The Baez Law Firm | San Antonio Lawyers and Attorneys

The Baez Law Firm | San Antonio Lawyers and Attorneys
San Antonio Lawyers and Attorneys

Sunday, December 30, 2007

What Laws protect nursing home residents?

Nursing homes and long-term care facilities that receive federal funds must comply with certain federal regulations and laws. These regulations and laws set out in detail the type and quality of care that residents in these facilities must receive.

Nursing Home Reform Act (1987)
During the 1980s, reports of nursing home abuse and neglect surfaced in alarming numbers. In an effort to reform nursing home practices and procedures and to set standards for the care rendered to residents Congress passed the Nursing Home Reform Act in 1987. These laws were incorporated into the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA 1987). Reports from various state agencies note that some of the reported causes of death of nursing home residents are chronic urinary tract infections, pressure ulcers and respiratory infections. Many of these deaths may be preventable. An extensive report on nursing home care problems in California generated a congressional hearing and an extensive report to the Special Committee on Aging of the United States Senate.

While a number of the federal regulations are listed below, a basic tenet of the Act is that a nursing home or long term care facility must provide services and care to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental and psychosocial well-being of each resident and this care must be given based on written documentation for each resident, known as an individualized plan of care.

If you are a resident or have a loved one in a nursing home, it is important to be familiar with the rights provided by the Nursing Home Reform Act. The law requires nursing homes to promote and protect the rights of each resident and places a strong emphasis on individual dignity and self-determination. In order to participate in Medicare or Medicaid, nursing homes must meet residents' rights requirements.

Nursing Home Residents' Rights
Residents have the right to be fully informed, of services and their charges; the rules and regulations of the nursing home; contact information for the State Ombudsman, State licensure office, and other advocacy groups; and state survey reports of the nursing home along with the home's plans for corrections. Residents have the right to be communicated to daily in their language and provided assistance for sensory impairments.

Residents have the right to participate in their own care, which includes both receiving adequate and appropriate care and also the right to refuse that care. They have the right to be involved in the planning of their care, should be informed of any changes in treatment or condition, and the right to review their medical records.

Residents have the right to make independent choices. This includes making independent decisions on clothing and spending free time, choosing their own activities inside and outside the nursing home, participating in a resident council, and selecting their own physician. The nursing home must make reasonable accommodations of a resident's needs and preferences.

Residents have the right to privacy and confidentiality, including private and unrestricted communication with persons of their choice, private treatment and care of personal needs, and confidentiality regarding medical, personal, and financial affairs.

Residents have the right to dignity, respect, and freedom. Residents have the right to be treated with consideration, respect and dignity, to be free from abuse, both mental and physical, corporal punishment, involuntary seclusion, and physical and chemical restraints. Residents have the right to self-determination.

Residents have the right to security of possessions. This includes managing their own financial affairs and not being charged for services covered by Medicare and Medicaid. Residents have the right to file a complaint if the nursing home is managing their financial affairs in an abusive, neglectful, or inappropriate way.

Residents have rights during transfers and discharges, including the right to a 30-day notice and a safe transfer or discharge with sufficient preparation by the nursing home. Residents also have a right to remain in the nursing facility unless the transfer or discharge is deemed necessary to meet the resident's welfare, required to protect other residents and staff, or a facility charge has not been provided after reasonable notice.

Residents have the right to complain without fear of reprisal and the right to prompt efforts by the nursing home to resolve grievances.

A resident has the right to visits. A resident has the right to visits from their personal physician, representatives from the health department and ombudsman programs, and their relatives. Residents also have the right to reasonable visits by organizations or individuals providing health, social, legal, or other services.

If your love one has been subject of nursing home neglect, please contact us at (210) 979-9777 or visit our website at http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com for more information. We care about your legal needs!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Why SUVs roll over so easily?

