Posts by Tyler

Laurie St. Clair’s story

Posted By on Oct 13, 2017

In 2015, a woman in Torrance suffered a novel and heartbreaking kind of medical malpractice. Laurie St. Clair, 53, died from liver cirrhosis. The cause of her death was not the lack of an available liver but was in fact due to her insurance company, which disputed who should pay for the entire process of the liver transplant procedure for so long. St. Clair passed away not just before a donor could be found or an operation could take place, but before she had even been able to consult a doctor.

The attorney for the family, Travis Corby has called the behavior of the two HMOs responsible for this tragedy suggested they were “callously indifferent” to the fate of St. Clair.

The HMOs in this case, Health Net of California and HealthCare LA spent months negotiating a contract for an out of network liver transplant, a situation Corby says should not be legal.

“No person in this country should be forced to wait months just to receive an initial consultation for life-saving treatment,” he told the Daily Breeze. “HMOs like Health Net and HealthCare LA should not be permitted to make patients wait in perilous condition while it spends months “negotiating” a contract and looking to save itself money on care that should be immediately available to its insureds.”

He added that such behavior amounted to “death by bureaucracy.”

The situation, it appears was even worse. Not only were the HMOs slow to negotiate a contract, they ignored weeks of phone calls from the family begging for a resolution.

According to Corby, St. Clair’s situation is unfortunately not at all unique. He said he often saw cases like St. Clair’s in which insurance companies were responsible for the severe injury or death of its clients.

St. Clair’s situation raises a question about American insurance and how it should also be included amongst any debates about medical malpractice suits. While suits are usually assumed to be due to a doctor or hospital error, the definition may have to be expanded to include the “death by bureaucracy” situations Corby describes and St. Clair tragically experienced.

Lawyers like Corby and other firms see too many cases in which death and injury would have been avoidable if only for a faster insurance process.

While the country debates health care options, more should be said about the problems within the insurance companies themselves, and not just how rates can be controlled. Whether it is through greater government incentives or the so-called “public option” which would allow for a government-run insurance to counter the private industries, more should be done to decrease the number of cases similar to St. Clair’s.

Until then, too many people will worry not just whether donors can be found but whether their insurance will work fast enough to save their lives.

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Personal Injury

Posted By on Aug 15, 2017

After a horrible accident, the most important thing is recovery. The injuries that an accident can cause are devastating and deserve medical attention and time to heal. However, paying for the medical attention is a heavy burden. There is no way of knowing when, where, and how an accident can happen, so a person may not always be financially ready when it does happen. Finding a lawyer for help with legal advice after the accident is always a good idea. Personal injury lawyers, such as those at Brunkenhoefer P.C., can cover a wide range of accidents:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Bicycle accidents
  • Boating accidents
  • Catastrophic injuries
  • Product liability
  • Wrongful death
  • Construction accidents
  • Gas field injuries
  • Longshoreman accidents
  • Maritime accidents
  • Oilfield accidents
  • Plant & refinery accidents

When choosing a lawyer, take their experience, training, and background into account. An expert in one field may not make for the best in another. For example, immigration lawyers may not be the best choice to fight for a personal injury case.

In dealing with an accident, getting a lawyer that will cover the paperwork aspect so that the victim and their loved ones have time to heal is one of the best decisions. If the lawyers can prove another party involved in the accident was negligent, then the victim can receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and for some personal property damage that may have happened in the accident.

Time is very important in this process. If the victim waits to long to file the lawsuit, the case may reach its statute of limitations, forcing the victim to forfeit all their rights to any compensation.

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Risks of Driving Drunk

Posted By on Jun 20, 2017

Driving while intoxicated is probably one of the worst things you can do on the road. It is up there with distracted driving, speeding, street racing, tailgating, and weaving. But there are many drunk drivers on our roads, because they do not have designated drivers who can take them home after a night out, they do not fear getting caught, and they do not fear the possible consequences.

You can get arrested

Driving under the influence of alcohol is against the law. If you are charged with this offense, you can face fines, license suspensions, jail times, and other penalties. These may give you a significant hit financially, as the fines can reach thousands of dollars. The license suspensions may make it harder for you to get around the city. The jail times may make you lose your job.

