Ensure the Safety of Your Loved One: House Them in a Nursing Home that Truly Cares

Apr 27, 2017 by

Ensure the Safety of Your Loved One: House Them in a Nursing Home that Truly Cares

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are approximately 1.5 million residents housed in close to 16,000 nursing home facilities operating in the United States; however, just about 90% of these facilities are certified and, based on records from the American Association for Justice, also the same percentage lack the required number of staff to be able to provide sufficient care – such an alarming news, considering the fact that higher rates of abuses have been more prevalent in facilities where staff and resources are lacking.

Despite the thousands of nursing home facilities, finding the right one for your aging parents, grandparents, a family member who may be physically or mentally incapacitated, needing rehabilitative therapy due to an illness or an accident, or who may be in need of extra care due to Alzheimer’s, can be really hard due to the widespread reports of nursing home abuse and neglect committed against residents.

Examples of nursing home abuse, according to the firm Spiros Law, P.C., include physical abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect which, particularly, has often resulted to bed sores, pressure sores, decubitus ulcers, medication errors, falls, physical or chemical restraints, malnutrition or dehydration, choking, clogged breathing tubes, sepsis, failure to provide adequate food and water, ignoring residents, isolating residents, failure to provide medical attention, personal hygiene neglect, and unnoticed wandering and/or elopement of some residents.

Reports further gathered by the American Association for Justice also show that only one out of ten abuses is usually reported to authorities, hiding the real number of cruel acts against the elderly and other residents. Silence from those abused is often due to fear, shame or avoidance of being accused of just seeking attention or suffering from dementia. These are some of the reasons why abuses in nursing homes often go unnoticed – because of the victim’s hesitation to report the situation out of fear or embarrassment. In addition, loved ones may not know the types or signs of abuse and therefore may not investigate further.

The federal government has come up with a list of the best nursing home facilities in the U.S. to help American families make their search for a commendable nursing home faster and a lot easier. When looking for a facility, families usually look for one that is accessible to the them, provides a supportive environment, is affordable and, most importantly, ensures the best care, especially to those with ailments. The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, on the other hand, when rating a nursing home facility, bases its evaluation on factors, such as quality of care, number of certified nurses and nurse aids, and results of health inspections which are conducted by the state.

A five-star rating is the highest mark a good nursing home facility would earn and as of January 2013 about 3,036 nursing homes have been given this rate by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The actual number of facilities given a five-star rating and the specific states where these are located are Georgia (59 five-star nursing homes), Virginia (60), Connecticut (64), North Carolina (69), Kansas (78), Missouri (78), Minnesota (79), New Jersey (85), Indiana (87), Michigan (87), Wisconsin (100), Iowa (103), Massachusetts (111), New York (116), Texas (130), Ohio (137), Florida (141), Illinois (156), Pennsylvania (160), California (312). You may find helpful information from this site address: (https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html)

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Why the IRS Considers some Business Expenses as Nondeductibles

Feb 10, 2017 by

An entrepreneur conducted business while vacationing with his family. When tax season came, he deducted the airfare and hotel expenses from his business taxes. In another case, an entrepreneur used her personal credit card when she treated a client to lunch and used her own money when she traveled for a business purpose.

In the first case, contrary to what the entrepreneur supposes, the airfare and hotel expenses are most likely to be classified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as nondeductibles since the main goal and the primary activity pursued during the vacation were clearly not business-related. In the second case, unless the business was able to reimburse personal expenditures and deduct the expenses on its tax return (with proper proof, of course, such as receipts), then the entrepreneur would be losing out on available tax deductions.

“A tax deduction is an expense that the Internal Revenue Service allows a business to subtract from its adjusted gross income when calculating taxable income. These credits allow businesses to avoid paying taxes on money used for operational expenses, such as business travel, capital expenditures and client gifts. Business owners must be conscious, however, of not overstating deductions. The IRS has many rules surrounding what type of expense and what percentage of that expense is deductible.” (http://smallbusiness.chron.com/common-business-tax-problems-4157.html)

According to Timothy Todd, CPA and assistant professor of law at Liberty University School of Law, deductions, which also include entertainment expenses, meals and use of a personal vehicle, require extra substantiation. Lack of record keeping will make it too easy for the IRS to disallow business deductions, and IRS classification of nondeductible business expenses will most likely get approval from tax courts too.

Thus, according to tax and small business experts, keeping track of receipts or expenses and not commingling business and personal funds are very important things that can have major effects on your business if not observed properly. In addition to these, other factors small business owners should consider are changes in the tax code. In 2015, tax changes that greeted small business owners included:

The Affordable Care Act, corporate tax rates, net investment income tax, tax extenders, and deduction eliminations and limit reductions, which refer to some tax credits that businesses once depended on, expiring or being significantly reduced.

