Articles

HEALTH INSURERS THINK THEY HAVE THE UPPER HAND WHEN A CLAIM IS MADE: DO THEY?

Health insurers provide insurance protection for consumers of medical service for their care – who does not fit that description? So, the question is: what kind of insurance protection do we get when we incur medical bills and claim is submitted to our health insurer? To answer that question we need to look at how health insurance works. There are three types of health insurance programs (not including Medicare which is a somewhat different):  individual plans, association group plans (through a common association), and employer sponsored “group” plans.  Each has its own benefits and rules. The premium charged for health insurance is based on the level of risk the insurer will assume. It must put limits on that coverage, and subject to federal and state laws, it has every right to do so.  So, it is never going to agree to pay what is billed. It claims it needs to…

Dog Bite Cases Involving Children and Young Adults: The Owner is Strictly Liable for Dog Bites and for the Injuries Caused to the Victim

It is well known that dog bites can cause significant injuries leading to death or long-lasting disability.  In children and young adults being threatened by a dog can have a devastating physical and emotional consequence to them. The experience of being attacked by an animal is sometimes life altering. The typical dog bite on a child hits them at or above their shoulders. These attacks equate to that of a bear attack on an adult, in terms of the shock, overwhelming fear and residual stress. The emotional impact on the child is huge.. The child will not talk about it and greatly needs to. This is because the child sees the sad faces of his parents anytime the topic comes up. They remain silent to save their parents from additional grief. So the child keeps this emotion load locked up in his mind.  This explains why therapy is needed.  http://www.acepnow.com/article/pstd-children-dog-bites/.  Dog bites threaten disease to the…

Presenting Expert Testimony Where there are not pictures: Keeping a Jury’s Interest in What the Expert has to say! [1]

My Views of What We Do. There is nothing more satisfying than watching a skilled trial lawyer do his work, laying foundations, examining with precision, maintaining control of the forum, carefully laying out his case consistent with his representations in opening statement, earning the respect of the court and jury, and arguing the case persuasively for a positive result for the client.  It is particularly satisfying if the lawyer achieving all of this is YOU! Trial work is a grand game of “Mother, May I.”   Done properly, the skilled trial lawyer does his work under the trial judge as conductor and knows the rules and when to ask permission to move about the courtroom so that the evidence, both testimonial and documentary, is developed in a logical, understandable fashion. “Ladies and Gentlement,  a trial is a “theater of the real”. We are portraying what has taken place and “replaying” a…

Three Cliches that Apply to Mediation and Settlement Negotiation

Tips to Getting to the Goal Line in Civil Litigation: Three Cliches that Apply to Mediation and Settlement Negotiation You don’t have to go to the law books to find the basic principles which apply to negotiation and settlement. In fact, these basic principles may be ones you learned growing up and possibly used before you ever entered law school. They are from clichés that we all have heard and probably used in our personal lives, but do they apply to our work as trial lawyers and litigators? Here are some I apply regularly: 1. YOU CAN’T GET BLOOD OUT OF A TURNIP. “‘You can’t get blood from a stone.’ You can’t get something from someone who doesn’t have it. The proverb has been traced back to G. Torriano’s ‘Common Place of Italian Proverbs.’ First attested in the United States in the ‘Letters from William Cobbett to Edward Thornton.’ The…

Preparing to be Effective at Mediation: Stating the Obvious But the Obvious Needs to Be Restated!

One of my biggest complaints is that some lawyers (and perhaps clients) just do not get it—that it takes considerable effort and preparation to make the mediation process work. It takes: A common and good faith interest in mediation, An exchange of complete and thoughtfully prepared mediation statements and exhibits well in advance of the mediation date, The presence of those with authority to settle (with real authority please!), and A level of candor and disclosure that allows the parties top assess realistically assess the other side’s position. And perhaps more than anything, a willingness to listen to what the other side has to say, along with carefully assessing the position counter to the client’s. If this is done—and it should be if counsel’s representation in mediation is to meet professional standards—then there will be a full discussion and exchange of information before and during the mediation so that the chances of settlement increase.At that time, it seemed to…