Qualified Medical Expenses in Personal Injury

When discussing personal injury cases, the first thing that comes to mind as qualified for compensation are medical expenses. After all, it is a personal injury lawsuit, which by definition not only requires proof of the defendant’s negligence but that physical injury or harm occurred because of this negligence. The latter requires medical records as proof of injury; ergo, medical expenses.

But just as quickly as it comes to mind does it depart, because there is no ambiguity in making a claim for medical expenses. It is all in black and white, stamped, received and acknowledged. The thing that occupies a great deal of time on the negotiation table is the non-tangible aspects of the claim, the well-known punitive damages. However straightforward it may be, it would be worthwhile to consider what exactly the qualified medical expenses are and required documentation.

Generally, qualified medical expenses should be “necessary and reasonable.” It should be noted that what is reasonable is not always necessary. For example, in the course of revision surgery for a defective medical device such as a transvaginal mesh, the patient requests for a dilation and curettage. This is reasonable to improve the patient’s overall health, but not necessary in terms of the revision surgery.

Medical expenses in personal injury claims typically include hospital confinement, testing and diagnostics, surgical costs, rehabilitation and physical therapy, medications, and pain management. In some cases, some insurance fees related to processing a claim may be included.

The total sum for all these expenses may run into large figures, especially if the injury is severe with long-term effects. An article on the website of Pohl & Berk in Tennessee discusses how bad the financial and physical burden on the victim can be. This is why it is crucial to have complete documentation when filing a personal injury claim for medical expenses. You will have a much easier time showing the reality of your injuries if you keep strong records of them.

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Liability for Stolen Car Accidents

Getting injured in a car accident is bad enough. Finding out it happened because the other driver was intoxicated or speeding is worse, because it was a preventable injury. Okay, that’s fine. Simply sort it out with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or file a lawsuit. And then it turns out that the car was stolen.

There is a whole nest of snakes right there in that situation. Getting compensation for the economic losses, pain, and suffering can be difficult per se, but more so when complications arise. In most cases where the stolen car causes a car wreck, the insurance of the actual car owner will at least cover bodily injury and property damage of another party, but only after a thorough investigation of the circumstances of the accident has been made. If the car owner had comprehensive coverage, the insurance company will also cover damage to the stolen car itself, although not for medical care of the thief.

There are several things that the actual car owner must do to continue to get coverage from the insurance company as well as avoid personal liability for any harm done to a third party. First off, the theft must have been reported to the police and insurance company prior to the event. The insurance policy must also specify that the coverage applies even if it was being driven by someone else or stolen.

The car owner may be liable for any damage recovery filed by the car accident victims for failure to report the theft within a reasonable period even if he or she was not even driving. However, this is not a hard and fast rule. It is important to engage the services of a competent car accident lawyer in the area to ensure that all the bases are covered.

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Birth Injuries and Cerebral Palsy

There was a time when becoming pregnant was like a death sentence. There was a 50-50 chance that the child, the mother, or both will die during childbirth. This was because historically, a woman gave birth at home and if she was very lucky, would have a midwife in attendance who would know more than the mother about it, but not much. Fatalities also occurred because sanitation was not a high priority back in the day, so what the trauma of childbirth failed to do, infection would finish off.

Of course, these things are no longer true, and while mothers and children still die from the complications of childbirth, the numbers are way, way lower. In general, a competent obstetrician would be on hand to help with a delivery, and everyone washes their hands before doing the deed. However, there are still instances when birth injuries occur that may result in death or lifelong health issues for the child.

According to the website of the Driscoll Firm, a team of lawyers based in Philadelphia, a surprisingly high number (2 out of 1,000 live births) of children present with the characteristics of cerebral palsy (CP) after birth. While the exact cause of neonatal CP is not known, the evidence suggests that a significant number may be due to medical malpractice.

CP is a motor development problem in which the afflicted can have moderate to severe difficulty in controlling their movements, depending on the type of CP present. Those suffering from the more severe forms of CP would be incapable of caring for themselves and would need special care throughout their lives.

