Most Common Types of Medical Malpractice Claims

For the most part, physicians work hard to care for their patients, and they always have their patients’ best interests at heart. However, sometimes doctors make mistakes. When those mistakes lead to serious consequences, injury, or death, a patient may choose to file a lawsuit against the physician for the harm he or she suffered. In the United States, there are a variety of reasons why a patient may file a malpractice claim, but some types of lawsuits are more common than others.

What is Medical Malpractice?

Not all bad outcomes are the result of malpractice. There are instances where treatments lead to unexpected outcomes or a patient suffers unintended and unforeseeable complications. There are times treatments are ineffective despite a physician’s best efforts. However, when an adverse medical outcome has a significant impact on a patient’s quality of life, the issue of malpractice comes up.

Malpractice in Ohio must meet three specific criteria to be eligible for compensation:

A Deviation from the Standard of Care – A medical standard of care refers to the industry standard expected of medical professionals within the same field of expertise. Of course, the expected standard differs from one type of health professional to another.

Causation of Injury or Death –  The deviation from the standard of care is not sufficient by itself. That deviation must be the cause of the ultimate damage suffered.

Damages – Damages must occur for there to be an applicable case. Damages are the monetary and physical losses a patient endures, such as medical costs, pain, and suffering. Without damages, there is no reason to file a malpractice claim.

Exploring the Common Causes of Malpractice

Knowing that physicians almost never intentionally cause harm, you might wonder what the cause of malpractice is if there is no bad intention. Medical malpractice on the part of a doctor or other healthcare professional must involve negligence, such as using the wrong dosage of a medication or failure to diagnose the proper disease and treat it accordingly. Most malpractice claims arise out of issues with communication. Whether it was the physician’s inability to communicate with their patient effectively, or the doctor was too busy to gather the necessary information, these communication breakdowns can lead to devastating accidents.

Inpatient Malpractice Errors

A vast majority of malpractice claims arise in the inpatient setting. These malpractice types include:

Surgical Errors – Whether it is operating on the wrong site to leaving surgical instruments in the body, surgical errors account for one-third of all malpractice claims filed in the United States by patients. Most surgical errors are preventable errors, known as never-events.

Anesthesia – Another common injury is from anesthesia, whether the patient suffers a preventable reaction or is not monitored properly when given the medication. These injuries might lead to permanent brain damage or death.

Outpatient Medical Malpractice Errors

Outpatient procedures do not happen in the hospital. Instead, they occur in a physician’s office, clinic, or an outpatient surgical center. The most common outpatient injuries include:

Failure to Diagnose – In this case, the doctor fails to diagnose and treat the patient appropriately. As a result, the patient could suffer from a chronic illness and pain, or be too far advanced in his or her disease to receive treatment when it is finally diagnosed.

Misdiagnosis – In this case, the patient is diagnosed but with the wrong condition, such as being diagnosed with heartburn when the patient was actually suffering from a heart attack.

Medication Errors – Sometimes doctors prescribe the wrong medicine or the incorrect dosage.

Childbirth Injuries

Childbirth is demanding on the human body, and many physicians are too busy to prevent errors in childbirth. Approximately 20% of medical malpractice claims are filed against OB/GYNs.

Medication Errors

Medication errors might occur at the doctor’s office or a pharmacy. Whether it is the incorrect dosage amounts or the wrong medication given to the patient, these errors cause more than 1.5 million injuries each year in the United States.

Contact Ethan Vessels

When you have a medical malpractice claim, you need an attorney who will advocate for you. Ethan Vessels, of Fields, Dehmlow, & Vessels is a medical malpractice attorney who can help. Contact him today to discuss your claim by calling 740-374-5346 or by filling out our online contact form.

5 Common Myths Regarding Car Accidents and Whiplash

Whiplash is a very common injury associated with rear-end collisions and other types of motor vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, the sheer force that causes whiplash can lead to other serious conditions, including debilitating chronic pain. The validity of a whiplash claim often comes under question, but it is a real condition that many accident victims suffer. For any victim, it is important to understand the myths about whiplash and be educated on the facts.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash typically occurs in a rear-end car accident. When the vehicle pushes violently forward, the individual in the car will be pushed forward, creating a whipping motion. When the neck, shoulders, and torso are forced to move out of the ordinary range of motion, it leads to damage to the ligaments, muscles, and tendons.

