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Medicare Patients Must Pay Up in Personal Injury CasesSenior citizens and adults with certain disabilities rely on Medicare to pay for their medical expenses. This health insurance coverage is particularly helpful if you have suffered an accident that resulted in a personal injury. As with any accident victim, you have the right to file a lawsuit seeking compensation from the party at fault. However, Medicare patients who are awarded damages from personal injury cases must repay Medicare for medical expenses related to the injuries. You risk financial or criminal punishment if you do not comply with Medicare’s requirements:

  1. Reporting Your Incident: You are expected to report any accident involving injury to the Medical Coordination of Benefits Contractor. If you do not report your injury, Medicare officials still have ways to monitor your medical expenses and will reach out to you if they see any doctor visits that suggest an injury. You must answer truthfully when Medicare officially asks you for details about your injury and its cause.
  2. Reporting Your Injury Compensation: Medicare also must know when you have received injury compensation as result of a settlement or verdict. Medicare has the right to retrieve compensation from your injury award before you collect on it.
  3. Reviewing the Medicare Lien: Medicare will give you notice of a lien it has placed on your injury compensation. You must compare the lien amount to the Medicare expenses related to your injury, looking for any listed expenses that may be unrelated. The lien may need to account for future medical expenses related to your injury.
  4. Paying or Appealing the Lien: After receiving the final lien, you may appeal the total if you believe it is inaccurate. Otherwise, you will likely have to repay the full amount. Federal law does not allow Medicare to negotiate a lower lien with a patient, except in rare circumstances. 

Cost Variables

It is possible for Medicare to claim the entire value of your injury compensation before you have a chance to collect it. The lien is dependent upon the cost to Medicare, not the amount you receive in your case. However, there are factors that can reduce or limit the amount that Medicare can claim:

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Assigning Fault After Accident with Commercial TruckThere are typically two parties who can be held at fault when a commercial truck causes a vehicle accident: the driver and the trucking company. The truck driver is often sued because he or she has the most direct control over whether an accident occurs. However, negligence or pressure by the trucking company can create the circumstances that lead to an accident. If you can prove that a trucking company was at fault, you may be able to receive greater personal injury compensation from them than you would from just the driver.

Driver Negligence

There are several ways that a truck driver can be at fault for a vehicle accident because they have to follow industry-specific regulations and the rules of the road. Common causes of truck accidents include:

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Can Ambulance Drivers Be Liable in Accidents?Illinois law requires drivers to cede the right of way to emergency vehicles that are responding to an incident as part of their duty. Obstructing such vehicles or getting into an accident can be a criminal offense. However, there are some scenarios with emergency vehicles that have less clear answers:

  • Can the driver of an emergency vehicle be liable for personal injury if he or she was at fault for an accident?;
  • What legal protections do emergency vehicles have if they are not using their lights and sirens?; and
  • Are ambulance drivers with a private service treated the same as those that work for a local government?

The Illinois Supreme Court answered these questions earlier this decade and found that emergency vehicle drivers do not have the same standard of negligence as other drivers, as long as they are on the job.

Liability Protection

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Quantifying Pain and Suffering for Personal Injury DamagesIt can be difficult to measure how much your personal injury has cost you in terms of money. However, that is what you need to do when filing a personal injury lawsuit. There are two types of damages in personal injury cases: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are tangible costs from your injury, including medical bills, property damage and lost wages. Non-economic damages are the intangible costs, most commonly referred to as pain and suffering. You and your personal injury attorney must determine the value of your pain and suffering when requesting damages.

Definition

Your personal injuries can cause you anguish in ways that a medical bill does not reflect. As a result of your injury, you may be:

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Dangers for Sober Drivers on St. Patrick's DayNo U.S. holiday is more associated with drinking than St. Patrick’s Day. Falling on a Saturday this year will only increase the number of people out celebrating. Lots of intoxicated people on the road means that there will be more instances of drunk driving. Local police are well aware of this and will be watching for people driving under the influence of alcohol. However, those who chose to stay sober face their own dangers. Sober drivers on St. Patrick’s Day must watch for intoxicated drivers and an increased police presence.

Personal Safety

You may celebrate the holiday responsibly by making sure you are not impaired before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. However, you should assume that someone else on the road is not being responsible. Unfortunately, drunk drivers often involve innocent drivers in their accidents, possibly causing serious injuries or death. There are several steps you can take to protect yourself and those who have chosen to drink too much:

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