As explained by Tucson tax law attorneys at Russo, Russo & Slania, P.C., “Dealing with taxes can be frustrating in any situation, but in particularly complicated circumstances, taxes can become a substantial burden on individuals and businesses. Resolving these issues quickly and effectively can, in these circumstances, be crucial for protecting those involved in tax compliance disputes or controversies from punitive actions in the future. Thus, when attempting to resolve complicated tax issues, the assistance of a qualified legal professional with experience in tax law can be vital for both individuals and businesses.”

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Advantages of Debt Negotiation over Bankruptcy

May 31, 2016 by

There are various legal means offered under the US Bankruptcy Code which can help individuals and businesses rise up from overwhelming debts to once again enjoy financial stability. One of these legal means is bankruptcy, which the U.S. Congress approved in 1978.

Bankruptcy offers debtors so many benefits and advantages (based on the specific bankruptcy chapter applied for by the debtor), like:

  • The automatic stay, a court injunction that orders creditors and collecting agencies to stop collecting debts or enforcing liens on debtors
  • Discharge of all unsecured debts, which includes debts due to credit card debts, medical bills, personal loans, among others
  • The restructuring of the debt payment scheme to make monthly payments more affordable to debtors.

In 2010 alone, there were more than 1.5 million cases of bankruptcy filed in the U.S., according to the U.S. Federal Bankruptcy Courts. Filed under the personal bankruptcy category was 1,593,081, while those files under the business bankruptcy category was 56,282. But though bankruptcy offers benefits and advantages, an experienced lawyer would not right away recommend it as the key solution to overwhelming debts as there are other possible ways which, some debtors may find more beneficial, such as Debt Negotiation.

Debt negotiation, otherwise called debt settlement or credit settlement, is one approach to settling debts through debt reduction. In this approach, both creditor and debtor agree on reducing the balance of a debt (sometimes to as much as half) and considering payment of such balance as settlement of the full amount of debt.

Interestingly, in the Ryan J. Ruehle Attorney at Law, LLC, website, it is said that debt negotiation may even prove to be more beneficial to debtors (than bankruptcy) due to the more manageable payment plan that it offers. This is because debt negotiation:

  • Does not require any litigation process (which is necessary in a bankruptcy process)
  • Can reduce the amount of a loan or loan balance to more than half its original amount
  • Offers debtors the option of paying the debt amount through a single or lump sum payment or through monthly payments that will be much more affordable to the debtor
  • Frees the debtor from the harassing tactics of debt collectors, from lawsuits and any legal action that could lead to the forced sale of his or her properties
  • Defers interest payments, lengthens the time span of loan payment and even allows loan payment consolidation

To convince his or her creditor to agree on a debt negotiation process, however, a debtor will absolutely need great negotiation skills and extensive financial expertise, concerns where a highly-skilled negotiation lawyer may be able to provide the debtor the negotiating advantage that he or she needs.

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Are Car Accidents and Truck Accidents Different?

Jan 19, 2016 by

At first glance, it may be difficult to tell the difference between a car accident and a truck accident. The regular type of folk might say they’re the same thing since, technically speaking, a truck is still just another vehicle.

There is, however, reason as to why there are federal laws as well as specific restrictions for truck drivers that aren’t necessarily applicable to a regular driver. For one thing, a truck driver must be a professionally licensed driver and is only allowed to drive for a certain number of hours (11 hours in a day for interstate truck drivers and not more than 14 hours on duty). Another big difference is the weight. A car, on average, can weigh around 8,000 pounds while an eighteen wheeler truck can weigh up to 80,000 without needing a permit (which means that it can weigh even more than that).

It is the potentiality for the level of damage that they cause that makes them different, which is why a car accident attorney may have to work with an altogether different set of laws to a South Carolina truck accident attorney. A car accident can injure a few people at a time while a truck accident is often so devastating that it can affect hundreds, maybe even thousands of people.

Just picture the wreck that a rollover of a single van could do versus the wreck that an eighteen wheeler can do to a highway filled with traffic. Not even a magic potion can put a stopper on that.

Car accidents and truck accidents are then different because the classification of the risks is in a different scale in and of itself. If you have found yourself the victim of a truck accident, it is the most advisable course of action to contact a professional in the legal field of truck accidents specifically to help you and guide you through this stressful ordeal.

