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Archive for May, 2011
Sunday, May 29th, 2011
Memorial day is just not for remembering the fallen soldier. Lets remember the living veterans that are fighting the veterans administration for their veterans disability benefits.
Veterans fought for our rights. now its time we fight for theirs. the delays in the system are monumental.
The whimsy of the system is also well known.
At least now veterans have the choice of hiring an attorney certified by the veterans administration. But why would they do that you or a veteran may ask. Here’s what a decorated veteran and veterans disability lawyer, David Huffman had to say about that.
For decades these organizations assisted Veterans with their claims. They’re known as Service Officers or Service Representatives. The Service Officers or Service Representatives assist Veterans for free or they’re paid a salary by the organization through membership dues, donations, fundraising activities, and grants. Also, many states throughout the country pay state representatives to assist with their Veterans Affairs claims. The Veterans organizations’ history of assisting Veterans with their claims is mixed. Some Service Officers or Representatives have a history of doing a decent job; other times, Veterans get what they pay for. Attorneys for years were prevented from being part of the process.
Sadly, for decades, there have been horror stories about Veterans being wrongfully judged by a Service Officer or Representative for filing a claim and told not to file a claim, told to file one claim at a time; don’t get the VA mad; and don’t appeal. Numerous issues at times have been missed or delayed even though the date of the filing of the claim is crucial. Their Representatives are at various skill levels. A Veteran may have a Service Officer that is trained and has skills; or he may have a Service Officer or Representative that does not have reading and writing skills and does not properly know how to appeal a claim. Some Service Officers or Representatives seem to care; some seem to have an attitude; be prepared for a hearing or just take five minutes to prepare. Most Service Officers or Representatives do not send away for medical records themselves or draft medical opinions. They expect the VA to do it. Some understand Veterans’ law and are capable of doing a legal brief; others aren’t. There’s a great differential between the job one Service Officer or Representative does compared to another. In most cases, Veterans Service Officers or Representatives are not able to bring a claim to the Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims and an attorney is needed at that point.
The mixed review of quality should cause a Veteran to think: unless I’m sure of the quality of my Service Officer or Representative, am I getting what I paid for? At least in the present, with attorneys entering the field of Veterans’ law for a fee, a Veteran does have a choice. A Veteran can choose the traditional free representation or he can have the representation of an attorney who does have attorney skills. Now having a choice is a win-win situation for Veterans.
Call today if you would like the help of Anthony Castelli a Cincinnati attorney certified by the Veterans Administration for disabilty benefit help. 1-800-447-6549
Sunday, May 29th, 2011
A veterans disability pension that is service connected and social security disability benefits can both be received by a veteran. However if the veterans’ disability benefit is not service connected you will likely not be able to get both.
Social security pays if you prove to the Social security administration that you are disabled from gainful employment. You can include all of your disabilities, service and non service connected. In fact if your social security disability award is based on service connected disability this is forceful evidence in favor of getting total disability veterans benefits.
Therefore you may want to consider one attorney that is qualified and experienced to handle your veterans’ disability benefit claim and your social security claim .
I am certified by the veterans administration to handle veterans disability benefit claims and have been a longstanding member of the National Organization for Social Security Representatives. However there is no requirement to be a member of NOSSCR in order to represent social security disability claims.
Veterans call for a free consultation at 1-800-447-6549
Sunday, May 29th, 2011
Many veterans are entitled to service connected disability benefits . However their ratings are often lower that they should be . This makes it a problem for those seeking Total disability individual unemployability.
One of the critical problems is getting doctors and psychologists to give the appropriate rating. There are two ways a veteran can be rated for total disability . A finding that his disability is 100% rated is one way for a veteran to get total disability.
A veteran can also get total disability if one disability is rated at 60% or there are two or more disabilities and one is rated at 40% and the total is at least 70% and the veteran is unable to work because of these disabilities.
Veterans fought for justice for all. Now we owe them justice.
Veterans get your Free no obligation consultation by calling Cincinnati Veterans’ disability attorney Anthony Castelli at 1-800-=447-6549 a certified veterans disability attorney. Member of www.nova.org
Friday, May 27th, 2011
Adding Your Damages for Fair Compensation – Summing it Up -2 Big Mistakes
After reading parts I -IV of the blog series, What is my car accident disc back injury is worth , you should have a better sense of what goes into the detemination of the range of values your insurance settlement should be worth for your injury.
