April 24, 2020

Virginia House & Senate Vote Against Surprise Hospital Bills

Earlier this month, both the Virginia House and Senate unanimously passed identical legislation to stop issuing surprise hospital bills for some Virginians. The legislation will go into effect on January 1, 2021.

Surprise bills, also known as “balance billing,” are issued to patients who seek emergency care at either an out-of-network hospital or receive treatment from an out-of-network doctor at a facility included in their network.

The major problem with balance billing is that patients may not even realize that they are receiving treatment from an out-of-network provider. Thus, the large medical bills come as an unwelcome “surprise.”

According to an article in Virginia Lawyers Weekly, a teenager was billed $34,000 after a plastic surgeon outside of his network treated his broken nose. The treatment occurred at a hospital included in his family’s insurance plan.

The article also references studies that suggest surprise billing occurs in as many as 20% to 42% of emergency room visits statewide.

The bill was modeled after a law passed in Washington state which states that patients who receive out-of-network emergency care must be charged the in-network rate mandated by their plan. This includes their standard copay and deductible.

Insurers are the ones responsible for compensating any out-of-network providers a “commercially reasonable” rate. However, if the medical professional or facility that offered the treatment disagrees with that rate, they have 30 days to reach an agreement with the insurer. If an agreement cannot be reached, both sides can make their cases to an arbitrator who will decide the final amount. In Virginia, the arbitrator is not required to be an attorney.

The new law only applies to Virginia patients with state-regulated health care plans. Those who hold Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) plans must opt into the law for it to apply.

If you have any questions about the new law and how it may affect you, feel free to reach out to our firm. The Law Offices of Ryan Quinn, PLLC has been assisting clients with medical malpractice issues for years and our attorney is familiar with Virginia law and local practices.

Have you or a loved one been hurt by a medical professional or while in the care of a hospital or clinic? You may have a case. Contact us today to speak with our Arlington medical malpractice attorney.

April 22, 2020

Law Offices of Ryan Quinn Wins Client $135,000 Settlement in Pedestrian Accident Case

On April 20, one of our Arlington pedestrian accident clients received $135,000 in damages, a settlement that was nearly two years in the making.

On July 16, 2018, the plaintiff was lawfully crossing N. Edison Street where it intersects with Carlin Springs Road when he was struck by the defendant’s car. The plaintiff suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured rib, a broken nose, and a facial laceration. Though his injuries were serious, he fortunately made a full recovery and suffered no long-term consequences.

However, the damage had been done and he had medical bills to pay. Not to mention the emotional trauma one suffers after getting hit by a car, which the plaintiff had to endure as well. The plaintiff contacted our firm and we worked together to build a case that would help him receive the settlement he needed to pay off his medical expenses, eventually going head to head with the defendant and his attorney during settlement negotiations.

Following the accident, the defendant was not ticketed or charged and denied liability. He claimed he was “sun blinded” at the time of the accident, therefore relieving himself of any fault. However, during his deposition, the defendant divulged that he did not use his vehicle’s sun visor nor wear sunglasses on the day of the accident. Moreover, he revealed that he was familiar with the area where the accident occurred, as it was part of his daily commute. He also disclosed that he had previously had issues with the sun being too bright near the same location. These admissions revealed that the defendant knew of the risks and yet didn’t do anything to mitigate them, thus hitting the plaintiff.

Once this information came out, Attorney Ryan Quinn negotiated with the defendant’s attorney and together they agreed to the final settlement.

Have you been injured in a pedestrian accident in Arlington? Attorney Ryan Quinn may be able to help you as well. We provide every client with personalized attention, consistent communication, and tireless advocacy. Reach out to us today at (703) 647-4113 or contact us online.

October 7, 2019

Will Amazon Take Steps to Reduce Bicycle Accident Injuries?

As Amazon begins their plans for HQ2 construction, a local sustainability group is bringing attention to the potential downsides of the construction. Any increase in jobs results in an increase of commuters to the area—and Sustainable Mobility is urging Amazon to do their part to keep Arlington green by adding or upgrading bike lanes in the area.

The company recently pledged to be carbon-neutral by 2040, so green practices will likely crop up on their campuses and fulfillment centers around the world. The question of whether they’ll support employee efforts to reduce their own impact remains to be seen.

Should We Be Worried About Bicycle Accidents?

Just looking at the stats shows that bicycle accident rates fell between 2016 and 2017—but those numbers don’t tell the whole story. The percentage of fatal bike accidents has risen across the US; 783 Americans died due to bike accidents in 2017. Trends suggest that measures like the ones suggested by Sustainable Mobility could make a big difference. Analysis shows that:

  • Nearly 70% of bicycle accidents happen in urban areas
  • Most fatal bike accidents that take place on weekdays happen between 6 and 9 p.m.—when commuters might be heading home after a long day of work
  • Cities that have seen an increase in bicyclists, but no infrastructural changes to ensure safety, are much more dangerous than those that have added bike lanes and other helpful features

On average, bikers involved in urban accidents face more serious injuries than those in rural areas. When cars and bikes come into close quarters with one another, they often collide—and the cars almost always win.

The Dangers of Bike Accidents

It’s been proven time and again that wearing helmets can help protect bicyclists from fatal injury, and doing so can cut the risk of head injuries by 1/3—but cutting the risk of head or brain injury doesn’t protect against shoulder, arm, wrist, hip, or leg injuries (bikers less commonly suffer injuries to their chest, abdomen, or back). Likewise, though helmets help prevent fatalities, bikers may still need extensive treatment after an accident. A study of Finnish bikers found 3 out of 10 injured bikers were hospitalized; those who received outpatient care likely incurred fewer costs, but many still had to visit specialists or attend physical therapy to achieve full recovery.

In bicycle accidents that involve cars, bikers are likely to suffer serious injury, including:

  • Fractured or broken bones
  • Sprains or strains
  • Deep lacerations that may become infected
  • Concussion
  • Other brain injury

Bike accident injuries can be just as expensive as those sustained in car collisions. In fact, the CDC estimated that in 2010, non-fatal bicycle accidents ran up a bill of $10 billion when considering continued medical costs and missed work.

Finding a Lawyer After a Bicycle Accident

If you’ve been in a bicycle accident, you’re facing a lengthy process just to receive compensation for damage to your ride, reimbursement for doctor’s bills, and consideration of lost wages and future medical expenses.

As Amazon HQ2 begins to hire, Arlington will see many more commuters—and those on foot, bike, or scooter may be at risk unless Amazon builds with pedestrian and biker safety in mind. Our experienced team at the Law Offices of Ryan Quinn, PLLC is here to help you in the aftermath of a bicycle accident.

Questions about a bicycle accident? Call our office at (703) 647-4113 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today.