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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What can you sue for in a personal injury case?”

 

If you think the courts are overflowing with personal injury lawsuits, you had better close your eyes for the next year-and-a-half. A looming Medicaid law revision is going to engender a flurry of personal injury lawsuits and settlements, according to an attorney in one of the most litigious counties in the United States.

Taking medicine Charlotte Accident Lawyer North Carolina Injury AccidentBeginning in October 2016, all personal injury settlements in the United States will first be subject to a payback of medical expenses paid by Medicaid.

Edwardsville, Illinois-based attorney Todd Sivia said the change may result in claimants whose medical care was provided by Medicaid having to repay the entire amount advanced by the agency for medical treatment, even if that amount swallows up an entire lawsuit settlement.

Claimants do not have to repay amounts above and beyond a settlement if the settlement cannot cover all of the medical expenses incurred.

The change was passed with a late 2013 federal budget agreement, but its implementation was stalled until October 2016.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question ” Is a tractor-trailer accident the same as an automobile accident?”

 

A storage compartment door on a Gaston County school bus opened suddenly on Wednesday, causing the school bus to overturn and injuring some 23 middle-school aged students.

School Bus Charlotte Accident Lawyer North Carolina Injury AttorneyState troopers who responded to the scene told WSOC that they did not think the bus was travelling the posted 45-mile-per-hour speed limit at the time of the crash. As of Thursday, the school-bus driver had not been cited, and troopers were mum on whether any charges were expected.

A student interviewed by WSOC said “he heard a loud squeaking noise coming from the bus right before the accident happened.”

One student said the last thing he remembered was a lot of people tumbling over him.

The driver of the school bus said she tried to close the storage compartment door and started to run off the road. The driver overcorrected, causing the school bus to flip on its side. Eleven students were taken to CaroMont Regional Health Center in Gastonia; four were taken to Carolinas Medical Center in Kings Mountain, and another eight were taken to local hospitals by their parents.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Are the laws or rules applying to a wrongful death claim different from a personal injury not involving death?”

 

The summer of 2013 was a joyous time for some same-sex couples. When the United States Supreme Court struck down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”)—a 1996 Act signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton that prohibited the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages—on equal protection grounds, same-sex couples across the United States became eligible for certain spousal benefits.

Holding hands Charlotte Divorce Lawyer North Carolina Family Law AttorneyA few days before the DOMA decision, a woman named Lesly Toboada-Hall passed away after a long bout with uterine cancer. Hall’s wife—Stacy Schuett—received survivor benefits from FedEx—where Toboada-Hall had worked as a delivery driver for 26 years, but the company told Schuett she was not entitled to receive Toboada-Hall’s pension benefit because Toboada-Hall died six days before the DOMA decision.

Public and private employers as well as federal and state legislatures have struggled with the complex ramifications of the DOMA decision. In some instances, employers merely needed to change policies to comport with the decision, while in others, state and federal statutes and administrative rules were placed in jeopardy and needed to be modified.

The Supreme Court’s 5-4 DOMA decision arose out of a case involving Edith Windsor—whose spouse Thea Spyer died in 2009. Windsor argued that she should not have to pay a $363,053 tax on Windsor’s estate. Federal law provides for an exemption from the tax for spouses. Although Windsor and Spyer married in Canada in 2007, under DOMA, spouses in same-sex marriages could not claim the exemption.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “The insurance adjuster is saying I am partially negligent what does that mean?”

 

The owner of an Ohio dance franchise will have to defend against a lawsuit brought by angry customers on its own after its insurer successfully denied coverage under two insurance policies.

Auto owners insurance Charlotte Injury Lawyer North Carolina Wrongful Death AttorneyPeggy and Rick Lavinsky prepaid Christopher Cloud and his Fred Astaire Dance Studio a whopping $500,000 for ballroom dancing lessons, coaching, dance camps and other services. In December 2010, after Cloud abruptly closed the studio without providing notice to students, the Lavinskys sued, asserting claims under Ohio’s consumer protection laws and alleging fraud and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

In their lawsuit, the Lavinskys named Fred Astaire Dance System in Ohio, G & K Management Services, Inc., G & K’s president Guy Schiavone, and In Time LLC as defendants. G & K owned the Fred Astaire Dance System franchise. Cloud, who ran his own dance studio—In Time—became a Fred Astaire franchisee in 1990.

