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Long-Term Care Planning

Why Is Long-Term Care Planning Important?

Unfortunately, we never know when or if we will need long-term care. In fact, you might never need to take advantage of any of the plans that you have put in place. However, having them in place is vital to ensuring that you receive the care you desire as you age or if you become disabled. Why is long-term care planning so vital to the future of your loved ones and your family?

 

Make Decisions About Your Home

 

When considering long-term care contingencies, it’s important to think about where you would like to live as you age. The time to make modifications for aging-in-place is now, not when you’re in crisis mode as a result of not having a plan in place. Most older adults would prefer to stay in their own home, so their long-term care planning decisions might revolve around fitting the space with modifications like grab bars in the shower, ramps with handrails to the front door and additional light switches. Make your intention to stay in your home as long as possible clear to your children and family members. 

 

Think About Your Health

 

Becoming ill or disabled is not something that anyone wants to think about, but it’s important to include any possible future outcomes in your long-term care planning.  Work with an attorney at Mobley and Brown, LLP to work through preparing healthcare advance directives and other documents that are essential to the long-term care planning process, like a living trust. 

 

Long-term care planning earlier in life is also essential because it gives you the opportunity to limit risk for certain illnesses and stay healthy and independent for as long as possible by identifying potential problems early. Talk with your doctor about your family history, medical history and lifestyle. Limiting risk activities like smoking, drinking alcohol and maintaining a more active lifestyle can increase your chances of staying healthy as long as possible. 

 

Consider Your Financial Situation

 

Americans spend billions of dollars on healthcare annually, including long-term care. How you will cover the cost of long-term care varies depending on your current financial situation, the kind of services you anticipate needing to use and savings. In many cases, long term care plans incorporate numerous sources of funding, including:

·     Government insurance programs, like Medicare and Medicaid 

·     Veterans’ benefits

·     Services through the Older Americans Act

·     Personal funds (pensions, savings, stocks, etc.)

·     Private financing options, such as long-term care insurance 

 

By planning ahead and organizing the information you have on your finances now, you will be prepared with all necessary information to implement your plan. 

 

Need Help with Long-Term Care Planning? Call Mobley & Brown, LLP

 

 

Contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 261-4952 or toll-free at (833) 355-9897. 

Bedsore Lawsuits

What You Should Know About Bedsore Lawsuits In Maryland

When you are caring for a loved one in a nursing home, assisted living facility or home healthcare, it’s understandable you are concerned about potential neglect. After all, you are investing a great deal into excellent care for your friend or family member. Unfortunately, bedsore lawsuits often arise due to neglect or abuse. What does everyone with an elderly loved one need to know about bedsore lawsuits in Maryland?

What Are Bedsores?

Pressure sores are also known as bedsores and decubitus ulcers. They are injuries to the skin and underlying tissue due to extended periods of compression. Bedsores typically occur at places in the skin covering bony areas, like the hips, ankles, lower back and heels. Elders and people who are bedridden with limited mobility are at the highest risk of developing pressure sores, which is why they are such a problem in nursing and care facilities.

Bedsores happen due to a lack of blood flow to the area being compressed. Without nutrients and oxygen from blood, the tissue around the point decays and can die. According to the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research, over 2.5 million patients suffer from pressure sores every year. A National Nursing Home Survey in 2004 found that 160,000 nursing home residents had bedsores every year, meaning that approximately 1 in 10 residents have them. Tragically, pressure sores are estimated to be the originating cause of 60,000 deaths annually.

Bedsore Lawsuits

Because pressure sores are such a unique injury that requires an extended period of pressure without movement, they are almost always preventable. Even completely immobile patients can avoid developing bedsores with the right attention and care. As a result, it’s always appropriate to question the standard of care when a patient develops pressure sores.

Nursing homes and assisted healthcare facilities have a duty to prevent severe and debilitating bedsores. While pressure sores can occur naturally without neglect, serious, life-threatening bedsores cannot. At the first sign of bedsores, appropriate medical care should be offered.

Why Your Attorney Matters

Bedsore lawsuits can be complex, as the mere presence of a pressure sore is not enough to prove fault. Our lawyers know how to understand the medical documentation that nursing homes and hospitals keep and build a compelling case. If your loved one received a bedsore, it is not their fault, and they deserve the opportunity for recourse if it happened as a result of neglect. 

