In the past two posts, we have discussed what to do when insurance companies deny your claim and what tips and tricks insurance companies use in order to deny your claim.
This week we will be focusing on the potential reasons WHY insurance companies deny your insurance claim. So let’s get started.
Being in an accident is stressful enough. But learning that the insurance company has denied your insurance claim is very disconcerting.
There are several reasons why they refuse your insurance claim. Some of them can be valid, while others not so much but hey still use them in order to pay you as less as possible. So if you’re dealing with an insurance claim and it gets denied, it’s good do consult with a personal injury lawyer because they know the system and are more aware what tactics insurance providers use in order to either minimize your claim or just deny it.
Cause of the accident
Many insurance companies have denied insurance claims to their policyholders simply because the accident you were in could have been avoided OR because your behavior caused the accident. Furthermore, claims have also been denied if your conduct was in conflict with your insurance policy. This practically renders your policy ineffective. And if the vehicle was operated by someone who is NOT included on the insurance policy or didn’t have a driver license when operating the vehicle…well that’s another potential reasons insurance claims get denied.
These are the most common reasons and mostly logical and valid. But what about if the insurance provider is using not valid reasons and starts acting in bad faith?
Insurance claim denied over previous injuries / surgeries
It’s a common practice that insurance companies ask their prospective policyholders to sign so called ‘medical authorization forms’. The important thing to point out about these forms is that you shouldn’t (under ANY circumstance) sign them until you’ve spoken to a personal injury lawyer. You must ask yourself ‘What’s the big deal about those forms?’. Well, when you sign those forms, you’re basically giving the insurance company permission to dig through your medical history and to look for previous injuries or surgeries.
If by any chance, you had injuries and surgeries for those injuries before, the insurance company could use that as a possible (but not really valid) reason for the accident and thus deny your insurance claim. Another example is that insurance providers may use previous injuries as an argument to diminish your injuries from the accident i.e. to present as less severe than they really are.
Another reasons why insurance companies require you to sign the medical authorization forms is so that they could see if you have any pre-existing conditions. Let’s say that you have pre-existing back injury and that you suffered new injuries in the accident. Since your back injury is a pre-existing condition, the insurance company can argue that the accident was cause because of your back problems and deny your claim.
Time of accident and time of seeking treatment
When you’re in a car accident it’s important that you seek medical treatment immediately. Waiting to seek treatment, may be another reason why your insurance provider refuses your claim. The lapse of time between the accident and treatment, can give ‘ground’ to the insurance provider to argue that your injuries are actually caused another even, not the accident.
Insurance companies go so far that they even state in their insurance contracts a specific time frame in which you need to seek treatment for your accident-related injuries. Of course, there are cases when it’s good to wait before seeking treatment and you can learn more about that from your personal injury lawyer.
Right after the accident, while on the scene, make sure that you don’t deny any injuries until you have been thoroughly checked out by a medical professional. Denying injuries at the scene of the accident may also be another reason why they deny your claim. So if you get into an accident seek medical evaluation at once.
What do to if your insurance claim is denied?
We must be clear on one thing. Insurance companies make profit from taking higher premiums from their policyholders than what they pay in claims. So their interest in denying insurance claims is quite significant.
In the event that your claim gets denied, you will need help from an experienced personal injury lawyer. Furthermore, policyholders that have a lawyer are taken more seriously.
It’s important to know more about filing a wrongful death lawsuit after someone you love dies because of another’s careless or reckless behavior. These are the 10 most common questions and answers from those who lost someone and are considering filing and wrongful death lawsuit.
What is a wrongful death claim?
Personal injury and wrongful death are very closely related. They both allow someone to demand compensation when someone else is negligent or omit results in another person’s injury.
When it comes to personal injury law, the law allows the injured victim to ask for compensation for his or her losses. The compensation is demanded by the responsible party. However, with wrongful death lawsuits, the victim who would normally file a personal injury claim is no longer alive. So accordingly, the wrongful death law, allows someone else to step into the deceased victim’s place, in order to seek compensation.
Am I eligible to file a wrongful death claim?
The answer to these questions depends on the specific law of the state. In most cases, in order to file a claim, you must be a personal representative to the deceased. This is usually the spouse, children or parent.
Do I have a wrongful death claim?
This all depends. Since the facts for each case are not identical, it’s hard to draw a line of what case is a wrongful death claim and what isn’t. That’s why it’s important to speak to a lawyer because he/she can evaluate your case and tell you whether you have a wrongful death claim or not.
