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How to Prevent Dog Bites – What You Should & Should Not Do Around A Strange Dog

prevent dog bitesAccording to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), millions of people are bitten by dogs every year, and hundreds of thousands of patients end up in emergency rooms as a direct result of dog bites. Still, many cases are preventable, so we’ve come up with some tips for how you can reduce your risk of getting bitten by a dog.

Do:

Always ask the owner if it is OK to pet their dog before doing so. This is more than just a courtesy to the dog’s owner, this is to keep you safe. If they know their dog has a tendency to be aggressive, they’ll tell you and say it’s probably best if you not pet their dog.

If a stray dog approaches you, remain motionless. Let them come to you, rather than trying to make the first move. Slowly hold your hand out in a fist so the dog can sniff you first. If all goes well (and the owner says it’s OK) then you can pet the dog.

Say “No” or “Go away” firmly in a loud voice if a dog you don’t want to interact with approaches you. Using a firm, commanding tone of voice is more important than the words you use.

Learn the Language. Dogs have their own body language and things will go much more smoothly between the two of you if you learn what that language is. A dog that is wagging its tail and has its mouth open is safe to approach.

Mouth open is the not the same as baring teeth. Teeth baring and/or growling is a pretty clear indication that the dog wants you to stay away, especially if their tail is also sticking straight out behind them. A dog that has its mouth closed, head and tail lowered, and eyes locked on something is getting ready to attack – do not approach a dog in this position. Eye contact is also a sign of aggression, so try to avoid making eye contact with all strange dogs.

Don’t:

Approach a stray or unfamiliar dog. If you see a dog running about on its own and/or acting strangely, contact your local animal control to let them know about the dog. Include a physical description of the dog, as well as the location of where you last saw it.

Panic or run from a dog. That is a race you will not win, and both your panic (which they can sense) and your running could trigger the dog’s aggressive response.

Startle or disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, caring for puppies, or has a toy. Some dogs are resource aggressive, which means if they have something (a toy or food) and you approach them, they may act aggressively out of fear that you’re going to try to take away whatever they have. If a dog you don’t know has something in its mouth, don’t try to get it out, even if it belongs to you. Let the dog’s owner handle it. If the dog is running about unsupervised, just let them have it (but still call the authorities and let them know there is a stray dog running around).

Let children play with dogs unsupervised. Children are more likely than adults to be bitten by a dog and their injuries tend to be more severe than when an adult suffers a dog bite. Children are curious and unaware of canine manners, so they’re more likely to do something that will upset the dog, such as pull its tail or one of its ears. Some dogs will react aggressively to this kind of treatment, so never let your children play with an unfamiliar dog without supervision.

That said, attacks still happen, even if you’ve taken all the precautions. That’s when you need an experienced personal injury trial lawyer, like the lawyers at Lieser Law Firm in St. Louis.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or some other type of accident, you need the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

CONTACT the Lieser Law Firm today for your FREE case evaluation.

I Was in An Accident in A Rental Car – Who Is Liable for Damages?

accident in a rental carSummer is well on its way, which means we’re approaching road trip season. Whether you’re taking your own car on the road or flying into another city where you’ll be renting a car, the chances that you’ll be involved in a car accident with a rental car tend to increase over the summer.

Whether you’re in the rental car or the other driver is in the rental car, the basic rules of the road still apply: the driver who caused the accident is responsible for covering all damages, including any medical bills if one or more people were injured in the car crash. If you’re driving a rental car, you have a few insurance options:

  • Your regular insurance could cover the rental car while you’re driving it;
  • You can buy car insurance through the rental company (although this usually involves just the bare minimum of coverage, which means it will max out soon if you have to rely on it in a crash);
  • The credit card used to pay for the car rental can also provide insurance on the rental car (although, again, it’s usually minimal coverage, often covering just collision insurance, which will pay for damages to one or both cars, but won’t cover medical costs, lost income, or pain and suffering); or
  • If the driver who caused the accident is not the one driving a rental car, then their normal car insurance will pay for the damages, up to their policy’s limit.

In some cases, you might be able to combine some of these coverage options if one policy is not enough to cover the damages of the car crash – medical bills in particular have a tendency to skyrocket, especially when injuries are severe.

Finally, if you are not at fault for the accident, but the driver who is doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the costs of the accident, then your insurance policy’s uninsured/underinsured coverage will kick in (assuming you have uninsured/underinsured coverage through your vehicle insurance provider).

