Arizona Nursing Board Medication Diversion Complaint

I receive a large number of phone calls from Arizona nurses who have been accused of medication diversion. The typical fact pattern is:

  1. Nurse is called into a meeting by hospital management based on suspicion of medication diversion. The typical reasons for the meeting are because a co-worker complained, the nurse’s Pyxis transactions are suspect, or a patient complains that they did not receive pain meds or their pain level was not adequately assessed by the attending nurse.
  2. The nurse is suspended from work “pending an investigation” after the initial meeting.
  3. The nurse is called into management’s office and confronted about the results of the investigation and asked to explain.
  4. The nurse is terminated and subject to a Board complaint regardless of the explanation provided.

I hear about these scenarios frequently and nurses call me for help in deciding how to approach this significant employment issue.

Allegations of medication diversion fall into 2 categories.

  1. The complaint is defensible because it is the result of inaccurate medical/Pyxis records or poor record keeping
  2. The nurse does have a problem with medication diversion and needs assistance dealing with a legitimate addiction

Either way, a competent nursing board attorney can help you resolve your issues. If you are an Arizona Nurse facing a board complaint or employment situation alleging medication diversion you need the assistance of legal counsel.

Call David Klink today for a free confidential legal consultation

What is the Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations refers to your deadline to file a lawsuit in court. If you do not file your lawsuit in court within the statute of limitations period for your case then you will never be able to recover compensation for your injury in a court of law.

The statute of limitations for your case depends on a number of different facts but the deadline generally begins on the date the injury occurs.

In many injury cases the statute of limitations is 2-years from the date of the injury. However, in some circumstances the deadline can be much shorter.

Consult Attorney David Klink for a free consultation regarding your case and the statute of limitations that applies to your legal claim.

Bird Scooter Injuries

New transportation technologies are exciting and generally welcomed by the public. However, sometimes these technologies are brought to market too quickly without appropriate safety precautions.

Recently, a company called Bird has deployed hundreds of electric scooters across Tempe and Scottsdale, Arizona. These scooters are easily accessible to anyone with a smartphone, identification, and credit card. There is no training or safety equipment provided. Any rider can get on a scooter in minutes.

What happens when a serious injury occurs as a result of using one of these electric scooters?

No doubt there will be many serious injuries in Arizona for a number of reasons including the lack of safety precautions and rapid deployment of these technologies without appropriate coordination with the municipalities.

If you have been injured on a Bird Scooter, call Attorney David Klink for a free consultation.

Update: As number of Tempe shared scooters, bicycles grows, new rules may be on the way

Here are more great articles on this topic:

https://knpr.org/npr/2018-10/e-scooters-roll-american-cities-so-do-safety-concerns

https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/29/health/scooter-injuries/index.html

https://www.cnn.com/2018/10/12/tech/scooter-rentals/index.html

What to Look for in a Personal Injury Lawyer?

If you are looking for a personal injury lawyer you must search for someone who is ready, willing, and able to file a lawsuit on your behalf because sometimes a lawsuit is the only way to maximize your personal injury recovery.

Many personal injury attorneys have no interest or experience filing lawsuits and representing their clients in court.

Attorneys who file lawsuits and represent their clients in legal actions are called litigators. They are courtroom lawyers.

Why You Should Hire a Personal Injury Litigator

Many insurance companies will offer lower settlements to attorneys who do not file lawsuits and instead seek quick resolution of personal injury claims without litigation. Quick settlements may not be in your best interest because they are typically lower value settlements.

Attorneys take cases on contingent fees and there can be a conflict between an attorney’s desire to earn a quick fee and the client’s desire to maximize settlement.

For example, if the attorney believes a claim can be settled for $10,000 but there is a good possibility that the claim would be resolved for $15,000 if a lawsuit is filed, what is the benefit to the attorney to file the lawsuit?  Assuming a 1/3 contingent fee agreement the attorney would stand to benefit $1,500 for filing the lawsuit. However, the attorney knows that filing a lawsuit is a lot work and may advise his/her client to simply accept the $10,000 offer because the cost/benefit for the attorney is not beneficial.

If your attorney is not willing to file a lawsuit then you should fully understand why. If the answer is because the attorney doesn’t want to work for it then you may need to find a different attorney.

I recently filed a lawsuit over $150.00 difference between the adjuster’s offer and my client’s final offer. I don’t care how much time, money, or effort it takes to seek full compensation for my client. My ONLY goal is to maximize my client’s recovery in personal injury actions. In this example, I eventually resolved the case for nearly TWICE the amount of money the insurance adjuster offered before litigation.

My additional attorney fee in this case was negligible compared to the amount of effort it took to litigate the case but my client’s overall recovery was maximized. I simply do not care how hard I have to fight, how much time it takes, or how much effort I have to spend. If my client wants to file a lawsuit and I believe it is in my client’s best interest, I am ready willing and able to fight for maximum recovery through the legal process.

Fire it up! Let’s go to Court!

Medical Payments Coverage

Medical Payments coverage is designed to pay medical expenses regardless of fault. This means that if you are injured in an automobile accident or premises liability you may be entitled to have your FULL medical expenses paid regardless of who was at fault for the injury.

Full medical expenses are the full value of the charges you have incurred from the health care providers that treated you for the injury.  This is almost always a higher value than “out of pocket” medical expenses.  Often times insurance companies will offer to pay for only the “out of pocket” medical expenses. Many people do not realize that the out of pocket expenses are discounted and the insurance company is pocketing the difference between the full value of the charges you incurred and the amount you have paid out of pocket.