How can I file a wrongful death lawsuit?
Filing a wrongful death claim usually begins by determining if you’re eligible for a claim. In the event that you are eligible, you should start working with a wrongful death lawyer. There’s only a limited time in which you can file a wrongful death lawsuit set by the state’s statute of limitations. And because a skilled wrongful death lawyer should know the process inside and out, he will help you finalize and submit the claim within a given time frame.
How can I prove wrongful death?
- The plaintiff generally has to prove the following:
- That the defendant wed a duty of care to the deceased
- That the defendant breached the same duty of care
- That the death occurred as a result of breaching the duty of care
- Resulted damages.
What’s the time frame on filing a wrongful death claim?
As mentioned before, every state has its own definition of wrongful death law, and by such, every state determines the time frame within which you have to file a wrongful death claim. Like in many other states, Arizona Wrongful Death law has a statute of limitations of two years. This means that you have two years (from the moment the deceased has died) to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
For how much can I sue for in a wrongful death suit?
As a plaintiff, you can seek compensatory damages. These can include non-economic and economic damages. These damages have the goal to compensate the party for losses and are usually comprised of:
- Medical bills prior to the death of the deceased
- Lost wages during hospitalization
- Potential future wages
- Compensation for the deceased pain and suffering before death occurred
- Expenses that covered the funeral and burial
- Loss of companionship for the loved ones.
Seeking punitive images is not an uncommon practice. The aim of all these compensations is to compensate the party for all possible losses.
Is there an average in wrongful death settlements?
There are not two identical wrongful death lawsuits. And since every case has a unique set of factors and parameters, calculating the average amount of a wrongful death claim is impossible. But if you hire a skilled and experienced wrongful death lawyer, upon looking at the file and all the facts, he/she should be able to give you a rough estimate on how of the damages are you eligible for.
How high are the wrongful death attorney’s fees?
Every lawyer has his/her own set of rules and fees. However, with a wrongful death attorney, you can discuss to have your case on a contingency basis. This way, the lawyer only gets paid if they recover money for your lawsuit, either through a settlement or via jury verdict.
Do I need a wrongful death attorney?
Wrongful death lawsuits can be very complicated. At Schenk Podolsky recommend that you hire a skilled lawyer, who already did a number of wrongful death lawsuits and knows the system and the process inside and out.
For additional questions about wrongful death lawsuits or personal injury claims, make sure to contact us.
In Part 1 we briefly discussed what are your rights and what should you do in case your injury at work wasn’t taken seriously enough. Today, we will be digging further to see what other benefits are you entitled to if you suffer an injury at work.
Covering your medical bills
If you suffered an injury at work so severe, that it requires you to undergo surgery and the company’s / employer’s compensation isn’t enough to cover the medical bills, it’s your legal right to have the employer take care of the bills for you.
You shouldn’t be accountable if you got injured at work because of less than favorable work conditions. Said conditions allowed the accident to happen, so you should be reimbursed for any medical bills.
An injury at work will certainly leave a toll. That is why, you should be properly compensated, and not just in the amount that is sufficient enough to cover the necessary treatments. The monetary compensation should also cover the toll the accident has taken on you.
Sometimes, injuries at work might cause you to permanently stop doing that specific job. In those situations, the compensation should handsomely cover your disability. These compensations could be weekly, monthly or a one-time sum. It all depends on the court’s ruling and how good was the deal of your legal time was able to negotiate.
Special treatments after injury at work
Depending on the severity of your injury, it’s highly likely that you won’t be able to work as fast and as efficiently as before when you return to work that is. If that occurs, the employer is obligated to accommodate your needs and make things easier for you. This can be in the form of a separate parking spot just for you, installing a ramp that will help you move in a wheelchair or other things that will make your job easier.
Post-injury incentives and legal issues
Some employers use this tactic in order to avoid getting a claim from their employment or to avoid going to court. These ‘persuasion tactics’, both illegal and immoral are quite often used, where your employer offers you incentives in the form of money or benefits. And unfortunately, most victims that suffer an injury at work fall for them.
To be clear, the only monetary compensation you should be getting is through your insurance, and there should be nothing stopping you to claim your legal rights. Agreeing to side deals is NOT a good idea and we strongly recommend that you first speak to your lawyer before agreeing to anything.
