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Albany Law Blog

One state seeks to aid insurance industry by reforming lawsuits

In certain circumstances, the media seems to hold a jaundiced view of insurance companies. However, without the protection provided by many different branches of the insurance industry, many consumers and businesses would be left vulnerable and unable to rebuild after a devastating event. New York residents have likely experienced situations where an insurance policy enabled them to recover from an unforeseen setback.

One state recently announced the introduction of proposed legislation that would offer some protection to one area of the insurance industry. The bill would prevent attorneys from filing a lawsuit that would seek two-pronged compensation. A driving force behind the proposed bill is to aid in the rising lawsuit abuse crisis and to help prevent the insurance companies from reducing coverage to private homeowners.

Bill to ensure privacy of doctors in medical malpractice defense

The majority of medical care providers endure years of institutional learning and residency programs before they practice medicine. Even then, they may still turn to their colleagues for input when they encounter an issue. Now, one state is attempting to protect one aspect of that input in the case of medical malpractice defense situations. While this bill does not impact residents in New York, it may provide insight into how lawmakers may be able to assist medical professionals

The majority of states have provisions that protect the confidential peer review reports that hospitals encourage for improvements in patient care. However, a top court in one state ruled in 1998 that the peer review reports should be subject to evidence rules in the matter of malpractice allegations. However, a bill was recently introduced that would restore that privacy for peer reports.

Prevention of accidents key to reducing personal injury claims

It was reported that the trucking industry has avoided legislation that would require a safety feature on trailers. However, a trucking industry spokesman stated that accident prevention should be the area on which to focus. Fewer accidents, in turn, could lead to a reduction in personal injury claims in New York and throughout the nation.

The safety equipment in question is the side guard rails that are installed on the sides of trailers in order to prevent a smaller vehicle from sliding underneath in a side collision. The equipment is required on all trailers in many other countries but has not been mandated in this country. Industry leaders claim that the weight of these devices can compromise the integrity of the trailer's structure. Though not required, there are individual cities that are ordering these guards on the equipment that they are purchasing.

Over your head in credit debt? Try these 3 solutions

Credit debt affects many people in the United States! A 2016 report from the American Household Credit Card Debt Study showed that the average American home has $16,061 in credit card debt alone. Add to this student loans, auto loans, and mortgages, and it is easy to see why people sometimes struggle to get by.

Fortunately, if credit card debt has started to affect your family, there are solutions. You are the sole breadwinner, and you need to make your income last. That doesn't mean you should have to live paycheck-to-paycheck. You, your spouse and your child benefit from having a savings and extra to spend, so here are some tips on how to cut back and get out of debt.

Medical malpractice claims: protecting the interests of doctors

People often forget that medical care is a practice, not an exact science, and treatment plans and surgeries are never guaranteed to provide a specific outcome. Despite a full explanation of risks and possible side effects, New York doctors may be wrongfully accused when a patient suffers from complications or does get the desired outcome. At this point, the medical professional needs an experienced ally to come alongside and seek a beneficial resolution to the issue at hand.

As a doctor or other type of health care professional, every decision you make could come under scrutiny. You know that the cost of a medical malpractice lawsuit can be detrimental to your practice, your career and your reputation. When legal issues arise, they must be handled delicately and professionally. Our extensive experience in representing medical professionals can benefit you if you are under threat of or are already facing a lawsuit.

Insurance company class action suit dismissed after policy change

For generations, people have had some form of insurance in order to mitigate their losses in various ventures. In modern society, an insurance company offers valuable protection from a variety of situations, including health problems, fire losses and car accidents. People from all walks of life in New York and elsewhere typically have a number of different policies in force at any given time.

Recently, one of the biggest names in health insurance, Blue Shield Life and Health found itself named in a class action suit filed by patients who had been denied coverage for an expensive medication. The patients all had been diagnosed with a serious liver disease and had sought treatment at medical centers. The physicians treating them had apparently prescribed a newer medication used to treat the chronic disease.

Driving tired could lead to personal injury claims

Trucker driver fatigue has become a concern in recent years as companies rush to provide their customers with their products. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to drivers attempting to make their deadlines by skimping on sleep, which in turn, can lead to personal injury claims. There are some suggestions that might assist New York truckers who find themselves struggling to say alert. 

Tiredness and fatigue are the result of three main components. These factors are physical surroundings such as temperature and the motion of the truck, poor sleep and eating habits, and overall emotional stress or frustrations. The majority of tractor-trailer drivers do have some exposure to these stressors regularly. There are some steps one can take to help alleviate these issues.

Medical malpractice suits and doctors' costs are down

The incoming administration has spoken about many changes that it plans to undertake. One of those is purportedly changing the Affordable Care Act and working to reduce the amounts that are awarded in medical malpractice suits. While it remains to be seen what, if any, changes will eventually be implemented, New York doctors and patients would likely benefit if overall health care costs could be reduced.

A recent report was released highlighting five areas that appear to show that costs for physicians have already started to come down. The first of which purportedly states that the costs for malpractice insurance has decreased to its lowest levels in 15 years. The second stated that the number of malpractice claims has also dropped.

Driver may have valid car accident defense in deadly wreck

Being involved in a serious accident is one of the most traumatic events that a person may experience, especially if there were fatalities. One man has been vilified after a deadly train accident that officials say he caused. However, he may have a valid car accident defense based on contributing factors. While this wreck did not happen in New York, drivers here may benefit from one recent change.

The crash occurred in 2015 during a late winter pre-dawn morning. The man who has been charged in the accident purportedly had not slept in a little over a day. Authorities claim that his sleep deprivation was directly to blame for his mistake of turning onto the railroad track. The man traveled several dozen feet down the railway before his truck and utility trailer became lodged on the rails. 

Young professionals often dragged down by credit card debt

As a young professional, you know just how difficult it can be to juggle every aspect of your life. From your personal life to growing your career to managing your finances, there is a lot on your plate. Unfortunately, if you don't stay on top of all these details, it could lead to a challenge that can be difficult to overcome.

Many young professionals find that they are being dragged down by credit card debt. You may find yourself in this position for many reasons. For example, some people have to rely on credit cards because they aren't earning enough money. The same holds true for those who have recently faced a bout of unemployment.

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