Hopefully you realize that if you have a significant injury you should not attempt to settle this on your own.
Although you may think you know what your case is worth the whole time you deal with the insurance company on your own they are trying to devalue not value your case. Furthermore you bring nothing to the table to put any pressure on the insurance company to make a fair offer. If you reject their offer are you going to file your own lawsuit. the results could be fatal.
In fact the three biggest mistakes I see are 1. Wanting to much for your injury, 2. Accepting too little for your injury, 3. Attempting to reolve your case on your own without the help of an experienced personal injury trial lawyer. Here is a video I did on the two critical mistakes personal injury victims make.
You are welcome to call a cincinnnati personal injury trial attorney Anthony Castelli for a Free No obligation injury claim audit at 1-800-447-6549
Tags: cincinnati back injury attorneys, cincinnati back injury lawyer, cincinnati disc injury insurance settlement, how to get a fair settlement for my back injury
Posted in back disc injury | No Comments »
Friday, May 27th, 2011
This is part 4 in a 5 part series on how to determine what you disc back injury car accident is worth for insurance settlement
4. Different Injuries the range of settlement and use of Calculator formula
Many people ask is there a settlement calculator used. Some insurance companies do use computer programs. But these are not necessarily accurate . In fact the insurance company may even try to give you an offer less that what their own computer says. But computers can not really predict with any certainty what a case is worth. This is an art rather than a science.
The adage you add up your medical bills and multiply by 3 and then add lost wages does not hold true. The range of settlement comes down to the nature and extent of your injury . In Cincinnati , Ohio my experience is that a back disc injury that cause $20,000 in medical bills and $10,000 in lost wages , a diskectomy and the ability to still work at your former job but with some back pain that is permanent should start at $100,000. In other jurisdictions this may be a $300,000.00 case.
You still have to go back to all the factors I listed and the case could range from $50,00 to $150,00. depending on the positive and negative factors. Attorney John Hochenfelder does an exceptional job documenting New York back injury cases. These cases are well above what can be expected in Cincinnati.
However don’t let the insurance company tell you that your case is worth little in Cincinnati. I have seen offers as low as $15,000 and the verdict ended up on the order of $80,000. Here is the video on the exact case I tried on a spine injury jury verdict in Cincinnati , Hamilton County Ohio.
You must objectively evaluate the case and decide the range of value and then strive to get at least the mid-range for settlement. If the insurance company low balls you trust your experienced personal injury trial attorney to guide you.
For a no obligation Free case audit of your disc back injury I welcome your call at 1-800-447-6549. Please do not delay or make critical mistakes that can forever lessen the fair value of the justice you deserve.
Tags: cincinnati back injury attoreny, cincinnati back injury lawyer, cincinnati bck injury attorney, how much is my car accident back injury insurance settlement worth
Posted in back disc injury | No Comments »
Friday, May 27th, 2011
3. Damage factors used to analyze disc back injury settlement amount
This is part 3 of a five part series on how to evaluate your disc back injury for settlement. Parts l and ll covered the anatomy and the legal damages that can be recovered. This piece looks into the factors that drive or impair the settlement value.
The more serious the injury the higher the settlement value. The first two things to look at are the past medical expense and the past lost wage. Then you want to add in the future lost wage and the future medical expense. Is this an injury that has knocked a person out of employment totally or has the injury caused the person to not be able to work at a good paying job and caused them to take a job with lesser pay. These numbers often need to be crunched by a vocational expert and an economist.
Did the injury manifest itself right away. This makes it easier to prove that it was caused by the event . And just as important are your doctors willing to state with confidence that your injury was caused by the event in question. Do you have permanent impairments (restrictions) that affect or preclude your employment.
Are you taking significant pain medication and is there objective evidence that your in fact have an injury vs just your own statements of pain that no one can explain.
Is the objective evidence strong in terms of x-rays , cat scans and mri’s or do they show what many term a degenerative process such as a bulge as distinguished from a herniation.
Have you had previous back problems.
Are you whing about your injury or are you doing your best to fight its effects.
