Nursing Home Care and Malnutrition

No one likes to think of nursing home care being so poor that residents literally starve to death. However, in some extreme cases, this is precisely what happens. Without properly trained and supervised staff to carefully monitor the nutritional intake of nursing home residents, no one may be aware of a resident’s declining medical condition until it is too late. Malnutrition can occur when residents do not eat a balanced diet, or simply do not take in enough nutrition to sustain their bodies.

Many nursing home patients may experience a lack of appetite for a number of reasons. For instance, depression can lead to little or no appetite. Nursing home patients may have dental problems that make it difficult for them to eat. They also may receive medication that suppresses their appetites or causes nausea. Finally, due in part to a lack of staffing and the need to feed a large number of residents, nursing homes may serve food that is not kept at the correct temperature until it is served, food may be bland and unappetizing, and staff may need to hurry residents through their meals in order to accommodate everyone who needs to eat.

There are a number of signs that you typically can see in malnourished individuals, but these symptoms all too often are attributable to medication side effects or other medical conditions altogether. Some of these symptoms include: tooth decay, mental decline and confusion, dry skin, weight loss, bloated abdomen, and fatigue. If you notice any of these symptoms in your loved one who lives in a nursing home, you should take immediate steps to determine the cause the symptoms, whether they result from malnutrition or another source.

At Boller & Vaughan, we are dedicated to protecting the rights to those who have been wrongfully injured. We have the experience and knowledge to investigate your case, explore your options, and pursue any legal claims that you may have. Contact your Wisconsin nursing home neglect attorneys today at (608) 268-0268 and set up your free consultation today.



Infection and Nursing Home Care

The risk of contracting an infection while being cared for in a nursing home or other type of assisted care facility can be quite high, for a variety of reasons. Many nursing home residents suffer from chronic medical conditions or take medications that make their immune systems weaker and thus more susceptible to infection. Some residents also have cognitive and motor skill issues that may impair their ability to exercise proper hygiene. When you combine these medical conditions with a large number of residents confined to a relatively small space, the potential for infection is very high. Without rigid staff training and hygiene procedures, infection is almost a certainty.

Common types of infections that plague nursing homes include gastroenteritis, which leads to vomiting and diarrhea, influenza, which can lead to complications like bronchitis and pneumonia, and multi-drug resistant organisms, which can include vancomycin resistant enterococcus (VRE) and methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). All of these infections can lead to medical conditions that cause the elderly and those with weakened immune systems to become gravely ill and even pass away in severe cases.

If your loved one has suffered injury or even death as a result of infection or another type of medical condition caused due to neglect or lack of care by nursing home staff, you may have a valid personal injury or wrongful death claim. In these types of circumstances, it is essential that you contact an experienced Wisconsin nursing home abuse attorney who can protect your rights and obtain any compensation to which your family is entitled. Nursing homes have an obligation under Wisconsin law to refrain from creating or aggravating medical conditions, such as harmful infections, that can injury their residents. Hold negligent Wisconsin nursing homes responsible for their actions. Contact Boller & Vaughan today and learn what we can do to help.






Do I Have a Right to a Jury Trial in a Personal Injury Case?

Many people wonder if a jury or judge makes the decisions in a personal injury case that goes to trial. Most personal injury cases stem from claims under tort law, which are common law claims. Although there are some exceptions, the 7th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution generally protects your right to have a jury decide civil legal cases that involve common law claims. This is the case for all personal injury cases, except, for example, claims that are not seeking monetary compensation, or other claims brought pursuant to a statute that provides for a bench trial decided by  a judge, rather than a jury trial.

The jury selection process helps ensure that a jury is composed of individuals who are fair, neutral, and who are able to weigh the evidence carefully and make a decision in accordance of the law. The judge will give the jury specific instructions about the decisions that they have to make in the case, in order to reach a verdict, or a decision in the case. Not only does the jury determine liability on behalf of the different parties involved in the case, but they can also decide upon the amount of monetary compensation an injured individual should receive as a result of that party’s liability.

