Posts Tagged ‘claim’

Winters & Yonker, PSC Sued by Former Client

Monday, February 22nd, 2010
Kentucky Lawyers Defendants in Lawsuit

Kentucky Lawyers Defendants in Lawsuit

The former law firm Winters, Yonker & Rouselle, now known as Winters & Yonker, PSC and its principal attorneys, have been sued by a former client in Jefferson Circuit Court.  The law firm, along with 1st Physicians Rehabilitation, Inc. and its owner, are alleged to have had a relationship whereby the medical provider would refer clients to the law firm, who would then instruct the client to have all future medical treatment provided by facilities owned and operated by the medical provider who referred the client.

The Complaint alleges that neither the law firm nor the medical provider disclosed the true nature and extent of the relationship.  Furthermore, the client alleges that she was told by the law firm not to use her health insurance to pay for treatment.  The end result were medical liens held by the medical provider in higher amounts then the client otherwise would have paid had she used her health insurance.  When her settlement was reached, the client received less money then either the law firm or the medical provider, after payment of fees and expenses and medical liens.

The ultimate gripe by the client is that her lawyers and the medical providers were not acting in her best interest, but in their own interest to her detriment.  Of course, allegations in the Complaint give only the Plaintiff’’s side of the story.  You can read the entire Complaint, here.

While there is nothing unusual about medical providers and attorneys referring clients in need of their services to one or the other, the purpose of these referrals should be for the benefit of the client.   If these allegations are true, they go well beyond the acceptable bounds of referral practice.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, truck accident, or motorcycle accident and need the services of an accident attorney or a medical provider who specializes in accident injuries, do not be afraid to ask your lawyer or doctor if they know someone who can help.  However, if you have questions about the treatment you are getting from your medical provider or the advice you are getting from your lawyer, you should ask your doctor or lawyer to address those concerns immediately.  Don’t wait until your case is settled to find out the impact those concerns might have on your case.

Do I Have A Claim If I Was Injured By A Driver Without Insurance?

Friday, October 30th, 2009
money for car insurance

Does Your Car Insurance Protect You?

The Brutscher Law Office often receives questions regarding the ability to maintain a claim for injuries received in a car accident when the offending driver does not have insurance.  Often, the person will assume that since the other driver didn’t have insurance, they do not have a claim.  They are later surprised to discover that they not only have a claim, but that they may have a source of insurance recovery.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) is coverage that is provided by your insurance company in the event you are injured by a motorist driving without insurance.  You pay a premium for this coverage to your own insurance company.  If you are hurt by an uninsured driver, your own insurance company will step into the shoes of the other driver’s insurance and provide a source for your recovery.

Kentucky law requires that insurance companies offer this type of coverage, which is mandatory.  However, be aware of agents offering to reduce your premiums or lower your rates at the expense of UM coverage.  In order to reject this mandatory coverage, Kentucky law requires that you execute a rejection in writing, evidencing your intent to do so.  Many people mistakenly reject this coverage, thinking that the money they save in premiums is worth it.  Only after they are struck by a motorist without insurance do they realize they have made a mistake.

The chance of being struck by an offending driver who lacks insurance is far greater than any premiums you pay for the coverage.  It’s a sure bet that someone is driving on the roads today without insurance.  During economic  downturns the chances only increase.  Someone who is reckless enough to drive without insurance is reckless enough to cause an accident.  Don’t be a victim of someone’s selfish behavior.  Beware of agents selling you car insurance without UM coverage.  Make sure your policy has UM coverage.

Make Sure Your Kentucky Accident Attorney Is An Experienced Trial Attorney

Saturday, July 11th, 2009
Hire An Experienced Trial Attorney

Hire An Experienced Trial Attorney

Not everyone involved in a Kentucky car, truck, or motorcycle accident will need a Kentucky Accident Attorney.  However, if you have suffered lost wages, incurred serious medical expenses over $1,000.00, or have been left permanently impaired or unable to work, you will.  If you are in need of a qualified accident attorney, you might wonder; “What type of attorney should I hire?”, or “What separates the many attorneys I see advertising?”