At-birth onset of CP may be due to several factors, such as lead exposure of the mother or the presence of an intrauterine infection during pregnancy. But it is also possible that the CP resulted from an insufficient flow of oxygen to the child’s brain before, during, and after the stresses of childbirth. Medical negligence kicks in when the doctor fails to follow standard procedure to clear the air passage of the newborn immediately upon delivery, resulting in CP development.

If your child has suffered birth injuries due to the negligence or incompetence of a healthcare profession, contact a personal injury lawyer in the area specializing in getting compensation for such cases. You will need all the assistance you can get to provide for your unfortunate child. If you live in the East Texas area and your child is a victim of birth injuries, then contacting a Fort Worth Personal Injury Attorney would be the next best step in learning more about the next legal steps to take.

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Can Criminal Charges Affect Child Custody?

Being charged with a crime is not the same as being convicted. Nevertheless, merely being arrested for certain crimes can have a considerable impact on child custody cases.

The main issue that will come up in most divorce courts is the best interest of the child. A parent facing criminal charges may temporarily lose custodial and visitation rights to the child if the crime has a direct impact on the child’s welfare. According to the website of the Law Office of Andrew A. Bestafka, Esq. in Ocean County, the affected parent must resolve the matter quickly before it permanently impacts on child custody matters.

For example, the custodial parent is arrested for shoplifting. This is not the type of crime that has the potential to bring harm to a child, and the court will not generally remove the parent’s custodial rights. However, if the parent is arrested for drunk driving while the child was in the vehicle, this would raise concerns about the well-being of the child, and may result in the removal of the child from the custody of that parent. Whether this proves to be true or not, if the parent admits to having consumed alcohol in the company of the child, the court will likely restrict the rights of that parent for child custody.

Criminal charges that may impact on child custody include homicide, kidnapping, aggravated assault, rape, stalking, unlawful restraint, sexual assault, endangering the welfare of children, and incest. Laws differ from state to state, but in most cases being charged with these types of crimes are enough to strip the parent of their custodial rights until the matter is resolved one way or the other.

If you are charged with a crime that may affect your custodial rights, or are afraid for the safety of your child not in your custody, consult with the appropriate lawyer to find out what you should do. When it comes to the welfare of a child, no time should be lost in doing what needs to be done.

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Workplace Accidents in Construction

One of the reasons construction work is so dangerous is because it frequentlwy involves working with and around heavy equipment, scaffolding, and high voltage electricity. When operating as expected and used by properly trained people, these need not be the cause of workplace accidents. Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned.

Construction equipment malfunction is a broad category, which may mean anything from a defective safety harness to an overloaded circuit box. In 2012, 775 people met their death while working on a site. Equipment failure and related causes accounted for about 10% of these fatal workplace accidents in construction, or 78 people. For the same year, more than 183,000 construction workers sustained nonfatal injuries.

Some of the more spectacular equipment failure accidents in construction involve collapsing or otherwise malfunctioning cranes. The most recent ones in the U.S. occurred in 2008, one in Houston and two in New York City, and it was determined that errors were made in the positioning, assembly, or operation of the crane which caused the incidents. The accidents collectively claimed the lives of 13 people.

Construction workers lucky enough to survive an equipment failure event may nevertheless face considerable down time while recovering from their injury, and this means medical expenses and days of work lost. Fortunately, these are covered by workman’s comp insurance, which is mandatory for all private employers in the US for their employees in case they get injured on the job. While workers’ comp wage replacement is certainly less than the normal pay, it is better than nothing, and there is no need to prove fault which hurries things up considerably.

However, according to the website of the LaMarca Law Group, if workplace accidents occurred because of gross negligence on the part of the employer, it may be possible for the employee to file a claim in civil court. This will largely depend on the circumstances surrounding the event. To find out more about what cases would qualify for personal injury litigation, consult with a Des Moines workers compensation attorney. It is the employer’s duty to keep their workplace safe for their staff.

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