One of the main reasons for the instability of those vehicles is the high center of gravity.Most rollovers occur when the driver is forced to an emergency evasive action. The rapid change of steering into the opposite direction, like typical avoiding maneuvers, often throws the vehicle off center and forces it to roll over.

From an engineer’s point of view, the stability of a vehicle is measured by the formula: T divided by 2h. T is the 'track width' (center of the right front tire to the center of the left front tire) and h is the vehicle's center of gravity. When this number is 1.2 or greater, the vehicle is unlikely to roll. However, the further the ratio dips below 1.2, the greater the likelihood of roll over.

While police officers often blame the driver for careless driving, fault should be attributed to the manufacturer for negligent vehicle design.Another leading cause for the fatality of SUV rollovers is the likelihood of roof crushes and ejection. During the rollover, the roof pillars, side roof rails and the front roof header often collapse, invading the occupant safety zone. As a result, neck fractures lead to brain damages and other fatal injuries.

What to do after a SUV rollover

-Vehicle and accident site inspection as soon after the accident as possible
-Preservation of the vehicle in its condition after the accident
-Having an experienced accident investigator to take accurate and complete statements of all occupants, law enforcers, EMS personal and witnesses
-Having an accident reconstruction engineer to determine how the accident occurred
-Having biomedical or biomechanical experts to determine what part of the accident or vehicle caused the plaintiffs injuries
-Interview the plaintiffs' treating medical physicians
-In catastrophic injuries, the resulting in paraplegia quadriplegia, or serious head injuries, hiring a life care plan consultant to evaluate the cost of medical care to the seriously injured plaintiff and estimate ALL medical and life care needs over this persons lifetime


SUV Rollover Crash Facts listed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
10,657 vehicles were involved in fatal rollovers. Crashes in which a vehicle rolled over accounted for more than 50 percent of all single-vehicle crash deaths. Rollover crashes are especially serious due to occurring head injuries.


Serious injuries in rollover crashes are 36 percent higher than non-rollover crashes
Ejections account for 63 percent of all fatalities in rollover crashes and often result in head injuries. More than 90 percent of passenger vehicle rollover crashes are single vehicle crashes
56 percent of those single vehicle crashes resulted in death, compared to only 11 percent in all multi-vehicle crashes.

If you or someone you know has has a roll over, contact The Báez Law Firm, P.C. we can help you recover what you deserve. Visit us at http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com or call us at (210) 979-9777. WE CARE ABOUT YOUR LEGAL NEEDS!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Chiropractic Care

Choosing a chiropractor can be difficult because the majority of chiropractors are involved in unscientific practices. If you do decide to consult one, begin with a telephone interview during which you explore the chiropractor's attitudes and practice patterns.

Positive Signs
Try to find a chiropractor whose practice is limited to conservative treatment of back pain and other musculoskeletal problems. Ask your medical doctor for the names of any who fit this description and appear to be trustworthy.
Membership in the National Association for Chiropractic Medicine or the Canadian Academy of Manipulative Therapists (CAMT) is a very good sign, but the number of chiropractors who belong to these groups is small. CAMT's "orthopractic guidelines" describe a science-based approach to manipulative therapy.
In addition to manual manipulation or stretching of tight muscles or joints, science-based chiropractors commonly use heat or ice packs, ultrasound treatment, and other modalities similar to those of physical therapists. They may also recommend a home exercise program. For most conditions that chiropractic care can help, significant improvement should occur within a few visits.

Negative Signs
Avoid chiropractors who advertise about "danger signals that indicate the need for chiropractic care," make claims about curing diseases, try to get patients to sign contracts for lengthy treatment, promote regular "preventive" adjustments, use scare tactics, or disparage scientific medical treatment or preventive measures such as immunization or fluoridation.
Avoid chiropractors who purport to diagnose or treat "subluxations," who have waiting room literature promoting "nerve interference" as an underlying cause of disease, or who post charts or distribute literature suggesting that chiropractic might help nearly every type of health problem.

