The devastating earthquake and resulting tsunami seriously damaged some of the Japanese nuclear power plants. Massive amounts of radiation leaked from the damaged reactors and will likely have affected thousands of people. However, the number of injured and the extent of their injuries may likely not be known for decades. The atmospheric risk to Americans on American soil from these leaks is very, very small, and likely non-existent.
What you may not know is that we Americans are exposed to radiation on a daily basis, right in our homes, at work, school and at play. We all generally know that we are exposed to radiation from medical diagnostic equipment such as X-Rays and mammograms. What most Americans do not know is that we are exposed to radiation from common, household and work-place items. The FDA lists the following non-medical products and procedures as being regulated for radiation emission:
Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs)
Laser Light Shows
Lasers – Non-medical devices, including Industrial, Scientific, and Consumer Laser equipment, Laser Light Shows, and Laser Pointers
Sunlamps and Sunlamp Products (Tanning Beds/Booths)
Televisions and Video Display Monitors
It makes sense that even frequently repeated exposures at very low doses can cause injury. We know radiation can cause an array of injuries from serious skin irritation, to severe burns and cancer. We do not know how much radiation exposure we are receiving from these products, and what that exposure will mean in terms of bodily injuries. Intense, close exposure will result in a burning of the skin. Prolonged exposure at lower levels may produce tumors after a 20 30 year period (latency period). As with pharmaceutical and medical device product liability litigation, litigation over injuries sustained as a result of exposure to radiation emitting products will require scientific evidence that unequivocally demonstrates a least a doubling of the risk of injury from these products. Further, it is unlikely that such scientific evidence exists for all radiation emitting products and whether the product warnings at the time of exposure were sufficiently detailed and specific at the time of the radiation exposure to warn of their potential for serious injury.
Think about this: We are all exposed to a number of these low radiation emission products multiple times if not constantly – throughout the day. We likely will not know we have suffered an injury for the entire 20 30 year latency period. The law will make it our responsibility to read the warning labels on these products and do our part to avoid injury. We would be well advised to read warnings, check radiation emission levels of the products we use every day, and reduce the risk as much as possible. That could mean not using or at least reducing the use of cell phones, microwave ovens, security systems, and televisions. That likely will not happen, and would result in a whole host of immediate social and psychological injuries. You might say we are damaged if we do and damaged if we don t.
Archives for April 2011
If you have been injured in a car, truck or motorcycle accident, you may have a lot of medical bills. Even if you have a personal injury lawsuit to recover the cost of your medical care, that money is not in your hands yet. You may be unable to work and not have access to temporary or long-term disability payments. Even if you do, they may not be enough to cover your bills, including your mortgage, car payments, utilities and food expenses. When you still have to pay all those obligations, but there’s nothing coming in, what can you do?
At Bailey & Galyen, we have protected the rights of motor vehicle accident victims for over 28 years. We know first-hand how difficult it can be to simply survive financially when you can t work because of injuries suffered in a car, truck or motorcycle accident.
A Cash Advance from Your Potential Recovery
One option available to many people is what is known as lawsuit financing. Under this type of arrangement, a financing company will advance money to you in exchange for a portion of any recovery you receive. Funds can often be in your hands within 24 to 48 hours.
You must qualify for this type of funding, though. Because your eligibility is based on the strength of your case and not on your personal credit, a credit check is not necessary. However, the financing company will meet with your attorneys and gather all necessary information to determine the quality of your case, reviewing the evidence, questioning witnesses and looking at all relevant documents, including
¢ the police report
¢ medical records, such as bills or reports
¢ your contingency fee agreement with your attorney
¢ proof of the defendant’s insurance coverage
Your lawyers may have a vested interest in helping you obtain this type of funding, because it can alleviate the need to settle early for less than you deserve, simply because you need to keep your home or other assets.
The Law firm Of Bailey & Galyen is a preeminent firm in the litigation of personal injury lawsuits on behalf of clients negligently injured in Texas, Missouri, and Florida. We represent people who are seriously injured each year as the result of negligence on the part of another person or organization.
