Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Medicare Liens

When a person is injured and they have Medicare coverage it can make for a difficult situation. That is because Medicare is entitled to be reimbursed for any expenses it paid for the medical expenses of someone who is injured and is covered by Medicare. The problem with is that Medicare often tries to claim that it is entitled to far more expenses than it ever actually paid for an injury. Often times when somebody is injured they may have other health problems as well that are not related to the injury, and continue to treat these problems along with their injury. It seems common for Medicare to then try to claim that it should be reimbursed for all medical treatment given to the person at a certain time even if it is not related to their injury. Medicare has no right to do this, and is only allowed to be reimbursed for the medical expenses incurred as a direct result from an accident or injury. However, Medicare will still make these claims, and then these claims must be disputed. It is a long arduous process disputing these claims with Medicare because of the size of this agency, and the long slow process you must go through. Although negotiating the lien amount with Medicare is a difficult and very time consuming process, at Reed & Mansfield we will go through this process, and make every effort to keep the lien as small as possible so that our clients can ultimately get more money from their case.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Why trying to handle a car accident case by yourself is not a good idea

It seems like more people are trying to handle car accident cases on their own because they think that they can get the same result that a lawyer can. Well this is a big mistake for several reasons.
The first reason is that many people severely underestimate how much is actually involved when negotiating a settlement with an insurance company stemming from a car accident. When you negotiate one of these cases with an insurance adjustor you need to be able to present your case properly, and with the constant threat that you will bring a credible lawsuit if a decent settlement is not reached. Without an attorney an insurance adjustor may offer you something out of the fear that you will come back with an attorney and be able to present a credible case. However, the insurance company will offer you a much lower settlement amount than if you had an attorney. I have spoken to people who have taken what the insurance companies have offered in these kinds of situations when they did not get an attorney, and the amount offered by the insurance company is a mere fraction of what they would have been able to get if they had an attorney represent them. The ironic thing is that people actually think they are saving money by not getting an attorney, and giving up a percentage of their settlement to an attorney. What they don't realize is that they would actually end up with more money in their own pocket if they hired an attorney because the much higher settlement, or award if a lawsuit is filed, that an attorney would be able to get in the end will net the person significantly more money even after the attorney's fees are taken out of the settlement.
This is true considering that most attorney's take a 1/3 contingency fee for a car accident case. However, this is especially true when a client comes to us because we will only take a 25% fee for a car accident case where the police report states that the other driver is fault. This 25% does not go up if we file a lawsuit either.
Overall, when an insurance company deals with someone without an attorney they know that they will have to pay much less than if the person has an attorney or even nothing at all. They also know that the person will be stuck with whatever they offer because if that person ever tried to file a lawsuit on their own, the insurance company knows that they will almost certainly lose. Filing a lawsuit, any lawsuit, is a complex process that a non-attorney should never try on their own. When a lawsuit is filed there are so many procedures and rules that have to be followed correctly that someone without the proper legal training would not be able to follow these properly and have the lawsuit dismissed on technical grounds.I suspect that some people watch t.v. and think that the court cases they see on t.v. where witnesses are presented at the day of trial, and everything is slapped together at the last minute are an accurate representation of how real lawsuits are handled. Well nothing can be further from the truth. Most of an attorney's time when litigating a case is just preparing the case, and gathering and presenting evidence properly. For each hour an attorney will spend in a Court arguing a case, at least several more hours are spent preparing the case properly. All the while all the rules and proper procedures must be followed strictly. Someone who thinks that they can just stand up before a judge or arbitrator, and make a pretty speech and win a case will be in for a quite a shock.
On the other hand if a person has an attorney and the insurance company is not offering a fair settlement then the attorney can just file a lawsuit, and often times get much more money in the end than what was offered by the insurance company. For someone without an attorney this is almost certain to not be the case. Therefore, there is really no good reason not to get an attorney, and getting an attorney will almost certainly get you more money in the end. This is especially true if someone comes to our law firm, The law firm of Reed & Mansfield, with our 25% contingency fee for auto accident cases where the other driver is found to be at fault.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Daily Herald Article

