Could Your Doctor Actually Profit From Your Personal Injury Case?

Imagine this scenario: you don’t have much cash in your bank account, but you need a big surgery. Without the operation, your life expectancy will decline substantially. With it, you have the chance at a bright future. You ask your doctor to help you explore some reasonably inexpensive treatments to reduce the cost once the big day arrives. Rather than go through insurance, your doctor decides to help you out.

That was nice of him, right?

But wait: your operation was the result of an injury you sustained because of someone else’s negligence. You have an ongoing personal injury court case against this individual. The reward could leave you better off than you were before. Since your doctor didn’t bother to bill you through insurance, he now has the option of requesting a lien payment.

A lien payment is basically a request for repayment for those bills you didn’t want to pay through insurance. That means as soon as you win your case, you’re going to be charged for whatever you couldn’t pay before. 

But if you lose your personal injury case in court, guess what: you still need to pay your bill in full, insurance be damned. 

These lien payment requests are becoming a lot more common in states like California, Colorado, Georgia, and Florida. That’s because of new policies and regulations that have changed to make it easier for doctors to recoup costs in this way.

There are pros and cons for the person treated. We already told you about the obvious downside if you lose in court. If you win, then hopefully you’ve already reaped some of the rewards. You had more treatment options than you would have without the lien. 

The doctor might actually be compensated more than he would have if he went through traditional insurance, which is why it’s worth it for him. Some people argue that doctors take more of the risk, so they should get more reward. They also have the option of selling the lien to a company before the lawsuit is resolved in court, providing yet another means to get paid. 

The biggest problem is that a lien agreement often bars a patient from opting for insurance should the case not work out in court. 

The bottom line is this: before making any medical decisions, you might want to check with your lawyer and financial adviser. They’re both accustomed to helping clients make these decisions. They also might be able to help you explore more options that no one else considered. It depends on the small details of your case.

Do You Carry Enough Personal Injury Protection Car Insurance? These Are The Laws!

Florida drivers are required to carry at least $10,000 in personal injury protection — per person per accident. Sometimes, this insurance precludes Florida drivers from actually suing the person who caused an accident that gravely injured others. But not always. It’s important to speak with a personal injury lawyer about your personal circumstances and the details of your accident. Not every case is the same. Plus, few people know many of the relevant laws.

Here are just a few personal injury laws you probably should know about.

Florida is a no-fault state, which is why drivers are required to have a certain amount of protection for themselves and their passengers (and why suing is usually a non-issue). When one person causes an accident, compensation almost always comes through the insurance company. 

Parties can sue when subjected to: permanent injury, permanent scarring or disfigurement, permanent loss of bodily functions, etc. Third parties can sue for wrongful death. Keep in mind that you only have so much time. Depending on the circumstances, a statute of limitations might preclude you from making a case.

For product liability claims, you only have four years from the date of an injury to file a claim against a manufacturer. Oddly enough, a death reduces that statute to only two years. Again, you should speak to a personal injury attorney to ensure you have a winnable case.

Personal injuries that result from dog bites can result in lawsuits. Florida state abides by “strict liability” for dog bites, which means that if your dog bites someone, you’re liable no matter what. Other states use the “one bite rule,” which means owners are given a single free pass if their dog bites someone but they have no reason to believe the animal was aggressive. 

Sometimes those who try to build personal injury lawsuits without the direction of an attorney forget that the burden of proof is on them. If you cannot prove that the injury occurred due to the negligence of another or that someone else is somehow at fault, then your case will not succeed. 

This is why it is so important to speak to a personal injury attorney before fully preparing for a case or getting your hopes up. Personal injury attorneys usually don’t accept payment before winning a case — and that means they won’t take a case they cannot win. When you have incurred an injury due to someone else’s negligence, it’s important to write down all the details you can remember. Don’t delay! What you recall is the difference between a good case or no case.

Are You Sure You Have A Medical Malpractice Case? Here’s What You Need To Know!

Although hospitals will always pretend that frivolous medical malpractice cases are putting their bottom line at risk, the truth is much different. First, medical malpractice falls under the umbrella of personal injury, which means your lawyer usually won’t be paid until you do — and that means the case needs to be won first. A medical malpractice lawyer won’t take on a frivolous case, because it means they won’t be paid when they lose.