Need Help with Bedsore Lawsuits? Call Mobley and Brown, LLP

If you are concerned about bedsores or pressure sores that your loved one received while in someone else’s care, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398 or toll-free at (833) 355-9897.

Car Insurance

How Will a DUI Conviction Affect Your Car Insurance?

Have you been convicted of a DUI in Maryland? There is a high probability that car insurance companies will now see you as an elevated risk. Depending on which car insurance provider you are using and other factors, including any other convictions, you could see a small bump in rates or a dramatic increase.  

How Does a DUI Conviction Affect Your Car Insurance Rate?

Based on a survey of leading car insurance companies, a DUI conviction can raise your car insurance premium by an average of $392, which is actually much lower than the United States average increase. However, if you are trying to purchase an inexpensive policy after your conviction, you should expect to shop around and be prepared to compromise. A DUI often leads to a steeper increase in insurance rates than reckless driving, racing or even an at-fault accident.

What Other Factors Affect Your Car Insurance Premium?

A DUI conviction is weighed in conjunction with a number of other factors when deciding what premium will be extended to you. Some of the other most important factors include:

  • Age: For anyone under the legal drinking age of 21, a single DUI conviction can lead to a hike 5-10% more than someone with the same conviction over the legal drinking age.
  • Time: How much time has passed since your DUI conviction? If you are getting a new policy, insurance companies typically only judge the past 3-5 years harshly. For someone with a DUI four years ago, a new car insurance policy would cost 15-20% less than someone with a DUI in the last twelve months.
  • Number of DUIs: If you have more than one DUI conviction, that will dramatically affect the premium you are offered. In one study of premiums, a 30-year-old with four DUI convictions had 58% higher bodily injury coverage premiums than someone the same age with only one conviction.
  • Car Insurance Company: Every company has different rules for handling a DUI conviction, and a 30% increase could be a 50% increase with another provider. Don’t be afraid to shop around instead of settling for the first quote. 

Concerned About a Potential DUI Conviction? Call Mobley and Brown, LLP

If you have been charged with a DUI or are dealing with the aftermath of a DUI conviction, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398 or toll-free at (833) 355-9897.

After a Car Accident

5 Things to Do Immediately After a Car Accident

Immediately after a car accident, it’s hard to think clearly, especially if you or the other party was injured. However, it’s important to keep a level head and focus on protecting yourself, your property and your finances from further harm. What should you do immediately after a car accident in Maryland?

Confirm You Are Not Injured

First, you should ensure that you and any passengers in your car are not injured. If you can move, you can also leave your vehicle and ensure that people in the other car are not injured. If someone is hurt, you should contact emergency services to get medical attention. Beyond checking for injury, you should avoid talking to the other parties. Never allow your emotions in the heat of the moment to let you say something that you might regret in the future.

Call the Police

Next, you should call the police. You can expect to be asked if anyone is injured. If anyone is in any pain or discomfort, you should always answer yes. When the police arrive, you will have the opportunity to create an accident report that includes your insurance information. Always follow any instructions given to you by the police officers.

Photograph the Scene and Vehicles

In the rush after a car accident, many people forget to photograph the scene, their vehicle and the other car(s) involved until it is too late. Most smartphones have decent picture quality, so snap as many pictures as you can. The damage that you photograph could be needed for evidence later.

Gather as Much Information as Possible

Assuming that the other parties in the car accident were not injured or otherwise incapacitated at the scene, you should note as much information as possible afterwards. What is the license plate number? You should also record the make, model and color of the vehicle, as well as details about the driver. If any motorists stop to offer assistance or because they witnessed the accident, you should also gather their names and information if they are willing to give it to you.

Call an Attorney

After a car accident, you need a skill accident attorney. An accident attorney knows how to negotiate and resolve accident claims and can walk you through the legal process. There is typically no way to immediately know whether or not you will face legal proceedings in the aftermath of an accident, but speaking with an attorney as soon as possible can prepare you and equip you with the knowledge to make the decision. 

Are You Dealing with Injuries After a Car Accident? Call Mobley and Brown, LLP

If you need help getting your loved one out of a dangerous situation or are concerned about Maryland nursing home neglect, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398 or toll-free at (833) 355-9897.

Maryland Nursing Home

How Can You Hold a Maryland Nursing Home Responsible for Neglect?

