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Articles Posted in Personal Injury

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A federal court in Pennsylvania recently certified a class of Plaintiffs under Defendant Aetna Life Insurance Co.’s disability benefits plan (“Plan”). The Plaintiffs alleged that the Defendants forced beneficiaries who had received payments for personal injury claims to send the payments back to the company in violation of ERISA.

The named Plaintiff, Joanne Wolff, first filed suit against Aetna in 2019 when the company asked for the repayment of over $50,000 in long-term disability benefits stemming from a temporary disability suffered by the Plaintiff after a car wreck. At the time of the request, Wolff told the Defendants that her employer, Bank of America, did not allow reimbursement, and negotiations ended in an agreement that that Wolff would pay $30,000 despite this fact.

This did not end the dispute, however, and Wolff along with an at least 48-member class now allege that Aetna violated ERISA when it required reimbursement payments of long-term personal injury disability payments. Aetna responded that class certification would be inappropriate, as the proposed class did not meet the specifications required for certification under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  Mainly, the Defendants argued that some of the members of the proposed class should be disqualified, thus the number of participants in the class did not meet the numerosity requirement. It argued that since some of the members of the class were from different companies, there was not sufficient typicality to fulfill the requirements under the Civil Rules and members under other employers should be disqualified, reducing the class number to 28. Aetna also argued that timing issues barred several more participants under the relevant statutes of limitations.

Late Wednesday evening, May 25, 2022, Mehr Fairbanks Trial Lawyers’ Attorney Bartley Hagerman received a $345,000 jury verdict in a motor vehicle accident trial in Woodford County, KY. The 3-day trial was against the at-fault driver and the plaintiff’s underinsured motorist (UIM) carrier. More details will be posted soon!

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The accident attorneys at Mehr, Fairbanks & Peterson frequently represent people who have been injured in accidents. Car wrecks, medical mishaps, and falls can frequently devastate a family. In those circumstances, the injured party has a right to sue the negligent person or company. The injured party can recover medical expenses, lost wages, damage to future earning capacity, and pain and suffering damages.

Below are some frequently asked questions regarding accidents. If you have further questions or you’ve recently been injured in an accident, contact one of our experienced personal injury attorneys for a free consultation today.

  1. What compensation can I receive if I’ve been in a car accident? If you are in a car accident caused by someone else, you could recover damages in the form of lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, damage to your property, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Even if the accident is your fault, you may have insurance coverage for the damages you sustain.
  2. What if I’m in a car accident without insurance? If someone without insurance causes an accident involving you, you could have a claim under your own insurance under uninsured motorist coverage, if you elected this coverage.
  3. Can I receive compensation if I’ve been in a motorcycle accident? If you are a motorcycle rider and are in an accident caused by someone else, you are entitled to damages just as if you were in a car. This can include lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, damage to your property, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.
  4. What if I’m in a motorcycle accident without insurance? If someone without insurance causes an accident involving you, you could have a claim under your own insurance under uninsured motorist coverage, if you elected this coverage.
  5. Can I receive compensation if I’ve been in a truck accident? If you are in a truck accident caused by someone else, you could recover damages in the form of lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, damage to your property, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Even if the accident is your fault, you may have insurance coverage for the damages you sustain.
  6. What if I’m in a truck accident without insurance? If someone without insurance causes an accident involving you, you could have a claim under your own insurance under uninsured motorist coverage, if you elected this coverage.
  7. How does the criminal or traffic case relate to a personal injury claim or lawsuit? A criminal or traffic charge can impact a civil suit for personal injury. If the crime or traffic charge arises out of the same facts and circumstances which create civil liability, a conviction or guilty plea on such charges can be used against the offender in a civil proceeding. But, being found not guilty of criminal charges or traffic violations does not absolve the offender of liability for damages caused to another in a civil proceeding. They are different standards.
  8. Can I obtain the cell phone records of the driver? Cell phone records can typically be obtained by subpoena to the cell service provider. Those records are not confidential or protected from the subpoena powers of the court, and the records can be used against you.
  9. How can I prove the other driver was responsible? Lawyers skilled in personal injury actions arising from a motor vehicle incident use various tools and techniques to establish the liability of the driver causing the damages. These can rely on many sources of evidence including witness testimony, video camera footage, accident reconstruction, and expert witness testimony.
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