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Who’s Getting Older? September 8, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury.
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Time magazinehas some interesting stuff.  This week on page 54 is an article by Dan Kadlec about long term care insurance in the United States.  Long Term Care is another word for a nursing home, assisted living facilities or at home nursing aids. 

If you look around my blog you’ll see that my personal injury practice includes nursing home abuse.  We often talk about what to do after the nursing home neglect took place.  But, how do you avoid the neglect?  There are lots of different things to look out for.   Being proactive is one of them. 

The Time magazine article talks about the cost of long term care and the difference in premiums depending on your age.  For example, if you purchase long term care insurance (i.e. nursing home health insurance) in your 50s you may qualify for a “good-health discount” and only 14% of people are denied coverage.  Wait until your 60s and only 42% get the discount and 23% are denied coverage. 

This is really important if your family has a history of alzheimers, stroke or other degenerative illnesses.  I suggest reading the article.  It’s certainly something to think about sooner rather than later.

 Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Algoma, Jackson, Two Rivers and Wauwatosa.


Insurance Company Rules August 13, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury.
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Here’s a little lighter take on the problems with our insurance industry.  The best comedy is based in truth.  This is good comedy

p.s. I didn’t look at any links from the video.  So, I don’t have a clue what else is being touted.  I just think the video is funny.

 Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Oconto, Watertown, Janesville and Wauwatosa.

Let There Be Light! June 22, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury.
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spotlight on medical care costsIt is time to shine the light on hospital costs.  Medical care pricing is hidden in a shroud of secrecy (even though info is out there you may need a MD and CPA to understand it).  Many people don’t really care what a medical procedure costs because “my insurance will pay it.”  Remember that employers and individuals pay for insurance.  The more health insurance premium’s increase the less likely it is that an employer will hire that next employee.

If you’d like to know the cost of some medical procedures at a local hospital check out Wisconsin’s PricePoint website.  You can search by inpatient and outpatient services.  Don’t be afraid to shop around.  Not all hospitals offer the same quality and price.  (As someone who has handled medical malpractice cases I can personally vouch for the quality comment).

This inforamation is great for consumers and invaluable for personal injury attorneys.  At-fault insurance companies are always looking to pay as little as possible for what the law says is their responsibility.  This information helps personal injury attorneys fight for their clients in proving what a reasonable medical expense actually is.

For more information about the cost of medical care in Wisconsin check out Sunday’s Business section in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

 Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Wausaukee, Kenosha, Oconto and Wauwatosa.

Your Health Insurance’s Right to Subrogate Your Personal Injury Case April 18, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury.
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The easy answer is: call your attorney as soon as you receive any documents from your health insurance, auto insurance or any government insurance (e.g. Medicaid or Medicare).

When someone is involved in an auto accident, motorcycle accident, slip and fall, truck accident or any personal injury for that matter their health insurance or auto insurance (med pay policy) will most likely have the right to get paid back from the at fault party.  

The best I can describe it is: Let’s say you are driving your car and a tree suddenly falls onto the road in front of you.  You hit the tree and are injured.  No one is at fault for the collision.  Your auto insurance policy (med pay) and health insurance will pay for the medical care.  They don’t expect anyone to pay them back.  (You can only sue God on shows like Ally McBeal or Boston Legal). 

On the other hand if you are driving a car and are rear ended by someone else then someone IS at fault.  The at-fault driver is responsible to pay your medical expenses (also see What is My Case Worth). 

Your health insurance or auto insurance (med pay policy) will pay the bills as they come due.  Your policy most likely says that they have a contractual duty to pay them.  But, your policy also probably says that they will pay with the understanding that once you obtain a recovery from the at-fault party you will pay health insurance or your auto insurance’s med pay back. 

In essence, they pay the bills so you can get the care you need.  They pay the bills so the doctors don’t come after you directly.  They pay the bills and then send “reminder letters” called Lien Letters or Subrogated Party letters to remind everyone that once the case is settled they want to get paid back.

I strongly encourage all of my clients to submit their bills to their health insurance first.  Then, if they have co-pays or out-of-pocket expenses submit these amounts to their auto insurance (med pay). 

You are probably wondering why the at-fault party doesn’t pay your medical expenses right away.  Good question.  I’ll discuss this later on.  The short answer is that the at-fault party in a collision won’t pay until they receive re-assurance that they will never have to pay again (i.e. a signed release from the injured party).  The at-fault insurance company almost never pays what they are responsible to pay until you are totally done treating.  See my other entry about making sure the at-fault party pays what the laws says they must pay.

Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Beloit, Marinette, Racine, Manitowoc and Wausaukee.

Why doesn’t the Insurance Company for the person that caused the accident pay my bills as I incur them? April 2, 2008

Posted by Attorney Jonathan Groth in FAQ Personal Injury.
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The short answer is that the insurance company doesn’t want to part with their money unless they have to.  Let me try to explain: 

When someone is involved in a car accident, slip and fall, dog bite or other personal injury matter there are a few questions that I am asked almost every time.  Let’s assume I received a call from a client who was in an auto accident.  The client tells me that they went to the hospital and the bills were submitted to the at-fault party’s insurance but weren’t paid.  Why?  It’s there fault.  Why submit the bills to the at-fault party’s insurance if they won’t pay them right away?  They are responsible, they said so at the scene of the collision. 

 Well, I agree with the idea behind all of these questions.  Ideally, the at-fault party would pay the bills as they are incurred.  The hospitals get their money right away and the victim’s credit doesn’t get ruined.  However my experience has shown that insurance companies won’t pay until they have a guarantee that the victim won’t ask for more money later (they also don’t want to pay hoping you’ll go away and not want to deal with the hastle of the insurance company run-around).  

So, when it is time to settle a personal injury claim, you need to make sure your attorney doesn’t leave any stone unturned.  In Wisconsin, you have the right to compensation for past pain and suffering, medical expenses, mileage to the doctor, past lost wages along with future pain and suffering, future loss of earnings capacity and future medical expenses. 

 So, how do you keep the bill collectors at bay while you recover from your injury?  Give me a call or email me and I’ll be happy to discuss this with you.  The quick answer is make sure you have health insurance, auto insurance and contact a personal injury attorney. 

Remember this, if you are hurt please go to a doctor.  Get help.   The most important thing is for you, the victim, to get better.