Settling for less than you deserve or nothing at all, is NOT in your best interest. However, that happens very often. Most employees that got injured at work don’t know what to agree to and what not to agree to. They just don’t know how the system works. That’s why it’s important to have a skilled personal injury lawyer by your side, who knows the system inside and out and can counsel you in the decision-making process.
If the court’s ruling is not applicable, turn it down and file for an appeal. If the insurance company is offering you a bad deal, turn it down and negotiate a better one that you feel good about.
Fully understand that you deserve to be properly compensated for what you’ve been through, all the physical and emotional difficulties and that you SHOULDN’T settle for less.
Employees should do their best to make the workspace safe in order to avoid accidents. Regrettably, no matter how hard they try, an accident will happen from time to time. And if an employee gets injured at work, he/she deserves proper compensation.
On the other hand, employees should also take all the necessary precautions in the workplace to avoid accidents. No matter what, the accident will happen an in those situations you should be fully aware of your rights and compensated for your injury.
It’s unfortunate if you suffer an injury, and even more so when it happens in the workplace where you’re trying to make a living.
Many employers have precautions and safety measures set to protect their employees and even despite those, accidents tend to happen. This is inevitable and employees should be familiar with the benefits and compensations they are entitled to when they get injured at work.
Report the accident to protect your rights
The easiest way to protect your rights is to report the injury at work as soon as possible. We recommend reporting to your manager or employer immediately, on the same day or within a few days after the injury at work has occurred. This works in your favor.
In some cases, the injury is just too severe so you won’t be able to report it yourself. In that case, you must have someone to do it for you. A good option would be one of your colleagues or a member of your family. In most states, employers are obligated to cover an employee’s insurance if he/she suffers an injury at work. Make sure that this is taken care of and that you get coverage.
File a claim if needed
If your injury at work report wasn’t taken seriously, and you didn’t hear back from your employer or Human Resource department, the next step would be to file a claim in your industrial/compensational court. We at Schenk Podolsky always emphasize that workers are entitled to their benefits if they get injured at work. In case that your employer hasn’t compensated you enough, hire a lawyer to represent you.
Learn about your rights
Most workers are completely unaware of their rights or what are they entitled to in case they suffer an injury at work. Be aware that employee’s benefits include reimbursement for medical bills and even belongings that were damaged in the accident. Furthermore, you can also be entitled to monetary compensation, disability payments, accessibility tools (in case you’re handicapped) and coverage for rehabilitation. And in most severe situations, where death has occurred, the employee’s family is entitled to have the burial costs covered.
Some of these rights differ depending on where you live, but they all include sufficient compensation or coverage for your insurance. Seeking medical treatment and consulting with a doctor is #1 on your priority list after you suffer an injury at work. As long as your doctor advises you to be on sick leave, you legally qualify for paid sick leave. Furthermore, you are allowed to return back to work once the doctor signs an approval and releases you back to work.
Accidents at work that result in permanent injury and thus prevent you from working anymore, have a substantial disability compensation. And your employer is legally obligated to pay it. In the event that you don’t feel the insurance company paid you enough for medical treatment, you have the right to appeal to these decisions.
Relevant Evidence for Different Types of Personal Injury Cases
When it comes to various types of cases, there will almost always be the evidence needed to prove the information being offered. If a person has all they need, they should be able to present a pretty clear and seamless case. However, it’s important to know the evidence needed for each type of case to be prepared, and that’s where many people falter. Personal injury cases are quite popular and have an entire list of evidence that will be relevant across most of these types of cases.
If at all possible, always involve the police, so there’s an official report corroborating your story. You’ll want to have an official copy of the police report since this is a strong piece of evidence giving details on the incident, who was involved, times, and other minor details.
Physical evidence will play a heavy role in personal injury cases. For example, say a business had a hole in their floor with no warning sign. Someone didn’t see the hole in time and tripped, hurting themselves. Getting the police involved to preserve the physical evidence is an option or a photo following the incident within a couple of days, at most is also a great example of physical evidence. Anything involved in the accident that could be used as physical evidence should be preserved. In other words, if you have clothes that serve as evidence, don’t wash and fold them, preserve them, and so on with any other physical evidence.
Get all the photos and videos that you can. Many times, these can be compared to security cameras or other photos taken around or at the time of the incident. Word alone doesn’t hold much weight in a personal injury case; however, photographs and physical evidence do. Prints of photos are best. Not photos you can show someone on your phone. Taking the photos with your phone is perfectly fine; however, you’ll want to have tangible copies of those photos and a hard copy stored somewhere just in case.
