February 28, 2011
One of the most common personal injuries sustained in motor vehicle accident is to one’s extremities including ankles or wrists. These injuries can be extremely painful and debilitating and may take a long time to heal. Regrettably, insurance companies view these sort of injuries with skepticism.
The fact of the matter is that a muscle strain or sprain does not show up on x-rays the way a broken bone shows up and there are no machines to objectively measure one’s pain level. So, while trained and experienced doctors can notice muscle spasms and deduce pain from observations they make, there are simply no objective way to prove a patient’s painful state of being. Because of this, soft tissue injuries are generally harder to prove in court and to juries; thus, insurance companies’ hard stance on this sort of claims.
If you add the above to the fact that soft tissue injuries, often, do not prevent a patient from going to work or from their day to day activities–they are not handicapped after all just that they perform their job and/or day to day activities with pain–jurors simply have the hardest time believing the victim.
Soft tissue injuries come in many forms. Frayed ligaments torn in a sprain may heal such that they impinge or get caught in the ankle joint. This catching sensation will often cause pain or instability. Premature return to activity after a sprain may allow poor healing of ligaments and result in weakness or instability. Muscles and tendons that stabilize the ankle may be damaged and result in pain, weakness or instability. Nerves that course along the ankle or foot may get stretched severely by an injury or impacted by being landed on during a fall. Symptoms from nerve injury can be widely varied and may radiate or move. They may result in weakness, numbness or pain to the involved ankle or foot.
February 28, 2011
American legal system is based on precedent. Precedent means that which has happened before. Attorneys and judges look to precedent and form decisions based on that.
It simply makes no sense to talk about patenting precedent! Can an attorney hold a patent on a course of action forcing others in the same situation to pay royalties to that attorney if they want to follow the patented course of action. I can understand that a legal maneuver may be very creative and/or novel making the attorney very proud of his or her creativity. A creativity that was paid for by the client who hired them. But to hold a patent on a legal strategy and therefore possibly preventing others to give sound legal advice or properly prosecute or defend a case is simply unacceptable.
And how not being able to give the best advice possible affect attorney’s malpractice insurance?
Imagine, before sitting down with your client to advise her about her legal options, having to consult the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Web site to determine whether someone else already owns the patent to the course of action you want to suggest.
If that’s the case, you’ll have to pay the patent holder so your client can take your advice. But the patent holder also might refuse to sell you the license, limiting your client’s legal options. Then what?
Read the article here.
February 27, 2011
The Drake Hotel
140 East Walton Place
Chicago, IL 60611-1501
March 24, 2011
Admission is FREE!
Did you know…
- Every 70 seconds someone develops Alzheimer’s disease.
- By midcentury Alzheimer’s will strike someone new every 33 seconds.
- By 2025 Illinois will see a 14% increase in the number of people who have Alzheimer’s disease.
- 10 Million US “Baby Boomers” will develop Alzheimer’s Disease in their lifetime
Amir Rafizadeh and Parissa Behnia, 678 Partners, along with Jerry Schain of Schain, Burney Banks and Kenny are co-hosting the March #Cocktails4Causes event to support their cause — Alzheimer’s.
February 26, 2011
“Why wouldn’t she check her food before eating it?” That is the wrong question to ask because by the same token, and as easily, one could say why would McDonald’s not properly check the food it is serving. The logic in that question is simply meaningless. Why would Toyota drivers not have their vehicle inspected bumper to bumper to make sure that the accelerator would not get stuck–it is their fault for having driven a vehicle they failed to properly inspect at the time they purchased it!!
This of course is the logic proffered by the writer.
McDonald’s, and all other business in the business of providing food to consumers, have a duty of reasonable care to make sure the product they place in the stream of the market are safe for their intended use. It is their legal duty to make sure the product they are making is in fact reasonably safe for its intended use. It is their product, they are making it, they are in charge of the procedure by which the product is made, they are in the best position to make sure that their legal duties are met.
While it may be a good habit to systematically inspect the food you are being served at any establishment, not doing so does not alleviate the restaurant’s legal duty to serve you with safe food.
The essence of the article below is that the woman was careless in having failed to notice the piece of glass in her food and the writer finds it odd–although she does not find the failure by McDonald’s to notice the same object as odd!
McDonald’s is under fire after an Illinois woman filed a lawsuit claiming she found a shard of glass in a McDonald’s chicken sandwich. Vjollca Lecaj claims she was eating a spicy McChicken sandwich at the Oak Lawn McDonald’s location in Chicago when she chewed a large shard of glass, which she states was inside the sandwich.
According to an article at CBS News, the lawsuit claims McDonald’s failed to properly inspect the sandwich, restaurant and cooking equipment to prevent injury. Agreeably the restaurant is responsible for the upkeep of equipment, and the inspection of the food being prepared, but it seems odd that a “large shard of glass” could be overlooked by everyone who handled this woman’s food.
Lecaj is seeking more than $600,000 in damages from McDonald’s, citing extreme pain and anguish, and product liability and negligence. While no one knows what really happened in this situation, but why wouldn’t you check your food prior to eating it? It is true the restaurant should make sure the food is safe, but why would anyone place their safety solely in the hands of someone else — especially with all the creepy stuff which has been known to happen with restaurant food.