Second, very few medical malpractice cases are even tried. The statute of limitations severely limits how many cases could even make it to court. Others are settled, but even that number is less than it should be.

That’s why you need to know a few things before you try to make a medical malpractice case.

First and foremost, speak to a medical malpractice lawyer about what you know. If there are gaps in the story that need filling in, your lawyer will help you figure out the details you left out of the story. This first session is technically just a consultation — but remember, your lawyer doesn’t get paid until you do anyway, so there’s no reason not to get one.

Second, proving a case isn’t always easy. You need to accomplish several things before trying to make your case. Be sure that you can establish that a doctor-patient privileged relationship occurred. That means at some point a payment was made. Then, you need to establish how a physician was negligent when treating you. It’s not enough to walk away unhappy — you need to have been literally injured through negligent care.

And more than that, it’s not enough to be injured through standard operating procedures (which they have in place to avoid lawsuits). You need to establish how the care you received was different than typical standard operating procedures.

Only after you successfully establish those facts can you determine the extent of the damage, both physical and emotional. This number is complicated. The judge will first look at the bills incurred during treatment. Afterward, the damages become more objective. How much did you suffer because of the doctor’s negligence? Will there be additional medical bills in the future? Did the injury reduce your future earning potential? How much time off from work did you require?

You can see how complicated the process can get. You’ll be arguing to establish these rather abstract points, whereas the opposition will be arguing that you didn’t suffer as much as you say, and that you probably didn’t get injured because of negligence. The best possible outcome is avoiding court altogether. Your attorney will try to reach a settlement outside of court, because fighting courtroom battles always ends in a question mark.

Will California Make Medical Malpractice Laws More Progressive?

California is a state known for being one of the most progressive places to live in the United States of America, but oddly enough its medical malpractice laws hardly reflect it at all. That could all change when a new law hits the ballot box as soon as 2020. The purpose? Eliminating a hard cap on how much a court can award a victim in damages.

The 10-page proposal comes from the Zuckerman & Rowley Law Firm and Consumer Watchdog. It would essentially remake California’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) into something entirely different.

Right now MICRA prevents victims from receiving any more than $250,000 in damages. 

This kind of cap prevents attorneys from using pricing structures that work in the best interests of both the law firm and their clients, which in turn sometimes reduces the chances that someone living in poverty will bother with a personal injury or medical malpractice lawsuit they do not have a strong chance of winning.

Jamie Court of Consumer Watchdog said, “We are the most progressive state in the country with the most regressive medical malpractice laws in the country.”

The law technically does not raise the cap, but instead adjusts it for inflation and ensures it remains tied to the rate of future inflation. That would increase the damages cap to $1.2 million. It would continue to be readjusted each year the new law remains in effect. In cases of extreme negligence, catastrophic injury, or death, courts would still be allowed to award victims damages and punitive damages above the aforementioned threshold.

Perhaps even more importantly than that, the new law would also prevent a defendant’s attorneys from arguing that the plaintiff is already receiving compensation through other means, like insurance payouts. 

Although attorneys rarely take on what they consider to be “frivolous” lawsuits, the proposed law is amended from the old one to reduce the number entered into the court system. Plaintiffs’ attorneys must prove beyond reasonable doubt that there is a reasonable basis to make the medical malpractice claim. 

Unfortunately the only way to do this is through a third-party health care provider — and opponents of the new law say that could actually reduce the number of legitimate cases as well, because practitioners might feel compelled to stick together in combating medical malpractice cases that could lead to the destruction of their health care practices. 

Opponents of MICRA tried to overturn the law once before in 2014 with another proposition that ultimately failed. Whether or not the 2020 initiative will succeed is a question for later.

Do African Americans Have A Case For Slavery Reparations?

Restitution is a legal word to describe repayment of damages. These damages can be both criminal and civil, which means restitution can become quite expensive even for a small crime. But you’ve probably heard of the debate revolving around reparations for slavery, a practice which ended around the same time of the Civil War. Is there a strong case?

Say an assault perpetrator punched you in the face, and the resulting injury was great enough to land you in urgent care. Although the injury is relatively inexpensive to treat with insurance, you can also ask for restitution in the form of pain and suffering — it’s impossible to put a dollar amount on this facet of the case, which means it will ultimately be up to the prosecutor or even the judge overseeing the case as to whether or not you receive the funds.

