should happen. Here are 5 motorcycle tips that can save your life:

  1. Drive Defensively

This tip often gets mentioned, but what does it mean, exactly? For motorcyclists, it means that you should stay visible to other drivers as often as possible. Essentially, always assume that the driver next to you isn’t going to check their blind spot for you. By thinking this way, you’ll naturally get into the habit of driving forward and avoiding potentially troublesome blind spots. It also doesn’t hurt to make eye contact whenever you can with drivers around you before making turns or lane changes.

Additionally, get into the habit of driving in lanes that give you an easy “out” if a larger vehicle suddenly swerves in your direction. If there are cars in the right-hand lane, for example, stay in the left-hand lane. This is also sometimes referred to as a “blocking position.” If you’re on a 3-lane highway, stay near one of the edges. Finally, avoid driving between cars to pass them whenever possible.

  1. Wear Protective Gear

Helmets are not universally required in the state of Kentucky, but choosing to wear one can save your life. A traumatic brain injury can cause serious, lifelong complications. Your brain is extremely sensitive. Don’t task an unneeded risk!

Likewise, other protective gear such as gloves, protective clothing and shoes, and eye protection can lessen the damage any type of accident causes. Protective clothing also, of course, protects riders from harsh weather conditions that may crop up at any time.

  1. Prepare for Any Weather Conditions

Speaking of protective gear, don’t ever leave home without the basics. If your motorcycle has an area for stowing gear, keep extra gloves, eye gear, and an extra jacket on-hand if possible. You never know when a sudden windstorm may hit.

If the weather ever gets too rough while you’re on the road, don’t hesitate to take a detour and find a cozy restaurant or hotel to settle down in while the storm passes. You never want to take chances in harsh weather conditions—especially during nighttime hours.

  1. Don’t Ride a Motorcycle You’re Not Familiar With

While it’s always tempting to take your friend’s new ride out for a spin, remember that it can be difficult to control a motorcycle you’re not familiar with if you happen to spin out of control or slip on a wet road. Every bike is different and takes some practice to master. Respect that fact and stick to your own ride whenever possible.

  1. Check Your Motorcycle

Before you go out for a ride, make sure to check that your motorcycle has fuel, brakes properly, and is in working order. Get into the habit of doing a quick check to ensure everything—from your turn signals to your headlights—is working properly. If anything seems sluggish or doesn’t work right, don’t take an unnecessary risk.

By remembering to follow these quick tips, you can keep yourself safe on Kentucky roads while ensuing everyone around you knows you’re there and keeps an eye out for your motorcycle. The first step to accident prevention is always awareness. Prevention saves lives.

If you’ve been an unfortunate victim of a motorcycle accident, don’t hesitate to give the Law Office of Todd W. Burris a call. Todd W. Burris, Lexington, KY motorcycle accident lawyer, can help you get the compensation you need and deserve to get back on the road again.

When’s the Best Time to File a Car Accident Lawsuit?

Published on Nov 1, 2016 at 5:02 pm in Car Accident.
When’s the Best Time to File a Car Accident Lawsuit?

If you’ve been injured in a Kentucky car accident and have started to research your legal options, you might already be aware that you have a strict time limit, often referred to as a statute of limitations, to file a lawsuit against the other driver during. Kentucky statutes of limitations can be quite complex. If you’re wondering how long you have to file, knowing the details of your statute is imperative.

Beyond the details of your statute, knowing when to file a lawsuit almost always comes down to the specific details of your case. If you’re considering suing the other driver after a serious car crash, for example, you may want to speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the accident occurs. Once a lawyer agrees to take your case, you will be protected from any insurance adjusters who may try and hound you. This can give you peace of mind.

Two-Faced Insurance: Low Settlement Offers

Published on Oct 3, 2016 at 1:24 pm in Car Accident.
Two-Faced Insurance: Low Settlement Offers

Were you seriously injured in a car, commercial truck, motorcycle, or pedestrian accident? If so, you might be concerned about being able to afford your medical bills. If your injuries forced you to miss quite a bit of work, you might also be worried about how you will continue to provide for yourself and your loved ones. Recovering from an auto accident is one of the most stressful situations a family can endure.

