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Important Medical Documents for Your Young Adult Child

As your child graduates from high school, you are both thinking about the exciting future. But whether your child is off to college or some other venture, there are a few legal decisions you should make in case of an emergency. Imagine if your child ended up in a hospital and could not make decisions for himself. Of course, you’d want to step in to help. But if your child is a legal adult, age 18 or older, you will not be able to do so. In fact, you wouldn’t even be told any specifics about his condition due to HIPAA regulations.

To prevent this problem, you and your child should fill out paperwork that will enable you to help him or her in case of an emergency. There are documents you need:

  • A durable power of attorney;
  • A health care power of attorney; and
  • A HIPAA release.

These papers are often used in elder law, by adults caring for their parents. They signify that the agent has been given the power by the signee to preside over financial and medical decisions and grant access to their medical records.

In each document, your child can decide who they would like to deem responsible as their agent. This may be you. However, if your child is uncomfortable with having you in this position, he or she may choose someone else.

  • Durable Power of Attorney: This document designates someone as an agent to preside over financial and legal matters on your child’s behalf. These forms can vary from state to state. Durable Power of Attorney grants agent a lot of power. For this reason, some people may be hesitant about signing it. Talk to your attorney about the best approach, but this one is especially useful if your child is traveling abroad.
  • Health Care Power of Attorney: This document gives an agent authority to make medical decisions on your child’s behalf. It is a good idea for your child to nominate more than one agent, in case the first is unable to serve.
  • HIPAA Release: This document designates less power to the agent but allows medical staff to share your child’s medical status or condition with agents.

While you want to help your child, he or she is considered an adult at age 18. Without these legal documents, you may have no way to help. Of course, you and your child should discuss these issues and decide what is best. If you have any questions, contact us for help.

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Personal injury is a fancy way of saying you got hurt — and it’s something someone else caused or could have prevented. Accidents happen every single day, but if you get hurt in one, you may feel concerned or worried about paying for your medical bills or time you missed from work. That’s why people may choose to file a personal injury claim, a way of seeking monetary benefits for an injury caused by another person or company. 

personal injury termsIn 2017 alone, Nationwide insurance company paid $18.7 billion in claims to its members. Here are the top personal injury claims that affect most people:

Car Accidents

Yearly, there is estimated to be more than 6 million vehicle-related accidents in the United States. While this number is only increasing, drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists are in danger. Distractions such as smartphones, navigation systems or car-related functions might be the reason. Regardless, if you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may be eligible for compensation. Make it a priority always to always visit a doctor after an accident, even if you feel fine. There are many cases where victims did not suffer physical injuries but sustained many internal injuries.

Slip and Fall

Slip and fall claims are a common personal injury claim. A slip and fall can occur anywhere, at work, home, in a restaurant. Elderly people are more likely to sustain a severe injury after a fall. Damage to the hip, head, back, and neck are very common. It may be difficult to prove a slip and fall claim. Contacting a lawyer after a slip and fall incident is crucial.

Product Liability

There is an average of 20,000 product liability claims that are filed in the United States each year alone. Many cases of product liability claims are defective toys, dangerous pet products, unsafe medical devices. Product liability typically has one of the highest average compensation values.

Workplace-Related Injuries

Have you fallen on the job? Work-related injuries are very common and can happen to anyone. Work-related injuries are often unreported due to fear of termination, but that means someone else may get hurt later in the same way. If you have been injured at work, report it immediately and contact a lawyer.

Medical Negligence

Medical negligence is another very commontype of personal injury claim. Medical negligence occurs when a healthcare provider doesn’t meet an adequate level of standard care required for a patient. This malpractice causes injury or harm as a result. There are many ways to prove medical negligence has occurred. Some examples are, failing to tell a patient of known risks, failure to diagnose, doctors negligence caused the injury and improper treatment was administered. Medical negligence is among one of the hardest and complex claims to prove and win; it requires many witnesses that must be willing to testify. However, that shouldn’t scare you off if you feel something wasn’t right with your medical care.

If you have questions about a personal injury, contact us for a free consultation.