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The Shocking Details of How a Car Accident Victim Plunged into a $700,000 Medical Bill

Mark Gottlieb, a marketing consultant, was involved in a car accident after a driver crashed into his vehicle at an intersection in New Jersey. The following months were agonizing as he experienced debilitating neck pain despite undergoing physical therapy and chiropractic care.

Mark’s doctors advised him to go for an operation at Hudson Regional Hospital in Secaucus. The complex type of fusion surgery involved replacing damaged herniated disks in his cervical spine with implants. While it relieved the excruciating pain, Gottlieb plunged into some shocking medical bills. Here’s a breakdown.

Gottlieb’s Medical Bills

Hudson’s Regional Hospital medical bill consisted of:

  • The cost of surgery: $445,995
  • The price of the main surgeon: $264,444

This means Gottlieb needed to pay more than $700,000 to clear the bill despite having a car accident insurance policy, PIP (Personal Insurance Protection) cover, and a health insurance policy.

Generally, the car insurance company is responsible for paying medical bills after an auto accident. However, unlike health insurance providers, car insurance companies are not part of health insurance networks.

As such, they’re likely to pay higher medical costs because they aren’t entitled to discounts available to providers within health insurance networks. This is what happened in Mark Gottlieb’s case. While Geico, his car insurance company, paid a substantial amount ($245,000), it wasn’t enough to clear the whole medical bill.

A detailed analysis of the cost shows Gottlieb’s surgeon and hospital charges were eight times higher even after being reduced by Geico. The high costs got Gottlieb exhausting his PIP cover too, as the bills kept rolling in. He used the cover to pay Bergen Pain Management Clinic the remaining $52,365 to reimburse the bill. Still, the clinic is entitled to $89,183.55 of the balance for the surgery.

Does the Health Insurance Cover Pay for Any Cost?

Gottlieb also has a health insurance cover with Aetna, but his efforts to claim compensation for the surgeon’s cost bore no fruit. This is because both Bergen Pain Management Clinic and the surgeon aren’t part of his health insurance network.

Therefore, Aetna can’t negotiate an affordable rate with the clinic to reduce the cost. The company mentioned it would pay an out-of-network payment of $4,051 only based on Gottlieb’s policy terms.

While this was somewhat encouraging, it turns out Gottlieb is liable to pay for the amount out-of-pocket. According to Aetna, he hadn’t met his annual out-of-network deductible.

The Main Takeaway

The car insurance policy covers bills associated with car accidents first, and it operates differently from health insurance covers. Also, a PIP cover that’s part of a car insurance policy depletes rapidly when used to pay for non-emergency treatment. As such, when signing up for extensive non-emergency treatment, ensure the providers are part of the network of your health insurance company.

Law Firm Reissues Cookbook During Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on individuals, families, and small businesses alike. One law firm in Columbia, SC, which is dedicated to the needs of its clients, has a strong reputation for placing the needs of its clients above all else. In some cases, this extends beyond the courtroom. This might even include cooking.

Davis Rice, who is a skilled personal injury attorney in Columbia, SC, is also known for his quality macaroni and cheese. A cookbook was released by the Joye Firm in 2013, with a variety of delicious recipes making the rounds. Of course, one of the most popular recipes was that very mac and cheese from Davis Rice.

The cookbook was initially released in 2013. Now, during the pandemic, it is receiving an update. This only makes sense, as so many people are still avoiding going out to eat in light of everything that is going on. To complete the mac and cheese, readers simply have to combine the ingredients before baking it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

While the cookbook is undergoing an update right now, one thing that is certain is that the mac and cheese is going to be a massive hit once the book is released once again. The cookbook also contains a number of other delicious recipes as well.

The original inspiration for the cookbook came from a desire to help people show their gratitude with food. In the Southeast, food is a great way to say thank you. Given that a lot of clients express their thanks to their attorneys with food, this seemed like a natural next step for the law firm itself. As a result, the Joye Law Firm decided to round up a few of the best recipes and put them together in a cookbook.

While the future is uncertain, one thing that is certain is that attorneys are people too. They like to cook and eat just like anyone else. This cookbook serves as a great reminder of that. Among the most anticipated recipes in the cookbook is the baked mac and cheese from Davis Rice. It will be interesting to see what other recipes become popular once the cookbook is updated and published!

