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William Michael Berman
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William Berman’s Answers

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  • My mother was severely injured in a nursing home, leading to her death. Can they be sued and what type of lawyer should I hire?

    I was called at 6:30am and told that Mom had rolled out of bed at 11:45 pm the night before and bumped her head causing a bruise but not to worry they were holding ice on it. Several other calls came in and then I was told they were having to sen...

    William’s Answer

    With a firm that has handled many cases like this, it is unfortunate what you mother went through and indeed, it does appear that you and your mother could have rightful and independent claims (even through she is deceased). Your claim would be one based in Wrongful Death, and your mother's claim based under the statutory provisions of California's Elder Abuse Act. Early investigation of these claims is very important, and the right processes should be followed. You should contact an attorney who knows this very specific area of the law, to obtain proper advice on what can be done in pursuing a claim on your behalf as well as on behalf of your mother. The fact that the medical evidence shows brain hemorrhages that went without immediate attention provides basis for such claims. The other medical complications (bruising, broken ribs, etc.) could be the foundational basis for the brain hemorrhages. It is important that you understand that claims like your have specific statutes meaning that certain legal claims must be brought within a certain period of time. Under California law, a claim must be filed with the court before the expiration of the applicable statute(s). Please note that these statutes vary depending on the claim and may be as short as one year from the date of wrongdoing. It is important that you understand that failure to timely file a claim will result in your being denied the opportunity to pursue your claim(s). Accordingly, if you wish to pursue this matter, you should immediately contact an attorney and be sure to identify the dates of suspected wrongdoing. This is extremely important. And do know that if me and my firm can be of any assistance, please feel free to contact our offices.

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  • Can a son sue a nursing home for neglect of her father if she is not the executor of his estate?

    The nursing home was cited for quality of care of my father. My uncle created a will my father signed years ago listing my uncle as executor of his estate with no property or assets going to the uncle. Everything was to go to me my father's only c...

    William’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Under California law, only your father's legal heirs at law may bring a case for Wrongful Death. You are an heir, and your Uncle is not. Now obviously a claim for Wrongful Death contemplates just that, a death; it it must be shown to have been caused by the negligence of the nursing home staff.

    As a right heir, you indeed have the legal right to bring such a claim, and so too would your siblings (they too could bring a claim). But regardless of your fathers will/trust/estate, your uncle could not bring a claim for Wrongful Death. He would have no "legal standing" to bring such claim.

    You should consult an attorney who handles matters in the area of nursing home abuse/neglect.

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  • "Statutory Protection of Elder Persons" Can I use it as a Cause of Action?

    California Welfare and Institution Code 15600 et seq, or Sections 15610.7 and 15610.30. are the laws concerned.

    William’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    Yes, Welfare & Institutions Code Section 15600 et seq. is our Elder and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (EADACPA) and is a distinct cause of action in the State of California. It is a very technical area of the law that carries a heightened burden. But when understood and properly used, it provides enhanced remedies and can be a very powerful cause of action. It must, however, be properly used.

    To the extent you feel you have a valid EADACPA claim, I would suggest that you contact an attorney that focuses it's area of practice under our "Elder Abuse Act." Initial Consultation are free and it is a great way to determine whether you indeed have a rightful claim. To the extent you want to call us, we'd be happy to assist.

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  • I notified the elder abuse about my fathers financial abuse they never questioned him only tried to establish mental competence

    Have notified police they only asked my father if he was ok he told them everything is ok. This is not going away half a million dollars! I have called the banks fraud dept was able to follow the reverse from b. of a.. To a met life to a champion ...

    William’s Answer

    Although your description of the events is a bit confusing, if you believe that your father is the subject of financial fraud, it would be wise to file a Police Report as well as also call Adult Protective Services and an attorney that handles financial elder abuse. By doing so, you can best protect your father from being the victim of financial abuse and may be able to recover monies that were the subject of improper use. I hope matters work out well.

    William M. Berman, Esquire
    Berman & Riedel, LLP
    12264 El Camino Real, Suite 300
    San Diego, California 92130
    ph: (858) 350-8855
    fax: (858) 350-9855
    email: wberman@bermanlawyers.com
    web: www.bermanlawyers.com
    web: www.preventelderabuse.com

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  • If nursing home patient is full code, - is it considered wrongful death, if staff does not see distress of patient in time ?

    Patient was elderly, full code, NOT DNR (Do Not Resusitate.) Patient had been to hospital ER, and admitted a number of times with dehydration, sepsis from infection (UTI or advanced bedsore) etc. This time, the lethargy etc w...