Bailey & Galyen is a multi-practice law firm with headquarters in Dallas. Since 1982, our attorneys have been solving legal puzzles for clients across Texas and the U.S. We have established a tradition of excellence in legal service and a strong commitment to the neighborhoods in which we live and work. With a dozen convenient offices from Dallas to Houston as well as three locations in south Texas, our law firm has moved to a nationwide expansion in major cities of Florida and Missouri.
While a broad range of Personal Injury and Wrongful Death cases are a major focus of our law firm, our attorneys assist clients in diverse practice areas. In addition to Board Certified lawyers in personal injury, we have specialists in Criminal Trial Law and Family Law. Our firm also regularly handles Immigration, Social Security and Employment Law cases.
Personal injury cases are often complex and time-consuming. When you have suffered serious injury or have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, there is no substitute for high caliber legal know-how found at Bailey & Galyen. Armed with more than 50 years of combined trial experience and well-known for their arbitration and mediation skills, our attorneys will guide you, navigate the legal maze and help you recovery damages in your personal injury lawsuit.
At Bailey & Galyen, our attorneys represent clients injured in accidents involving cars, trucks, 18-wheelers, motorcycles and SUVs as well as boats, swimming pools and tragic mishaps at amusement parks. Medical malpractice, product liability and prescription drugs comprise a significant portion of our work in other injury cases.
When you turn to Bailey & Galyen, you can count on our legal expertise and our commitment to meeting the highest ethical and legal standards in resolving your case effectively and efficiently as possible.
When an accident happens, we rarely think clearly, especially if we are injured. Our adrenaline is pumping, we are in a state of shock and much of what we do is automatic.
But what you do in those first moments after an accident can make a huge difference later in a lawsuit. Let’s discuss what you should do.
First, take notes. Your knowledge of what happened at the accident will NEVER be better than it is at that moment.
Write EXACTLY what happened. Start with what you were doing before the accident and what happened during and after the accident. Write down who was with you, what you were doing, what you saw, what you heard, etc. Write down anything anyone else said, including the other driver, the police, witnesses, etc. Be sure to include the weather and road conditions in your narrative. Finally, write down witness names and phone numbers.
Write down your injuries. Write down what hurts, how it was injured and how much it hurts. Later, supplement with information about pain increases, things you could not do, activities you had to miss, appointments you could not keep and problems the injuries caused you.
As your claim process moves forward, be sure to add to your notes. Make notes of any conversations you have with doctors, policeman and, more importantly, insurance adjusters.
Make a diary of your injuries. Include how you feel on a day-to-basis. Make notes about how the accident and subsequent injuries affect your daily life.
Accidents are no fun. But what happens afterward is usually even less fun. By taking good notes about your accident, you can help ensure better and fairer treatment from those who handle your claim.
The Texas Personal Injury Lawyers at Bailey & Galyen offer quality legal services and representation to clients throughout Texas, including Arlington, Bedford, Dallas, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, Carrollton, Plano, Weatherford, Mesquite, Houston, Clear Lake, TX.
The newest rage in medical care is the concierge medical practice. Who would not want to have a concierge? A concierge is there when you need something, takes care of matters for you, makes you feel pampered and special, and provides an excellent, personal service. Most of us are familiar with concierges in hotels where their services are complimentary. They are ready, willing, able and happy to provide information and take care of things for their hotel guests. So, if my doctor is going to create a concierge practice, I think I’m going to like it! Not so fast. In truth, it is not going to be complimentary or for every patient. Most important, it is not going to be free. The new concierge patient must pay a hefty annual fee of a thousand dollars or more per year per person to remain their concierge doctor’s patient. If you can’t or won’t pay, you will have to find another doctor. Yes, it is a pay-to-play practice.
Why are these concierge doctors doing this? Is it for more money? The answer is both yes and no. Concierge doctors will make more money because of this annual fee, insurance payments, and the co-pay. Yes, you still have to have insurance and make the co-pay payment for each visit.
