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Dallas Legal Issues Blog

Understanding power of attorney may help with elder law issues

It's never easy to watch your parents enter the final years of their lives. If you're like many adult children in Texas, you try your best to provide support and care to them as needed. Beyond the emotional bonds you have with your parents, however, it can be quite challenging to address the various elder law issues that may arise as you help them get their finances and estate in order so they can live out their golden years with as little stress as possible.   

Your parents may ask you to serve in numerous legal capacities, such as executor of their estate or under a particular power of attorney. The latter is an often-misunderstood term that can create complications (or disputes) if one does not seek legal clarification. If your mother or father wishes to designate you as a power of attorney in his or her Texas estate plan, it's unwise to accept the responsibility if you do not clearly and fully understand the obligations and responsibilities inherent in your acceptance.  

Is someone responsible for your loved one's UTI?

Your loved one's stay in a Texas hospital may have been brief, but within days of returning to the nursing home, he or she began to complain of pain and discomfort. Before you knew it, the nursing home staff called an ambulance to take your parent back to the hospital, this time to fight to stay alive.

As common as urinary tract infections are in the elderly, there is no excuse for an elder care medical team to miss the signs that your loved one was in distress. If your loved one suffered serious injury or died as a result of an unchecked urinary tract infection, you have every right to want answers.

Texas sees too many serious and fatal car accidents

In an effort to improve road safety, the state of Texas keeps records regarding the number of serious and fatal accidents that occur every year. The numbers for 2017 have yet to be released. Here is hoping that 2017 saw fewer car accidents than it did in 2016. 

So, how bad was it in 2016? What does the state believe is behind all of these accidents? Can victims of these auto collisions or -- in the event of fatality -- their surviving family members seek monetary damages for any losses suffered?

Studies support the cry for slowing down

Hollywood often portrays soft-spoken and otherwise unassuming characters as having one endearing flaw: they are terrible drivers. Specifically, they do not seem to know how to control the speed of their vehicles. You may see movie scenes with mild-mannered drivers barreling along a highway with their wide-eyed passengers holding on for dear life. Yet they all seem to arrive safely at their destinations.

Unfortunately, this is the point in the movie where you may lose your ability to suspend your disbelief, especially if you or a loved one suffered grievous injuries in a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else's speeding.

Nursing home elopement is a preventable tragedy

If you have ever received a call from your parent's nursing home saying that he or she was missing, you know the feeling that thousands of families have felt. Your loved one's Alzheimer's or other form of dementia makes wandering more likely, but you never thought your parent would leave the grounds of the nursing home without someone noticing.

You may have decided to place your parent in a home with special provisions for those with dementia. Sixty percent of patients with dementia become disoriented and may wander off. If your loved one's nursing home staff failed to recognize the signs or the dangers, you may feel you have a right to answers.

Have bedsores raised concerns about your loved one's care?

Having to place a loved one in the care of others may have been one of the more difficult decisions you have had to make. Though you certainly wish you could have the time and abilities to properly care for your elderly family member, the right circumstances may simply have not existed. As a result, you made the choice to place your mom, dad or other close loved one in a nursing home facility.

You may have gone back and forth when trying to determine whether it was the right call, but in the end, you likely believed that professionals could certainly provide better care and attention to your family member's needs than you could have on your own. However, after several visits to the facility, you may have noticed alarming concerns relating to your loved one's condition, especially because bedsores were present.

More than one party may be liable in your medical negligence case

One can only imagine the dismay associated with entrusting oneself to the professional medical care of others and winding up in a worse, instead of better, condition afterward. If you recently underwent surgery or received some other type of medical treatment and suffered illness or injury because someone didn't do his or her job right, you likely understand how frustrating such issues can be. It is true there's always risk for human error when one person (or group) is providing medical care to another.

However, as a medical patient, you have the right to reasonably assume that those tending to your needs will act in accordance with the highest level of accepted safety standards. Substandard care can have devastating, even fatal, repercussions. Where medical negligence is concerned, there may be more than one person liable for your injuries, although identifying possible sources can be quite challenging.

What are the rights of individuals living in nursing homes?

When you put a loved one in a nursing home, it is with the expectation that he or she will receive care that meets a certain standard. Quality care and medical assistance are just some of the reasons that people turn to these facilities to care for their loved ones. When a nursing home does not meet the obligations they have to its patients, family members have the right to hold liable parties accountable. 

If you have a family member who lives in a Texas nursing home, he or she has certain rights, no matter the medical conditions at hand. When a nursing home patient experiences a violation of his or her rights, it can result in physical and emotional harm, yet these individuals do not have to suffer in silence. If you believe your family member experienced mistreatment in a nursing home, you may speak out on his or her behalf.

Protect your loved one from the pitfalls of elder financial fraud

Texas readers with elderly family members may have significant concerns about the well-being and safety of their loved ones. In addition to the many physical issues that elderly individuals may face, it is also quite likely that they will be subject to attempted fraud at some point. A startling number of older Americans are victims of various types of elder fraud every year.

If you believe that your loved one is a victim of this type of reprehensible activity, you do not have to suffer in silence. With legal guidance, appropriate estate planning tools and financial protections in place, you can fight back against fraud and protect your family members from continued issues in the future.

Medication errors abound in nursing homes

The number of elderly people in the United States has grown exponentially in recent years. This has caused an increase in the number of people living in nursing homes. Many of them require medications in order to control both acute and chronic ailments.

The problem is that the number of medication errors in nursing homes is far higher than anyone would like. It's possible that your loved one will be a victim of this type of error.

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Law Offices of Brian H. Fant, P.C.
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Dallas, TX 75206

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