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When a Member of Your Family Is Injured

When a Member of Your Family Is Injured

Your family is important to you, and when someone you love isn’t feeling quite like themselves, it can make you feel anxious or helpless. If your loved one has been injured recently, or if they are still living with long-lasting effects from a past injury, you can feel anxious and helpless as well. However, injuries are especially hard as they are often unexpected and can have serious financial burden tied to them.

Keeping Your Loved One on the Road to Recovery
When your loved one has been injured, the first step is to get them the medical treatment they need to be healthy and well. Some injuries require an emergency room visit, a few days to rest, and some work restrictions. Other more serious injuries could require hospital stays, surgeries, and a significant pain management plan over the course of weeks, months, or years. It can all feel overwhelming for the injured person and for their immediate family. In order to give your loved one the best chance at recovery, be sure you are keeping track of their medical appointments and follow up appointments.

Keeping Yourself Comfortable
Becoming a caregiver for a loved one living with an injury can be a recipe for burnout and exhaustion. In order to keep yourself healthy, be sure you are enlisting the help of other family members and trusted friends. Learning to ask for help can feel difficult, but you need the reinforcements to keep yourself and your loved one healthy. Ask a friend to pick up your child after school or go on a quick grocery run for you, or ask a family member to take your loved one to his next doctor appointment so that you can squeeze in some extra work time. People are willing to assist you, but you have to tell them what you need help with.

Finally, the insurance paperwork and tasks for an injury claim can feel overwhelming. However, those medical bills keep arriving in your mailbox and giving you additional anxiety about your financial future. Keep calm and enlist the help of the team at MacCloskey Kesler and Associates. We have decades of experience working with clients who have endured an injury.

Our goal is to help the family member and client spend their time and energy focused on feeling better; we take care of assuring the compensation is there and is the best outcome possible. Give us a call today to tell us more about your situation.

What is Traumatic Brain Injury?

What is Traumatic Brain Injury?

Injuries can happen to anyone, even those who are relatively careful and prepared. A slip, trip, or fall can have devastating consequences. One major injury that can happen in an accident, collision, or even while playing a sport, is a Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI. Traumatic Brain Injuries are more common than you may think, with the Centers for Disease Controlreporting nearly 2.8 million emergency room visits due to TBIs annually. Traumatic Brain Injuries can vary in severity, which can make some injuries more difficult to treat.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic Brain Injury is a term that describes an injury due to a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries are more commonly known as concussions. Even though concussions can be mild, the injury should still be monitored and followed closely.

How Can You Get a Traumatic Brain Injury?
TBIs can happen in a variety of ways. For example, getting hit with a baseball while fielding during a game could cause a TBI, as well as hitting the steering wheel with your head during a vehicle accident. Traumatic Brain Injuries can happen at work as well as at play, and can be deadly.

How Can I Stay Safe?
While some Traumatic Brain Injuries are completely accidental, you can take proactive steps to protect your head. For example, wear a helmet when riding a bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter. Wear all safety gear required for the task you are performing at work, and don’t skip safety steps.

What if I Have a Traumatic Brain Injury?
If you, or a loved one, have had a blow to the head, early treatment is key. While more serious injuries will certainly lead you to the emergency room right away, other more mild injuries can be more sneaky, creeping on slowly which can lead to delayed treatment. It is better to be safe than sorry, especially if the injured person seems confused, extra tired, or complains of changes to vision.

If you have been injured at work, follow your workplace’s policy for paperwork and follow up treatments. However, it is still wise to consult with an experienced attorney at MacCloskey Kesler and Associatesto assure you won’t have to worry about the ins and outs of insurance compensation while trying to actively recover from your trauma.

We are committed to working with anyone who has been injured, and forming a relationship with them while advocating for their best interests. Give us a call to get started today.

What Is Split Limit Insurance Coverage?

What Is Split Limit Insurance Coverage?

