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Hot Coffee the Movie Shows the Ill Effect of Tort Reform

By San Diego Injury Lawyer on June 26, 2011 - Comments off

Remember the McDonald’s coffee case? A woman orders a cup of hot coffee. She puts the cup in between her legs as she drives. Then, the coffee spills, and she gets third-degree burns on very private areas on her body. Cha-ching!
Though, that is not exactly the whole story. Susan Saladoff, director of the documentary film Hot Coffee, which premieres on HBO tonight at 6 p.m. PST, shows viewers what really happened in the infamous “McDonald’s hot coffee” lawsuit. The movie looks at what actually happened to Stella Liebeck, why the case got so much media attention, who funded the effort, and who really profited from spilling hot coffee.
Hot Coffee is a “call to action.” It asks the question, What happens when access to court is so lopsided that the average person cannot gain access? And who really pays the price, the negligent party or taxpayers?
In the four cases the film documents, Saladoff shows how Americans are surrendering their Constitutional rights in all sorts of ways without even knowing it and how they are being screwed by the system –not taking advantage of it.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed because of a defective product or negligent person, you are entitled to damages. The California personal injury attorneys at the Jurewitz Law Group will protect your Constitutional rights and get the money you deserve.

 

Lawyers Rated As Worst Drivers

By San Diego Injury Lawyer on February 22, 2010 - Comments off

According to a recent study conducted by Insurance.com, 44% of lawyers and judges — a higher percentage than any other profession — reported to insurance companies while comparison shopping for auto insurance that they had been involved in a prior driving accident. This is the highest accident rate amongst any profession included in this survey. The findings were published in a list entitled Top 10 Most Dangerous Drivers by Profession.
This is a higher rate of accidents than those reported by interstate truck drivers, financial professionals, waiters, or government workers. According to Insurance.com Vice President Sam Belden, the higher rate of auto accidents months lawyers and judges as well as financial professionals, who came in second, is because these professions demand multitasking, have higher stress, and require professionals to be focused on multiple tasks at the same time. According to Belden, this leads to more accidents.
However, government workers came in third. This profession is not typically known for high-pressure schedules and its workers are typically just as prone to multitasking as lawyers or judges.
The safest drivers, according to the study, were athletes and homemakers. Belden believes that homemakers are very safe drivers because they tend to take your time while driving and use greater caution because they’re typically driving with their children in their vehicles. In addition, homemakers and athletes also tend not to drive during rush hour when most car accidents occur.
You can find the complete Insurance.com study here.
Ross Jurewitz is an San Diego personal injury lawyer and the managing attorney of the Jurewitz Law Group, a San Diego law firm dedicated to representing people seriously injured and the families of people killed by the negligence of others. If you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in a San Diego injury accident, please call Mr. Jurewitz at 888-233-5020 for a free consultation.
In addition, if you would like more information to help you or your family, please order your free copy of Mr. Jurewitz’s book, The Ten Biggest Mistakes that can Destroy Your California Accident Case. It is free to all California residents.

 

San Diego Injury Accident Lawyer Tells You to WAIT Before Accepting a Quick Settlement

By San Diego Injury Lawyer on December 28, 2009 - Comments off

If you have ever been injured in an accident, you may have experienced one of the new tactics that are being used by insurance companies to improve their bottom line at your expense: the quick, small offer to settle.
San Diego personal injury lawyer Ross Jurewitz looks at this new tactic and cautions injury accident victims to be cautious when deciding “should I accept the insurance company’s offer” in this important article. Follow the link for more helpful information.
If you would like more information, please order your free copy of Mr. Jurewitz’s book, The Ten Biggest Mistakes that can Destroy Your California Accident Case. It is free to all California residents.

 

Are You Up Against One of the Top Ten Worst Insurance Companies in America? Find Out from this San Diego, CA Personal Injury Attorney

By San Diego Injury Lawyer on December 28, 2009 - Comments off

If you have been injured in an accident, you have probably wondered how the insurance company for the other driver, or how your insurance company, will treat you?
San Diego personal injury lawyer Ross Jurewitz will tell you which are the top ten worst insurance companies in America in this important article. Follow the link for more helpful information.
If you would like more information, please order your free copy of Mr. Jurewitz’s book, The Ten Biggest Mistakes that can Destroy Your California Accident Case. It is free to all California residents.

