Answers to Our Frequently Asked Questions

When you are involved in an accident or a loved one is the victim of medical malpractice or abuse, you may not even know the right questions to ask at first. Browse our collection of frequently asked questions to see what others have asked and read our answers to learn all you can about your case.

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  • What happens when I suffer a broken pelvis in a car accident?

    Pelvic fractures most often occur as the result of high-speed auto accidents and require a lengthy recovery time. Ease the financial burden associated with this injury by filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver. Suffering a broken pelvis after a car accident Neblett, Beard and Arsenault.

    What You Need to Know About Pelvic Fractures

    After an auto accident, a victim with a pelvic fracture will likely experience tenderness in the area and difficulty walking or moving the lower parts of the body. Abdominal pain, bleeding from the rectum or genital area, and difficulty urinating are also possibilities. The injury can be diagnosed with an X-ray and CT scan.

    Rest and pain medication can be used to treat minor fractures, but more serious breaks will require surgery. The surgeon will reposition the bones and use screws, plates, or pins to keep everything in place while the area heals. Someone with a severe fracture or multiple breaks also needs to be monitored for shock and internal bleeding.

    A pelvic fracture can potentially involve injuries to organs within the pelvic ring, including the kidneys, bladder, and intestines. Additional surgeries may be required to repair any damage.

    A broken pelvis is not synonymous with a broken hip, but someone with a broken pelvis may also have a hip fracture.

    Filing a Personal Injury Claim

    Louisiana's statute of limitations law typically gives injured persons one year from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim against the liable party. If you were determined partially responsible for the accident that caused your injuries, you can still file a claim. However, your settlement will be proportionately reduced to reflect your own liability for your injuries.

    A personal injury claim can include compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You are also entitled to reimbursement for property damage related to the accident, including the cost of a necessary rental vehicle.

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Car Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.


  • What happens when you call our firm after a car accident?

    Although your first priority should always be attending to your medical needs, it's in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as possible after suffering injuries in an auto accident caused by another driver's negligence. In most cases, the statute of limitations for Louisiana personal injury claims is one year from the date of the incident. However, since valuable evidence can become more difficult to locate as time passes, you'll have the strongest case if you contact an attorney for legal representation immediately. A consultation with the NBA firm

    Calling Neblett, Beard & Arsenault After an Accident

    When you call the experienced personal injury attorneys at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault, your call will be answered by an intake specialist who is responsible for collecting your contact information and noting how you were referred to the firm. If an attorney is currently available, you'll be immediately transferred. If not, an attorney will contact you as soon as possible.

    The attorney you speak with will ask general questions about your accident type and provide information about what might be involved in pursuing a claim. If Neblett, Beard & Arsenault does not handle your type of case, you'll be referred to someone who may be able to provide assistance. If the attorney does not believe you have a valid claim, you’ll be told why your case is unlikely to result in a settlement offer.

    If the attorney you speak with believes your case might be a good fit for Neblett, Beard & Arsenault, he or she will explain our contingency fee arrangement. This type of payment plan involves accepting a percentage of the final settlement as a fee for service and allows personal injury plaintiffs to obtain access to quality legal representation with no upfront expense.  

    No Cost or Obligation

    There is no cost or obligation when you call Neblett, Beard & Arsenault to speak with an attorney. This service simply allows you the opportunity to gather more information about your legal rights following an accident, so you can decide how you wish to proceed.

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Car Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.


  • How should I calculate lost wages in a car accident claim?

    In a car accident claim, lost wages are often an important part of the settlement. Wages can be calculated in several different ways, depending on your employment type. 

    Employees Paid by the Hour

    Lost wages after a car accident Neblett, Beard & Arsenault

    Take your hourly wage and multiply it by the number of hours missed due to your accident-related injuries. For example, if your hourly wage is $25, and you missed work for 4 days (8 hours per day), your calculation would be: $25 x (8 hours x 4 days) = $800.

    Hourly Employees With Variable Hours

    If you don't always work the same amount of hours each week, you can calculate lost wages using an average of the amount of hours worked from the last two to three months.

