P

Pain and suffering – An element of damages recoverable for a personal injury case related to the pain experienced subsequent to an injury and/or related medical treatment.

Paralysis – Inability to move a body part, usually caused by damage to the nerve supply. See more on the dangers facing paralyzed nursing home patients here.

Paraplegic –  A person with the inability to have use of the lower extremities function secondary to an impairment in motor  and/or sensory function; Paraplegia is the result of a spinal cord injury or a congenital condition. This term refers to both legs being effected.

Parkinsons –  A movement disorder that includes tremors, rigid muscle tone, slow walking and other movements and an unstable posture; It is caused by a disruption in connections in the central nervous system that effects the persons’ motor skills, speech and other functions.

Party – A person, business, or government agency actively involved in the prosecution of defense of a legal proceeding.

Peg tube – Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy tube or a feeding tube has one end in the stomach which malleable and held in place with a balloon tip, the other end is outside of the body on the skin with an adhesive. The tube is used for feeding, medication, and/or hydrating and is sometimes semi-permanent.

Peripheral neuropathy – disruption in the communication between the nerves and the spinal cord; the results of this can be numbness, pain, decrease in sensation and no control of muscles.

Permanent injunction – A court order requiring that some action be taken, or that some party refrain from taking action. It differs from forms of temporary relief, such as a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction.

Personal representative – The person who administers an estate. If named in a will, that person’s title is an executor. If there is no valid will, that person’s title is an administrator.

Person in need of supervision – Juvenile found to have committed a “status offense” rather than a crime that would provide a basis for a finding of delinquency. (See status offense.)

Petitioner – The person filing an action in a court of original jurisdiction. Also, the person who appeals the judgment of a lower court. (See respondent.)

Pharmaceutical errors –  Can occur from prescribing the incorrect medication or dosage to the pharmacist filling the incorrect medication or dosage or labeling incorrectly. The medications can react to other medications that are also prescribed adversely causing a toxicity to the patient. Learn more about how pharmacy errors can impact nursing home patients here.

Physical abuse – any type of physical harm caused by one to another involving purposeful contact.

Physical elder abuse – any type of physical abuse against the elderly.

Physical therapy – Rehabilitative specific exercises and equipment that aide patients to regian and enhance their physical abilities.

Picc line –  (Peripherally inserted central catheter) is used over a long period of time that goes from outside the body to inside and delivers medications to the patients, it is an inserted IV.

Plaintiff – A person who brings an action; the party who complains or sues in a civil action. (See complainant.) See more about nursing home lawsuits here.

Pleadings – The written statements of fact and law filed by the parties to a lawsuit.

Pneumonia – An illness that occurs in one or both lungs that derives from bacteria, a virus(es), or fungus.

Power of attorney – An formal instrument authorizing another to act as one’s agent or attorney.

Precedent – Laws established by previous cases which must be followed in cases involving identical circumstances.

Premises liability – Fault imposed on a land owner for an injury sustained due to improperly maintained property. See how premises liability law can play a role in nursing home negligence cases here.

Presentment – Declaration or document issued by a grand jury that either makes a neutral report or notes misdeeds by officials charged with specified public duties. It ordinarily does not include a formal charge of crime. A presentment differs from an indictment.

Pressure sore – Pressure sore, like the name implies, is a sore or wound that develops due to unrelieved pressure on the body.  Over time, the pressure restricts the blood flow to skin, tissue and muscle that results in the death of the material.  Over time, the wound may open exposing the underlying layers of muscle and bone.  See also: bed sore, decubitus ulcer and pressure ulcer.

Pressure ulcer – Similar to other terms: bed sore, pressure sore or decubitus ulcer, pressure ulcers are commonly found in patients confined to a wheelchair or bed, when unrelieved pressure builds on bony prominences of the body.  Common areas for pressure ulcers include: buttock, back, heels, sacrum, and head.

Pretermitted child – A child born after a will is executed, who is not provided for by the will. Most states have laws that provide for a share of estate property to go to such children.

Pretrial conference – Conference among the opposing attorneys and the judge called at the discretion of the court to narrow the issues to be tried and to make a final effort to settle the case without a trial.

Prima facie case – A case that is sufficient and has the minimum amount of evidence necessary to allow it to continue in the judicial process. (See prima facie in the Foreign Words Glossary.)

Primary authority – Constitutions, codes, statutes, ordinances, and case law sources.

Probate – Court proceeding by which a will is proved valid or invalid. Term used to mean all proceedings pertaining to the administration of estates such as the process by which assets are gathered; applied to pay debts, taxes, and expenses of administration; and distributed to those designated as beneficiaries in the will. Conducted in states courts.

Probate court – The court with authority to supervise estate administration.

Probate estate – Estate property that may be disposed of by a will. (See estate.)

Product liability – Legal responsibility of manufacturers and sellers to buyers, users, and bystanders for damages or injuries suffered because of defects in goods.

Prosecutor – A trial lawyer representing the government in a criminal case and the interests of the state in civil matters. In criminal cases, the prosecutor has the responsibility of deciding who and when to prosecute.

Proximate cause – The last negligent act which contributes to an injury. A person generally is liable only if an injury was proximately caused by his or her action or by his or her failure to act when he or she had a duty to act.

Psychological elder abuse – Similarly referred to as ‘mental elder abuse’ or ’emotional elder abuse’, occurs when nursing home patients are subjected to mistreatment that is psychologically harmful.  Though psychological elder abuse may be perpetrated in a variety of ways, it generally occurs when caregivers use their position of authority to humiliate, harass, threaten or intimidate nursing home patients.

Psychotropic drugs – A medication that affects the mind, emotions and behavior in a person. Here’s more discussion of psychotropic drugs or chemical restraints.

Public law – That law such as traffic ordinances or zoning ordinances which applies to the public.

Pulmonary embolism –  A disruption in a blood vessel in the lungs which stops the circulation in a coronary artery. Look here for further discussion of pulmonary embolism’s.

Punctured lung –  When air or gas accumulated in the pleural area or chest which results in part or all of a lung to collapse (pnuemothorax).

Punitive damages – A type of monetary recovery for an injured person with the intent of punished the wrong doing company or facility.

Pyelonephritis – Bacterial urinary tract infection of the kidney that can be acute or chronic.

Client Reviews

★★★★★
Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
★★★★★
After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric