The Differences between Medicare and Advantage Plans

Insurance is a tricky business, but unfortunately, this is a purchase we must all enter into—and often for multiple lines, whether you own one or more cars (or as a business owner, you could even own a fleet), a home, commercial properties, have professional liability needs, or more. But health insurance is one of the most stupefying areas—causing many of us to wonder how the process and the offerings can be so challenging, but also presenting us with confusing policies and a wide range of questions every time we go to the doctor or have the unfortunate experience to be admitted to the hospital.

Many individuals are confused about how Medicare works, as it is composed of these basic parts:

  • Hospital care
  • Doctors, procedures, medical devices
  • Prescription drugs

Medicare Advantage also plays a role as a more cost-effective option over classic Medicare/Medigap. A policyholder can purchase coverage through a private insurer offering all the above, which often includes other services too. This type of insurance usually includes minimal co-pays, with visits to doctors’ offices, tests from the medical lab, and procedures covered too.

If this is the type of insurance you are using, be sure to speak with your insurance agent or Medicare representative about all your options. There are many details—and expenses to understand, with each type of private plan having a variety of different program details. Policyholders usually have many concerns about coverages for hospital stays, prescription drugs, and what types of doctors’ visits—and doctors—are covered.

Many of these questions may come into play if you are hurt in a car accident, and especially if you sustained serious injuries like neck or spinal issues, paralysis, soft tissue damage, broken arms or legs, or more. Obviously, these types of injuries can be extremely expensive to treat, and long-term care can be an enormous consideration too. Healthcare is a challenge for so many today in the US, and medical bills are the number one cause of bankruptcy for consumers so understanding and managing such expenses are crucial.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of others, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

The Importance of Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Shopping for a new car can be one of the most exciting ventures you may ever engage in (and this will probably occur more than once in your lifetime), but extremely exhausting too. While finances are one aspect of the experience—along with choosing a vehicle that is suitable for your needs, safe for a family with small children if that is the case, efficient on gas, and more—the haggling can be stressful. And once insurance enters the picture, you may start to wonder why you got involved in the first place, whether you are dealing with an insurance agent face to face, online, or over the phone.

In Florida, car insurance is required for any vehicle with four wheels. Upon purchasing a vehicle, you must have $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 in property damage liability. PIP covers you if there is an accident resulting in physical injury, and your children too if they are in the car, as well as other members of your household who may be riding along. If you do have other passengers who are injured who do not own a vehicle, or reside with a relative who owns a vehicle, and obviously do not have PIP insurance, they may be covered also. Bodily injury liability (BIL) will pay for injuries and even pay for an attorney if you were to be sued due to alleged negligence on your part in an accident.

Uninsured motorist insurance is not required for you as a resident of Florida and the owner of a car, however it is highly recommended; after all, insurance is all about risk protection—and there are far too many people driving today without insurance, unfortunately. This coverage will protect you if you are hit by another motorist who—as the name of the coverage would imply—is not covered. While uninsured motorist coverage does not include any payments for property damage, it does cover medical bills, lost wages, and even long-term payment like nursing care, wheelchairs and other medical devices, and more, including the possibility of including coverage for a wrongful death claim. In Florida, over 26 percent of motorists may not be covered. That is an alarming statistic, in comparison to other states like Maine, with only around 4.6 percent of motorists driving around uninsured. Upon purchasing insurance, the key is to be informed about the requirements, but also what is best for you in terms of protecting your health and your property. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to and make changes to your policy later upon further consideration.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of others, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Motorists: Understand How Blind Spots Work

With millions of cars registered in the US at any given time, there’s no question that we must all share the road and try to do so as safely as possible. Unfortunately, most of us will be involved in at least one car accident in our lifetimes–but hopefully with defensive driving practices in place, you can lower the odds. Understanding how blind spots work is important, and although you may be aware that sometimes you cannot see another car or motorcycle or truck if it is next to you in the adjacent lane, it is helpful to know more about the technicalities involved—and what you can do to decrease your chance of having an accident due to an incident with a blind spot.

Blind spots are not restricted only to vehicles on the road, but also boats and even planes. If you are riding on a bicycle or a motorcycle or some form of transportation without windows or metal coverings, then you probably do not have to worry about blind spots. Visibility is restricted due to the design of most vehicles, the way mirrors are set up, headrests in the car, and more. The blind spot occurs in the lane next to you at a 45° angle while you are driving and unable to see what is there—which is usually either a car or other vehicle, or if you are hoping to pass, perhaps nothing at all.

There are ways to adjust your mirrors to avoid blind spots altogether, but that does take some technical prowess (and some experts say this is not possible), and in most cases, motorists have their mirrors set so they can see as much traffic as possible. While traveling, if you are about to pass, avoid collisions due to blind spots by looking in your side mirrors, rearview mirrors, and taking the time to turn your head also to look. Taking all these precautions is critical, and especially when on a multi-lane highway.

Trucks present even more issues with blind spots, and they need the help of motorists when passing. If you are traveling behind a truck and decide to pass on the left, make sure you can see the trucker in his mirror (this means he can see you!) as you move out into the next lane, and before you pass over into the next one.

The most important element of driving is simple: focus. This is an important skill to pass on to teen drivers as well, considering distracted driving is the number one threat and killer on highways in the US. With the advent of the smartphone, drivers have so many advantages such as GPS, the ability to make hands-free phone calls, and much more. But there are so many negative aspects of smartphone technology too about distracted driving. Drivers may be unable to resist the temptation to check text messages, and even worse, may feel obligated to respond – and sometimes at length. Beware of other drivers who may also be under the influence, ignoring traffic signals and signs, or driving under the influence.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of others, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

 

CRPS: Many Physicians Are Unfamiliar with the Signs

Complex regional pain syndrome affects around 200,000 people in the US, although those numbers could be under-reported due to misdiagnoses or others who simply have not come forth with symptoms. The condition is remarkable as it usually appears after another trauma has occurred and injuries have healed. If you have CRPS or you know someone who is suffering from this rare disease affecting the nervous system, then you understand what an unpleasant surprise it can be, developing after moderate musculoskeletal injuries, a broken bone, or a sprained ankle that may have healed.

The only good thing that could be said about CRPS is that sometimes the symptoms are moderate and stay that way, sometimes they lessen over time, and it is rare; however there are many downsides to this condition as it can cause serious, chronic pain making life very uncomfortable. Patients suffering from CRPS maybe so traumatized from the pain of trying to walk or move that they just stop doing so altogether, allowing muscles to atrophy.

Amidst all the suffering and frustration, there is an even worse element to CRPS initially, as it can be difficult to diagnose, and there is no specific test for it yet. This means that a medical professional must be experienced with the condition to know what it is right away. The symptoms can be intense and fairly obvious to a doctor who has seen CRPS before, but usually other conditions and diseases must be ruled out first; for instance, Lyme disease may present itself in a similar manner at first and must be ruled out—along with other conditions causing inflammation and affecting the nervous system.

If CRPS is suspected to be the final diagnosis, the patient may be referred to a specialist, who will then be able to start them on a regimen of medications if necessary. In some cases, CRPS is so mild that only over-the-counter remedies are required, but in others, stronger pain relievers may be called for, such as opioids. There are other treatments that work for CRPS patients too, spanning everything from corticosteroids to anticonvulsants and antidepressants.

Were you in an accident due to the negligence of others that triggered CRPS? If so, please call Heintz & Becker today to consult with a skilled CRPS lawyer. Our attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

 

Brain Injuries May Begin with Subtle Symptoms

The fact that car accidents continue to increase—and especially in Florida—is a subject of consternation for infrastructure analysts, government officials, and anyone who has lost someone due to a car crash, as well as concerned citizens who fear for the safety of all motorists. Escalating fatalities and injuries are not just isolated to cars either, but also trucks, motorcycles, bicyclists, and pedestrians. The roads can be extremely busy in Florida, and even with your best defensive driving practices in place, you could find yourself involved in a serious car accident due to the negligence of other drivers.

Minor injuries such as cuts and contusions, broken bones and ribs, and sprains are common after a car or truck crash. Often though, there are serious and life-threatening injuries like amputations caused during the impact or a result of surgery afterward, neck and back injuries, paralysis, and much more. Injury to the head can be very serious though. While many are lucky to escape with a minor bump on the head, serious concussions are possible, along with traumatic brain injury. A concussion or TBI can sometimes be deceiving too, as you or a loved one could be injured but not even realize it for a while; in fact, they could be walking around as if nothing happened, in a semi-functional state. Usually, if the patient has not realized what is happening, a friend or loved one will point out that something seems off, or that they need medical care.

Traumatic brain injuries could begin with headaches, moodiness, inability to sleep, and more, but they could also present immediately with unconsciousness – even if just at the beginning for 30 minutes or so Difficulty sleeping, problems with coordination, trouble speaking, and more, could become apparent. Traumatic brain injury can in fact be so serious that there could be permanent brain damage. If you suspect you may have sustained a TBI or a serious concussion, you should seek medical attention immediately. These types of injuries can be extremely serious in children and babies too, and difficult to spot at first. Keep an eye out after any type of head trauma for a change in activity levels, lack of appetite or ability to sleep, crankiness, or more serious symptoms like a coma.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of others, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

After a Car Accident: Move Your Car Out of the Way if Possible

Unfortunately, driving is somewhat of a dangerous activity—and especially if you live in a city. You probably drive a fairly predictable route each day and week, however, revolving around work, school, and where you do your errands; in fact, you may tend to travel in a five- to ten-mile radius and often go no further, unless there is a long daily drive to the office or a trip planned.

The number of car crashes in Florida continues to escalate, as well as incidents regarding aggressive drivers. While there is continual discussion regarding why there are so many car and motorcycle fatalities and injuries, many theories lead to the growing population on both coasts, the continued numbers of visitors streaming into the popular state, good weather that tends to be plentiful all year, and often, seniors who may be driving more slowly.

If you are in a car accident, it is extremely helpful to know what to do ahead of time. While preparing for what to do in case you have an accident is probably not an activity you want to put at the top of your ‘to do’ list (and is something you don’t want to think about at all really ), preferring to assume such an unfortunate event will never occur is unrealistic. And if you are already well-educated on the topic should something happen, you will be much better equipped to deal with what could be a very frightening situation, accompanied by enormous adrenaline flow.

The first step after an accident should always be to assess the physical status of everyone in the car. Medical help should be called for immediately if there is even the slightest question regarding injuries, along with moving the car out of the way. Many motorists are under the impression that moving the car is a bad thing because it could interfere with evidence for the case, or that it may be illegal to move the car in some states. Florida law requires you to make every effort to move your car and not obstruct the flow of traffic.

Once you have done so, proceed to call the police to file a report, as well as getting contact information from the other driver, and any witnesses. If the accident occurred due to the negligence of another driver, most likely you will have a case against their insurance company if you have sustained injuries, or if passengers have been hurt. Do not try to handle such a situation on your own. It is in your best interest to contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker as soon as possible.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of others, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

 

Car Crashes Top the List for Teen Deaths

Most of us are stymied as to why traffic incidents and car crashes in the United States continue to escalate. After all, haven’t we evolved so much more as a society in recent decades that we understand how to be better defensive drivers, enjoy better safety mechanisms in our cars, and watch out for so many of the hazards we are constantly warned about? The problem is that many motorists give in to temptations that cause hazard, while other accidents are caused by weather, obstacles in the road, or issues that are seemingly unavoidable (aside from staying off the road completely—which is sometimes the best choice).

While distracted driving is one of the number one killers in the US today regarding car accidents, the problem looms larger in terms of teenagers and their driving habits. Although teens may have all the experience of a driver’s education course behind them, they are still fragile when it comes to experience; after all, consider how many years of driving experience you may have on the road—and there are still hazards to navigate past every day.

For a teenager, every bit of traveling on the road is a new experience as they are suddenly behind the wheel of the car. While they may doubt their mortality like many other young people, they may also be overconfident in their skills to multitask while behind the wheel. This could mean heavy overuse of the cell phone with calls coming in and being returned, voicemails being closely monitored, and text messages being read—and even worse, returned at length.

Most teenagers are aware of the dangers of distracted driving. If you are a parent to a teen who has just started driving, continue to emphasize the dangers, set rules about phone usage while in the car, and be a good role model yourself. For some adults, that may be the hardest part of the equation, as we have a hard time putting down the phones too sometimes. It is critical for every driver, and especially teenagers who are just learning ‘the lay of the land,’ to give every ounce of attention to the task at hand when operating a vehicle—and doing so defensively.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of others, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Hit and Run Car Accident: Know What to Do

If you walk away from a car crash alive, most likely you will be very grateful to have survived the incident; unfortunately, there may be a long list of items to take care of following such a traumatic event. And there is simply no way around it: if you have experienced property damage to your car or sustained physical injuries, you will be left with a list of responsibilities to handle.

The situation is exponentially compounded if you are in a hit-and-run accident. Enduring an accident due to the negligence of another party is a lot to process to begin with—but if they drive away from the scene of an accident, you may feel extremely angry. Victims of hit-and-run accidents sometimes have a very difficult time recovering from the emotional aspects of the incident; after all, to be potentially, seriously hurt and then just have someone drive away—or to be left with the tragedy of a loved one who passed away after the wreck—can be devastating enough to cause long-lasting symptoms of PTSD.

If you are hit by another driver and notice that they are taking off before the police arrive, do your best to note the type of car they are driving. Write down the make, model, and color or whatever information you have—with any information or even partial numbers of their license plate being most valuable. Jot down everything you can remember about their physical description, and seek out any witnesses on the scene of the accident—chances are, if this was during a busy time of day, someone noticed what happened and may be willing to talk to the police or even testify in your case. Don’t be shy about speaking to witnesses at the scene of ‘the crime,’ as this may be the only chance you would ever have to see them or speak to them.