Every year in the United States, elders are abused in the very facilities loved ones trusted to take care of them. It is estimated that 1 in 10 elders over the age of 60 has been abused, and 14% of self-reported elder abuses are neglect. If your loved one has experienced abuse in a Maryland nursing home, Mobley and Brown, LLP is here to help.

Can You Sue a Maryland Nursing Home?

Just like you can file a lawsuit against a doctor or hospital, you can file a lawsuit against a nursing home. However, things are not always cut and dry. Nursing homes are not liable for every injury or accident that happens while someone is in their custody. Even with a high standard of care and excellent healthcare staff, elders can still receive injuries or have an accident. However, abuse and neglect are serious problems that can lead to injury or death.

What Is Neglect?

Neglect is defined as failure on behalf of a Maryland nursing home to provide an elder with basic life necessities including housing, medicine, hygiene or food. It’s important to note that neglect in nursing homes is not always malicious or perpetrated by a rude nurse. Instead, ongoing understaffing can lead to employee stress and burnout, which snowball into neglect or abuse.

In Maryland nursing home neglect cases, nursing homes can be liable if they fail to care for a patient properly and they face a negative health consequence, including injury, as a result. Malnutrition can be a type of neglect, as nursing homes have an obligation to ensure patients are eating and drinking properly. Bedsores and falls are other common neglect-related complaints.

What Are the Signs of Neglect?

Many times, loved ones are the first ones to notice changes in an elder that indicate signs of abuse. Some of the signs of Maryland nursing home neglect include:

  • Bed sores
  • Unusual injuries like bruises, cuts or burns
  • Strange explanations for injuries
  • Refusal to eat or take medication
  • Dehydration
  • Bad physical appearance (dirty clothes, poor hygiene)
  • Hesitation to talk about abuse out of fear you, other residents or staff members will tell the abuser
  • Changes in personality
  • Rapid weight loss

If you feel that something is wrong or notice unusual behavior or interactions between a resident and a staff member, you should speak with the nursing home administrator immediately. If you suspect that your loved one is being abused, you should contact Mobley and Brown, LLP immediately to review your claim. 

Concerned About Potential Maryland Nursing Home Neglect? Call Mobley and Brown, LLP

If you need help getting your loved one out of a dangerous situation or are concerned about Maryland nursing home neglect, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398 or toll-free at (833) 355-9897.

Driving Without Insurance

If I Was Driving Without Insurance and in an Accident, Can I Still Be Compensated?

Driving without insurance is against the law, but what happens if you are injured in an accident while doing so? There are a number of factors that influence whether or not you’re eligible for compensation, and you need a skilled law firm like Mobley and Brown, LLP on your side.

Is Maryland a No-Fault State?

Currently, 12 different states are “no-fault” states for car insurance. That means that, if someone is injured in a car accident, they are responsible for seeking compensation through their own car insurance coverage. Maryland is not on the list of no-fault states, which means that you are able to file a lawsuit or have one filed against you. If you cause an accident and the other person is injured, they can file against you. If you are driving without insurance, you will be personally liable for all expenses, not an insurance company.

If You Are Injured and the Other Party Is at Fault

If you were driving without insurance but injured in an accident where the other driver is at fault, you might still face restrictions on how much you can recover. First, you should expect to face criminal or administrative penalties from the state of Maryland for breaking the law and driving without insurance. These penalties will be levied regardless of fault or responsibility. However, these penalties will not be factored in when the court considers the injuries that you suffered and your civil claim. The fact that you were driving without insurance will also not be admitted as evidence when the case is heard. As a result, you should never hesitate in seeking the compensation that you deserve after a car accident, regardless of whether or not you had insurance at the time.

If You Are Injured and You Are at Fault

If you caused the car accident and were injured in the crash, you are responsible for covering your personal medical expenses. You should also be prepared to face potential litigation from the other party or their insurance company, and should consult with an attorney. 

Driving Without Insurance and in a Crash? Call Mobley and Brown, LLP

If you want guidance in the aftermath of an accident when you were driving without insurance, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398 or toll-free at (833) 355-9897.

Estate Plan

Why Everyone Needs an Estate Plan

Nobody wants to dwell on the possibility of dying, and what will happen to loved ones, family and property after a passing. However, a total lack of planning can lead to a myriad of unfortunate circumstances if an unexpected tragedy occurs. By creating an estate plan with the help of a skilled law firm, like Mobley and Brown, LLP, you are ensuring that your family can move forward carrying out your intentions after you’re gone.

