Regaining Your Life

Two Insurance Problems That Can Reduce Your Medical Malpractice Award

Posted by on May 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Two Insurance Problems That Can Reduce Your Medical Malpractice Award

In general, it’s better to file malpractice lawsuits against medical professionals who have insurance to cover the incidents. It’s easier to collect damages from insurance companies with billions of dollars in assets than from individuals who may have more debt than cash. However, there are things that can impact the amount of money you receive from an insurance company. Here are two issues you should be aware of. Coverage Limitations One common issue that affects the amount you actually receive from the insurance provider is coverage limits. Many policies have per incident and aggregate ceilings on the amount of money that’s paid out for malpractice claims. For instance, the provider may only pay $1 million per incident and up to $3 million total for all claims that occur within the year. If the insurance company has already paid $2.5 million for malpractice claims, there will only be half a million left for yours. That’s not the only problem, though. Your total payout may also be reduced if the coverage limitation includes attorney’s fees and court costs. The court orders the defendant to pay $1 million in damages plus your attorney and court fees of $100,000, for example. If the coverage limit is $1 million, that’s all the insurance provider is going to pay. In the end, you’ll only get $900,000 since the attorney’s and court costs will come out of the money you receive. You may be able to avoid this by checking whether the medical professional is covered by an umbrella policy. Sometimes the medical facility the individual works for will have an overarching insurance policy that kicks in when the person’s coverage maxes out. Multiple Claims Lumped Together Another insurance problem that can affect your payout is if the provider lumps multiple occurrences of malpractice into a single claim. This can happen if each incident is factually related. For instance, a doctor improperly treats your medical condition in the office and then prescribes the wrong medication. These incidents can be sued for separately, but the insurance company may treat them as a single claim because the facts of the case will likely apply to both issues. If multiple occurrences are treated as a one claim, the maximum amount you can collect is whatever the coverage limitation is for a single incident. The only way to break out of this situation is to prove each incident is completely separate from the other. There’s a lot of complexity inherent in litigating medical malpractice claims. Contact a personal injury attorney, like R.J. Marzella & Associates, P.C., who can help you navigate the challenges and get the compensation you...

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Pain And Suffering Damages In Car Accident Personal Injury Cases: A Brief Primer

Posted by on May 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Pain And Suffering Damages In Car Accident Personal Injury Cases: A Brief Primer

Pain and suffering damages refer to a negotiated or court-appointed settlement for injuries you received due to the accident in question. Pain and suffering damages are often times awarded for those who were injured due to a car accident and levied a personal injury suit against the individual or entity who caused the accident. Throughout the course of this brief article, you will learn a bit about how pain and suffering damages are qualified by the court and insurance companies. General Damages Pain and suffering damages usually fall under the umbrella category of “general damages.” This can refer to both mental anguish, as well as physical trauma. As such, there is not a particularly easy way to quantify how much you will receive as a settlement. The amount of your settlement will almost always correspond to the extent of your injury. Soft tissue injuries that do not require medical treatment, like bruises or minor scrapes, will usually not see a payout. However, broken bones and deep lacerations that require stitches or staples most certainly will. As a rule of thumb, it is generally easier to generate a payout for physical trauma – as the evidence has a very clear visual element – than it is with regard to emotional and mental anguish. Insurance Companies The manner in which courts determine pain and suffering damages can be even more difficult to ascertain than how a court will award you your settlement. While the logic of court usually dictates pain and suffering to fall under the category of general damages, insurance companies all operate differently. However, they mainly operate with one major underlying linchpin: if you did not go to the doctor for treatment regarding the purported pain and suffering, then you must have not been experiencing either pain or suffering. How an insurance company will process your claim largely depends on corroboration with your recent medical history, in addition to records regarding time off of work or school due to the pain or suffering you experienced. Evidence Review An insurance provider will usually submit your claim to what is referred to as an evidence review. This means that a claims adjuster will review a litany of your documents related to your claim, including photographic evidence of your injuries, records of prescriptions that were given or assigned to you due to the pain and suffering caused by the car accident, medical bills, and receipts regarding any OTC medications you purchased to alleviate pain caused by the car accident. For more information on pain and suffering damages in car accidents, visit law firms such as Antonucci Frank & Associates...

