Effects of Delayed Commercial Insurance Claims

There are a lot of things that business owners have to attend to, and that includes having the proper coverage not only for property damage but also for business interruption. As a rule, when something like fire, storms, or earthquakes occurs, businesses have to cease operations for the duration of the crisis, and most probably for some time after depending on the extent of property damage, if any. If damage ensues, there are not only the costs of repairing and/or replacing to consider but also the losses from the business closure.

In areas prone to natural calamities such as tornadoes, commercial insurance coverage is much more crucial for business owners than any other type of insurance. This is because in a lot of cases, an insurance claim will spell the difference between a business going on or not after a disaster.

But making a commercial insurance claim, just like any other claim, is an exercise in patience and tenacity. According to the website of Smith Kendall Buxton Law Group in Oklahoma which is tornado country, to make a successful claim for the full value of the policy it is important to have all your ducks in a row. This involves gathering together a team of contractors and engineers to put together a report objectively assessing the extent of the damage and what it will take to put it back to the way it was that will be acceptable to the insurer.

This is just for the property damage, which often goes through a long process of negotiations until an agreement is reached on the final valuation. In the meantime, the business owner has to either wait for the insurer to stop dithering and start paying, or to pay first for what is needed to get the business up and running again and hope for full reimbursement. Each day of delay has a significant impact on sales, customer retention, and production.

If you are experiencing unreasonable delays in your commercial insurance claims, you should address the issue immediately by consulting with an insurance claims lawyer in the area. An experienced attorney will have the resources and know-how to expedite proper insurance payments.

Reglan Lawsuits and Product Liability

If you find yourself involuntarily thrusting out your tongue, blinking rapidly, smacking your lips, and/or grimacing, you may want to check on whatever medication you are on if it contains metoclopramide. This is the generic version of the prescription drug Reglan, which has been found to induce a neurological syndrome called tardive dyskinesia characterized by involuntary movements like the ones described above.

There is no known cure for tardive dyskinesia, and although it is a non-fatal condition, it can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. Tardive dyskinesia sufferers may easily be mistaken as weird or strange. Imagine being across from a stranger who seems to find you lip-smackingly good or alternatively chastising you by tongue clicking, and you can see how it can be embarrassing. According to the Williams Kherkher website, other serious side effects of Reglan include cervical dystonia, akathisia, Parkinson’s symptoms, and neuroleptic malignant syndrome.

Reglan was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1980 for the treatment of chronic digestive disorders such as acid reflux and diabetic gastroparesis as well as nausea resulting from chemotherapy or surgery. Reglan has also been prescribed by migraine-induced nausea and queasiness associated with early pregnancy, although it was never approved for these uses by the FDA. This off label use has significantly increased the customer base for metoclopramide which is estimated at 2 million in the US.

The most recent label change for Reglan and other preparations containing metoclopramide was ordered by the FDA in 2009 to warn patients about the increased risk of developing tardive dyskinesia with prolonged use and higher doses. This latest Black Box warning is believed to account for the sudden influx of Reglan and other brand-name metoclopramide lawsuits against drug manufacturers, many of which went to trail in mid-2010 and early 2011. Plaintiffs allege that the defendants knew about the risk but failed to warn patients and doctors, one of the common bases for product liability cases.

If you developed any serious or permanent physical conditions from taking Reglan, consult with a product liability lawyer in your area as soon as possible. You may be able to get some financial compensation, if not actual physical relief, for the harm you sustained.

Toxic Substances Exposure

If you like Julia Roberts, chances are you have seen the film Erin Brockovich which in a nutshell dramatized the events that led to one of the largest settlements for a direct-action suit in the history of the US. At the heart of the case was an example of toxic substance exposure, with this particular instance involving hexavalent chromium which was leaking into the drinking water of Hinkley, a town in southern California.  A similar case was the subject of another movie A Civil Action where the groundwater in Woburn, Massachusetts was also contaminated, this time with trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene.

A toxic substance is defined as something that is dangerous to any living organism when taken internally (swallowed, inhaled) or externally (skin contact) interrupts or disrupts vital functions or causes death.  The substance need not be a strong chemical or poison. Some workplaces are inherently dangerous because it involves constant exposure to toxic substances such as coal mines (coalminer’s lung from coal dust) and cotton mills (cotton lung from cotton dust).

In the cases of water contamination with hexavalent chromium, trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene, the affected population was comprised of residents rather than workers who developed some type of cancer from drinking the tainted water and bathing in it. There have also been cases when the toxic substance has been embedded in the walls, as with paint containing lead or asbestos. The financial, physical and emotions effects of these toxic substance exposures are often life-threatening, and as pointed out on the website of Hull & Zimmerman, P.C., it can be overwhelming.

If you have been needlessly exposed to toxic substances in the workplace or at home and contracted a serious injury, you could be eligible for a personal injury claim against the responsible parties. Contact a personal injury lawyer in your area and get compensated.

