Attorney Chris Yakubisin recently served as co-counsel for the 13th largest verdict in Virginia in 2019. The case involved a surgical lap pad that was left inside plaintiff Waverly Adcock during emergency surgery. At the conclusion of the trial, Adcock was awarded damages of $1,250,000. This verdict was the 13th largest verdict in Virginia in 2019. You can read more about the case details below and see the full list of verdicts here.
Grace Herrera is a litigation paralegal with the firm. She has been with Tronfeld West & Durrett for over 30 years. Grace began her career as a legal secretary and then continued her education to become a paralegal. Learn more about Grace, her family and what it is like working for Tronfeld West & Durrett below:
According to data from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, in 2017, the number of motorcycle fatalities in Virginia was the highest in over a decade. There were 72 motorcyclists killed in 2016 in the state of Virginia, and 107 killed in 2017—nearly a 50 percent increase. Virginia Secretary of Transportation, Shannon Valentine said the DMV, VDOT, Public Safety and Community Partners are working hard to reduce the number of motorcycle crashes.
The decision to put a loved one in a nursing home is never an easy one. We like to think that the ones we love will never grow old or lose the ability to care for themselves. But this is a choice that many must face at some point, and the best thing family members can do for their loved ones is ensure that they end up somewhere they are comfortable and their needs are met.
While this is a difficult task, family members can find the best nursing home for their loved one by making a checklist of what it should offer and asking a few important questions during the evaluation process.
Facts to Consider
First, family members should always make sure any facility they are considering meets both their and their loved one’s needs. They can do this by checking off each bullet point on the following checklist:
• Certifications: What certifications does the facility have? For instance, is it certified by Medicare or Medicaid? If so, when was the date of certification? Has it faced any disciplinary action from a regulatory body?
• Staff: What is the ratio of staff members to residents? How does this compare to other facilities in the area? A high number of residents could be an indication that residents will not get the level of attention they need.
• Events: Does the facility make sure to have fun and productive activities scheduled throughout the day? Do residents always have the ability to leave their room and move about the facility? Have any staff members forgotten a resident in his room?
• Room Structure: Does the room set-up meet all involved parties’ needs and wishes? Do all residents have their own private room and bathroom or do residents share rooms?
• Employees: What is the facility’s hiring process? What are the minimum requirements to work there in terms of education and experience? How extensive are background checks? What is the turnover rate?
• Location: Family members should consider the location of the home. Will they be able to visit frequently or only once every month or two?
Other Questions to Ask
Once family members have gone through the checklist and, ideally, found one or two facilities that seem to pass the test, here are a few more questions to ask to make sure their loved one ends up in a good place.
How do staff members treat each other? The way staff members talk to and act around each other offers a good indication of how they treat residents. If they are rude, impatient, disrespectful, or use foul language, this behavior may transfer to their care of residents.
How do the residents spend their time? Family members considering a nursing home or assisted living facility should interview residents as well as the supervisor to determine how residents spend their days.
Are there activities all residents can join? A facility that fosters engagement between residents and gives them an outlet to pursue hobbies — such as painting, knitting, book clubs, and so on — makes the transition from self-care to assisted care much easier.
How does it smell and sound inside the facility? While a nursing home will have a variety of different smells, loved ones should note whether there is there an overwhelming smell of bodily odors (e.g., urine, vomit, feces) around the home. While many seniors are
unable to control their bodily functions, the nursing home staff should always keep residents clean.
Anyone touring a nursing home should also listen to the sounds of the nursing home. Do any staff members sound exasperated, stressed, or angry? This could be a sign of an abusive caregiver or an understaffed facility.
Family members should also keep an eye on how residents interact with staff members. A resident who seems fearful of a certain staff member could indicate abuse.
How is the food? Check out the dining facilities and take note of both the variety and the visual presentation of the food. As a person’s health deteriorates with old age, getting him to take in the nutrition he needs each day can become more challenging. Family members should ensure their loved ones end up in a place where the food is not only healthy, but looks and tastes good, too.
Do the residents seem happy? While not every resident will be thrilled to live at a nursing home, family members should keep their eyes out for unhappy, evasive, or frightened residents.
