JULY 2009

In this IssueJuly 2009

  • Nurses Able To Offer Expert Testimony

High Court Clears Nurses To Offer Expert Testimony and the decision may save you money. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has overturned its ban on prohibiting registered nurses from offering medical opinions when testifying as expert witnesses. The Supreme Court held that a registered nurse may testify as to medical causation, at least in matters relating to nursing care.

This may impact your personal injury case because it could save you money! Why? Because currently injury cases require a medical doctor or chiropractor to give expert testimony to the jury before the jury can even consider giving you money. They must say in their opinion the accident caused your injuries. Doctors provide the needed testimony but at a high cost to you. Sometimes they charge $3,000.00 for their time. That is no criticism of doctors because their time is valuable, but if a nurse’s testimony is used instead of a doctor’s for the needed expert testimony, the fee is likely to be considerably less expensive — say only $500.00. That savings would be passed on to you. In my opinion that’s a win-win decision for you!!! Stay posted for updates!!!

  • Pre-settlement Advance Loan Shark Companies

Do not use any of the pre-settlement advance companies you see on TV or in the papers saying they will loan you money while your injury case is pending. What these companies wind up charging you is just short of loan sharking. Typically, they charge you an origination fee and a processing fee and then charge you anywhere from 2 ½ to 5% interest per month while your case is pending — that’s up to 60% per year and it keeps compounding. There are some situations where there is literally nowhere else to turn to, especially since lawyers are prohibited by law from giving you money to tide you over, but these advance companies should only be used if you are absolutely positively without any other means. If you borrow $5,000.00 from a loan/advance company and the case takes three years to resolve, how much do you have to repay these companies for their $5,000.00 loan to you? Ready? OASIS=$17,500.00, LAW CASH=$21,880.00, WHITEHAVEN=$33,765.00.

  • Nursing Home Payment Guarantee Question

IMPORTANT: Read This. This is Huge. You might not be responsible! A common situation arises if you have a parent or parents who are about to enter or are already in a nursing home. Almost all of the nursing homes have you, as the child of your parents, sign an agreement that you are responsible if your mom or dad or the government doesn’t pay for their stay at the facility. This happens to almost every one of us at some point. Consider your son or daughter going to college and renting an apartment. Guess who has to co-sign on the lease? That’s right, you and me. Well, maybe it’s not as ironclad as it seems.

Recently, Judge Wettick, a well-respected Allegheny County Judge decided that just because you co-signed for your mom or dad upon entering a nursing home, you might not be personally responsible for the bill unless the contract language contains words to the effect that you personally guarantee that you will pay and that you fully understand that you are personally guaranteeing the bill. As always, please call our office before signing something that is going to impact your life in a serious way. I may not be able to advise you since we focus our practice on injury cases and criminal defense, but I can probably point you in the right direction.