At Boller & Vaughan, we know that suffering serious injuries in an auto accident or any other type of situation can be a stressful, emotional, physically painful, and financially draining event. Allow us to take some of the burden of this situation from you and your family by allowing us to handle your personal injury claim and work toward getting you the compensation that you need and deserve. As skilled Madison personal injury lawyers, we are here to help you through this ordeal from a legal perspective, while you concentrate on healing from your injuries and recovering from the financial impact of the accident.




How Do You Determine Fault in a Motor Vehicle Accident?

When a car crash occurs, you always must determine who is at fault for the crash. Fault is relevant in a number of ways, but is particularly relevant in a case that involves property damage or personal injuries. Depending on who is at fault for the accident, that individual can be liable for paying for the costs of the damage or the treatment of any injuries, usually through his or her vehicle insurance policy. In some cases, however, it can be difficult to establish who is at fault for a crash, or more than one party may be at fault for the crash. The question of fault also can be a contested issue in a personal injury case, when the parties do not agree about who caused the accident.

Determining fault for a Wisconsin motor vehicle crash is dependent upon evidence, much of which must be gathered at the scene of the crash. Evidence might include witness observations or statements regarding the accident, the placement of the vehicles involved after the crash occurs, the location of damages to each vehicle, and skid marks left at the scene. Whether the drivers involved in the crash were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash also can be relevant under Wisconsin law for determining fault in a motor vehicle collision. Finally, statements made by the drivers following the crash may be useful in terms of determining fault.

The experienced Wisconsin personal injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan are here to help you through the aftermath of a motor vehicle crash, no matter how great the damages or injuries may be. We can look into the circumstances surrounding your accident, assess the situation, and evaluate any claims that you may have for damages. We know how to determine fault in a car accident, and build a strong personal injury claim based on that determination. Contact our office today in order to schedule a free initial consultation about any potential claim that you may have.




How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim?

If you are injured in an accident that is caused by another person or business, you may have a valid personal injury claim under Wisconsin law. However, if you do not take action to contact a seasoned Madison accident lawyer as quickly as possible following your accident, you risk giving up your right to bring your claim altogether. This is the rule in Wisconsin, even if the other driver involved in your motor vehicle accident was clearly at fault and you sustained serious and permanent injuries in the accident. Therefore, you have no time to waste in contacting an attorney for help following an accident that causes you injuries.

A time limit on your ability to file any type of lawsuit is called a statute of limitations. Once the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury case under Wisconsin law has expired, you can no longer file a personal injury claim, no matter how strong your claim is. In the state of Wisconsin, you have three years from the date of the accident in which to either settle your claim or file a personal injury lawsuit in court. However, there are certain circumstances that can make the statute of limitations shorter. For instance, if you have a personal injury claim against a city, you have to give the city written notice of your injuries no later than 120 days after the accident. The statute of limitations for personal injury actions also differs if the injured person is a minor or an incompetent person.

In fact, many statutes of limitations in the state of Wisconsin changed as of February 6, 2016. For instance, a claim for property damages following an incident previously was subject to a six-year statute of limitations. For incidents occurring on or after February 6, 2016, however, you now only have three years from the date of the incident in which to make your claim for property damages.

Boller & Vaughan are experienced Madison personal injury lawyers who know Wisconsin law and know how to effectively represent your interests in any personal injury claim that you might have. Call our office today and learn how our attorneys can help ensure that you meet the applicable statute of limitations in your case.





How Social Media Can Affect Your Personal Injury Claim

Have you ever looked at your Facebook account and are shocked at the content that one of your friends has “shared”? Almost everyone uses some type of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, Instagram, or Snapchat, to name a few. Unfortunately, people do not always use common sense when posting different items on social media platforms, and their posts, tweets, or images can cause them a great deal of trouble. Lawyers, insurance companies, and employers regularly scan social media sites for information about people that can be used against them, including in legal matters like divorce and family law cases. This also can be the case if you use social media in certain ways in the midst of your personal injury claim.

