My mother is in a nursing home and the staff is rude to her, they don’t change her clothes regularly and her nails and hair are not kept up. Can I sue the nursing home to make them treat my mother better?

I would not recommend filing a lawsuit based on the facts presented. Most claims against nursing homes are considered a professional malpractice action. This means that a professional person, e.g., a nurse, a doctor, or other medical professional, has done something that falls below the standard of care for that profession. These cases are very expensive because they require expert witnesses, depositions (many of them out of state) and other expenses that are not generally part of a standard negligence action. Therefore, an attorney must weigh the potential amount a jury might award for the damages suffered by the nursing home patient against the amount it would cost to bring the professional malpractice claim. Generally, when a nursing home patient has not suffered some catastrophic injury, such as the loss of a limb, loss of life, or significant loss of quality of life, it would not be cost-efficient to bring a professional malpractice claim because the client will spend …

Continue reading My mother is in a nursing home and the staff is rude to her, they don’t change her clothes regularly and her nails and hair are not kept up. Can I sue the nursing home to make them treat my mother better? »

My 68 year-old mother is in a nursing home and developed horrible ulcers due to a lack of proper care. I just learned that there is no insurance and the business was subsequently sold to a company that tells me they do not have to pay compensation. Can this be?

In an earlier column, http://blogs.ajc.com/ask-the-expert-legal/2014/02/18/my-68-year-old-mother-is-in-a-nursing-home-and-developed-horrible-ulcers-due-to-a-lack-of-proper-care-I-just-learned-that-there-is-no-insurance-and-the-business-was-subsequently-sold-to-a-company-th/ I explained that facilities are not required to have insurance for claims. In this column, I am afraid to tell you that a facility can be sold without the liability attaching to the new owner. With the help of corporate lawyers, the assets of the facility can be transferred, but not the liabilities, to enable a facility to continue to operate under a new name without having to be held accountable for prior negligent acts.

Unfortunately, I have seen this in my practice with some of my clients. There are some sophisticated ways to possibly uncover assets to compensate your mother so, I strongly advise you to contact a lawyer. I also strongly encourage you to share your story with your Georgia or federal …

Continue reading My 68 year-old mother is in a nursing home and developed horrible ulcers due to a lack of proper care. I just learned that there is no insurance and the business was subsequently sold to a company that tells me they do not have to pay compensation. Can this be? »

I was recently in a collision and my car was totaled. I owe the finance company $10,000.00 for the car, but the insurance company tells me that it is only worth $7,000.00 and that is all they will pay. Can I make them pay off my car?

I hear this question all the time and the answer is generally not what the client wants to hear. The minute you purchase a vehicle and drive it off the lot it diminishes in value. For instance, if you purchase a vehicle and drove it home and immediately decided to resell it, the resale value would likely be thousands of dollars less than you paid for the vehicle because the vehicle is now used. Insurance companies are only bound to pay the fair market value of the vehicle. Accordingly, the amount they pay is a set figure amount that the car is currently worth. It is normally much lower than what you paid and may times it is much lower than what you still owe. The way you can protect yourself from this unfortunate outcome is to purchase gap insurance. This is a policy with your insurance company that covers the difference between what you owe on the vehicle and the fair market value. Keep this is mind when you are purchasing vehicle insurance.

The foregoing answer is not legal …

Continue reading I was recently in a collision and my car was totaled. I owe the finance company $10,000.00 for the car, but the insurance company tells me that it is only worth $7,000.00 and that is all they will pay. Can I make them pay off my car? »

My 68 year-old mother is in a nursing home and developed horrible ulcers due to a lack of proper care. I just learned that there is no insurance and the business was subsequently sold to a company that tells me they do not have to pay compensation. Can this be?

In my last column I explained that facilities were not required to have insurance for claims. In this column, I am afraid to tell you that the facility can be sold without the liability attaching to the new owner. With the help of corporate lawyers, the assets of the facility can be transferred, but not the liabilities to enable a facility to continue to operate under a new name without having to be held accountable for negligent acts.

Unfortunately, I have seen this in my practice with some of my clients. There are some sophisticated ways to possibly uncover assets to compensate your mother so I strongly advise you to contact a lawyer. I also strongly encourage you to share your story with your Georgia or federal representative or Senator; they need to know. Maybe some day we will have laws to protect all of our loved ones who are at nursing homes or assisted living in Georgia.

The foregoing answer is not legal advise and is merely a general overview. You are advised to …

Continue reading My 68 year-old mother is in a nursing home and developed horrible ulcers due to a lack of proper care. I just learned that there is no insurance and the business was subsequently sold to a company that tells me they do not have to pay compensation. Can this be? »

My 68 year-old mother is in a nursing home and developed horrible ulcers due to a lack of proper care. I just learned that the facility is not insured. Can this be?

Believe it or not, yes. The facility does not have to be insured. You have to have car insurance in Georgia in case you cause a wreck and hurt someone, and with Obamacare you have to have health insurance in case you get sick or need to be seen by a doctor or need to get treatment at a hospital, but in Georgia, a nursing home or assisted living facility does not have to have insurance to compensate individuals who are harmed by negligent behavior.

Unfortunately, I have seen this in my practice with some of my clients. There are some sophisticated ways to possibly uncover assets to compensate your mother so I strongly advise you to contact a lawyer. I also strongly encourage you to share your story with your Georgia or federal representatives or Senator; they need to know. Maybe some day we will have laws to protect all of our loved ones who are at nursing homes or assisted living facilities in Georgia.

The foregoing answer is not legal advice and is merely a general overview. …

Continue reading My 68 year-old mother is in a nursing home and developed horrible ulcers due to a lack of proper care. I just learned that the facility is not insured. Can this be? »

I was recently involved in a car collision and broke my wrist. Am I entitled to compensation?

In my 26 years of practice, I have represented hundreds of people injured as a result of a collision, and the answer is, “maybe.” First, you have to establish that the other driver did something wrong that caused the collision. I tell my clients that “cause” means it was the other driver’s fault. For example, if you are at a stop sign and someone hits you, it is their fault. The other driver did something wrong that caused the collision. On the other hand, if you run into someone who is stopped, then it is not the other driver’s fault.
Assuming it was the fault of the other driver, the second item you must establish is that you incurred some type of damage. Damages fall into three general categories: medical bills for the injuries you received from the collision; lost wages due to your inability to work due to the collision; and pain and suffering you endured as a result of the collision. If the doctor says your broken wrist is due to the collision and the other …

Continue reading I was recently involved in a car collision and broke my wrist. Am I entitled to compensation? »