If you’re in the process of attempting to settle an insurance claim regarding the accident, there’s a very real possibility that the settlement offers you receive will be too low and will not cover the costs of the care you need. This is an unfortunate reality that many accident victims face. Luckily, you do have options.

Why are Insurance Settlement Offers Often Low?

When you sign up for auto insurance, the agency you sign up with will tell you that you’ll be in good hands if an accident should occur—no matter the nature of the accident or how serious it is. They may even tell you that you’ll have no issues receiving the financial assistance you need to recover from any injuries. Unfortunately, this generally never happens.

Why is that the case? It all boils down to money. In a car accident between two drivers, the insurance agencies of both drivers have a say. The insurance adjuster of the other driver will do everything in their power to get their client more money. This means that the settlement claims they send will likely be unfair to you and your injuries. If the adjuster is feeling particularly greedy, the claim you receive may not even be enough to pay for your basic medical needs—let alone any time spent off work.

If this happens, your own insurance agency may not be able to increase your received settlement amount. You will be asked to settle unless you wish to hire an attorney and fight the claim. It’s an extremely frustrating situation to be in—especially when you’re still trying to recover from your injuries.

Taking Action into Your Own Hands

As mentioned above, if you find yourself in this unfortunate predicament, you do have legal options. If you feel the accident was fully or partially caused by driver negligence, carelessness, or recklessness, you have a legal right to hire a Lexington, KY car accident lawyer who can fight on your behalf and demand a fair settlement. An attorney can ensure that you receive the full settlement amount you deserve—including financial help for any time you had to take off from work. These costs are often referred to as compensatory damages.

If you choose to go the route of filing a personal injury lawsuit against the guilty party, you may additionally be rewarded punitive damages on top of the expected compensatory damages. This extra amount can be used to help your family recover from any emotional hardships endured, for example.

Todd W. Burris is a personal injury lawyer who’s experienced in helping clients obtain full compensation and will do everything he can to ensure you and your loved ones are able to regain the lives you had before the accident. Contact our Lexington office to learn more and receive a 100% free consultation.

After the E.R.: Where to go After a Car Accident

Published on Oct 3, 2016 at 12:26 pm in Car Accident.
After the E.R.: Where to go After a Car Accident

If you’ve been injured in a Kentucky car accident, the first place you’ll likely go is to your nearest emergency room. This is exactly where you should be. E.R. doctors will be able to tell you if there are any internal injuries that need to be treated immediately as well as set you up with medications, casts, splints, x-rays, or other tests that may be needed. If you require hospital time, you’ll be admitted at this point.

After you’re released from the E.R. and/or hospital, however, it can be difficult to know where to turn. If your E.R. doctor suggests following up with your primary care doctor, that may be the best course of action, but not necessarily. Depending on the severity of your injuries as well as if you are in a lot of pain and/or experiencing any mobility limitations, you may be better off seeking the help of a specialist.

How do you know if you should see a specialist? Here are two essential questions you should ask yourself before making a decision regarding what type of doctor to see next:

How well can your primary doctor treat your condition?

Your primary doctor will be able to assess your injuries, but they may not able to help treat them. They won’t know everything about the symptoms you’re experiencing and won’t be well-equipped to handle things like neck pain, back pain, excessive mobility limitations, and whiplash. If you see your primary care doctor for conditions like these, they may refer you to a pain specialist, an orthopedic doctor, or even a chiropractor.

You may be tempted to write off seeing a specialist due to the cost factor, but if your primary doctor isn’t equipped to handle your injuries or condition, your health should absolutely come first. You should also remember that it may be possible to reduce the costs of your medical care after any insurance settlements come through. Additionally, if you’re considering taking legal action regarding the accident, cost may be a non-issue if your case is successful.

Are you doing everything you can to get the best treatment possible?