How Emotional Stress Related to Pandemic Could Continue After Its Over

The COVID-19 pandemic was one of the most impactful situations that most people in the world have ever dealt with. Even those that remained healthy throughout the pandemic have experienced a variety of personal and professional challenges associated with social distancing, quarantining, and a variety of other changes that have impacted their daily lives. While the pandemic is continuing to slow with the rollout of various vaccines across the world, many people continue to feel stress related to the past year. As the world continues to open back up, some of these emotional stressors could continue for a period of time.

 

Increased Prevalence of Social Anxiety

Social anxiety has been a challenge that many people have had to deal with their entire lives. Those that have social anxiety can feel stress and anxiety about any activity that will require them to be around groups of people. During COVID-19, all people were required to spend more time inside and away from others. Even those that did not have anxiety before the pandemic could now feel stress related to leaving their home and once again being in larger groups.

 

Concern over Illnesses

While COVID-19 is slowing and people have protection from the vaccinations, there is bound to be an increased level of concern about physical health and contracting illnesses in general. Even sitting on a train near someone that is sneezing could cause stress and concern that germs are being spread. As mask mandates continue to be loosened, this concern is likely to only continue further.

 

Stress of Going Back to Work

Many people have spent the last year working from home. In a lot of cases, more and more people will start heading back to the office. This continues to create stress for those that are worried about the impact that the transition can have on both their personal and professional lives.

 

It is clear that the emotional stressors related to the COVID-19 pandemic can continue for a period of time. For those that are concerned about their mental health and wellbeing, finding ways to take changes slowly is very important. As opposed to jumping right back into your old life, taking small steps over the course of a few months could make the transition back to normal life easier.

When Can Someone File a Lawsuit Against a Corporation

Being involved in an accident, or suffering any form of loss due to the negligence of another party can be a frustrating experience. If you have incurred a loss due to the actions or neglect of another party, filing a lawsuit can be a great way to receive compensation for your losses. However, if you are looking to sue a corporation, there are some factors that could add some complexity.

 

Reasons Why Suing a Corporation Can be Challenging

One of the reasons that suing a corporation can be difficult is because they often have terms and conditions in place that can offset their liability risk. If you have signed any terms and conditions with a corporation and later incur a loss due to the use of a product or service they sold you, it is likely you may have signed a document that waives their liability. Another factor that adds to the complexity is that many corporations have legal structures that can make it challenging to sue an entity that has assets that you can go after.

 

When You Can Sue a Corporation

While filing a lawsuit against a corporation can be complicated, there are still situations in which you can file a lawsuit and will have a good chance of at least reaching a settlement. If the corporation was grossly negligent, you can file a lawsuit even if you had signed terms and conditions saying that you would waive those rights. Further, if you have been discriminated against by a corporation, you can also file a lawsuit. In almost all cases, the corporation will look to either have your lawsuit thrown out or settle with you outside the court system. Settling is a good option for corporations as they typically require the other parties involved to sign a non-disclosure agreement, which can also help to protect their reputation.

 

Filing a lawsuit in any situation is a complicated manner. This can be made even more challenging when you are suing a major corporation. Due to this, having proper legal representation by your side is important. An attorney will be able to represent you and handle all the legal work necessary to file the claim the right way while also handling any negotiations and deliberations.

Personal Injury Lawsuit Filed Against LA Schools and Union

The coronavirus pandemic has had a massive impact on individuals, families, and small businesses. Even though it is good news that a lot of people are getting vaccinated, there are still some school districts that have been hesitant to reopen. Now, a lawsuit has been filed against one of them, the school system in Los Angeles.

The families filing a lawsuit or being represented by everyone and personal injury attorney in the area. His firm is well known for taking on powerful unions in the region, including the teachers union, which is named in the lawsuit. Even though the teachers union has not yet commented on the lawsuit, many of the families filing the lawsuit have already spoken out.

Many families have already shared examples of ways the pandemic has impacted their children. For example, one parent describes her son as being strong, motivated, and outgoing, even serving in leadership on the student government. She states that since the pandemic started, he has been socially withdrawn, isolated, and has become addicted his computer. She claims that her son has been impacted emotionally and academically since the schools closed.

Another parent and a child with special needs also described how the pandemic has impacted her child. She states that her child needs to go to school because of the service as he receives from teachers with specialized training. Because the schools have closed, her child is not receiving access to the therapy required.