What are the Common Whiplash Myths?

Symptoms of whiplash go away in just a few days. It is a common misconception that whiplash is a temporary condition, but it can take up to a month to recover from this injury. In some cases, victims will have chronic pain that lasts for up to a year. Whiplash can include difficulty in moving the affected area; muscle spasms and pain; and nausea, headaches, and other complications.

Attorneys make it easy for people to seek compensation. Many believe that the no-win-no-fee model used by personal injury lawyers will draw in people who will file frivolous claims. That is rarely the case, however. Instead, these attorneys provide a way for injured people to receive compensation by a qualified attorney who can represent them fairly.

Whiplash is impossible to diagnose, and a doctor’s testimony is not required for a personal injury claim. Traditional diagnostic imaging tools often do not show proof of injury, which causes some to question the condition. However, a medical professional can accurately diagnose whiplash by examining the patient’s symptoms and performing an assessment.

Injured people are better off dealing with insurance companies than attorneys. After an accident, a victim will be approached by an insurer. However, settling a claim without a personal injury attorney is never ideal. An attorney ensures that current and future medical expenses are addressed and that the compensation is fair for the victim’s injuries, pain, and suffering.

Whiplash is a controversial injury and juries do not believe victims. Whiplash claims cost billions each year, but rarely are those claims fictitious. In fact, whiplash claims are notorious for leading to chronic pain and disability. While a claimant may be painted as an insurance fraud, the reality is that whiplash is a real, very serious injury that has a life-long impact on the victim. Therefore, they have a right to collect compensation for that suffering.

Contact Ethan Vessels Today

As you can see, whiplash injuries can be controversial, which is one of the reasons that you need the services of a personal injury attorney. Ethan Vessels is a trial lawyer with experience in car accident claims. Contact us today at Fields, Dehmlow & Vessels for experienced legal representation. Call 740-374-5346 or fill out our contact form and we will get back with you very soon.

Top Cellphone Apps That Combat Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a well-known danger on the roads, but hundreds of drivers still continue to drive while using their mobile phone or engaging in other forms of distracted driving.

In response to the threat of these devices, several app developers have worked on creating new applications that combat distracted driving.

Today, there are numerous apps to choose from that will stop distracted driving for teens and adults.


The Purpose of Distracted Driving Apps

Smartphones are powerful. They keep individuals connected, allow business professionals to conduct business on the go, and allow children to maintain contact with their parents. However, text messaging remains a common issue. It takes just one text message to take a driver’s eyes and attention off the road for five seconds. These apps are designed to stop distracted driving by shutting down notifications, sending replies to text message senders that their recipient is occupied, and more.

Tips for Choosing the Right App

  1. Make sure the app is compatible with the phone’s operating software, such as iOS or Android.
  2. Look for an app that blocks messages and phone calls.
  3. Verify that the app offers notifications to parents so that they can monitor teen drivers.
  4. Check if the app tracks miles driven safely and if there are rewards for distraction-free driving.

What are the Best Distracted Driving Apps Available Today?

LifeSaver App – LifeSaver combines GPS monitoring with cell technology to dramatically reduce instances of distracted driving. They have rewards for safe driving, and when engaged, the app blocks a person from using their phone while driving. Also, it will notify parents that their teen driver has reached their destination and parents can use the “Driver Portal” to monitor teen driving habits. Parents are in control of the rewards offered to their teens. LifeSaver also works for commercial fleet managers that want to limit employee distractions.

AT&T DriveMode – AT&T released their DriveMode app for iOS and Android systems. It blocks texting and receiving phone calls while operating a vehicle. It can be set so that it automatically starts blocking when the vehicle is moving faster than 15 miles per hour. Also, parents can receive notifications if their teen tries to change a setting or deactivate the app. This app is very user-friendly.

TrueMotion – TrueMotion is free for iOS and Android system phones. It has unique features that other distracted driving apps do not, including a trip score that rates a person’s driving and moments that they might have been distracted.

Drive Beehive – This app connects drivers with sponsors who can set rewards for the specific number of miles safely driven.

Most safe driving apps are free or come with a nominal fee. Considering what they could do for a person — including saving a person’s life — paying a few dollars is always worth it to have an app that limits or stops distracted driving.

