In personal injury law, establishing the reasonable value of medical care is an important factor in determining how much will actually be paid. seat buckleIn the recent Indiana Supreme Court case of Patchett v. Lee, the court was asked to determine whether discounted reimbursements negotiated between a plaintiff’s medical provider and their private health insurer could be considered in court, as long as the actual insurance isn’t noted. The court had previously held in 2009 that such information was worthy and relevant to measure the reasonable value of the medical care the plaintiff received. The specific issue in Patchett was whether this thinking was equally applicable to discounted reimbursements from government-backed insurers. The court held that it was.

According to court records, the defendant didn’t deny she negligently drove her vehicle into oncoming traffic one day four years ago. In so doing, she struck the plaintiff’s vehicle, causing injuries to the plaintiff that necessitated medical treatment. The defendant admitted she was responsible for the collision and generally agreed the plaintiff received medical treatment that was necessary for her crash-related injuries.

That meant the only issue here was the reasonable value of the plaintiff’s medical care. The ensuing trial was solely a matter of damages.

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When it comes to damages in any personal injury lawsuit, one of the most important items is medical bills. It may seem straightforward, but the issue becomes tricky when we consider that not all patients are billed the same way for the same services. doctor

In most states, hospital chargemasters follow complex systems that vary considerably. Managed care organizations will often restrict payments for the services of members, leading to an increase in prices for uninsured patients, who don’t benefit from a provider’s contracts with the plans that negotiate rate differentials. Back in the 1960s, everyone paid the same rate. Not so anymore. For example, a family could be stuck paying a $40,000 hospital bill over the course of a decade, while Medicaid reimburses just $6,000 for that same procedure. Commercial insurers might offer something in between.

So then the question, as outlined in the recent case of Moore v. Mercer, is whether defendants should have to pay more or less, based on the type of insurance the plaintiff has. Is it fair that two defendants liable for the same negligent act pay two vastly different prices? The California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, delved into this issue in the Moore case.

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There are many hazards on a construction site. Financial recovery options for resulting injuries may not be nearly so numerous. It’s important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you identify your legal options and determine a good course of action. electric wires

In the recent case of Khosh v. Staples Construction Co., weighed by the California Court of Appeals, Second Appellate District, Division Six, the question was whether a trial court correctly granted summary judgment against an injured employee who reportedly failed to present evidence that the defendant affirmatively contributed to his injuries. The court noted that generally speaking, independent contractors can’t recover tort damages for work-related injuries from the contractor’s hirer. There are some exceptions to this rule, but the court determined those don’t apply here.

According to court records, California State University hired a construction company to install a backup electrical system at the university. The construction company hired a subcontractor called DK Electrical Systems for the high-voltage work. In turn, DK hired a company called Myers Power Products to work as its subcontractor for the construction and installation of electrical switchgear for the system. The plaintiff was employed by Myers’ subcontractor.

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An 83-year-old woman was recently awarded $550,000 by a jury in New York for injuries she sustained in a parking garage trip-and-fall back in 2013. parking garage

According to the Democrat & Chronicle, the fall occurred in a hospital parking garage at dawn, when she arrived early to undergo surgery for cancer. She was assisting her daughter, who uses a wheelchair, in getting out of the vehicle. She tripped on a cement parking stop that had been placed inside a pedestrian walkway next to the handicapped parking stall. Those cement stops were the same color as the floor in the parking garage, and the lighting, according to the plaintiff’s lawyer, was “grossly inadequate.”

The plaintiff fell as a result and suffered a fractured shoulder. A significant issue in this case was the fact that the hospital was unable to provide records of maintenance or inspection for the area where the plaintiff had fallen. As an invitee to the property, she was owed the highest duty of care by the property owner and site manager. That means not only would the hospital need to keep up with regular maintenance, promptly address any hazards, and warn about those that are not immediately remedied, but also staffers must regularly inspect areas used by patients and visitors for possible dangers. The hospital’s inability to prove that it did this was central to the plaintiff’s case.

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Tours of haunted houses are supposed to be thrilling. Being shocked by gory scenes or spooky apparitions is all part of the experience. But these experiences aren’t supposed to cause real danger. When they do, and someone is injured, the operators and promoters of the haunted house may face legal liability in real life.spooky

That’s what happened to a Michigan woman who suffered serious injuries in 2014. According to The Oakland Press, the plaintiff was knocked to the ground when a moving wall suddenly knocked her down in a poorly lit aisle. As a result of her fall, the plaintiff suffered severe fractures to her leg, as well as a soft tissue injury to her back and spine, lacerations, and bruising.

A personal injury lawsuit she filed against the company was recently settled for $125,000. The owner of the operation declined to comment, except to release a brief statement insisting the operation is safe and has been in business for many years.