Ultimately, this is a lawsuit that is going to be decided by the court system. It is unclear at this time as to whether the lawsuit is going to proceed to trial, will be settled, or dismissed. According to the law firm representing the families, the crux of the argument is that the schools failed to uphold their mission, which is to act in the best interest of the students. The lawsuit claims that children have been impacted severely, academically and emotionally, because the schools have failed to open while other school systems have reopened. Even though the students have not suffered physical injuries, the lawsuit claims that these emotional injuries are just as severe and could have long-lasting consequences. It will be interesting to follow this lawsuit as it makes its way through the courts.

You Can’t Work After a Car Accident: What Should You Do?

A car accident can happen at just about any time. Even though you are a safe driver, not everyone on the road is. Even car accidents that seem minor can lead to significant injuries. As a result, you may not be able to work after a motor vehicle accident. In some cases, you may be out of work for several months. In other cases, you may not be able to go back to work ever. If that is the case, how are you going to be able to provide for yourself and your family? What should you do next?

Seek Medical Care First

The first thing you need to do is seek medical care. Your health has to come first. As a result, dial 911 after the accident. Ask for emergency medical personnel to come to the scene of the collision. Even if you feel okay, you should still go to the emergency room. You should also schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor if you are released from the emergency room. In some situations, symptoms may not show up for several days after the accident.

Ask for a Copy of the Police Report and Collect Records

You also need to ask for a copy of the police report. That way, you have evidence showing the accident was not your fault. You should also ask for a copy of your medical records. You may need these to demonstrate the severity of injuries.

Finally, once you have sought medical care and collected all records related to the accident, you should reach out to a trained personal injury attorney.

Work with a Trained Attorney

Even if you have health insurance, and even if the other driver has insurance, this may not be enough money to cover your property damage and medical expenses. Particularly if you are going to require long-term care, you may need assistance covering these costs. A trained personal injury attorney can take a look at your case, advocate for your rights, and make sure you are taken care of moving forward. Even though it may seem daunting, you do not have to go through this alone. There are always professionals who are willing to lend a helping hand to those in need.

Software Error Caused Mercedes to Recall Thousands of SUVs

A Small Package but a Big Problem

A simple software bug found in several series of Mercedes SUVs has caused a high priority recall. Over 40,000 of the defective SUVs have to be brought back in for repairs that will begin mid April. While at first glance it may seem like a software bug doesn’t constitute a measure so drastic as a recall, it turns out the error could make it more likely for the car to crash. Essentially the software was designed to aid the driver during a maneuver, but an overcorrection from a flaw in the code could increase the likelihood of a driver losing control of the vehicle and crashing. This is not fake news. The company themselves released this statement to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, so it is certainly a recall Mercedes owners should take seriously.

According to their filing with the NHTSA, these are the current 2020 to 2021 models that are using the flawed software:

  • GLE450
  • GLS580
  • GLE350
  • GLS450
  • GLE580

Please note that not every one of these models has the software issue. It is important to look up potential recalls via their VIN number, or to call the manufacturer if you have doubts or are unsure about the process. In this situation it is certainly best to err on the side of caution, especially considering SUVs are typically used by families as a mode of transportation.

The Details

Thankfully, so far Mercedes has not reported any injuries, deaths, or vehicle damage that has occurred as a result of the software bug. It is their hope that they have caught it time. The software in question is called the Electronic Stability Program. Initially created to help maintain control of the vehicle, the design flaw could cause torque to be applied to the front wheels, which could result in the vehicle veering suddenly in an unexpected direction while steering.

The Good News

To be human is to err. Mercedes has done the ethical thing and approached this issue promptly and clearly, immediately admitting the fault. Their prompt and transparent handling of this event sets an ethic standard for the industry, and anyone who needs this repair on their vehicle can have it done free of charge as early as April 13th.

Trouble in Paradise: Port of Skagit Commissioner Kevin Ware Sued for 2019 Helicopter Crash

Tourist Trapped

Cypress Island, a popular tourist and destination wedding spot, has come under scrutiny after a helicopter crash that took place back in August of 2019. The helicopter went down around 7pm after the blades clipped a tree, sending Christopher and his wife, Hannah Neibauer into the water. Ashley Walker, another passenger on the flight provided by Peregrine Air, LLC, are now suing Commissioner Kevin Ware through a personal injury suit for his role in the crash. The lawsuit was officially filed on December 7th of 2020 in the Skagit County Superior Court. Both Ware and Peregrine Air (Ware’s company) are being targeted by the complaint.

So What Happened?

