Lives are being lost as our government continues to ignore simple safety solutions.
Fatal truck crashes are among the most consequential on the road. Because trucks are so large and powerful, truck drivers and trucking companies are subject to a number of regulations and restrictions, including hours-of-service regulations, rest requirements, and prohibitions on texting while driving.
Common Causes of Truck Accidents
- Overloaded trucks
- Unsecured truck loads
- Truck driver fatigue
- Improperly maintained trucks
- Truck defects
- Drunk driving
- Texting while driving
- Improper or inadequate truck driving training
- Truck driver negligence
As Journalist, Johnathon Salant investigates, the obvious stalling of legislatures to pass meaningful regulations seem apparent and very worrisome. Salant states, “The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in 2016 issued a rule setting standards for driver training. Then the rule was delayed to 2022.” If a truck accident happens because the trucker or trucking company violated trucking regulations, liability can be assessed against the trucking company and/or truck driver. Additionally, the violating party may also be subject to hefty fines and other penalties. If you are on the road, you should be concerned. Over the last decade, deaths in crashes involving large trucks has risen by 36% according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics.
Over the years, Queener Law has amassed an in-depth understanding of trucking accident liability cases; as well as, knowledge of the rules and regulations issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This combination allows Queener Law to better advocate for clients and families involved in fatal truck crashes. Contact Queener Law at (615) 933-9000 to schedule a free consultation if you have been injured in a big truck wreck.
Registered Nurses Aide on Staff
Your injuries and medical bills can feel so overwhelming, complicated, and lonely. You may feel like no one understands you or you can’t even wrap your mind around it all. Our team is uniquely capable of helping you through this. We have a Registered Nurses Aide on staff just for this reason! Sandra Prone, the first point of contact when you call our office, is a Registered Medical Assistant and State Registered Nurses Aide. She has spent 10 years working in medical facilities. She has reviewed medical records and billing, and listened to folks just like you talk about what matters most to them. Now, she is here to listen to you.
Our clients’ injuries range from soft tissue injuries to their neck and back to spinal injuries to fractures and tears to traumatic brain injuries or worse. In our combined decades of experience in working with victims of negligence, we have found that having an ear to hear you and a heart and mind that understand can mean everything to the success of the relationship between our team and our clients. Sandra uses her decade of experience with patients to help our clients navigate their way through their treatment patterns and healing process. Another important part of representing injury victims is collecting and managing their medical history and expenses. This involves everything from past and current medical records and billing, future projections, and health insurance payments. Sandra is also uniquely suited to oversee those aspects of our clients’ journey. Her experience as a Registered Medical Assistant and State Registered Nurses Aide has exposed her to the complexities of the medical records and billing world. She amazes us every day with her ability to get to the bottom of medical billing inconsistencies and missing documentation. It is a incredible relief for our clients to be able to turn over these stresses to Sandra and have faith in her knowledge and understanding, releasing that burden from themselves.
You can have faith, when you call Queener Law, that you are not just in the hands of a team with years of legal experience. You are also in the hands of a team with years of experience in the medical field. We have all your bases covered so we can go to battle for you fully armed and prepared.
Our goals for 2020 include helping you get to know us a little better. To aid in that venture, we are starting a video series to share a bit more about who we are and help you learn more about who you are working with. Our first video features Managing Partner Jennifer K. O’Connell. Jennifer grew up in Tennessee. Her father was a forester and her mother was a public school special education teacher. She and her sister regularly rode out to the woods with their dad or adventuring among the trees behind their family home, their two Springer Spaniels in tow. The whole family took regular camping trips to state and national parks across the country. If you could not see it in a tent, the O’Connell’s were not interested. They saw snow at the Grand Canyon in June and counted buffalo sightings at Yellowstone in February. More than one of those trips was here to the Rocky Mountains. In fact, Jennifer’s parents began visiting the mountains shortly after they were married. Colorado holds a special place in her family. Jennifer also loves her home state of Tennessee. While the mountains of Appalachia have a bit more oxygen at the top, hiking was still a big part of Tennessee life for her and her family. While the summit of Mount Le Conte is only 6,593 feet, there is a 2,763 foot climb to the top and there is often quite a bit of ice at the top.
