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NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE

Newsletter – Fall 2011

Fall Newsletter 2011
In This Issue

 

“I’ve been in an accident”

“Trick or Treat”

Client Settles Medical Device Case

Casey & Devoti Joins The Injury Board

Client Wins Case before Division of Workers’ Compensation

Devoti Again Recognized as “Rising Star”

“I’ve been in an accident. Can my insurance company raise my rates?”

A fair amount of our practice involves representing people that have been in an automobile collision. We’re often called when someone other than our client causes the collision. Our analysis of a client’s claim usually involves looking at the client’s own insurance, including the possibility of making a claim under the client’s medical payments, uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage.

In many cases, people want to know the consequences of acting on their policy. We understand that need and are always ready to answer the question: “I’ve been in an accident. Can my insurance company raise my rates?” But, what is the answer?

First, you should know that Missouri law prohibits an insurance company from raising your premium after you make a claim against your policy after being in a collision that you didn’t cause. State regulation states:

“In no event shall an insurer request an increase in premium from any insured in connection with any claim arising out of any accident for which the insured was not at fault.”

 

20 CSR 500-2.600. In plain English, an insurance company can’t increase your premium because you’ve made a claim against your policy so long as the collision was caused by the other guy. In fact, state regulations governing automobile insurance specifically prohibit an insurer from holding certain occurrences against you when setting your premium, including:

  • an accident that happens while your car is lawfully parked
  • a collision in which you have been reimbursed by the other person or you obtain a judgment against her
  • a crash in which your automobile was struck in the rear by another vehicle and you were not convicted of a moving violation
  • the driver of the car was convicted of a moving violation and you were not
  • your car was damaged by a hit-and-run driver and you report the collision to the authorities within 24 hours
  • accidents resulting from contact with a deer, bird or other animal and
  • an accident involving damage caused by flying gravel or a falling object

Of course, your insurer may raise your premium if the insurer pays a claim on your behalf following a crash that you caused. But, in that instance, the insurance company must specifically state the reasons for the increase in premiums and the percentage or dollar amount of the increase applicable to the accident claim.

Have you, a family member or friend been involved in an accident and have questions about your rights and responsibilities? If so, please call us for more information or to schedule a meeting to discuss your concern or problem. And, please feel free to review our website for more information about medical payments, uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist coverage.

To view the regulation that governs Automobile Insurance in Missouri, go to: http://www.sos.mo.gov/adrules/csr/current/20csr/20c500-2.pdf.

-Matt Devoti


“Trick or Treat”

Face paint. Costumes. Laughing kids. Bad jokes. Candy. Lot’s of candy.

Halloween is a night that conjures nostalgic recollections of our own childhood experiences and motivates us to help our children create their own holiday memories. But, the holiday also gives parents the chills as we hear stories of tampered-with treats, strangers in our neighborhoods and injuries caused by inattention.

How can we keep our kids safe on Halloween and still have fun? Here are a few thoughts:

Don’t scare your children silly. Calmly review the familiar rules that your family uses all year long. Follow the buddy system, reminding your kids to stay with their friends or siblings at all times. And, reinforce the rules to not speak with strangers and look both ways before crossing the street.

Protect against cars. Looking for cars may not be enough to protect your child. Be creative and outfit your child’s costume with an item that glows in the dark, give them a flashlight or attach a blinking light to their costumes. Remind your children to cross the street at a crosswalk and not cut between cars to cross the street.

Candy fears. Inspect all packaging before letting your younger children dig into their treats. Remind your older kids to look for packaging that doesn’t look quite right and, if they come across packaging that doesn’t look familiar, throw it out or show it to a parent or adult.

Plan a meeting spot. Plan a route through a well-lit part of your neighborhood before leaving the house. Discuss the route with your children. And, identify a meeting place should someone get separated from the group. Also, keep your cell phone with you and make sure that your kids know your number in the event you become separated.

Have fun! There are few nights when our kids can run around the neighborhood, pretend to be whoever they want, and eat candy to their heart’s content. Follow these tips and speak with your children to ensure that they make their own memories.