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Keeping your tires safe to prevent road accidents

Sep 24, 2015 by

Running with a defective tire can be disastrous. In fact, most Tennessee personal injury lawyers would not deny that a number of car accident claims have been associated with tire and rim defects. Because tires can make or break how you handle your car, a simple defect can result in accidents that may destroy properties and claim lives.

Before you hit the road, take time to inspect your tires and check for these things to ensure a safe and accident-free ride:

  • Tire pressure – The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said cars with underinflated tires are three times more at risk of accidents. However, driving with overinflated tires may also result in accidents caused by blowout.
  • Tire tread – The tread is responsible for your tire’s traction. When driving on a wet road, the tread allows the water to drain more easily to prevent uncontrolled sledding. You can inspect your tire tread using a penny. Hold the penny upside down so that Abraham Lincoln is on his head, and then stick it between each of the tread’s groove. If the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head is visible to any of the grove, then you should consider replacing the worn out tire.
  • Sidewall – If you can see or feel any crack or bulge in your tire’s sidewalls, it means that your tire is damaged and should be replaced immediately for safety

Because tires wear down unevenly (tires in front wear down faster because they carry more than half of your car’s weight), rotating your tires on a regular basis is definitely a good safety practice. However, be aware that there are certain ways on how you should rotate your tires properly. For instance, placing tires with lesser traction on the rear axle makes you more prone to spinning and hydroplaning, and so it is important to always place older tires in front.

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Is Filing for Bankruptcy the Same as Giving Up?

May 19, 2015 by

A lot people associate filing for bankruptcy as admitting hopelessness or being totally and completely broke. This is not, however, the case. More often than not, it is filing for bankruptcy that allows for indebted citizens or businesses to salvage what they have in order to start their credit anew. There are several different kinds of bankruptcies that could be filed for and depending on the situation and financial standing of the person in question.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, for example, is more commonly known as straight bankruptcy. It allows for assets to be liquidated, thereby clearing a person of all debts and allowing for them to have a better grasp of handling their financial situation. According the website of lawyers Gagnon, Peacock, Vereeke, PC, filing for this kind of bankruptcy is often how people are able to get back what they have lost and allow them the break and fresh financial start that they need in order to not be so debilitated by debt. However, this kind of bankruptcy demands a certain means test and the person filing for it must fit into a particular income bracket in order to qualify for this kind of bankruptcy.

There are other types of bankruptcies to file for, though. Chapter 13 Bankruptcies are more targeted towards farmers and fishermen, for example, as it allows payment plans that extend for three up to five years. Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy also allows for you to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the future as well, if that is an option that is deemed necessary for your financial situation.

It is recommended that, whatever your situation or the type of bankruptcy that seems most attractive to your circumstances, you contact a legal professional who has had experience in dealing with cases of this nature. This is advised since the matters of bankruptcy are rather complex and having the help of someone who knows their way around the block, so to speak, would be better equipped for the journey.

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Long –term Injuries’ Value to Your Claim

Feb 15, 2015 by

Being injured in a car accident can have long-lasting effects in your life, especially if it resulted to serious injuries that have been diagnosed as long-term or permanent. Awards for damages in your personal injury claim can be significantly higher if you are suffering from a long-term or permanent injury caused by a car accident. These injuries tend to provide higher awards because they could potentially increase the difficulty of everyday activities, and can lower your quality of life.

According to the website of Ausband & Dumont, car crashes can lead to a number of serious long-term or even permanent injuries. One of them is scarring and dis-figuration. A car crash that leads to a fire can cause scarring and disfigurement. Specially large and obvious scarring can cause serious emotional and physical distress; it can give you low self esteem because of the physical appearance, and it can cause inflexibility in the affected area that could loss of mobility. This type of injury can be significantly valuable if the location is around a visible area. If the area can be covered but can still cause embarrassment, then it can still be considered significant enough to increase the value of the injury settlement. Additionally, you should be aware of how social prejudice can affect the value of your injury settlement. In order to prove how the scarring and dis-figuration can affect your everyday life, you have to provide a medical opinion, possible with information regarding the cost of re-constructive surgery or repair.

Another long-term or permanent injury from a car accident is back and joint injuries. Spinal and bone injuries are very common in serious car crashes, and they are often permanent in nature. Although there are instances where the injury can heal or recover, it may reappear or even worsen through time.

Suffering from any of these injuries or any of the long-term or permanent nature would establish your need for a higher compensation. You have to present evidence through a documented support (such as a notation from your doctor) to validate your claims. You can ask your doctor about the likelihood of recurring or degenerative complications from your injuries and take note of it on your medical records, for your insurance claims. Even if your doctor did make notes of it, you still have the option of raising the issue in your settlement negotiations.