Recently, some car insurance companies have been mentioning “split limit” coverage in their TV ads.  This is nothing new.
Split limits refer to separate liability limits for each person injured in an accident, each occurrence, and for property damage caused in that accident.  Property damage coverage is just that, the amount of coverage you have for property damage you may cause.  If your property damage isn’t sufficient you may be left owing the other diver money.
The liability limits for bodily injury are much more problematic.  A typical insurance policy provides 100/300 coverage, but it can be lower or higher.  This means that you have coverage up to $100,000 per person injured, and $300,000 for all people injured in the occurrence.
This may sound like a lot of coverage, but it is relatively easy to incur medical bills for initial treatment far in excess of $100,000 for a serious injury.  If you are liable for injuring someone, and have $100,000 per person coverage, any amount more than that awarded by a jury would be your responsibility to pay.
The “per occurrence” limit is just that, the amount of coverage your insurance company provides to compensate all people who are injured in an occurrence.  So if you injure one person in a car accident, and fair compensation to her would be $100,000, this coverage would be sufficient.  If there are 3 people injured, each one would have available compensation of $100,000 (so $300,000 total).  The problem is if there are more than 3 injured, there is only $300,000 available to pay them all.  If fair compensation to each one is $100,000, you may be left without complete coverage and be responsible for any additional amounts.
If you are the one hurt, you have no control over how much coverage the other driver has to compensate you.  But if the other driver has insufficient coverage, you can look to your own “Underinsured Motorist” coverage to make up the difference.  Most insurance policies provide the same amount of underinsured (UIM) coverage as you have in liability coverage.  So if your coverage is 100/300, you’d have up to $100,000 to compensate you if the other driver has less than that.
But if your injuries are truly significant, $100,000 may not even pay your medical bills.  That’s why we encourage people to buy as much coverage as they can afford, and to actually talk to an insurance company agent to get the proper amount of coverage for your particular needs.  You need this insurance to cover you in a worst case scenario situation.  Additionally, you’d be surprised how inexpensive this extra coverage can be.
Liability limits in policies come in many sizes, for instance 25/50, 50/100, 100/300, 250/500 and even higher.  You want to make sure that you carry enough so if you are injured, you’ll be covered.  If you can’t work for 6 months, how much would you need to make to pay your bills?  These are all issues you should think about when buying the proper amount of coverage for you and your family.
And remember, if you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident, call MacCloskeyKesler & Associates at 815-965-2000.  We can explain everything to you.  Put our many years of experience to work for you.

Why Should I Turn My Bills Over to My Insurance Company When the Car Accident Was the Other Driver’s Fault?

Why Should I Turn My Bills Over to My Insurance Company When the Car Accident Was the Other Driver’s Fault?

A question we get asked all the time is why people should turn their medical bills over to their own car and health insurance companies when the accident was the other driver’s fault.
Illinois law provides that the at fault driver is ultimately responsible for paying all forms of compensation to the driver they injure. This includes economic and non-economic damages.  Economic damages include all expenses and damages incurred because of an accident that is wrongfully caused by someone else.  This includes medical bills, reasonable and necessary out of pocket expenses and lost time from work.  We will focus on the medical bills here.
When someone is insured and causes an accident, their car insurance company agrees to pay those amounts that the insured person is legally obligated to pay. So why submit your medical bills to your own insurance if the other person’s insurance is obligated to pay?
Because although they are obligated to pay your medical bills, they are not obligated to pay those amounts as you incur them, only at the end of the case. If you have a lengthy recovery period, and your bills are not paid, you could be turned into collection for your past due bills or your medical providers could refuse to treat you until the bill is paid.
And if you wait too long to have your medical bills turned in to your insurance companies, they may be able to refuse to pay them at all. All insurance companies have time periods written in their policies within which you must submit your bills.  Some are as short as six months; some car insurance companies will pay accident related bills up to three years; it just varies by the policy.  If your bills don’t get paid and they are not submitted within the proper time frame, they become your debts.
One more reason to turn your bills over to your insurance company is that health insurance companies get discounts over the face value of the bill. Sometimes these discounts can be 60% or more of face value.  You get credit for these discounts when you pay your insurance company back out of any settlement or verdict amount.  Additionally, lawyers have laws that can be used to further reduce the amounts your health insurance must be paid back from any proceeds.  So to a very real extent, you can end up saving perhaps thousands of dollars and certainly lots of stress by having your own insurance companies pay your medical bills as they become due.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, or any motor vehicle accident, call us now at 815-965-2000 (or toll free 877-965-2100) for a free consultation. Put our personal experience to work for you.

