Recognizing Post Crash Back and Neck Injuries

We hear this very often at our office. A client informs us that they told the adjuster or someone else (like a police officer or ER doctor) they felt fine right after the crash or fall. The Police Report will say something like, “No injuries reported and EMS was refused by Driver 1.” But this is not always the case. Many times, injuries do not fully develop for days or even weeks post-crash.Continue Reading

Dischargeability for Punitive Damages in Bankruptcy

A fundamental concept in bankruptcy is the “fresh start” for debtors. It is the ultimate goal of the debtor because it will generally protect the debtor from collection efforts on account of pre-petition debt. When an obligation is discharged, collection of the discharge debt is stopped, and all personal liability on account of any judgment is voided. Notwithstanding the right to discharge, there are some limitations in the bankruptcy code.

In a Chapter 7 case, Section 523 of the Bankruptcy Code enumerates a number of exceptions to the entitlement to discharge:Continue Reading

CAR WARS CHAPTER 3 – LACK OF SLEEP

Just as most history books tend to gloss over the lesser important events of the war, choosing instead to discuss the major battles as representative of the struggle, so too is that necessary here. I have to skip over detailing the lesser accidents of my first son, not noted here, including the time his friend (a modern day Eddie Haskell/Lumpy hybrid) took off the driver’s door of a motorist exiting his parked car – because technically my son wasn’t driving.Continue Reading

Nursing Home Discharges in Missouri

Introduction                 

The decision to place a loved one in a nursing facility is incredibly difficult.  If the loved one or family members have sufficient funds, then the choice may be somewhat easier because the choice and quality of facilities is far greater than for one who may be relying on Medicaid or Medicare for their nursing care.  Being discharged because of funding can become an issue for some Medicaid or Medicare recipients. One that they should not have to be concerned with.  Yet, it is a real problem in the state of Missouri and throughout the nation.  It is one in which nursing homes discharge residents in order to save money.  The residents don’t know where to turn to for help and many are abandoned on the streets.           

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Infographic: Tips to Avoid Medical Malpractice

Click on our infographic to learn more about medical malpractice.

Click on our infographic to learn more about medical malpractice.

While malpractice cases can sometimes be unpredictable, there are a few steps that you can take when interacting with your healthcare providers in order to decrease your risk of medical malpractice. Read our infographic to learn more.

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The Toughest Part Is Saying Good Bye

How To Fire Clients

Something that does not happen enough in most practices, including mine, is saying good bye to clients. Actually taking affirmative steps to terminate the contractual relationship.  It is difficult for many reasons, chief among them is money.  Clients generate our receivables, fees and settlements.  We are always seeking clients, desperately trying to lure them, paying thousands in marketing, advertising or PPC.  So why would we ever want to fire them? Because sometimes the best case is the one you don’t take.Continue Reading

Doctor’s Liens in Personal Injury Cases in Missouri

This topic is perhaps one of the most confusing for lawyers and clients. I do a very poor job of explaining it to clients (and probably here as well) and there is inevitably confusion. Let’s begin with the basics:

  1. What is a “lien”? Simply put, a lien is a legal right to payment or reimbursement. There are all types of liens—most people have them on their cars, their homes, etc… In those cases, it is the bank or financing company with a legal interest to be paid concerning that piece of property because they have fronted the money on your behalf (the loan). For most, you can look at your car title (if you own it outright) and you may see a notice of lienholder that shows as satisfied. The lien can be “released” or “satisfied” when the lienholder is paid what they are owed—the money they fronted for you (the loan).
  2. How do liens work in injury cases? In injury cases, many medical providers are authorized to assert a lien against the proceeds of the recovery for the services they have provided. For example, if someone is hurt in a crash and goes the emergency room, the ER may assert a lien (or valid legal interest) regarding the proceeds from the recovery—the ER will be entitled to some money from the proceeds.
  3. Who qualifies as a “medical provider”? Under RSMo 430.225, a medical provider is a “healthcare practitioner”. A “healthcare practitioner” is described as a (1) licensed podiatrist, (2) licensed dentist, (3) licensed physical therapist, (4) licensed chiropractor, (5) licensed optometrist and (6) licensed physician or surgeon. Also included are hospitals and clinics so things like x-rays are covered.
  4. How do they establish their lien? The steps are set out in RSMo 430.240. Here is what a healthcare provider must do to establish their lien:
    1. Provide written notice they are utilizing the statute; and
    2. Contain the (1) name of the injured, (2) date of the incident and (3) names of those alleged to responsible for the injuries; and
    3. Sent via certified mail to those responsible (like the insurance company or person, aka tortfeasor) or the injured party’s lawyer.
  5. What is the purpose of RSMo 430.230 and its corresponding sections? Section 430.230 is designed with the dual purpose of ensuring that injured patients are promptly treated without consideration of their ability to pay and financially protecting health care providers to enable them to continue to provide care. Kelly v. Marvin’s Midtown Chiropractic, LLC, 351 S.W.3d 833, 835 (Mo.App. W.D.2011). Basically, it guarantees care to the injured whether they can pay for it or not AND allows the healthcare providers to get paid something for their treatment.

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Not Every Client Will Be Happy: What You Can Do to Minimize That

Today’s blog is tough one for me. It is hard to admit that there are times where a client has a bad experience with our office. But I would be a fool to deny that fact. There are most certainly times where a client has been less than satisfied with their experience. So, how does that happen? And can it be prevented? Whose fault is it? These are all questions I continually look at it when it is obvious someone is not happy.

I was at lunch the other day with a friend I very much respect—he is aggressive, smart and motivated. He works in the service industry, like me. He said something that I think is a pretty good general rule. Over a salads, he said “Look, 5% of the population will be unhappy with your services no matter what you do. The trick is identifying them and not wasting time on them.” Wow. That simple. That direct. And completely true. I immediately thought of a client I had spent (and still spend) considerable time on. I called to see how she was doing, wrote notes checking in, provided more information that anyone could possibly want AND got a very good result for her. Still not happy. Always disappointed in me when I called. I just don’t get it. Could this have been prevented? I have no idea but I do know there ARE ways to minimize these results. Here is what I have come up with:

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Eliminate Holiday Travel Headaches

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With Thanksgiving officially behind us, the holiday season in St. Louis, Missouri, is officially in full swing. Not only does this mean extra time with family, bellies full of good food, and an overall joy felt across the community—it also means busier roads, more time spent in the car, and cranky children. But don’t let the perils of traveling diminish the joy of the holiday season! The attorneys at Finney Law Office, LLC have created a website devoted to providing Holiday Travel Tips. Face it: we could all use a little bit of travel guidance this holiday season.

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Chipotle Deals with E. coli Outbreak

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Whether eating out is an occasional treat or part of your daily routine, we expect a positive eating experience. Many restaurants make food safety a top priority, but sometimes mistakes occur.

As of November 19, 2015, 45 people reported E. coli infections after eating at a Chipotle location in one of six states (Oregon, Washington, California, Minnesota, Ohio, and New York), according to the CDC. 16 of these people were reported to be hospitalized.

What Actions did Chipotle Take to Remedy the Situation?

The effected Chipotle stores in Washington and Oregon, where the majority of the cases occurred, were shut down for investigation and have since reopened. During this investigation, it was determined that:

  • None of the 2,500+ microbial tests yielded E. coli on any of Chipotle’s food, restaurant surfaces, or equipment.
  • No employees fell ill from the incident.
  • All ingredients were to be replaced in the closed restaurants and deep cleaning was to be performed.

An investigation is still underway to determine which specific food caused the outbreak.

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