A hit-and-run accident can add extreme chaos to an experience that is already fraught with intensity. Remember that your safety and immediate medical treatment should come before anything else. Consult with a skilled car accident attorney as soon as possible too so that you are not left feeling isolated in such a difficult time or dealing with the insurance adjusters alone. If given a chance, the insurance company will most likely attempt to pay you as little as possible for what could have been catastrophic injury and property damage.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of others, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

CRPS Often Occurs After Musculoskeletal Injury

Complex regional pain syndrome is a rare condition that confounds many in the beginning; after all, if you are suffering from CRPS, it may have been quite surprising to you to heal from a sprain, a break, or a mild musculoskeletal injury, only to be stricken with something worse. While a muscle injury or a fracture can often be inconsequential in the scope of your health overall, getting over these issues can take a toll—and there is a healing period involved—meaning that when CRPS arises suddenly, most patients are not just surprised, they are extremely disappointed to have to deal with another health issue.

Following a musculoskeletal injury, CRPS symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable and painful. Affecting only around 200,000 people in the US, CRPS is also without any specific diagnostics, apart from noting superficial symptoms. Testing involves ruling out other diseases first, but an experienced doctor who has seen CRPS before will probably be alerted by symptoms like sudden skin issues, to include inflammation, swelling, strange growth of hair (or nails), and even strange discoloration which can cause the skin to turn bluish or pinkish, with the texture becoming glossy or even thin and fragile in appearance.

Previous injuries may have rendered a CRPS patient immobile for a short time, but as the condition progresses, it may become so painful to move around that they become reluctant to do so at any point. This can cause serious atrophy in the muscles and limbs, along with other issues such as dystonia, with toes or fingers fixed in an unnatural position. These types of problems cause further distress to the patient who may then become self-conscious, beginning a vicious cycle of both physical and emotional issues.

Many different types of treatment can be offered for CRPS, beginning with over-the-counter medications, and then graduating to stronger prescriptions if necessary. Other treatments may help too, like corticosteroids, anticonvulsants, and in many cases antidepressants too, in helping to deal with the understandable depression that may accompany CRPS. Different types of therapy are available too, from more traditional mental therapy sessions to physical therapy, as well as alternative methods like biofeedback or mirror therapy.

Were you in an accident due to the negligence of others that triggered CRPS? If so, please call Heintz & Becker today to consult with a skilled CRPS lawyer. Our attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

Did You Know That Less Than Two Percent of Florida Lawyers Are Board Certified in Civil Trial?

If you have been injured due to the negligence of others, it is critical to have expert, licensed, aggressive legal assistance on your side. You may not be aware that less than two percent of attorneys in Florida are board-certified in civil trial! At Heintz & Becker, we do have the credentials, and we will take your case to trial if necessary. Our attorneys practice aggressive advocacy, and while we will try to negotiate a fair settlement, we will never accept a lowball offer or bend to bad faith practices of any sort.

A car accident is a perfect example of how important it is to have an experienced law firm on your side. As you approach your vehicle every morning, the scenario looks innocent enough. Your sturdy, four-thousand-pound car is faithfully waiting to take you to your destination. The sun may be out, birds chirping, and everything is just as it should be—until that is, you pull out of the driveway, head on to the highway, and are at the mercy of so many other motorists who may not be doing their jobs—which is to focus on the road 100 percent of the time, keeping the wheel steady and everyone safe.

Unfortunately, traffic incidents of all sorts are on the rise in Florida, and around most of the US. Whether you are a motorist, motorcyclist, bicyclist, or pedestrian, this not only means that you have a greater chance of being injured but unfortunately also killed as fatalities continue to rise. Diligence and extreme defensiveness are required every time you drive from one place to another. And while that may sound extreme, if you look at the statistics, there is no denying it.

No matter how focused you are as a driver, the sad news is that you are in the minority. Far too many other drivers are engaged in a myriad of distractions such as looking at their phones, talking on their phones, fiddling with their phones, or engaging with passengers who are distracting, not to mention eating, drinking, and grooming. Other drivers may be under the influence, whether drunk, on drugs, or even just drowsy. Many drivers are reckless, have no regard for traffic rules or traffic signs, and they put everyone at risk.

Just as you must be completely focused on driving, if you are involved in a serious accident or you are injured due to the negligence of someone else, you must be equally diligent about finding the most skilled and experienced car accident attorney to represent you so that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and stress. If our attorneys take your case to trial, we will prepare meticulously to ensure that the jury understands all the facts.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact the attorneys at Heintz & Becker. We’ve helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses after accidents. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.