It is undeniable that caring for old people is no sinecure. Many are often headstrong, exacting, cantankerous, and resentful of being told what to do, how and when. Not all are like that, certainly, but enough to make it a struggle to get through the day. This is the reason why there is a problem with nursing staff turnover in many but the most expensive nursing homes, and why quality of care is sometimes a problem.

Staff shortage and inexperience are two of the major reasons by which nursing home abuse or neglect may occur. There are simply not enough warm bodies to go around to properly care for the number of residents in a typical nursing home, coupled with the fact that the patience of a saint is required to deal with the foibles of the elderly. They present the same challenge as caring for infants, but they are much harder to control, which could result in physical injury or verbal excesses.

But just because they are difficult does not justify any kind of abuse. Healthcare professionals, including those in nursing homes, are held to a higher standard in their duty of care because of the nature of their profession and the amount of training they undergo before they acquire their licenses. The problems they encounter in a nursing home are to be expected, and those who cannot handle it should not be working in one.

The same duty applies in ensuring the care of residents. Proper hygiene, nutrition, medication, and physical assistance must be rendered at all times as many of these residents are incapable of looking after themselves. Nursing home neglect often occurs simply from poor time management or downright laziness on the part of the staff; there is no active malevolence or desire to do harm, but that does not alleviate the negligence. Many nursing home residents already have compromised health, so even a short period of neglect is enough to affect them adversely and permanently.

If you suspect that a family member is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, report it to the proper authorities at once to get an investigation started. At the same time, consult with a personal injury lawyer to protect the rights of your elderly loved one and to explore the legal options.

It is hard to imagine that with the state of modern medicine that a child may still be at risk of birth injuries. But the fact is, an estimated 7 out 1,000 live births result is some type of birth injury. This includes injuries that are relatively minor and resolve on their own with no medical intervention, as well as those that are permanent and severe enough to be debilitating, and which cannot be repaired.

Among the former are some cases of brachial plexus injury, also called Erb’s Palsy, which may occur for a variety of reasons, one of which is obstetric. The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that conducts signals to the spinal cord to control shoulder, arm and hand movement. In an obstetric trauma, the newborn may experience injury to the brachial plexus during a difficult birth independent of any medical error, but it may also be due to excessive pressure brought on the shoulder, where the brachial plexus is located, or the incorrect use of birthing instruments. When the injury is minor, the newborn may exhibit some difficulty in moving the affected arm but the nerve damage is repaired within three months of the birth. In other cases, the damage is too severe for natural resolution, and results in permanent disability. In severe cases, the affected arm develops asymmetrically and has limited movement.

When birth injury is to the brain, one of the numerous possible results is cerebral palsy. This is a neuromuscular disorder wherein the affected individual is unable to control certain movements, and may also affect depth perception and cognition, depending on the extent and location of the injury. While the cause is cerebral palsy is largely unknown, there are instances when medical error is clearly indicated such as the failure to respond appropriately to watch redtube during difficult labor, in which case the resulting physical disability can be presumed to be due to physician negligence.

If your child suffered from birth injury due to medical error or negligence, the effects can be significant and long-term for both the injured child and the family.

One of the types of abuse that the elderly experience in Wisconsin nursing homes is that of financial exploitation. It could take the form of theft of valuables such as jewelry or cash, or fraud through forgery of checks, new loans, or credit card purchases.

Just like with any kind of elder abuse, financial exploitation in the nursing home seldom gets reported unless it becomes glaringly apparent and family members or friends take action. The victims themselves do not complain because they fear repercussion from their caregivers, who are supposed to be looking after them, or feel vulnerable because they have become dependent on their abusers for their daily needs. It is a sad fact that many nursing home residents have no one nearby to turn to in their time of need.

Financial exploitation is reported in as many as 1 in 9 of the elder population, both in and out of nursing homes, and even then it is thought to be grossly underreported.  It is estimated that only 1 in 44 cases of financial exploitation is reported. In a majority of the cases, caregivers, family members, and close friends are the abusers, and the victim often has to turn to government assistance when the money runs out.

In nursing homes, residents are often subjected to coercion through physical or verbal threats to disclose financial information. To prevent this, all nursing homes including those in Wisconsin are required to account for and safeguard the personal funds of the residents, and any cash over $50 must be placed in a bank account in the name of the resident. Failure to protect residents under their care against financial exploitation may constitute negligence on the part of nursing home management.

Financial exploitation will show up in the financial records and spending behavior of the resident.  If you suspect that a family member is being taken advantage of, consult an experienced Wisconsin nursing home abuse lawyer to determine if this is so, and if so, how to correct the situation and possibly get compensation.

It sounds like a made up word, but patentability is actually quite serious business. Anyone with a bright idea for a gadget or an improvement on an existing product will need to establish patentability before they can get exclusive rights to the invention, legally called a patent.

Patentability refers to the conditions set forth under patent law that must be met before an invention may be given a patent. Applying for a patent is expensive, so it is just practical to ensure that an invention meets patentability conditions before a formal application is made. The conditions for patentability are:

  • Non-obvious
  • Novel
  • Useful
  • Subject matter is eligible for patent protection

They sound simple, but meeting these conditions requires a complex understanding of international as well as national patent laws. While a patentability search can certainly be initiated by an amateur, it is generally a waste of time as there are many legal and practical matters to take into consideration. Even though the database is available online, it is an exhausting and confusing process not much better than a hard-copy search in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Washington, D.C., where only professional searchers have much luck.

Depending on an inventor’s requirements, the costs of a professional patentability search can be upwards of $400, but it is money well-spent as a professional patentability searcher, usually a patent lawyer, will not only help establish patentability, but may also draft a more effective patent application to improve chances of being approved. And as patents may be challenged in litigation, it helps that a patentability search was conducted by legal professionals as they will be able to provide legal grounds for establishing patentability in the first place. As pointed out in the website of Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C. in Fort Worth, small business owners and entrepreneurs have to make sure they have their bases covered legally if they don’t want to get involved in much more expensive litigation later on.

If you have a great idea with a potential to make you a lot of money, you really should not try to do the legal stuff on your own. In fact, before making any further investment in your invention, you should do a patentability search to see if it is something that you own intellectual property rights to.

One of the worst crimes that you can commit in any jurisdiction is the willful taking of another person’s life. In the US, most states follow the felony murder rule under common law, in which a participant in a murder although not the actually the one to commit the act is also criminally liable. However, in most states, the degree of participation will affect the level of punishment, and even in states where the death penalty is in effect, minor participants are not eligible for it.

Not so in Texas.

Under the Texas felony murder rule, also referred to as the law of parties, any participant in a murder regardless of intent or level of participation is considered equally culpable as the person who actually committed the crime if an individual commissioned, aided, abetted, encouraged, or in any way furthered the commission of the act. Since Texas is a death penalty state, the law of parties allows that if convicted, all participants may be given a death sentence.

The law of parties is a controversial issue because it is considered to be unreasonably harsh, but efforts to modify it have so far been unsuccessful. But there is still hope for the unfortunate individuals who were largely in the wrong place at the wrong time. There are several instances where the driver of the car carrying the would-be murderer was sentenced to death, and in many cases, the death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.

To be charged with felony murder is a terrifying experience, but especially in Texas. A rigorous defense must be mounted without loss of time to avoid being associated at all with the crime, because the consequences are extremely dire. If you are being charged with participating in a felony murder in Texas, do not admit nor say anything before consulting with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.