What is Personal Injury Protection (PIP)? PIP coverage is required by statute to be part of any auto policy written in Texas, unless it is rejected in writing. PIP covers everyone in the insured auto up to PIP coverage limits. PIP will cover every insured regardless of the vehicle they are in. PIP will cover losses incurred within three years of the date of an accident. PIP is available regardless of fault or other available benefits. If PIP benefits are not timely paid (within 30 days) attorney’s fees and interest are recoverable. PIP coverage will pay medical bills, reimburse you for out of pocket coverage and reimburse you for lost wages. You do not have to pay your insurer back for the money you received from PIP. The PIP carrier must pay “reasonable expenses that are for necessary medical services”. This means that the carrier can pay less than what the medical provider billed. PIP covers 80% of lost income. PIP coverage limits are often $2,500, but may be $5,000, $10,000 or even higher. PIP coverage is generally affordable and can help offset out of pocket costs. https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/IN/htm/IN.1952.htm Medpay Medpay covers only medical expenses, and you may have to pay it back. Medpay has no statutory basis and no legal restrictions on its terms. The lawyers at Wham & Rogers can help with your PIP claim. Call us at 832-592-1108, or fill out a form on our contact page: https://www.whamandrogers.com/contact/ The information in this blog is not, nor […]
Yearly Archives: 2018
ON THE JOB INJURIES—TWO CRITICALLY IMPORTANT QUESTIONS
If you or a loved one is seriously injured or killed while on the job, there are two critically important questions that need to be answered: Was the employer a subscriber to Workers Compensation Coverage; and Was the injury caused by someone other than the employer or a co-worker? What is a “Non-subscriber?” Under Texas law, if an employer subscribes to Workers Compensation Coverage, the injury claim is subject to a very strict set of rules, and the potentially recoverable damages are strictly limited by statute. However, if the employer does not provide Workers Compensation Coverage for its employees, the employer is considered to be a Non-subscriber, and a very different set of rules applies, and a completely different measure of recoverable damages is available. Why does “Non-subscriber” status make a difference? Instead of being limited to recovery of medical expenses plus 70% of your average wages during the time you are unable to return to work, the potential damages recovery in a Non-subscriber claim is much higher. https://www.tdi.texas.gov/wc/employer/cb007.html A Non-subscriber claim allows for the recovery of: 100% of your lost wages; future diminished earning capacity due to the injury; full damages for physical and cognitive impairment; loss of earning capacity in the future; pain and suffering. https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/CP/htm/CP.41.htm What is a “Third Party” claim? Even if an on the job injury claim is subject to the damages limitations of Workers a Compensation Coverage, your attorney should evaluate the potential for a “Third Party” claim. A Third Party claim is […]
Why You Need Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists Coverage
What is Uninsured Motorists Coverage? Uninsured motorists “UM” coverage protects you if you are injured by a driver with no insurance. You may assume that other drivers will follow the law and will buy auto insurance just like you do. However, this is not always the case. An estimated 1 in 8 drivers on Texas roads are uninsured. https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-uninsured-motorists Some drivers never buy auto insurance and take their chances on being ticketed. Some drivers have coverage but miss their monthly payment so the coverage lapses. In other cases, the owner of the car may have coverage, but may allow an excluded driver (usually a family member with a bad driving record) to drive the car, so there is no coverage. What you may not realize is that even if a driver does have auto insurance, if the driver does not “cooperate” with his insurance company, the insurance company can deny coverage. If you are injured by a driver with no insurance coverage and you do not have UM coverage, you may have no way to collect from the at- fault driver. Typically, drivers with assets to protect have auto insurance. It’s usually those drivers with nothing to lose who do not carry auto insurance. To protect yourself and your family from uninsured drivers, it’s important to carry uninsured motorists coverage, with limits high enough to protect you should the worst happen.https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2018/03/15/483414.htm What is Underinsured Motorists Coverage? Underinsured Motorists Coverage “UIM” coverage protects you in the event the at-fault driver does […]
Essure Implant Litigation