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Animal owners owe a responsibility, not just to the animal but to society in general, to keep the animal safely secured so they are not a hazard to themselves or others. The degree to which this is necessary will depend on the specific breed, size, and temperament of the animal.Horse in road

In many cases, North Carolina law does not always require those injured by improperly secured animals to prove the owner had any knowledge of the creature’s previous viciousness or propensity to cause harm. In some instances, a strict liability standard may be applied. That means owners are strictly liable for the damage or injuries their pets or livestock cause. In other cases (such as dog bites or dog-related injuries, per N.C.G.S. Chapter 67), actual negligence may need to be shown by proving the owner had knowledge their dog was a “dangerous dog.”

Recently, the North Carolina Court of Appeals weighed whether the owner of a horse should have to face a trial in a civil lawsuit filed by a woman who was seriously injured when the defendant’s horse wandered into the road in front of the car in which the plaintiff was a front-seat passenger. The impact killed the horse and caused serious injuries to the plaintiff. The issue in Peoples v. Tuck was whether the defendant could be liable for a failure to exercise reasonable care in hitching his horse in front of his sister’s home and leaving the horse unattended in a non-fenced area.

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When it comes to personal injury lawsuit verdicts, courts have consistently held that plaintiffs should not expect to obtain double recovery. For example, if a health insurance company pays for a portion of the damages, it is the insurer – rather than the insured – who would be entitled to reclaim those funds. However, the collateral source rule provides that compensation an injured person receives from a source other than the tortfeasor is not going to reduce the amount of damages the tortfeasor has to pay. pregnant woman

The idea is that independent source payments aren’t going to allow a defendant to be “off the hook” for those damages.

In the recent case of Simms v. U.S., the plaintiff in this wrongful birth/medical malpractice lawsuit sought damages from a federally supported prenatal care provider for failing to inform her in a timely manner about the fact that her child would be born with severe congenital abnormalities. The defendant knew based on an ultrasound conducted at 18 weeks that the fetus was abnormal, but this information was not relayed to the plaintiff for a full three months. By that time, it was too late under state law to undergo an abortion because she was well into her third trimester.

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Although Florida is more known for its booming cruise travel industry, South Carolina has its own, primarily in Charleston.Cruise Ship Docked

For those who are injured on a cruise ship, there are a few things you must understand. The first is that, even though these ships dock at a South Carolina port, they are not South Carolina businesses. Most are based in the Bahamas. Also, most injuries associated with cruise lines happen at sea. That matters because state courts usually don’t have personal or subject matter jurisdiction in these cases, which means any injury lawsuits typically have to be filed in federal court. In fact, most cruise lines will stipulate that any injury claims have to be filed in a federal district court.

Another element to consider is that while most personal injury lawsuits in South Carolina are bound by a three-year statute of limitations, most cruise injury lawsuits have to be filed within one year. That’s not even maritime law but the agreement to which passengers agree when they purchase a ticket and board the ship. This stipulation is included in the fine print of the ticket, and courts have upheld it as valid. This means that cruise ship injury plaintiffs have to act quickly.

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The state supreme court in Washington has imposed more stringent time limits on certain wrongful death lawsuits. In a 5-4 ruling in the case of Deggs v. Asbestos Corp., the justices ruled a wrongful death lawsuit cannot move forward if the statute of limitations has already run on the decedent’s own cause of action by the time of his or her death. Asbestos Dust Hazard

The majority in this instance rejected the plaintiff’s assertion that the heirs’ cause of action for wrongful death can’t arise until after the decedent dies.

According to court records, the decedent filed a lawsuit in 1999 against nearly 40 defendants for negligence regarding injuries arising from exposure to asbestos. He settled with a number of those defendants, and some others were dismissed. He ultimately went to trial with the last defendant remaining and secured a judgment in excess of $1.5 million. He died nine years later at the age of 84.

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Motor vehicle accidents are the No. 1 cause of death among children in the U.S. More than 600 children under the age of 12 died, and more than 121,000 were injured in 2014, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Especially concerning is the fact that CDC research showed that in a single year, nearly 620,000 kids from infant to age 12 rode in vehicles without the use of either a child safety seat, a booster seat, or a seat belt “at least some of the time.” A third of the children who died in motor vehicle crashes weren’t buckled up at all.seat belt

Children are among the most vulnerable people on the road, and it’s imperative that parents, loved ones, and caregivers take car seat/restraint recommendations and guidelines seriously. That means:

  • Children need to be in the right size and type of car seat for their age and size;
  • The car seat needs to be installed correctly; and
  • The car seat needs to be registered so that parents and caregivers can be notified of possible recalls.

Now, a recent analysis by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that booster seat use among children between the ages of four and seven (the intended age group for this particular kind of restraint) is down.

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