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July 2014 Archives

Properly Obtaining and Reviewing an Accident Re-Construction Report

If a friend, family member or loved one has been involved in a very serious motor vehicle accident that resulted in serious physical injury or death, some local police agencies have the ability to perform what is termed as an accident reconstruction. If the local police agency doesn't have the resources or the ability to do so, they will often times bring in the Illinois State Police to perform the accident reconstruction. The accident reconstruction is a very detailed process for which the accident reconstructionist through the police agency examines and evaluates every aspect of the crash or the collision that identified what exactly occurred, who may have been at fault, the specifics of how the accident happened. If there is a potential issue as to who may be at fault for the accident, this can be a very critical and important stage of the claim as the accident reconstruction will identify very specific details about who the police agency believes may have been at fault for the accident and may have been the cause of the accident. There will be very specific measurements take. There will be very significant photographs taken and very specific statements taken of witnesses. All of this will be used in combination to identify details of the source and the cause of the accident and in some situations, who may have been at fault for the accident. It is very important that as an attorney that will represent someone in such a serious claim, that we obtain the accident reconstruction report as soon as possible. Unfortunately, because of the detail involved in these types of reports, they may not be available for weeks or even months after the accident occurred. We must be very diligent in our efforts to obtain these reports so that we can identify the results of the accident reconstruction findings. Often times, if there is a question raised from the accident reconstruction that we disagree with, we may have to retain our own accident reconstruction expert in order to get a more clear understanding of what may have occurred during the motor vehicle crash. If my office comes across an accident reconstruction report that we may disagree with the findings and we are able to obtain an opinion from another accident reconstructionist that says that the initial conclusions of the initial report are improper, than you have to be prepared to examine the person who did the accident reconstruction in terms of their expertise, the number of years that they have been doing it, the level of experience that they have and the training and qualifications that they may have. These reports can be very essential to the success or often times the failure of a claim in terms of trying to prove fault or liability upon another person when these types of very serious motor vehicle accidents occur. These accident reconstruction reports go beyond the typical police report that is generated when a serious injury is not a result of a motor vehicle accident. In cases where there is serious bodily injury or death to one of the parties involved in the crash, there will be multiple reports that come from the various police agencies involved, which may include a very preliminary basic police report from the local agency and then of course there may be a complete accident reconstruction report either from the same agency or from the Illinois State Police. It is very important that you obtain all of this information and evaluate it thoroughly to assist in what may be needed to establish in terms of fault of liability. If a friend, family member or loved one has been involved in such a motor vehicle accident that has resulted in serious bodily injury or death and you are concerned about either the results of an accident reconstruction report or have been unable to obtain such a report, it would be very important that you contact my office so that we can evaluate this for you and go about trying to obtain the report on your behalf to see about pursuing a potential claim.

July 2014 Amendment to Illinois Workers' Compensation Fee Schedule

On July 16, 2004, the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission unanimously voted to increase the Illinois Workers' Compensation Fee Schedule for various office visits as well as various medical procedures. This is the first sign that the State of Illinois has recognized that the September 1, 2011 fee schedule cuts created a great burden on injured workers due to limitations and access to quality medical care. In the opinion of Strong Law Offices, September 1, 2011 changes to the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act devastated the rights of injured workers by slashing reimbursement rates to health care providers for medical care and treatment related to work-related injuries. Essentially, the bill signed into law by Governor Quinn which went into effect on September 1, 2011 slashed fee schedule reimbursement rates for medical care to injured workers. At first glance, the injured worker may not appear to be impacted. The reality is quite different. The injured worker was impacted by the slashes to the fee schedule because Illinois health care providers began declining to render medical care for workers' injured on the job. What has transpired since 2011 is that injured workers are forced to bear the costs of their own medical care and treatment for job-related injuries. Injured workers have been using governmental assistance programs, such as Medicaid and Medicare, to pass the costs of work-related injuries to injured workers. Likewise, injured workers have been forced to use their private group health insurance programs to obtain access to medical care for medical treatment which should have been properly billed to workers' compensation insurance providers.

"Low T" - The Fictitious Epidemic

Any person who has tuned in to watch any televised sporting event cannot help but notice the saturation marketing campaign that has been undertaken by drug companies regarding "Low T", or low testosterone. The marketing and advertising campaign purporting to raise "disease awareness" has resulted in sales over a billion dollars for Big Pharma. Big Pharma in its efforts to market AndroGel® and other similar products as a testosterone replacement therapy have gone to great lengths to invent an epidemic where none existed.

Does Being on Work Comp Mean My Life is Over?

After you have been injured on the job, many things will happen. Of course, you will have to deal with the pain and disability of the injury. You will have to attend numerous doctor appointments, possibly go through painful physical therapy or injections or even surgery. You may have to deal with the struggle to get your medical paid for or to get paid your temporary total disability benefits while you are unable to work. It will soon become apparent that even if you are receiving full benefits that it doesn't completely replace your income. You may have to deal with depression and with certain types of injuries you may have to deal with skeptical friends, family and co-workers' who don't believe you are hurt as badly as you are or can't understand why you haven't returned to work. It will be frustrating to know that you wish for nothing more than that the accident had never happened to interrupt your life.

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