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Legally Protect Your Trucking Company With A Substance Abuse Policy

Posted by on May 7, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Legally Protect Your Trucking Company With A Substance Abuse Policy

For truck drivers, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense. If a truck driver is intoxicated or high, and involved in an accident, they’re often held responsible. They may not be the only party held responsible for the collision, though. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also places expectations on trucking companies. If you own a trucking company, make sure your company’s protected by a well-written substance abuse policy. Understanding the FCMSA’s Regulations Per the FCMSA’s regulations, trucking companies are legally required to educate the drivers and supervisors that work for them about the dangers that drugs and alcohol pose. Along with other requirements, FCMSA 49 C.F.R. §382.601 says that trucking companies have to do the following: Write up a substance abuse policy Give the substance abuse policy to all drivers Keep signed statements saying that employees received a copy of the company’s substance abuse policy Section B of 49 C.F.R. §382.601 details precisely what must be included in a substance abuse policy. A few of the specific items that your company’s policy must have include the following: When truck drivers are expected to be in compliance with your company’s policy Under what circumstances alcohol or drug testing is justified What the consequences of not cooperating with an alcohol or drug test are What effects drugs and alcohol can have on truck drivers If your company fails to meet all requirements of 49 C.F.R. §382.601, it may be held responsible for an accident caused by a driver who was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Drafting a Substance Abuse Policy Few people are better qualified to help your company draft a substance abuse policy than a truck accident attorney. Truck accident attorneys specialize in understanding the laws that govern the trucking industry including 49 C.F.R. §382.601. They’ll know precisely what your company needs to include in its policy, and they’ll know how you trucking company needs to administer its policy. If your trucking company doesn’t have a substance abuse policy that was specifically written to meet all 49 C.F.R. §382.601 criteria, contact atrucking accident attorney today. They’ll be able to help you quickly draw one up that will meet all legal requirements and will protect your company. They’ll also be able to help you quickly create a policy and disseminate copies, so your company can be fully protected as quickly as...

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Avoiding Hand Numbness To Prevent Motorcycle Accidents

Posted by on Apr 25, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Avoiding Hand Numbness To Prevent Motorcycle Accidents

For new motorcycle riders, hand numbness can be a startling occurrence. In fact, it can even lead to accidents and potential lawsuits if you fail to understand what it is and how to avoid it. Some of your driving habits can actually contribute to hand numbness, which can put you at risk of an accident that could end up costing you significantly. Here are some guidelines to remember to help you avoid this problem.  Learn To Let Go Your grip on the handlebars should only be tight enough to hold. You should be able to wiggle your fingers easily without interfering with your grip. This is important because holding on to the handlebars too tightly can actually strain your forearm muscles and the tendons in your wrists. The strain can cause tingling and numbness. Take the opportunity to shake out your hands a bit at every red light or another stop, because this will help to loosen your muscles and encourage sufficient blood flow. Loosening your grip also helps to minimize the vibration transmitting through the handlebars. That vibration can be a key contributor for the numbness that you might feel, so this is an important consideration. You can minimize it even further by installing foam grips on your handlebars. Foam will dampen more of the vibration. Perform A Balancing Act The position you ride in can also contribute to numbness as well. If you ride with most of your weight leaning on your hands, that’s going to lead to wear and tear on your shoulder muscles as well as your hands and wrists. Make an effort to balance the distribution of your weight across the entire bike. To do this, grasp the tank with your legs. That way, you’re drawing some of your weight into your core muscles and your lower body. This reduces the strain on your hands.   Embrace Change Changing the position of your handlebars can often make a big difference in the comfort of your ride. When the handlebars are adjusted properly, it creates a more streamlined riding position. Don’t be stuck in the ruts of leaving things where they’ve always been or assuming that the stock position is right for your bike. You should be able to grasp the handlebars easily without needing to bend your wrists. If you’re bending, you’re compressing the carpal tunnel and median nerves. These tips can help you preserve the feeling in your hands when you’re on your bike, reducing the risk of an accident. If you are in a motorcycle accident and you injure someone, reach out to an attorney (such as one from Welsh & Welsh PC LLO) right away. He or she can help you protect your financial interests along the...