In Samsel v. Allstate Insurance Co., 204 Ariz. 1 59 P.3d (2002), the Arizona Supreme Court reaffirmed Arizona law that the term “incur” means “to become liable for” and is not limited to the amount actually paid for medical treatment. The Court stated:

The primary definition of the word “incur” is “to become liable for”․ Obviously, plaintiff became liable for her medical expenses when she accepted medical treatment.   The fact that plaintiff had contracted with a health insurance company to compensate her for her medical expenses, or to pay directly the health care provider on her behalf, does not alter the fact that she was obligated to pay those expenses.

This means that an insurance company is obligated to pay full incurred charges under the medical payments provision of an insurance policy regardless of the amount of money your health insurance company paid to the provider.

Keep this in mind if you have sustained an injury and an insurance adjuster calls to offer you a quick settlement for you out of pocket expenses because you may be entitled to substantially more compensation depending on the facts of your particular case.

Premises Liability – I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up!

Premises liability refers to a type of personal injury when injuries sustained due to the failure of the property owner to exercise reasonable care to make the premises safe. This duty to exercise reasonable care is the responsibility of the building or homeowner.

In situations where you have fallen and sustained a serious injury due to some type of unreasonably dangerous condition at a business or in a home you may have a premises liability claim.

You need to contact a personal injury lawyer to understand your legal rights.

What is Underinsured Motorist Coverage and Why do I need it?

Underinsured motorist coverage provides additional money to you if you are injured in an automobile accident and the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance coverage to pay the full value of your injuries.

In Arizona the minimum liability coverage is $15,000.  Therefore, if you are injured in an automobile injury accident and incur damages exceeding $15,000 then it is unlikely you will be able to recover any additional money from the at-fault driver.

Underinsured motorist coverage provides additional compensation on your own insurance policy if the total value of your automobile injury claim exceeds the limits of the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.

It is not difficult for car accident damages to exceed the minimum insurance limits when you account for medical expenses, lost wages, and/or pain and suffering. Therefore, it is a good idea to purchase underinsured motorist coverage so that you will be fully compensated in the event you are injured by an underinsured driver.

What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Why do I need It?

Frequently, when people buy car insurance the only thing they are shopping for is the lowest possible rate. However, it is important to know what you are buying because if you are ever in a car accident you may need to make an insurance claim for your injuries, medical bills, and lost wages.

Uninsured motorist coverage provides additional protection from these unforeseen expenses resulting from an automobile injury collision. The coverage provides a direct way for you to make a claim with your own insurance company if the driver that caused your injuries doesn’t have insurance.

One leading insurance research firm calculated the percentage of uninsured drivers in Arizona is 12%. Think about that. If you are in a car accident there is greater than 10% chance that the other driver will not have any insurance to compensate you for your losses. It is a smart decision to insure yourself and uninsured motorist coverage is the best way to do this. You cannot trust that the other driver will have sufficient coverage to compensate you for your injuries.

Nurses Have a Personality Type

I deal with a lot of Arizona Nurses regarding Arizona State Board of Nursing complaints. One thing I can say about my experience is that Arizona Nurses have a personality type.

A very common theme of a nurse’s personality is a desire to be compliant and follow instructions. They have a faith in the legal process and they often believe they have not done anything wrong. This not surprising.  As professionals, nurses are required to carry out physician orders and make sure they are reporting accurate updates on patient conditions.

Unfortunately, when a nurse receives a complaint from the Arizona State Board of Nursing they are often too quick to immediately follow instructions (carryout orders) and provide information (providing update on condition) without legal guidance. Often this approach to responding to a complaint can be catastrophic to the nurse’s defense of the matter and is unnecessary. You may not be fully informed about the allegations or the evidence against you. If you respond too quickly you can make statements can be used against you if the board uncovers evidence that contradicts your written response. That is why it is very important to hire an attorney to review your matter immediately and develop a plan to respond.

You always have a right to legal counsel at every stage of the nursing board investigation. It makes sense to take a minute to stop and think about the significance of any nursing board complaint and seek legal counsel to make sure you do not cause damage your professional career and respond with the full understanding of the facts and evidence.

My License Was Revoked Without My Knoweldge. What Can I do?

During every Arizona State Board of Nursing regular meeting there are several cases on the agenda where the Board is seeking to impose disciplinary action, including revocation of a nursing license, for the nurse’s failure to respond to a Board Notice.

I can only assume that the vast majority of these cases are for nurses who have simply given up. They feel beat down by the process and have decided to stop responding to notices and exit the nursing field or accept any disciplinary action recommended by the Board. This is a mistake. You have worked hard for your career and you should not give up on it because you are overwhelmed with the legal process of facing a nursing board complaint from the Arizona State Board of Nursing.

Sometimes I will receive a phone call from an Arizona nurse who truly did not want to give up but his/her license was revoked or disciplined for failing to respond to the complaint or notice of charges.  In these situations, it is imperative that you contact an attorney experienced with the Arizona State Board of Nursing. There may be legal options to help you get your license back and respond to the complaint.

All nurses are required to update their mailing address with the Board so that the Board has a way to communicate with you. Once a complaint is opened it will not go away and you will need to communicate with the Board and respond to notices issued by the Arizona State Board of Nursing.

If you do not receive notices from the Arizona State Board of Nursing because of your failure to update your mailing address then you have very little chance of reversing a Board order to impose discipline on your license.