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    Thursday
    Jan122012

    The Truth About Med Mal

    “Tort liability for medical malpractice is designed to serve several functions: to compensate injured patients for their harm, to encourage doctors to take appropriate safety precautions and avoid undue risk in treating their patients, and to provide a forum in which negligent physicians can be held publicly accountable. The litigation process can also provide a means for patients and their families to gain more information about the causes and circumstances of medical injuries (source).”

    Today the Center for Justice and Democracy released a fact sheet on medical malpractice, a commonly misunderstood area of law. There is a false belief that med mal cases are clogging up the court system, awarding victims with meritless claims. The truth is that every year hundreds of thousands of Americans are injured or killed by medical errors that are preventable- and many aren't even reported. Here are some particularly interesting facts:

    • According to an April 2011 report, in 2008 medical malpractice case filings “represented well under 2 percent of all incoming civil cases, and less than 8 percent of incoming tort cases” in the general jurisdiction courts of 12 states reporting. 
    • Between 1996 and 2005, the number of medical malpractice trials concluded in state courts in the nation’s 75 most populous counties remained low and fairly stable, increasing by only 1.5 percent over the ten-year period.
    • It is difficult for patients to win malpractice cases- in 2005, the latest year studied by DOJ, the plaintiff win rate for medical malpractice was 23 percent.

    Find the complete article here.

    Tuesday
    Jan102012

    When Good Dogs Go Bad

    Dogs, although man's (and woman's) best friend, can be unpredictable if not properly trained. If a dog turns on someone and attacks, the injured victim may be able to recover for damages. If injured, the victim is compensated through the dog owner's homeowners or renter's insurance.

    Nevada is a "one-bite state," meaning that the dog owner (and everyone else who is connected with the dog) is protected from liability as to the first injury caused by the dog, unless liability can be based upon other grounds. "Other grounds" include previous known aggressive behavior from the dog. The dog owner, harborers and keepers will be held strictly liable for dog bites and other harm caused by a dangerous propensity of the dog. For example, if the dog previously bit someone, and the owner knew about it, then the owner will be responsible every time the dog bites anyone else. 

    Even though Nevada is a “one-bite” state, owners can still be liable for (a) negligence, (b) premises liability, (c) violation of a leash law (d) intentional conduct involving the use of a dog, and (e) outrageous or reckless behavior involving the use of a dog. 

    Always approach a dog carefully and teach your kids to do the same. For more on dog bites, contact us at (702) 384-2070. 

    (Source). 

    Friday
    Jan062012

    It's Time to Reassess Your Auto Insurance

    We don’t work for insurance companies, but in representing injured clients, we have repeatedly seen situations where our clients failed to purchase appropriate insurance and that failure cost them dearly. There are three primary areas that we believe you should examine. 

    First, we recommend that our clients purchase uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage up to the full amount of their liability policy limits. All too often, we are handling cases where a client is severely injured by a negligent driver who has either no insurance or the minimum liability limits of $15,000.  Uninsured/underinsured motorists insurance will provide protection for you and your passengers in that event. 

    Second, we recommend that our clients purchase a reasonable amount of med pay protection, as part of their automobile policy.  This is all the more critical for those individuals who otherwise do not have health insurance. Med pay is available to pay your medical expenses if you are injured in an auto accident.  Even if you have health insurance, the med pay coverage will pay your medical bills (or reimburse you), and you will not be required to reimburse the insurance company in the event that you recover money from a third party who caused the accident.

    Third, we recommend that our clients evaluate the amount of their liability coverage, at least once a year. Nevada law requires that you carry a minimum amount of liability insurance, and the minimum amount is $15,000 per person, $30,000 per occurrence.  However, if you have assets, you should probably purchase more.  Conversely, if your financial situation has worsened, you may be paying for insurance that is significantly more than what you actually need. 

    Face it.  If you’re like most people, when your insurance renewal comes, you put the new insurance cards in your glove box and throw away everything else.  You may have been doing this for years.  We urge to you to take some time and make sure you understand the coverages you need. 

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