G & K and Schiavone were the named insureds under an insurance policy issued by Auto-Owners Insurance Company, and they were also “additional insureds” under an Auto-Owners policy issued to In Time.

When Auto-Owners told G & K that it would not defend the company against the Lavinskys’ claims, G & K brought an action against Auto-Owners seeking a declaration that the insurance company had a duty to defend G & K in the Lavinskys’ lawsuit.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What if the accident was my fault?”

 

A spate of recent tragic incidents shows the dangers posed by motor vehicles do not end when we park them—or when we think we have parked them.

Emergency Responders Charlotte Injury Lawyer North Carolina Accident AttorneyA tragic accident involving a “parked” vehicle took the life of a well-known New York realtor this past Saturday.

Realtor Jennifer Feuerman died on Saturday evening after she got out of her 2012 Mercedes Benz outside a house she had listed on Bowditch Lane in Center Moriches. Center Moriches is on Long Island, to the east of New York City.

Feuerman evidently left the vehicle running and forgot to shift the transmission to “Park.” The vehicle backed over Feuerman and pinned her under the driver’s side door, Suffolk County police reported. Feuerman, aged 50, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police impounded the Mercedes in order to conduct a safety inspection.

Also on Saturday, a 79-year-old woman in City, Idaho became trapped under her own car when it slid backward as she tried to get out. A 17-year-old boy who saw the incident tried to assist the woman, but police said the car pushed both the boy and the woman across the road and over an embankment, pinning them both under the driver’s side door. The woman suffered significant injuries, while the boy was able to free himself and summon help.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question ” Is a tractor-trailer accident the same as an automobile accident?”

 

Motor vehicles and the virtually unfettered freedom of movement throughout the United States they have afforded have become staples of American life over the past century.

Self driving car Charlotte Injury Lawyer North Carolina Car accident AttorneyThose staples are not likely to disappear anytime soon, but if technology giant Google, Inc. has its way, the manner in which many people move around the country in motor vehicles may be in for a drastic change.

The company recently announced that it had developed a “fully functional” prototype of a self-driving car. It is now seeking corporate partners in the automobile industry to bring self-driving cars to market within the next five years.

New York personal injury lawyer Eric Turkewitz said the self-driving cars will have the ability to “see the other cars/pedestrians and slow down or stop despite the driver being lost in thought elsewhere. Or drunk. Or asleep…” As Turkewitz notes, the self-driving car software automatically slows or stops the car when it senses an impending collision. Turkewitz thinks the software may lessen or eliminate crashes caused by human error. As a consequence, the number of crashes will be reduced and, Turkewitz speculated, less people will die or be injured in car crashes each year. That will lower insurance premiums for drivers and may reduce the number of personal injury lawsuits brought by claimants injured in car crashes. That would mean, in theory, less work for personal injury attorneys.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What if a loved one dies from the injuries sustained in a serious accident while the case is pending?”

 

The State of Maryland’s first-ever ordained female Episcopal Bishop is in the news over the holidays for all the wrong reasons.Damaged bicycle Charlotte Mecklenburg Injury Lawyer North Carolina Wrongful Death AttorneyHeather Elizabeth Cook is the second-most-powerful officer in the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland. The diocese confirmed on Sunday that Cook was behind the wheel of a Subaru that sustained damage in a “massive impact” with 41-year-old custom bicycle builder Tom Palermo. Palermo was riding a bicycle when Cook’s vehicle collided with him.

Palermo was killed in the accident. Cook initially fled the scene, but returned about twenty minutes later to take responsibility for the accident. The diocese insisted that since Cook returned to the scene, the accident was not a “hit-and-run.”

Lora Peters, a cyclist who encountered Palermo after the crash, said Palermo was still alive when she found him. Peters said Cook may have been able to help Palermo or to call for help if she had remained on the scene. A local biking advocacy group, Bikemore, released a statement alleging that “the driver of the car involved initially fled the scene, leaving Tom to die on the street.”