Tattoo Parlors and Body Piercing

Tattoo Parlors and Body Piercing

Tattoo on Girls FootTattoos and body piercings are very popular modes of expression these days.    But you should be very careful when choosing someone to give you a tattoo or piercing because there are things that can go seriously wrong.
Recently, we had a situation arise in Rockford where upwards of two dozen people were hospitalized after having their ears pierced at a local Tattoo Parlor, only to have their ears become infected with pseudomonas aeruginosa, a type of bacteria that arises when non sterile technique is used in surgical procedures.   Make no mistake; body piercing is an invasive procedure not all that different from surgery, and bacterial infections under these circumstances can be life threatening.
Illinois law does require that appropriate sterile technique be used when performing body piercing.   But, there is no requirement that a piercing establishment have liability insurance.   If there is no liability insurance, you may not be able to collect anything from a negligent operator who injures you or even kills a loved one.
In our cases, a local tattoo parlor was performing body piercings, but they were careless in following the guidelines to ensure they were done safely.   They infected nearly two dozen people because of their non-sterile technique.   Many of these infections were quite serious, requiring hospitalization and lengthy treatment with antibiotics.   One person came close to death.  They all suffered varying amounts of disfigurement, some of which was quite serious.
The Illinois Department of Health Investigated and determined this tattoo parlor was negligent in the manner in which it performed these piercings.    Sixteen of those injured hired us to represent them, and a lawsuit was filed.   As it turned out, the Tattoo Parlor had no insurance, and nothing in the way of assets when compared to the $350,000 in verdicts we were able to secure.
So the moral of the story is, if you are going to get body piercings or tattoos, you would be smart to ask them if they have insurance before you let them pierce or tattoo you.

The adverse insurance company will not pay your bills as you incur them

The adverse insurance company will not pay your bills as you incur them

When you are in a motor vehicle collision caused by someone else’s negligence, the insurance company for that other driver will routinely tell you that they will pay all of your medical bills, and to just have your doctors send them the bills.  But what they don’t tell you is that they won’t pay any bills until your case settles.
The truth is that they will only pay for the bills that are “reasonable in amount” for treatment “necessary” as a result of the injuries sustained.   There are many ways insurance companies can dispute what bills they may pay by arguing they are not “reasonable in amount” or for “necessary” treatment.
The more pressing issue is when those bills will be paid.   Adverse insurance companies do not have to pay any of your bills until the case settles.  That could mean your bills may not get paid for months or even years.  If you wait for the adverse insurance company to pay your bills, they may go to collection and some doctors may refuse to provide medical care to you because of the outstanding balances.
To guard against this, always submit any medical bills you incur for injuries sustained in a car crash first to your own car insurance, and if those limits get reached, then to your own health insurance.  This will ensure your bills get paid in a timely manner and you get the medical attention you deserve as you need that care.
At MacCloskeyKesler and Associates, we have handled thousands of car accident cases and know how to make sure your bills get paid and you get the medical treatment you need.   There are time limits for settling cases, however, and time limits within which bills need to be submitted to your insurance companies.  We also know how to pay your insurance companies back after your case settles.
But it is important to contact us as soon as you can after a collision.   The sooner we get involved, the sooner we can get your bills paid and keep bill collectors from ruining your credit.  So call us now for a free consultation at 815-965-2000.

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