Elmhurst to pay $4.16 million in personal injury suit

By Daily Herald Report
A DuPage County jury on Friday found that the city is liable in the Nov. 12, 2009, accident in which Joshua Jaeger was hurt.
Jaeger was injured while on a city forklift platform that fell from 16 feet in the air. Jaeger was at the city’s public works garage, 985 S. Riverside, to provide an estimate for a broken garage door. Due to the fall, Jaeger said he fractured his leg and injured his back, according to his lawyer Joshua Weisberg of Rapoport Law Offices, P.C.
According to Jaeger’s lawyer, the jury on Friday awarded the plaintiff $1.86 million for lost earning capacity, $1.3 million for pain and suffering and $1 million for loss of a normal life.
Weisberg said the verdict is a DuPage County record for a nonmedical malpractice personal injury verdict 

This article from the Daily Herald touches on an interesting issue. That is one of sovereign immunity. Some local city and state governments have made themselves immune from lawsuits so that they can't be sued. However, it seems clear that the City of Elmhurst has no such immunity. That is why it is always important to check to see if a local government or state government has made itself immune from a lawsuit if you were injured from the result of some government action or where the government was involved in some manner. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

What should you do right after a car accident that will help your case?

Of course the first thing you should do after a car accident is make sure that everyone gets the medical attention they need and if anyone needs an ambulance making sure that one is called. Then you want to call the police. After that you some things you can do that could help you build a case if it is necessary is to take as many pictures of the accident scene as you can. Now of course if you are seriously hurt you may not be able to, so you may want to have a passenger do this if they are not injured as badly as you. The same thing applies if your passenger is severely injured and they can't move, then you should take all the pictures. Also, just as important is to try get the names and contact information of any witnesses at the scene of the accident. The next step is to call your insurance company and report the accident. Finally you want to call an experienced personal injury attorney.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Interesting article on small cars from Nasdaq


Is your car too small to be safe?

Posted 10/4/2012 8:59 AM by Matt Brownell from Insure.com in Personal Finance, Insurance
0 comments | Don't like it
New data suggest that the biggest menaces on the road aren't oversized SUVs, but tiny cars like the Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent. Several small cars are among the 10 makes and models found to be the most dangerous to other drivers on the road, but the data may not be as disturbing to small-car owners as it initially appears.
The new data come from "Insurance losses by make and model," a new report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute. The institutes analyzed claims data for model years 2009 through 2011 to determine which cars are involved in the most insurance claims.
Categories considered by the organizations include personal injury protection (injury to drivers and their passengers), bodily injury liability (injuries to other cars' drivers and their passengers) and collisions. Models were ranked by how frequently they were involved in such claims.

Sports car stats hide the truth

As one might expect, many of the cars with the lowest rates of personal injury claims are large vehicles like the Chevy Silverado and the Land Rover Range Rover, which presumably provide good protection to drivers and passengers in the event of a crash.
But less easily explained are the two cars with the lowest rates of personal injury claims. Drivers of the Porsche 911 are 68 percent less likely than average to have a personal injury claim. Drivers of the Chevrolet Corvette are 62 percent less likely.
Such midsized cars are comparatively smaller than the hulking pickups and SUVs that populate the rest of the list, so it's unlikely that they would provide even greater protection in crashes. And it's also hard to believe that people driving sports cars are more careful drivers than the general population. If anything, you'd expect them to drive faster than the average car owner.
Indeed, the presence of pricey sports cars at the top of the "low injury claims" list seems to be yet another statistical oddity owing to the unusual usage patterns of such vehicles.
"We measure claim counts over insured vehicle years," explains Matt Moore, vice president of the Highway Loss Data Institute. "But if you think about trophy car like Corvettes, they tend to be owned by people with multiple vehicles, and they tend to be garaged more often."
So personal injury claims per vehicle are relatively low for sports cars, but not because those cars are safer in a crash or because their operators are safe drivers. Rather, they simply spend a lot less time on the road. Sorry speedsters, you don't really have a safer car going for you.
The Chevy Silverado 2500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee rank among safest to their own drivers and passengers. (The vehicles with the lowest level of PIP claims are the Porsche 911 2-door and Chevrolet Corvette 2-door. The Porsche, for example, is 68 percent less likely to have a PIP claim than the average vehicle. Isn't that odd? See sidebar at left .) The rest of the top 10 also are larger cars.
By contrast, the Toyota Yaris, Suzuki SX4, Chevrolet Aveo and other small or mini sized cars the bulk of the top 10 list of vehicles with the most claims for personal injury claims.
So word to the wise: The bigger the car, the less likely you are to get injured while driving it.
"The smaller the vehicle you're in, the more likely you are to hit something larger than you," explains Matt Moore, vice president of the Highway Loss Data Institute. "And if you do, you're more likely to be injured."