    If overtime is included in your variable hours, you will need documentation from your employer stating that overtime is a regular part of your work schedule. Otherwise, the assumption is that overtime pay is not guaranteed.

    Salaried Employees

    If you are a salaried employee, calculate lost wages by taking your yearly salary and dividing it by 2,080 (number of work hours in a year). Then, multiply this number by the hours missed due to your accident-related injuries. For example, if your yearly salary is $50,000, and you missed 10 days of work, your calculation would be: ($50,000 / 2,080) x (8 hours x 10 days) = $1,923.08.

    Independent Contractors or Self-Employed Business Owners

    If you're an independent contractor or self-employed business owner, you can claim lost income instead of lost wages, as part of your damages. This refers to the earnings and profits you would have made if you weren't injured in the accident. Some of the proof you can use for this type of claim includes tax returns, 1099 forms, business correspondence, invoices, or receipts that show specific amounts of lost income.

    Loss of Future Earning Potential

    If you have been left with a permanent disability, you may be unable to return to work, work part time, or work in a lower paying occupation. In this case, your attorney can line up expert witnesses to calculate your loss of future earning potential.

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Car Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.


  • Can I recover damages in a motorcycle accident if the crash aggravated an old injury?

    Motorcycle accidents can lead to serious injuries as well as aggravate existing conditions. If you've recently been involved in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver's negligence, Louisiana law allows you to recover your accident-related damages by filing a personal injury claim. Previous injuries aggravated by motorcycle accidents Neblett, Beard & Arsenault

    How Pre-Existing Conditions Are Affected by a Motorcycle Accident

    Many different types of injuries could be aggravated following a motorcycle accident. For example:

    • Arthritis in the knees might cause additional pain after a motorcycle accident.
    • Degenerative disc disease could make the spine more vulnerable to problems following a motorcycle accident.
    • A person with a history of migraine headaches might experience more intense headaches after the car accident due to injuries to the head and neck and the general stress of the incident.
    • Preexisting mental health difficulties might become more intense due to the trauma of the accident.
    • Someone previously diagnosed with fibromyalgia may have a flare of symptoms following an accident.

    Generally speaking, older adults are more likely to have pre-existing conditions that are complicated by injuries from a motorcycle accident. However, pre-existing conditions can be a factor at any age.

    Receiving Compensation for Changes to a Pre-Existing Condition

    You are entitled to compensation for your accident-related injuries, regardless of whether they are new injuries or pre-existing conditions that were aggravated by the accident. However, proving liability in this type of case can be complex.

    In any personal injury claim, you must be able to establish four key elements:

    • The defendant owed you a duty of care.
    • The defendant breached this duty.
    • You suffered damages.
    • Your damages were caused by the accident and not attributed to another source.

    Proving causation will be the most difficult part of your case. The other driver's insurance company will try to argue that your symptoms are a progression of your pre-existing condition and would have occurred regardless of the accident. If your condition was not relatively stable before the accident, this can cast doubt on the cause of your injuries.

    Winning your case will require looking at your past medical history in detail. You will be asked about previous injuries, including when they first occurred, what your symptoms were, and what type of treatment you were receiving. Copies of X-rays and MRI and/or CT scans from before and after the accident may be used to establish how the crash affected your condition. Expert witnesses familiar with your condition may also be called to testify about how your prognosis was affected by the injuries you suffered in the motorcycle accident.

    If you can establish all of the necessary elements of the case, you are entitled to compensation for:

    • Medical expenses for injuries related to the accident, including emergency room care, surgery, physical therapy, and pain medication
    • Anticipated future medical care for an accident-treated disability
    • Lost wages for the time you were unable to work due to your injuries
    • Anticipated loss of future earning potential caused by an accident-related disability
    • Pain and suffering

    Louisiana law still allows you to collect compensation if you were partially at fault for the accident. However, your settlement will be proportionally reduced to reflect your own financial responsibility for your injuries.

