September 30th, 2014
It’s no secret that getting Social Security Disability benefits can be difficult. It can take years for a claim to get processed and approved.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is working diligently to eliminate these issues with the Open Government Plan 3.0. The plan outlines the structural changes needed to get the Social Security Disability program back on track. This goal will be achieved through reforms in four main areas, including:
- Increasing Transparency- The agency hopes to improve the public’s access and knowledge of their inner-workings by providing easy retrieval of data and the documents that are necessary to file a claim.
- Expanding Participation- Increasing the number of users of the SSA’s programs and services—such as My Social Security—has become a top priority.
- Improving Collaboration- Working with other government agencies—like the VA—to ensure disabled Americans have access to the benefits they deserve.
- Internalizing the Open Government Principles- The agency will work in a much more efficient and productive manner if each employee adopts these ideas and applies them to how they perform their duties each day.
The Texas personal injury lawyers with Daniel Stark Injury Lawyers are hopeful these changes will bring necessary improvements to the SSA’s disability program.
September 2nd, 2014
The law states that veterans of the United States armed forces are entitled to medical care and other benefits provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). However, a new report is showing the VA and it’s veterans disability benefits program are plagued by “significant and chronic system failures.”
The report examined the care 8.8 million American veterans received at more than 1,700 health care facilities across the nation. It concluded more than 25 percent of whistleblower cases involving the federal government stem from issues with the VA’s services. Furthermore, there are currently more than 50 cases of the VA threatening patients’ health and safety now under review.
KBTX News also explains that the amount of time veterans have to wait to receive insufficient services. While the VA has a goal of getting veterans in need of medical care an appointment within 14 days, as many as 10 percent wait longer than one month for medical care. Another 56,000 veterans wait longer than three months to see doctors, while more than 46,000 others never receive care for conditions related to military service.
So what can you do to help expedite your veterans benefits and medical care? Speaking with a Texas personal injury lawyer may offer you the answers you need.
At Daniel Stark Injury Lawyers, our attorneys have decades of combined legal experience, and we can help you get the care you deserve. Call us anytime at (866) 241-4861 to discuss your case.
August 19th, 2014
Abuse and neglect in long-term care facilities across Texas is a growing epidemic. Estimates show that almost 30 percent of disabled and elderly residents will suffer from nursing home abuse this year.
While intentional acts of harm make up a large portion of reported incidents, even more cases are the result of errors made by medical and care staff.
Investigations found 1,060 medication error violations in nursing homes in 2011. By 2013, that number had jumped to more than 1,200 errors reported.
The state is working to address the problem by stiffening penalties for patient safety and health infractions. An article from the Insurance Journal states a proposed law change calls for nursing homes that commits three serious safety infractions within a two year time period to have their operating licenses revoked. Proponents say the reform would allow officials to make swifter moves in addressing problem facilities than the previous laws allowed. Those opposed to the changes say the new laws may shut down facilities working toward change.
The Texas personal injury attorneys with Daniel Stark Injury Lawyers hope state lawmakers can find a solution that holds nursing homes accountable for their negligence. If your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, our legal team is here to protect your rights. Contact us today.
August 12th, 2014
The National Centers for Elder Abuse estimate that one-third of patients in long-term care facilities are suffering from neglect or improper treatment. This number is expected to rise as the nation’s elderly and disabled populations continue to grow.
This leaves many people wondering what some of the most common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect are. Experts tend to agree bruising or open wounds on the body—such as bed sores—are some of the most easy-to-see signs that patients are not receiving the care they should.
Recently, the Texas Attorney General’s office filed suit against several medical facilities after numerous complaints of improper care. An article from the Star-Telegram explains that the investigation began in Nov. 2012 when the family of a paralyzed spinal bifida patient reported their loved one was not receiving proper care for bed sores. His wound soon developed an infection that spread to other parts of his body and ultimately claimed the his life.
The lawsuit is seeking as much as $20,000 in penalties from the facility for each violation that is discovered. Two other suits were filed recently against two different facilities after similar allegations arose.
The Texas personal injury attorneys with Daniel Stark Injury Lawyers know how frustrating it can be to see loved ones harmed while receiving medical care and applaud the efforts of the Texas Attorney General’s office to curb patient neglect and abuse.
July 29th, 2014
It’s fairly obvious that a serious traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause damage to a victim’s cognitive abilities, but harm can also be done by less severe, mild TBIs.
In fact, an article from FOX News explains a study conducted at Newcastle University examined the brains of 77 participants—44 who had experienced mild to moderate TBIs during the week leading up to the study, and 33 others who had not. They found those who had suffered at TBI had lower scores when aspects such as verbal activity as well as movement of eyes and other body parts were tested.
These conclusions were drawn after researchers examined the results of brain images captured by magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging technology.
The team also found the damage done to the brain by a TBI can be long-term, if not permanent. This was determined by images of the brain that were collected one-year after the initial patient assessment.
The Texas personal injury attorneys with Daniel Stark Injury Lawyers say this is why it’s so important to recognize the symptoms of TBIs and seek medical attention when they’re suspected. Some of the most common signs of TBIs include:
- Sudden changes in sleep patterns
- Sudden changes in mood
- Memory loss
July 22nd, 2014
Many people cite industry deregulation and tort reform as two reasons why the Texas economy is booming. But economic growth in Texas has come with a serious price tag—reduced worker safety.