The Essure implant was marketed as a permanent birth control device by the Bayer company. More than 16,000 U.S. women are suing Bayer over the Essure implant device. The Food and Drug Administration has placed multiple restrictions on the Essure device following patient reports of pain, bleeding, allergic reactions and cases where the implant punctured the uterus or shifted out of place. After thousands of injury reports from women, and repeated safety restrictions by regulators, Bayer has announced that it will stop selling the Essure device in the U.S. Last year, Bayer stopped selling the device in Europe. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/07/20/sales-of-essure-birth-control-implant Injuries associated with Essure include: • Bleeding • Abdominal pain and cramping • Chronic pelvic pain • Implant migration • Perforation/tearing of the uterus or fallopian tubes • Back, joint or muscle pain • Muscle weakness • Unintended pregnancy, miscarriage, fetal death • Surgeries to treat the complications The FDA has posted Essure information on its website: https://www.fda.gov/medicaldevices/productsandmedicalprocedures/implantsandprosthetics/essurepermanentbirthcontrol/ucm452254.htm What should you do if you are having problems caused by the Essure device? The Mayo Clinic recommends that you talk with your doctor about your options if you have persistent pain or other symptoms that you think might be related to the Essure device, and advises that removing the Essure device may require surgery, which poses certain health risks. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/contraceptive-implant/expert-answers/essure-discontinued/faq-20436674 If you or a loved one has been harmed by an Essure device, contact us. We may be able to help.
Food Safety Alert: What you need to know about the current E.coli outbreak
What actions do you need to take to avoid an E.coli infection? The U.S. Center for Disease Control has advised that U.S. consumers not eat any romaine lettuce, and retailers and restaurants not serve or sell romaine lettuce, until more is learned about the outbreak. Also, drawers or shelves in refrigerators where romaine was stored should be washed and sanitized. https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2018/o157h7-11-18/index.html • Consumers who have any type of romaine lettuce in their home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick. • If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine or whether a salad mix contains romaine, do not eat it and throw it away. • Wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators where romaine was stored. Follow these five steps to clean your refrigerator. • Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell any romaine lettuce, including salads and salad mixes containing romaine. Take action if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection: • Talk to your healthcare provider • Write down what you ate in the week before you started to get sick • Report your illness to the health department • Assist public health investigators by answering their questions. How many have become ill from this E.coli outbreak? At least 32 people have become seriously ill due to the latest E. coli outbreak. Epidemiologic evidence from the United States and Canada indicates that romaine lettuce is a likely source […]
Asleep at the Wheel — The Dangers of Driver Fatigue and how to Prevent it
How serious a problem is driver fatigue? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, every year about 100,000 police-reported crashes involve drowsy driving. These crashes result in more than 1,550 fatalities and 71,000 injuries. The real number may be much higher, however, as it is difficult to determine whether a driver was drowsy at the time of a crash. https://www.nsc.org/road-safety/safety-topics/fatigued-driving A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimated that 328,000 drowsy driving crashes occur annually. That’s more than three times the police-reported number. The same study found that 109,000 of those drowsy driving crashes resulted in an injury and about 6,400 were fatal. The researchers suggest the prevalence of drowsy driving fatalities is more than 350% greater than reported. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.684.6347&rep=rep1&type=pdf How does fatigue affect drivers? • slower reaction time • impaired judgment and vision • decline in attention to important signs, road changes and the actions of other vehicles • decreased alertness, preventing you from seeing an obstacle and avoiding a crash • increased moodiness and aggressive behavior • problems with processing information and short-term memory http://drowsydriving.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/Key-Messages-and-Talking-Points.pdf When do crashes due to fatigue occur? Most drowsy driving crashes happen between midnight and 6:00 a.m., when the body’s need for sleep is greatest, and in the mid-afternoon (during the circadian dip). • The driver is alone and more likely to be male. Drivers who drive alone or have no one to help them watch for the signs of fatigue are at higher risk. • Sleep-related crashes tend to […]
Why do I need to call a lawyer immediately after an accident?