Avoid any chiropractor who routinely performs or orders x-ray examinations of all patients. Most patients who consult a chiropractor do not need them. Be especially wary of full-spine x-ray examinations. This practice has doubtful diagnostic value and involves a large amount of radiation.
Avoid chiropractors who "prescribe" dietary supplements, homeopathic products, or herbal products for the treatment of disease or who sell any of these products in their offices. For dietary advice, the best sources are physicians and registered dietitians.

Avoid chiropractors who offer Biological Terrain Assessment, body fat analysis, computerized "nutrient deficiency" testing, contact reflex analysis,, computerized range-of-motion analysis, contour analysis (also called moire contourography), cytotoxic testing, electrodermal testing, Functional Intracellular Analysis (FIA), hair analysis, herbal crystallization analysis, inclinometry, iridology, leg-length testing, live blood cell analysis (also called nutritional blood analysis or Hemaview), testing with a Nervo-Scope or similar spinal heat-detecting device, Nutrabalance, NUTRI-SPEC, pendulum divination, reflexology, saliva testing, spinal ultrasound testing to "measure progress, surface electromyography (SEMG), thermography, a Toftness device, weighing on a twin-scale device called a Spinal Analysis Machine (S.A.M.), or any other dubious diagnostic procedure identified on Quackwatch.

Avoid chiropractors who utilize acupuncture, Activator Methods, allergy testing, applied kinesiology, Bio Energetic Synchronization Technique (B.E.S.T.), chelation therapy, colonic irrigation, cranial or craniosacral therapy, laser acupuncture, magnetic or biomagnetic therapy, Neuro Emotional Technique (NET), or Neural Organization Technique (NOT), or who exhibit a dogmatic attachment to any other specific chiropractic technique or school of thought.
Understand that some chiropractic treatments involve significant risk. Spinal manipulations involving sudden movements have greater potential for injury than more conservative types of therapy. Be aware that chiropractic neck manipulation can cause serious injuries. Neck manipulation should be done gently with care to avoid excessive rotation that could damage the patient's vertebral artery. It should never be used unless symptoms indicate a specific need for it. A small percentage of chiropractors advocate neck manipulation to "balance" or "realign" the spine no matter where the patient's problem is located. I recommend avoiding such chiropractors.

Additional Safeguards
Never consult a chiropractor unless your problem has been diagnosed by a competent medical practitioner. Don't rely on a chiropractor for diagnosis. Although some chiropractors know enough to avoid diagnostic difficulty, there is no simple way for a consumer to determine who can do so. As an additional safeguard, ask any chiropractor who treats you to discuss your care with your medical doctor.

At the Báez Law Firm, we take special care in selecting chiropractors that adhere to the highest standards for their professions. If you have the need to see a chiropractor, visit us at http:///www.thebaezlawfirm.com or give us a call (210) 979-9777.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Accused killer battles cancer?

For the first time in more than a year, a woman accused of driving drunk and running over five people after a concert appears in court. This is the first pre-trial hearing Mary Dodgen has actually attended since the crash back in the summer of last year. She appeared before Judge Wilford Flowers in a wheelchair Thursday afternoon. This case has seen more than a year and a half of delays because of the defendant's condition. Dodgen is battling cancer.

The attorneys on the case told the judge they cannot set a trial date as they are uncertain whether Dodgen's cancer treatment and recovery will interfere with the court setting.
Dodgen is accused of driving drunk last year and running over five people who were trying to cross Highway 71 after a concert at the Backyard. Jeff Wilson, 32, later died from his injuries. Wilson's family attended Thursday's court hearing wearing buttons with Jeff's picture.

His family asked a representative from Mothers Against Drunk Driving to speak on their behalf about the status of the case. They are frustrated it is taking so long for justice to run its course.
The victim's family will have to wait even longer. No trial date was set. But a new hearing was set for late January.