What Is an Estate Plan?

Estate plans are your instructions for what should happen to everything that you own after you’re gone. These legal documents can include instructions for cars, real estate properties, savings accounts, furniture, life insurance, personal possessions, investments and anything else of value that an individual owns. Estate plans can also include additional preferences, like burial instructions, payment for final expenses and wishes in the event that one becomes incapacitated and unable to make medical decisions.

Why Does Every Person Need an Estate Plan?

  • Avoid Probate: Probate is what occurs when an estate plan was not in place, and the local court is responsible for dividing up the assets of a deceased individual. Because probate is a legal process, it can take a great deal of time to complete. Your assets may not reach loved ones for years or more after death if the estate enters probate.
  • Reduce Taxes: With a little bit of planning, many couples can reduce or eliminate federal and state estate taxes by setting up trusts as part of a will. Don’t let what you leave behind be ravaged by taxes before being put to good use by your loved ones.
  • Designate Beneficiaries: Who do you want to take care of after you’re gone? An estate plan allows you to designate and protect beneficiaries, whether they are minors or adults. By clearly stating your intentions, you can prevent a wealth of family discord and legal expenses.

What Does an Estate Plan Include?

  • A Will
  • Beneficiaries
  • A Durable Power of Attorney (DPA)
  • Healthcare Power of Attorney (POA)
  • Living Will
  • Letter of Intent
  • Life Insurance Information
  • Trusts (Including Living Trusts)

Protect Your Assets with Mobley and Brown, LLP

If you are interested in planning for the future of your family and protecting your assets, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398 or toll-free at (833) 355-9897.

Personal Injury Case

Can You Use Witness Statements from an Accident During a Personal Injury Case?

When you’re dealing with a personal injury case, particularly one relating to an automobile accident, making a strong case can be difficult. The at-fault party’s insurance company will look for any reason possible to limit liability. If your personal injury case goes to trial, witness statements and testimony are invaluable. Can you use witness statements from an accident during a Maryland personal injury case?

Witness Statements

Witness testimony typically comes from two categories of witnesses, lay witnesses and expert witnesses. Lay witnesses are people without specialized training, education or knowledge related to the testimony. Lay witnesses could be people who watched the accident occur or who were there in the immediate aftermath. These witnesses can give statements detailing their observations before, during and after the crash.

Expert witnesses have specialized training, education, experience or knowledge relating to the subject at hand. Expert witnesses for a personal injury case in the aftermath of a car accident could include accident reconstruction professionals, rehabilitation experts or medical specialists. All of these witnesses apply their backgrounds to the circumstances of the case to give professional opinions.

Why Are Witness Statements Important?

Witnesses help to validate the facts of your personal injury case. When liability is in dispute, eyewitnesses and expert witnesses both bring valuable testimonies to the table. Eyewitnesses can offer testimony about:

  • Weather, visibility and temperature at the scene of the accident
  • Traffic
  • Driver behavior before and after the accident, including whether or not the driver seemed intoxicated or like they were not paying attention
  • Approximate speeds, directions and locations of vehicles
  • Color of traffic lights, pedestrian signals and the presence of traffic control devices

In a personal injury case, friends, family members and colleagues can also offer testimony and statements during the trial. These statements are important for illustrating the impact of the accident on your life. For example, a co-worker could detail how the victim cannot perform a particular job duty anymore as a result of the accident.

What Could Complicate a Witness Statement?

When you work with a lawyer, it is easier to determine which witness testimonies and statements add the most value to your personal injury case. Some witnesses are less convincing and reliable as others, including those who:

  • Have a personal interest in your claim
  • Know you personally (if eyewitnesses)
  • Have a history of criminal convictions
  • Suffer from eyesight, memory or hearing issues
  • Did not see the accident in its entirety

Mobley and Brown, LLP can assist you with gathering the most valuable statements and testimonies for your personal injury case. 

When You Need an Experienced Maryland Personal Injury Case Lawyer, Call Mobley and Brown, LLP

When you are dealing with the aftermath of an accident and looking to seek damages to ease your suffering, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398 or toll-free at (833) 355-9897.

Noah’s Law

What Is Noah’s Law?