There are many factors to consider in retaining a qualified accident attorney; however, probably the most important factor that separates most accident attorneys is trial experience.  Trial attorneys, also called litigators, are attorneys who have experience in handling accident or injury claims that have resulted in a lawsuit at the courthouse.  While all experienced attorneys will try to settle your Kentucky accident claim, every claim has the potential to result in a lawsuit.  Only if you and the insurance company agree will your claim be settled.

Many accident attorneys will gladly sign up your case and attempt to settle it; however, you will quickly find that once settlement negotiations break down, they quickly refer your case to an entirely new attorney to handle the lawsuit.  So, if you are seeking a Kentucky accident attorney, make sure that your Kentucky accident attorney is an experienced trial attorney, who is willing to file a lawsuit to fight for your rights to compensation when the insurance company refuses to be fair.

Will Your Boat Insurance Protect You If You Have A Boating Accident?

Thursday, May 28th, 2009
Does Your Boat Have Insurance?

Does Your Boat Have Insurance?

During the summer months the chances that someone will be injured in a boating accident are very likely.  Unlike cars, boat operators are not required in Kentucky to have an operating license or driver education.  This increases the chances that an operator of a boat will be involved in an accident, whether or not it’s his fault.

Thousands of boats take to the lakes and rivers of Kentucky each year without insurance.  Did you know that if you’re injured in a boat accident you might not be entitled to recover your lost wages, medical expenses, disability, or pain and suffering?  Unlike car insurance that is mandatory, boat insurance is purely optional.  Chances are you could be riding on an uninsured boat or injured by one.  Operating a boat without insurance isn’t worth the risk.

Like cars, boat insurance is available.  If you are considering buying boat insurance, make sure that it includes liability coverage to protect you in the event that you injure your passengers or people riding on another boat.  It should also include medical payments coverage to pay medical expenses incurred by those injured on your boat that is not involved in an accident.  You may also wish to purchase uninsured watercraft coverage if you or your passengers are injured by another boat that does not carry insurance.

Unfortunately, this coverage is optional and must be purchased in addition to the coverages mentioned earlier.  However, many insurance policies offer discounts similar to car insurance for experienced boaters or those who have taken operation classes.

If you own a boat or plan on riding one this summer, make sure it has insurance in case of a boating accident.  If it does, make sure it has the optional uninsured watercraft coverage in the event the accident is caused by an uninsured boat owner or operator.  Given the speed and the lack of safety restraints or features, injures suffered in boating accidents can be catastrophic and even result in death.  Don’t take chances.  Make sure your boat is insured.

For more information on what you should do in case of a boat accident, visit the boater education website BOATED.

If I Am Involved In An Auto, Car, Or Truck Accident, How Will My Medical Bills Be Paid?

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009
Who Pays My Doctor Bills After An Accident?

Who Pays My Doctor Bills After An Accident?

If you’ve been involved in an car or truck accident in Kentucky and receive injuries, there are multiple sources for payment of your medical bills. The first and most likely resource is basic reparations benefits, better known as PIP.  Each Kentucky insurance company that writes insurance in the state must make available $10,000.00 in PIP benefits to its insureds.  If you are injured in an accident involving a car or truck, you are entitled to up to $10,000.00 for reasonable and necessary medical bills.

You can also purchase additional coverage, called additional or added reparations benefits (ARB’s).  These benefits provide coverage for medical bills and other economic losses in excess of the $10,000.00 in standard PIP.  Once the $10,000.00 is spent, medical providers bill the additional coverage.

If you are a pedestrian, you are entitled to PIP from the car or truck that hit you.  If you are a passenger, you’re entitled to PIP from the driver’s insurance.  If the driver doesn’t have insurance, you can get PIP under your own car or truck policy.  If you don’t have a car insurance, you can get PIP from the Assigned Claims Plan, but you must qualify first.

You can also use private health insurance, public health insurance, such as Medicare or Medicaid, or private pay to get the treatment you need.  Those companies will often reserve the right to recover their payments from any proceeds you get from a lawsuit.  If you don’t have health insurance, many medical providers will offer treatment conditioned on being paid from any money you recover in a lawsuit.

Like lost wages medical expenses above the $10,000.00 in PIP are recoverable against the person at fault.  Often it is your obligation to repay any private or public health insurance company out of your settlement proceeds.

Remember, if you’ve incurred medical bills in excess of PIP, will need future medical bills paid, or will suffer long term impairment from your injuries, you should consider retaining a qualified accident attorney to help resolve excess medical bills and liens.