Car Accident Attorney, Ethan Vessels

If you or a loved one are hurt from a distracted driving car accident, contact Ethan Vessels at Fields, Dehmlow & Vessels for possible legal representation. Ethan has years of experience as a trial lawyer, and he knows how to win. Contact us today at Fields, Dehmlow & Vessels for experienced legal representation. Call 740-374-5346 or fill out our contact form and we will get back with you very soon.

Why Should I Have Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

It is estimated that 1 out of 7 drivers in the U.S. are uninsured or underinsured. If you are involved in an accident where the other driver is at-fault, typically their liability coverage would be responsible for any medical bills and auto repair costs. However, if the driver does not carry any – or not enough – insurance, you may be left paying out of pocket.

In order to protect yourself, it is recommended that you purchase uninsured and/or underinsured motorist coverage from your insurance company. Regular car insurance coverage protects other drivers from damages you cause, and uninsured/underinsured coverage protects you from damages caused by other drivers.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

It is important to note that the uninsured/underinsured policies provide liability coverage for the other driver. Therefore, you still have to prove that the other driver is at fault, that your injuries were caused by the accident, and that the treatment for those injuries was reasonable.

Purchasing this coverage is a backup plan, as is all insurance purchases. No one plans on getting into an accident, but they happen, and sometimes they happen due to the fault of either an uninsured or underinsured driver.

If you are involved in this type of accident, having the extra insurance allows the insurance company to cover all of your costs up to the policy’s limit. If the at-fault driver only has the bare minimum coverage required, then he or she likely will not be able to cover all the expenses, and the underinsured coverage will fill in the gaps.

Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage Usually Offers Two Types of Protection

Bodily Injuries Coverage (UMBI) The uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can cover not only car damages but bodily injuries as well if you choose to add this coverage. The bodily injury insurance would cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and funeral costs for you and any passengers in your vehicle.

Property Damage Coverage (UMPD) This type of coverage is not offered in all states, but if available, it may be worth consideration. This type of protection covers damages made to personal properties such as a house, fence, or even cell phones and other electronics.

State Requirements

Insurance requirements vary by state. Approximately half of all states require some type of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Some states even require that the coverage is offered, and if you want to decline, you must put it in writing.

Call an Attorney Who Has Experience with Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage

If you have been in an accident where the at-fault driver does not carry enough or any insurance, you should call an attorney with experience. Attorney Ethan Vessels represents clients from Ohio and West Virginia. He is the author of the book “I have been injured. What are my legal rights?” If you would like to request a free copy of the book or schedule a consultation, please call 740-374-5346 or fill out our online contact form.

Should You Feel Guilty for Wanting Compensation for Your Injuries?

Guilt is often felt by potential claimants. After a serious accident or injury, some people choose to suffer in silence instead of pursuing a claim, no matter how obvious the fault may be. The insurance industry has succeeded in labeling claimants as greedy plaintiffs, but seeking fair compensation for an injury is not greedy. If you sustained an injury in a car accident and accrued numerous medical bills and missed work, it is entirely appropriate to request compensation.

Claimant Stereotypes

The term “sue happy” has been used to describe the culture in America, claiming no matter the situation, people turn to lawsuits to fix any problem. Over the last several years, the media has shared some outrageous injury claims with the public. These stories are often sensationalized, and viewers do not get all the facts.

The most famous case was when a Mrs. Liebeck sued McDonald’s after she spilled hot coffee in her lap. The public immediately assumed the worst (spurred by the media) and concluded that the lady was looking for a lawsuit. They labeled her before knowing the details of the story. The coffee Mrs. Liebeck spilled was served at 185 degrees, and McDonald’s knew anything above 140 degrees was a burn hazard. Furthermore, there were roughly 700 claims filed by other people who had been burned by McDonald’s coffee. Mrs. Liebeck suffered third-degree burns on six percent of her body. She underwent skin grafting and spent a week in the hospital. In the end, she received $200,000 in compensatory damages and $480,000 in punitive damages. The jury clearly ruled that Mrs. Liebeck had truly suffered, but the story was fabricated to be a sensationalized story.

People may feel ashamed to be associated with this “sue happy” stereotype and want to keep their pride, but the only people who benefit from a claim not being pursued are the insurance companies.