In December 2015, a Montgomery County Police Officer named Noah Leotta was tragically struck and killed by a drunk driver during a routine traffic stop. To prevent the same tragedy from occurring to another person in the future, Maryland implemented the Drunk Driving Reduction Act of 2016, also known as Noah’s Law.

Noah’s Law 101

Noah’s Law requires ignition interlock devices for all drivers convicted of:

  • Driving While Impaired (DWI) while transporting someone under the age of 16
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
  • Homicide or life-threatening injury by motor vehicle while DWI or DUI

Ignition interlock devices stop a car from starting if it detects specific levels of alcohol on the driver’s breath. Depending on the number of convictions, affected drivers are required to participate for different lengths of time:

  • 6 months for the first incident
  • 1 year for the second incident
  • 3 years for a third or subsequent incident

Participants in the program are only allowed to operate vehicles equipped with ignition interlock devices. Currently, people who are detained on suspicion of DWI or DUI and refuse a chemical test or have a BAC above 0.08 can elect to participate in the program instead of having an administrative hearing to argue the charge.

How Long Are Affected Drivers Required to Participate?

Any driver participating in Noah’s Law is required to successfully complete the ignition interlock program, including no violations in the three consecutive months before the conclusion of the program. Increased penalties may occur for drivers under the age of 21, drivers who already have alcohol restrictions, drivers with a CDL or drivers with previous DUI or DWI convictions.

The Impact of Noah’s Law

Before Noah’s Law, penalties for refusing to take a test and the subsequent license suspensions were much more lenient. There has been a small decline in the total number of car crashes in Maryland since the law went into effect. Maryland officials are hopeful that Noah’s Law will make an impact on the high number of impaired driving crashes in the Baltimore metropolitan area. Over the period from 2011 to 2015, a whopping 46.2% of crashes involved impaired drivers. 

When You Need an Experienced Maryland DUI or DWI Lawyer, Call Mobley and Brown, LLP

If you want guidance in the aftermath of a DUI or DWI arrest, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398 or toll-free at (833) 355-9897.

Failure to Diagnose

The Difference Between Misdiagnosis, Delayed Diagnosis and Failure to Diagnose

When you go to the doctor for medical care, you expect your experience to be professional and your healthcare practitioners to be knowledgeable and accurate. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. Depending on the medical condition you are coping with, a timely and correct diagnosis can be the difference between life and death. Whether it’s a misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis or outright failure to diagnose, you may have a right to compensation.

Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor incorrectly diagnoses an illness, injury or disease. If the incorrect diagnosis leads to harm in the patient, it could lead to a medical malpractice claim. For example, if Matt is suffering from a heart attack but an emergency room doctor believes it’s a muscle strain, and that misdiagnosis leads to death or long-term complications, that doctor might be liable. It’s important to note that every misdiagnosis does not constitute malpractice. Your lawyer and evidence must demonstrate that a knowledgeable doctor acting in the same situation would not have made the same error.

Delayed Diagnosis

Delayed diagnosis is when the right diagnosis is eventually given, but only after a severe delay. For a malpractice case to have merit, that delay in diagnosis must negatively impact patient health and stem from medical negligence. Delayed diagnosis is the most common type of medical malpractice, and it can contribute to a severe illness getting much worse in a short span of time. Many illnesses like cancer can be treated if caught early. However, a delay in a proper diagnosis can push the disease past an easily-treatable stage in days, weeks or months.

How does a delayed diagnosis occur? Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Not listening carefully to a patient’s complaint
  • Minimizing symptoms
  • Ignoring medical history
  • Failing to monitor weight loss/gain, vital sign changes, etc.
  • Failing to order medical tests
  • Assuming details about a patient’s life based on stereotypes, age, gender or lifestyle
  • Suggesting or performing a procedure before checking for contraindications
  • Failing to consider differential diagnoses

Failure to Diagnose

Failure to diagnose occurs when a doctor completely missed the right diagnosis until the patient experienced irreversible harm or died. Heart disease, HIV, cancer and syphilis are all treatable when diagnosed properly and fatal if there is a failure to diagnose. If a health care provider failed to diagnose a serious medical condition as a result of negligence, the provider might be liable for medical malpractice or a wrongful death suit. 

When You Need an Experienced Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyer, Call Mobley and Brown, LLP

If you want guidance throughout your medical malpractice claim, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs and ensure you receive what you are entitled to. Call us now at (410) 385-0398 or toll-free at (833) 355-9897.