There are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, if the crash was caused by a malfunction of the rental car because the rental company failed to properly maintain the vehicle, then the rental company would be responsible for reimbursing everyone involved for all damages, including replacing or repairing the rental car, repairing the other car, as well as all medical bills if injuries were sustained as a result of the crash.

But that only holds if you can prove the rental company was negligent in caring for the vehicle and that the defect directly caused the accident, or made the effects of the car crash worse. You also need to be able to prove that the rental company knew about the defect and was negligent in addressing the issue, which can be difficult to prove. Often it comes down to what you say vs. what the rental company says.

Regardless of whether you were at fault, if you or a loved one sustained an injury in a car crash involving a rental car, you need a competent personal injury attorney on your side. The lawyers at Lieser Law Firm will represent your interests and make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

f you or a loved one has suffered an injury or some other type of accident, you need the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

CONTACT the Lieser Law Firm today for your FREE case evaluation.

The Truth About Pit Bulls

Pit bullsThe first thing to understand is that an American Pit Bull Terrier is a specific breed, but that the term “pit bull” is often used to cover a vast array of breeds, and in fact, many dogs labeled “pit bulls” are actually mutts with a wide and varied pedigree. This is why it’s so important to judge dogs by their individual personalities and behavior, rather than their label. Not only are pit bulls capable of being perfectly sweet and affectionate dogs, but when mixed with other breeds, you never know what personality traits from which breed the dog will end up with.

They Don’t Have Locking Jaws

A rumor has been spread that pit bulls have jaws that will lock shut when biting their prey or target. In fact, a pit bull’s jaw is structured much like any other dog’s jaw. That said, pit bulls are not only strong, but also notoriously stubborn, which could explain how this “locking jaw” rumor got started. Their tenacious nature is more likely to be the true cause of the unlikelihood that they’ll let go of anything once they’ve managed to get hold of it.

They Are Not More Likely Than Other Dogs to Bite

As for the common misconception that pit bulls are more prone to biting than other dogs, that’s also false according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Controlled studies have found that pit bulls are no more dangerous than other breeds.

While reports of dog bites do sometimes indicate a higher rate of bites from pit bulls, there are a few reasons to take these numbers with a big grain of salt, including the issue mentioned above: not all dogs labeled “pit bulls” are actually pit bulls. That means a dog of another breed could have bitten someone and they reported it as being a pit bull. Second, minor dog bites that don’t require medical attention often go unreported, especially bites from small dogs and puppies – that said, you should always report a dog bite, however minor. If the dog has rabies or the would gets infected, you’ll want the owners information and the number of an excellent personal injury attorney.

It’s the Human, Not the Dog, That’s the Problem

Ask just about any dog trainer, veterinarian, or animal rescue professional, and they’ll all say the same thing: a dog’s breed doesn’t matter nearly as much as how it’s handled. Just like humans can be raised to be aggressive and violent, or calm and empathetic, dogs can be raised to attack each other (and/or people) or they can be raised to be gentle, loving dogs that can be a great addition to any family. This is why we hold the humans accountable when a dog bites and why a good personal injury attorney will fight to make sure they pay for the damages their dog inflicted.

They Love People

Pit bulls that have been properly raised can actually be among the most affectionate dog breeds, beating out beagles, golden retrievers, and corgis in terms of their need for cuddles. Pit bulls are also very eager to please, which can make them easy to train, despite their stubborn nature.

In fact, their eagerness to please can be a detriment when they fall into the wrong hands. A pit bull that is encouraged to fight other dogs or attack people will do just that if their human rewards them for such aggressive behavior. This is why it’s so important to hold owners and handlers accountable when a dog does bite someone. If you’ve recently been bitten – by any breed – call us today to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or some other type of accident, you need the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

CONTACT the Lieser Law Firm today for your FREE case evaluation.

What Do I Do if I’m in a Car Accident in Another State?

car accident in another stateWhen driving in states other than your home state, you are required to abide by the traffic and insurance laws of that state – not just the state in which you live and buy insurance. While all 50 states require drivers to carry vehicle insurance, some of the specifics, as far as the types and levels of insurance required, vary from state to state. For example, most states require you to carry uninsured/underinsured driver’s insurance to cover any expenses caused by a driver who either doesn’t have insurance, or has the minimum amount of insurance coverage to remain compliant with the law, but isn’t enough to cover the damages incurred in the accident.

