CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: What We Are Doing to Protect Our Clients

Articles Posted in Sacramento personal injury lawyer

Beware of Balance Billing

Beware of Balance Billing

Ed Smith is a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. Health insurance is a complex topic, but most adults understand the basics of how the average policy is supposed to work. Suppose that Jorge goes to an “in-network” medical provider (meaning a medical provider with whom Jorge’s health insurer has agreed to certain contractual rates for services). Jorge receives services that total $700. He pays his $25 copay and goes on his way (assume Jorge has no deductible). The medical provider discounts Jorge’s medical bill to the rate it had agreed to with Jorge’s insurer, and then the insurer pays the provider the agreed upon rate.

Suppose further that Jorge goes to a medical provider that is not within his health insurance’s network of providers. The medical provider in this case can charge Jorge the full $700. Depending on the terms of the health insurance contract between Jorge and his insurer, the insurer may pay a portion of this bill. The medical provider would then bill Jorge for the balance that remains afterward. This practice is known as “balance billing.” Continue reading ›

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Preventing Holiday Fires

We love to hang the stockings by the chimney with care. But let’s be mindful that they don’t go up in flames. I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. It is heart-breaking when we learn of fires occurring in our community. The home is a place where sweet memories are made with those we hold so dear. There have been three home fires resulting in death in a little over one week. Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of fires that occur in homes. Nearly two-thirds of home heating fatalities are caused by portable space heating units.  We must be so careful with these devices. Equally important, is to become fire safe while decorating for the holidays.

Davis Community Events this Weekend

Looking to get out in nature to enjoy this nice fall weather? Pack a lunch, lace up your shoes, and visit the UC Davis Arboretum this weekend!

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Yuba City Power Restoration After Rainy Day Collision

PG&E has restored power for over 1,600 customers after Monday’s outage. The cause of this outage was linked to a broken power line after a vehicle collided with a pole. The driver of the vehicle was said to be traveling at an unsafe speed for rainy conditions.

In a previous blog we discussed California law regarding permissive users.  As already explained, a permissive user is someone not listed on an insurance policy but is a person that we gave car accidentpermission to use our vehicle.  This is a person who does not live with us and does not use the vehicle frequently. Additionally, for permissive drivers to be covered, the insurance policy must not contain an exclusion prohibiting all ‘permissive users.’  Consumers should clearly understand not only who is considered a permissive user but who is NOT considered a permissive user so that they do not have problems with their insurance carrier.

It is also important to remember that insurance follows the owner of the car and not the driver of the car in California so good judgement needs to be used when loaning out your car.

Does this equation ring true: more bicycle commuters = more bicycle injuries?  According to a recent report from the American Medical Association journal (JAMA), the answer is yes.  As gasoline prices and concerns over the environment have risen, more people nationwide have taken to riding bicycles to get to work and errands around town.  It is good exercise and means fewer vehicles on the road, but apparently it also means more hospital admissions – according to the JAMA study, admissions due to bicycle-related injuries have more than doubled since 1998.  The increase was the largest with bicyclists aged 45 and older.  A study in another journal concluded that there was a similar rise in bicycle related deaths in that age group.

While some of these injuries and deaths could be attributed to an uptick in participants in bicycling as a sport (triggered by Lance Armstrong’s popularity), it is likely that the bicycle commuter increase is also responsible.  

Fatal Crash in Natomas

On Tuesday, August 18th there was a police pursuit that ended in one fatality. Prior to the event, police and an air unit were called to investigate reports of a shooting in the 2600 block of Stonecreek Drive in Natomas, CA where a man was reported to have fired off shots from a rifle while in a dispute with neighbors. It was also reported that the suspect fled the scene by a vehicle that was driven by a female driver.

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It is not uncommon for those involved in a traumatic event to experience an array of emotional reactions. Working in a personal injury law firm, I meet people who have lost movement in their limbs, lost their limbs, experience disfigurement, suffer brain injury and some clients have to deal with the  loss of a loved one due to a life altering event.  Additionally, if a person was relatively healthy but then must deal with chronic pain for the rest of their life, emotional trauma can follow.

Emotional trauma manifests itself differently in people.  Some symptoms of emotional trauma may include:

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