Does the senior seem happy? Once family members have narrowed their search to one or two facilities, they should visit each with their loved one. They should note their loved one’s reaction to the facility (keeping in mind that many elderly people do not want to live
in nursing homes).
If the senior has an extremely adverse reaction to the facility, family members should
discuss it with their loved one and consider taking that one off the list.
Tronfeld West & Durrett: Richmond Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Lawyers
Tronfeld West & Durrett hopes that all Virginia residents find the perfect place for their loved ones to live out their later years. However, this is not always the case. Virginia residents whose loved ones suffer neglect or abuse can hold the abuser liable. We can help: 804-358-6741.
Several factors determine what someone can expect when filing a brain injury claim. These include the type of brain injury, its severity, the circumstances surrounding the injury, and the strength of the evidence the claimant submits.
Some of these factors are beyond a claimant’s control. Others, however, such as the evidence one gathers and how one presents it, often depend on the skill and knowledge of the legal team assisting the claimant.
Those considering filing a brain injury claim can learn more about what to expect below.
Types of Brain Injuries and Their Effect on a Claim
There are two types of head injuries: closed and open. The type of brain injury you suffer
can affect severity, damages, and how an attorney approaches your claim.
Open Head Injuries
• Penetrating: An object penetrates the skull and impacts the brain. This type of injury often has a more severe prognosis than a closed head injury and will likely have higher damages.
Closed Head Injuries
• Contusion: An impact to the skull causes bleeding within the brain. Contusions often heal on their own but can still cause long-term effects.
• Coup-contrecoup contusion: An impact causes a second impact between the brain and the skull, resulting in another contusion on the other side of the brain.
Because it affects both sides of the brain, this injury can have a marked limitation on functioning.
• Diffuse axonal injury: Violent shaking or other trauma to the skull causes tears within the brain tissue. A diffuse axonal injury can affect different parts of the brain and even cause the victim to go into a coma.
• Anoxic Brain Injury: The most serious type of oxygen deprivation to the brain. It results in the complete shutoff of your brain’s oxygen supply. Anoxia is often fatal, and even when it is not, it usually leads to permanent disability.
• Hypoxic brain injury: Characterized as partial oxygen deprivation, hypoxic brain injury can also be fatal or lead to disability, as it results in the loss of brain cells.
How to Calculate Damages from a Brain Injury Claim
Because so many variables determine the value of a brain injury claim, we ask juries to put a dollar figure on these claims and award money damages. That said, victims can expect to receive compensation for some or all the following:
Medical expenses include hospital stays, doctor visits, surgeries, medications, medical devices, and so on. How much a brain injury sufferer can recover will depend on the severity of the injury as well as the treatment required. A claimant who suffered a concussion that kept him in the hospital for two days will receive less than someone who suffered a severe head injury and requires round-the-clock care.
If a claimant must miss work to recover from his injury, or if he must take a lesser-paying job or retire completely, he is entitled to compensation for those losses. What a claimant can expect to recover depends on how long he is out of work as well as the salary he
made prior to the accident.
Brain injuries often result in a need for lifetime care. Claimants can expect payment for the total cost.
Life Enjoyment/Pain and Suffering
A brain injury can also cause substantial pain and suffering. Claimants can request compensation for this as well.
What Challenges Might a Claimant Face?
Brain injury claims can leave an insurance company paying out hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. Insurance companies want to pay out as little as possible; to do so, they will challenge a claim any way they can. This might involve:
Accusations of Fault
Virginia is a contributory negligence state, which bars injury victims from recovering compensation if they are even just one percent responsible for their injury. Insurance companies often use this to avoid a claim altogether. This can be especially problematic in brain injury cases as the injury might make it impossible for the claimant to remember the incident in question.
Tronfeld West & Durrett defends brain injury victims against these tactics and gathers the
necessary evidence to prove they deserve compensation.
Tronfeld West & Durrett Can Help After a Brain Injury
There can be a lot of money at stake in a brain injury claim. Thus, it is important to choose the right legal team. Brain injury claimants can trust their case to the team at Tronfeld West & Durrett. To schedule a free consultation with our Richmond traumatic brain injury attorney, victims and their families can call our office today at 804-358-6741.