Monthly Archives:' August 2017

August 14, 2017

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER: THE PURPOSE BEHIND A POLICYHOLDER'S RIGHT TO ATTORNEYS' FEES IN FIRST PARTY PROPERTY CASES

Written by Vanessa Ross, Attorney at law with Stockham Law Group, Sarasota, FL

Recently, Barry Gilway, CEO of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, wrote an article in support of its new managed repair program. The program is intended to be “optional,” but recently there have been plans to force homeowners to either allow Citizens to repair their property using their preferred vendors, or limit the damages to $10,000.00 for water losses. One must question how a program is “optional” when there is a built in penalty if you decide not to participate in the program. Mr. Gilway recently wrote an article in support of Citizens’ managed repair program and coverage cap stating the reason behind the program as follows:

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August 11, 2017

TAKE YOUR TIME & CHOOSE WISELY

By James Ragano, Esquire with Stockham Law Group, Tampa, FL

So many of us have been in the position of being forced to pick a nursing home for a loved one with limited time, limited resources, and limited choices.  A recent study has confirmed that patients being discharged from hospitals are not given enough information to choose an appropriate long term care placement.  The following article highlights this dilemma:  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-hospitals-nursing-idUSKBN1AN2E0.  The article also provides a very useful research tool when it comes to choosing the right nursing home.  Here is that link: https://www.medicare.gov/nursinghomecompare/search.html

You will find that this tool provides ratings for nursing homes based upon staffing, quality measures, and health inspections.  While this tool is certainly not exhaustive, it is a very helpful starting point when you are trying to find the right place for your loved one.

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August 08, 2017

NURSING HOME ADMISSIONS PAPERWORK: DON'T WAIVE YOUR RIGHTS

By James Ragano, Esquire with Stockham Law Group, Tampa, FL

You’re there. Sitting in a well-lit office of a friendly nursing home employee, and a stack of paperwork has been placed in front of you.  The nursing home staff is setting up your husband’s room, and introducing him to the other residents.  You are anxious to get the paperwork done so you can be with him.  You sign what’s in front of you without reviewing it. Without knowing it, you have just waived your husband’s right to sue the nursing home in the event something bad happens.

Nursing homes often use “Arbitration Agreements” in order to avoid being sued in a court of law.  If the nursing home staff bothers to explain to you what that means, which hardly ever happens, they might tell you that an “Arbitration” is simply a way to resolve the dispute quickly without the expense and hassle of going to court.  Don’t believe them.  Agreeing to an arbitration means waiving you and your spouse’s right to a jury trial if the nursing home does not provide good care.   It means that lawyers, rather than a jury of your peers, will decide the merits of your case.

So, what do you do?  First, take a deep breath. The nursing home cannot refuse admission to your loved one if you decide not to sign the arbitration agreement.  Second, ask to take the paperwork home so that you and your family can review it.  Often, there is other paperwork in the materials which can have a big impact upon you and your family’s rights and financial security.  Third, show the paperwork to a lawyer.  A lawyer can give you an opinion about whether the paperwork you have been asked to sign waives, or otherwise interferes with, your rights.

The nursing home admissions process is stressful.  Be sure to take the time you need to have all paperwork reviewed and approved before signing anything.

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