That said, not all states require this extra level of protection, although all insurance companies offer it and some even require you to purchase it in order to obtain any coverage. If your state is one that does not require uninsured/underinsured driver’s insurance, but the state you’re traveling to does, make sure you have the proper coverage before you go on your trip.

But what if you’ve already gotten into a car accident in another state? Hopefully you’ve already taken care of everything mentioned above. If not, it’s still good to check, even after the accident, especially if the other driver doesn’t have insurance or doesn’t have enough to cover the costs of the damage. Regardless, you should follow many of the same steps you would follow if you were in an accident in your own state:

  • Exchange insurance information with the other driver, even if everything seems fine. Better to have it and not need it than to find out later they did serious damage to you, your vehicle, or one of your passengers, and not have a way to reach them (keep in mind many car crash injuries don’t manifest right away, especially internal injuries). If they don’t have insurance, get their contact information. You should also take a photo of their driver’s license and insurance card.
  • Exchange information with any witnesses to the accident. Ask for their names, addresses, and phone numbers so you can contact them in the event of a dispute. If you or one of your passengers was hurt, you’ll need to call a personal injury attorney, and they will also want to talk to any witnesses. Your insurance carrier might also want their contact information so they can question them before resolving your claim.
  • Call the police. You should always call the police right away any time you’re involved in an accident, regardless of the amount of damage done. It’s always a good idea to file a police report so you have a third-party account of the incident. If someone was hurt, call for medical assistance – if they were seriously hurt, call 911 and tell them you need an ambulance. Once the immediate emergency has been handled, call a personal injury attorney right away to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
  • Notify your insurance carrier as soon as possible. If one or more other drivers were involved, your insurance carrier can contact their insurance carriers to determine who was responsible and which company will cover what damages.

Finally, if you or one of your passengers was injured as a result of the car accident, contact a personal injury attorney today. We’ll defend your rights and make sure you’re properly compensated for all the damages you incurred.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or some other type of accident, you need the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

CONTACT the Lieser Law Firm today for your FREE case evaluation.

Beyond Whiplash: Other Neck Injuries You Might Experience After a Car Crash

neck injuriesMost of us are familiar with whiplash. It’s a common term used to describe a neck injury, usually as a result of a car crash. The tendons and ligaments in the neck can be strained after a sharp jerking motion either forwards or backwards, but it’s not the only neck injury a car crash can inflict. Below are some common neck injuries, other than whiplash, you may not be aware could be caused by a car crash.

Bone Fractures

Broken bones are always a risk in car crashes, and the bones in and around the neck can be particularly vulnerable to fractures and breaks, depending on the severity of the car crash, where the person was sitting relative to the impact, whether they were wearing their seatbelt, etc. Fractures and breaks to bones in the head and face, as well as the collarbone, are all unfortunately common in car crashes.

Disc Injuries

The neck, along with the rest of the spine, is made up of a series of discs, one or more of which can be shoved out of alignment as a result of the excessive force that can result from a car crash. Discs that are bulging, slipped, herniated, or ruptured can be extremely painful and even impair movement. These back and neck injuries often need surgery to correct, which comes with its own risks, not to mention costs.

Acute Mechanical Back and Neck Pain

In addition to the spinal discs, the joints, vertebrae, and soft tissue around them (such as the muscles, tendons and ligaments that help keep the neck and back upright) are all subject to damage in a car crash. These can lead to musculoskeletal injuries, which can be extremely painful, limit movement and quality of life, and could end up requiring surgery to correct.

Symptoms

It’s important to remember that just because you feel fine immediately after a car crash doesn’t mean you haven’t been injured. Some back and neck injuries can take days to manifest, so if you experience any of the following symptoms in the days following a car crash, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor, and be sure to mention the car crash when describing your symptoms.

  • Pain in the neck, back, shoulders, and/or head
  • Pain that gets worse with physical activity or movement
  • Limited range of motion
  • A grinding feeling and/or sound when you try to move that part of your body
  • A bump or a raised or misshapen area on or near the injury
  • Bruising, redness and/or swelling on the injury or the surrounding area

Be sure to document any symptoms or strange or unusual sensations you might have shortly after being in a car accident. Keep a journal where you keep track of all these sensations and whether they move or change in any way, especially if they get worse. Most of all, seeing a doctor as soon as possible is of the utmost importance so you can be sure to treat the injury (or injuries) as quickly and efficiently as possible, rather than waiting until they’re out of control.