Injuries from car accidents can often appear in a delayed manner. Minor symptoms like back pain, neck pain, or headaches can turn into serious neck or back conditions that can lead to lifelong implications and chronic pain. If you don’t get the medical care you need right away, you could potentially set yourself up for years of pain, discomfort, and mobility impairment.

Additionally, if you’re in the process of negotiating your Kentucky insurance settlement and/or personal injury lawsuit, you will need to prove that your injuries are as severe as you’re claiming and that you’re doing everything you can to treat your injuries as quickly as possible. If you fail to do either, your lawsuit or settlement may not succeed.

You owe it to your future self to stay healthy today. You owe it to your loved ones to take care of yourself. After you’re discharged from the E.R. after a car crash, do yourself a favor and follow up with any specialists or doctors that are recommended to you by either your primary or emergency room doctor. Your future self will thank you.

If, at any time during the recovery process, you have any questions regarding legal matters pertaining to car accident injuries, feel free to contact a Lexington, KY car accident lawyer who cares. Todd W. Burris is happy to answer questions you may have or set up a free consultation to see if you’re eligible to file a legal claim against the other driver. Doing so may help you recover the costs of your medical care, enabling you to fully recover and get back on your feet again.

Kentucky Dog Bite Law

Published on Sep 1, 2016 at 9:00 am in General.
Kentucky Dog Bite Law

If you’ve been bitten or seriously injured by someone else’s dog, it may be in your best interest to file a lawsuit against the owner. Doing so will make it easier to pay for the treatment and recovery costs of your injuries as well as ensure that the dog owner learns to be responsible for their pet. In order to file a lawsuit, you’ll need to know how dog bite laws are handled within your state. Every state handles these cases quite differently.

In the state of Kentucky, dog bite lawsuits are considered “strict liability” cases. What this means is that a dog owner is 100% liable for any damage their dog causes to “a person, livestock, or other property,” even if that dog has never been aggressive in the past. If the owner tried to prevent the attack and/or used reasonable methods to control the dog but the attack still occurred, that owner is still fully liable. In other words, there is no need to prove that any negligence occurred.

This counts for more than just dog bite injuries, too. If a property owner’s dog, for example, jumps on you and knocks you over, causing injury, it’s possible to file a lawsuit against the owner. In this instance, the injuries were directly caused by the dog’s actions. Under Kentucky dog bite law, there is no difference between a case of this nature and a dog bite case.

Some state laws allow property owners to claim certain defenses during a dog bite lawsuit, stating that the victim, for example, provoked the dog or was trespassing on private property when the attack happened. In Kentucky, these defenses cannot be claimed. Even if the victim provoked the dog or was trespassing, the lawsuit will still stand. Either of these facts, however, may severely impact the damages amount the victim may be able to claim.

Kentucky Dog Bite Law for Property Owners

If you’re reading this article as the owner of a dog that harmed someone else, you can potentially reduce the damage costs you may have to pay by revealing every detail about the incident. Did the victim provoke the dog in any way? Did they walk unnecessarily close to your front yard? Make all this information known, showing evidence if at all possible, and the court may state that the victim was partially at fault for their injuries and reduce the amount of damages owed.

When a Kentucky court decides that a victim was partially at fault for an attack, the damages amount will be lowered by a set percentage based on the portion of liability they are responsible for. If, for example, the judge decides that the victim shouted at your dog and provoked the animal into attacking, the judge may decide that the victim was 50% at fault. This would lower the amount due to the victim by 50%. This amount will be decided on based upon the specifics of the case and any evidence.

Get Help from a Lexington, KY Personal Injury Lawyer

If any of this sounds complicated, don’t worry. Dog bite cases can definitely be complicated, but with the right attorney on your side, you can ensure that, as a victim of a dog attack, you get the help you need to recover. A skilled and knowledgeable personal injury attorney will do everything they can to fight for your rights and gather the evidence you need to secure your lawsuit.

