Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Lindsay Lohan was taken this morning to her home away from home: jail.

Actually, that’s not fair. Her home jail is Los Angeles. This is an away game for Lohan.

Apparently, she struck a pedestrian in his knee with her Porsche this morning, but couldn’t be bothered to stay around. The accident occurred at 2:30 a.m. which confirms my long-held theory that nothing good ever happens after 1:00 a.m.

She’s traveling with a crew. Would it kill her to hire a designated driver?

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One thing I think we can all universally agree on it that there are just too many pedestrian accidents and deaths. Clearly, Chicago is not an exception. A report of pedestrian and vehicle crashes released by Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) in 2011, focused on this problem and the types of crashes involving pedestrians. The authors of the study reviewed pedestrian accident data from police reports in the Chicago metropolitan area to determine how each incident occurred.

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The Supreme Court said yesterday it would decide whether the 180-day limit placed on hospitals appealing Medicare reimbursement edicts can be equitably tolled. Eighteen hospitals want a review of reimbursement decisions dating back as far as 1987.

Back in 2006 – the wheels of justice move slowly for hospitals too – 18 hospitals attempted to appeal the Department of Health and Human Services’ determination of their annual Medicare reimbursement rate for elderly and disabled patients from 1987-94.

The hospital knew the appeals were, to say the least, late but claimed that equitable estoppel should toll the claims because the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services refused to inform them that their Supplemental Security Income percentages were incorrectly understated for 1987 through 1994. The whole thing came up as a result of another case that CMS had paid hospitals less than they were due because it had miscalculated the DSH percentage owed.

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fatal school bus accident lawsuitA fatal school bus accident last week has prompted a lawsuit alleging unsafe conditions for the bus’ lack of seatbelts.

The details here are sad. The 60 year old school bus driver and a five-year-old little girl were killed in the crash. The bus, which struck a bridge, was carrying approximately 50 children, ages 5-16.

A suit has now been filed by the family of three of the injured children, with injuries ranging from a broken leg to claims of post-traumatic stress. The suit claims that the bus company failed to inspect the school bus for defective and unsafe conditions, including the lack of seatbelts, though a state police investigation determined that the bus was in fine working condition. The suit further alleges that the company failed to “discover, determine, and /or monitor the health conditions” of the school bus driver, though an autopsy revealed no signs of a medical condition that may have caused the driver to strike the bridge.

This is obviously only one of many more suits to come. The accidental death of anyone, especially a child, prompts frustration and anger, but I’m not sure how the unsafe claim for the bus’ lack of seatbelts will play out.

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Medicare continues to make efforts to try, post Haro v. Sebelius, to make for an easier solution for dealing with Medicare liens. The latest? In very small cases, they are more likely to be handled by injury victims themselves as opposed to personal injury lawyers, Medicare will offer a 25% gross payment alternative to dealing with Medicare on a lien.

It is certainly not the deal of a lifetime by any stretch. More importantly, it is only for cases that do not exceed $5,000. But the option applies in:

  • Cases after November 7, 2011
  • Involve physical injury
  • $5,000 or less
  • The option is selected in a to-be-determined time frame
  • Medicare has yet to make a final demand
  • The beneficiary does not expect to receive future third party injury payments

If these conditions are satisfied, a beneficiary will resolve and satisfy Medicare’s lien by paying Medicare 25% of the insurance settlement. While the primary application will now, more than likely, be small soft tissue car accident claims, a successful run might lead to larger scale implementation down the road.

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The West Virginia Supreme Court last week dealt with a common problem in car accident cases: the defendant has no coverage. The Plaintiff, who suffered serious injuries, tried to bring a claim against Nationwide Insurance after it disclaimed coverage because the defendant’s insurance policy had been canceled. Defendant claimed he did not know the policy was canceled. (They somehow never seem to know.)
Plaintiff in this case was blameless. He was driving a van and struck a sport utility vehicle head-on. He suffered real injuries: a broken femur, concussion, low grade coma, broken nose, broken ribs, bruised shoulder, injured hips, and multiple bruises, cuts and scrapes. Plaintiff files suit and gets a default judgment of over $6 million. Of course, that and a quarter will buy you a turn at the arcade.

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A wrongful death lawsuit has been brought by the survivors of three people killed in a car accident. The wrinkle, in this case, is that they have brought a suit against the city of Charlotte and Crescent Resources, accusing them of negligence for not installing a traffic light where the high-speed crash along N.C. 49 occurred two years ago.

Why bring in the government entities? The families’ lost loved ones were not the cause of the accident: the accident was caused by two guys who were racing. The answer in these cases is always the same: inadequate insurance.

The suit claims Charlotte and Crescent Resources, the developer of a community along the highway in southwest Mecklenburg County, created a dangerous intersection and failed to install a traffic light.

The majority of the cases our lawyers handle involve auto accidents and truck accidents in the area. We handle only extremely serious injury and wrongful death accident claims.

Although not all, the vast majority of our cases are in Maryland. We will handle truck accident and car injury cases outside of Maryland, but only in the event of catastrophic injury or death.

You are trying to choose a lawyer? Take a second and take a breath. Your choice matters. Do some research. Talk to a lot of lawyers. Find out who is really trying cases and getting verdicts for their clients and who is running a marketing firm to get and settle – regardless of the value – cases as fast as they can. And… one other thing I think is critical: ask every accident lawyer you talk to who they would refer a case to if they could not handle a serious car accident case on behalf of a loved one. If the answer keeps coming up with one firm, you have a great candidate.

traumatic brain injury car accidentAn Ohio man was awarded $1 million after suffering a mild traumatic brain injury in a 2006 car collision with a police cruiser. According to Plaintiff’s lawsuit, the car accident occurred when a Strongville police officer made an illegal left turn while responding to a “non-emergency” call. The plaintiff claims a traumatic brain injury.

Our lawyers handle a lot of TBI cases. Plaintiff’s TBI from the car crash presented as many of these injuries often do: pretty much no big deal. Obviously, in this case and countless other TBI car accident cases, the injury evolves from nothing to something extremely problematic.

The average car/truck/motorcycle accident verdict in New York is $837,020, which is stunningly high compared to most other jurisdictions.

Why is this? Are New York jurors just that much more generous than, say, jurors in Maryland?

The answer is that New York’s no-fault accident law requires that plaintiffs suffer a “serious injury” before a lawsuit can be brought against the at-fault driver. While there is some question that having a magical threshold that needs to be crossed is going to be fraught with great flaws, there is no question that this New York scheme, as desultory as the justice it might bring, keeps minor personal injury car accident cases out of court.

What’s my point? My point is that this completely distorts average car accident verdicts in New York. I read Metro Verdicts Monthly and Mealey’s which provide a lot of individual verdicts in car accident cases in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. It is amazing how many jury verdicts there are for $10,000 when, if you look at the case, is really not such a bad result. New York has none of these cases deflating their average.

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