While this story at first glance looks like a classic case of the tourist trap, it is more complicated than the surface value implies. According to the lawsuit affidavit (a legal document you swear contains the truth under penalty of perjury), Commissioner Kevin Ware provided his services as a helicopter pilot to Ashley Walker, Christopher Neibauer, and Hannah Neibauer. Ware was to take the trio to a local boat manufacturer, Aspen Catamarans for an aerial photo shoot session. According to the affidavit, Christopher Neibauer was hired by Aspen Catamarans for his services as a photographer. In the trios court statement they said that the helicopter rotor blades clipped a tree branch around 20 to 30 feet above sea level, causing the helicopter to shift violently to the right and crash into the water.

Ashley Walker goes on to say in the report that she helped Kevin Ware out of the helicopter and led him to shore. When she returned to retrieve Christopher Neibauer, the helicopter was completely submerged underwater. The trio claim that they suffered extensive and permanent physical, mental, and emotional damage from the crash. They are seeking damages for medical bills, as well as pain and suffering.

The Other Side of the Story

Kevin Ware gave his response to this report on January 22nd of 2021. He stated in his report that the crash was not caused by his own negligence, but surprisingly, Ashley Walker. He is requesting the court throw out the case entirely.

The Investigation

The National Transportation Safety Board has since investigated the crash, concluding that the most probable cause of the crash was the pilot’s (Kevin Ware) “failure to maintain adequate clearance from a tree while hovering at low altitude”.

Travel Insurance and the COVID Pandemic: What Type of Travel Insurance Covers Quarantine?

The coronavirus pandemic is still very much with us. Even though it is good that vaccines are being rolled out, it is still going to be a while before everything goes back to normal. If you decide to go on vacation (or travel for any reason at all), there is a chance that you might be asked to quarantine when you get there. If that is the case, you might incur medical expenses and trip delays as you travel abroad. If you are asked to spend 14 days in a hotel before you get to the rest of your trip, this can get expensive. Can travel insurance help you cover these expenses?

First, you need to know when your travel insurance is going to kick in. For example, there are some insurance policies that will only cover you if you test positive for the virus. Then, with this proof, your travel insurance plan might cover your travel expenses related to the virus. These policies are not necessarily something that will cover all of your expenses. For example, if you travel somewhere and have to quarantine, your travel insurance policy is not going to cover these expenses unless you actually test positive.

If you are looking for a travel insurance policy that is going to cover the costs of your quarantine, then you need to find a travel insurance policy that explicitly lists this in the benefits. Read the fine print closely. If you are worried that you might have to pay for your quarantine, you might be able to find a travel insurance policy that will pay for this before you leave.

What happens if you test positive for your trip and you cannot go? Would you like to get your money back for this trip? If that is the case, this is a different type of travel insurance policy. Again, you need to read the insurance policy carefully. Sometimes, your travel insurance policy will only reimburse the cost of the trip for certain reasons. If you want a travel insurance policy that will explicitly pay for your trip if you have to cancel it, then you need to look for a policy like this in advance.

Insurance Rates Could Be Going Up: Personal Injury Lawyers Working To Stop Them

The Texas state legislature is busy early on in the year. Unfortunately, not every bill is beneficial to people who live in the state. Right now, there are a pair of bills that are working their way through the local legislature that could end up costing people a significant amount of money. In particular, this could cause health insurance and car insurance rates to go up. Specifically, these bills are titled House Bill 19 and Senate Bill 207. If these bills go through, trucking companies may not be held liable in court following crashes. This means that if one of their drivers had a serious accident, the trucking company may not be responsible. As a result, people who are injured in the accident could be on their own.

If this legislation goes through, it is possible that local citizens will have to step up and pay big trucking companies that cause serious accidents. In particular, it is important for people to understand that a lot of the trucking companies that are currently held responsible for accidents located in Texas are not actually headquartered in the state. They are multibillion-dollar companies that are located somewhere else. If these companies are no longer held responsible, local citizens could be asked to fend for themselves.

Even though a lot of accidents that take place do not lead to injuries, accidents that appear small that involve a truck could lead to major medical bills. Furthermore, if people incur major medical expenses, health insurance rates could go up as well. As a result, even people who are not injured in motor vehicle accidents could end up feeling the sting of this legislation.

Right now, these bills have not been passed into law; however, these bills are still working their way through the legislative process. It is important for everyone to keep up with what is going on in their local government. A lot of the bills that passed through their local governments could have a significant impact on their everyday life. It is important for people to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer if they have been involved in a serious motor vehicle accident. That way, they can ensure their rights are defended.