Medical Liens in Personal Injury Cases

Medical bills can quickly start to pile up immediately after an accident, and a personal injury case can take months or sometimes even years to resolve. As a result, many personal injury victims are left wondering what to do about their medical bills while they wait for a settlement or verdict in their case. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to learn about the role of medical liens in personal injury cases.

Any party that pays for a victim’s medical expenses can file a lien against the victim’s personal injury case. This means that the party will cover the cost of treatment for now, but they expect to be reimbursed as soon as the victim is awarded compensation from the at-fault party.

For example, let’s say you are involved in a serious car accident and taken to a local hospital for treatment. You are required to stay in the hospital for several days so doctors can ensure you are in stable condition before you are released. Even if you are insured, it’s possible that your insurance will not cover all of the expenses related to your treatment. Most of the time, the hospital expects the patient to pay the remaining balance of the bill. But if you are filing a personal injury claim against the other driver, the hospital can file a lien against your case instead.

Many people are surprised to learn that health insurance providers can also file a lien against a personal injury case if they have covered any of the victim’s medical expenses. However, there are limits on how much the health insurance provider can recoup from your settlement and other rules that must be followed in order for the lien to be enforced.

Medical liens allow personal injury victims to get the treatment they need without having to worry about how to pay for their expenses before they are awarded compensation. But, it’s important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure the parties that are filing liens against your case are complying with the law and not asking for more than what they deserve.

If you have been injured, contact personal injury attorney James Rush at Rush Injury Law. James Rush will protect your rights to ensure you are not taken advantage of while fighting for the compensation that you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at 415-897-4801 or fill out the online form on our website

Who Has the Burden of Proof in a Car Accident Case?

Most people are familiar with the phrase “innocent until proven guilty,” which means a criminal defendant is presumed innocent until the prosecution has proved otherwise. In criminal cases, the burden of proof falls on the prosecution. But, what about in personal injury cases involving a car accident? Here’s what you need to know about the burden of proof in a car accident case:

The Victim Must Prove Fault
If you are injured in a car accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will not compensate you until you have proved that their policyholder is truly at fault for the crash. Therefore, the person who is attempting to recover compensation in a car accident case has the burden of proof.

For example, let’s say you are rear-ended by a distracted driver while you’re stopped at a red light. The other driver was clearly to blame in this accident, but it is still your responsibility to prove this to the driver’s insurance company.

Determining who has the burden of proof becomes more complicated when both drivers are partly responsible for the accident. For instance, let’s say someone rear-ends you after you slam on the brakes in the middle of the road because you realize you’re about to miss your turn. The other driver could say that both of you are to blame. He is at fault for not stopping his vehicle before it hit yours, and you are at fault for slamming on the brakes when it wasn’t an emergency. In this case, the other driver will have to prove that you were partly to blame and you will have to prove that the other driver was partly to blame.

How to Prove Fault
Pictures from the scene of the accident can be very useful when it comes to proving fault in a car accident case. It is recommended that you snap photos of property damage, injuries, the positioning of the cars, debris on the road, and nearby traffic signals. Statements taken from witnesses can also be used to prove the other driver was at fault. A witness may have seen the driver driving erratically or not paying attention in the moments leading up to the crash.

If your case is complex, an accident reconstruction expert may be needed. This expert witness can use the photos and other evidence from the scene to recreate the accident and prove which driver was to blame.

Have you been injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver? Let personal injury attorney James Rush at Rush Injury Law help. James Rush will immediately get to work gathering the evidence that he needs to prove the other driver is to blame for the crash. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at 415-897-4801 or fill out the online form on our website

Benefits of A Spoliation of Evidence Letter After A Truck Accident

It’s important to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible anytime you think that you’ve been injured due to the negligent acts of another person. Getting in touch with an attorney right away is especially important in the event that you are injured in a truck accident. Why? An attorney will need to act quickly to send the trucking company a spoliation of evidence letter after a truck accident.

What is a Spoliation of Evidence Letter?
A spoliation of evidence letter is written in order to demand that certain evidence that is relevant to the case is not destroyed.

The Benefits of Sending A Spoliation of Evidence Letter
Personal injury attorneys must review a lot of evidence in order to determine who is liable in a truck accident case. Most of this evidence is in the trucking company’s possession, so if your attorney doesn’t act quickly, some of the evidence could be intentionally or accidentally destroyed by the trucking company.

For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires that all trucking companies keep detailed records of inspections, repairs, and driver logs. These documents contain valuable information about the driver’s trip and the truck’s maintenance that could be crucial to your case. But, trucking companies are only required to hold onto these records for six months, at which point they can be legally destroyed. If a spoliation of evidence letter is not sent within this timeframe, the evidence that you need to prove liability in your case could be destroyed.

