Posts Tagged ‘injury’

Courier Journal Article Highlights Winters & Yonker Case

Sunday, February 28th, 2010
Kentucky Lawyers Defendants in Lawsuit

Kentucky Lawyers Defendants in Lawsuit

The Courier Journal has written an article on the lawsuit recently filed by a former client against Winters & Yonker.  The article looks in depth at the claim made by Sharon Langford.  The article focuses on the relationship between the law firm and the medical providers who treated Ms. Langford and the potential conflicts of interest that arise.  You can read the entire article here.

Lawmaker Alleges Toyota Withheld Evidence in Lawsuits

Saturday, February 27th, 2010
More Trouble for Toyota

More Trouble for Toyota

Things have not been going well for Toyota and it looks like things just got much worse.  The AP has reported that House oversight committee chairman Edolphus Townes accused Toyota of “deliberately withholding key vehicle design and testing evidence in lawsuits filed by Toyota drivers injured in crashes.”  Towns wrote that Toyota chose to enter hefty settlements with plaintiffs to avoid disclosing the database, which the lawmaker said was referred to as the “Books of Knowledge.”

Toyota said in a statement that it is confident it acted appropriately in product liability lawsuits and it looks forward to addressing Towns’ concerns. The automaker said it is not uncommon for companies to object to demands for documents made in lawsuits. “Consistent with that philosophy, we take appropriate steps to maintain the confidentiality of competitive business information and trade secrets,” the statement said.

You can read the entire article here.

If true, the article discloses another example of corporate business choosing profits over people.  These allegations along with those by the NHTSB that Toyota did not disclose problems to regulators continues to create a portrait of a company that hid significant safety problems with its vehicles at the expense of gaining market share and becoming the number 1 automaker in the world.  Toyota’s path to number 1 is littered with the bodies of people who bought their cars.  Next time you hear someone talk about frivolous lawsuits and tort reform, you might want to mention Toyota.

I am glad these Plaintiff’s received hefty settlements, unfortunately, their silence contributed to Toyota’s ability to hide problems for a much longer time, presumably at the expense of other people injured or killed by their products.  I wouldn’t be surprised if more information comes to light showing that Toyota knew about the unintended acceleration problems with its vehicles but didn’t take any comprehensive action to warn its customers about it.  I do know that you can disclose information in lawsuits in a manner which protects the “confidentiality of competitive business information and trade secrets.”  Toyota’s decision to settle those cases instead of disclosing that information, speaks for itself.

Toyota’s Deadly Secrets?

Friday, February 12th, 2010

MSN Money has an informative article on the recent spate of recalls by Toyota Motor Company, including regulator’s doubts of Toyota’s commitment to addressing safety defects.  According to MSN:

On Jan. 19, in a closed-door meeting in Washington, D.C., two top executives from Toyota Motor gave American regulators surprising news.

Evidence had been mounting for years that Toyota cars could speed up suddenly, a factor suspected in crashes causing more than a dozen deaths. Toyota had blamed the problem on floor mats pinning the gas pedal. Now, the two Toyota men revealed they knew of a problem in its gas pedals.

The article goes on to chronicle the tension between Toyota and federal regulators governed with overseeing the safety of cars.  You can read the entire article here.

CNBC also reported on Toyota’s problems in a video titled “More Trouble for Toyota”.  Click to play.

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.

Does Your Kentucky Car, Truck, or Motorcycle Accident Attorney Know Insurance Law?

Monday, June 15th, 2009
Does Your Kentucky Accident Attorney Know Insurance Law?

Does Your Kentucky Accident Attorney Know Insurance Law?

You see many advertisements for car, truck, or motorcycle accident attorneys in Kentucky promising to, “get you the compensation you deserve.”  However, nothing is mentioned about the insurance companies or policies from where this money comes.  Lawyers and most sophisticated clients know that the money will come from the insurance company for the party at fault for the accident if he or she has one and from the injured party’s insurance company if he or she doesn’t.  But simply because an accident attorney knows where to get the money doesn’t mean they know how.

Many accident attorneys will settle your claim with the insurance company without knowing what your case is worth.  They may demand entirely too much or even worse, seek to settle your case for too little.  Some might not even be able to describe to their client’s why they think you should settle for a particular amount offered by the insurance company.  If the insurance company refuses to pay due to some policy exclusion or coverage defense, then that attorney may be unsure how to fight for you to make sure that the insurance company is being fair.

Make sure that your car, truck, or motorcycle accident attorney knows insurance law and understands insurance policies, their specific coverages, and exclusions to coverage.  Retain an experienced car, truck or motorcycle accident attorney with a proven record of handling injury claims and one with knowledge of insurance companies and their practices and procedures.  Don’t get less or worse nothing, because your Kentucky accident attorney doesn’t know insurance law.

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.

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”.