 

San Diego Personal Injury Attorney Talks About Types of Collectible Damages

By San Diego Injury Lawyer on December 23, 2009 - Comments off

If you have ever been injured in an accident, you know that you incur numerous costs and your bills can quickly run out of control. As a result, you may wonder what types of damages you may be entitled to as a result of the other person’s negligence and carelessness.
San Diego personal injury lawyer Ross Jurewitz answers this question for you and describes the types of damages available for accident victims in this important article. Follow the link for more helpful information.
If you would like more information, please order your free copy of Mr. Jurewitz’s book, The Ten Biggest Mistakes that can Destroy Your California Accident Case. It is free to all California residents.

 

San Diego Accident Attorney Talks About the Role of the Independent Medical Examiner

By San Diego Injury Lawyer on December 22, 2009 - Comments off

Who is the independent medical examiner? What is an independent medical examination (IME)?
The answer is that he is the primary witness against most personal injury victims and the IME is a time for the witness to meet, interrogate, and examine the victim in person–giving him more credibility at trial
San Diego injury lawyer Ross Jurewitz answers this question for you and tells of the role of the independent medical examiner in litigation in this important article. Follow the link for more helpful information.
If you would like more information, please order your free copy of Mr. Jurewitz’s book, The Ten Biggest Mistakes that can Destroy Your California Accident Case. It is free to all California residents.

 

San Diego Injury Accident Lawyer Tells of Questionable Insurance Tactics that Harm People

By San Diego Injury Lawyer on December 22, 2009 - Comments off

An honest and efficient insurance industry is essential for people to manage risks and make sure that valid injury claims from serious accidents are paid quickly. Without a quick and legitimate way of receiving compensation, people do not receive the compensation they deserve when they need it.
Unfortunately, the insurance industry regularly uses questionable tactics to keep from paying legitimate claims. San Diego injury accident lawyer Ross Jurewitz tells of the tactics used by the insurance industry in this news report.

 

San Diego Personal Injury Attorney: What You Can Do if the Insurance Company Becomes Difficult to Work With?

By San Diego Injury Lawyer on December 21, 2009 - Comments off

If you have ever had to file a claim with your insurance company or the carrier for someone who has injured you, you’ve experienced the tactics that the insurance industry uses to force you to accept lowball settlement offers or to deny claims.
In a new article on our law firm website, San Diego, CA personal injury attorney Ross Jurewitz tells you what you can do if the insurance company becomes difficult to work with. You do not want to miss these important tips and read the free report from the American Association for Justice (AAJ).

 

Perhaps the Most Important Appellate Court Case for California Personal Injury Clients