Once the letter is sent, the trucking company should comply with the request and hold onto the documents. But unfortunately, many trucking companies still try to escape liability by destroying the documents. If this happens, the fact that the company destroyed evidence after receiving a spoliation of evidence letter could be used against them in court. The jury may see the destruction of evidence as a sign of guilt, which means they will be more likely to rule in your favor. So, even if a spoliation of evidence letter is not enough to convince the trucking company to preserve the evidence, the fact that you sent this letter will still work to your advantage.

Have you been injured in a truck accident? There’s no time to waste—contact personal injury attorney James Rush at Rush Injury Law now. James Rush will send a spoliation of evidence letter right away to ensure every piece of evidence is preserved. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at 415-897-4801 or fill out the online form on our website

Common Types of Truck Accidents

Nearly 4,000 people were killed in truck accidents in 2015 and thousands more were injured. How can you protect yourself? It’s hard to avoid driving near trucks since there are thousands of them on the road at any given moment. But, drivers can protect themselves by learning how truck accidents occur so they know what to look out for on the roads. Here are some of the most common types of truck accidents:

Jackknifing Accident
Perhaps the most common type of accident, jackknifing can occur when the truck driver suddenly slams on the brakes. This could cause the trailer to skid alongside the truck until it has created a 90-degree angle with the truck’s cabin. The truck driver loses complete control over the truck when this happens, so there’s nothing he can do to avoid crashing into cars around him.

Roll Over Accidents
Just as SUVs are more likely to tip over than sedans, trucks are far more likely to tip over than standard-sized vehicles. A truck can roll over for a number of reasons. Most of these accidents occur when a truck driver fails to slow down before attempting to turn the vehicle. However, a truck can also roll over if it moves too far to one side and one of the tires goes off of the paved road. The driver will usually jerk the truck in the other direction in order to get all of the tires back on the pavement, but it may be too late to prevent a roll over accident.

Underride/Rear-End Accidents
Rear-end accidents are often thought of as fender benders, but that’s certainly not the case when one of the vehicles involved is a truck. A car that collides with the back of a truck could go partially underneath the truck, which is known as an underride accident. In some cases, the car collides with the truck at such a high speed that it is sent almost entirely underneath the truck and the car is completely destroyed. Sadly, these accidents are typically fatal.

To protect yourself, always keep your eyes on the road and leave plenty of distance between your vehicle and the truck in front of you. If you follow these tips, it’s very likely that you will be able to come to a complete stop before you collide with the back of the truck.

If you are ever injured in a truck accident, speak to personal injury attorney James Rush at Rush Injury Law at once. Truck accidents can be devastating, so let James Rush handle the legal aspect of your case so you can focus solely on recovering. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at 415-897-4801 or fill out the online form on our website

When Will You Be Awarded Punitive Damages?

There are three types of damages that can be awarded in a personal injury case: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Economic damages are awarded to personal injury victims who have incurred expenses or suffered losses as a result of their injuries. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are awarded to victims who have experienced pain and suffering due to their injuries. But, when can a personal injury victim be awarded punitive damages? Here’s what you should know:

What Are Punitive Damages?
Economic and non-economic damages are awarded to compensate a victim for something he has experienced or lost because of his injuries. However, punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant for his negligent behavior and deter him from acting in this manner again in the future.

When Are Punitive Damages Awarded?
California law states that punitive damages can be awarded if it is proven with clear and convincing evidence that the defendant is guilty of malice. The law also states that a defendant is guilty of acting with malice if one of the following conditions is met:

He intended to harm the plaintiff
He did not intend to hurt the plaintiff, but he knew that his actions could hurt someone and ignored these potential consequences.

However, personal injury victims shouldn’t expect to automatically be awarded punitive damages if one of these conditions is met. The court will only award punitive damages if there are aggravating circumstances that make the defendant’s conduct far more negligent than what is typically seen in personal injury cases.

For example, the court may not award punitive damages in a car accident case where the defendant ran a red light and crashed into the plaintiff’s car. However, the court may award punitive damages in this type of case if the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident. In this case, the court may consider the defendant’s intoxication an aggravating circumstance.

It’s important to note that personal injury cases can be unpredictable. Therefore, no plaintiff should ever assume that he or she will be awarded any type of compensation, especially punitive damages.

If you have been injured, contact James Rush at Rush Injury Law. James Rush is known as an aggressive personal injury attorney who will fight tirelessly to recover the compensation that you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at 415-897-4801 or fill out the online form on our website

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