Do I Deserve Compensation?

Potential claimants may also struggle with feeling like they are getting something for nothing. Some people still strongly identify with the philosophy of “a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work.” This strong work ethic is admirable, but should not overrule compensation for which you are entitled. If you have been injured in an accident, remember the time you missed work and the medical bills you accumulated. You are not getting a free ride, but you are being compensated for what you lost. Being hurt is an extreme imposition on your life. It affects your productivity both at work and home, and it diminishes your quality of life. Why should you suffer because of another person’s negligence?

Call Fields, Dehmlow & Vessels in Marietta, Ohio

Do not wait too long before talking with an attorney, because the statute of limitations allows a certain timeline for which an injury claim can be filed. You should act fast and call a personal injury lawyer to see if you have a case and what options are available to you.

Attorney Ethan Vessels is an experienced local personal injury attorney in Marietta, Ohio. He is licensed in Ohio and West Virginia and is ready to discuss your case. Please call 740-374-5346 or fill out our online contact form and we will get in touch with you.

Elder Fraud & Financial Abuse

Financial abuse of the elderly is increasing. Only one in 44 cases of financial abuse are reported. Family members or close friends account for 90% of abusers, which makes the victims reluctant to pursue legal action. Read further to understand ways in which elderly people are exploited and the common scams that are used by professional con artists.

Exploitation by Family Members

Many elderly people have a “Power of Attorney,” which gives financial authority to the person of their choosing. A family member could steal this money for his or her own use or could take advantage of the finances by being the joint owner of a bank account with an elder relative. ATM cards and checks may be used to withdraw money, and cash and valuable items such as jewelry can be stolen.

Exploitation by Home Health Providers

In-home care professionals may charge for services never performed. They may keep change from store purchases and pay their own personal bills with the elder patient’s funds. The worker could even falsify time records and spend work hours to run personal errands.

Scams by Professionals

Seniors are often targeted by professional con artists because of their financial security, trusting nature, home accessibility, and potential memory problems. Older people control about 70% of the nation’s wealth. Professionals know who to target and have become very skilled with their pitch.

Home repair scams. Traveling con men may approach the home, stating they are in the area for a short time and can repair something inexpensively. Also, beware of people saying they are from a utility company. One person may ask for help outside while another teammate goes inside and steals the elderly person’s possessions.

Lottery scams. These will claim that the elderly person has already won, and now, they just need to share their financial information to cover the cost of the associated taxes.

Charity scams. Individuals will ask for donations for a good cause and then pocket the money for themselves.

Investment scams. Unrealistic returns being promised is a warning sign. Anyone who claims to be a financial planner or dealer should be properly licensed.

Signs of Financial Abuse

  • Large bank withdrawals or unusual activity
  • Missing possessions
  • Unpaid bills
  • Unusual new friends
  • New names on bank accounts
  • Sudden changes in a will and the beneficiaries
  • Isolation
  • Debt collector calls and/or letters
  • Someone refusing to get the medical care needed for the elderly victim

What to do if you suspect Elder Financial Abuse

If you or a loved one has been the victim of elder financial abuse, there are several ways to report the situation. You could call the local law enforcement and file a report, and/or you could call the local Adult Protective Services.

You should seek legal counsel if you want the wrong-doer to be reprimanded and/or recover what assets were compromised. Attorney Ethan Vessels is an experienced attorney in Marietta, Ohio, and he is ready to discuss your case. Please call 740-374-5346 or fill out our online contact form.

Driving Safely Near Semi-trucks

Semi-trucks are a common fixture on interstates and roadways. They can be tricky to maneuver around and if you get into a crash with one, it is most likely to result in serious injury. A common rule of thumb is to give truckers plenty of room.

Common Hazards with Semi-trucks

Tire Blowouts. Most people who drive on the interstate are likely to have seen chunks of rubber scattered along the side of the road. These are the result of a tire blowout from a semi-truck. A loaded truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds or more, and that amount of weight adds extreme stress to the tires. Truck drivers usually swerve when blowouts occur, and chunks of the tire will fly in all directions.

Heavy Winds. Although semi-trucks are massive, they are still affected by strong winds. Their large size actually makes them more difficult to control, especially if they are not loaded. An unloaded truck can mimic a sailboat in heavy winds with random drifting and swerving in and out of lanes.

