Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage – It’s Worth the Extra Cost

car accidentCarrying auto liability insurance or a state-approved bond, which will show a driver’s financial capability in compensating anyone who is innocently injured or whose property is damaged in an accident, is a requirement in all 50 states in the US. This requirement is meant ensure injured victims of reckless, negligent and irresponsible at-fault drivers that they have a chance of receiving compensation which will cover cost of treatment for their injury and loss of income.

The type of auto insurance, however, differs among states. While most states require a tort-liability policy, there are a few that require the no-fault auto insurance instead – the difference simply on how compensation may be sought.

In tort states, to be able to seek compensation, the victim of an accident usually needs to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver (unless this driver makes an out-of-court settlement with his/her victim) and prove that the accident was a result of his or her negligent act. After liability has been proven, payments to cover bodily injury and property damage (this does not include payment for the at-fault driver’s own injuries and damaged property) will be made by the at-fault driver’s insurance provider. According to the website of the Mokaram Law Firm, any amount that will exceed the compensation that needs to be paid will already have to come from the liable driver’s own pocket.

In no-fault states, however, cost of medical treatment resulting from the injuries (of both drivers) sustained in the accident will be paid by each driver’s insurance provider, regardless of whose fault the accident is. This means no more need to file a lawsuit to be able to prove fault.

This state requirement, of carrying auto liability insurance, particularly in tort states, should be enough to assure anyone of the compensation that he or she may be deemed eligible by the court to receive. However, there is one very troubling major problem (related to this auto liability coverage) that the Insurance Research Council has identified – that 1 in every 8 drivers in the US continuously drives on roads and highways despite being uninsured. However, instead of catching these drivers and putting them behind bars, insured drivers are rather given the additional requirement of carrying Uninsured /Underinsured Motorist coverage on top of their auto liability insurance.

Due to the absence of coverage on a vehicle, Uninsured motorist coverage will cover all economic losses and damages suffered by an innocent victim. This coverage is most helpful if a person is hit by an uninsured driver, a stolen vehicle or a victim of a hit & run. Underinsured motorist coverage, on the other hand, is intended to cover the amount in excess of the policy limit of the underinsured motorist.

Uninsured /Underinsured Motorist coverage will definitely be additional costs for any driver; however, thinking about the benefits it will provide, it might just be worth the extra cost.

Devastating Outcomes: The Most Common Construction Accidents

Construction work is a dangerous profession. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported in the year 2013 that a total of 796 deaths were caused by construction-related accidents. According to the organization’s findings, these fatalities translated to about 20 percent of all workplace deaths that occurred in the U.S. during that single year. Knowing these hazards, it’s important for people working in this industry to be aware of the dangers they face regularly.

On their website, Clawson and Staubes, LLC: Injury Group lists down some of the most common accidents that occur in construction sites. The list includes slip and trip accidents, crane accidents, electrocution accidents, heavy equipment accidents, and fall accidents. The most common among these dangers are slip, trip, and fall accidents. According to their data, about 22 percent of injuries that result from accidents in construction sites are caused by falls that happen when workers slip or trip from cranes, ladders, and scaffolding. Such accidents typically happen due to risk factors such as the absence of a proper safety protocol, the use of improper safety equipment and faulty equipment, as well as the hiring of workers that are unqualified for hard labor.

Regardless of the cause of the accident, construction injuries can lead to very devastating consequences. Workers that become seriously injured while on the job risk facing lifelong medical conditions, as well as significant loss of income due to their inability to come back to work and make a living. As such, it’s important for these workers to know that there are legal avenues they can pursue should the worst ever happen while they toil in the workplace. With the help of a qualified personal injury attorney, workers that have been injured in construction accidents can receive compensation that can help cover the damages caused by their employer’s negligent practices.

Which Doctors Are Sued The Most?

Doctor at DeskDoctors and other medical personnel hold the highest standards of professionalism and trust. They are bound to uphold the highest ethical standards based on the Hippocratic oath which the medical practitioner sworn to when they entered the medical profession. But doctors are humans as well and hence can make errors which unfortunately can lead to injury or death of their patients, which they swore to protect and treat.

While no amount of money can compensate for the lost life, the surviving relatives of the deceased can make the doctor liable for the injury or death of their loved one. Americans file over 17,000 medical malpractice lawsuits every year, according to recent data. This fact of doctors getting involved in medical malpractice was proven by a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Examining information on 66,426 malpractice suits from 915,564 physicians, the study revealed that most doctors don’t settle or lose in lawsuits.

