personal injury attorney kansas city
personal injury attorney kansas city
A Legacy – Legal Examiner
The Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation’s Legacy award is presented to an individual who, by extraordinary effort, demonstrates a unique dedication to the principles of liberty and justice by virtue of professional service, community service …
GM to pay $575M to settle ignition switch lawsuits – Kansas City Star
GM to pay $575M to settle ignition switch lawsuits
Kansas City Star
The company on Thursday said it reached a deal with Texas personal injury lawyer Bob Hilliard to settle 1,385 death and injury cases that he filed over crashes caused by the switches. The money also will be used to settle a 2014 class-action lawsuit …and more »
Potts Law Firm Files 90 New GM Ignition Switch Claims in St. Louis – MarketWatch
Potts Law Firm Files 90 New GM Ignition Switch Claims in St. Louis
18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Attorneys from the Houston and Kansas City offices of the Potts Law Firm, LLP, have filed a new lawsuit against auto manufacturing giant General Motors LLC GM, -1.66% in St. Louis City Circuit Court on behalf of 90 individual …and more »
Personal Injury: What You Must Know About the Collateral Source …
Sally is injured in a car accident. Her injuries make her unable to work. She receives substantial discounts from her health care providers and her remaining bills are paid by Medicaide.
At trial the insurance defense attorney hired by the at-fault driver wants to tell the jury about the discounts and Medicaide payments.
Will the trial judge allow him to do so?
No, says the “collateral source rule.” At least not if she lives in one of the states that still support the rule.
Collateral Source Rule Explained
The term “collateral” as used here means simply “additional”. The at-fault driver or “tort-feasor” as the law calls him, is responsible for making the injured person whole.
This includes making sure her medical bills are paid. Medicaide and the discounts are “additional sources” that have helped make Sally whole by paying her medical bills.
In the American legal system laws can be made by legislatures, administrative agencies, and by courts. The law created by courts is known as common law. The collateral source rule was court created in 1854.
The essence of this rule is summarized in Black’s Law Dictionary as follows:
“…if an injured person receives compensation for his injuries from a source wholly independent of the tort-feasor, the payment should not be deducted from the damages [monetary compensation] which he would otherwise collect from the tort-feasor. In other words, a defendant tortfeasor may not benefit from the fact that the plaintiff has received money from other sources as a result of the defendant’s tort.”
It is an evidentiary rule which means that the injured person has the right to ask the judge to keep evidence of collateral source payments away from the jury.
The most common collateral sources are medical insurance, workers compensation, VA medical benefits, Medicaide and other government programs.
While some states have refused to give medical discounts the protection of the collateral source rule, the majority opinion is just the opposite. A majority of states permit a plaintiff to recover the amounts billed for medical care, even when those amounts are discounted by the health care provider pursuant to a contract with the injured person’s health insurer.
States That Have Modified Or Eliminated The Rule
The legislatures of twenty eight (28) states have either abolished or modified the collateral source rule.
These states are as follows: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, West Virginia.
Here is a list, as of the date of this article, of the fourteen states that have completely abolished the rule: Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, and Oregon.
At the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies website you can find a list of the states that have modified the rule with a summary of the modification:
Even if you live in a state where the rule has been abolished or limited by the legislature, you should check on the current status as some state supreme courts have overruled the legislature and reinstated the rule.
If yours is one of the twenty two states that still have the collateral source rule in full or one of fourteen that have retained it in part, you need to know about and understand it.
Insurance companies will try to reduce your compensation by amounts which your health insurance has paid. Be alert, don’t let them put the evidence in front of the jury.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for legal advice. Seek an opinion from an experienced injury attorney in your state of residence.
Fault in Semi-Truck Accidents – Articlesbase
Every year in the US, thousands of people are injured in accidents with semi-trucks. Often times these accidents involve several vehicles. Due to the size of semi-trucks, these accidents commonly result in serious or fatal injuries. In addition to the potential for injury, multiple vehicle accidents can make it difficult to determine who is at fault for the accident.
Federal and local trucking laws add another layer of complexity to determining fault in trucking accidents, as do the insurance companies working on behalf of the trucking company and the driver. When you are involved in a truck accident, having an experienced trucking accident attorney on your side can go a long way in helping you recover damages.
Determining Fault in a Semi-Truck Accident
When you are involved in an accident with a semi-truck, determining fault may not be as black and white as it seems. Truckers and the companies they work for are required to adhere to numerous safety standards and to keep very specific paperwork regarding maintenance, schedules, and monitoring of drivers.
Going it alone, you may find this process terribly overwhelming. It is in the best interest of the trucker, the company he works for, and their insurance companies to keep you from being awarded damages. A truck accident attorney is essential in these cases to help you wade through the mountains of paperwork and deal with the complex laws regulating truckers.
Common causes of semi-truck accidents include:
- Improperly weighted loads
- Poor vehicle maintenance
- Driver fatigue
- Common driver errors
- Driver distractions
- Defective roadways
With so many potential causes, it is not uncommon for semi-truck accident lawsuits to include several defendants. Defendants in a truck accident may include:
- The truck driver
- The company the truck driver works for
- The manufacturer of the truck
- Government entities
- Multiple insurance companies
The trucker and the company he works for may try to make determining fault and seeking compensation impossible. They may even try to take advantage of you in your injured state to get you to accept an inadequate settlement. It is important to never settle with a trucker or their insurance company prior to speaking with a truck accident attorney. Having an attorney on your side is the only way to make sure you are treated fairly, and awarded what you are due.
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