Blind spots. Every vehicle has blind spots, but semi-trucks are plagued by them. The passenger side has more blind spots than the driver side, so when passing be sure to do so on their left side, and pass quickly. The driver can only see another vehicle in their side view mirrors at certain times; the closer you get to the front of the truck, the less likely that they will see you.

Safety Tips

Statistics show that in more than 72% of semi-truck accidents, the fault lies with the other vehicle. Below are some tips to help navigate and share the roadways with our larger counterparts.

Give room for wide turns. Trucks need extra turning when space. They may even need to get into the oncoming traffic lane to successfully maneuver a turn. You should never try to sneak by them. When preparing to stop at a traffic light or stop sign, stop where the white guidelines are. They are marked at a certain spot so that other vehicles such as large semis have enough turning space.

Keep a safe following distance. Following too closely behind a semi puts you in a blind spot behind the truck. If a truck should quickly hit the brakes and you do not respond fast enough, you could get jammed underneath the truck. You also should never stop closely behind a truck on any type of hill because once the truck driver lets off the brake, it will likely roll back.

Pass safely and quickly. Make sure you can see the driver and then signal that you are changing lanes. Remember to pass on the left side of the truck because it has less blind spots. Accelerate and quickly pass the truck. Try to avoid passing trucks on a downgrade as they will pick up speed and you could get stuck driving in a blind spot.

Do not merge in front of them too closely. Merging quickly in front of a truck is dangerous. You need to be sure that there is plenty of space ahead of them before doing so. You may get rear-ended if you cut too close because a fully loaded semi takes the length of approximately three football fields to completely stop when traveling at high speeds.

Have You Been in a Semi-truck Accident?

No matter how defensively you drive, accidents can still happen. If you have been injured in a semi accident, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. The insurance coverage on semi-trucks can get very complicated because they often have more than one carrier, and this can make the claims process tricky.

Ethan Vessels is an established personal injury attorney in Marietta, Ohio serving Ohio and West Virginia. He can help you through the claims process and negotiate reasonable compensation for your injuries. Please call 740-374-5346 or fill out our online contact form to discuss your claim.

Have You Suffered from a Surgical Error?

Undergoing any surgery, minor or life-changing, is a serious matter. Whether it is having tonsils removed, a heart transplant, or any other type of surgery, there are always risks involved. If surgery does result in an error, that does not necessarily mean medical malpractice was committed. Read further to understand when a surgical error equals medical malpractice and who should be held liable for the mistake.

Examples of Surgical Errors

A surgical error is a preventable mistake made during surgery. There are many types of surgical errors that can occur. These are some common errors:

  • Nerve damage
  • Incorrect anesthesia dosage
  • Leaving surgical equipment inside a patient
  • Operating on the wrong body part

Common factors that lead to errors

Insufficient Planning. The medical staff must always be aware of a patient’s medical history and of pre-existing conditions which could create complications. They should know all medications being taken and any possible side effects. Medical staff should ensure all equipment is cleaned properly and is available when needed by the surgeon.

Incompetence. Doctors go through years of training and studying, but not all doctors have the competence to perform surgeries. A surgeon may be inexperienced with a certain procedure, and therefore, a more experienced surgeon should either perform or supervise the surgery. Surgeons may also unwisely decide to skip a certain step during the surgery to save time, but any shortcuts can lead to an error.

Poor Communication. Miscommunication among the surgical staff can lead to serious consequences. The wrong body part could get marked for surgery, the patient’s medication and dosage could get mixed up, and surgical equipment could be missing or not be sanitized properly.

Neglect. This could include failure to properly sterilize surgical instruments or using defective equipment. Sometimes this is directly related to other areas such as poor communication or fatigue.

Fatigue, Drugs & Alcohol. Surgeons and the support staff work long, draining shifts. It is understandable that fatigue will set in occasionally, yet they have a responsibility to inform their superiors when they need rest or that another surgeon/staff member needs to be called in to perform or assist in the procedure so any mistakes can be avoided. Surgeons and their staff frequently deal with extremely stressful and emotional situations. Some staff members or surgeons may turn to drugs and/or alcohol to cope. They may also turn to certain drugs in an effort to maintain energy and stay awake. No matter the reasoning, it is unacceptable for anyone to perform or assist in a surgery under the influence.When does a Surgical Error turn into Medical Malpractice?