Record of Injury
Whether it’s hospital bills, doctor notes, photographs of the injury, etc. all of these are pertinent to a personal injury case and lend proof to the injury caused. Since the injury itself is a large part of the case, being able to see the injury or have a document from a medical professional will only solidify the case further.
Returning to the Scene
If need be, return to the scene of an incident as soon as possible and gather any evidence needed. This could be items left behind, photos of the damage caused, photos of the problem that caused the incident, etc. If this is a severe case, you’ll want to check with local law enforcement to ensure there’s no issue with you visiting the scene.
If you ever have any questions about what evidence you’ll need to gather for your personal injury case, it’s best to talk to an attorney. They’ll be able to help you with your specific circumstances.
It’s Getting Hot
Summer is here and everyone will be heading to swimming pools to cool off and have fun in the water. However, water and concrete in close proximity to each other makes swimming pools, natural places for accidents to occur. The sad truth is that swimming pool accidents are all too common and in some cases, innocent lives are lost.
The laws require public swimming pools to have a lifeguard on duty. But owners must notify users if there is no lifeguard on duty by posting signs. If a lifeguard is negligent in his or her duties or a sign is not posted, the owner of the swimming pool may be liable for the swimmers’ injuries.
The drains of swimming pools present potentially life-threatening situations for people, young children in particular. Federal law requires swimming pool owners to install an anti-entrapment device to keep swimmers’ limbs, hair, or clothing from being caught in the drainage system. If these devices are not installed in swimming pools, it could result in the occurrence of fatal or nearly fatal injuries.
There are many dangers in the areas surrounding swimming pools. Swimming pool decks that are made of concrete can become extremely slippery, causing people to slip and fall. The swimming pool owners have to make sure that proper precautions are taken so that there are no slippery or uneven decks around pool areas to cause slip and fall accidents.
If a person or a child is injured in a swimming pool accident, the owner of the property may be liable for the injuries. To hold the swimming pool owner liable for the injuries, you are required to show that the owner had a duty of care and that they breached that duty of care, and that breach caused your injuries.
You may seek compensation for injuries that you sustained in a swimming pool accident. The potential damages you can recover include medical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of income.
You can also sue for wrongful death if one of your family members dies in a swimming pool accident caused by the owner or operator’s negligence. You can obtain compensation for your relative’s medical and funeral costs, loss of consortium and more.
Keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit – this means that there is a time limit within which you must file a suit. If you do not file within that time period, your case will be dismissed. You should consult a personal injury lawyer with experience in handling swimming pool accident cases.
You should also bear in mind that although your case may seem simple and you think that you can handle it yourself, it is best to hire an attorney to assist you. There are certain rules and procedures that you need to follow and having an attorney will ensure that you do not make any mistakes and lose any compensation you may be entitled to.
If you have suffered a severe injury from a defective medical device, and you are wondering if it makes sense to sue the manufacturer, we may have a few tips for you. As an important decision as it is, you might need some additional information and input from a skilled attorney to answer it.
How to know if you have a valid case?
To have thoroughly answered the best advice is to consult us by phone 480-757-5000
This is where the years of experience and seeking justice for clients before you will come into play. Professionals can always see the standpoint of a case so they can decide if it’s worth pursuing from a legal and financial perspective.
Your lawyer should always make sure that you are within the statute of limitations and that you have sufficient evidence to prove your case and compare your situation to other similar cases to estimate how much compensation you might be able to recover. A reasonable probability lawyer will analyze your situation, and examine your case to other similar cases to determine how much benefit you might be able to recover. Also, a good lawyer should analyze the defendant’s perspective and explore the possibilities of counterclaims.
What do I need to prove to win a products liability case?
This is a product liability lawsuit if you are making a defective medical device case.
To sustain your case you need the following elements:
• You sustained an injury
• The product you used was defective
• The product’s defect caused your injuries
• You were using the product as specified in the time of the injury
Who might be liable for my injuries from a defective medical device?
In defective product case, you may begin with the manufacturer of the device, but there is a whole chain of commerce liable for your injuries as well including the suppliers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers that were connected to the development, creation, and sale of the defective product.
What are the potential outcomes of a products liability lawsuit?
A trial can take a lot of time and effort, much of it will be boring, frustrating and time-consuming. Be prepared to see less than appealing aspects of human nature on display during the trial, and after all planning and preparation, and energy wasted, the jury might not rule in your favor, and you will not end up any better than when you began. The odd advice is, you should check out some television, cause sometimes, it can manifest some interesting detail that might have validation in real trials.