If your love one has been injured by a drunk driver, please contact us (210) 979-9777 or visit us http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com because we care about your legal needs!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Toyota recalls 15,600 Tundras

(AP)- Toyota Motor Sales USA on Friday announced it would recall thousands of 2007 Tundras — some of them manufactured in San Antonio — because of a possible safety hazard. It is the first recall of the redesigned truck, which is also built in Princeton, Ind.

A joint in the rear propeller shaft of an estimated 15,600 four-wheel-drive Tundras may have been improperly heat-treated, Toyota said. In a worst-case scenario, the shaft could separate at the joint and the truck would coast to a stop, Toyota Motor Sales USA spokesman Bill Kwong said. So far, no one has reported such an incident or accidents or injuries related to rear propeller shaft problems.

The number of trucks being recalled — fewer than 10 percent of those sold — isn't huge, said Kevin Smith, editorial director of the consumer auto site Edmunds.com. Smith also doesn't see the recall as a sign of larger quality problems at Toyota. "Most people would be realistic and understand that a brand-new vehicle has lots of new parts. It's conceivable that one of them might have a faulty heat treatment," he said. "It doesn't feel to me like an indication that Toyota's standards have slipped, but if things keep happening, that will look different."

The parts involved in Friday's recall are supplied by the Toledo, Ohio-based Dana Corp.
Dana, which didn't return a phone call seeking comment, provides all of the propeller shafts used in the two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive versions of the Tundra, the company said in a February news release. One of the two propeller shafts that Dana supplies to Toyota won Toyota's Award for Technology and Development at the automaker's Global Suppliers Convention in Japan earlier this year.

No recall has been issued for the two-wheel-drive Tundra. A customer who complained of an abnormal noise coming from the drive shaft alerted Toyota to the rear propeller-shaft problems with the four-wheel-drive version, Kwong said. "In that case it didn't separate," he said.
Toyota plans to notify Tundra owners of the recall by mailing letters this month. Owners are being instructed to contact local Toyota dealers for complimentary inspections and repairs if needed.

"It should take less than an hour to repair if there's a need for a repair at all," Kwong said.
The recall is the fifth that Toyota has announced this year, affecting 588,232 vehicles.
The Tundra already has had an atypical launch for a Toyota product, failing to gain a coveted recommendation from Consumer Reports, becoming a topic of consumer complaint forums, and failing to beat domestic competitors in national safety tests.

"A lot of consumers who are used to thinking of Toyota as essentially faultless have certainly been knocked a little off-balance by recent events," Edmunds.com's Smith said.
Consumer Reports in October ranked the four-wheel-drive version of the Tundra as below average when it comes to reliability. The magazine said its readers have reported problems with trucks' drive system, suspension, brakes, power equipment, body hardware, engine and audio system.

On pickuptruck.com, a Web publication dedicated to trucks, Tundra owners have complained about shuddering sensations and cracking tailgates. In crash tests from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the Tundra did not fare as well as some competitors including the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, the Dodge Dakota and the GMC Sierra 1500.

"When a brand-new vehicle hits the market, it's not at all unheard of to have some kind of issues crop up in the first six, 12 or 18 months," Smith said. But Toyota rarely has those problems because it doesn't often redesign new models from scratch. The 2007 Tundra is unlike any other truck the company has built. Equipped with a new 5.7-liter, V-8 iForce engine capable of generating 381 horsepower and 401 pounds of torque, the truck can tow nearly 11,000 pounds. It is the first truck Toyota has released that is a direct competitor to domestic brands, which historically have dominated the large truck market.

But some problems with Toyota's Tundra started almost immediately after the truck began production. Camshafts broke in about 20 early versions of the new Tundra. Smith believes consumers will quickly forgive and forget Toyota's Tundra problems, including Friday's recall. He doesn't expect the recall to significantly hurt sales of the Tundra.

He does, however, expect some buyers may decide to wait for Toyota to get the kinks out of its new truck before making a purchase. That could make reaching the goal of selling 200,000 Tundras this year even harder for Toyota. As of November's end, the company was about 23,000 trucks short of reaching its goal. It has never sold that many Tundras in a single month.

