You Can't Have Your Cake and Eat it Too

 

You have often heard the expression "you can't have your cake and eat it, too." (1) But that's exactly what the insurance companies try to do in handling claims. Whatever the situation, they try to argue that means the injured person wasn't hurt very much. Sometimes they create a problem, and then try to benefit from it. Just the other day I had a case with a claims adjuster where this expression applies.

To give you a little history, the claim involved a motor vehicle intersection accident where our client sustained soft tissue injuries. The collision was so hard his car was totaled. Even though there was an independent non-biased eyewitness who told the police officer at the scene that the…

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If the Insurance Company Presents You with a Scheduled Release, Consult Your Doctor and an Attorney

The insurance company wants to settle your case as soon as possible if you are injured and not represented by an attorney. Use of a "Scheduled Release" (1) is a tactic used by insurance companies to entice unrepresented claimants (people who are making a claim to the insurance company) to settle their claims quickly. When claimants are wary and unsure of the claim process and their future medical condition, the insurance representative appeases them with the "scheduled release" and insists that since future medical bills for the injury will be taken care, the claimant is protected against future unknown medical expenses.

Schedule release forms rarely contain a right to cancel the settlement (2)

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Medical Malpractice Reform Debate

Author: Attorney Malcolm P. McConnell, III

Sarah Moss (1) was a four year old girl who had one of her kidneys removed and her ureter (2) attached to that kidney was re-attached to the remaining kidney. Unfortunately, while still at the hospital, she began leaking urine into her abdomen from the ureter re-attachment. Her belly swelled with fluid, making it difficult for her to breathe. Electrolytes which should have been excreted with her urine were being reabsorbed into her blood through her abdominal wall, destroying the delicate chemical balances in her blood. Despite several calls to the surgical team from Sarah's nurse, Sarah was allowed to deteriorate for approximately…

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Myths about Virginia Auto Insurance

By Attorney R. Clayton Allen

While talking to a client today about their auto insurance, I was reminded of a number of misconceptions and misunderstandings many people have about motor vehicle insurance. Here are four of the most common ones I hear.

Myth #1. "The better known insurance companies offer better coverage, so it's safer to be with one of those."

The Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) Bureau of Insurance issues a form "family automobile insurance policy". (1) All consumer family auto insurance policies sold in Virginia must provide the coverage specified in the form policy. If a policy offers less, Virginia law provides that the policy is "deemed" to…

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Current Docket of U.S. Supreme Court Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court began its 2009-10 term on October 5, 2009 - the first Monday in October - with recently confirmed Justice Sonia Sotomayor as its newest member. The Court's docket this year includes cases with a number of important and interesting issues, including the following:

Gun laws. Last year, the Court overturned a handgun ban in Washington, DC, ruling that the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution granted citizens of the District of Columbia, a federal enclave, the right to possess firearms. This year in McDonald v. Chicago, the Court will debate a similar gun ban in Chicago, and decide whether the Second Amendment also applies to state and local gun laws. The case will be argued in…

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Arbitration: Advantages and Disadvantages

R. Clayton Allen, Mechanicsville, Va Personal Injury Attorney

Author: R. Clayton Allen, Mechanicsville, Va Personal Injury Attorney

Arbitration is a method of resolving disputes without going to court, and it is often a preferred option to trial because it can provide a faster, more efficient claims process.

In arbitration, the dispute is submitted to a third party (the arbitrator) who resolves the dispute after hearing a presentation by both parties. The presentation may be just documents submitted to the arbitrator by each side. More often, in addition to the documents submitted, each side will make an oral argument in person. Usually each side will have an attorney to make the oral argument for them. Occasionally the presentation also includes witnesses…

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Tips to Help Ensure the Success of Your Case

R. Clayton Allen, Mechanicsville, Va Personal Injury Attorney

Author: R. Clayton Allen, Mechanicsville, Va Personal Injury Attorney

There's no doubt about it - you play an important part in your case. Here are 9 things you can do to help insure a successful recovery in your personal injury case.

1. Follow your doctor's and other health care providers' advice. When your attorney submits your case documents to the insurance company to discuss settlement, the insurance company will analyze your medical records closely. Your dedication and commitment to your own recovery - including physical therapy programs - are extremely important. Failure to follow your doctor's advice, missed appointments, or gaps in treatment will reduce the value of your…

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Aggressive Driving and Road Rage

Author: Attorney Kathleen Smith (Llewellyn-Duncan)

Aggressive driving and road rage. We are all susceptible to feelings of frustration and impatience when driving. And that can affect our driving. After all, we are busy people with jobs, kids, errands, family, pets, and it can be tempting to think that if we just got to our destination a few minutes quicker, we'd be happier. (More about that later). But we shouldn't let the urge turn into habit. Road rage kills. And the fact is that acting on road rage can be a criminal offense, while "aggressive driving" is a traffic offense.

Aggressive driving involves behavior such as speeding, improper or excessive lane changing, and tailgating. We've all seen…

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What is Negligence? A Primer in Virginia Law

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Author: Attorney R. Clayton Allen

The basis of all tort (1) law is negligence. In almost every tort case that goes to trial in Virginia, the decision is based on whether the person being sued (the defendant) is guilty of negligence. Usually the judge reads to the jury an instruction that defines negligence as follows: "Negligence is the failure to use ordinary care. Ordinary care is the care a reasonable person would have used under the circumstances."(2) In Virginia, if it's a jury trial, the seven members of the jury must unanimously agree that the defendant was negligent in order for the injured person (the plaintiff) to receive a verdict in their favor.

This…

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"Virginia Law: Business Responsibility for Falls by Visitors and Customers" (Premises Liability)

Author: Attorney R. Clayton Allen

Recently I was reading a blog article about a child who was injured on a fast food restaurant playground and a successful lawsuit holding the restaurant responsible for the injury. What surprised me was how many readers posted comments blaming the parents for letting the child play on the playground and saying it was ridiculous to hold the restaurant responsible for the child's injuries. These comments completely ignore the duties the law places on a business owner, and what customer has the right to expect when they come onto the business property. Every time I have a case like this, I have to "educate" the jury about what Virginia law requires of a business owner. Here's…

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