Are you perceived as likeable or are you percieved as an angry person tring to get everything they can out of the injury in terms of money.
Have you followed your doctor’s advice or neglected to do so.
How serious was the car damage. little or no damage and preexisting injury is not worth as much as a case where there was a significant crash, and no prior problems.
What is the life expectancy of the person injured. Do they have to live a long time with pain and limitations.
What activities have been taken away or made more difficult because of your injuries.
Do the doctor’s agree that there is an objective basis for the pain you are claiming.
Have you undergone one surgery or even more. What kingd of surgery was it a diskectomy, laminectomy , fusion. in other words was the surgey more severe and was the recovery short or long.
Do you have an experienced personal injury lawyer that knows how to present your case , gather the evidence and if need be file a law suit and finance the lititgation. Have they been known to try cases if the offer is low.
Where is the location of the place where your case will be tried if necessary. Certain areas can have higher or lower verdicts.
These factors come down to 1. the collision, 2. the early manifestation of injury, 3. what tests support your injuurt, 4. how strong your doctors are in supporting you, 5. how you have comported yourself and are your actions consistent with a serious injury and 6. have you hired an experienced personal injury trial lawyer.
Certainly this list is not exhaustive but it covers the main points in evaluating your disc back injury settlement value. For another view here is a link to an article attorney Todd Peterson of Oregon wrote on car accident back injury
For a free no obligation case audit about your car accident disc back injury I welcome your call at 1-800-447-6549.
Tags: cincinnati back injury lawyer, cincinnati car accident back injury calculator, disc back injury settlement, how wdo i know how much money my back injury insurance settlement is worth
Posted in back disc injury | No Comments »
Tuesday, May 24th, 2011
Car Accident Disc Back Injury Part 11
This is part 2 in the Car Accident Disc Back Injury Settlement – What is it worth series. This series is designed to teach you about the factors that go into and how to evaluate and get a fair insurance settlement for your disc back injury caused by the fault of another.
What Ohio Law Allows For Damages.
In order to determine the money compensation you deserve you need to know what Ohio law allows you to be compensated for. In some cases your injury could cause you to have all of these damages. Here is the list of damages avaiable:
1. Past lost wages
This is fairly straightforward. If you are an employee how many days did you miss from work and how much gross pay you would have made each day. You need your doctor to verify you could not do your job and your employer needs to verify in writing the amount you lost.
2 Past medical expense reasonably necessary for your treatment
3. Past pain and suffering
4. Past loss of enjoyment of life.
Are you unable to do basic living activities such as standing for extended periods and/or has this caused you to stop or lessen things you like to do such as gardening, golf, sports, liesure activities.
5. Any disfigurement of your body.
6. Impairment of earning capacity
Because of your injury did you have to take another job where you got less pay. Or if you have a permanent impairment what is the impact of that on your ability to earn money.
7. You are entitled to all of these damages if they will probably exist in the future for some period of time or are permanenet. In other words you can recover your past items and anything that is reasonably likely to exist in the future.
For more information please contact Cincinnati personal injury lawyer Anthony Castelli at 513-621-2345 for a free case audit.
Tags: Cincinnati back injury attorney, cincinnati back injury lawyer, insurance settlement amount for your back disc injury claim, Settlement calculator for your disc injury
Posted in back disc injury | No Comments »
Monday, May 23rd, 2011
You may have suffered a serious disc injury in a car accident and want to know what is a fair settlement worth.
There are many factors that go into this evaluation. For this discussion let us assume that the wrongdoer is 100% at fault. So the question is just was your injury caused by the accident and the nature and extent of it.
Since this issue is significantly complicated I will present this in a 5 part series:
1 What is a disc injury
2. Legal damages for money compensation
3. Damage factors used to analyze settlement
4. Different Injuries the range of settlement and use of Calculator formula
5. Adding Your Damages for Fair Compensation – Summing it Up -2 Big Mistakes
WHAT IS A DISC INJURY
A disc joint is made up of boney vertebrae that house the spinal canal. Between the hard vertebrae lies the soft disc. The soft disc is made up of two parts . The inside is a jelly like substance called the nucleus pulposus. The outer part is the tougher fibrous area called the annulus fibrosus. This fluid (water)-filled jelly sack, similar to the inside of the gum you can bite into and the middle squirts out, can be pushed out by compressive forces down the spinal column. The disc provides a shock-absorbing effect that dissipates these compressive forces across multiple levels in the spine and still allows for the flexibility required for performing normal activities of daily living.