How To Recover Your Lost Wages From A Kentucky Accident.

Monday, May 11th, 2009
Recovering Your Lost Wages

Recovering Your Lost Wages

If you were injured in an accident and miss work, you are entitled to recover your lost wages.  Your first source of recovery is lost wages paid through PIP.  Unfortunately, the legislature has capped PIP payments for lost wages at $200 a week.  Hardly, sufficient to compensate someone for the likely wages they have lost.  You should know you are entitled to the difference.

You will recover this amount from the party at fault when you make your claim.  For instance, if you miss three weeks of work and earn $400 a week in lost wages, PIP will pay you a total $600 in lost wages.  Your actual wage loss is $1,200.  The difference of $600 is recoverable when you make a claim for “bodily injury.”  This figure should be included in any negotiations with the insurance company. The insurance company that settles your bodily injury claim will also be responsible for paying back the sums paid under PIP.

What You Should Do If You Are Involved In An Accident

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Nobody plans on being in an accident.  However, the fact remains in 2006, there were 2,575,000 people injured in car accidents in the United States.  The chances of you being involved in an accident are far greater then you might think.  Don’t plan on being in an accident.  Plan on being prepared in the event you are.

Here’s what you should do.  Take a deep breath.  Make sure your car’s transmission is placed in park and that the engine is turned off.  Place your hazard lights on.  Check to make sure you are not seriously injured.  If you aren’t, check any passengers who might be.  Before exiting your vehicle make sure it is safe.  If it isn’t safe, don’t exit.  If you have a cell phone, call and report the accident to the police.  If traffic remains heavy or you’re in a dangerous position, wait until the police arrive to exit your car.

If it’s safe, exit your car and check on the driver and passenger of the other car.  If nobody is injured and the cars are obstructing traffic, move them out of the roadway and into a safe position.  If  someone is injured do not move the person or the car.  If necessary mark the roadway with flares or cones.

If the accident involves injuries or if the property damage is in excess of $500.00, a report will need to be taken.  You should call the Kentucky State Police or other law enforcement agency to investigate.  If the accident is minor and the property damage is less then $500.00, you will not need to call the police.  However, you should fill out a civilian traffic report.  You can get one here.

Whether or not the police take a report, it is wise to get the name, address, and telephone number of the driver, all passengers, and any independent witnesses.  Driver’s license and license plate numbers are also helpful.  Also, take down any insurance information the other driver might have.  Make note of any road, weather, or other conditions that might have contributed to the accident.  You might want to look at the Kentucky State Police Civilian Traffic Report for additional information that might be needed.

If emergency personnel do come to the scene, have them check on you  even if you don’t think you are injured.  It is better to be safe.  If you leave the scene and later develop pain or muscle soreness, call your doctor or visit the emergency room.  It is not uncommon for injuries such as whiplash to develop much later.

What Is Meant By Kentucky No Fault?

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Kentucky is a “no fault” state. Many people injured in accidents have been mistakenly told that if “no fault” is determined, then they don’t have an injury claim. This is not the case. In Kentucky fault is based on percentages. Each party is entitled to recover their damages for the other person’s fault up to 100%. For instance, if I am 35% at fault for causing an accident, I am still entitled to recover 65% of my total damages.

So what is meant by “no fault”? In Kentucky, injured person’s give up the right to sue the other person for their first $10,000.00 in economic damages, in exchange for receiving $10,000.00 in insurance benefits (PIP benefits). The term “no fault” means “no fault” is considered in the award of these benefits.  Even if a person is 100% responsible for a car accident, they are still entitled to certain benefits if they were injured in a car accident.

The belief is that if an injured person’s medical expenses and lost wages (up to $10,000) are paid, they won’t be forced to file a lawsuit to recover those damages from the other person. This is supposed to lead to less fights over “fault” and actually result in the prompt payment of these damages.

Unfortunately, Kentucky’s “no fault” procedure is a statutory scheme that can be quite complicated. Avoid basing decisions regarding your potential claim on the statements of police officers, medical personnel, insurance adjusters, relatives or friends. You may need the services of a licensed attorney if there is an issue regarding fault for your accident or if your PIP benefits or bodily injury claim has been reduced or denied due to “fault”.