Do You Have Attention Seekers Or Charlatans Committing Workers’ Compensation Fraud?

Posted by on Nov 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Do You Have Attention Seekers Or Charlatans Committing Workers’ Compensation Fraud?

It is estimated that in addition to the billions of dollars of legitimate workers’ compensation claims that are paid each year, there are approximately $7.2 billion dollars paid out each year in fraudulent claims. This makes workers’ compensation one of the fastest growing segments of insurance fraud. Fortunately, not every employee who files a claim is committing fraud. Differentiating between the employees who are and who are not committing workers compensation fraud is not as difficult as you think. Those who are committing fraud will usually fall in one of two basic categories.  The Attention Seekers – These are those employees who have found ways to get attention by filing workers’ compensation claims. They often report injuries that did not take place at work, and may file multiple claims compared to other employees. When attempting to identify the attention seekers you may want to look for the following clues:  They often report injuries that occur unseen by any other employees Injuries occur in remote areas of your company that are not covered by a camera Their injuries are often not reported immediately after they occur Injuries may be reported following leave days, holidays, vacations, or other time away from work The attention seeker will often require you to spend money on claims and expenses that should not have been filed to begin with. They will take time, attention, and benefits away from the employees who rightfully deserve them. They will require you to launch more in depth investigations into their claims, which may cost you more upfront money, but will save you money in the long run.  The Charlatan – The charlatan is the employee who has actually been injured on the job, but who pretends that their injury is more severe to get more benefits than they are entitled to. These employees are often your malingers. You can usually recognize them by the following symptoms: These employees are often non-compliant with their treatment plans by either cancelling, or failing to show up for scheduled doctors appointments or therapy Medical providers often have difficulty finding the source of all of their symptoms Their symptoms appear to be more severe than expected for the type of injury they incurred This employee often doctor shops, or seeks multiple medical opinions in an attempt to find a doctor that will agree they are disabled Their injury keeps them out of work much longer than other employees with similar injuries They are often unwilling to return to work when the medical providers deem them to be ready to do so This employee is often more difficult to discern because they do have a legitimate injury. Fortunately, further investigation will often reveal them participating in activities that they should not be able to participate in based on their reported condition.  In your investigation of their claims, look for: Multiple injury claims filed with you, or other employers if they have not been with your company for a long period of time Secondary employment during the time they are drawing workers compensation benefits with you Social media posts showing them engaged in activities outside of their doctor’s recommendations Verbal reports from co-workers, friends, and neighbors about outside activities that are not consistent with their restrictions Once you have identified a case that you suspect is...

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Wrongful Death Lawsuit: Frequently Asked Questions

Posted by on Oct 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Wrongful Death Lawsuit: Frequently Asked Questions

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 130,000 Americans lose their life due to an accident or unintentional injury each year. If you’ve recently lost a loved one due to an accident that was caused by carelessness or negligence, you might be considering filing a wrongful death suit. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit can be intimidating, and chances are you will have many questions moving forward. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions associated with wrongful death lawsuits: What Exactly Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit? A lawsuit is classified as a “wrongful death” case when the victim dies from another person’s negligence or an accident caused by another individual. In addition, if the death was intentional and not the result of another individual’s carelessness, this can also be classified as a wrongful death case. For example, if your loved one dies in a car accident that was caused by the carelessness of the other driver, this could be considered a wrongful death case. A malpractice suit brought against a negligent doctor or other medical professional can also be a wrongful death suit. If you’ve recently lost a loved one and aren’t sure whether or not you have a wrongful death case, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney. Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit? The laws concerning who can file a wrongful death lawsuit vary by state. However, in most cases, the victim’s spouse is the first individual who is entitled to file a wrongful death suit. If the spouse is deceased or the victim was unmarried, their children are the next individuals who are able to file a suit. If there are no children or the victim wasn’t married at the time of their death, the victim’s parents are able to file a suit. Finally, if there isn’t a spouse, children or parents, then other family members or the executor of the deceased’s estate can file a suit. Once again, the laws determining who is able to file a wrongful death suit vary from state to state. Contacting an attorney to learn about the specifics in your case is the best way to determine who is able to file a wrongful death suit. Will I Have To Go To Court? If you’re hesitant about filing a wrongful death lawsuit, one of the biggest reasons might be your reluctance to go to court. In many cases, the suit is settled outside of a courtroom, meaning you won’t need to go before a judge or deal with the cost and stress associated with a long, drawn out trial. However, be aware that there is still a chance you will need to go to court. This is why it is vital you have an attorney on your side you can help you navigate through the murky waters of your wrongful death suit. Where Do I Begin? Whether your loved one’s death was caused by a careless driver or a negligent physician, it is vital that your first step must be to hire an attorney. In addition to helping determine if you have a case, an attorney can ensure that every detail is handled correctly. For example, if your loved one perished in an automobile accident, gathering evidence from a crime scene and interviewing witnesses in...

