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Senior Citizens Behind the Wheel: How to Know When to Take the Keys

Senior drivers draw concerns for other people on the road, because the risk of motor vehicle collisions increases as we age. Fatal crash rates start to drastically rise for seniors 70 years and older due to medical complications and other issues according to the CDC.

Let’s examine some potential handicaps to drivers that can impair their driving ability. Moraitakis & Kushel can help you navigate the dangers of driving. If you think any one of these conditions may impair the driving performance of a loved one, it may be time to talk about taking their keys for good.

Slower Reaction Time

Our reaction time tends to decrease as we grow older. Since superior reaction time is imperative to avoid accidents and pedestrians, seniors are at risk. A study conducted by the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention showed elderly drivers reduce their driving speed an average of twenty percent to accommodate their slower reaction times. Simulator tests exhibited that older drivers notice pedestrians and hazards significantly less that younger drivers.

Medication Complications

Senior citizens are commonly on several prescription medications at a time for various ailments. Many medications have adverse effects such as drowsiness, lightheadedness, and sluggishness. If senior drivers experience these conditions, their driving abilities can become dangerously compromised.

It’s important for seniors to talk to their doctor about safe driving habits and the specific effects of their medications.

Joint and Muscle Pain

Many older people start to gradually feel stiffness in their joints and muscles caused by natural deterioration. Arthritis or muscle spasms can impair safe driving practices in times of duress.

Doctors can recommend support braces and other solutions to help with these issues. It’s a good idea for older drivers to use an automatic transmission to avoid excessive movement of clutches and gear shifts. Also, they can select vehicles with superior power steering and brakes, and invest in a car with built-in alerts for outside vehicle activity.

Vision and Hearing Problems

Great eyesight is essential to see traffic signs, lights, and pedestrians. However, eye diseases like cataracts and glaucoma can impair eyesight and make it difficult for seniors to drive in a safe manner. It’s important older drivers have their eyes checked by an optometrist every year and have an updated eye-glass prescription.

Similarly, adequate hearing is important for the awareness of cautionary honking, pedestrian activity, and sirens. Seniors with poor hearing are advised to see an otolaryngologist for an aid.

Have You Been Involved In a Collision Due to Unsafe Driving?

At Moraitaikis & Kushel, LLP our attorneys are well versed in medical malpractice, auto accidents, and nursing home abuse and neglect cases. If you or a loved one has been affected by a traffic accident involving a senior citizen behind the wheel, we may be able to help. Contact us for a free case consultation.

Exposé Sheds Light on Physicians and Sexual Assault

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution conducted an alarming new investigation into documented cases of physician sexual abuse. The examination initially started in Georgia and they discovered that two out of three doctors in the state who were disciplined for sexual misconduct kept their license or lost it and got it back. There were many different types of cases, including, fondling, molestations, and even rape.

Each case in public records detail doctors identifying their actions but consequence to their crimes were often not reflective of the punishment they should receive. Many physicians continued to practice medicine with only a slap on the wrist.

The AJC extended their investigation to the nationwide search and found startling findings. Georgia was no different than any other state in the country, and the medical system protects doctors’ actions and leave patients victims without justice or legal recourse.

How Do They Get Away With It?

Patients are often sexually assaulted when they are sedated by drugs during surgical procedures. This is the most vulnerable time for patients and doctors can easily get away with sexual abuse and deny actions due to the patient’s impaired state.

A lot of patients do not report the sexual misconduct due to fears, intimidation, confusion, or simply embarrassment. Victims often feel they will not be heard or that their case will not be taken seriously. Worst of all, colleagues and nurses often stay quiet to avoid potential work relation issues. Hospitals can also ignore incidents and silence potential investigations.

Read More About This Fascinating Investigation

Dive into this eye-opening article about doctor sexual abuse cases and the cover ups. Read testimonials by victims, doctors, and experts to learn more about this largely silenced medical system issue. 

We Are Here To Help

Our team specializes in medical malpractice cases. We won’t ignore your story.  Contact us for a free consultation.

Top 3 Legal Mistakes to Make After an Auto Accident

Every year, millions of Americans are involved in automobile accidents; a large percentage of them occur in metropolitan areas like Atlanta. Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP is here to protect your rights when the cost, pain, and suffering from an auto accident is due to the negligent acts of another.

Accident costs regularly exceed the $500 deductible most people carry on their insurance when you include medical expenses, property damage, the cost of a rental car, and much more. Making a mistake at the scene of an accident could be the deciding factor in determining who is at fault – and who must pay out.