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3 Times Where You Can File A Wrongful Death Suit

Posted by on Apr 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Times Where You Can File A Wrongful Death Suit

A wrongful death suit can be filed as a personal injury case. A wrongful death suit can allow the family or care taker of the deceased to claim damages for emotional and financial woes caused to them due to the plaintiff’s role in the deceased’s death. Throughout the course of this brief article, you will learn of a few situations where you can file for a wrongful death suit. Vehicle Manufacturer If a vehicle manufacturer is found to be distributing a vehicle part, aftermarket accessory, or even an entire faulty vehicle without recalling it, then they can be held liable for damages in a wrongful death suit if an individual died due to any of the above factors contributing to their death. If an auto manufacturer knowingly allows such parts to go to market, then they may be held responsible for even more damages, particularly punitive damages. Intent must be established in such cases, and if the vehicle manufacturer claims negligence on their behalf, then chances are they will not be levied with punitive damages unless there is solid proof that can claim otherwise. Faulty Roadway Design and Road Construction If a person has perished due to the design of roadway (and not merely the construction) contributing to their death, then the entity involved in the design of that roadway can be held liable for damages if he or she is sued via a wrongful death case. In most cases, this is a particular state’s Department of Transportation. There are cases where an external design firm is involved in the design of such roadways, in which cases they too can be held liable for damages. In the case of road construction, the state’s Department of Transportation can be held responsible for damages in almost every case in which construction played a salient role in someone’s death. Auto Accident If a person was negligently driving, then he or she can be held responsible for damages. Establishing negligence in these cases usually involves proving that the defendant was driving negligently or recklessly. If an individual was driving with reckless abandon, this means that he or she had no intent of killing someone, but may have been breaking the laws in such a way that no reasonable person would think of doing, such as driving high above the speed limit. If you believe that someone — or an institution — can be held liable for damages due to a loved one suffering from a wrongful death at their hands, then it is highly recommended that you speak to a local and trusted personal injury or...

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Three Things You Should Know About Compensation For Pets Injured In Auto Accidents

Posted by on Mar 31, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Things You Should Know About Compensation For Pets Injured In Auto Accidents

State laws govern the issue of pets injured in car accidents. Therefore, don’t assume anything if your pet is injured in a car crash; what you think is true may be very different from the reality. Here are three essential things to know about pets injured in such accidents: Pets Are Property You may consider your pet a family member, but the law usually disagrees; most states consider pets as personal property. On one side, this is good because you will be compensated for your pet just as you would be compensated for damaged property. In the case of a damaged or totally destroyed property, you expect to be compensated for the repair costs or the value of the property, respectively. For a pet, expect compensation for veterinary bills or value of the pet (if they don’t recover). On the other hand, this classification of pets means you won’t be able to recover the kinds of damages usually reserved for injured loved ones, such as pain and suffering. A Lawsuit May Not Be Financially Worthwhile  As described above, pets are considered property, and this leads to limited recovery of damages. This can be problematic if you file a lawsuit because you will have to prove that the accident caused your pet its injuries, and prove the value of the injuries too. For example, you may need the help of a veterinarian to act as an expert witness to prove that your pet did not have preexisting injuries. Unfortunately, lawsuits aren’t cheap, and, you may end up spending more on your lawsuit than you can recover from the settlement. In fact, injury attorneys know this, which means your lawyer may be reluctant to pursue the case on a contingency basis. Your best bet, therefore, is to aim for negotiation and an out-of-court settlement. Insurance May or May Not Cover the Pet Whether or not your auto insurance extends to your pet largely depends on who was at fault for the accident. In most cases, your insurer will not compensate you for the pet if you caused the accident.  Most insurers will pay for your car’s repairs and damage to personal property while excluding your pets. You don’t have to worry about this if another motorist caused the accident because their insurer will foot the bill. The best way to ensure you get the compensation you deserve is to let an automobile accident lawyer handle the issue on your...