    Protecting Your Right to a Fair Recovery

    Motorcyclists often face bias in their personal injury claims, including the perception that they are reckless with regard to their personal safety. To protect your right to a fair recovery, remember the following tips:

    • Seek a prompt medical evaluation, and inform your doctor of all symptoms you are experiencing.
    • Follow your doctor's orders precisely, including activity restrictions and all follow-up appointments.
    • Keep copies of all documentation of accident-related expenses.
    • Do not talk about the accident, including making statements on social media.
    • Do not accept a settlement offer from the insurance company without consulting your attorney.

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Motorcycle Accident?

    If you or a family member has been injured in a motorcycle accident you need to speak with an experienced motorcycle injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.


  • Are Louisiana nursing homes and long-term care facilities allowed to use restraints?

    The use of restraints in nursing homes and long-term care facilities is controversial. While restraints do serve a purpose in certain circumstances, many experts believe they are overused. If your loved one is being inappropriately restrained, you may have a valid Louisiana nursing home abuse claimNursing home restraints Neblett, Beard and Arsenault

    About Restraints

    A physical restraint is described as any item attached to or near a person's body that restricts movement and can't be manipulated or removed without outside assistance. Types of restraints that might be used in a nursing home or long-term care facility include:

    • Straps or belts
    • Cuffs
    • Bed rails
    • Bedsheets tucked in tightly to restrict movement
    • Limb ties
    • Vests
    • Wheelchair bars and brakes
    • Chairs that tip back

    The term chemical restraints is used to refer to sedatives and other medications given without a legitimate medical reason as a form of discipline or convenience for caretakers.

    Effects of Restraints

    The use of restraints can be associated with complications such as:

    • Bedsores
    • Bruises
    • Respiratory problems
    • Loss of strength and muscle tone
    • Loss of cardiovascular endurance
    • Loss of balance
    • Severe constipation
    • Incontinence

    Restraints can also cause severe emotional trauma for the person being restrained. Nursing home or long-term care facility residents who have been restrained often report feelings of shame, embarrassment, anxiety, and fear. They may also view the use of restraints as violating their right to dignity and independence.

    In some cases, restraints have been linked to an increased risk of accidents. This may include falls, head trauma, entrapment, or strangulation when a resident attempts to escape a restraint in an unsafe manner.

    How Restraints Are Linked to Abuse

    Restraints may be used inappropriately due to:

    • Understaffing
    • A lack of awareness of the dangers of inappropriate restraint use
    • Negative or parental attitudes toward the elderly or disabled
    • Ignorance of effective alternatives to restraints such as modifying the resident's environment or routine to lessen the risk of accidental falls

    Louisiana's Department of Health & Human Services and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services states that restraints may not be used for staff convenience. Convenience is defined as "any action taken by the facility to control a resident's behavior or manage a resident's behavior with a lesser amount of effort by the facility and not in the resident's best interest."

    However, if a resident requires emergency care, restraints are allowed for brief periods as necessary for medical treatment to proceed—unless the resident has previously made a valid refusal of the treatment in question. If a resident is not able to make a refusal, a legal surrogate such as a spouse or an adult child can state preferences regarding care.

    In the event of unanticipated violent or aggressive behavior, a resident or his legal surrogate does not have the right to refuse the use of restraints. Restraints are allowed as a measure of last resort to protect the safety of the resident, caretakers, or others at the facility, as long as the restraint usage does not extend beyond the immediate behavioral episode.

    Filing an Abuse Claim

    Problems with the care your loved one is receiving should first be addressed with the facility administration. However, if you don’t believe the administration is responsive to your concerns, you should consult an attorney to learn more about filing a nursing home abuse claim.

    A nursing home abuse claim is a type of civil legal action seeking monetary compensation for medical expenses related to the abuse and the physical and emotional pain and suffering the resident experienced. Punitive damages may be available in some circumstances, as well.

    Louisiana's statute of limitations allows you one year to file a nursing home abuse claim. However, since supporting evidence may become more difficult as time passes, it's recommended that you take immediate action.

    Because nursing home abuse cases can be quite complex, retaining the services of an experienced attorney is the best way to ensure your rights are protected. Contact us online or call our office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation with Neblett, Beard & Arsenault's dedicated legal team.


  • Can inadequate lighting affect a slip and fall claim?

    A number of factors can contribute to a slip and fall accident, but inadequate lighting is often overlooked as a cause of injuries. If you've been injured in a slip and fall accident and believe that poor lighting may have been a factor, an experienced personal injury attorney can help protect your right to compensation. Bad lighting and slip and falls Neblett, Beard and Arsenault

    How Poor Lighting Can Cause Slip and Fall Injuries

    Senior citizens and people with visual impairments are more likely to fall as the result of inadequate lighting, but poor lighting can be a factor in nearly any type of slip and fall accident.

    Inadequate lighting can contribute to slip and fall accidents in two ways: by making an otherwise safe area hard to navigate or by preventing you from seeing dangerous obstacles in time to avoid injury.

    In an otherwise safe area, poor lighting can make it difficult to travel from Point A to Point B without injuring yourself. For example, you may misjudge the height of a step or fail to notice a curb in a parking lot due to your inability to clearly see the area.

    Lighting can also affect how you navigate around potentially dangerous conditions. For example, if there is a pothole in a parking lot or ripped carpeting in an office hallway, poor lighting can prevent you from identifying the obstacle in time to prevent yourself from falling.

    Proving Your Case

    A slip and fall accident doesn't automatically entitle you to compensation for your injuries. To win your personal injury claim, you must prove:

    • The property owner had a duty to provide reasonably safe conditions.
    • The property owner failed to fulfill this duty.
    • The property owner's actions or lack of action caused your slip and fall accident.
    • You suffered injuries resulting in a financial loss.

    Slip and fall cases can use a variety of evidence, including:

    • Photographs of the accident scene and your injuries
    • Medical records to prove your injuries are consistent with a fall
    • Witness testimony from people who saw your fall
    • Video footage from surveillance cameras in the area
    • Building code violations to establish a pattern of negligent maintenance

    How Comparative Negligence Affects Your Claim

    Comparative negligence refers to the idea that an injured person may be partially responsible for his injuries due to failure to take reasonable safety precautions. For example, consider a scenario where you've rented a room on the third floor of a hotel, and there are two stairwells allowing you to access that floor. If one stairwell has a broken light fixture and a sign is posted stating this fact, the safest course of action would be to use the other set of stairs.

    When you know of a hazard and fail to take the alternative safer course of action, you can be found partially at fault. However, if you know that the stairwell has a broken light and there is no alternative path for you to take, you would not be found at fault if you were injured because you did not voluntarily assume the risk of injury.

    Note that you might also be found partially at fault for your injuries if you were running, jumping, or engaging in horseplay at that time of the accident. These actions are considered dangerous even if the lighting in the area is adequate.

    If you're found partially at fault, your settlement will be proportionally reduced to reflect your own financial responsibility for the damages you've suffered.

    How Neblett, Beard & Arsenault Can Help

    Slip and fall accident claims can include compensation for medical care, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you've been left with a permanent disability such as a brain injury, anticipated future medical expenses and loss of future earning potential can also be included in your settlement.

    An experienced personal injury attorney can locate evidence to establish liability for your injuries, document the extent of your damages, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Having someone to advocate for your interests ensures that you receive a fair and prompt settlement while allowing you to focus on recovering from your injuries. 

    Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Slip And Fall?

    If you've been hurt in a slip and fall you need to speak with an experienced slip and fall attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.


  • What is the prognosis for people who have mesothelioma?

    mesothelioma prognosis Neblett, Beard & ArsenaultBefore we discuss the prognosis for people with mesothelioma, it's important to remember that a prognosis is an expected or likely outcome: it's not a definite outcome.

    There are many factors that will influence how this disease impacts your quality of life and life expectancy.

