September 28, 2011
The Insurance Industry has consistently either directly or through proxies such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce provided half truths and untruths about the reason(s) for high premiums for malpractice insurance. All this while studies show that neither lawsuits nor verdicts have influenced high premiums. Instead, it is the Insurance Industry’s greed that has lead to these high premiums for the doctors.
At a news conference this afternoon, the N.C. Academy of Trial Lawyers called on state Insurance Commissioner Jim Long to conduct a hearing into rates charged by Medical Mutual Insurance Co. of North Carolina, which insures about 6,300 doctors statewide.
“It appears to us that they have crossed the legal threshold for having an excessive rate,” said Dick Taylor, the academy’s CEO. The academy argues that excessive rates are barred by state law.
For more than five years, the trial lawyers have engaged in a campaign to convince the public — and doctors, too — that the insurance companies, not malpractice lawsuits, are behind the rising cost of malpractice insurance. But until now the group hadn’t questioned the legality of medical malpractice rates or asked the insurance commissioner to step in.
In 2007 the trial lawyers unveiled an analysis by Jay Angoff, a lawyer and former insurance commissioner in Missouri, of Medical Mutual’s financial condition and performance from 2001 to 2006. The study was based on data submitted to the state Department of Insurance.
Angoff said the amount of claims paid by Medical Mutual has been “very stable” from year to year “while premiums have gone way up.”
September 26, 2011
After an injury either resulting from the negligent act of another person, or on a job injury, or resulting from a careless medical provider, the most important decision to make is deciding on who will represent your interests against the insurance companies who vehemently will protect their insured and their own pocket book.
There are many places to start–most local Bar Associations have a lawyer Referral Service. In Chicago, the Chicago Bar Association‘s Lawyer Referral Service is well known and well established. The way it works is that after having contacted the CBA they will put you in touch with an attorney practicing personal injury law. You then contact that attorney and find out whether the proposed attorney is a good fit to take on your case.
Other methods are looking for attorneys online. There are a plethora of online lawyer referral services. It is important that you do not get discouraged by the number of proposed attorneys in any given area. It takes a few hours of good research to find the attorney with whom you feel most comfortable and who has the experience and credentials to put you at ease and be assured that your case will be properly prosecuted.
In that process, it is important that you look at the attorney’s background, the list of his or her achievements and verdicts/settlement obtained in other similar cases–bearing in mind that legal cases are heavily fact oriented and so past result can never be indicated of future results, but they can provide a glimpse into the extent of the attorneys dedication to his work.
It is also important to personally interview the attorney. Ask all relevant questions, ask follow up questions so as to become comfortable with the attorney and the way he or she communicates wit you. These personal consultations are generally free and you do not have any obligation to sign anything at then end of that consultation if you are not convinced that the attorney you are talking to is not the One.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of personal injury in Chicago or the surrounding area, contact or call us at 312-252-5252 for a free no obligation consultation to discuss your legal options.
September 20, 2011
If you have had the misfortune to be involved in a car accident, and you do not believe the accident was your fault, then there are things that re recommended to take into account when you decide about what to do next.
First, assess whether you are injured. If you are in pain, and you were not in pain before the car accident, then most people would consider it reasonable to go to a medical provider and have yourself examined by a doctor to assess the seriousness of your injuries. It is important that you tell the doctors about all your personal injuries honestly and thoroughly. Everything from current personal injuries and possible previous medical conditions and other injuries that may have been made worse by the car accident is recommended to be mentioned to the doctor. It is important to have very clear record of your injuries and the condition of your health reflected into the medical records.
Second, document the event. Make sure a police report is made of the auto accident where the names of all involved is reflected, including any and all witnesses. Almost all insurance companies require that a police report be presented to them when an insurance claim for personal injuries or property damage is made.
You then need to decide whether you want to pursue the claim yourself or engage the services of a Chicago personal injury attorney to provide you with legal help in getting your claim adjusted. the Insurance Research Council (IRC), did a comprehensive study comparing the value of settlements people received for the same injury when they were represented by an attorney versus when they did not have a lawyer. The IRC is a division of the American Institute for CPCU and the Insurance Institute of America. It is funded by the big insurance companies.
The IRC determined that people who were represented by an attorney received almost three and one-half times more, even after the attorney’s fees were paid.
This followed on the 2003 IRC internal document [Auto Injury Insurance Claims: Countrywide Patterns in Treatment, Cost, and Compensation Malvern, PA: December 2003] to its member insurance companies. On page 112, the IRC’s data showed the vast majority of dollars paid out to bodily injury claims are paid out to claimants who retain attorneys. Injured people with representation (less than 1/2 of claimants) received 79% of all liability payouts.
Based on the Insurance Industry’s own research a person who has been involved in an incident where she has sustained personal injuries, stands to get a better compensation were she to hire a personal injury attorney/lawyer to work for her than otherwise try to do it herself and deal with the insurance adjuster’s shenanigans herself.
September 15, 2011
Mary Lacy, 49, of Lynwood, was involved in a truck accident and died instantly Friday afternoon when her SUV was hit head-on by a semi truck on Illinois 394 just north of Glenwood-Dyer Road.
Her friends and family were planning on celebrating her birthday in coming days.
Lacy was traveling in the southbound lanes near Glenwood-Dyer Road in her Ford Explorer about 4:55 p.m. when the northbound truck suddenly veered across the grassy median and hit her SUV.
At this point it is not clear why the truck veered off road and collided with the SUV in the opposite lane of traffic.
May such truck accidents occur as the result of operator error resulting from fatigue, drug and alcohol abuse, illnesses and other such reasons. Or, they can be the result of equipment failure.
Wrongful death events resulting from truck accidents occur in a split second and that split second changes many lives: the direct victim of the truck accident, spouses, children, friends and all those who knew the victim.
All who are concerned will have to wait for the result of the ensuing investigation to find out the reason for this tragic event and whether or not it was one that could have been avoided.
September 13, 2011
Waste Management employee Lemuel Gonzalez was crushed Nov. 9, 2010, while attempting to empty a garbage dumpster into the back of a garbage truck, according to the suit filed in Cook County Circuit Court.
Gonzalez, 42, was killed at the Veolia Environmental Services Landfill in Zion. He was a truck driver for 21 years and was killed when a cable snapped and he was trapped between two dumpsters. A fellow worker freed him and called rescue workers.
The suit claims, among other things, the designers installed an accessory without a proper mechanism.