There has long been a culture of claiming compensation in the United States of America, and that culture is showing zero signs of easing up. Actually, recent statistics show that the polar opposite is in fact taking place with more and more personal injury claims being made. Whether this is fantastic news, though, completely depends on where you are standing and in which direction you are looking. But we aren’t just talking about the point of view of victim versus insurance company, or even the person being sued, because there are so many other considerations to take into account, just visit Robins Cloud for more information.
Anyway, the very term ‘compensation culture’ implies that there is a huge number of claims for compensation which aren’t necessarily justified, and are in fact ambitious and fraudulent attempts at making money out of something completely accidental. In the past we have heard phrases like ‘crash for cash’, whereby people are deliberately crashing their cars into innocent driver’s in order to start a compensation claim and receive a hefty payout. This is wrong. But the other big problem with this sort of fraudulence is the effect it has on genuine claims. In short, it is becoming harder and harder to determine what claim is real and what is a bogus attempt at quickly pocketing enough money to put down a deposit on several houses.
What’s more, there are more and more areas of a genuine victim’s life that need to be addressed nowadays. When someone is involved in an accident, there are a vast amount of repercussions that need to be taken into consideration. For example, there are the direct injury costs, the cost of medical care, the loss of earnings (both present and future), psychological stress compensation, the possible increase in insurance premiums, and these are just those that can be measured easily.
On top of this, there are other forms of damage that need to be carefully addressed, things like emotional harm and mental disruption, areas of damage that can’t be measured physically. And as such, these areas are becoming more and more exploited because they are easier to fake. All someone has to do is state they need to see a councillor, and then visit once a week for so many weeks and there is nothing a court of law can do to prove they are bogus. But we will get to this a bit later on.
First, we want to go through some of the landmark cases that has encouraged this compensation culture to spread across the world, not just America.
USA – 1992
This case became world-famous after a woman sued McDonald’s after she bought a cup of coffee from one of their drive-through outlets. What had happened was, after she made the purchase, she tried to remove the lid in which she spilled the entire contents of the coffee onto her lap. She was subjected to extreme scolding and spend eight days in hospital undergoing skin graft operations on her thighs, backside and groin. This was followed by two-years of medical treatments. The grounds on which she won the case was that the coffee served at McDonald’s was far too hot and thus far more likely to cause severe harm that other restaurants. She won an astonishing $2.86 million in compensation.
Australia – 2007
A woman successfully filed a workers’ compensation claim after causing damage to her own face with a lamp during intercourse in a hotel room while away on business. Whilst her employers rejected the claim on the grounds that intercourse was not an ordinary incident of an overnight stay, the court granted her compensation on the grounds that no approval, express or implied response of the woman’s conduct was required and that the company had to deliver the benefits package as they had rented the room.
USA – 2011
A woman was awarded compensation after tripping over her dog while walking to her own garage. The reason this claim was successful was due to her being employed as a decorator by a big home decor company and given she was headed to her garage to collect some sample fabrics, it was deemed her home to be a work environment. Don’t believe us, just look here.
With legal decisions like this setting precedent in courts of law around the world, it is easy to understand why some people wouldn’t try and claim compensation for certain accidents. It also means, governments need to act quickly to establishing new laws that will prevent a queue of similar claims taking place, such as a legal obligation to state that the contents of a coffee cup may be hot.
What does the rise in claims mean for premium prices?
Whether or not it has anything to do with loopholes or wiggle room, there is absolutely no disputing the fact that the number of claims has increased year on year. Even if you take into consideration the growth in population, the number of claims is still rising rapidly. This has seen something else mimic the rise, and that is the consistency in which insurance companies are raising their premiums. It is a logical step. The more people that claim, the more likely they will have to payout, the more they will have to cover their risks. As such, insurance companies have raised premium costs as a way of ensuring they have enough money in reserve in the case of any personal injury claims that may be awarded.
This is where the divide in perspective has been encouraged. Some believe this is a completely logical and necessary precaution that needed to be taken by the insurance companies, while others blame the rise in our compensation culture on bogus and ambitious claims. However, in order to cast a bit of positive light on those feeling hard done by when it comes to their rising premiums, think of it this way; should you ever need to make a personal injury claim, you are much more likely to be offered a hefty out-of-court settlement. Whether you agree with this cor not, it is how the industry seems to operate at the moment.
Time to address the fake and ambitious claims we touched on earlier.