When does a Surgical Error turn into Medical Malpractice?

If a surgical error occurs, that does not automatically mean someone is liable for medical malpractice. All surgeries involve risks and therefore, patients are typically required to sign an “informed consent” form stating that they understand these risks.

In order to have a viable medical malpractice claim, the following elements must exist:

The mistake has to fall below the medical standard of care. Doctors have a legal obligation to perform the standard of care needed and avoid foreseeable injury. It must be proven that the doctor failed to meet these standards of care. For example, if a surgeon left a surgical sponge in a body cavity after performing surgery, this would show a failure in maintaining a standard of care.

The doctor’s negligence must be the cause of the patient’s injury. This injury must also have caused damages, whether economic, non-economic, or both. As examples, lost wages, future earnings, and medical bills are economic damages, while pain, suffering, and emotional distress are non-economic damages.

Talk with an Experienced Attorney

If you or a loved one has suffered due to a surgical error, you should talk with an experienced malpractice attorney. Speaking with an attorney in a timely manner will help you avoid any difficulties with a statute of limitations. Call (740) 374-5346 or fill out a contact form, and we will get in touch with you.

Tips for Your Personal Injury Case

If you were hurt in a car accident and are trying to retrieve payment for medical bills and fair compensation for your suffering, you are involved in a personal injury claim. For many people, being involved in a car accident is the first time they’ve had to deal with a legal dispute, and therefore, are unaware of how to navigate the process. Below are some tips to help get you through your claim.

Do not talk to the insurance company before consulting with an attorney.

It’s important to understand the harm in talking to the insurance company, even if you know you will just state the facts about the accident. The problem is that you may unintentionally provide them with information to use against you. After an accident, your nerves are shaken because car accidents are traumatic events. If you talk to someone from an insurance company, you could inadvertently give too much information or information that is inconsistent.

Giving a statement is sometimes required, especially if your insurance company is the one paying for damages, and you don’t want to be labeled as uncooperative. Speaking with an attorney who knows how to navigate the questioning process is valuable. He or she will make sure the questions are limited and relevant.

Explain all the symptoms you are having to your doctor.

If you have been in an accident, it is important to seek medical attention for any aches and injuries you sustained. Even if you feel that your injuries are minor, you should see a doctor. A minor injury can last for weeks, and if left untreated, it could become more serious. It is better to see a doctor as soon as possible and document your injury than to wait and try to seek compensation at a later time.

It is also likely that anyone involved in an accident could have multiple injuries. However, it is quite common to have one injury that is more severe and painful than the others. It is understandable that this severe injury might overtake any thoughts of other injuries. It is wise, however, to make a conscious effort to think about the rest of your body. You can accomplish this by assessing how you feel from head to toe and asking yourself some questions. Does my neck hurt if I turn my head? Are my shoulders sore? Does my back hurt if I turn my waist? These are just samples of questions you should ask yourself so you can be aware of any injuries that should be assessed.

Your doctor will likely focus on your most severe injury first. The objective, however, is to make sure that all of your injuries are documented. For example, if you are being treated for an injury and after a few weeks or months you mention that your back has been gradually feeling worse since the accident, insurance adjustors will probably argue that your back pain is from an unrelated incident since it was not first documented along with your other injuries. It is best to speak up now in order to avoid aggravation later.

Avoid gaps in your treatment.

Once treatment for your injuries has begun, it is crucial to show up for your appointments. If you routinely miss appointments, the liability insurer will notice this. They may claim that if you were injured, later treatment is no longer necessary.

Check medical payments coverage under your insurance policy.

One of the first things you should do after an accident is to obtain a copy of the declarations page from your insurance policy. The declarations page will show whether you purchased medical payments coverage, which often referred to as Med-Pay.

Med-Pay is insurance that pays for medical bills sustained by you, family members, or anyone riding in one of your insured vehicles. This coverage is paid regardless of who is at fault. Some people may feel that it is unfair for their insurance to pay anything if they were not the ones at fault, so it’s important to understand that Med-Pay is a backup plan.