    Survival Rates for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

    Currently, the American Cancer Society only provides survival rates for malignant pleural mesothelioma. For this condition, there is currently a:

    • 46 percent two-year survival rate and a 16 percent five-year survival rate for stage IA mesothelioma.
    • 41 percent two-year survival rate and a 13 percent five-year survival rate for stage IB mesothelioma.
    • 38 percent two-year survival rate and a 10 percent five-year survival rate for stage II mesothelioma.
    • 30 percent two-year survival rate and an 8 percent five-year survival rate for stage IIIA mesothelioma.
    • 26 percent two-year survival rate and a 5 percent five-year survival rate for stage IIIB mesothelioma.
    • 17 percent two-year survival rate and a less than 1 percent five-year survival rate for stage IV mesothelioma.

    Of course, these estimates don't tell you exactly what will happen to you or your loved one.

    Factors That Influence a Mesothelioma Prognosis

    Since not everyone with mesothelioma has the same prognosis, it's important to understand the factors that influence an individual's unique circumstances. These factors include:

    • Your age
    • Your gender
    • The stage of your cancer diagnosis
    • Location of the disease
    • The type of mesothelioma cells in your body
    • Your health prior to the diagnosis
    • Your physicians and their philosophies
    • The treatment you receive
    • If you participate in a clinical trial and whether that process is effective
    • Whether you lead a healthy lifestyle which includes proper diet and adequate exercise

    Your doctor can explain how each of these factors impacts your personal prognosis.

    Contact a Mesothelioma Lawyer Regardless of Your Prognosis

    Our experienced mesothelioma lawyers help people who may have weeks, months, or years to live. Regardless of your prognosis, you have the right to pursue a fair legal recovery.

    Contact us online today or call our office directly at 318.541.8188 for a free, no-obligation consultation. If you decide to hire us and we take your case, you won't owe any legal fees until your case is resolved. At that time, we'll receive a percentage of your recovery, as determined by prior agreement.

    Neither your prognosis nor any financial concerns should prevent you from seeking justice. We're ready to help protect you and your family every step of the way.


  • Is it possible for the at-fault driver’s employer to be responsible for my pedestrian accident injuries?

    Normally, if you're struck by a car while walking to your destination, the at-fault driver is legally responsible for your injuries. However, if the driver is on the clock, his employer may be liable for your expenses. When employers are liable for car accidents

    When Employers Are Liable For an Employee's Driving

    An employer can be held responsible for damages caused by an employee's driving whenever that employee is working. It doesn't matter if the employee is using a company-owned vehicle or his personal car.

    Some examples of situations where an employer might be liable for your pedestrian accident injuries include:

    • You're crossing the street and struck by a pizza delivery driver using his own vehicle to deliver pizzas.
    • You're in a parking lot and hit by a secretary running errands for her boss in her personal vehicle.
    • An electrician backing out of a driveway strikes you using a company-owned vehicle to leave a job site.
    • You're walking your dog and hit by a FedEx or UPS driver making deliveries.

    Typically, employees are considered to be on the job if they are performing duties related to work, even if they are also doing personal business and driving their own private vehicle. This means that employers are liable for accidents that occur on an employee's lunch break if the employee is also running work-related errands at the time.

    Commuting isn't generally considered being on the job, so you wouldn't be eligible for compensation from the employer if you were struck by a manager using a company-owned vehicle to commute to work. However, if the manager made a work-related stop on the way to the office or drove to and from a job site other than a usual place of business, this could possibly be considered on-the-job driving that the employer would be held liable for.

    Negligent Maintenance

    If a driver is using a company-owned vehicle but not driving for a work-related purpose, the company might still be liable if the vehicle was not properly maintained and this negligent maintenance contributed to the accident. Accidents caused by negligent maintenance might involve bad tires, faulty brakes, broken headlights, or problems with the steering system.

    Employees vs. Independent Contractors

    A person who is paid by a business is not automatically an employee. Many companies now use independent contractors to streamline services and cut costs. If the driver is an independent contractor, the company is likely not liable for the accident. However, one notable exception to this general guideline is accidents involving ridesharing services such as Uber. Although rideshare drivers are legally independent contractors, the companies they work for often have policies that provide coverage in the event of an accident.