The following three mistakes can easily be avoided, and will make the difference in ensuring that the correct person is held liable. While following these tips may not safeguard that you do not owe anything, they will be immensely beneficial for your defense against insurance companies and other drivers.

Admitting Guilt

In most auto accidents, there will be an investigation and several instances where insurance companies and the authorities try to determine the facts of the case. It is impossible for you, as one of the drivers in the accident, to know with certainty whether or not you are at fault in the moments immediately preceding the accident.

While admitting guilt may feel like the right or moral thing to do in the moment, it may adversely impact your ability to collect money if you are not at fault, or can increase the amount you owe. Keep your conversations with the other party short and to the point. Be polite while you obtain their information and be sure to save your conversation for the police.

Not Contacting The Police

The police may be your first line of defense in an auto accident. They can be a credible, unbiased resources of information during the fact-finding part of an investigation. Make sure you receive a police report once it becomes available.

Having a police report can negate any false claims against you and will show your insurance company you have nothing to hide regarding the incident. Without admitting guilt, inform the police in your own words what happened and allow them to file a complete and thorough report.

Leaving before Documenting the Scene

Ensure that you document the scene as best as you can. Today, many phones, tablets, and other devices today have cameras on them; be sure to take pictures of the scene and conditions of the road, any and all damage done to each vehicle, and of the other motorist’s license, insurance card, and VIN number.

If you don’t have a camera on your phone, try to carry one in your car (a disposable camera may make the difference between owing and receiving money in a settlement). Additionally, make a document of your version of the events as soon as you can—to ensure they’re fresh in your mind. A handwritten note, memo in your phone, or email from the scene will work just as well, too. Obtaining as much documentation as you can will be helpful in finding fault and building a case.

Contact Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP

Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP are Atlanta’s leading personal injury attorneys. If you or a loved one has been harmed in a car accident, we can help. Your first consultation is free of charge.

Contact us online or call (404) 261-0016 to speak with one of our experienced and knowledgeable Atlanta personal injury attorneys.

Dangers of Driving Drowsy

Drowsy driving is the dangerous combination of driving and sleepiness or fatigue. Drowsy driving accounted for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 800 deaths in 2013, according to the CDC.
Approximately 1 in 25 adult drivers have reported falling asleep at the wheel. The risks and danger of driving drowsy are alarming. Learn how to avoid driving drowsy from Georgia’s serious injury law firm Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP.

Driving Drowsy Warning Signs

If you snore or got less than 6 hours of sleep, you are more likely to fall asleep at the wheel. Look out for these warning signs and avoid getting behind the wheel if you exhibit any of these signs of drowsiness.

  • Yawning and rubbing your eyes frequently
  • Trouble focusing
  • Trouble keeping your eyes open or head up
  • Drifting from your lane
  • Missing your exit
  • Difficulty remember the past miles driven

Reaction and Judgment Are Delayed

One of the most dangerous things about driving drowsy is that your reaction and judgment are delayed. Most drowsy driving accidents occur between midnight and 6 a.m. on rural roads and highways. These are times when there are dips in the circadian rhythm (your body’s natural sleep and wake cycle). When you are tired and drowsy, you may nod off and not realize that you haven’t been paying attention.

Risk of an Accident is Increased

Studies have shown that driving drowsy could be just as dangerous as driving under the influence. Your reaction time, judgment, alertness, attention, and decision-making are all compromised. Drowsy drivers involved in a crash are twice as likely to make performance errors as compared to drivers who are not tired, according to NHTSA’s National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Study.

How to Prevent Drowsiness

Making sure that you get enough sleep before driving is a simple way to prevent accidents caused by drowsy driving. However, some people are more susceptible to drowsiness than others. Commercial drivers who operate vehicles for long periods of time, shift workers, and drivers with sleep disorders are at increased risk of driving drowsy. Lower your risk by following these guidelines:

  • Get at least 7 hours of sleep. If you are a teen, sleep at least 8 hours.
  • Develop a sleeping schedule.
  • Avoid taking medications that make you sleepy.
  • Avoid driving alone
  • Consume caffeine
  • Avoid driving during times that you would usually be sleeping.
  • Take a break every 2 hours if you’re driving long distances.

Contact Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP

Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP represents Georgia residents who have been involved in auto accidents or sustained injuries due to the fault of another driver. If you or a loved one have been involved in an auto accident, contact Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP. Call 404-261-0016 or 1-800-688-2357 or email us to schedule a consultation.

Your initial consultation is free, and you pay no attorney’s fees unless we collect a settlement or win in court on your behalf.

Wrongful Death Suit Filed Against Nursing Home

According to the West Virginia Record, West Virginia’€™s top legal journal, Kanawaha resident Nancy Shelton is pressing charges against a Montgomery nursing home for the wrongful death of her late mother, Ms. Hattie Lucas.