If you or someone you know has been hurt because of a faulty vehicle, contact us: http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com We care about your legal needs!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hit & run driver totals van, wheelchair

(AP)- An Austin mother is anxiously awaiting justice more than a month after a hit and run driver totalled her van and her son's $8,000 wheelchair. It happened November 6th on Cameron Road.
"We were right there on Cameron road, there we are stopped with our blinker on and a guy in a big F 150 truck hit us and straight on" says Lori Carbajal. The mother and her 6-year old son Daniel who she calls "Peanut" had just left Dell Children's Hospital where he had surgery.
The driver of a red Ford F-150 pick-up rear-ended them, parked his truck, locked it and took off running.

He has not been seen or heard from since. Austin Police were on the scene and filed a report but Carbajal says she was just assigned a detective to her case on Tuesday. "I called his telephone number and his recording says that he's out of the office from the 8th through the 18th of December... so here we are stuck again" she says.

Carbajal and her son have certainly been through their share of setbacks.
When her son was only 4-months old, his biological father shook and beat him in a fit of rage because the infant wouldn't stop crying. The shaking incident damaged the infant's brain, he can't walk or talk and is blind and has the 6-year old has the mental capacity of a 6-month old.
The wheelchair was custom-fitted which is why his mother says it costs 8-thousand dollars.
Carbajal's insurance company is waiting on A.P.D. to send them the police reports.
Witnesses saw a hispanic man jump out of the truck which caused the accident but no more details are known about him.

If you have been the victim of a hit and run, contact us we can help. http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com We care about your legal needs.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Worker killed by machinery

(AP) Austin police Wednesday said a tragic accident left a worker dead inside a shop on South Congress. A customer to Ace Alterations and Cleaners discovered the gruesome scene Wednesday morning. It made me a little nervous to see yellow tape when I drove up this morning," said Joe Pettyjohn, South Congress area resident.

Neighbors along South Congress were on edge all morning as homicide detectives surrounded Ace Expert Alterations at 1117 S. Congress. "I was a little unnerved about it," said Pettyjohn.
They looked on as detectives investigated what they first called a "suspicious death."

Police said a customer discovered the body of a worker around 10:00 this morning and called 911. Police say the body had suffered severe trauma. Several hours later, police ruled her death an accident "It is believed that the victim suffered significant trauma to her head but it was caused by machinery in the business and it was accidental," said Veneza Aguinaga, Austin Police Department.

Police identified the woman as Mei Wong, 54. Customers say she worked at the business a long time "She's very sweet, very accommodating and has been taking care of people here on South Congress in the downtown area for many years," said Pettyjohn. By 3 p.m., police had cleared the scene, and customers -- who tried to pick-up their clothes -- learned the business was closed. They had no idea what happened. "I'm in shock. I am in shock. I just came to pick up my jacket and learned of this. It's a horrible thing," said James Deeds, customer.

Customers say it is a tragic loss for the community. "Very nice, very nice lady. Very good people - did good work. It's just a shocking thing. It's bad any time - but around Christmas time it's terrible," said Deeds. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is also investigating this workplace death.

We care about your legal needs. If some one you know has been killed in a work related incident, contact us http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com and we can help!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Collision sends truck off U.S. 281 overpass

San Antonio (AP)- A two-vehicle wreck Wednesday afternoon on southbound U.S. 281 sent a pickup over a guardrail, plummeting 20 feet from an overpass onto St. Mary's Street.

The collision closed the highway between the Mulberry Avenue exit and the St. Mary's Street on-ramp for more than an hour.

The 22-year-old female driver, whose name was not released, was taken to Brooke Army Medical Center in critical condition.

According to witnesses and San Antonio police Sgt. Ernest Celaya, the pickup and another car came into contact on the highway. The pickup ricocheted from the far right lane to the far left lane and then back to the right lane, where it slid along the guardrail.