As an example, let’s say that you were injured in a car accident, and the other driver was at fault. You sustained a neck injury and were transported to the hospital via ambulance, so you now have a hospital bill. Some hospitals will put your bills on hold until your claim is settled, but others will not. There is no way to tell how long it could take to settle your claim and you do not want your bills sent to a collection agency. If you have the coverage, Med-Pay will pay your bill now, and later, when your case is settled against the at-fault party’s insurance company, your insurance company will be reimbursed for any payments made on your behalf.

Lost wages from your job are recoverable.

There must be documentation in your medical record in which your healthcare provider excused you from work or put you under restrictions that did not allow you to perform your job. You must be able to prove this. Your employer may choose to temporarily modify your job duties to allow you to return to work under light duty, and if that’s the case, you have a responsibility to return to work under these new conditions.

You have to be able to prove the wages that you lost. Typically, we give our clients a form for their employers to fill out to document this. There are different methods that can be used to determine the exact amount. If you work a routine schedule and know what hours you would have worked, we keep track of this and simply multiply the hours by your hourly wage. Overtime and bonuses, if they are not speculative, should be included in your lost wage claim. Another approach that can be used is to average your wages from the prior year.

Do not forget to mention if you used your vacation or sick time because of the injury because this is also compensable. This is a benefit you had to use because of the irresponsibility of the defendant.

Consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.

This area of law continues to become more complex and difficult to maneuver. Issues often arise regarding monetary disbursements. Some health insurance plans need to be paid back. Health insurance and healthcare providers may have liens on the recovery.  If lien holders are not properly paid back out of your settlement, you can face huge liabilities.  You may get a settlement offer that seems reasonable to you, accept it, then could potentially end up being sued for not recognizing liens. There are also healthcare providers or insurance companies that may seek more than you are required to pay them. This area alone usually requires legal guidance.

Attorney Ethan Vessels is an experienced and local personal injury attorney in Marietta, Ohio. He is licensed in both Ohio and West Virginia. Call our office today at 740-374-5346 or fill out our contact form and we will get back with you.

Why Should You Choose an NBTA Certified Attorney?

Many people are unsure of how to find a good attorney. Most people search on Google for attorneys in their area. While that might be a good first step, what comes after that?

Look for an attorney who is board certified.

The National Board of Trial Advocacy (NBTA) is accredited by the American Bar Association. The board is dedicated to helping clients find the most highly qualified trial lawyers. The NBTA certifies lawyers in the areas of civil trial law, criminal trial law, family trial law, civil pretrial practice law, and social security disability advocacy law. Having this certification is not a requirement, so if an attorney went the extra mile to achieve this distinction, you can be sure that he or she is highly experienced and qualified.

Board certified lawyers go through a thorough screening process of their credentials. They must show proof of their experience, gather peer and judicial references, pass an exam, and report any and all officially reviewed disciplinary issues to the NBTA Standards Committee.

You want an attorney who is prepared to go to trial.

When you seek out an attorney, the hope is that your case can be settled without having to step foot in a courtroom. However, in order to achieve the desired outcome, it may be necessary to go to court. Should that happen, you want to rest assured that the attorney you choose is well prepared and experienced in front of a judge and jury.

There are many attorneys that have never argued a case in the courtroom. Do not be misled by appearances and advertising. Be sure to do your research. You do not want to feel pressured by your attorney to accept an unfair settlement so he or she can avoid the hassles of preparing for a trial.

Talk to an NBTA Certified Civil Trial Advocate.

Civil trial advocacy can include cases in the areas of personal injury, property disputes, insurance claims, and other civil disagreements. Monetary damages are often disputed in these civil litigations.

Though you hope your case will never go to trial, it is impossible to know how things will turn out. You should prepare for the worst and hope for the best. An NBTA Certified Civil Trial Advocate has experience, knowledge, and top-notch communication skills. They understand the complexity of group psychology and are able to use this understanding to impact a jury. A good trial lawyer always stays ahead of the game and is prepared for any bumps in the road.

Contact Attorney Ethan Vessels Today

If you live in Ohio or West Virginia and need to talk with a board certified attorney, call our office at 740-374-5346 or fill out our contact form. Attorney Ethan Vessels is the only NBTA Certified Civil Trial Advocate within an 80-mile radius. He is licensed to practice in both Ohio and West Virginia and is ready to discuss your case.