With a skilled liability lawyer who can present the case with strong evidence and arguments, you could prevail and feel vindicated for taking the time and effort to make the case to trial.
There’s a lot of elements involved. We at Schenk and Podolsky won’t take your time into settlements that can be disputed. We work hard and appreciate our clients. Call today for free consultation.
What To Do After A Truck Accident?
When involved in an accident that involves a large commercial truck or another large industrial vehicle, it can be a horrific experience for everyone involved, no doubt about it. The victim struck by the large commercial vehicle can be severely injured or killed due to the size and mass of the truck. If you or your loved one was involved in such an accident, let us help you navigate the legal process and what to do.
For victims of a truck collision, the scene of the accident can be overwhelming. With so much happening you can forget what you need to do. But keep in mind, it’s important not leave the scene immediately, but of course, stay put until police or other authorities have arrived. Particularly in collisions where someone is injured or killed, it may be a criminal offense to leave the scene without reporting the accident.
Never try to move from your vehicle if you are injured in an accident, but instead wait for first responders to arrive so you don’t injure yourself further. If someone else has been injured in an accident scene, don’t move them until first responders arrive, unless of course an imminent threat requires moving them. Immediately call 911 for police and medical assistance after checking to see if anyone is hurt.
Without revealing any details about your insurance policy or admitting fault to anyone other than your insurance provider, be sure to collect the following information:
- Names of drivers or nearby witnesses along with their phone numbers, addresses, email addresses, and insurance information.
- Be sure to obtain details of both the truck driver and their employer.
- Location of the accident.
- Take photos of the accident scene and all vehicles involved. Any damage shown, TAKE A PICTURE.
- Police report number, phone number, and the officers’ name and badge number.
While seeking medical attention from any injuries sustained by the accident, document all names, dates, and specialties of any doctors, specialized medical practitioners, or chiropractors that you seek treatment from. Compile the bill for all your medical expenses.
If you or your loved one has been injured in a commercial truck accident, you must seek the help of an attorney with ample experience handling truck accidents. They will know all about the detailed federal and state regulations that trucking companies must comply with. If you want to win a truck accident claim and get the peace of mind you deserve, you’ll need a lawyer who has a thorough understanding of the laws and regulations that may apply to your case.
Dog Bite Treatment For Humans
While comrades of the canine variety are often referred to as man’s best friend, they have been occasionally known to bite the hand that feeds them. Whether it be a puppy who’s merely teething and still hasn’t figured this whole biting thing out yet, an older dog who is overly playful or angered and nips hard, or an unknown dog that could have rabies or any number of unknown diseases, it is important to know just what to do if you have been bitten and how to take care of the wound. While most cases shouldn’t require a visit to the hospital, you should always take special care with an open wound from a dog bite.
When bit by a dog, more often than not, we wind up with a superficial scrape instead of a deeper gash or puncture wound. For the most part, we ignore these, writing them off as part and parcel of playing with dogs and knowing they will heal rather quickly. While this is true, it is still important to take the proper precautions and clean out the wound, first with running water, then with either hydrogen peroxide or isopropyl alcohol to clear out any infections. Finish up the process by spreading a topical antibiotic over the cut and covering it up with a bandage.
Serious Dog Bites And How To Handle Them
If you have the unfortunate displeasure of receiving a more sizable puncture wound from a dog’s teeth, you may need to be even more cautious. If the wound is gushing profusely or is in the head/neck region, or if you are bit by a strange dog that may or may not have a disease, call 911 immediately to make sure that you receive the proper care. However, barring those circumstances, you should be fine with self care. First, do not be afraid to let the wound bleed for about five minutes or so before moving on to the next step; allowing it to bleed will clean out most debris from the gash. After the five minutes, see if you can stop the bleeding through the application of direct pressure. If it stops, clean the cut by running it under water with some mild soap for a couple of minutes. Do not use hydrogen peroxide or isopropyl alcohol for a puncture wound, as this can impede the healing process. Finally, you can bandage the puncture if you like, but this is not required for healing to take place.
If you are bitten by someone else’s dog, you may be within your rights to receive compensation for the damages incurred. Contact your local mesa injury lawyer quickly after being bitten so that they can act as your negotiator with the dog owner’s insurance company or in any necessary litigation. The sooner you call your attorney, the sooner an investigation can begin to establish liability for the bite and determine whether insurance coverage will apply in this case or not.