Your next phone call should be to a qualified personal injury attorney who can help make sure you are properly compensated, not only for your medical bills, but for the costs of the pain and suffering you incurred as a direct result of the car crash. Someone was at fault and we can help hold them responsible.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or some other type of accident, you need the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

CONTACT the Lieser Law Firm today for your FREE case evaluation.

Head and Neck Injuries Not Caused by Impact

Head and Neck InjuriesMost of us get concerned (and rightly so) when someone hits their head. Head injuries can be very serious, and all too often they’re more serious than we first realize. Oftentimes, the symptoms aren’t recognized or don’t appear until some time has passed after the incident.

Nevertheless, there are a number of injuries that the head and neck can sustain without suffering any kind of impact. We’ve listed just a few of those possibilities below:

Whiplash

Most people have heard of whiplash. It’s caused by coming to a sudden stop faster than your body can adjust. Your head gets thrown forward, and then back against the headrest – which is why it’s so important to always make sure you have a headrest in the right position for your head. If your car gets hit from behind, your head might just get thrown backward against the headrest. In either case, there’s always the danger of straining your neck by instinctively trying too hard to keep your head upright, despite the sudden forward and/or backward motion.

In minor cases, whiplash may only cause damage to the muscle and may heal on its own with some rest, painkillers, heat, and stretches. In more serious cases, the discs of the neck and/or the ligament around the discs may have been damaged, which might require more specialized treatment.

Anoxia

Anoxia happens when the brain is deprived of oxygen, and there are a few different things that can cause it. Suffocation or drowning, even if it’s not long enough to kill a person, could be sustained long enough to inflict serious brain damage.

Likewise, certain toxins in the bloodstream can prevent the brain from being able to access the oxygen in the blood. So even if blood is being pumped to the brain, the brain’s inability to use the oxygen contained in the blood can cause a head injury.

Hypoxia

A hypoxic injury results when the brain receives some, but not enough oxygen. This can happen when a person’s blood flow or blood pressure are reduced to dangerous levels.

Toxins

Toxins in the blood stream, whether found in drugs or resulting from a specific combination of drugs, can sometimes cause one of the above types of head injuries. Even drugs deemed safe might cause problems for someone who has a unique reaction to the substance and/or one of its ingredients.

This is why it’s so important to talk to your doctor about any potential side effects when starting a new medication. Be sure to tell them about any other medications or supplements you’re taking so they can make sure you’re not mixing substances that should never be taken together. You should also always be careful to read the instructions of each supplement and medication you’re taking to minimize the chances of having a bad reaction. Note whether the medication should be taken with or without food, and if there are any other drugs (such as caffeine or alcohol) that you need to be careful to avoid while taking the medication.

Internal Damage

Finally, don’t forget that a brain can sustain damage as a result of things happening internally. Strokes, tumors, and certain diseases (especially degenerative diseases) can all affect brain function. If someone you know has been acting out of character recently, take note of their symptoms and speak to a medical professional about possible causes. If the symptoms persist, the person will have to go in for a diagnosis, but keep an eye on them in the mean time to make sure they don’t get any worse.

If you or someone you know has suffered a head injury as a result of someone’s abuse or neglect, contact a personal injury attorney right away. If someone is at fault for the damage, you could be eligible to receive compensation, but first you’ll need to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss the circumstances of the injury and whether you have a case.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or some other type of accident, you need the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

CONTACT the Lieser Law Firm today for your FREE case evaluation.

Common Knee Injuries Caused by Car Crashes

Knee Injuries Caused by Car CrashesMany of us are familiar with whiplash, not to mention the various head injuries that are often the unfortunate result of a brutal car crash. But what is less well known is that knee injuries are also commonly caused by car crashes.

Fractures

Because car crashes sometimes happen at high speeds, the force of suddenly coming to a stop can hurl people against each other and against the insides of the car. If two or more cars crash into each other at high speeds, the damage can be even more severe.

Due to the amount of collision that tends to happen in car accidents (both inside and outside the vehicle) fractures are a common result of car accidents, especially knee fractures. If you notice any discoloration, misshapenness, or even the knee bone protruding out of the skin, you have a knee fracture. At the very least you will need to wear a cast, with surgery being recommended in some of the more extreme cases.

Dislocations

Dislocations are less common than fractures, but no less serious. If left untreated, a dislocated bone can cut off the blood supply to the bone (or other parts of the body), which could ultimately lead to the amputation of the limb if not treated right away.