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Prompt Pay Attorneys: Insurers will think Twice about “Stiffing” Healthcare Providers

Dec 30, 2014 by

The practice of insurance companies, specifically Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) and Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO), stiffing healthcare providers has been a major problem for doctors, hospitals, and even pharmacists. “Stiffing” actually means colloquially “to tip poorly” but in this case it is to delay payments. It got to a point that many states perceived the need to enact legislation that would penalize HMOs and PPOs that subscribed to this practice.

In Texas, the Texas Prompt Pay Act is designed to discourage insurers from delaying payments for “clean” (defined under the Texas Department of Insurance Rule §21.2803) claims by an eligible party. Prompt pay attorneys would explain that the penalties for delayed payment depend on several factors, and the length of the delay will dictate the amount of the penalty. In other words, the longer the insurer delays payment, the higher the penalty. This is significant leverage for healthcare providers to get paid quickly.

For example, if a “clean” claim is filed by mail, the PPO or HMO is required to make a payment within 45 days. If it is submitted electronically, the payment period is shortened to 30 days. If the insurer fails to make the deadline but pays up 45 days after the deadline, the insurer is considered in violation of the Texas Prompt Pay Act.

Violators may be levied a fine $100,000 or 50% of the difference between billed amount and the applicable contracted rate, whichever is less. When the payment is made 46 to 90 days after the deadline, the penalty is either $200,000 or 100% of the difference between billed amount and the applicable contracted rate, whichever is less. If the insurer still doesn’t pay until 91 days or more, the same penalties for the 46-90 day period will apply plus 18% annual accrued interest counting from the payment deadline until date the claim is actually paid.

If your insurer is delaying payment for your healthcare services, consult with prompt pay attorneys in your area to assess your case. If you meet eligibility requirements, the lawyer you choose will file a complaint on your behalf through the proper channels.

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Cruise Ships’ Tender Boat Accidents

Sep 14, 2014 by

The primary concern of cruise ships is always the safety of all passengers, whether during voyage, shore excursions or other shore-related activities. This, of course, implies hiring qualified ship officers and personnel, giving them adequate training and being equipped with everything necessary to address emergency situations efficiently and on time.

While it is true that nothing can compare to the excitement and fun a cruise vacation can provide, cruise lines should accept too that where people are, then accidents may happen. Be it due to natural causes, such as rogue waves or bad weather, or human error and negligence that result in fire, collision with another vessel, or hitting a rock that can create a crack on the ship’s bottom, causing it to sink, when an accident occurs, everything is left to the preparedness and ability of the crew members to think and act correctly despite the pressure.

Another activity that cruise lines have introduced to passengers, for added cruise excitement (as well as income) is shore excursions and other shore activities. These can range from water thrills, like scuba diving, jet skiing and parasailing, to land adventures, such as island visits, rock climbing, hiking, ziplining, cultural and archeological tours, inland dining, shopping, and so forth.

Despite being the source of additional fun, these shore activities can also very well be sources of accidents and injuries to passengers. However, before getting on shore for these thrilling experiences, passengers will need to be transported first from ship to shore and vice-versa, via tender boats.

A tender boat is a ships’ boat service – it definitely provides lots of benefits but, sadly, causes a number of injuries to passengers too. Due to its small size (it can usually accommodate about 100 to 150 passengers plus about three crew members) a tender boat can easily be swayed by waves, making boarding or getting off it quite dangerous. In some instances, passengers have slipped, sustaining a leg or back injury, or falling off into the sea. In another situation, a tender boat was reported as having sped off from the dock, with its rope still tied to the cleat, causing its bitt (a post on a boat where cables or ropes are tied) to break loose, propel through the air, hit and cause serious injury to a passenger.

The Vucci Law Group’s website, with the address, http://www.thevuccilawgroup.com/practice-areas/cruise-ship-excursions/, provides passengers, who have injured during a cruise vacation, with vital information regarding tender boat injuries, the best legal options available and the best source of legal help they will definitely need.

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Reverse Mortages

Feb 9, 2014 by

reverse mortgageI’ve been noticing a lot of commercials on TV inquiring elderly watchers to to take out what is called a “reverse mortgage.” These commercials do a great job of outlining why a reverse mortgage is a good idea, but, in the nature of advertisement, they fail to point out the negatives of such an action.

While a reverse mortgage is a great way to have an income in your twilight years, it entails selling your home back to the bank. This means that your children and grandchildren will not be able to benefit from you bequeathing them with such a valuable asset. The wealth simply leaves your family.

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