THE SHUTTLESWORTH SENTINEL
201 Vulcan Road, Suite 210 Birmingham, AL 35209 (205) 322-1411 ShuttlesworthLasseter.com
Personal Injury Product Liability Wrongful Death
Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect Assisted Living Abuse/Neglect
THANK YOU TO ALL CAREGIVERS FOR YOUR HARD WORK AND SACRIFICE
Many societies around the world have systems put in place by their governments to take care of the elderly when they can no longer take care of themselves. While the United States also has systems in place for this same reason, they’re not as efficient or affordable as they could be. That’s why many times, when someone gets to the age when they need help with their day-to-day responsibilities, their children or other younger family members step in and take care of their elderly loved ones. March 3 is Caregiver Appreciation Day, and to all the caregivers reading this newsletter, from all of us at Shuttlesworth Law, we just want to say thank you for the hard work you do and all the sacrifices you make. Caregiving in any capacity is often a thankless job. Caregivers often sacrifice their own care to take care of someone else. Some of them begin caring for their elderly loved ones in the midst of an already busy schedule, full of work meetings, kids’ sports practices, and other obligations. Caregivers have to run on tight schedules, and many of them don’t get the help or resources they deserve to make their job just a little bit easier. And yet, because they love their family, they take on that responsibility anyway. It’s a hard job, and sometimes caregivers simply can’t find a way to take care of their elderly loved ones on their own. When that happens, they often need the kind of care that can only be provided by a good senior residence or nursing home. Sometimes, their needs are so drastic that families have to bring their loved ones to end-of-life care facilities. When “CAREGIVERS HAVE TO RUN ON TIGHT SCHEDULES, AND MANY OF THEM DON’T GET THE HELP OR RESOURCES THEY DESERVE TO MAKE THEIR JOB JUST A LITTLE BIT EASIER.”
and if that time comes, if you’re their caregiver, you can still be involved in your loved one’s care by becoming their care advocate.
For example, imagine visiting a loved one, like your mother, in a nursing home but realizing something is wrong. You can see she’s lethargic, confused, or lacking an appetite. You assume your next step would be asking the nursing home staff about your mom, but they might brush it off. They might just say she’s having one of those days. However, it could be that they gave her the wrong medication, that she’s dehydrated, or that she’s facing some other kind of neglect. It might be hard for you to know what to do in that scenario if you were your mother’s caregiver for years before she went into a care facility. Even though you may not be in complete control of her health care anymore, you can still help them if you know how. If you’re a caregiver and your loved one is in a nursing home, we want you to know you’re not helpless in the face of abuse and neglect. On the Shuttlesworth Law Firm website, you can download a free copy of our book “Nursing Home Neglect,” which will walk you through the steps of effectively advocating for your loved ones. The nursing home staff might not take your concerns seriously, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. If you think your elderly loved ones are facing abuse or neglect at their nursing home, read our book and give us a call.
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YOU’RE ARRESTING ME FOR WHAT, OFFICER?
ANOTHER SLICE OF PI(E) THE SWEETEST WAYS TO CELEBRATE PI DAY
Behind every crazy law is an even crazier story. Like every state in the union, Alabama has its fair share of strange and nonsensical laws, and although the contexts in which many of the laws were created have passed on, the laws remain a part of our state’s legal code. These three laws are far from the only strange laws in Alabama, but they’re definitely some of the strangest out there. NO ICE CREAM IN THE BACK POCKET Of all the places to set your ice cream cone down, in your back pocket probably isn’t the first place you’d think of. That’s all well and good, because it’s illegal anyway. While the origin of the law is certainly up for debate, one source says the law was made to stop horse thieving. Apparently, horse thieves would put ice cream in their back pockets to make it look like the horses they were stealing followed them willingly away from their owners. NO WEARING FAKE MUSTACHES IN CHURCH Fake mustaches in the streets? Go nuts. Fake mustaches in church? Go to jail. This is a silly law about a silly prop, and while its exact origins are unknown, the reasoning against wearing fake mustaches in church was apparently that it would cause disrespectful laughter. So, to any churchgoers unable to grow a beard, sorry — guess you’ll just have to stick with what God gave you. 3 CRAZY, ACTUAL LAWS IN ALABAMA
Break out your calculators and grab your aprons because it’s almost Pi Day! This holiday has gained popularity among mathematicians and bakers alike — two groups that rarely overlap. Pi Day is March 14, which when written numerically is 3-14, the first three digits of the mathematical constant pi. Pi is special because it’s used to calculate the circumference of a circle. This might not sound like a big deal, but pi is used in engineering, construction, GPS, motors, power generation, and even television! If we hadn’t calculated pi, none of these achievements would be possible. Pi is pretty important, and it’s definitely worth celebrating! Here are two ways you can get in on the fun. LEARN TO RECITE PI Pi has fascinated mathematicians for centuries because it’s an irrational number, meaning the digits go on forever. If you want to try your hand at memorizing some of the numbers, here are the first 50 decimal digits of pi (with spaces, so they’re easier to remember!). To make things simple, we often round pi up to 3.14, but many people have challenged themselves to memorize and recite as many digits as possible. In the Guinness Book of World Records, the record is currently held by Rajveer Meena, who recited pi to the 70,000th digit on March 21, 2015. And he did it all while blindfolded! EAT SOME PIE Another popular way to enjoy Pi Day is to bake and eat pie. This dessert is perfect because it’s both a homophone (same pronunciation as “pi” but with a different spelling and meaning) and a circle. Challenge your friends to a pie-baking contest, or buy your favorite pie from the store and have a pie- eating contest. And, while this may be a controversial stance, we believe pizza pie deserves a place in Pi Day celebrations, too. 3.14159 26535 89793 23846 26433 83279 50288 41971 69399 37510
NO BEAR WRESTLING MATCHES
For an activity that sounds like it came straight out of the frontier days of yore, this law was actually enacted
relatively recently — in 1996. Bear wrestling was a popular spectacle among Alabamans, and at many a moderated match, men would step into the ring and pit their strength against these mighty beasts. Then, two Alabama congressmen made the sport illegal, citing reasons of animal
cruelty. Now, if anyone in Alabama wants to wrestle a bear, they’ll just have to find their own in the wilderness.
Here’s to Pi Day: the tastiest, nerdiest holiday of the year!
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IF YOU’RE FILING A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM IN ALABAMA REMEMBER THESE 3 TIPS
YOU CAN ONLY FILE FOR PUNITIVE DAMAGES. Many times, in both wrongful death and workers compensation cases, plaintiffs can demand what are known as compensatory damages, which cover the costs of things like funeral expenses, medical bills, or other costs of the untimely death. However, in Alabama, plaintiffs can only receive punitive damages, which are taken in order to punish the defendant and deter similar negligence by others in the future. THERE’S A TIME LIMIT FOR FILING A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM IN ALABAMA. In most states, people have a certain amount of time in which to file a wrongful death claim. In Alabama, that limit is two years. So, if the deceased’s estate’s personal representative doesn’t file the claim within two years following the incident, there will most likely be no case.
In Alabama, a wrongful death is defined as a death caused by the “wrongful act, omission or negligence” of another party. Much like workers’ compensation cases, parties can sue those responsible for wrongful death for compensation. The only difference is that someone else is filing the suit on behalf of the deceased party. While this basic idea is largely the same across the United States, there are a few parts of this process that are unique to Alabama that bear mentioning. ONLY THE PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ESTATE CAN FILE A WRONGFUL DEATH CLAIM. In many other states, any family member of the deceased is allowed to file a wrongful death claim, but that’s not the case in Alabama. A personal representative, or the person the deceased placed in charge of their estate in the event of their death, is the only one who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party.
Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences life can throw at you, and getting justice for wrongful death isn’t easy either. If you need professional advice on filing a wrongful death claim, call the Shuttlesworth Law Firm at (205) 286-6831.
FACTOID STRANGE AND YOU THOUGHT RACEWALKING WAS WEIRD ...
TAKE A BREAK
If you write a best-selling novel or a chart- topping song, you might win a Pulitzer Prize or a Grammy. But from 1912 to 1952, did you know you could have also won an Olympic Medal? Back before the Olympic Games were the international phenomenon they are today, there were awards for artists as well as athletes. Medals were awarded for categories such as painting, literature, music, and even architecture.
Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the Olympic Games and the IOC, wanted art to have the same place of honor it had in the ancient Greek Olympiads. The Ancient Greeks saw art and athletics as equally important to society. Unfortunately, not everyone else in the world felt the same way. Waning popularity led to the disappearance of the art categories, but not before 151 medals were awarded.
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201 Vulcan Road, Suite 210 Birmingham, AL 35209 (205) 322-1411 ShuttlesworthLasseter.com
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THIS ISSUE INSIDE
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Thank You to All Caregivers
Would You Like Some Pi?
Why Do These Laws Exist?
3 Tips for Filing a Wrongful Death Claim in Alabama
Shuttlesworth’s Strange Fact
Poison Ivy Myths
LEAVES OF 3, LEAVE THEM BE WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT POISON IVY?
YOU CANNOT BECOME IMMUNE TO POISON IVY. Urushiol oil triggers an allergic reaction in 85% of people, leading to the ensuing rash. Some people believe regular exposure to poison ivy can help develop an immunity to urushiol oil, but this isn’t the case. In fact, it’s just the opposite. About 15% of the population isn’t allergic to poison ivy, but the allergy can develop over time. The more you’re exposed to poison ivy, the worse your outbreak can become. IF YOU TOUCH POISON IVY, DO NOT POUR URINE ON YOUR SKIN TO PREVENT THE RASH. Urine, vinegar, dirt, bleach, and even gasoline are common “treatments” for preventing or curing a poison ivy rash. None of these are effective, and some can really hurt you. If you’ve been exposed to poison ivy, your best course of action is to wash your skin with soap and water. Cleaning off the urushiol oil within 20 minutes of exposure can greatly decrease your odds of developing a rash. When all is said and done, the best way to treat poison ivy is to avoid it altogether. The next time you’re exploring the great outdoors, just remember: Leaves of three, leave them be.
The days are getting longer, the temperature is rising, and the great outdoors are calling your name. It’s time to start planning your summer adventures! Just remember
to watch out for the enemy of all outdoor enthusiasts: poison ivy. Found in every state except Hawaii and Alaska, poison ivy — or more accurately, the rash-causing urushiol oil on its leaves — can quickly ruin a trip. Before you head out on your next outdoor adventure, make sure you get your facts straight.
THE POISON IVY RASH IS NOT CONTAGIOUS. Many people believe the poison ivy rash can spread if the blisters pop, but the only thing that can cause the rash is urushiol oil. This is why it’s so important to clean your skin and wash your clothes as soon as possible. Urushiol oil can spread onto objects like doors or chairs, and you don’t have to touch poison ivy to have a reaction to urushiol oil.
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