Cook has not released any public statements about the accident, however the Episcopal Diocese has revealed that she has been suspended from her post because she may be facing criminal charges related to the accident.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What can you sue for in a personal injury case?”

 

Madison County, Illinois accounts for .08-percent of the nation’s population, but the tiny county just east of the Mississippi River accounts for 25-percent of asbestos lawsuits in the United States.

Demolition Mecklenburg Injury Attorney North Carolina Accident LawyerCritics allege that personal injury attorneys have had “cozy relationships with Madison County judges,” which has turned Illinois into “a haven for frivolous lawsuits.”

The Madison Record has reported that 90-percent of plaintiffs who file asbestos-related lawsuits in Madison County do not live or work in the county. On a recent day, 181 asbestos-related lawsuits were set for trial. Only one of the plaintiffs named in the lawsuits lived in Madison County.

The Record reports that “in one memorable instance,” a judge was given $30,000 in campaign funds by asbestos law firms a few days after the judge gave the firms coveted trial dates for upcoming court sessions.

Personal injury lawyers and their allies stepped up their game during the Illinois legislature’s recent fall “veto session,” a session controlled by a lame-duck legislature taking action on vetoes issued by a lame-duck Governor. Governor-elect Bruce Rauner has promised to make lawsuit reform a top priority when he takes office next year.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Can I wait a few months to pursue a personal injury claim?”

 

Six years ago, Kurt Stuhlmacher had just begun to put together rafters on the roof a cabin he was building for his parents. He later testified—in a lawsuit he brought against Home Depot and Tricam Industries—that the ladder he was standing on “just, like, fell out—fell this way out from underneath me to the left.”

Ladders on house Charlotte Mecklenburg Injury Lawyer North Carolina Wrongful Death AttorneyStuhlmacher could not see whether the ladder split before or after his fall, because he tried to hold onto the rafter as it gave way beneath him. That distinction—when the ladder split—ended up breaking Stuhlmacher’s case.

His expert—Dr. Thomas Conry, who has a doctorate in mechanical engineering—testified that the ladder’s splitting was “underway” at the time of Stuhlmacher’s fall, but he could not tell whether the ladder split before, at the same time or a fraction-of-a-second after the fall. Dr. Conry concluded that the ladder’s “material had that crack in it and the bracket under the load was prying that rivet through.”

Magistrate Judge Andrew P. Rodovich struck Dr. Conry’s testimony, finding that the doctor’s explanation of the ladder’s failure could not be reconciled with Stuhlmacher’s testimony that the ladder suddenly shot out beneath him to the left. Without Dr. Conry’s testimony, Stuhlmacher’s case lacked crucial evidence that Home Depot and Tricam—Tricam was the ladder’s manufacturer—caused Stuhlmacher’s injuries.

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Charlotte Personal Injury Attorney Matthew R. Arnold of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “What if a loved one dies from the injuries sustained in a serious accident while the case is pending?”

 

If you have imbibed, over the holidays, a little too much of the alcohol-spiked eggnog, you should think twice before handing the keys over to your teenage child or relative to run out for supplies or snacks.

Wrecked car Charlotte Death By Vehicle Lawyer North Carolina Injury AttorneyOne Pennsylvania father has learned that the hard way.

Michael Ware initially told investigators that his 15-year-old daughter had taken his Sports-Utility Vehicle out for a drive without his permission. Authorities later learned, however, that Mr. Ware allowed his daughter—who did not have a driver’s license at the time—to drive his 2001 Chevrolet Suburban to a nearby barbecue restaurant.

Ware even walked his daughter and her three friends out to the car and asked them to bring him back a sandwich as they pulled away. A short time later, the daughter wrecked the Suburban, killing friends Cullen Keffer, Shamus Digney and Ryan Lesher. All three boys were just fifteen-years-old.

A witness to the accident said she could hear the boys crying out for the daughter to slow down before speeding around a sharp curve. The vehicle flipped, ejecting two boys from the vehicle and pinning a third beneath it. One of the boys passed away on the scene; two more passed away at a nearby hospital.

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