What should you do if you have an accident? Call a lawyer immediately. 1. A lawyer can help make sure important evidence is preserved. In many cases, there may be video recordings of the accident or other evidence that can be preserved, if the request is properly and timely made. 2. A lawyer will be on your side, when virtually no one is. The insurance adjuster is not paid to help you. The adjuster is paid to save the insurance company money. We have received countless calls from people who were tricked or lied to by adjusters. 3. A lawyer can put pressure on the insurance company to handle matters in a swift and expeditious manner. Insurance adjusters know they can’t pull the wool over an attorney’s eyes they way they can with those unfamiliar with the system. 4. A lawyer can help you get the proper medical care promptly. Many doctors will not treat patients who have been injured in an accident. This is because health insurance companies don’t always pay doctors promptly for treating accident victims. 5. If you do not have health insurance a lawyer can help you find doctors who will treat you while your case is pending. 6. A lawyer can help get the hospital to bill your health insurance. Often the hospital wants to avoid billing health insurance and instead files a hospital lien. The lien is filed by the hospital in an effort to make more money from treating you. 7. A lawyer […]
From school kids riding on bike paths, to the avid bicyclists on the roads, there are a lot of bike riders in The Woodlands and Spring. Unfortunately, all too often, bike riders are struck by cars. Even wearing a helmet and other protective gear, a bike rider may suffer severe injuries if struck by a car. According to the NTSA, bicyclists accounted for 2.2 percent of all traffic deaths in 2016. Bicyclist deaths occur most often between 6 and 9 p.m. and in urban areas. The vast majority of bicyclists killed are male. The NTSA provides these pointers to avoid bike accidents: • Ride a bike that fits you—if it’s too big, it’s harder to control the bike. • Ride a bike that works—it really doesn’t matter how well you ride if the brakes don’t work. • Wear equipment to protect you and make you more visible to others, like a bike helmet, bright clothing (during the day), reflective gear, and a white front light and red rear light and reflectors on your bike (at night, or when visibility is poor). • Ride one per seat, with both hands on the handlebars, unless signaling a turn. • Carry all items in a backpack or strapped to the back of the bike. • Tuck and tie your shoe laces and pant legs so they don’t get caught in your bike chain. • Plan your route—if driving as a vehicle on the road, choose routes with less traffic and slower speeds. Your […]
Steps to follow if you are in an auto collision
Download In Case of Accident Brochure At the scene: • Make sure you are safe. If you are on the freeway, move to the shoulder if you can. Turn on your emergency flashers. • Unless the collision is extremely minor, call 911. • Do not admit fault or apologize. Simply ask if the other drivers and passengers are ok. • Do not say that you are uninjured. Due to the adrenaline, sometimes people do not realize they are injured until after they leave the scene. • The police officer will provide you with an information sheet with the insurance information for the other parties. • Get the names and contact information from witnesses. • If it’s safe to do so, take photographs of the vehicles and collision scene. If it’s not safe, or if you are taken by ambulance, take photos of the scene afterward or ask a friend to take photos. • If you are injured, allow the paramedics to examine you and if they recommend you go to the hospital, follow their recommendations. After the collision: • Seek medical treatment if you need it. Delays in seeking medical treatment will be held against you by the insurance companies. • Report the collision to the other driver’s insurance company and to your insurance company. • If you are injured, do not give a recorded statement without speaking with a lawyer. • If you are injured retain a lawyer as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected. • […]
Unfortunately, the U.S. leads all other countries in refinery explosion deaths. For residents and plant workers located in Pasadena and Deer Park, the danger of plant explosions is a reality of life. High temperatures, high pressure applications and caustic substances can be a recipe for serious injury or death. Although workers compensation rules can sometimes severely limit recoveries by injured workers, it is important to thoroughly investigate the issues of whether the explosion was caused by a defective product, or by the negligence of the employees of company other than the injured worker’s employer. These issues can make a huge difference in the injured worker’s recovery. For these reasons, it is important that the injured worker consult an experienced lawyer before signing any documents after being injured in a plant explosion. The attorneys at Wham & Rogers have experience handling plant explosion cases and have roots in the Pasadena area. Mark Wham is a graduate of Sam Rayburn High School and Rene Rogers attended Deer Park High School. Attorneys with Wham & Rogers are available by appointment at 2600 South Shore Blvd Suite 300, League City, TX 77573.