The facility in question is the Montgomery General Hospital Extended Care Unit, where Ms. Hattie Lucas allegedly suffered from a €œpattern of neglect and abuse’€ at the hands of the hospital employees.

According to the brief filed on behalf of the Hattie Lucas Estate, Ms. Lucas received little to no care at the nursing home; this general neglect led to numerous falls, a broken hip, and eventually, her death. Charleston attorney Andrew Paternostro is representing the Hattie Lucas Estate, which is seeking punitive damages, court costs, and attorneys’€™ fees.

Nursing Home Abuse Cases at Moraitakis and Kushel, LLP

The National Center on Elder Abuse states that for every reported occurrence of nursing home neglect or abuse, five incidents go unreported. If you suspect that your parent, grandparent, or loved one is not receiving the care that he or she deserves, contact Moraitakis and Kushel, LLP for a free consultation.

Signs that your loved one may be a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse include:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Malnutrition or dehydration
  • Bed sores
  • Evidence of medical malpractice (switched medications, etc.)
  • Sudden, unexplained changes in behavior

Atlanta personal injury attorneys Glenn E. Kushel and Nicholas C. Moraitakis have 50 years of combined experience representing the claims of those who cannot stand up for themselves; a substantial portion of their practice is devoted to nursing home abuse and neglect litigation.

Wrongful Death Lawyer in Atlanta

If you lost a loved one, you need a wrongful death lawyer in Atlanta who will fight for the compensation you and your family deserve. Grief alone is difficult enough, but you may also be faced with medical expenses, funeral costs, and other debts.

A wrongful death case is any situation resulting in an untimely loss. A wrongful death case can be due to:

  • Auto or trucking accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Work related accidents
  • Other accidents or situations resulting in death

The Lawyer in Atlanta You Can Trust

At Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP, we understand our clients are going through probably the worst time of their lives. You may be wondering how you’€™ll make ends meet in addition to recovering from a tragic loss. When you turn to Moraitakis & Kushel, you’€™ll receive representation from a wrongful death lawyer in Atlanta who understands what you are going through.

Nicholas Moraitakis and Glenn Kushel, of Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP, are experienced wrongful death lawyers in Atlanta who have a very strong track record with wrongful death cases. Their experience, empathy and strategic approach will allow you to find comfort as you move on with your life.

If you decide to give your case to one of our wrongful death lawyers, our firm will seek damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, loss of earning potential and other costs.

Reach Out to Us for a Wrongful Death, Legal Consultation

Call (404) 445-1411 or contact us online to speak with a wrongful death lawyer at the Atlanta law firmMoraitakis & Kushel, LLP.

Work Related Burn Injuries

There are over 40,000 work-related burn injuries every year. These injuries can be caused by various accidents and events. Many times the accident is preventable and occurred due to another individual’s negligence, poor training, faulty equipment, or an employer disregarding safety regulations.

Types of Burns

Work related burns are most often thermal (exposure to heat), chemical, or electrical. People who work in factories or construction are at greater risk for these types of burns due to their exposure to flammable materials and things like water heaters and boilers.

Burns sustained are categorized in three different degrees: first, second, and third. First degree burns are superficial, causing the skin to become red and painful. Second degree burns burn the top two layers of skin, creating blisters. Third degree burns, are the most severe and burn all layers of the skin, creating areas that appear white or black and leathery.

Recovery from burns can be long and require multiple types of specialists and treatments. Even if you have a first degree burn it is important to seek medical attention, as complications can develop later.

Receiving Compensation

If you have been burned at work, it is important to seek legal advice. Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance policy many businesses are required to have. Workers’ compensation is available to cover medical and therapy bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and a portion of lost wages for individuals hurt on the job.

Workers’ Compensation will take effect immediately upon the injured employee filing the “first report of injury” form; this also means the employee cannot sue their company in the future for the injury sustained.

While workers’ compensation covers most expenses, there may be other underlying third party claims that can supplement your workers’ compensation.

Contact Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP

Confronting a product manufacturer and keeping legal matters in line can be complicated, time consuming, and stressful. For these reasons it is important to receive legal counsel regarding your work-related burn as soon as possible.

Our legal team is experienced in workers’ compensation and personal injury law. Contact Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP for a free consultation.

Woman Awarded $1.3M after Losing Sight in Supermarket Fall

A Clayton County woman recently won a $1.3 million jury award because she lost her sight in her left eye after falling into the bagging station of a grocery store.