Click here to learn more about Jennifer and keep an eye out for the next episode to learn more about her team! Hope you enjoy getting to know us!
Queener Law Featured in VoyageDenver
We are thrilled to see Queener Law featured in VoyageDenver! What an honor!
We love their insightful questions that prompt us to think a bit more about how we got here and why we have made the choices we made along the way. The life of a business owner is full of forks in the road and choices. It is always important to look back and evaluate the road already traveled to help make the right decisions for the one ahead. We are also extremely happy that our client-centric focus came through. We purposefully keep out hometown feel and insist that our clients speak to a partner every time. We want to make sure our clients know how important they are and how dedicated we are to their cases. It was very exciting to hear that the editors wanted to see Queener Law featured in VoyageDenver to give us a chance to share that view with the community.
Check out the feature here!
Call us any time for a free consultation or to refer your friends or family members in need of help. No more being tossed around from attorney to attorney or case manager to case manager. At Queener Law, you will be in the capable hands of a partner and paralegals from start to finish. Your case deserves undivided attention, and so do you.
Getting Your Medical Bills Paid the Right Way
“The insurance company said they’d pay all my medical bills. Now they only want to pay a fraction of what I owe!’ We have heard this complaint almost daily in our decades of practice. What’s the reason and who’s the culprit? Of course, every story like this begins with the fact that car insurance companies are designed to collect premiums and not pay out. But that is not the only conspiracy happening here. Hospitals and medical providers have found ways to use the car insurance system to increase profits, as well. In a recent article in The New York Times, the master plan of hospital billing is broken down into the following steps:
1. Medical Swag
When you are in a wreck, the first thing the EMS or ER staff will do is slap on that age-old neck brace. Often, that neck brace either came free as medical sales swag or was bought in bulk at a rate of a few bucks each. When you get your medical bills in the mail, you find out that your insurance paid $100-plus and you owe an additional $20 bucks or so after insurance. You could get the same brace at your local pharmacy for much less. But when your chart is flagged for a car accident, out comes the medical swag. And in the end, all of this gets paid by the car insurance company… out of your settlement.
2. The Cover Charge
When you are taken to the emergency room, you get a bill. That we know. But did you know that this bill is just for use of the room? In essence, that bill is a “cover charge” for entry. In addition to that fee, which may vary depending on how emergent or traumatic your injury may be, there is a separate fee for every material used and every person who walks into the room. In many cases, you’ll even get a completely separate bill just for the use of a doctor, a necessary component of your emergency room visit. This bill, again, may vary based on what the hospital determines is the severity of your injury. Two guesses what they label car accident victims as in order to increase their bill.
3. Impostor Billing
Not only can you get billed for every person who walks in the room, but you may also receive a bill for people who you have never met. Medical billing allows for “consult billing,” even when the physician never consulted with the patient themselves. If a radiologist simply stops an orthopedist in the hallway for a second look at your x-rays, you get billed. These are not common charges, but we see them often in cases like auto accidents where the hospital anticipates deep pockets.
4. The Drive-By
In more serious cases, where post-ER treatment is required, you can get billed even before your first visit. For instance, if your injury requires physical therapy, a therapist can enter the room just to discuss your future therapy visits, and you will receive a bill for that conversation. A full assessment or actual therapeutic treatment is not required for the hospital to bill for it.
We have added this prong because it is so prevalent and crushing to your in-pocket compensation while filling the hospital’s bank account. Hospitals allow representatives from Avectus or other lien companies to enter patients’ rooms, although they have no medical training or degrees and have not received consent from the patient or relatives. Their only purpose is to have medicated and shocked accident victims sign forms promising to pay the hospital’s bill in its entirety, regardless of whether they have health insurance. Why? Because the hospital does not want to take the contractual discount with the health insurance, and instead wants to take as much as possible from the auto insurance policy, in addition to all of your other medical bills.
