Articles Posted in Tort Reform

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Insurance companies like to play games with innocent injury victims. Don’t fall for their tricks and traps. Here are seven insider secrets insurance adjusters don’t want you to know about. 

  1. When Insurance companies tell you that their offer is final, they are not telling you the truth. Nearly every adjuster can get additional settlement authority from a supervisor to settle a case. 
  2. You do NOT have to sign anything. Never sign something an insurance adjuster sends to you without having it first reviewed by an attorney. 
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I work in a field that is filled with myths.  Myths that there are too many frivolous lawsuits filed; myths that injury victims lie and embellish in order to advance their cases; myths that injury victims are simply looking to get rich when they bring personal injury claims, etc.  

Many of these myths are created and perpetuated by insurance companies and lobbyists.  These powerful and wealthy groups are absolutely determined to limit access to the courts, and access to justice for the injured.  Time and time again they win; they spend countless dollars annually disseminating myths about frivolous lawsuits and how everyone ends up paying for them in one form or another.

Thankfully, every now and again, a concerted effort is made to push back these myths, and to educate the American public in order to reshape the debate.  To that end, I encourage you to watch the film "Hot Coffee" that premieres on HBO next Monday, June 27, 2011.  Watch the film so you can see the obstacles that have been created by the insurance industry in order to deny American citizens, with legitimate injury claims, access to justice.

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I work in a field that is filled with myths.  Myths that there are too many frivolous lawsuits filed; myths that injury victims lie and embellish in order to advance their cases; myths that injury victims are simply looking to get rich when they bring personal injury claims, etc.  

Many of these myths are created and perpetuated by insurance companies and lobbyists.  These powerful and wealthy groups are absolutely determined to limit access to the courts, and access to justice for the injured.  Time and time again they win; they spend countless dollars annually disseminating myths about frivolous lawsuits and how everyone ends up paying for them in one form or another.

Thankfully, every now and again, a concerted effort is made to push back these myths, and to educate the American public in order to reshape the debate.  To that end, I encourage you to watch the film "Hot Coffee" that premieres on HBO next Monday, June 27, 2011.  Watch the film so you can see the obstacles that have been created by the insurance industry in order to deny American citizens, with legitimate injury claims, access to justice.

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From the Los Angeles Times comes a wonderful piece on tort reform, and how we need to shift our focus to the real facts and statistics, and away from the half-truths that perpetuate tort reform efforts.  Here it is:

"Every circus needs a sideshow, which must be why every time the issue of rising medical costs gets debated, politicians start clamoring for "tort reform."

You know the argument: Disgruntled patients, goaded on by unscrupulous lawyers, file frivolous malpractice lawsuits and walk off with millions of dollars in undeserved awards granted by teary-eyed jurors. Doctors respond by practicing "defensive medicine," ordering lots of unnecessary tests to cover their behinds. Bingo! Medical costs hit the stratosphere.

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Attorney John A. Day over at Day on Torts has  new post on his blog about an interesting new article that explores the effects of tort reform around the fifty states.  Here is a link to the article and here is the abstract:

"This manuscript contains the most detailed, complete and comprehensive legal dataset of tort reforms in the U.S. The dataset records state laws in all fifty states and the District of Columbia over the last several decades. For each reform we record the effective date, a short description of the reform, whether or not the jury is allowed to know about the reform, whether the reform was upheld or struck down by the states’ supreme courts, as well as whether it was amended by the state legislator. Previous and current scholarship which studies the empirical effects of tort reforms uses various different legal datasets, (tort reforms datasets and other legal compilations), some which existed online, some created ad-hoc by the researchers. Besides being different from each other, these datasets frequently do not cover reforms adopted before 1986, miss reforms superseded after 1986, miss court-based reforms, ignore effective dates of legislation, and do not accurately record judicial invalidation of laws. It is possible that at least some of the persisting variation across empirical studies about the effect of tort reforms might be due to variations across legal datasets used. This dataset builds upon and improves existing data sources. It does so by reviewing original sources of legislation and case law to determine the exact text and effective dates. It is hoped that by creating one "canonized" dataset our understanding of the impact of tort reform on our life will increase."

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In recent months there has been much talk about limiting the damages that asbestos victims may recover.  This only serves to further insulate culpable wrongdoers from the huge financial exposure they righfully face.  This ultimately results in diminished relief for asbsestos victims.

The following was provided by the April 2006 edition of the American Trial Lawyers Association (ATLA) publication "Trial":

  • "Asbestos bailout legislation has been on Congress’s front burner in recent months-the Senate bill was blocked in February but is likely to reemerge–and state legislatures are following suit. Bills in statehouses nationwide would create unnecessary and unfair hurdles for people claiming injury from asbestosis or asbestos-related cancer. The state proposals are modeled after legislation drafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council. These bills generally include provisions that would cap noneconomic damages, eliminate joint and several liability, bar the consolidation of cases, limit expert testimony, and impose medical criteria standards that have been proposed by the American Bar Association (ABA) for people filing claims involving nonmalignant asbestos-related disease."
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On March 30, Florida took one step closer to enacting legislation that will severely handicap the rights of injury victims.  The bill, H.B. 145, now awaiting Governor Jeb Bush’ s approval, will significantly curtail the rights of personal injury victims in Florida to sue multiple defendants for causing their injuries.  If the bill becomes law, it will mean that injury victims in Florida will no longer be able to use joint and several liability theories when filing lawsuits.  That means that personal injury victims have lost rights they previously had.

Since I am a personal injury attorney, I am of course opposed to nearly all attempts by interest groups and politicians to advance their own agenda via tort reform legislation.

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