    Insurance Complications

    If it is determined that the driver is liable, you may run into difficulty making a claim if the driver doesn't have the correct insurance coverage. Most insurance companies require specific coverage for commercial driving, including performing services such as food delivery in a personal vehicle. If the driver is operating without this coverage, the company will argue that your accident is outside the terms of the policy.

    Why You Need an Attorney

    Liability for an accident isn't always clear cut, and a number of obstacles can make it difficult to receive the compensation you deserve. If you're not sure who is responsible for your injuries, retaining the services of an experienced personal injury attorney can help ensure that your legal rights are protected.

    In addition to determining liability, your attorney can document your damages, line up relevant expert testimony, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. This leaves you free to focus on recovering from your injuries and moving forward with your life.

    Neblett, Beard & Arsenault's award-winning legal firm has extensive experience helping Louisiana residents receive prompt and fair personal injury settlements related to auto accidents involving pedestrians. Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial case review to discuss your legal options.


  • Are bruises a sign of nursing home abuse?

    When your loved one is unable to care for himself, it's understandable to be worried about the risk of nursing home abuse. Although bruises on their own may not be evidence of abuse, they could represent a sign of a problem with the care your loved one is receiving. Bruises as a sign of elder abuse Neblett, Beard and Arsenault

    Reasons for Bruising in the Elderly

    To some extent, bruising in the elderly is normal. Reasons for this include:

    • Aging makes elderly people more prone to bruising because their skin is thinner. Additionally, the tissue underneath becomes more fragile as someone ages.
    • Some medications that are commonly used by the elderly can make bruises more common or severe in nature. For example, blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), or clopidogrel (Plavix) are often associated with increased bruising.
    • Doctor visits can cause bruising for seniors who need intravenous (IV) procedures performed.
    • Seniors who have trouble with balance and coordination can accidentally fall and injure themselves.
    • Individuals with dementia may engage in self-harming behaviors as part of their condition.

    The complexion of your loved one can also make a difference. Fair skinned people tend to have more noticeable bruises, regardless of age.

    Treating Bruises

    Bruises on the elderly often take longer to heal than bruises on younger adults, which means they should be monitored closely.

    In a young, healthy person, bruises fade away within two to three weeks as the body absorbs the blood pooling in the ruptured vessels near the skin's surface. Bruises will be reddish when they first appear, turn bluish black or purple when healing begins, and then become yellowish green or a lighter brown before they disappear.

    In the elderly, bruises can take several weeks or even months to heal completely. Keeping the bruised area elevated higher than the heart during the first 24 hours and using alternating cold and warm compresses for 20 minutes at a time can speed healing by keeping swelling and inflammation to a minimum.

    Bruises that harden, become increasingly painful, grow in size, or do not seem to be healing require a thorough medical evaluation to rule out more serious internal injuries or a medical condition affecting healing.

    Determining If Bruises Are a Sign of Abuse

    Signs that might suggest bruises deserve a closer look include:

    • Location. A study by the National Institute of Justice found that bruises on the torso, neck, or head are more strongly associated with elder abuse than bruises on other locations on the body. Bruises that are the result of a genuine accident are more likely to occur on the hands, arms, feet, or legs.
    • Pattern. A cluster of small linear bruises could indicate that someone grabbed your loved one forcefully enough to leave finger mark bruises.
    • Repetition. A single bruise could very well be an isolated incident. However, bruises that repeatedly occur on the same part of the body are unlikely to be accidental. For example, frequent bruises on the wrists and/or ankles may suggest that restraints are being used on your loved one.
    • No concrete explanation. If you receive a vague or contradictory explanation when you ask about bruises on your loved one, it’s cause for concern.
    • Accompanied by attitude changes. If your loved one seems anxious or fearful around caregivers, this suggests that abuse may be occurring. Depression and withdrawal from friends and family may also be signs of nursing home abuse.