The End Game
Why do we care so much about what the hospital is doing if the car insurance company is paying in the end? Why should you care about what money goes where? An auto insurance policy is like a bank account. Everything that comes out of it – including medical bills – reduces the amount in the account. In other words, every penny the hospital takes is one less for you. If your hospital bill is inflated simply because you were in an auto accident, your compensation for the injuries you sustained will go to the hospital rather than to you. If the auto policy available is only $50,000 and your hospital bill is $40,000, there is very little money left to pay remaining bills, reimburse your lost wages, or cover your future medical needs. And that’s if you don’t come out with a $75,000 bill and only $50,000 in automobile insurance. What can be done to stop this? Short of changing legislation, simply put, you need an attorney. Our office has decades of experience forcing hospitals to use health insurance and refusing to pay their liens if they are on notice and ignore us. We not only fight the insurance company on your behalf, but we also hold the hospitals to a high ethical and economical standard, refusing to let them dig into the policy that was meant to compensate you. Be aware and proactive with your health and your future. Work with a firm that has no blind side. We see the attacks coming, and will head them off at the start.
When an Employee is Negligent, the Employer Pays
On January 28, 2019, at Exposition Avenue and Sable Boulevard in Aurora, an RTD train skidded off the tracks. Several were injured and one woman lost a large portion of her leg. While there was snow and ice on the rails, as well as across the entire Metro area, RTD was prepared for that. They have safety protocol in place, as well as top of the line engineering to avoid derailments due to weather. So what happened? According to RTD, speed was the “primary factor” in causing the catastrophic slide. RTD told the Denver Post in February that the appropriate speed for an operator to maintain on sharp curves like this location is 10 mph. This particular train was going three times that fast when it entered the curve. RTD took action and fired the driver of the involved train. Enough said, right?
In Colorado, employers are responsible for the actions of their employees when the employees are acting within the scope of their employment. Employers are responsible for paying for the damages caused by the negligent employee. This is true in nearly every state in the country. The idea behind this law is to prevent businesses from hiring under-qualified employees for important and technical jobs. It’s to keep them from tossing workers out into the world, reaping the benefits, and escaping responsibility when all goes wrong. Businesses are not fans of this law, of course. They have lobbied since the beginning of time to avoid responsibility and have managed to chip away at this law in Colorado. The goal: Escaping personal responsibility for the actions that put an unqualified employee behind the wheel of a truck or in the driver’s seat of a train.
In 2017, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled in In re Ferrer to minimize a business’s liability for negligent hiring, training, and supervising. The ruling essentially makes an injured party choose whether to sue the company for the damages they caused or to sue them for what led to the damages. Suing the company for both, as Colorado law has proceeded for eons, allowed victims to dig into the inner workings of the company to see just how serious they were taking the hiring processes, just how much importance was placed on employee training, and how seriously these businesses took their role as supervisor of their employees. It also allowed for much broader avenues for a jury to punish a company who sat back and watched negligence occur.
Under the new regime, firms like Queener Law are fighting back, hoping to fill back in the holes Ferrer left in victim compensation and corporate punishment. With the right set of facts and technical know-how, some of these roadblocks can be overcome. But for now, what is important to know as a member of the Colorado community is that you have rights to protect yourself against corporate negligence. When you or a family member are injured by a negligent driver, truck driver, train operator, property manager, and so on, the company for whom that employee was working is still responsible. But folks, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. These corporations are chock full of attorneys who spend day in and day out protecting their business’s money. If they are able to sway the Supreme Court into protecting their bank accounts, they can easily do the same in your case.
Call or email Queener Law for advice before proceeding on your own against a negligent business. We have gone toe to toe with corporate attorneys in several states across the country and are currently battling many here at home. We are happy to jump on board and do the fighting for you while you and your family heal from the ordeal their negligence caused.