Debt Collectors At Your Door? Read This Before You Pay

Times are tough, and lots of folks are in financial trouble and having problems paying their debts.  Debt collectors start calling and keep on calling and calling.

Be careful.  Before you agree to pay one of those debt collectors, read this valuable information.

You must be sure you are paying the collector who has a right to be repaid.

Representing people who have been sued by debt collectors is not something we do.  However, we try to help people who need legal assistance.  Need to talk to a lawyer about a debt collection problem, give us a call or contact us.

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Medical Insurance May Not Cover Your Serious Condition

I talk all the time about the importance of having enough uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your automobile policies.  Often, people say to me, “Why do I need that?  I have medical insurance.”  I tell them that when a catastrophe happens, you need all the insurance coverage you can get — because there are loopholes you don’t even know about in your medical insurance coverage.

A recent article in Business Week magazine says the same thing.  A study has shown that people with medical insurance pay almost as much out of pocket as do uninsured folks when it comes to very serious medical conditions.  How does that happen?

Insurance companies are not in the business of handing out money, and once you appear on their radar screen as having a serious medical condition, they start to work to figure out a way to deny coverage.  And, since they wrote the policies and know better than you where the loopholes are, they often are successful in cutting off your benefits.

The article also cites a study that found illness or medical expenses contributed to 50% of bankruptcies.

I’m not saying don’t get health insurance.  We need all the help we can get.  But it makes me mad that once again the individual gets taken advantage of by huge corporations. Contact us.

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How Does Bankruptcy Affect A Personal Injury Claim?

Things don’t happen to us one at a time, and when two important areas of the law collide, you can be left without full justice.  If you have filed for bankruptcy relief either before or after being in a car accident, you and your bankruptcy lawyer must review and understand all the facts and the law about how your personal injury claim affects your bankruptcy and vice versa.

The bankruptcy code provides for several kinds of assets that are exempted from the bankruptcy procedure, and you and your lawyer must know what they are and how they affect you.

Always, always, always tell both your bankruptcy and your personal injury lawyer all the facts.  Put them in touch with each other, so they can figure out how to maximize your remedies in both your bankruptcy and in your personal injury claim.

If your bankruptcy lawyer does not know that you have a personal injury claim — or the facts about your medical bills and injuries — then s/he cannot properly protect you from your debtors.  On the other hand, if you file for bankruptcy without telling your personal injury lawyer, you may not be able to recover the full damages that you would otherwise be entitled to recover.

Be sure to explore these exemptions with your bankruptcy lawyer if you have a personal injury claim.

We are not bankruptcy lawyers.  However, this issue is very important.  If you have been injured in an accident and are thinking about filing for bankruptcy relief, give us a call through the website, and we will refer you to an experienced bankruptcy lawyer.

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Supreme Court Rejects Claim

On March 2009, the U. S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in the case of a man. A bass player and composer of children went to a clinic for treatment of headache-induced nausea.  The staff at the clinic administered the antihistamine Phenergan, manufactured by Pharmaceutical Company, by using an “IV push.”  The drug was inadvertently injected into one of her arteries.  She developed tissue deterioration and gangrene, and her arm was ultimately amputated.

She went to state court and sued him (it knew that the IV push created a risk of inadvertent arterial injection and gangrene), claiming that its warning was inadequate because it did not prohibit IV push delivery.  He defended on the basis that the warning was mandated by the FDA and that the case was preempted by federal law.

The jury awarded her $6.7 million and he appealed.

In a 6 – 3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court brushed aside his plea that it limit lawsuits against drug makers.

This is a huge victory for citizens who are injured by huge pharmaceutical companies who know of the dangerous drugs they are putting on the market and then try to hide behind FDA requirements.

Big Pharma Giveaways To Doctors Ends

Have you ever looked around your doctor’s office and seen all the things printed with names of pharmaceutical companies and their products?  That’s about to stop.

As of Thursday, January 1, 2009, doctors will no longer receive free gifts from pharmaceutical companies.  For years, big pharma has peppered doctors’ offices with free promotional items – pens, pads (including prescription pads), tongue depressors, mugs, soap dispensers, T-shirts, etc. – all of which, of course, are emblazoned with the name of the company’s latest high-profile drug.

More and more, pharmaceutical companies have been the focus of criticism for such practices and arguably are taking the voluntary ban step as a way of blunting some of the criticism. The many comments about the article express different points of view.

So, what’s wrong with promotional items?  Drug companies spend billions of dollars keeping their products in front of doctors to try to influence them to write prescriptions to us. How can patients – you and I – be sure that what we are being prescribed is necessary and appropriate for our medical condition?   As long as that is happening, we should be asking questions.

Notice this is a voluntary ban on free gifts (swag).  But, also note what is NOT included in the ban:  free lunches and dinners, payment for consultations and free drug samples.

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Insurance Companies – Tricks They Use To Keep From Covering Your Loss

American Association for Justice has just published a new report condemning the practices of some of the nation’s largest insurance companies and others that have systematically denied claims, delayed payments, confused consumers with incomprehensible insurance-speak and refused or retroactively cancelled coverage for anyone who will cost them money.

The report tells real stories:
–People whose valid claims were denied so the insurance company could boost their bottom lines.
–Companies rewarded employees who denied the claim, replaced those who would not and, when all else failed, engaged in outright fraud to avoid paying the claim.
–Long-term care insurers delayed paying, hoping the ill or elderly claimant would die before the claim was paid.
–Read how insurance companies use a low credit score against the insured when it comes time to renew a policy.
–Insurance companies offer bonuses for employees who meet “cancellation goals” – cancelling coverage even in the midst of treatment for ill patients who have become too expensive to treat.

This report is a must-read for everyone.

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