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Greenville Personal Injury Law Blog

Injured Workers Struggle to Stay Above Poverty Line

According to an in-depth report from ProPublica and a radio show on NPR, workers' compensation costs are the lowest they've been since the 1970s. Workers Compensation Insurance companies profits have dramatically increased while injured workers struggle to stay above the poverty line. The article and radio show reveal the results of an investigation that explored the drastic cuts to workers' compensation benefits across the U.S. Since 2003, 33 states have passed workers' comp laws that reduce benefits or make it more difficult for those with work related injuries and diseases to qualify for medical care and subsistence benefits. From the outset, workers' compensation laws were designed to provide a basic survival safety net for injured workers. In exchange, injured workers were prohibited from suing negligent employers or their insurance companies. The promise to provide a minimal compensation and medical care to injured workers is now being eroded in the interest of ever increasing profits for the insurance industry.

440,000 Deaths Annually from Preventable Hospital Mistakes

A patient safety study estimates that more than 400,000 American deaths are associated with preventable harm done to patients in hospital settings.

According to the Journal of Patient Safety study, Evidence-based Estimate of patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care, preventable adverse events (PAE's) contributing to deaths from care in hospitals cause one-sixth of all deaths that occur in the United States each year.

Preventable complications causing death

Many Americans, like 55-year-old Louis Salica, who went to a heart hospital when he felt chest pains and was short of breath, go to the hospital to get effective treatment. Unfortunately, medical errors that are preventable can lead to further complications and even death of hospital patients.

While he was under the care of the overnight nurse, medication and oxygen provided to ease Salica's breathing was ineffective. Had it been appropriately reported, it would have resulted in admission to the "intensive-care unit, intubating him, performing an echocardiogram, inserting an intra-aortic balloon, increasing his medications, and consulting with a cardiothoracic surgeon," according to the testimony of an expert witness cardiologist.

However due to the failure by Salica's overnight nurse to make a report, the "hours of progression of the underlying heart failure" decreased his chance of survival from "over 90% percent to approximately 20%." Salica ultimately died in an emergency surgery to repair a heart muscle rupture that occurred over night, caused by the failure to report, according to the court opinion in Salica v. Tucson Heart Hosp.-Carondelet, L.L.C., 224 Ariz. 414, 231 P.3d 946 (Ct. App. 2010)

TORT REFORM THREATENS OUR CONSTITUTIONAL LIBERTIES

In suits at common law, trial by jury in civil cases is as essential to secure the liberty of the people as any one of the pre-existent rights of nature. - James Madison

Wednesday, Sept. 17 marks the national celebration of Constitution Day, a time to recall the liberties our Constitution sought to protect, preserve and uphold. These fundamental rights are the glue that holds our nation together. Yet, many Americans aren't aware that the Seventh Amendment, which guarantees our right to a trial by jury in civil cases, is currently under attack. Advocates of tort reform are pushing for an overhaul of our civil justice system, which would change centuries-old common law and is in stark opposition to the vision of our Founding Fathers. Here are 10 conversations You Should Know to defend your rights.

The Numbers

1. 79% Drop: The most recent statistics available show that personal injury trials are not clogging up the nation's district courts, dropping by 79 percent from 3,604 cases in 1985 to 800 cases in 2003. (Source: Federal Tort Trials and Verdicts, 2002-2003, Bureau of Justice Statistics)

2. 51.7% Increase: In 2003, Texas imposed an historic $250,000 cap on damages for medical malpractice cases in part to rein in health care premiums. Yet, premiums for family health insurance in Texas rose 51.7 percent from 2003 to 2010. (Source: A Failed Experiment (2011), Public Citizen (download))

3. 75% vs. 10%: More than 75 percent of contracts at 190 well-known companies force customers to accept one-sided arbitration clauses rather than allow complaints to go to court. But only 10 percent of the same companies agreed to arbitration clauses in their contracts with other companies.(Source: Mandatory Arbitration for Customers But Not for Peers (2008): Judicature (download)

What is the Set Free Alliance?

Christian & Davis is honored to sponsor two children who have been saved from slavery in India.  Set Free Alliance in partnership with The Sylom Pastor's League is providing total care for over 750 children who have been rescued from slavery in rock quarries or abandoned by their desperately poor or sick parents. Please visit the Set Free Alliance website for other great stories relating to the success of the ministry.  Here is a recent article realting to the trials and tribulations faced by these children in India.

Upstate Congressman Chooses Trucking Industry Over Victims Rights

I recently wrote to my congressman to oppose federal legislation that would limit the amount of insurance coverage trucks are required to maintain.  Without adequate insurance, a family victimized by a negligent tractor trailer truck may be denied compensation as there will be no way to recover for the losses caused. The company simply closes up shop and re-opens under a different name. While I am not surprised that he supported business over victims rights, I was taken aback at how proud he was to be supporting the trucking industry. Not so much as an acknowledgement of the victims interests in the matter. The email I received from the Congressman Gowdy is below.

South Carolina Property Damage Arbitration: Your Weapon Against Insurance Adjusters

Insurance companies frustrate people over their property damage from a motor vehicle collision. Clients we see are infuriated by the way the at fault driver's insurance company has treated them on the evaluation and reimbursement of their property damage. As a victim of unsafe conduct or an unscrupulous insurance companies, you have options! Stop believing everything the insurance adjuster tells you to be the gospel truth. Start using the vast information at your finger tips to motivate the insurance companies to treat you fairly.

Setting the Record Straight on Social Security Benefits

Three things you need to know (from our friends at Pond Lehocky):

Social Security is fiscally sound. Social Security is not a handout, you paid for it. Spreading the truth is the key to urging lawmakers to ignite change. There are rumors abound and false information regarding the financial status of the Social Security System and what really happens to that 6.2 percent taken from your paychecks. We want you to know the facts!

We want you to understand that Social Security isn't going anywhere for the hardworking men and women who have paid into the trust fund. Social SecurityAs long as Americans are working, Social Security will have funds. Currently, $2.8 trillion is stored in the Social Security Trust Fund, which is collected from wage earners' paychecks.1 That 6.2 percent taken from your paycheck is an insurance policy that you paid for; Social Security is not an entitlement or welfare program as some media have portrayed it.
While nearly everyone understands that Social Security assists retirees, there is a lesser known benefit built into the system in case you cannot work because of a disability. No one wants to be out of work, but if you become disabled and are unable to return to work, you have invested in an insurance policy that can assist you - Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The false representation of SSDI in the media has caused some Americans to feel ashamed and embarrassed to apply for benefits even though they are compiled from the money the government deducted from their paychecks. 

Americans deserve to know the truth about accountability for injuries

At Christian & Davis we are advocates for individuals injured by others who needlessly endanger the public.  We strive to help the injured, educate the public about the wrongdoers and hopefully prevent the same conduct from occuring again.  Our monthly newsletter is a good example of our efforts to educate our community on safety concerns. 

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