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Prescription Medication Errors And Wrongful Death: Reducing Your Risk While Preserving Evidence Just In Case

Posted by on Sep 25, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Prescription Medication Errors And Wrongful Death: Reducing Your Risk While Preserving Evidence Just In Case

While prescription medications can be beneficial, they can also be dangerous if dispensed or used improperly. With over 100,000 deaths a year due to adverse reactions to medication, it’s no surprise that there are wrongful death suits associated with prescription medications. Doctors and pharmacists are human, making them vulnerable to making mistakes. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you get a prescription to protect yourself and to ensure necessary evidence in the event of a problem. Keep Your Medication List Up to Date Create a list of the medications that you’re taking, including dosage information, what the medication is for and who prescribed it to you. If you take any over-the-counter supplements or medications, include those on your list too. You’d be surprised at how many prescription medications can have negative interactions with over-the-counter medications and supplements. Bring a copy of the list to your physician every time it changes, and keep a copy with you when you go to the pharmacy. The information is essential for your doctor or pharmacist to identify any potential conflicts between medications. Providing this record to the pharmacy not only reduces the risk of negative reactions, but also ensures that the information was available to the pharmacist if your family needs the evidence in a wrongful death suit. Make Sure Your Prescription Is Clear Some prescription errors can be avoided if you ensure that the prescription that your doctor writes is clear. Anticipate any questions that the pharmacist may have about the prescription and ask your doctor about them directly. Many doctor’s offices have started sending prescriptions to the pharmacy digitally or printing them for legibility, but some older doctors still prefer handwritten prescriptions. Your doctor’s handwriting should be clear enough to eliminate any uncertainties when filling the medication. Consider photocopying all of your handwritten prescriptions so that you have a copy in case the doctor’s handwriting legibility is called into question in court. Make sure your family members know where these copies are stored so that they can provide them if necessary. Always Check the Inserts Those paper inserts that come with your medications are far more important than you may realize. Those documents are intended to provide you with complete details about the medication you’ve been prescribed, what it looks like, the conditions it’s used to treat, any potential side effects that you could expect and any negative interactions with other medications. Read through these inserts before you start taking any new medication, because it helps you understand how to take it, too. Store the inserts for any medication you’re taking along with your other medical records. Those inserts can be valuable evidence in the event of a wrongful death case, especially if there’s information that wasn’t disclosed in the insert that should have been. Always Request a Pharmacist Consultation Most pharmacies offer you the option of having a consultation with the pharmacist any time you fill a new medication. Take advantage of this opportunity to speak to the pharmacist directly. Ask him or her specifically about the medication, how you should take it, and what you need to know about the potential side effects. Then, to ensure that you’ve received the right pill, ask the pharmacist to describe it for you while you check it against...

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How Liens Work In Personal Injury Settlements

Posted by on Aug 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Liens Work In Personal Injury Settlements

The main reason you will hire a personal injury attorney after a car accident is to have help collecting a cash settlement for the accident. While it may take time to receive this check, you can be certain it will come if you are not the at-fault driver. During the time you are waiting for the money, your lawyer will be working on a disbursement schedule for the proceeds. This will include many things, and it might involve liens. Here are three things to understand about liens and your settlement check. What Is A Lien? When you get in an accident and incur a lot of medical bills, there is a good chance you will not be able to pay these bills until after you receive your settlement check. Because of this, there may be numerous healthcare providers waiting on the payments you owe them. Each of these providers has a right to collect the money owed for the services they provide, and this is when liens come into play. A healthcare provider can place a lien on your settlement amount to make certain that the bill will be paid. The healthcare provider will understand that there might be a long waiting period for this money, but a lien will guarantee that the bill will be paid at some point in the future. It is not uncommon for healthcare providers to place liens on personal injury settlement cases, and your lawyer should be experienced with this issue. Your lawyer will know that liens must be paid out of settlement money before anything else, except for legal fees that might be part of the settlement. Are Liens Final? You should also realize that once a lien is placed against your settlement, there are very few ways to get around paying it. In other words, liens must be paid; however, there are times when liens are not accurate. One task your personal injury lawyer will work on during the case is verification of all liens against the case. When healthcare providers place liens on settlements, they must legally notify the lawyer handling the case. This gives the lawyer an opportunity to look into the bills to make sure they are accurate. It is important for your lawyer to do this before the other party pays the settlement amount, simply because it can save time if there are problems with liens. For example, if a medical clinic billed the wrong amount and your lawyer can prove this, the lawyer can dispute the lien. If this can be completed before the settlement money arrives, the lawyer will only have to pay the amount agreed upon after the dispute was settled. In some cases, lawyers will try to negotiate the amounts even when they are correct. If your lawyer is successful at convincing providers to reduce charges, you can end up receiving a larger amount in the end. Do Liens Affect Legal Fees? It is common for personal injury lawyers to work on contingency for their services. This means you will not pay the lawyer for his or her assistance during the case until the settlement check arrives. Because of this, your attorney might try to negotiate with every lienholder on the case to compensate for the legal fees. For example, if the lawyer...