First, avoid posting pictures of your damaged vehicle online. If previous photos show that your car was already dented on the rear right side, and you now are claiming that your accident caused the dent, you may not only be undermining your claim for damages, but you also may be committing insurance fraud. The same goes for pictures or videos of yourself engaging in certain activities that involve a fair amount of physical movement. If you are claiming in your personal injury suit that your neck and back are permanently damaged due to your injuries, then a video of you riding the newest roller coaster at your local amusement park will not exactly help your claim. Likewise, posting pictures of you and your family spending a weekend camping and hiking in rough terrain at the same time as you are claiming severe foot damage in your personal injury claim is not helpful. In fact, pictures such as these may be downright fatal to your claim.

The bottom line is that insurance companies often will seize upon any bit of evidence that will help them deny your claim or pay out less than your claim is really worth. What is intended as innocent posts or pictures on Instagram can come back to haunt you in your personal injury claim, and make it much harder to get compensation for your injuries, even if the other party clearly was at fault. For more information about how to properly handle your personal injury claim, contact the Wisconsin personal injury lawyers of Boller & Vaughan today.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Brain and head trauma is a common injury that victims sustain in motor vehicle accidents, as well in other types of accidents, such as those that take place when you participate in certain sports or fall and strike your head on a hard surface. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious medical condition that can impact your life for years to come, depending on the severity of the injury and how treatable the condition turns out to be. If you are in an accident and have suffered TBI, the Wisconsin personal injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan are here to assist you.

Following an accident, you may be unclear about whether you suffered TBI because you don’t appear to have any noticeable head wounds or injuries, or because you never lost consciousness. TBI, however, can occur and result in serious injury if your brain strikes the inside of your skull with sudden and extreme force. One common example of TBI resulting from a motor vehicle accident is whiplash. The motion of your body and head very suddenly forward and back can be sufficient to cause TBI.

TBI can cause severe physical, cognitive, and even emotional consequences for an individual. The repercussions of this injury can depend upon the force of the blow to the head, as well as the part of the brain that was struck. Some people suffer long-term effects of TBI, and never fully recover. Others are able to recover only after a long period of rehabilitation. Impairment from TBI can range from very serious to fairly mild, depending on the circumstances.

When you or a family member suffers TBI from a motor vehicle crash or any other type of accident, and another’s negligence caused the accident, you may have a personal injury claim under Wisconsin law. Call Boller & Vaughan today at (608) 268-0268, or contact us online at in order to set up an appointment with one of our experienced traumatic brain injury lawyers, and see what we can do for you.



What Happens If I Get in an Accident with an Uninsured Motorist?

In most cases, when you are injured in a motor vehicle accident that occurred due to the negligence of another driver, you can seek compensation from the negligent driver for the costs of your injuries. Typically, you and/or your attorney file a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance company, which ultimately pays for your damages, assuming that liability is straightforward and their insured was clearly at fault. What happens, however, if the driver whose negligent actions caused your accident doesn’t have insurance?

Fortunately, there is a potential solution to this problem that lies through your own insurance company. In the state of Wisconsin, drivers are required to maintain uninsured motorist liability coverage of at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. You also can carry more uninsured motorist coverage than the required minimum coverage, if you choose to do so; however, the law does not require a driver to carry more than the minimum uninsured motorist coverage. Your own uninsured motorist coverage policy gives you a source of compensation for your losses when you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.

There are other add-ons to your own insurance policy that you can maintain so as to avoid the problem of a collision with an uninsured – or underinsured – driver, although Wisconsin law does not require you to do so. For instance, you can maintain an underinsured motorist coverage policy, which must provide at least $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident of coverage.