DWI charges can be defended. But who wants to deal with the hassles of legal matters? It is better to just avoid drunk driving altogether.

You may be involved in an accident

Drunk driving is illegal because alcohol can significantly affect your driving skills. Physically, you can lose control of your body, feel fatigued, or experience vision problems. Mentally, you may not understand traffic lights and warning signs and have a slow reaction time. These problems put you at risk of car accidents.

You put others at risk of accidents as well

You are not the only person on the road. If your driving skills are limited, you are also putting the other people around you at risk. This includes passengers, pedestrians, other drivers, motorcyclists, and bicyclists.

What makes this worse is the fact that they are innocent and only got involved in the accident because of you. This is especially true if they have sustained an injury because of the accident. Traumatic head injuries, whiplashes, spinal cord damages, and broken bones, are some of the worst injuries they can sustain.


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What is a Rollover Car Accident?

Posted By on Oct 21, 2016

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA estimates that rollover accidents are responsible for about 10,000 traffic fatalities each year. A rollover accident refers to a type of motor vehicle crash that is caused by a vehicle turning over on its side or flipping upside down. The vehicles that are most prone to these types of accidents are SUVs or any other vehicle that are larger, taller, and have a center of gravity that is higher up from the ground.

The main reason behind rollover accidents is the inherent stability issues that SUVs, 4-wheelers, and other similar vehicles have. Given that these types of vehicles both have a higher vertical clearance and a center of gravity that’s farther from the ground, they become prone to instability when making sharp turns or abrupt lane changes in narrow roads. These risks could further become compounded by mechanical defects and problems with the car’s original design. It is particularly because of flaws in a vehicle’s design that many car manufacturers have issued recalls for their SUVs and 4-wheel vehicles. For the year 2015, General Motors recalled nearly 780,000 of their crossover SUVs due to issues with its gas struts.

The recent years have seen plenty of car manufacturers making great effort to minimize the risk of SUVs and similar vehicles by installing safety features. However, many of the SUVs that are driven out by individuals are older models that have yet to be outfitted with safety functions. This leaves both drivers and passengers vulnerable to the devastating consequences that could happen due to rollover accidents. If you or anyone you know has been injured in a car crash caused by a rollover incident, do not hesitate to seek out legal counsel to learn more about your options. Contact a qualified personal injury attorney to know more about the legal avenues available for you.

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Driving without a license is illegal in the United States as well as anywhere in the world. Once revoked, it will restrict you from going to places you want to go. A suspended license may keep you from going to work or school or performing daily tasks. In this article, we will cite several reasons your license can be suspended.

  1. You have accumulated too many driving points

Each state has a certain point system that assigns points to minor and major traffic offenses. When you have reached a certain number of points within a set period of time, you could end up driving without a license.

  1. Repeated Offenses

Another reason your license can be suspended is when you commit the same violation multiple times already. In some states, for example, your license can be revoked if you commit a certain number of reckless driving offenses within a given period of time. Depending on your state, you could be dubbed as a “habitual offender” after reaching a certain number of convictions.

  1. You have been charged with a serious offense

While this may vary from one state to another, some serious offense will merit an immediate revocation of your license. These offenses may include DUI, DWI, felonies involving a motor vehicle, vehicular manslaughter, and others.

  1. Inaccurate Driving Record

Inaccuracies in your driving record may include the following:

  • A higher number of accumulated points than you actually have
  • Traffic tickets that you won or the judge dropped because of your completion of traffic school
  • DUI convictions that you won or which you got an acquittal verdict
  1. You have no insurance

If you were caught without insurance or at least a certificate of insurance, your license can be suspended.

  1. A Simple Case of You Forgot

Maybe you are aware that you are supposed to pay a fine or attend traffic school but you simply forgot.

When your driver’s license has been suspended, you may be required to do the following:

  • Stop driving for a certain period of time
  • Enroll in a defensive driving course or traffic school
  • Obtain SR-22 from your insurance carrier
  • Settle the reinstatement fee

The best way to keep your license to be revoked is to be a responsible driver and follow traffic rules and regulations.

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