Sprains and Strains

Sprains and strains are the results of stretching joints too far and/or in directions they should not be stretched. This is common in car accidents as body parts are forced into unnatural positions and the tendons, ligaments, and muscles around the joint become torn or damaged. Sprains and strains are given one of three grades, based on the amount of pain experienced as a result, with Grade I being assigned to those injuries with minimal pain and Grade III representing the most amount of pain.

Torn Cartilage

The cartilage around your knee is there to act as a sort of shock absorber, but the force experienced in a car crash can exceed the amount of force the cartilage can handle, resulting in tears. Torn cartilage around the knee is also commonly experienced along with knee sprains and strains, since both tend to be caused by the knee getting forced into unnatural positions. In most cases, time and rest are all that’s needed to heal sprains, strains, and torn cartilage, although in some cases, surgery may be required.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury

The ACL is the ligament that runs across the knee to stabilize and strengthen the joint. Damage to that ligament is a serious injury and can result in the inability to walk or exert any kind of pressure with that leg. Immediate medical attention is required after sustaining an ACL injury. Surgery is usually required, followed by ongoing medical treatment.

In addition to the costs of medical treatment (which can easily exceed $10,000 if surgery is required), many people file claims for intangible damages as a result of having sustained a knee injury in a car crash. Even after treatment has been administered, many people report a loss or reduction of strength and motion in that leg for the rest of their lives after the accident, inhibiting their ability to work, play, perform household chores, and/or conduct errands.

If you’ve been in a car accident recently and sustained a significant knee injury, you could be eligible to collect damages. Contact a personal injury attorney today to discuss whether you might have a case.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or some other type of accident, you need the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

CONTACT the Lieser Law Firm today for your FREE case evaluation.

Can I File a Claim with My Insurance if I Hit a Deer with My Car?

hit a deer with my carA deer can do a lot of damage to a vehicle. They’re big and heavy and have things like hooves, and sometimes antlers, all of which can do serious damage to your car. If your car isn’t totaled after hitting a deer (which it very well might be), then it will certainly need a lot of time in a repair shop, and that’s never cheap. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the average cost per claim filed for a deer-related accident was just under $4,000 in 2016.

Make Sure You Have the Right Insurance

If you drive in an area where you know deer tend to be active (or you’re going to be traveling to a rural area in the near future), you might want to check with your insurance agent to make sure you’re covered in case you hit a deer. But it’s not just hitting a deer you need to worry about – there’s also the possibility that you’ll brake and/or swerve to avoid hitting the deer, only to hit another car or a light pole. These are two different types of accidents that require two different types of insurance, so make sure you’re covered for all possible scenarios.

Collision vs Comprehensive Insurance

If you have comprehensive insurance on your car, then any damage caused by a deer should be covered by your insurance. Just keep in mind that your insurance will cover the costs of the damage only if a deer actually makes contact with your vehicle. That means that if you swerve to avoid hitting a deer and crash into a tree, those expenses would not be covered by comprehensive insurance – although they would be covered by collision insurance.

Collision coverage is just what it sounds like: it’s coverage that’s meant to cover the costs associated with your car running into something – such as another car, a tree, a light pole, etc. All of those are considered to be significantly different from the random act of a deer running across the road in front of you. That’s why direct deer-related accidents are paid for by comprehensive insurance, rather than collision insurance.

Insurance Limits

Regardless of which type of insurance you need, don’t forget to factor in the deductibles and limits. All insurance plans require you to pay a portion of the damages before the insurance will kick in and they all have limits to how much they’ll pay. If the damages incurred exceed what the insurance company deems to be the current value of your car, they will consider the car to have been totaled and will pay you for the value of the car.

Timing Is Everything

There are certain times of the day, and of the year, when deer are more active than they are at other times. If you live in a rural area, or regularly drive over a stretch of road where deer are often seen, be careful when driving through these areas before sunset, at night, and shortly after dawn, especially from October through December. It’s deer hunting season for a reason, so you want to be extra careful when driving through rural areas around that time of the year.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or some other type of accident, you need the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

CONTACT the Lieser Law Firm today for your FREE case evaluation.

Why Do I Need Car Insurance?

Car insurance can get expensive, and when you’re strapped for cash, it can be tempting to look at the insurance as one payment you can forego. But is this something you can really do without?

Below are some reasons car insurance is a necessity, not a luxury.