Boller & Vaughan knows personal injury law and has the experience to help you through any type of personal injury claim. Whether your case involves a motorist who is insured, underinsured, or not insured at all, we can help. All too often, even your own insurance company is reluctant to compensate you based on the policy that you pay for. In this situation, you can count on your Madison motor vehicle accident attorneys to guide you through every step of the personal injury claims process.


How Do Personal Injury Attorneys Usually Get Paid?

All too often, individuals hesitate to contact an attorney for any reason, out of fear of being unable to pay high fees that are simply beyond their financial means. Some people figure that since they can’t afford to pay several thousand dollars up front as a retainer, then they won’t be able to get assistance from a lawyer. Personal injury cases, however, are different. Most attorneys, including the Madison personal injury lawyers of Boller & Vaughan, take personal injury cases on a contingency basis. Simply put, this means that if you don’t get paid for your personal injury claim, then we don’t get paid attorney’s fees, either.

A contingency fee agreement typically does not require you to pay any attorney’s fees up front in order for the law firm to take on representation of you in your personal injury claim. Rather, a Wisconsin personal injury attorney will agree to represent you in exchange for a certain percentage of the compensation that you receive from your personal injury claim, whether it is through a settlement or a court trial. Therefore, if you do not recover any monetary damages on your claim, your attorney will not receive any attorney’s fees, and you will never have to pay any attorney’s fees.

You should be aware, however, from the beginning of your case, that there are some fees and costs associated with a personal injury case that you may have to pay. However, these costs are relatively low. Some examples of these types of fees are the filing fee that a court charges in order for you to file a personal injury lawsuit (or any other type of lawsuit) and costs from a hospital or medical provider in order to get copies of your medical records that relate to your injuries.

The personal injury lawyers of Boller & Vaughan pride themselves on advocating on behalf of clients who have been injured in some way. We seek compensation for you through the legal claim process, while you and your family can concentrate on healing from your injuries, recovering from any trauma that you might have experienced, and moving on with your life. Don’t hesitate to call our office today and learn how we can help.


Accident Statistics From the Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Unfortunately, motor vehicle accidents are all too common in the state of Wisconsin. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT), there were over 119,000 crashes in the state of Wisconsin in 2014. 451 of these crashes involved fatalities, and another 28,801 involved injuries. Over 90,000 of these accidents involved property damage. All in all, almost 500 people died as a result of motor vehicle accidents in Wisconsin in 2014, and almost 40,000 people were injured.

Two major factors that contribute to accidents involving both fatalities and injuries are alcohol and speed. In 2014, almost 5,000 crashes were alcohol-related, resulting in 162 fatalities and almost 2,700 injuries. Likewise, speed accounted for over 20,000 crashes in 2014, causing 163 fatalities and over 8,000 injuries. As compared with previous years, DOT statistics show that while the number of alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents has generally declined, speed-related accidents have generally increased

The DOT further breaks down the accident statistics according to certain circumstances, as well. 1,183 crashes in 2014 involved pedestrians, and another 925 crashes involved bicycles. There were over 2,000 motorcycle crashes, 39 train crashes, and 588 school bus crashes. Furthermore, 2,274 crashes in 2014 occurred in a construction zone. Large trucks were involved in 7,358 crashes, and deer in over 18,000 crashes.

As a result of these statistics, it is clear that not only are thousands of Wisconsin residents and visiting non-residents involved in motor vehicle accidents each year, but there are many potential personal injury and wrongful death claims that may arise from accidents involving injury or death.

If you or a loved one is seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, or your family has suffered the loss of a loved one to a vehicle crash, you may be entitled to compensation. This inquiry involves determining which party or entity was at fault for the accident, acted negligently, or otherwise caused the accident that led to your injuries or your loved one’s death. At Boller & Vaughan, our Madison accident lawyers can help you with these determinations, and support you through any personal injury or wrongful death claims that you may have.

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