The doctors making this switch are doing so to rid themselves and their crowded waiting rooms of mostly poor, minority Medicare and Medicaid patients. By charging a hefty annual fee, only those who can afford that annual fee PLUS their annual health insurance premiums PLUS the per visit co-pays will stay with them, and those likely will not be Medicare or Medicaid patients. The concierge doctors’ rationalization is that by getting rid of the multitudes Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance patients who cannot or will not pay the annual fee, the doctors will be able to provide “premium services and amenities.” More simply put, they will only have to examine and treat those who have money. Top it all off with the reality that those of us who cannot or will not be forced to pay to remain a patient are given 30 days to find a new doctor.
This does not pass the smell test. There are many things very wrong about this practice:
1. It discriminates against those who cannot afford $1,000 or more, per family member per year to for this service.
2. It discriminates against Medicare and Medicaid patients as they are least likely to be able to afford the pay-to-play game.
3. It might well be illegal because Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance companies contract with these doctors to treat their insureds, and those contracts prohibit the doctors from collecting any more money than the co-pay.
4. It does not matter how long you have been with your doctor when the doctor decides to go concierge on you: Pay-to-play or leave.
5. By paying-to-play, you are promised the attention and care you should have been receiving all along without having to pay any additional fee.
Consider the modern version of the Hippocratic Oath that every doctor takes when they are licensed to practice medicine. Nowhere does it provide that it is permissible to require one to turn a blind eye to or their back on a patient because while he can pay for insurance, he cannot pay an additional, hefty annual fee for the privilege of being his patient. Physicians who transform their practices into concierge, pay-to-play practices are hypocritical of their Hippocratic Oath:
The Hippocratic Oath: Modern Version
I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.
I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.
I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.
I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.
I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.
The doctors fought hard for tort reforms to protect them from all lawsuits and minimize and cap the damages that an innocent victim and their families can recover. They blocked the courthouse door so the innocent victims could not hold them responsible for their negligent acts. Now they block their office doors so their patients who cannot afford to pay-to-play will not clutter their waiting rooms, take their precious time, and prevent them from providing the best possible care to every patient and uphold and honor the oath they took for that privilege. You see, in order to get the protections in place through tort reform laws, they threatened to leave states which would not pass them. It worked. Now, they only want to treat the affluent who supported that legislation to keep their doctors from leaving.
Aiding the concierge doctors in this decision is Congress reducing their Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates. The doctors don’t like it, and have decided they don’t want Medicare and Medicaid patients cluttering their waiting rooms and practices. So they remind themselves that they remain a member of their own socioeconomic segment of society, with special obligations only to all their fellow human beings who can afford pay-to-play medicine.
When a commercial truck accident occurs, if an employment relationship is established between the truck driver and a trucking or shipping company, then that company can be held liable for the driver’s negligence under a legal theory known as “respondeat superior.” Under this doctrine, a trucking company or other employer can be held liable for the wrongful acts of its drivers. Trucking companies may try to fight liability under this theory by arguing that the wrongful act did not occur while within the scope of employment. Motor carriers also try to limit their liability by hiring drivers as independent contractors rather than employees.
In some cases, the manufacturer of the truck may also be held liable if the accident was caused by some defect in the truck.
A shipper of hazardous materials carried by the truck may also be legally responsible for any injuries that were caused or made worse by the type of cargo on board. For example, if a shipper fails to advise a truck driver or trucking company of hazardous material contained in a load of freight, the shipper may be liable for injuries that result if that material catches fire or is released.
If a third party logistics company, which is a company that specializes in brokering transportation services but is not a motor carrier, is involved, it may be difficult to recover from that company. It has generally been held that the respondeat superior doctrine cannot be used against logistics companies because they generally engage in independent contractor relationships with motor carriers so they are exempt from liability. In addition, section 14704 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration often limits the liability of third party logistics companies in personal injury cases.
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