If you or some one you love has been involved in an accident, we can help. Please call us at (210) 979-9777 or visit our website http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com/ We care about your legal needs!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Austin's police officer shoots and kills civilian

Hundreds of pages of documents and never before seen video reveal more about the night an Austin police sergeant shot and killed a man. On June 3, 2007, Sergeant Michael Olsen was warning drivers in East Austin to turn down their loud music.

“I’m out here because of the loud music, okay,” Olsen told one driver on his dashboard camera.
It had been an evening that had already caused Olsen some stress. He admits to another officer he had lost his temper -- even “chewed out” a driver. Olsen: Gah, I hate that I lost my temper like twice tonight. Another officer: What? Olsen: I feel bad that I lost my temper like twice tonight.

Not long after that, Olsen got a call that there was a man with a gun outside of Chester’s Nightclub. “You said someone outside with a gun? … Do you have a description of the guy with a gun?" asked Olsen. Olsen and his partner are across the street. They walk to the Chester's parking lot to find the man, who turned out to be Kevin Brown. “Let me see your hands, man... Put your hands up.. Hey hey hey... (Hear running.... Inaudible.)” Olsen said.

Olsen’s wireless microphone then cuts out. It is sound that matches the home video released of the scuffle soon after the shooting. One minute after the chase, the cameras capture audio of the dispatcher confirming the shots. Other officers begin responding -- some run to the shooting scene.

From another officer's camera, you can hear Olsen talking to the dispatcher. Dispatcher: 10-4 just to clarify 1090, you were not shot - you shot him. Olsen: 10-4, I shot him.
Shortly after the shooting, an officer questions a man who had left his apartment to see what was happening.

“I heard gunshots and I said 'Oh, baby, them close.' And I heard that dude say, 'I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die, man, I don’t want to die,'” said the man of what he heard Kevin Brown saying. In documents also released Wednesday, we learn what Sergeant Olsen told the chief of police. He says, “I did what I had to do. And I regret it. I regret having to take the life of another person, but I was forced into that situation.”

Just last week APD Chief Art Acevedo fired Michael Olsen, but Olsen is appealing that decision.
Olsen shot Brown twice in the back. The chief says the second shot was unnecessary. Olsen said he feared Brown was reaching for a gun. The Brown family is suing Olsen and the city of Austin.

Have your family member been shoot by a police offices, if so please contact us at (210) 979-9777 or visit our website at http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com because; We care about your legal needs!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Texas lawmakers poised to review transportation ad campaign

AUSTIN (AP)– House Speaker Tom Craddick has asked lawmakers to review the Texas Department of Transportation's multimillion-dollar ad campaign promoting toll roads and the Trans-Texas Corridor.

Mr. Craddick, R-Midland, included a review of the Keep Texas Moving campaign on a list of topics that the House State Affairs Committee will study leading up to the 2009 legislative session.

Some lawmakers and anti-toll activists have condemned spending state highway funds – estimated at $7 million to $9 million – on a public relations campaign.
"While it may be appropriate, at times, for government agencies to educate citizens through public service announcements, I maintain that government should not ever spend the money raised from taxpayers to lobby the public," said Rep. Ken Paxton, R-McKinney, who asked for a review of advertising spending by state agencies.

Transportation officials have defended the Keep Texas Moving campaign as a response to lawmakers' demands for the agency to improve its communication with the public.

We will continue to follow up with the debates about public tolls. We care about your legal needs, and about the community in general. Visit our website http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com

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Find Personal Injury Trial Lawyers that will treat you with dignity and respect. The Baez Law Firm, P.C. is dedicated to help those less fortunate. Our San Antonio Lawyers also handle family law, criminal defense, business law, immigration, social security disability, patent law, trade marks and much more. We are professionals that care about your legal needs. Our motto is simple: “Minimizing Legal Worries!”℠ Visit us at http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com or call us (210) 979-9777. Have a blessed day!

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