State Laws

There is no federal law requiring drivers to have car insurance, but every state requires drivers to carry some type of coverage.

Can’t Get a Loan or a Lease Without One

Most banks require you to buy car insurance as a condition of providing you with a car loan or lease to get the car. They know if you get in an accident and can’t pay for the damages, you’ll be less likely to be able to pay back the loan or keep up with your lease payments. So, they’re trying to protect you, as well as their own assets, by making sure all their borrowers have the proper insurance coverage.

Protect Your Finances

The cost of a car crash can go far beyond the cost of repairing the car itself. Depending on the extent of the damage, the car may be totaled (which means it will need to be replaced), people may need medical attention, and medical bills can pile up very quickly. If they’re hurt badly enough that they can’t work for a period of time, you may also have to pay them for that lost income. The same is true of legal bills if you have a dispute with anyone else who was involved in the crash. Even a few hours of an attorney’s time can easily reach hundreds of dollars, not to mention the costs of actually going to court, paying court fees, etc.

Without insurance, all that could come out of your own pocket.

Protect Your Passengers

It’s bad enough if you get injured in a car crash and can’t afford to pay your own medical bills, but what about if someone else is in the car with you and they get injured and neither of you can cover their medical bills? As the driver, you are responsible for their safety, which means you will also be liable for any medical bills to treat injuries from a crash you caused while behind the wheel. If you both get injured, you’re responsible for their medical bills, as well as your own.

Protect Yourself

If you get injured in an accident and neither you nor the other driver has any insurance, you’ll have to pay for all your own expenses, including medical bills. If the other driver is at fault and they don’t have insurance, you can try to sue them for damages to get them to pay for your medical bills, but if they can’t afford insurance, chances are they won’t be able to afford to cover your healthcare needs either.

Carrying insurance is about protecting yourself and those around you. The costs of a car crash can easily reach tens of thousands of dollars, which is more than enough to bankrupt a lot of people. By buying insurance and paying your dues regularly, you can protect yourself from financial ruin and ensure you can get back on your feet that much faster after the accident.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or some other type of accident, you need the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

CONTACT the Lieser Law Firm today for your FREE case evaluation.

Preventing Elder Abuse: How You Can Make Sure Your Loved One Is in Good Hands

elder abuseIt’s never easy to make the decision to move a loved one out of their home and into a nursing home or assisted living facility. It can be hard to take away some of their independence, but even more frightening is the thought of making them vulnerable and dependent upon another to provide care. When you put your loved one in someone else’s care, you are trusting those people with the people you love most, and sadly, not every company or person is worthy of that trust.

Here are some things you can do ahead of time to prevent your nearest and dearest from suffering at the hands of elder abuse.

Do Your Research

Before deciding on a nursing home or assisted living, ask around. Do you have any friends whose parents have moved into a nursing home or assisted living? What has their experience been like?

Take a tour of each building you’re considering for your loved one and look around carefully. Is it clean? How do the residents look?

Talk with the staff. Ask questions. See how they respond, how they behave around the residents, and determine if they’re people you can trust.

Be Proactive

Get a power of attorney and/or a will before your loved one loses the capacity to make decisions for themselves. This will help protect their assets and make it easier for you to protect them, including making legal decision for them if anything does go wrong.

Be Present

Visit your loved one early and often. Predators prey on the weak and the isolated, and one of the best ways you can protect your loved one is by simply being there and showing the staff you’re looking out for them.

The next part of that is to actually look out for your loved one. Know the signs of elder abuse, and know that the victim will rarely, if ever, tell you about it, so just asking how they are isn’t enough. Take note of any changes in behavior, weight, and any signs of injury. If you see anything suspicious, take note of it and take pictures.

Talk with the Staff

Ask about what medications your loved one is on and write it all down so you can keep track of it. Talk to the staff if you see anything suspicious. If nothing seems to change after you bring up a serious concern, you might want to consider alerting the authorities.

Educate Yourself

Know the signs of elder abuse and what to do about it if the unthinkable does happen. Know the requirements for filing a complaint within the nursing home or assisted living in which your loved one is residing, as well as the legal options available to you within your own state, county and city. Elder abuse isn’t tolerated anywhere, but the specifics protecting you and your loved one vary depending on where you’re located, so be sure to keep yourself updated on all the laws pertaining to elder abuse governing your area.

f you or a loved one has suffered an injury or some other type of accident, you need the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.

CONTACT the Lieser Law Firm today for your FREE case evaluation.