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Personal Injury In A Logging Camp: How A Lawyer Can Help You Ascertain If You Have A Case

Posted by on Mar 18, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Personal Injury In A Logging Camp: How A Lawyer Can Help You Ascertain If You Have A Case

Certain jobs that come with an expected level of danger, like logging, may offer little in the way of protection against personal injury. If you signed on to work as a logger in a logging camp, and then you are injured, your worker’s compensation may only cover you for the time it takes to heal from the injury. Death and dismemberment insurance should cover any losses incurred when you have lost a hand, foot, arm or leg, and sometimes even when you lose an eye or lose your sight. However, there are exceptions to these forms of insurance, as well as exceptions to the rules regarding workers compensation in a logging camp. A lawyer can help you ascertain if you still have any rights to sue after you have incurred a personal injury in a logging camp. Waivers Signed at the Time of Employment Some dangerous jobs now require that new employees sign waivers prior to employment. These waivers relieve your new employer of any legal responsibility to take care of you medically and fiscally in the event of a tragic accident. They may also require you to carry your own insurance for the first month or more of your employment. Before you sign anything that looks and sounds like a personal injury liability waiver, have a lawyer examine it. Then decide if you are willing to take the risk to go without any sort of protection or legal backup while working for this employer. If you have already signed such a waiver, it may be very difficult for the lawyer to get you any sort of compensation when you are involved in an accident on the job. Injuries During Employment Which Are Not Covered Aside from the waivers, new employees may be restricted from various types of insurance that could protect them in the event of a lost limb or eye. In logging, you could easily lose digits, limbs and eyes within the first few months of your employment, regardless of how careful you are on the job. It is not exactly an illegal practice to not cover new employees under circumstances such as yours, but it may not seem very ethical either. Your lawyer might be able to argue that the company owes you something for pain and suffering even if you cannot sue for lost wages and medical expenses. Equipment That Your Employer Should Have Kept out of the Work Rotation One final possibility that may allow you to sue your logging camp boss is the occurrence of injury due to negligence. In this case, your boss knew that a chainsaw, splitter or other piece of equipment was not functioning properly, but encouraged or ordered you to use it anyway. This created a very unsafe work condition that exceeds the expected dangers of the job, and put you and fellow loggers in harm’s way. If you can prove this, then you definitely have a lawsuit, in spite of a waiver and/or lack of insurance. To learn more, contact a personal injury law firm like Gartner Law...

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3 Types Of Social Media Posts That Can Affect Your Workers Compensation Claim

Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Types Of Social Media Posts That Can Affect Your Workers Compensation Claim

What a lot of people don’t realize when filing a workers compensation claim is the fact that some insurance companies will have private investigators look at claimants’ social media pages. Fraud occurs a lot more in the workers compensation world than a lot of people realize, and these insurance companies are taking steps to help prevent it. Because of this, it is very important to be careful about how you come across on social media. These are a few types of social media posts that can actually jeopardize your workers compensation claim. 1. Proof of Physical Activity Since you are injured and unable to work, you are probably expected not to participate in too much physical activity, either. Make sure that your social media posts don’t make it seem as if you are doing so. For example, you wouldn’t want to post a status update about your long day at the gym, nor would you want to post a picture of yourself on a ski trip. These types of posts can make it seem as if you are actually more physically capable than you are letting on, which is not a good thing for this type of claim. 2. Admissions of Responsibility It can be easy to admit responsibility without really even meaning to. However, posting status updates or other comments that admit guilt in some way — such as if you claim that you were tired and not paying attention as you should have been when your accident happened — can get in the way of your claim. Avoid this type of talk, and keep conversations about your accident to private messages with trusted individuals. 3. Comments About Healing Even though you might want to tell your friends and family members that they don’t have anything to worry about, you should be careful about posting about how much better you feel on your social media profile. If you do so, it could be perceived that your injury was very temporary and that you are already healing, which could certainly jeopardize your claim. Even though the last thing that you probably want to worry about is how you are perceived on social media, it is important to be careful about your posts while you’re going through a workers compensation claim. Otherwise, your claim could be jeopardized. Luckily, avoiding these three types of posts and using general caution when on social networking sites can help. If you need further advice, contact a law firm such as Neifert Byrne & Ozga....