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Have Headaches & Other Symptoms? You May Have Undiagnosed Chiari 1 Malformation

Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Have Headaches & Other Symptoms? You May Have Undiagnosed Chiari 1 Malformation

If you or a loved one has frequent headaches in the back of the head, the pain may be caused by a condition called Chiari 1 malformation.  This is a medical condition that can become serious but often goes undiagnosed. This condition can lead to serious health complications or cause sudden death, so it’s important to get a proper diagnosis. Here’s what you need to know. What is Chiari 1 malformation & what are the main symptoms A Chiari 1 malformation is a medical condition which causes the base of the brain to be larger than it should be. This makes the malformation extend into the opening for the spinal column at the base of the skull, which is where your spinal fluid flows. This extension of the malformation into the opening can cause the spinal fluid to be blocked, which can lead to paralysis and problems with any or all major organs. Most people with this medical condition complain of headaches in the back of the head, with pressure radiating upwards. The headaches may worsen when you are bending over, laughing or coughing. When attempting to get help from a physician, the patients may be told they are simply under too much stress. Other symptoms you may not realize are related, but your physician should It’s important for your physician to know about other seemingly-unrelated symptoms of Chiari 1 malformation that you may be experiencing, such as tingling in fingers and toes, shortness of breath, blurred vision, excessive slobber, slurring of words, ringing in ears, clumsiness, and fatigue. Of course, from your perspective, it’s highly likely that you don’t think there’s a connection between your headaches and any other symptoms you may have. Therefore, you may not think to tell your physician about the other symptoms. However, it’s his or her job to ask you. If not, then he or she may have breached their duty of care to you.  How it’s diagnosed & treated The only way to properly diagnose Chiari 1 malformation is through a CT scan. After the malformation is noticed on a CT scan, your physician should refer you to a neurosurgeon who should order a cine MRI. The flow of the cerebral spinal fluid around the malformation can be watched on a cine MRI, which is basically a movie image instead of a still image. It is recommended that people with this condition have repeated CTs and cine MRIs on a continuing basis to keep tabs on their condition. The frequency is recommended on a case-by-case basis. Chiari 1 malformation is treated with brain surgery when the condition compromises the patient’s life. During the surgery, a neurosurgeon removes a portion of the skull so the cerebral spinal fluid is able to flow. This is called a decompression surgery. What to do if your condition has been undiagnosed If your physician has not asked you about the symptoms that may seem unrelated, has brushed off your headaches as due to stress, or has not ordered the necessary imaging scans to check for Chiari 1 malformation, you may have gone undiagnosed for much longer than necessary. If your condition suddenly worsens or leads to sudden death, your family will likely want to speak with a medical malpractice lawyer. You may have a case of medical negligence...

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5 Financial Effects Of A Fisherman Injured In A Car Accident

Posted by on Jul 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Financial Effects Of A Fisherman Injured In A Car Accident

Fishing is not only a great hobby, but for many who love to cast a line, it becomes an extra source of income. When a car crash injury limits your ability to fish, that extra income and financial investment could be all washed down the drain. Instead of taking the loss, a car crash attorney can help you reach a settlement and receive compensation for your loss. The fishing financial effects are just one part of your case, but it can be a huge factor in the settlement you receive. Read and learn about five different ways a car accident injury can effect you financially. Fishing for Meals A lot of fisherman go out on the water to catch their next meal. Without the ability to fish, new plans need to be made to support the meals in your home. By working with an attorney, you have the ability to calculate the amount of meals you ate fish for and needed replacements for. The extra time to purchase groceries and cook meals could make a large financial difference on your daily life. Not only does it affect your personal meals, but some fisherman choose to sell fish to local farmer’s markets or grocery stores. If you received any income by selling fish, you should be compensated for this loss of income. An attorney can use past sales receipts and different fishing seasons to help calculate the potential loss. Damaged Fishing Equipment The car accident that you were involved in may not have just done damage to your body. If you commonly tow fishing equipment, the damage done could become a part of loss. This is especially significant if you have any type of boating equipment attached to your car. Whether it’s a fishing boat or canoe, a car accident could result in hundreds of dollars worth of damage. The trailer that you carry fishing equipment on could be a part of the damages, too. Before taking a quick settlement, it’s a good idea to consult with an attorney to make sure you are receiving full replacement value for all of your damaged fishing equipment. Wasted Bait At the time of your accident, your home could have been stocked with a lot of valuable fishing bait. Whether it’s worms, shiners, or other live bait, the prices for bait can quickly add up. If you’re stuck at a hospital or healing from your injury, all of that bait can go to waste. Before throwing any bait or fishing accessories away, take pictures first. These pictures can act as evidence for your case. Fishing Tournaments & Clubs Catching the big fish is not only worth the pride, but it can be worth a lot of cash. Fishing tournaments are held all over the country and an ideal way for fisherman to make extra income. If you have been a part of any of these tournaments, then you could be losing out on potential income and prizes. The best way to judge this is by the prizes you have for past tournaments. An attorney can help calculate the amount of prizes you win in a year and the average amount made for each tournament. A lot of these tournaments are held through fishing clubs. Paying for fishing club memberships may be a waste...

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Determining Actual Causation In Personal Injury Cases: 3 Tests To Use

Posted by on Jul 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Determining Actual Causation In Personal Injury Cases: 3 Tests To Use

Personal injury cases can take a long time to settle – mostly because it can be difficult to determine actual causation. If you’re unsure which party should be held liable for the negligent action that caused your accident, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as you can with the evidence you have compiled. Most attorneys will use several tests to come to an informed conclusion. This article will look at 3 of the most common tests used. The “But For” Test The “but for” test is perhaps the simplest test used by personal injury attorneys to determine causation. The test simply fills in the blank of the following question: “but for the existence of X, would Y have occurred?” X is considered as the actual causation and Y is the accident or the injury caused. Although the “but for” test is generally quite useful, it can be ineffective if there are concurrent causes, sufficient combined causes and market share evidence. A concurrent cause is defined as when two separate negligent acts resulted in the injury or harm and both negligent acts are liable. A sufficient combined cause is defined when two separate negligent acts could have resulted in the injury and either of which would have been sufficient. Market share evidence is defined as injuries caused by products made by different manufacturers. In this situation, it is difficult to determine which manufacturer is liable. If there are any discrepancies after the “but for” test, your personal injury attorney may need to apply an addition test to determine which negligent party is most liable for your injuries. The Direct Causation Test The direct causation test is much simpler, and only addresses the metaphysical concept of causation. In short, it does not take into account whether the negligent party would have been able to foresee the possibility of harm as long as his or her actions were responsible for the accident. The direct causation test also does not take into account the culpability of the negligent party. In fact, it only looks at whether there was an intervening cause between the negligent act and the harm. An intervening cause can be better defined as three separate conditions. The intervening cause needs to be independent of the original act being tested in the direct causation test, be a voluntary action and occur between the timeframe of the original act by the negligent party and the accident. For an action to be deemed as the cause, there must not be an intervening cause. The Harm within the Risk Test The strictest of the causation tests is probably the ‘harm within the risk test’, which was made famous in the Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad Co. case of the New York State Law. This test determines whether the victim of the injuries, or you, could have foreseen the dangers. Most personal injury attorneys agree that this test is the hardest to apply due to the controversies surrounding it. In particular, some attorneys and judges believe that the ‘harm within the risk test’ is more concerned with culpability than actual causation. The ‘harm within the risk test’ focuses more on whether the injured party was a member of the class of people most likely to be put at risk for the accident...

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Truck Tire Blowouts – These Road Gators May Really Have A Bite

Posted by on Jul 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Truck Tire Blowouts – These Road Gators May Really Have A Bite

All you have to do is drive any stretch of a major roadway, and you will see the result of truck tire blowouts. These are the large pieces of rubber, which are often scattered all over the road. Often referred to as road gators, due to their appearance. These remnants are not only dangerous when they initially fly off the offending truck, but continue to be dangerous while lying in the road. If you are injured due to an accident caused by a truck tire blowout, who is to blame? It may be more people than you think. How Deadly Can Road Gators Be? Although the average weight of a car tire is somewhere around 22 pounds, a truck tire can weigh 120 pounds or more. This means when a tire blows, and the rubber shreds off of the axle, there can be a considerable amount of weight hurling through the air. These hurling remnants can cause accidents in a wide variety of ways.  Flying tire remnants can crack or break your windshield. They can cause dents and other damage to your vehicle.  Remnants can cause you to swerve into oncoming traffic, off the shoulder of the road, or lose control of your car. Depending on the tire blown, it can cause the truck to swerve, jackknife, or lose control, etc. Unfortunately, depending on where the tire is located on the truck or the trailer, the truck that blows the tire, may not even be aware the tire has blown. This is especially true if the tire is located on a double axle trailer. This is because the other tires will often compensate for the missing tire, at least for a short period of time. This means the truck, and truck driver, may continue down the road, while you are being left to deal with the aftermath.  What Causes Truck Tires To Blow? The most common causes of truck tire failure usually are one or two reasons: Defective Tires – Unfortunately, just like any other product manufactured, there are defects. Many times these defective tires are sold and not discovered to be defective until there has been several complaints filed against them. This may result in the tires being recalled, but it is often difficult to get this information out to all of the trucking companies, especially the small independent truckers. A list of tire recalls can be found on the DOT’s website. Failure To Maintain Tires – Damaged and worn tires are prime candidates to blow. Trucking companies have a duty to ensure the tires on their trucks meet the minimum DOT tread depth requirements. These requirements are 4/32 of an inch on drive tires, and 2/32 of an inch on trailer tires. Running on tires with less tread depth less than this will not only put the driver at risk of having a tire to blow, but will also put them at risk of receiving a ticket, and can even result in the truck being placed out of service. Drivers also need to ensure tires are not mismounted by varying types or sizes.  All truckers are required to perform a pre-trip inspection of their truck and their trailer. Even if they are hauling trailers that do not personally belong to them, or the company they drive for, they are...

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3 Things Parents Should Know About Birth Injury Lawsuits

Posted by on Jul 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Things Parents Should Know About Birth Injury Lawsuits

The day that your child is born should be among the happiest days of your life. However, a birth injury can turn what should be a celebration into a day of worry and fear. And the complications that stem from those injuries can last for years, or even for a lifetime. If your baby was injured at birth, seeking appropriate and effective medical treatment should be your first priority. However, medical treatment costs money, and the person or institution responsible for your baby’s injuries may be liable for the bill. Take a look at a few things that you need to know about suing for birth injuries. The Difference Between Birth Injuries and Birth Defects Many people don’t understand the difference between birth injuries and birth defects. Essentially, a birth injury is something that happens to your child during the deliver process that caused an injury or a disorder. A birth defect is a disorder that your child is genetically predisposed to. In both cases, your child is “born with” the problem, but in the case of a birth injury, the problem could have been avoided, whereas a defect could not have been avoided. It’s possible that your doctor or the hospital staff will tell you that your child has a birth defect when they really have a birth injury. There are a couple of reasons why this may happen, including simple misdiagnosis – birth injuries and birth defects often share similar symptoms, and it may not be obvious that an injury occurred during the birth. It’s unlikely that your medical providers will purposely mislead you, but it’s entirely possible for them to be mistaken, so it’s important to find out if a birth injury did in fact occur, both for legal purposes and for the purpose of making sure your child gets the correct treatment. Getting opinions from one or more specialists can help you determine the source of your child’s disability. Who is Responsible? If a specialist determines that your child suffered a birth injury, the next question is who should be held responsible. While it might seem like a no-brainer to hold the delivering doctor responsible for the injury, it’s not always that straightforward. Hospital policies that were harmful to your child may have played a role in the injury, in which case, you may have a case against the hospital instead of, or in addition to, the delivering doctor. If the injury was caused by a piece of medical equipment that was defective, or a drug that was tainted or that had unexpected dangerous side effects, then you may have a case against the medical device manufacturer, the drug manufacturer, or the pharmacist that supplied the drug. Nurses and hospital staff can also be held liable for injuries if it was their mistake that caused harm to your child. In some cases, you may even have a lawsuit against your HMO. This is called a vicarious liability claim, and it’s applicable when the doctor is an employee of the HMO, rather than the independent contractor. Essentially, a vicarious liability claim alleges that the HMO is responsible for the injury because they hired the doctor that caused the injury. Your lawyer can help you determine who should be named as a defendant in your birth injury...

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