However, let’s say you have no insurance. Suddenly your injuries are much more expensive. You could seek restitution for the full amount even when Obamacare’s insurance mandate was in place. Meaning even if you broke the law by going without insurance, you can still ask of the perpetrator for whatever you were forced to pay.

How does this compare when offered into the debate of slavery reparations? Obviously no one who was enslaved by our ancestors is still alive.

But good lawyers can still prove that the racism, prejudice, indentured servitude, and maybe even epigenetic factors will continue to keep African American citizens whose forefathers were slaves at the lowest rung of society. The key is determining who is most at fault — our ancestors who inspired in many of us these racial prejudices, the Caucasian majority that continues to in one way or another subjugate the African American minority, or the African Americans who have failed to find a way to wiggle out from the marginalized lives they lead?

Based on the aforementioned examples of restitution, African Americans are not at fault — even in spite of mistakes they may have made in the day to day living of their lives — as long as the Caucasian majority continues to treat them as second-class citizens through blatant discrimination. 

Part of the problem is that the United States government promised reparations to former slaves when the practice of slavery was abolished, and then went back on that promise when Lincoln was assassinated. This is why the argument of Black restitution is so persuasive. It’s more an argument about following through on what was promised than simply providing reparations, and the case is a strong one.

Biggest Personal Injury Cases of All Time

What Are The Biggest Personal Injury Cases Of All Time In Terms Of Damages Awarded?

When you think about personal injury cases, what comes to mind? You might think about slip and fall accidents, or maybe you recall the traffic accidents involving tractor-trailers portrayed in the commercials for personal injury attorneys. There are all kinds of cases involving personal injuries. Perhaps you have even been involved in one. What are the biggest personal injury cases of all time?

There are some landmark cases, and the biggest ones feature judgments or verdicts, not settlements, as you can imagine. The damages awarded total in the billions, and the first case on this list is tragic indeed. A boy’s life was lost in the aftermath due to skin cancer after having already been set on fire using gasoline. The boy was just eight years old. The teenager responsible didn’t have $150 billion, but that was the total awarded to the victim’s family.

The next big personal injury case involves a group of people and several top cigarette manufacturers. This case happened in 2000, and the settlement was just shy of $145 billion. What’s really interesting is that the next biggest personal injury case also involves cigarettes, and there was only one plaintiff, in that case, a woman who had lung cancer. While the settlement was well under the $100 billion mark, it is substantial due to the fact it was awarded to one person only.

What company was on the receiving end of the last case? It was none other than RJ Reynolds, and the settlement prior to being reduced was $28 billion. These are the three biggest personal injury cases of all time, and there are many more interesting cases to read about. As you can see, the verdicts and judgments in these cases can result in billions of dollars awarded to plaintiffs who have refused to settle.

The Differences Between Medical Malpractice And Personal Injury

There are a lot of people who think that medical malpractice and personal injury are the same thing. The truth is that there are a number of differences between them that you need to know about. These differences will help you understand what each cover and where your case may fall.

The Complexity

Personal injury cases will generally have a wider scope than medical malpractice. However, medical malpractice cases are generally more complex. This is due to the fact that the plaintiff needs to demonstrate that the medical professionals or hospital were at fault. With a personal injury case, it is generally easier to determine this.

Issues In Dispute

With personal injury claims, there is generally a clear sign of who was negligent. The driver of the other car may have cleared rear-ended your vehicle causing your injuries. With medical malpractice cases, doctors and hospitals will generally fight very hard to deny any fault. It can also be harder to determine negligence because of the complexity of the medical procedures.

Expert Witnesses

Medical negligence cases require the hiring of multiple expert witnesses to determine negligence. These witnesses will examine the medical records and provide an objective opinion on the case. Expert witnesses are generally not required with personal injury cases and will not cost as must to hire as medical negligence ones.

The Statute Of Limitations

The statute of limitations for personal injury claims will vary depending on the state. The statute of limitation for medical malpractice cases will generally be shorter than personal injury. In most cases, a patient will have one year from the time of injury to file a medical malpractice case while personal injury cases can be filed anywhere from 2 to 5 years after the accident. Of course, the exact times will vary on the case and the state.