Data from the U.S. Department of Labor shows Texas has led the nation for the past decade in the number of employees injured or killed as the result of workplace accidents, like oil field injuries, construction accidents, or trucking accidents. Furthermore, employers are not required to carry workers’ compensation coverage to help with expenses after accidents.
This leaves many employees wondering what they can do to better protect themselves from being the victim of an accident. Unfortunately for Texas workers, an article from The New York Times says the best option may be to not get hurt in the first place.
If you do get hurt while on the job, speaking with a qualified Texas personal injury lawyers can help answer any questions you may have regarding your legal rights to compensation for your injury.
At Daniel Stark Injury Lawyers, our legal staff can help you understand your legal rights after an accident. So call us today for a free consultation of your case.
June 17th, 2014
Nursing home facilities and their staff have a responsibility to protect the health and safety of residents at all times; however, a new report is claiming Texas is not doing enough to protect patients from nursing home abuse and neglect in the state.
The claims come on the heels of video that was released last year, which depicted a nursing home care provider hitting, slapping, and throwing objects at a patient who was under her care. The findings in the report, which are substantiated by several local non-profit organizations, claim one of the reasons Texas nursing home abuse is so rampant is because of the lack of accountability placed on facilities by the Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS).
According to an article released by KVUE News, the regulations established by DADS for patient standards of care are not strict enough to prevent errors in care and creates few consequences for nursing homes that are found to be repeat violators.
This has resulted in a call for several nursing homes in Texas to be closed, as well as for administrative penalties for violations being increased. DADS has stated these are just recommendations though and has stated they will respond to the report within several weeks.
At Daniel Stark Injury Lawyers, our team of Texas personal injury attorneys is curious as to the public’s take on the subject. Is Texas failing to take enough action to keep nursing homes safe? Tell us what you think by responding and posting to our social media outlets.
May 27th, 2014
Businesses have a responsibility to protect the safety and health of those who patronize their facilities. Failure to do so can result in premise liability concerns and one of the most common is foodborne illness in restaurants.
According to an article from KBTX News, such a situation recently arose in College Station, Texas, when a local restaurant was shut down due to dozens of cases of reported food poisoning. Reports indicate 30 cases of Salmonella infection were linked to meals that were served at Fuego Tortilla in Brazos County.
Salmonella is a strain of bacteria that can contaminate food during processing or handling. An infection can result in the victim suffering from fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and cramping. In some cases, an infection can result in hospitalization and even death.
So what can you do to avoid foodborne illness in restaurants? The first place to start is by checking the facility’s sanitation grade. This is determined by an inspection of the restaurant’s cleanliness and food preparation practices. It’s best to avoid restaurants with a grade lower than 95.
If you do become ill after eating food from a restaurant, you should seek medical attention and it may be wise to consider finding legal representation so you can be compensated for your losses.
At Daniel Stark Injury Lawyers, our team of College Station personal injury attorneys is dedicated to helping those who have been harmed due to another persons’ negligence and may be able to help. Call us today at (866) 241-4861 to speak with our legal staff about your injury or illness.
January 7th, 2014
January 7, 2014
Each year hundreds of thousands of United States citizens suffer serious brain injuries as the result of trauma to the head. That’s why getting proper treatment for such injuries is vital, considering data shows 50 percent of “second impact syndrome” incidents, a brain injury caused from a premature return to activity after suffering initial injury (concussion), result in death.
The Texas Brain Injury Lawyers with Daniel Stark Injury Lawyers explain a new study has shown getting plenty of cognitive rest may be the key to recovering from brain injuries.
A story from KVUE News stated researchers examined 335 cases of brain injuries reported in patients between the ages of 8- and 23-years-old. Patients who reported engaging in higher levels of cognitive activity, such as playing video games, doing homework, and text messaging, reported longer recuperation times than those who rested their brains. On average, those who engaged in more cognitive activity reported healing times of around 100 days, compared to the 25 days of those who got plenty of rest.
The study only scratches the surface of just how dangerous not properly caring for a serous brain injury can be. Daniel Stark Injury Lawyers’ team of Texas Personal Injury Attorneys is hopeful the study’s findings will be used to raise awareness of these risks.
December 3rd, 2013
December 3, 2013
Each day, soldiers continue to return from service overseas with injuries that leave them unable to work. The Texas Veterans Disability Lawyers with Daniel Stark Injury Lawyers point out that while the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers disability benefits to these individuals, the wait times to be approved can be extremely lengthy.
According to an article from CBS News, the growing number of soldiers and veterans applying for disability benefits through the VA has created a backlog in claims approval process of almost a year. In fact, some individuals are reporting waiting as long as 354 days for a decision to be reached in their case.
The VA’s office in Waco, Texas, is one of the facilities that has been hit hardest by the claims backlog. Estimates indicate there are currently 26,353 claims from that particular facility that are part of the backlog. Furthermore, the office fell short of its claims approval goal for the fiscal year by as many as 100,000 cases.
There are several organizations that provide assistance to soldiers and veterans as they wait in limbo for their claim to be approved. However, the Texas Personal Injury Lawyers with Daniel Stark Injury Lawyers would encourage individuals considering applying for such benefits to discuss their legal and financial options with a reputable attorney before making any decisions on how to move forward with your claim for benefits.