A separate report by Medscape found that 35% of lawsuits were due to “failure to diagnose” and 17% were due to “failure to treat.” According to the New England Journal of Medicine study, certain medical specialties are targeted more than others. So which field of doctors have the most number of medical malpractice lawsuits? This is based on the findings of the Medscape survey involving 4,000 primary care physicians and selected specialists:

  • Obstetrician/Gynecologist – 85 percent
  • Surgeon – 83 percent
  • Orthopedic – 79 percent
  • Radiologist – 72 percent
  • Anesthesiologist – 58 percent
  • Internal Medicine – 46 percent
  • Oncologist – 34 percent

Orthopedists and general surgeons reflected the highest percentage of being the only parties included in a medical malpractice suit with 26 percent and 23 percent, respectively. OB/Gyns came in at third with 18 percent. The survey revealed that older doctors were more likely to be sued for medical malpractice. According to the study, 80 percent of doctors above 60 years old faced a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Who is Eligible Under Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Code, also known as Wage-earner’s Plan, Repayment Plan or Debt Adjustment is a restructuring type of bankruptcy wherein debtors are allowed to design a three-year payment proposal during which time they can settle their debts (this plan can be extended up to five years if approved by the court). This proposal, which is actually a restructured payment scheme, is aimed at helping debtors make debt payments more affordable for them. Unlike Chapter 7 bankruptcy, wherein debtors will need to submit their “non-exempt” properties for liquidation, debtors who file for bankruptcy under this chapter are allowed to keep their properties and assets; business owners are also allowed to continue operating their business, especially if it is a major source of their income and payment for debts.

Besides forbidding creditors from starting or continuing any effort to collect payment (while the chapter 13 plan is in effect), there are many other advantages offered by this chapter. As listed in the website of the United States Courts (http://www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/bankruptcy/bankruptcy-basics/chapter-13-bankruptcy-basics), these advantages include:

a. Keeping a debtor’s home from getting foreclosed and a chance for debtors to pay past due mortgage payments over time.

b. The chance to reschedule secured debts and extend payments for these over the approved chapter 13 plan (either three years or five years).

c. Protection for co-signers or a third party who is equally liable with the debtor.

d. Coursing all plan payments to a chapter 13 trustee instead of to the creditors directly. This keeps debtors from having direct contact with creditors.

Individuals, who may be operating an unincorporated business or are self-employed, are eligible for chapter 13 protection (corporations or partnerships do not qualify under this chapter), but only if their secured debts are less than $1,149,525 and their unsecured debts, less than $383,175 (these figures are occasionally adjusted in order to reflect changes in the consumer price index.

It is incredibly common for people to avoid filing for bankruptcy in fear that bankruptcy will complicate their credit status or signify that they have somehow failed financially. On the contrary, people can use the bankruptcy process to their advantage and work their way toward financial freedom. With help from a seasoned bankruptcy lawyer, debtors will understand more what bankruptcy is really all about, the many advantages it offers and which particular chapter will best work for them.

New Rules from U.S. FDA to Affect the Whole Tobacco Industry and the Nation’s 40 Million Smokers

E-Cigarette

In a number of U.S. states, Americans are banned from being sold e-cigarettes unless they can show a photo identification which will prove that they are above 18 years old. This new rule, which extends federal regulatory authority to e-cigarettes, comes from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and its adoption by all states will affect not only the tobacco industry but the nation’s 40 million smokers (including the estimated 9 million adult e-cigarette users ) as well.

There is currently no federal oversight or protection for American consumers in connection with the sale and use of E-cigarettes, which has grown into a multi-billion dollar business. E-cigarettes, which were introduced during the early part of the year 2000, are devices that deliver nicotine without the harmful cancer-causing tar and chemicals.

While British health experts see the use of e-cigarettes as an effective way of helping people quit smoking traditional cigarettes, health experts in the U.S. are wary as to whether banning these devices to be sold to Americans below 18 will make them quit smoking or would only cause them to smoke cigarettes instead.

Smoking is a huge concern for American health experts, considering the fact that more than 480,000 tobacco-related deaths are reported in the U.S. every year. Though Matthew Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, welcomed the FDA’s new rules, which are take effect in 90 days, he says that the process of implementing the rules has brought about much difficulty.

One of the biggest effects of the FDA rule is the need for manufacturers of e-cigarettes and tobacco products to register with the FDA, disclose to the agency their manufacturing processes, and provide the agency with a detailed list of their products’ ingredients. All manufacturers will also be subjected to FDA inspections and will only be able to market their products as “mild,” or “light” after these have been approved and allowed by the FDA. No company will also be allowed to give out free sample products.

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