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Munley News

DriveCam: A Trucker’s Best Friend or Worst Enemy?

Posted May 9th, 2008 by Munley Law.

We’ve been hearing a lot lately about a product called DriveCam. These little video cameras are starting to pop up in tractor-trailers and commercial vehicle across the country. The camera is mounted near the rear-view mirror and records video and audio 24/7. However, the DriveCam is similar to a black box in that, it only keeps a few seconds of footage before and after an occurrence of “exceptional force” (i.e. hard braking, swerving, collision, etc.).

The company claims that using their product can help other companies identify and improve risky driver behaviors, thus, reducing vehicle damages, workers’ compensation and personal injury costs by 30 to 90 percent. That’s quite a claim. Watch a CNN interview with the CEO of DriveCam here.

Some truckers are against DriveCam, feeling like “Big Brother” is invading the cab. However, some are excited about its possibilities. The camera will capture an adequate history of the event, […]

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Posted in Car Accidents.

Surgery on Holiday?

Posted May 8th, 2008 by Munley Law.

A few years back, we starting hearing about “medical tourism.” It’s basically when folks travel to other countries such as Thailand and India for surgery or other types of medical care.

Now, we’ve heard arguments both for and against it; however, none so interesting as the insight provided this Texas orthopedic surgeon, which you could watch here.

He actually says that one reason patients shouldn’t go overseas and pay a fraction of U.S. medical costs (50-80% less, even after travel expenses) because of the question, “Is there legal recourse for the patient?”

Did he really just say that? It seemed odd to us that a doctor practicing in a state that fought so hard to limit an injured patient’s legal recourse, that this would really be a concern for him. Why would it worry him that patients be denied access to “frivolous” […]

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Posted in Personal Injury.

The Dangers of Drowsy Driving

Posted May 7th, 2008 by Munley Law.

Good Morning America did a report this morning on a Florida police officer that was fired after her onboard cam captured her veering all over the road, nearly clipping pedestrians and even hitting parked cars. Was the officer drunk behind the wheel? Nope, just tired.

You’d think that out of anyone on the road, a police offer could simply shake off the sleepiness and maintain control of the vehicle. You’d just have to open a window, or turn on the radio, right? Wrong! In fact, a survey conducted on drivers involved in sleep-related driving incidents showed the majority of drivers opened their windows and adjusted the radio, but still fell asleep behind the wheel.

Drowsy driving is impaired driving.

Turns out drowsy driving is dangerous, and a lot more widespread than previously thought. In that ABC report, 60% of us admit doing it, and 37% admit to actually having fallen asleep at the wheel! […]

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Spring Ramblings

Posted May 7th, 2008 by Munley Law.

I was driving home from work yesterday on a beautiful afternoon, and it got me to thinking. Now that the weather is warmer and spring is in full swing, I have noticed that all of the kids in my neighborhood are playing outside more, and taking advantaged of the extended daylight. For them, it is finally time to test out that new bike that Santa brought last winter.

I can remember these days as a kid, when school was drawing to a close, and I’d hit the streets atop my favorite bike just to feel the fresh breeze through my hair. Now in my mind’s eye, it is perfect, but as a grown, responsible adult, I notice that there was something wrong with that picture- no helmet! The fact is today we know that bike helmets work. They save lives and protect kids from some pretty serious injuries by as much as 88%. […]

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Posted in Personal Injury.

Cermak/Chinatown CTA Station Reopens After Deadly Tractor Trailer Crash

Posted May 5th, 2008 by Munley Law.

Authorities believe driver may have been under the influence of prescription drugs in tractor trailer crash

This was the scene a week ago, when a tractor-trailer plowed into the entrance of the Cermak/Chinatown Redline Station, killing 2 and injuring 21 in Chicago’s Southside.

Authorities are still trying to figure out what caused the tractor-trailer to slam into the pedestrian-laden area. Investigators believe the truck’s brakes either malfunctioned or were simply not used in the seconds before the crash.

The driver of the truck, who suffered minor injuries, refused a urine test at the scene and was found in possession of someone else’s prescription medication. He acted erratically once in police custody and refused to give a statement about the collision. He was cited for negligent driving, released from custody and is currently awaiting a court date.

Eyewitnesses on the scene reported seeing the driver exiting the freeway with his head down on the steering wheel. […]

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Posted in Truck Accidents.

HIPAA- A Barrier Between You & Your Medical Records?

Posted April 30th, 2008 by Munley Law.

Back in 1996, when the Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was signed into law, the intention of the law (especially Title IV) was to protect a patient’s right to privacy, reduce fraudulent activity, streamline data systems and improve the health insurance system overall.

For years prior to the law’s passage, there was no federal standard for obtaining your medical records. Without the patient’s knowledge, records were being given to insurance companies, sent to landfills or just flat-out lost. Alerted by highly publicized lapses in medical record confidentiality (a garbage truck crash that sent medical records flying all over the highways, a doctor selling a computer without deleting patient information from the hard drive, and the list went on and on), lawmakers decided a better system was needed. So the whole theory behind HIPAA regs are that your medical records are just that, yours, and they cannot be given to anyone without your approved consent. […]

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Posted in Personal Injury.

Panel Physicians and Workers Comp

Posted April 28th, 2008 by Munley Law.

So you got hurt at work and need to see a company doctor. Now what?

After you have given notice of your injury, your employer may require you to treat with one of their “panel physicians” through their insurance carrier. If your employer has a list of panel physicians or “company doctors,” you will be required to treat with one of the doctors on the list for the first 90 days of your injury.

Under the Workers’ Compensation Act, your employer is required to advise you of their list of panel physicians at the time of your hire and also at the time of your injury. They are also required to have you sign an acknowledgement that you are aware this policy and provide you with the list upon your injury.

If for some reason you do not like the doctor that you have chosen, […]

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Follow the Golden Rule . . . Give Notice As Soon As Possible

Posted April 24th, 2008 by Munley Law.

If you are hurt at work, the most important thing to remember is to report the injury to your employer through your supervisor at the time of the injury. Every injury should be reported, no matter how small you may think it to be. Any injury could potentially become a liability, not only to your health but also to your finances if it is unreported. Telling your employer that you are injured is your responsibility and it is called “giving notice.”

Too many times an employee will feel a “pop” in their knee, a pain in their shoulder or their back, and let it go for days or weeks. Not reporting an incident or injury can allow your employer to deny your claim through their insurance carrier. This can initially prevent your medical expenses and/or wage loss from being paid if the treating physician should later remove you from work due to the injury. […]

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Who Needs Tort Reform When You Have a Functioning Court System?

Posted April 15th, 2008 by Munley Law.

Proving once more that no tort reform is necessary in Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court of PA announced yesterday that medical malpractice cases are down 40.8% statewide, and down over 50% in Philadelphia County.

Med mal cases have been on a steady decline since 2003 when a rule change required a medical expert certify all malpractice cases to ensure that there was a deviation from the standard of care. The rule change also required cases to be heard in the same county where the alleged harm occurred, which eliminated so-called “venue shopping.”

In a release, Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille said, “The latest statistics provide additional evidence that the sharp drop in medical malpractice litigation, which began in 2003, was not a temporary correction, but a sustained response to the procedural rule changes adopted by the Supreme Court and the statutory changes enacted by the General Assembly.” He went on to say that “Ongoing review and enhancements to our procedures will ensure that both plaintiffs and defendants can rely on an accessible court system where professional liability actions are impartially and promptly resolved. […]

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Posted in Personal Injury.

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