Client Settles Medical Device Case

This past summer, Matt Casey was able to help his client obtain a settlement in a complex medical device product liability case against two large medical device manufacturers.

Casey & Devoti represented a young man who underwent a routine arthroscopic shoulder surgery when he was 21 years old. The surgeon used two different devices as part of the surgical procedure. A thermal wand was used to “tighten” the cartilage and stabilize the shoulder, and a post-operative pain pump was inserted into the joint to continuously drip anesthetic into the joint after surgery to alleviate pain and expedite recovery. Following this procedure, the client developed chondrolysis, the irreversible death of all cartilage in the shoulder. Chondrolysis is an extremely painful and permanent condition which ultimately required the client to have his shoulder replaced.

Casey & Devoti filed suit against both the manufacturer of the thermal wand and the pain pump alleging, among other things, that both companies knew or should have known that their respective products could cause chondrolysis, and that neither company properly warned patients and physicians of this danger. After approximately two years of contentious litigation, Matt Casey was able to negotiate a favorable settlement with the defendants for the client. The terms and amounts of the settlement are confidential.


Casey & Devoti Joins The Injury Board

Casey & Devoti is proud to announce that it has joined The Injury Board.

The Injury Board is a national network of personal injury attorneys spnning
aalmost every state, bound together by the following common values:

Professional Competency

Members are committed to developing and maintaining legal proficiency in their professional field.

Lasting Client Relationships

Members are committed to maintaining a positive and professional relationship with each client before, during and after legal resolution of their case.

Results Outweigh Rewards

Members are committed to always putting people before profits.

Working for the Greater Good

Members are committed to advancing our profession’s reputation by defending the rights of the injured and creating a safer and more just society for all of us.

Click below to read more about The Injury Board:


Client Wins Case before Division of Workers’ Compensation

In late June, Matt Devoti tried a Workers’ Compensation claim involving a man who suffered traumatic injury to his left shoulder and arm when the roof on which he was standing collapsed. Matt learned this past month that he won the claim on behalf of the injured worker.

The roofer fell onto his left shoulder when a “porch roof” fell away from a house after the man stepped onto the roof from a ladder. The man fell approximately 15 feet. He suffered extensive injury to his left shoulder that required multiple surgeries, including a partial joint replacement. The worker continues to suffer extreme pain which interferes with his inability to sleep and move about. And, he lost the use of his left hand and lower left arm.

Prior to trial, the man’s former employer and its insurer offered to resolve his claim for partial disability of his left arm. The worker rejected the arm and sought permanent disability benefits due to his inability to work. At hearing, the employer and its insurer denied liability for both the lifetime weekly payment as well as future medical care.

Following hearing, the administrative law judge ordered the roofer’s former employer and its insurer to pay the man past wage benefits, a weekly benefit for the rest of his life and for medical care required by the man in the future related to his injuries. The value of the disability portion of the award alone could exceed $650,000.

Matt tried the Workers’ Compensation claim in Springfield, Missouri. The employer was insured by Zurich American Insurance Co.


Devoti Again Recognized as “Rising Star”

Our firm is pleased to announce that Matt Devoti have been identified as a “Rising Star” in “Super Lawyers.” Matt will be identified in the November issue of “Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers 201,” a Thomson Reuters and KC Magazine publication.

This is the second consecutive year that Matt has been named a “Rising Star.” “Rising Stars” are top lawyers identified by the publication who are 40 years old or younger
or who have been in practice 10 years or less.


Our Contact Information

Do you, a family member or friend need help? Please feel free to contact us at:

By Telephone
(314) 421-0763

By E-mail
Thomas J. Casey – tjc@caseydevoti.com
Matthew J. Devoti – mjd@caseydevoti.com
Matthew C. Casey – mcc@caseydevoti.com

We are happy to meet with you for an initial consultation free of charge.

 

10 South Broadway, Suite 825, St. Louis, MO 63102
314-421-0763
Copyright 2009 Casey & Devoti

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