While there is no questioning the rise of legitimate claims, there has also been a sudden spike in fake claims too. These are essentially little more than audacious attempts to con the system out of paying them undeserved money, and the recent rise has seen government organisation and insurance companies work together in a bit to stop this trend gaining any more traction. It is worth noting, though, that whilst terms like ‘crash for cash’ have become common terms, the actual figures churned up through detailed research suggest that the rise in fake claims hasn’t been as substantial as hearsay, gossip and the media would have you believe. This means that most of the compensation paid out to victims is done so legally and in spirit of what they truly deserve.
So why the growth in compensation claims?
As with most things in life, we can only offer well-thought out but speculative theories. However, the most dominant of those theories, which accounts for the most substantial reason for growth is to do with introduction of new laws. We now live in a society that is dictated by rules and regulations, and the room to play is not like it was a couple of decades ago. Everything needs to come with a warning, whether that be a do not eat sticker or a not suitable for under 6 sign. In short, our lives are dictated by health and safety regulations. They have just become stricter and stricter with each passing year. The standards have been increased and tightened. But while this was intended to reduce injury, it has had an adverse effect when it comes to injury claims, and that is because employers now have a legal responsibility to protect their employees right across the board and in almost every aspects of their lives. As we all know, though, accidents happen. It does not matter how many precautions you take or how many stickers you cover the windows with or how much training you give out each month; accidents happen. By it’s very definition, an accident is something that happens unintentionally and unexpectedly, yet by enforcing more and more rules we have provided victims with better grounds to sue on.
It is easier to make a claim against an employer than ever before; it is as simple as that. But if that was enough substance to answer the question of why the rise, well, the majority of all personal injury claims are made up of work related accidents or injuries. Put two and two together and we have a rise in compensation claims and a rise in the costs associated with them.
Another spike that has been noted by industry researches has to do with our roads. They have become busier. There are more cars and more cars means a greater chance of accidents and the more accidents the more claims. The biggest of these are whiplash claims, and that is because whiplash is caused by unexpected jolt involving your neck and back. More payouts for whiplash, the more the premiums go up. It is simple math.
Do I Need A Personal Injury Lawyer To Sue For Pain And Suffering In A Car Accident?
There are very specific damages that you can sue for when it comes to a car accident. Most accident claims are handled through negotiation between insurance companies before they reach the trial phase. If you are involved in a minor car accident, you might be able to recover your damages without the need to hire a Baltimore car accident attorney. However, there are limitations. If you are involved in a more serious accident, it might behove you to hire an attorney to make sure that you are recovering for all you are entitled to.
Pain and suffering
When it comes to car accidents, pain and suffering are defined as any physical or mental distress that you encountered as a consequence of the accident. Pain and suffering damages are determined by the amount of suffering that a person has to endure, and thus are subjective. In most states, pain and suffering damages fall under “noneconomic damages” or “general damages.” This refers to any damages that are intangible and instances where a dollar amount is difficult to discern. Economic damages are those damages that are straightforward, like medical bills and loss of wages. Pain and suffering awards aren’t as easy to put a price on.
When you should escalate the claim and hire an attorney
It is always a good idea to consult an attorney if you are in a car accident. Sometimes injuries are immediately apparent – like broken bones – but there are also times when the symptoms of an injury won’t surface until well into the future. To make sure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries and pain and suffering, having someone evaluate your case is always an excellent idea. Your choice of whether or not to hire an attorney should be based on:
The seriousness of your injury
If you were in a minor accident, an insurance company will typically be able to offer you a fair settlement to cover your medical expenses and any property damage. If you are in a more serious accident, however, there may be consequences that might not show right away, or damages that an insurance company might not want to pay. If you have suffered severe pain, or your injury is long-term, it is always a good idea to have an attorney to ensure that your medical costs, and any other monetary damages for the future, will be covered.
How much evidence you have
If you don’t have a good record of your pain and suffering, or the facts revolving around the case (such as eyewitness testimony) aren’t clear, then it is a good idea to have an attorney cover you. The insurance carrier will not have your best interests in mind. They will seek to minimize their costs, which means denying you the recovery you deserve if you don’t have sufficient evidence to prove your case superficially.
If there is a question about who is at fault in a car accident, then it is always a good idea to get an attorney involved. There are times when determining who is at fault in an accident might not be as simple as you think. Sometimes drivers will counter sue and allege that they aren’t at fault. You never want to leave yourself vulnerable.
If you want to recover for your pain and suffering, it is always imperative to get an attorney involved. Since pain and suffering need to be calculated and are subjective rather than objective, you will need someone to help you prove your case and to get the amount you deserve. Some lawyers will use the “multiplier” method. This calculates pain and suffering by using the amount of medical expenses you have. Others may use different values to determine a reasonable price. Again, since the insurance carrier isn’t on your side, you will want to have someone who is.