Automotive Defects that Kill

Cars that won’t start and won’t stop have been the issues facing two of the biggest car manufacturers in the US, GM and Toyota. When a person gets behind the wheel of a car, the expectation is that the driver is in control, and not the other way around.

A car that suddenly speeds up as if it had been possessed by an evil entity is not conducive to safety, especially when driving in a busy highway. This was the issue with the 2005 Toyota Camry, and hundreds of personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits have been filed against the Japanese automaker precisely because of this defect.

For GM, the problem was with the ignition switch in some of its 2005 and 2007 compact models including the Pontiac G5 and Chevrolet Cobalt. For some reason, this automotive defect caused air bags to malfunction and engines to stall, which in certain situations can and has had harrowing results for the car passengers. GM, like Toyota, is also facing numerous lawsuits, but the buck does not stop there for GM dealers.

According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® in Lake Geneva, these two automakers is that both knew about the defects for years, but did nothing to warn the public about the potential for menace. GM had issued a bulletin to its dealers warning them about the defect, but only directing that a stop-gap solution will be offered to customers who complained, and even then not all of them got the band-aid. This is the reason some dealers are also facing their own civil litigation. Toyota kept mum about the spontaneous speeding problem of their products until someone got hurt.

What these companies should have done was to order a recall of the vehicles with the automotive defects as soon as they found out about them and replaced the parts that were causing the problem. Instead, they buried their heads in the sand, hoping the problem would go away. For a while, it seemed it had, and then it came back with a vengeance.

If you have been seriously injured because of an automotive defect, there is a good chance the manufacturer already knew about it but kept quiet, and that is negligence. Go straight to a product liability lawyer and get started on your a lawsuit against the negligent parties.

Concerns for Business Owners: Keeping Employees Safe

The average worker in the US is protected under the law against an unsafe workplace, no matter what the industry. It is true that some occupations are inherently more dangerous than others, but that does not excuse any action or inaction that will needlessly place the life and health of workers in jeopardy. It is not enough that the employer follows minimum wage and overtime pay rules without prompting; wealth without health is a losing proposition. Employers have a mandated duty of care to maintain a safe and healthy work environment.

In the long run, it makes good business sense to follow workplace safety and health regulations. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, employee absenteeism due to workplace accidents and sickness costs American businesses about $200 Billion in lost productivity every year despite having workers’ compensation insurance. Spending the resources to keeping employees safe and healthy means employers actually make more money at the end of the day by minimizing absenteeism and workers’ compensation premiums.

Unfortunately, many employers are not so enlightened. They can only focus on short-term goals. They cannot see the consequences of buying less expensive ordinary workstations rather than spending the extra for ergonomic ones that can prevent stress and repetitive motion injuries or providing substandard equipment that can malfunction, causing an accident. When workers get sick or injured, not only do they not produce, they make claims against their workers’ comp insurance. This will raise the premiums for the employer. And if the negligence is bad enough, it can even mean that the employer may get sued.

If your employer’s negligence caused you serious harm or a disabling injury in the workplace, you may be able to get compensation for the pain and suffering you suffered. Consult with a personal injury lawyer in your area and see if you are eligible to file a lawsuit against your employer.

The Costs of Cruise Ship Accidents

Representatives of cruise liners that have lately come more frequently under fire for the unsafe conditions on their ships point out incidents such as slip-and-fall accidents can happen anywhere.  But it may also be argued that if a guest at a hotel slips and falls because of uneven steps or a wet spot on the floor, the hotel could be sued under premises liability laws.

The biggest difference is that cruise liners are typically harder to sue because they are frequently not registered in the US, and cannot be held accountable to US laws. According to the website of Vucci Law Group, P.A., injuries sustained on a cruise ship present unique problems.

There are considerable costs associated with any injury, but especially if the injury is serious enough to require medical evacuation. Passengers who sustain serious injuries while on a cruise ship may find that they will not get the medical attention they need onboard. An air ambulance can cost anywhere upwards of $10,000 per flight, depending on the distance as well as staffing requirements.
And because the nearest modern hospital may be in a foreign country, there are significant administrative and medical costs that may not be covered under most health insurance policies. Most hospitals will require a patient to pay the bill in full before they can be released, and for serious conditions this can be alarmingly high. If the patient does not speak the language, it will be difficult to dispute any of the items in the bill.

Once back in the US, the patient will either need to be admitted to another hospital or sent home to recuperate. A single day in ICU can cost upwards of $5,000 and the average hospital stay for unintentional injuries is $48,000 per patient. Factor in the number of lost work days and the costs just multiply. This could potentially drive the average person to the brink of bankruptcy, and all this because of an eminently preventable accident on what was supposed to be a pleasure trip.

If you have been seriously injured as a result of negligence on a cruise ship, you will need expert help to recover damages from the responsible parties. Engage the services of a law firm specializing in handling injuries resulting from cruise ship accidents to get back some of what you have lost.