February 25, 2011
A partner of mine once said something to the effect that an insurance policy is only a promise to litigate at a later date. Despite their advertising claims, insurance companies are not in the business of paying out claims. They are in the business of collecting premiums and then pay out only if there cannot find any reason why not pay a claim. That is where knowing your insurance policy and its content becomes very important.
I came upon these helpful tips about things you can do to possibly help your claim being processed smoothly.
1. Read and understand your policy. Reading your policy will allow you to get many of your questions answered in the correct manner. It will also make you ready ahead of time for things that can potentially happen to your claim. Like someone put it before ‘reading and understanding the policy is half way in getting your claim paid in timely manner.’
2. Report the accident to your insurance company. If you have an independent agent make sure you also report it to your agent and company. Failure to report the accident in timely manner may lead to delay in processing your claim.
3. If you have physical damage claim, make sure to communicate with the claim department of your company in an official manner. Make sure to document your calls with time and date and name of the person you talked to. Faxes and email can be little more effective than mere verbal communications because you have the proof with date and time that you responded to the company’s inquiries.
February 24, 2011
I know of at least two of my friends who are about to be new parents (one of which may already have become parents by the time this post gets published) and I came across the article below which is worth reading.
Right now, parents should only use cribs that meet current standards. That includes cribs with no drop sides, which have been banned by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. So, parents have to be particularly careful with hand-me-down cribs, Smith said.
Smith also advises that when putting the baby in the crib be sure there is no bedding, stuffed toys or bumpers in the crib. “All these products have been associated with suffocation deaths,” he said. “Young infants need to be placed in a crib that’s bare, just the child and the crib,” he said. “Just dress the child warmly in a sleeper and place him into a bare crib.”
“Despite these findings, cribs are still the safest sleeping environment for infants and young babies,” Smith added. Having the baby sleep with the parents increases the risk of suffocation, he noted. Amy Chezem, a spokeswomen for the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, said that “each year hundreds of deaths occur when children are placed in a sleep environment that is not specifically designed for children. The safest place for a child is in a fully functional, properly assembled crib.”
February 23, 2011
“It is not what you know, but what you can prove”, said Denzel Washington in the movie Training Day to his rookie partner (Ethan Hawke). Washington played the role of a corrupt cop who, under the cover of police work, was involved in various criminal activities. The rookie decided to report him, but upon Washington’s suggestion about what he was hoping to prove, and having made an inventory of the evidence he had, he realized that he simply could not prove any of the criminal activities of which he was aware.
Those involved in soft tissue injury claims against insurance companies find themselves in the same position as The Rookie did. They know they are injured, they know the injuries resulted from the incident in which the other party was negligent, they know they are hurting, but that is all they know. Proving that which they know can be a daunting and eye opening experience about a justice system where some judges see themselves as bureaucrats in charge of ramming cases through the system, jurors who are full of prejudice against the victims, and insurance companies who know all this and cannot wait to profit from the system.
Even with all this, insurance companies own internal analysis has shown that a personal injury victim will end up with a larger compensation if he or she were to hire an attorney–and that is after having to pay attorney fees.
A new client recently brought in an insurance company pamphlet about soft-tissue injuries of the neck and back. It says the information is provided by “your” physician and the B.C. Medical Association to promote better health in B.C. But it is a propaganda tool funded by the insurance industry.
In the quick facts section, the pamphlet includes the words: “serious injuries, such as fractures,” suggesting that non-fracture injuries are less serious. When you add the fact that the pain from non-fracture injuries cannot be independently verified, and those hiring a lawyer in their struggle for compensation are often perceived to be trying to milk the system, the insurance company starts out holding the best cards.
February 20, 2011
“The House has constantly fought for reforms that improve our state’s business climate and helps the private sector to create more jobs. Maintaining our low-tax, pro-business and competitive climate is key to our state’s economic recovery.
“Businesses in South Carolina – especially small businesses – are too often one frivolous lawsuit away from being put out of business. Our goal with this Tort Reform bill is to bring fair balance to our system, lower the cost of doing business and make our state more competitive while still protecting our citizens from wrongdoing.
“Under these lawsuit abuse reform provisions, businesses will be able to operate and grow without the constant threat of costly frivolous lawsuits or overly inflated settlements hanging over them. This fairly balanced system will protect our state’s citizens, greatly benefit existing businesses and will make our state more attractive to new businesses.
Did you catch that? I suggest you count the number of times the word “business” is used versus number of times the word “citizen” and you will find out what it is meant by “fair balance”…
Fair balance means a system where a business may conduct itself in any way it wants, with no regulation and/or supervision. And if it turns out that the practices of a business ends up causing harm to the people, the people’s recovery should not be that which is determined by the American Civil System of Justice–but by the legislature which tells you the citizens/jurors that once you have seen, heard, and evaluated all the facts and have come up with a fair verdict, it can be simply set aside and reduced to a lower amount. So why do we have juries? So why do we have a civil justice system? Why not simply place the beloved business in charge of determining how much it wants to pay for damages it has caused… Now that would be the way to love a business!