More trouble with small cars

What's not easily explained, though, is that smaller cars (like the Rio and Accent) likewise dominate the "bodily injury liability" category. Seven of the 10 models with the highest likelihood of causing injury to passengers in another vehicle are small or mini sized.
So if the smaller car in a collision is more likely to get the worst of things, why do the data suggest the opposite -- that you're sometimes more likely to hurt someone when you're behind the wheel of a little car?
One possibility is simply that people are using smaller cars differently than they do larger ones. For instance, people may tend to drive faster in small cars. Or, it may be the drivers themselves: Small cars tend to be chosen by younger, inexperienced drivers who will have high crash rates no matter what car they're in.
Moore suggests another possibility: "Bodily injury pays for injuries caused to pedestrians as well as [people in] vehicles," he notes. "The smaller the car is, the more likely the vehicle is owned and operated in an urban area."
And in urban areas, you're more likely to be dealing with pedestrians. Compare car insurance rates for urban and rural areas, and you'll likely see this increased danger reflected in the premiums (among other urban risk factors).
One thing is for sure: The cars most likely to do damage to someone else's vehicle or property tend to be larger pickups and SUVs, as you might expect. They have the highest levels of property damage liability claims. The top offenders are the Dodge Ram, Chevrolet Tahoe and Toyota Tundra.

The worst cars for Personal Injury Protection  claims

2009-2011 models with the highest claim frequencies for personal injury protection:
Toyota Yaris, mini four-door car: 201
Suzuki SX4, small four-door car: 187
Chevrolet Aveo, mini four-door car: 183
Mitsubishi Galant, midsize four-door car: 179
Kia Rio Mini, four-door car: 175
Hyundai Accent, mini four-door car: 173
Nissan Versa, small four-door car: 173
Dodge Avenger, midsize four-door car: 167
Nissan Sentra, small four-door car: 162
Chevrolet Aveo, mini station wagons/minivan: 157
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

Read more: http://community.nasdaq.com/News/2012-10/is-your-car-too-small-to-be-

This article just shows that drivers of all different types of vehicles are likely to cause an accident. It also shows that just because someone is hit by a smaller car in a vehicle collision doesn't mean they won't suffer serious injuries. 


Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Slip and fall cases are one of the most difficult types of cases to handle. This is because there is some skepticism about slip and fall cases with the public. It also difficult to prove how the business is at fault in a slip and fall case. Often times somebody will slip on some spilled water on the floor or some food left on the floor. These things are usually left there by other customers, so it is very difficult to show that the business is at fault for these accidents. One way to establish fault is to show that the food or water has been left there for a long time. It can be difficult to gather evidence showing this but there are a couple of ways such as witness statements or other means. Another way is if the business itself is responsible for leaving the substance on the floor. It is much easier to establish fault in these circumstances, and as a result these cases are more likely to end with a bigger settlement or prevail at trial. So it is important to keep in mind that every time someone slips and falls at a business there is not automatically a valid claim against the business. However, a case can often be made with a strong showing of evidence. Because of the difficulty of these cases it is important to have an experienced attorney handle the case. Our firm has extensive experience handling slip and fall cases right here in Las Vegas.