Earlier this summer a Buffalo-area physician was charged with drunken driving in the hit-and-run death of a young woman who was struck while skateboarding home in a suburban neighborhood from her job.
Airplane crashes cause a substantial amount of pain and suffering for all those involved—families, friends and the surrounding community. Dealing with that pain and suffering can at times be unbearable, especially given the suddenness of a loved one being taken away. At the beginning, it is hard to imagine how one will press on and be able to continue supporting (financially and emotionally) the survivors of the victim. It is a rare occurrence when family or friends don’t question “why did this happen” and wonder if the accident was fate or if it could have been prevented.
Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky and Warren Buffett have at least one characteristic in common besides their fame and fortune. All three of these men were among the best in their respective professions at anticipating what was about to happen, rather than reacting to conditions or circumstances. This is the same approach everyone should take when evaluating their insurance needs. After one sustains a loss or damage from storm damage, a collision or a liability claim, it is then too late to obtain sufficient coverage to ease the financial blow.
In these turbulent economic times, many of us are concerned about protecting our assets, whether it is the home, savings for a child’s education, or a dwindling retirement account. We need no reminder that life holds few guarantees and to further protect ourselves we have insurance on our lives, our homes, our cars, and the list goes on. But when was the last time that you reviewed your policy limits and confirmed that you have enough insurance? Or the right type of insurance policy riders?
When the time comes to settle a personal injury suit, litigants should be aware that Medicare may have a potential lien against the settlement proceeds in instances where Medicare has made past, conditional payments for medical expenses. This is due a federal law which deems Medicare to be a so-called “secondary payor” with regard to payments made under workers’ compensation, automobile, or liability insurance policies or plans, or uninsured or underinsured coverage. Congress intended Medicare to be the payment source of last resort for medical care; therefore, if a recipient is entitled to receive compensation for his injuries from a “primary payor,” Medicare will not be responsible for the costs. The “primary payor,” in many personal injury actions, is the defendant’s liability carrier. Medicare will make payments, however, if the primary payor cannot be reasonably expected to pay promptly for the medical care. These payments are called conditional payments. Medicare conditions these payments on its right to receive reimbursement from the primary payor and from anyone who receives payment from them, including a settling plaintiff.