If you are in an auto accident, there are times when you can settle without having representation. But before you sign anything, it is always an excellent idea to consult a lawyer who specializes in auto accidents to make sure that you aren’t left vulnerable and that you receive fair compensation for your damages.
Caught in the Crosswalk: Pedestrian Accidents and What To Do
When an accident happens, you’re under a lot of stress, pressure and urgency all at the same time. This can make it really difficult to think clearly, yet most of the time we can kind of remember the main points. Get the other drivers details, contact the police and so on. What happens when there is no other driver or vehicle though? What if the collision was with a pedestrian?
With an estimated 70,000+ pedestrian injuries occurring in the United States alone each year, it’s a real occurrence for many people already. Most of us don’t have any real idea on what to do if we hit a pedestrian. Here’s some advice with that in mind.
The Pedestrian Comes First
Start off by immediately checking on the pedestrian. Ensure that the person is safe and call for medical attention if needed. If you have first aid skills, use them only when necessary. It’s best to leave as much as possible to the professionals, especially so there’s no question about whether your actions might have made the situation worse or been unwarranted.
If required, you should also get any injured personnel out of the road. Also make sure everybody is as safe and as comfortable as possible.
Make Your Calls
Contact an ambulance if required and also call the police. You are required to file an accident report with them in case of a vehicle-pedestrian collision. The police will be able to help with the rest of the process and can have a calming presence. They can also gather witness statements and co-ordinate whatever else may be needed.
This is also a good time to alert your legal representatives. If you don’t already have an accident specialist in mind, try something like Accident and Injury Law Group’s legal services. Having experienced experts on your side can make a big difference in any potential cases and with the process before that.
You will also need to contact your insurer and inform them of the situation. The insurance company may also be able to offer you advice on how to proceed. Keep in mind that if the insurer recommends hiring specific people, the final decision still remains with you.
If the collision was minor and the pedestrian is coherent, exchange details. Remember to keep it brief, you may be talking to somebody who is very disoriented. If the pedestrian is not coherent or conscious, then you should usually leave your details with the police. They will contact you later on with further information and act as a liaison if required.
Remember to be Careful What You Say & Document What You Can
Remember even the DMV recommends not implying guilt after an accident. The usual accident rules apply, so don’t apologize for anything in case it’s misinterpreted. Also try to take pictures of anything that might be relevant, and make detailed notes on the specifics of the accident whilst your memory is fresh.
Why is vintage trendy?
Vintage clothes are trendy, it’s an undeniable fact. They are at least 20 years old, and they arouse the interest of fashion lovers in an a truly spectacular way. There are different kinds of vintage clothing. On one hand, there are pieces which were made around 20 years ago. And on the other hand, there are new pieces which are inspired by clothes from past times and have a retro look. The Vintage Collection is a great example of how vintage clothing remains as a trend. Pieces that look antique but that are actually new and appealing.
One of the hits of vintage clothing is that many wardrobes from the past have been recovered. Pieces found in cellars and storerooms of thousands of houses which have been worn only once and now seem to be forgotten. All of these pieces can be worn again as if we were talking about brand-new clothing. It’s a new life for old clothes that make us create amazing outfits nowadays.
Recovering old pieces
Recovering old pieces to get that vintage look as a trend, and not only because of what we previously said. It allows us bring back forgotten pieces, but it also enables us to check out our mother’s closet, and even our grandma’s in order to revive breathtaking dresses.
In other words, by taking a look at those wardrobes which were left behind some time ago, we are going to be able to get ideal clothing to wear at different times. These wardrobes store not only summer, but winter clothing as well, so we are certainly going to find something vintage and stunning for any time of the year.
Get pieces at wonderful prices
One of the biggest advantages, which is key of getting a vintage look, is that vintage clothing can also be found at competitive prices. As they are mostly pieces that have been already worn we can find them at amazing prices. Despite being second-hand clothing, we need to keep in mind that these clothes pass an exhaustive inspection process to guarantee each piece has the optimum conditions to be worn.
Additionally, we have to consider that vintage clothes are also part of new collections with new pieces based on designs and looks of other times. But we are not only talking only about new pieces, we are also talking about old pieces from the past that have never been worn and can be worn for the first time as if they were brand new. These new second-hand pieces are found in wardrobes, and in many cases they are taken to specialized stores that collect brand-new real-vintage pieces because there are many people in this world who buy clothes and haven’t worn them not even once.
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