The spinal cord is a direct continuation of the brain that passes through a hole in the skull (foramen magnum or big hole) and through holes in each vertebra called the spinal canal. In-between each pair of vertebrae are holes on both the right and left through which branches of the spinal cord run called nerve roots. In the cervical spine these nerve roots travel down the arm and control the muscles of the arms and all the muscles around the shoulder and shoulder blades as well as the feeling in the arms. In the thoracic spine they run around the ribs and to the internal organs and in the lumbar spine they run to the sexual organs and the hips, thighs, legs, and feet..
Lets talk about disc terminology. As there is much confusion as to the meanings of bulge, protrusion herniation, and degeneration of a disc. The American Journal of Neuroradiology has some excellent definitions.
A disc bulge means that contour of the outer rings (annulus) extends, or appears to extend, in the horizontal (axial) plane beyond the edges of the disc space, greater than 50% (180 degrees) of the circumference of the disc and usually less than 3mm beyond the edges of the vertebral body.
A disc herniation is a “localized displacement of disc material beyond the normal margins of the intervertebral disc space.” “Herniated disc generally refers to displacement of disc tissues through a disruption in the annulus.” “Herniated disc is sometimes referred to as “herniated nucleus pulposus,” but the term herniated disc is preferred because displaced disc tissues often include cartilage, bone fragments, or annular tissues. The term “ruptured disc” is used synonymously with herniated disc, but is more colloquial and can be easily confused with violent, traumatic rupture of the annulus or end-plate.” “The term herniated disc does not infer knowledge of cause, relation to injury or activity, concordance with symptoms, or need for treatment.”
A protruded disc is “disc in which disc tissue beyond the disc space is contained within intact annulus.” “A disc that has broken through the outer annulus at the apex, but maintains a broad continuity at the base, is protruded and uncontained. While sometimes used as a general term in the way herniation is defined here, the use of the term protrusion is best reserved for sub-categorization of herniations meeting the above criteria.” The outer ring of the annulus has not been breached, in other words, no disc material has completely squirted through the outer edges of the disc.
DISC DEGENERATION (Degenerative Disc Disease)
As a part of the aging process, the discs begin to lose their high water content and their ability to dissipate force as efficiently. By the age of 35, approximately 30% of people will show evidence of disc degeneration at one or more levels. By the age of 60, greater than 90% of people will show evidence of disc degeneration at one or more levels on MRI. In some patients, this disc degeneration can be asymptomatic; in others, disc degeneration can lead to intractable back pain. The amount of disc degeneration – what many doctors call degenerative disc disease – frequently has no relationship to pain at all. Lack of flexibility and muscle weakness must be addressed when treating disc degeneration.
We will come back to disc degeneration later as this is the defense many times used to argue that your injury was already there and not caused by the car accident.
But the critical point of these definitions is that the conditions all can be the source of injury. In addition it is important to keep in mind that there are other conditions such as muscle and ligament and facet injury in the spine that can be the source of pain.
Dr. Fred Turner states, “Don’t be confused by the terminology! The implication is, that a herniation is worse than a bulge; or that if bulge or herniation is not touching a nerve, that it will not be painful. These are common misconceptions that are held by doctors, as well as lay-people! THE KEY ISSUE IS THE ANNULAR TEAR!! The annular tear is, in and of itself, painful. And, it is the character of the annular tear, (i.e., how big it is, and whether it is longitudinal or radial), that determines whether the disc will bulge or herniate. The annular tear is analogous to a hole in a tire. The size of the hole determines if the tire will have a blow-out, or a slow-leak.” Dr. Turner continues, “The truth is, in the vast majority of cases of low back pain, the bulge or herniation does NOT touch the nerve. And, when the bulge or herniation does touch the nerve, it causes LEG pain, not BACK pain! As our knowledge of low back pain has grown over the years, we have had to adjust our thinking. This misconception, however, seems to persist, despite what we have learned.”
SOURCE: Dr. Fred Turner.