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Emotional Distress: Whether Or Not To Include In Your Lawsuit

Posted by on Feb 12, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Emotional Distress: Whether Or Not To Include In Your Lawsuit

If you are in the midst of preparing a case to sue the person who caused an auto accident in which you were hit, the topic of emotional distress is likely showing up. Emotional distress can be a difficult problem to prove, especially in light of how the cause of the distress has not always been considered admissible evidence. However, while proving emotional distress is not always easy, it can be done. Here are three things to consider when deciding whether or not to include emotional distress in your lawsuit. Psychological Records Anyone can tell the court that they’ve experienced emotional distress, so you need something to back up your claim. Be prepared to present records from psychologists or counselors who can verify that you have been experiencing symptoms of distress, such as hypervigilance or an inability to sleep. Stress can also show up as physical symptoms, ranging from abdominal pain to headaches, and you may want to record all of the instances after the accident in which you had these symptoms. Everything that you claim to be a result of emotional distress needs to be documented, preferably by a professional who can vouch that you were not suffering these problems before the accident. Note that the extent of the record-keeping needed varies by court. It is always possible that a court could deny you compensation for emotional distress despite good records. However, this emphasizes the need for professional verification. The more doctors and psychologists who say, yes, you have been suffering emotional distress as a result of the accident, the better your chances of having your claim accepted by the court. Physical Injury If your emotional distress is due to an accident, you may find that you also have to prove you had a physical injury as well, especially if the person who caused the accident was not trying to inflict emotional distress on you. In addition to psychological records, then, you may also have to present medical records showing that you suffered a definite physical injury. Again, the specific circumstances of the accident will influence what the court considers an appropriate level of injury and distress, so be meticulous in your record-keeping. If you have no physical injuries, it may become very difficult to win a distress claim. Actions and Timing For many people who suffer emotional distress from an accident, it’s the accident itself that produces the trauma that results in distress. However, some plaintiffs in the past have tried to claim that their distress resulted from an action that occurred just after the actual accident. Courts have not always accepted these distress claims. For example, a 2013 article on the JDSupra website noted that in one case, the plaintiff claimed she suffered emotional distress when the person who hit her car fled the scene, doubled back, and laughed as he passed her again. However, the court denied the distress claim because the defendant admitted to causing the accident. The court decided the distress was not a result of the accident but of an action after the accident. It is best to take all of your evidence to an experienced car accident attorney instead of trying to piece together a case yourself. While representing yourself in court can save you money initially, it can result in...

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3 Things You Must Have Before You Can File A Personal Injury Lawsuit

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Things You Must Have Before You Can File A Personal Injury Lawsuit

Personal lawsuits are quite common. You might have seen people that you know file a personal injury lawsuit and have a favorable outcome. This might lead you to think if an accident, or dispute you have been involved in should merit a lawsuit. Unfortunately, just because you have been harmed or wronged it doesn’t mean that you have a legitimate lawsuit against the person. Here are a couple things you need to have to make a legitimate lawsuit. 1. The Other Party Had To Have A Duty Toward You One important aspect of a lawsuit is that you have to prove that the guilty party had some sort of duty to protect you. For example, if you were walking on the road and there was large construction hole that wasn’t labeled and you fell in, you might have a lawsuit. This is because the construction crew is supposed to label dangerous areas to protect the public. That is their duty. Conversely, if you were jumping on a neighbor’s trampoline uninvited and broke your arm, then you probably wouldn’t have reason to sue. Your neighbor didn’t invite you on their property and isn’t responsible for your safety, should you assume the risk of jumping on their tramp. 2. There Had To Be Fault From The Guilty Party Second, there had to be some sort of fault from the guilty party. Using the earlier example of the construction hole, there had to be a fault from the construction crew. For instance, if you were texting on your cell phone and fell right in, you weren’t even looking, and there might be a case that you were the one at fault. In addition, the guilty party had to be negligent. If they failed to do anything to protect you, then you might be able to sue. Just because you got hurt doesn’t mean that the other party is at fault. 3. There Had To Be Sustainable Injuries Lastly, there has to be sustainable injuries that you can prove came from the accident. If you fell into a construction hole and didn’t have any injuries, but instead was just embarrassed, you wouldn’t be able to sue. You would need to prove that you were harmed in some way and that the guilty party cost you money in medical bills, lost wages, damages and so forth. These are just a couple things that you need to have to be able to file a legitimate personal injury lawsuit.  For more information, contact a practice like Kiernan Personal Injury Attorneys...

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