    William’s Answer

    While is not enough information here to conclusively determine if there is a case for Wrongful Death, there are facts which you describe that could potentially lead to a viable claim. For example, the development and progression of sepsis caused by bed sores, the bedsores themselves, and the issues of dehydration could be the result of neglect. But to fully know whether a claim exists, it would be prudent to consult with an Elder Abuse Attorney who understands the law, and can obtain the decedent's records and have them reviewed by medical professionals. Most attorneys that practice in this area of the law will agree to undertake review of the case and conduct a comprehensive review of the issues with licensed professional nursing and medical experts, with no charge to the potential client(s). If you believe your loved one has been the subject of improper care and has died as a result, it would be prudent contact an attorney to help you.

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  • My father in-law died resulting in a fall while under 24 hr. care at a senior care facility where he was to be monitored 24 Hr

    The senior care facility was paid extra to have 24 Hr. in room care to prevent such a fall due to his aged condition. the facility hired someone from an outside company to provide this care. He died due to an internal head bleed caused by the fall...

    William’s Answer

    Yes, you likely have a case against the facility and the outside care agency. Depending on the contractual terms and the facts of the case there may be a Wrongful Death claim for your family as well as an additional claim for your deceased father which would provide for additional separate recovery. We handle cases like this all throughout Southern California. Be sure to consult with a lawyer versed in elder neglect litigation as this s a very complex area of the law.

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  • I think the home and the doctor are tampering with my deceased mom's medical records. Is this common with nursing home neglect?

    The nursing home is stalling giving me my deceased mom's medical records. My mom's doctor is also the nursing home medical director. What can I do to counter this to get my mom's true medical records?

    William’s Answer

    In California, skilled nursing facilities (nursing homes) are required to give the designated responsible party of the resident a complete copy of the patient's chart upon request. The facility has the right to charge for the copying, however, release of the records cannot be denied. If the facility will not release the records, an attorney can file an action with the Superior Court just to obtain the records. If the facility forces such action to be taken, the Petitioner will generally recover the costs and attorneys fees associated with filing such action.

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  • I bought a car for my sister now she does not have insurance who will get into trouble if she gets into an accident?

    i bought a car for my sister because of her bad credit and because i am stupid now she does not have car insurance who will get in trouble if she gets into an accident?

    William’s Answer

    While I am not licensed to practice law in your state and do not know the laws of MI, the issue of who can be held liable other than the negligent driver generally depends on who is the registered owner of the vehcile. If your name appears on title of the vehicle, the laws of your state may be such that you could also be held responsible under an ownership theory of liability. I would suggest you consult an attorney in your state on this issue. You may also want to consult your insurance agent, to see if you can get coverage for any accidents resulting from use of the car that you purchased for your sister. If, on the otherahand, you gifted the vehicle to your sister, the vehicle is in her name alone, and she has no insurance when she gets into an accident, you most likely cannot be held responsible. But again, the best advice would be to contact a local personal injury attorney; many personal injury attorneys provide free consultations and are happy to answer simple questions like this. Hope this helps; best of luck.

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  • I didn't have insurance when i got in a car accident ? what will happen ?

    so I hit a car while backing up even though i looked and there was nothing .. so assuming he saw me backing up and didn't wait. because i didn't see his cars behind at allll .. I don't have car insurance under my name so I don't know what would ...

    William’s Answer

    California has strict financial responsibility laws regarding auto insurance and everyone in the state is required to maintain auto insurance if they drive. Under the facts that you present, it appears you could be cited for failure to maintain insurance and your license could be suspended. You could also be held personally liability in a civil claim for the damages you caused to the vehicle you hit, and even to the occupants in the vehicle you hit to the extent any of them suffered injury. It is very important to carry insurance; it not only protects you under circumstances like this, but it is the law.

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  • I recently had ankle surgery for an injury that i was misdiagnosed for back in 2002. It's now 2009. Can I sue for malpractice?

    The misdiagnosis has left me with zero negative rhuemathoid arthritis in both ankles. I had told the doctor back in 2002 that I thought I had arthritis and was told I was too young. I was given 800mg of motrin and now have been on it for years.....

    William’s Answer

    Unfortunately, it appears that your statute to file claim for medical malpratice may have lapsed as the limitation period is one year from the date of discovery or three years maximum. There may, however, be an exception IF you were under the continuing care of the wrongdoing physician and the physician led you to believe that all would be OK, only to later learn that all was NOT OK. But this is a most difficult theory (an exception to the strict statute limitation) an you would be required to prove that you not only continued under the care of the wrongdoing physician, but that he misled you to cover-up his breach of the standard of care that resulted in your injury. If such circumstances exists, contact a medical malpractice attorney to discuss your claim. Hope this helps; best of luck.

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