Todd W. Burris, Lexington, KY bodily injury claim lawyer, is ready to assist you if you’ve been injured by a dog on someone else’s property. Under Kentucky law, you will generally have a period of one year from the time of a dog bite injury to file a lawsuit against the guilty party. This period is referred to as a statute of limitations. Contact our office to learn more or receive a free consultation.

Should I Talk to the Insurance Adjuster After an Accident?

Published on Aug 15, 2016 at 9:17 am in Car Accident.
Should I Talk to the Insurance Adjuster After an Accident?

During the aftermath of a serious car, truck, or motorcycle accident, one of the things that may surprise you is how quickly the other driver’s insurance adjusters or claim adjustors contact you. You might still be in the hospital. You might just be getting home when your phone rings off the hook. You may even receive a surprise knock at your door. Depending on the other driver’s insurance company and their plan of action, you may find yourself unnecessarily frustrated by how aggressive these adjusters can be.

What do they want from you? In most cases, that answer is simple. Even if the adjusters act respectful and concerned regarding your injuries, their goal is to you get you to settle the claim as quickly as possible in order to avoid paying you a fair and reasonable settlement amount. This goal benefits the insurance company’s own financial interests, of course, without taking your own wellbeing into consideration.

Case in point: A recent client of ours was offered $4,000 by an insurance adjuster shortly after his accident and before he hired our office to handle his claim. The insurance adjuster represented the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident and his injuries. Fortunately, the client realized he should talk with an attorney first. We took his case and ended up settling his claim for around $70,000!

Don’t be fooled by the intentions of insurance adjusters—their goal is to pay the least amount possible. The adjuster doesn’t care about you or your injuries. By aggressively attempting to get you to sign off early, they hope you won’t know any better and settle before you know your rights.

But you’re reading this. You know better. If you settle early, you may not receive the financial compensation you need to recover from your injuries and provide for your loved ones during your time of recovery. You need someone who’s looking out for you. If you’re forced to face an aggressive insurance adjuster who’s representing the other driver, you need help from an experienced Lexington, KY car accident lawyer.

Knowing How to Deal with Insurance Adjusters

If you decide to hire an attorney, your lawyer will speak to any insurance claims adjusters on your behalf, giving you the time you need to recover from the accident. Before you make that step, however, you may be forced to speak to the adjuster one or more times, depending on how aggressive they are. Watching what you say and how you say things during these conversations is essential. If you say the wrong things or agree to settle early, you could forfeit your chance at filing a lawsuit entirely.

Insurance adjusters know how to construe things you say in their favor. If you’re not sure what to say, it’s best to keep any conversations light and simple. Remain calm and respectful, but don’t talk about the details of the accident whatsoever. Don’t mention fault. Don’t talk about your injuries in any detail. If you’re pressured for details, tell them that you’re not ready to settle or talk about the case and that you will get in contact when you are ready. This gives you time to speak to an attorney.

When asked regarding any accident details, tell the adjuster to check the police report. If asked for a copy of your medical records, politely decline. If asked to give a recorded statement, decline the request. Even if the adjuster tries to tell you differently, remember that you’re not required by law to issue a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance provider. Insurance adjusters make this claim in hopes of getting a victim to say something they shouldn’t while they might be nervous about being recorded.

You can also, of course, politely decline to speak to any adjusters entirely. You are under no obligation to speak to them at any time. You can settle your claim with the help of a lawyer or through your own insurance provider. Ignoring aggressive adjusters may cause them to continue to hound you, however. Sometimes it’s best to simply exchange a few words and let them know that you have things handled. If you do have an attorney, give them your attorney’s contact information right away and all contact between you and the adjuster should cease.

Contacting an attorney is always your best course of action after being involved in a serious accident that may jeopardize your family’s finances. If the accident was caused by negligence, carelessness, reckless driving, or you feel the settlement is going to end unfairly, you have a legal right to file a lawsuit against the wrongful party. Todd W. Burris, Lexington, KY personal injury lawyer, is experienced in handling serious accident cases of all types and will do everything he can to help you get back on your feet again. Contact our Lexington office to learn more.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice. Viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Prior case results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

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