Nationwide Commercial’s Reality Strikes a Chord

During the Super Bowl, Nationwide insurance company ran a commercial that upset many viewers because of its somber overtone. After showing a child partaking in a number of activities, the camera focuses on him and he deadpans, “I couldn’t grow up because I died from an accident.”

People don’t like to envision a worst-case scenario, especially when it comes to their own families. But, we live in a world where tragedy can strike at any time. It’s rarely the insurance companies that look out for victims’ best interests. Many people are forced to retain attorneys for the sole reason that they have treated unfairly by an insurance carrier — especially in a state like New York, where the insurance companies have no fear of claims against them for bad faith.

Obviously, it’s beneficial for insurance companies for fewer incidents to occur. The fewer the incidents, the fewer claims there are that they need to pay.

But if an incident occurs, insurance companies typically resort to any tactics necessary to ensure that the sum they pay is as low as possible — regardless of whether that fairly compensates the claimant.

So, it’s ironic that an insurance company states: “…we believe in protecting what matters most: your kids.”

If they were honest, the statement would be, “We believe in protecting what matters most: our bottom line.”

But, it’s not just the insurance companies who bear responsibility for treating victims badly. In New York State, the family members of the child who appears in the commercial would not be able to recover any damages for the grief they experienced — and continue to experience — as a result of the child’s death if it were brought upon by the negligence of another person or company.

Money isn’t a magic potion to make everything okay. It’s the only remedy, however, that our system of justice can provide. By disallowing such a recovery, the legislature has decided that grieving families have no value, and that is an injustice.

To fix these issues, New York State should pass laws to curtail acts of bad faith by insurance companies, and to allow grieving families to recover for the loss of a loved one that was caused by someone else’s negligence.

These issues may make people uncomfortable, but unfortunately there are many families for whom these issues are real and personal.

Medical Malpractice Problems in PA Highlight Problems Nation-Wide

One of the most prominent champions for justice in Pennsylvania, Shanin Specter, recently highlighted the ills that have befallen victims of medical malpractice in that state and nationally.  Some of the most poignant quotes are as follows:

“There is a silent crisis today in our civil justice system: the uncompensated victim of medical negligence.”

* * *

“Strikingly, all states have experienced large drops in paid claims per physician. From 1992 to 2012, paid claims per physician dropped by 57 percent nationally, including 51 percent in those states such as Pennsylvania that do not impose a cap on pain and suffering damages.  The number of paid claims per physician career has dropped from 1.05 in 1992 to 0.45 in 2012.  Thus, the average physician will never be involved in a medical malpractice claim that results in the payment of money.”

* * *

“The decrease in claims and damage payments results in fewer fairly compensated victims of medical negligence.”

* * *

“The pendulum has swung too far in favor of health care providers and their insurers, and against medical malpractice victims. It’s time to move toward the center.”

The full text of the article can be read here:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/opinion_columns/50470068/THEIR-VIEW-Revisit-medical-negligence-laws

It’s time for doctors who needlessly injure patients to be held accountable on a fair and consistent basis.

The insurance companies are enjoying the fruits of their lobbying efforts by blocking victims from pursuing their Seventh Amendment rights, at the same time that their hands are out to collect malpractice premiums from the doctors.  The insurance companies benefit at the victims’ expense.

www.buzinlaw.com …RELAUNCHED!

Welcome to our newly-reformatted website!  There have been a number of changes since the launch of Buzin Law, P.C., and we’re better able to communicate them to you through this site.

If you take a moment, you’ll see that we have updated information on our “Results” page, and on the bottom of the pages appear the honors that have been bestowed upon Andrew Buzin over the last few years.

We have also included a direct email address on the site so you can more easily reach us.

We thank you for the support you have shown Buzin Law, P.C., and once again ask that you follow us on Facebook and on Twitter (@BuzinLaw).  We would also like to thank Lindsay Humes of White Oak Creative for all of her hard work in designing the new site.  Please do not hesitate to contact us if you believe we can be of service to you.

Thank you again!

NFL Concussion Settlement By the Numbers

Yesterday, the NFL and former players who sued the League agreed in principle to resolve the pending litigation for $765 million.  The players’ claims were based on the alleged cover-up of the effects of concussions and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI).  Here is the breakdown of the numbers:

SETTLEMENT:  $765 million (the players’ attorneys fees also to be paid by NFL)
NUMBER OF YEARS FOR NFL TO PAY OUT SETTLEMENT:  20
NUMBER OF PLAINTIFFS:  4,500
NUMBER OF PLAYERS COVERED BY SETTLEMENT: 18,000
MAXIMUM AWARD FOR AN INDIVIDUAL PLAINTIFF:  $5 million
NFL REVENUE FOR 2012:  Approximately $10 billion
NFL TV CONTRACT:  $3.1 billion
MINIMUM LENGTH FOR EXISTENCE OF FUND FOR FUTURE PAYOUTS:  60
MINIMUM BALANCE FOR FUND FOR FUTURE PAYOUTS:  $50 million
2010 EARNINGS OF TOP 8 NFL OFFICIALS:  $51.5 million

Most importantly, the issues surrounding this case will not be brought to light in a court of law, and the public will never know when and what the NFL knew or should have known about concussions and TBIs.