Ellen Myers claims she tripped on a wrinkle in a floor mat at the entrance of Food Depot in Rex, GA. The store disputed whether this was the cause. Yet Myers’€™ story never changed, giving the jury reason to believe she told the truth.

The accident took place on September 17, 2010, when Myers, 49, entered the store. She tripped and fell into the metal frame of the grocery bagging carousel, striking her face. Despite emergency medical care, Myers’€™ lost still lost vision in her left eye.

Clayton County State Court Judge Aaron Mason entered the $1.3 million judgment on April 2, following a weeklong trial that ended on March 29.

Premises Liability Cases at Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP

Georgia law requires property owners and property manager to maintain safe conditions, be it commercial or private property. Premises liability law is designed to protect anyone who sets foot on the property. Even if you were trespassing in some way, you may have the right to recovery in the event of an accident.

As the leading premises liability lawyers in Atlanta, we have successfully resolved and tried to verdict  cases involving the failure of a landowner to protect guests from serious injury including negligent failure to provide securing that resulted in assaults, rapes, and even death.

We are committed to getting you great results, and you will pay no attorneys fees unless we collect compensation for you. Call Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP at (404) 261-0016 to schedule your free consultation with a premises liability attorney.

Wife of Slain Taxi Driver Awarded $1.2M Settlement

The wife of a slain taxi driver has been awarded a settlement of $1.2 million from the then-owner of an apartment complex where her husband was fatally shot. Five and a half years after the death of her husband, and a complex legal battle against Bethany Group, LLC, a settlement was reached on April 4th, 2013. The agreement occurred approximately one year after Bethany was denied an appeal.

Her husband, Dane Grobman, 52, was shot and killed in the early morning of November 9, 2007, at the Alden Ridge Apartments on Brockett Rd. in Clarkston, Georgia. The apartment complex had a long history of criminal activity including drug dealing and robberies, and the person who called the cab was never found. Phone records yielded an untraceable disposable cellphone.

The apartment complex previously had employed round-the-clock security, but not since prior to February 2007, according to a brief. No private security guards were on the premises that night.

Georgia Premises Liability Law at Moraitakis and Kushel, LLP

Georgia law requires property owners and property managers to maintain safe conditions on their commercial and private property. If you were hurt or assaulted on someone else’€™s private or commercial property, you may be eligible to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. As in the tragic case of the slaying of Mr. Grobman, a surviving spouse may be entitled to compensation. The leaders in Atlanta in premises liability law, Moraitakis and Kushel, LLP are dedicated to getting you results.

Call Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP at (404) 261-0016 or 1-800-688-2357, or send us an e-mail to schedule your free consultation with a premises liability attorney.

What you Need to Know About Nursing Home Law

If you or your loved ones have been the victims of nursing home negligence or abuse, you may not know where to turn for advice. At Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP, in Atlanta, Georgia, we pride ourselves on representing clients who have been abused by a nursing home or assisted care facility.

Nursing home or elder abuse can take many forms, including:

  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition
  • Bed sores
  • Physical injuries
  • Bruises
  • Errors dispersing medication

Understanding Nursing Home Law

Here are a few important things you need to know about nursing home law that many assisted care facilities will not tell you. Take these into consideration when you feel you or your family member has been wronged by a nursing home or other such facility:

  • Federal law permits families and patients to assist in developing a care plan, which includes nursing home staff making reasonable adjustments to a plan to comply with the specific needs of patients. If a facility has told you that you have no rights to determine certain aspects of the care you or your loved one receive, consider contacting Moraitakis & Kushel, LLP and let us provide a free consultation to advise you on the next steps to take.
  • Nursing homes may try to manipulate family members into signing a €œresponsible party’€ clause without adequately explaining what the term means. This clause essentially states that the family of a patient is financially responsible for their administered care in the event that the patient cannot provide adequate funds. This is legal under federal and state law, but not informing the responsible party of their financial obligation is not, so be weary of this terminology in any admission agreement you sign for your family member.
  • Many nursing homes will try to evict €œdifficult’€ residents when demand for nursing home beds outstrips supply. Eviction is legally only allowed for the following reasons: failure to pay for care, a patient is deemed fit to no longer require assisted living, a patient’€™s needs cannot be met at the facility, a resident is endangering the health and safety of others, or if the facility is going out of business. Facilities must provide written notice of eviction, often within 30 days of discharge, along with evidence to support their decision.

Reach Out to Our Law Team for Advice on Nursing Homes & Elder Abuse Cases

If you or your loved one has been abused in any of these or other ways by a nursing home, contactMoraitakis & Kushel today at 404-445-1411 or 1-800-688-2357 to have our nursing home law specialists evaluate your case and get you and your family compensated for any pain and suffering you may have endured.