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Chicago personal injury attorneysBy: Patrick J. Giese and Eddie Hettel

As this recent story from the New York Times documents, American hospitals routinely exploit archaic healthcare lien laws passed early in the 20th century to profit from injured patients. These laws were passed at a time when fewer than 10 percent of Americans had health insurance in an effort to protect then-vulnerable hospitals from the financial dangers attendant to providing care to uninsured patients. A noble goal though it may have been, now, in a time when health insurance is a pervasive and integral part of the American healthcare landscape, these laws only serve to exploit patients who have suffered injuries through no fault of their own. 

Medical care providers nationwide, whose ownership has grown increasingly consolidated, negotiate and execute complex agreements with health insurance companies to provide services at a discounted rate. This practice permits hospitals to enormously overcharge for services knowing that they will accept substantially less as full payment from health insurance companies.

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Chicago rideshare accident attorneyA recent study revealed that app-based rideshare services account for a three percent annual increase in traffic-related fatalities. This translates to roughly 987 traffic-related fatalities each year resulting from rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft.

Although many supporters of the rideshare industry note the perceived benefits such as a possible decrease in drunk driving and added convenience to riders, the numbers tell a more startling story. Aside from the numerous assaults that occur each year in Ubers and Lyfts, data reveals that these services have also made our roadways less safe.

Rideshare services increase the number of people on the road for several reasons: 1) there are more drivers on the road, and 2) people who would otherwise have taken public transportation, walked, or biked are choosing rideshare services. Data reveals that after the introduction of ridesharing, traffic fatalities steadily increased as our roads become crowded with more vehicles.

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Cook County personal injury attorney for Lyft sexual assaultLyft is facing waves of lawsuits alleging that the ride hailing giant has failed to adequately protect its passengers and has ineffectively responded to reports of sexual assault. On Wednesday, September 4th, 2019, a lawsuit was filed in California state court on behalf of 14 women who say they were raped or sexually assaulted by their Lyft drivers in 2018 and 2019. The ride-hailing giant was more recently hit with five additional lawsuits filed by women who allege that they have been raped or sexually assaulted. These women are not alone – Lyft received nearly 100 complaints of sexual assault against its drivers in California alone between 2014 and 2016. 

The suit alleges that Lyft often fails to report these crimes to police, and it has adopted policies to silence victims who report their experiences. “Lyft has made a concerted effort in the media, in litigation and in criminal cases to hide and conceal the true extent of sexual assaults that occur in their vehicles,” the complaint says. 

One victim, a 33-year-old mother of five who suffers from blindness, relied on Lyft to get her safely to and from the grocery store. She was raped in her home after her driver carried her grocery bags inside, despite her protests. She reported her assault to Lyft and was asked to share details of the assault with a male representative. She stated, “It felt like I was being assaulted again.” Lyft sent a follow-up email in which the employee merely wrote that he was “so sorry to hear about this awful experience” and could “definitely understand why this made you feel unsafe and uncomfortable.” 

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By Timothy Tomasik

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivered the opinion in Coventry Health Care of Missouri, Inc. v. Nevils, one of the last Neil Gorsuch-less cases before the nation’s highest court. Writing for the majority, the Notorious RBG made it clear that when it comes to states prohibiting insurance companies from claiming the proceeds of personal injury settlements - federal law reigns supreme.

The Nevils case stemmed from a 2006 car accident, in which Jodie Nevils, a former federal employee, was injured. Per Nevil’s employment with the federal government, Nevils was enrolled in and insured under a Federal Employees Health Benefits Act (FEHBA) plan offered by Coventry Health Care of Missouri. Soon after filing suit, Nevils recovered a settlement award against the defendant driver. Nevils v. Group Health Plan, Inc., 418 S. W. 3d 451, 453 (Mo. 2014).

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By Daniel Kotin

construction accidents, Chicago personal injury lawyerWe do not tend to think of fall and winter as prime months for construction to occur, but some building projects do not stop just because the temperatures may dip. This means that Illinois construction workers are at risk year-round of suffering a work-related accident. Just recently a construction worker in Chicago was killed instantly when something under pressure hit the worker in the face. Other common causes of workplace injuries and deaths include falling from heights, being crushed by machinery or heavy loads, and carelessness when working around power tools.

Workers’ compensation laws in Illinois provide injured workers (and the surviving family members of deceased workers) who are injured on the job an avenue through which they can recover monetary compensation for their injuries. But this is not the only avenue available to them.

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