What is Wrongful Death?

There are a lot of people who wonder what constitutes a wrongful death. These people will generally be the loved ones of someone who has passed before their time. If you are in this situation, you might want to know what a wrongful death is and whether your loved ones passing constitutes this.

What Is A Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death is when someone is killed or dies as a result of the wrongful actions of another person. What constitutes a wrongful death will vary depending on the state and the Tort Laws which are in place. In most states, the family an individual who has died due to the willful negligence and misconduct of another person will have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Most wrongful death lawsuits will generally follow a criminal trial for the death of the individual. The criminal trial will provide the evidence which is needed to file a wrongful death claim. The benefit of these claims is that the standard of proof will be lower than for a criminal trial. It is important to note that people who are found guilty in a wrongful death lawsuit may not always be convicted of the crime associated with the death.

Who Can File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

If you believe that your loved one passed away due to the actions of someone else, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Most states will allow for the surviving spouse, children and next of kin to file a lawsuit. Other family members may have a harder time proving their claim and you will need to speak with an attorney in these cases.

It is important to note that there are certain states where only minor children are able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. These states believe that adult children do not require the support provided by the claim. Contact The Miami Injury Lawyers if your loved one has passed away due to another person’s reckless behavior.

What is the Definition of a Defective Product?

What Are Defective Products And In What Ways Do They Become Liabilities For Companies?

You often hear about products being recalled due to certain defects. If not recalled in time, those defects can cause accidents and injuries. Those accidents result in personal injury lawsuits, and huge settlements can be awarded. In the case of a product defect, multiple consumers can be involved in regards to filing civil suits. These types of situations are tragic first and foremost, and they are also huge liabilities for companies that drop the ball so to speak.

When you look at personal injury cases involving defective products, you see all kinds of examples. Any product sold on the market can have a defect of some kind, and not all of them are necessarily going to result in personal injury. What exactly is a product defect? To help you better understand the definition, let’s look at a specific personal injury lawsuit regarding a product defect.

There was a case involving a Chevy Malibu with a defective gas tank. The tank was full of gasoline at the time it was involved in an accident, and six people were inside. The original settlement was for $4.9 billion. In this case, the product defect resulted in personal injury to all six plaintiffs.

Products are designed to work or be used as intended, without defects. Consumers trust manufacturers that the products they purchase are going to be safe. A defective product is one thing, but one whose defect can result in injury is a different story. Most often, you will see information about defective products written in legalese.

Companies whose defective products do not pose safety risks are only liabilities to the companies themselves. Consumers return those products for a refund. A product defect that poses safety risks and results in bodily injury, however, falls into the category of products liability. Companies have to watch out for all types of product defects, lest they are held accountable.

Can You Sue For Injury if You Signed a Waiver?

Can You Sue For Injuries If You Have Signed A Waiver?

Liability waivers are not uncommon and you will be asked to sign them in a variety of situations. You may be asked when visiting a theme park or when completing certain activities such as skydiving. However, if you are injured and have signed a waiver, you will need to know if you can still file a lawsuit.

Can You Sue After Signing A Waiver

If you are injured after signing a waiver, you might still be able to sue. This is due to the fact that the law is expansive and will take into account various complications which could make the waiver void. However, if you want to file a lawsuit after signing a waiver, you will need to prove that the liability waiver is invalid.

The Validity Of Liability Waivers

The validity of a liability waiver will vary depending on the state you are in. Most states will have certain criteria that the waiver needs to meet in order to be legally valid. You will have to prove that the waiver does not meet these criteria before you are able to file a lawsuit. Most states call for the waiver to be clear, unambiguous, unequivocal and specific.

This means that the waiver must be written in clear language that allows the person signing it to understand the rights that they are sacrificing. If the language is not clear or could be taken to mean more than one thing, the waiver will be invalid. If the terms of the waiver are at all ambiguous, the waiver will also be invalid.

The waiver will also need to use language to specify the limited liability. The waiver will also need to reflect the terms that are being agreed to. If the waiver is not specific, it could be seen as ambiguous and invalid.

Contact an Experienced Liability Waiver Attorney

If you have been injured and signed a waiver before participating in an event, you should contact an experienced attorney. Contact The Miami Injury Attorneys today for more information.