Patients with disc herniations in the cervical, thoracic, or lumbar spine can present with neck pain, back pain, arm pain, leg pain or any combination of the above. As explained above, the pain may be due to the bugling or herniated disc pressing on either the spinal cord or a nerve root and/or due to the damage to the disc itself. The disc has its own nerve called the sinuvertebral nerve which monitors mechanical and chemical stimuli and whose purpose is to perceive pain.
For questions about your Cincinnati back disc car accident injury claim call Cincinnati personal injury lawyer Anthony Castelli 1-800-447-6549
Friday, May 20th, 2011
In todays Enquirer there was a report of two pit pulls attacking an 11 year old. The dogs , running loose attempted to run into the child’s home. He ran to his grandfather who save him but the dogs got away. This child will not be abe to bring any claim for his injuries unlesss the dog’s owner , harboror or keeper have been identified.
The Hamilton county sherrif is asking anyone with knowledge to call them at 513-825-1500.
When pit bulls or dangerous breeds attack their can be criminal as well as civil liability.
The three most important things to do if you are bitten are:
1. Call the police
2 Call the health department
3. Get medical attention.
The law places resposibility for a dog bite or injury on the owner, the keeper and/or the harborer. The owner is obvous is to what that is , although determining they owner may not always be easy. The harborer is one who allows the dog to stay where they live. the keeper is the one in charge of the dog at the time.
In Ohio, the terms owner, keeper, and harborer, as used in R.C. 955.28, have been defined by case law. An owner is the person to whom the dog belongs. Garrard v. McComas . The keeper has physical charge or care of the dog. Johnson v. Allonas (1996),.
In determining whether a person is a harborer of the dog, the focus has been said to shift from possession and control of the dog to possession and control of the premises where the dog lives. Godsey v. Franz (Mar. 13 1992),. A harborer is one who “has possession and control of the premises where the dog lives, and silently acquiesces to the dog’s presence.” Khamis, at 226, citing Flint v. Holbrook (1992, 25. “‘Acquiescence’ is essential to ‘harborship’ and requires some intent.” Thompson v. Irwin
Potentially a landlord could be liable if he permitted dogs in his building and the bite occured in a common area. The other issue is finding insurance coverage. This will usually be found in a homeowner’s or renter’s policy.
For more information or help go to Cincinnati dog bite lawyer
Sunday, May 1st, 2011
The Ride n Roll dice run put on by Ridin’ On Motorcycle magazine starts Sunday May 1 and I’m proud to be one of the sponsors. This is a great chance for Ohio Motorcyclists to get on their motorcylce and ride around the state, visit some great businesses, and win up to $5000.
What is the Rock n Roll Dice Run
This is a contest that costs nothing to enter. You pick up you entry called a Passport at on of the Stops. The stops are all sponsors. So you can stop by my law office to pick up a Passport.
A few of the other sponsors in Cincinnati are Harley Davidson of Cincinnati, Harley Davidson of Eastgate , Powder Keg Harley Davidson, Tri- county Harley davidson, Quaker Steak Lube Colerain and Milford.
You stop at as many places as possible and at each stop you roll the dice and get a score. The person with the highest point total wins . The contest runs through October 1, 2011. So the more places you stop and roll the dice the higher your score will be. Most of the sponsors are located near major cities so if you really want to win you need to hit Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton.
This is a really neat event and is something to do at your leasure , since you have all summer. you can plan your route based on the trips you are taking to various events. you can find me right at interstate 275 and Montgomery road. Take exit 50 off 275 and you are one minute away.
If you are riding on the weekend just call ahead because I’m in the office most Saturdays. Or if you are traveling in the evenings let me know and I can plan to work late which I do quite often. Or you can catch me at an event. I’m excited for this opportunity to meet a lot of bikers and make new friends this summer.
And I’m always available to take you call on Ohio accident and injury law at 1-800-447-6549 or check out my biker motorcycle law practice center
"Your office has been nothing but good to us! From our very first phone call to the very end, you were there to listen. You have been a fantastic attorney. We were undoubtedly going to lose everything we had because of the accident, but you made sure we were taken care of!! We are no longer worried about losing our home, and it's because of you! My family is back on track! Words cannot express how much we appreciate everything you did for us. I know you will be a blessing to a lot more people!" With love,
Morris & Jennifer Smith