By San Diego Injury Lawyer on November 28, 2009 - Comments off

On November 23, 2009, the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District of California (which includes much of San Diego and Orange County) handed down an opinion which helped injured Californians seeking full compensation for injuries caused by others. The opinion, Howell v. Hamilton Meats & Provisions, Inc., declined to follow the insurance industry’s argument that injured people can only collect monies for the reduced amount of their medical bills negotiated by their health insurance companies. The Court upheld the “collateral source rule” that a negligent person must pay for all the harm they caused–including the full amount of medical bills charged by the health care providers–and cannot obtain the benefit obtained by the injured person’s health insurance (the “collateral source”, i.e., a source of payment other than the negligent person.
The Howell case involved a car vs. truck accident where San Diego County resident Rebecca Howell was hit by a commercial truck owned by Hamilton Meats and driven by their employee. As a result of the auto wreck, Ms. Howell was admitted to the hospital and received subsequent treatment from her doctors in the total amount of over $189,000 which included a fusion of the vertebrae in her neck. At trial, Hamilton Meats admitted liability for causing the accident but disputed the amount of damages that Ms. Hamilton was seeking for compensation (this is very typical). After trial, the Vista, CA jury awarded Ms. Howell nearly $690,000, including her $189,000 in medical bills.
After trial, Hamilton Meat’s attorneys sought to reduce the amount of the verdict by arguing that the true amount of the medical bills was $59,000 and not $189,000 after her doctors agreed to accept reduced payments from Ms. Howell’s health insurance carrier. Typically, doctors will agree to a reduced payment from a health insurance company so that the total amount paid for care is not the face value of the bill. They do this for a variety of reasons, including having the benefit of being an approved doctor (and receiving a pipeline of patients) and receiving “in-kind” benefits such as equipment and supplies.
The trial court granted the reduction under a line of cases commonly known as Hanif/Nishihama. During the last five years, the insurance companies have convinced the trial courts that this line of cases allowed for post-trial reductions in jury verdicts despite the fact that the collateral source rule clearly stated that injured people can collect the full amount of their medical bills. The collateral source rule had been California law for nearly 40 years before the Howell decision was handed down earlier this week.
The Appellate Court decision reversed the Hanif/Nishihama rulings and clearly states that the collateral source rule is California law.
This is perhaps the most important ruling in favor of injured Californians in the last 5 or 10 years. The insurance companies had used Hanif/Nishihama to ratchet down settlement offers and to reduce jury verdicts. Now, with Howell, injury victims who had the foresight to obtain health insurance prior to their accident will not find themselves penalized for doing so in court.
Read the whole opinion.
The San Diego injury attorneys at the Jurewitz Law Group want to salute and thank the San Diego, CA personal injury lawyers who fought for this victory.

Posted in: Insurance, New Case Law

 

San Diego, CA Injury Accident Attorney Supports CAOC

By San Diego Injury Lawyer on November 12, 2009 - Comments off

George Washington once said:

Discipline is the soul of an army. It makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak, and esteem to all.

Letter of Instructions to the Captains of the Virginia Regiments [July 29, 1759]. The advocates of consumer rights, viewing the resources of defense firms and corporate defendants, can relate to the trepidation felt by the out-numbered and out-gunned Continental Army. Because of that disparity in resources, Consumer Attorneys of California (“CAOC”) consolidates the voices of consumer attorneys throughout the state to (1) preserve and protect the constitutional right to trial by jury for all consumers, (2) champion the cause of those who deserve redress for injury to person or property, (3) encourage and promote changes to California law by legislative, initiative or court action, (4) oppose injustice in existing or contemplated legislation, (5) correct harsh, unjust and oppressive legislation or judicial decisions, (6) advance the common law and promote the public good through the civil justice system and concerted efforts to secure safe products, a safe workplace, a clean environment, and quality health care, (7) uphold the honor, integrity and dignity of the legal profession by encouraging mutual support and cooperation among members, (8) promote the highest standards of professional conduct, and (9) inspire excellence in advocacy. This post is a multi-blog effort to inform consumer attorneys about CAOC’s value and encourage participation in CAOC through membership.

CAOC works tirelessly to protect or advance those causes of import to consumers and their attorneys in California. Often those efforts, though valuable, receive little fanfare. For example, CAOC recently sponsored SB 510, which affects the re-sale of what are known as “structured settlements,” in which victims receive financial compensation over a period of time for medical expenses and basic living needs, as determined by a jury. Before SB 510 was signed by the Governor, Courts expressed frustration at their inability to prevent the sale of structured settlements on terms that might ultimately lead to long-term financial hardship for the victim. Now, SB 510 gives judges the information they need to make a reasoned decision about the propriety of a structured settlement sale.

Measures like CAOC-sponsored SB 510 help protect the most vulnerable members of our society and ask for nothing in return. They exemplify the spirit of CAOC. However, CAOC is only as effective in its mission as its membership allows it to be. When consumer attorneys join the ranks of CAOC, its voice gains in power and clarity. But if consumer advocates sit on the sidelines, hoping to benefit from the work of others, CAOC is stretched thin, and we are all at risk as a result.

Now, consumer advocate bloggers from across the state are combining their voices to call upon each and every lawyer and firm that regularly represents plaintiffs to join CAOC, thereby strengthening the consumer’s first line of defense. The blogs participating in this unified call to action are:

Show your support of consumers’ rights by joining and supporting CAOC. Together we can make an impact that we cannot make alone.

Posted in: Insurance, Legislation

 

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