    Protecting Your Loved One's Legal Rights

    If you think that your loved one is being mistreated, it's important to act quickly. Nursing home abuse often progresses in intensity, especially when the abuse is due to inexperienced, overworked, or frustrated caregivers or a prevailing problem of understaffing in the facility. Bruises may very well be followed by broken bones, burns, or other severe injuries.

    When you have a problem with the care your loved one is receiving, you should first attempt to resolve the issue with the nursing home administration. If you are still not satisfied that your loved one is being properly cared for, you should consult an attorney to learn more about filing a nursing home abuse claim. Contact us online or call our office directly 318.541.8188 to schedule a no-fee consultation.


  • How does a nursing home end up on Medicare’s Special Focus Facility List?

    Nursing homes that accept Medicare and Medicaid payments are required to be inspected regularly by representatives of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). If you believe your elderly loved one has suffered harm due to nursing home abuse or neglect, the results of these inspections may be valuable evidence in your case. A nursing home that is on the Special Focus Facility (SFF) List may have deficiencies that placed your loved one in unacceptable danger. Special Focus Facility Lists

    About the Special Focus Facility List

    Typically, inspections are conducted yearly to determine if a nursing home is providing the quality of care legally required for continued participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

    These inspections are very thorough. It is normal for a nursing home to have six to seven deficiencies on each survey. Nursing homes are allowed to take care of their issues within a reasonable timeframe, which is then verified by a follow-up inspection.

    Nursing homes can be placed on the SFF List if they have:

    • Significantly more deficiencies than average
    • More serious deficiencies than average, especially if these deficiencies involve harm caused to residents
    • An ongoing pattern of serious problems providing quality care

    What it Means to Be a Special Focus Facility

    If a nursing home is placed on the SFF List, it will be inspected twice a year. Within 18 to 24 months, its position will be reevaluated. At this time, one of three things will occur:

    • The nursing home will be shown to have made significant and sustained improvements. As a result, the facility will graduate from the SFF program.
    • The nursing home is determined to have made progress but is granted additional time to continue with its improvement program.
    • The nursing home’s participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs will be discontinued due to its continued failure to provide quality care. When this happens, the facility often closes shortly after, and residents receive assistance from the State Medicaid Agency to move to another facility.

    Facilities are grouped into five categories in tables that are available on the CMS website:

    • New Additions - Nursing homes that were recently added to the list, but haven't had follow-up inspections to check their progress
    • Not Improved - Nursing homes that have shown no improvement in a follow-up inspection
    • Improving - Nursing homes showing significant improvement and labeled as on track to graduate from the program in a timely fashion
    • Recently Graduated - Nursing homes that have recently graduated from the SFF program after showing they now meet quality of care guidelines
    • No Longer in Medicare and Medicaid - Nursing homes that have had their funding pulled due to ongoing failure to improve

    How the SFF List Affects Your Nursing Home Abuse Claim

    If your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, the SFF List may be used as evidence in your case. Reviewing the results of surveys can establish that the nursing home knew of a violation and failed to correct it within a specific time frame. The survey can also help determine if the facility had a history of “wishy-washy” compliance—making the bare minimum improvements to pass a follow-up inspection and then failing the subsequent inspections.

    Other evidence that may be used in your claim includes:

    • Statements from the nursing home resident
    • Testimony from family and friends who directly observed mistreatment
    • Testimony from workers in the facility
    • Medical records and statements from the resident's healthcare provider
    • Photos of unsafe conditions in the facility or injuries the resident received
    • Additional fines or citations the facility has received

    The Value of Legal Representation

    Hiring an experienced attorney is the best way to protect your legal rights in a nursing home abuse case. Your attorney can document damages, establish liability, and negotiate on your behalf, so you are free to focus on providing your loved one with the necessary care and support.

    Neblett, Beard & Arsenault has extensive experience helping Louisiana residents obtain justice for their elderly loved ones who have been victims of nursing home abuse. Contact us online or call our office directly 318.541.8188 to schedule a no-fee consultation.