A national debate is currently going on over the legality of video surveillance cameras in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
On one hand, the families of residents say that video cameras can protect their loved ones from abuse and neglect, while on the other hand many facilities argue that the cameras infringe on the privacy of workers and other residents.
As a recent news article on the matter pointed out, cameras in long-term care facilities are somewhat expected in today’s ultra-connected world, where video feeds connect just about everyone.
If there are nursing homes that haven’t addressed the issue yet, then they certainly will soon.
Some states have decided to tackle the issue by creating laws that regulate the use of cameras in long-term care facilities. States such as Texas, New Mexico, Washington and Oklahoma have all expressly permitted electronic monitoring in long-term care facilities.
The state of Maryland has decided to let the facilities decide whether or not to allow cameras, and a few other states are currently considering measures on the matter. So far, no states have banned the use of video surveillance.
Those in favor of the video surveillance point to numerous cases in which footage has been used to prove that neglect or abuse was taking place. They say that since many residents in long-term care facilities are extremely vulnerable, the cameras serve an important purpose.
Ultimately, if you suspect that your loved one may be the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, a surveillance camera may be one way to prove that it is taking place. However, check your state laws before installing a hidden camera in your loved one’s room.
Additionally, it would be wise to consult with a personal injury lawyer in your area who has experience handling nursing home abuse cases for advice on the procedure to follow in order to make sure that your loved one’s rights and interests are being protected.
Fatal drunk driving accidents have torn apart the lives of countless families in Delaware in recent years. Our firm has represented some of these families in wrongful death lawsuits, so we understand the toll these horrible accidents have.
Unfortunately, over the past two years there have been five alcohol-related fatal car accidents in the Newark area. Local law enforcement hopes to curb the tragic trend by kicking drunk driving enforcement into high gear.
Newark Police Department officers will be spending more time looking for impaired drivers, and even the Street Crimes Unit and Special Operations Unit will spend some of their time on DUI enforcement efforts.
Currently, DUI checkpoints are conducted about every other month in the area and are commissioned by the Delaware Office of Highway Safety. The local police department does not conduct its own checkpoints, the Newark Post Online reported.
The NPD is admittedly short-staffed right now because of recent promotions and retirements, but a spokesman said DUI arrests in 2015 are already outpacing the arrests made last year. Reportedly, there were 216 DUI arrests made throughout 2014.
The police chief said he hopes to see an overall decline in car accidents with the use of high visibility teams of officers. What happens is a group of four or so officers are stationed in specific areas issuing speeding tickets to send a message to drivers.
Hopefully, the NPD is able to reduce the number of drunk driving fatalities so that fewer families have to go through the pain and hardship caused by losing a loved one in a fatal accident.
Many Delaware residents have had to deal with the tough situation of placing their elderly parents or grandparents in nursing home facilities. The situation is only made worse when they begin to worry that their loved one is being mistreated by nursing home staff.
If this is a situation that you have found yourself in, read through these warning signs of elder abuse from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help you determine if your loved one may be being abused or neglected:
- Bruises, bed sores, broken bones, cuts, and burns can all be signs of physical abuse, neglect or mistreatment.
- Withdrawal from normal activities, sudden change in attentiveness, or depression that is not normal can be signs that emotional abuse is going on.
- Bruises around the private areas can be signs of sexual abuse.
- Changes in finances that happen suddenly or without explanation can be signs of financial abuse.
- Poor hygiene, bed sores, ignored medical needs and unexplained weight loss can be signs of neglect.
The Administration on Aging also warns that vulnerable adults may not be able to tell their loved ones what is happening, which is why it is crucial that you look for changes in personality, behavior or appearance.
If you think that your loved one is being abused or neglected, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you investigate further. Nursing home abuse is a rising problem in Delaware, and our firm has helped hold many parties responsible for the hurt and suffering that they have caused.
To find out more about nursing home neglect and abuse, and how we can help, please visit our Nursing Home Liability Attorneys In New Castle County page.
Losing a loved one is perhaps the most difficult thing a person can experience. It can be even more difficult when the death resulted from the wrongful act of another person or entity.
Not only does the family have to deal with their loss, they also have to go on knowing that the death could have been prevented, and their loved one should still be with them today.
One way that the family can obtain a sense of justice and closure is by pursuing a wrongful death claim against the party responsible. This could be a drunk driver, a negligent doctor or a careless property owner, and in some cases, there is more than one party responsible.
Under Delaware law, a wrongful death claim is a lot like a personal injury claim but it is filed on behalf of the deceased party’s surviving family members. Delaware law allows wrongful death claims to be pursued “for the benefit of the spouse, parent, child, and siblings” of the person who died.
In cases where a deceased person does not have a living spouse, parent, child or sibling, a wrongful death claim can still be filed “to the benefit of any person related to the deceased person by blood or marriage.”
The surviving loved ones may be able to pursue damages for monetary losses such as funeral and burial expenses, lost future wages, medical expenses and loss of companionship. But other non-monetary losses may also be pursued in some cases, including pain and suffering.
An experienced personal injury attorney can work closely with the family to guide them through this difficult time in effort to help them recover the damages that they deserve.
Of course no amount of damages can make losing a loved one any less difficult, but wrongful death claim can help give the family the closure and support they need to move forward.