Month: January 2016

Bard IVC Filters

Bard IVC Filters – Problems With The FDA

Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are medical devices implanted to eliminate or catch blood clots before they travel through the bloodstream to the lungs or the heart. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety communication in 2010 after receiving nearly 1,000 reports of significant complications caused by implanted IVC filters.

An IVC filter should be removed after a set period of time; however, in many cases, the devices stay in the vein for too long and dangerous side effects occur.

If an IVC filter is left in place for too long, the following can happen:

  • IVC filters may move, migrate, and/or change position, causing damage to internal organs
  • IVC filters may perforate or erode into other veins, damaging them
  • Parts of IVC filters can break off, travel through the bloodstream and damage the heart or lungs
  • IVC filters can become clogged with clots that impede blood flow to the heart
  • A doctor may be unable to remove IVC filters at all

Medical Research and The FDA Find Fault With Bard IVC Filters

In one study that took place between 2004 and 2009, 80 people who had been implanted with Bard IVC filters were given a fluoroscopy check up on the status of their filters. The fracture rates for the filters were found to be 25 percent with first generation devices, and 12 percent with second-generation devices.

The FDA sent a warning letter to C.R. Bard, one of the most prolific manufacturers of IVC filters, because the company did not address or correct violations found at its facilities. The FDA had previously cited Bard for the issues. Questions arose as to the level of adherence to Quality System Regulations, notably this misclassification of serious IVC filter injuries and deaths as “device malfunctions.”

NBC News investigated Bard IVC filters, and questioned Bard’s internal process to clear its IVC filters for market. A company insider revealed that the FDA failed to approve one application for the device. After that misfire, Bard recruited a regulation specialist to help it gain the necessary clearance with the federal agency. The specialist ultimately was concerned about the safety of the IVC filters and refused to sign the application paperwork. An allegation of the forgery of her signature on the documents was later levied.

Raizner Slania, Handling Bard IVC Filter Injury and Death Claims Nationally

If you or somebody you know had an IVC filter implanted, you may have a legal claim and can potentially reach an IVC filter lawsuit settlement. Contact the experienced defective medical device lawyers of Raizner Slania for a free and confidential consultation about your concerns.

London

Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Property Insurance Lawyer

  • Why Should I Hire A Lawyer?

The law can be complicated, especially with regard to an area as specific as property insurance. Your claims may very well lead to a court case, and it is not a good idea to represent yourself in court against a well-funded, extremely experienced insurance defense attorney. Hiring a lawyer can also increase the amount an insurance company is willing to pay because their risk of losing in court becomes greater when you have a property insurance lawyer on your side. Insurance companies have large and experienced armies of lawyers, experts, and insurance adjusters. Unfortunately, their marching orders are often to pay the minimum amount on all claims, and to deny claims whenever possible. If you stand to lose a lot of money due to business interruption or extensive repairs to commercial property, among other issues, you should hire a lawyer.

  • How Long Have You Been In Practice?

The number of years a lawyer has been in practice will directly affect the amount of experience he or she has. Jeff Raizner has practiced law for 23 years, almost all of that time successfully handling claims against all major international insurance carriers. Many less experienced lawyers have entered the property insurance practice arena, offering lower fees and other promises; but, these attorneys may not have the experience needed to get you the most money possible for your claims. Jeff Raizner, Andrew Slania, and their team of attorneys represent clients in complex insurance disputes nationwide. Mr. Raizner is an active member of the Texas Association of Public Insurance Adjusters and the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters.  He also regularly writes and speaks on insurance law issues across the country.

  • Have You Handled This Type Of Case Before? If So, How Many Cases?

Raizner Slania has handled thousands of both commercial and residential property damage insurance cases throughout Texas and across the country. Be sure to ask any lawyer you speak to how many cases like yours they have handled before and if they won.

  • Do You Have Trial Experience?

Almost all of Raizner Slania’s clients are involved in active litigation. Mr. Raizner himself has appeared in litigation on behalf of clients thousands of times for insurance-related issues. Litigation means that a trial is always on the horizon; therefore, our lawyers work up our cases always with an eye toward trial.

  • Have You Ever Been Accused Of Professional Misconduct?

In Texas, you do not have to be a client to file a grievance. Anyone can report allegations of professional misconduct or problems with a lawyer.  None of the attorneys at Raizner Slania have been reported to the State Bar of Texas for grievance issues. Some reasons that lawyers you interview may have been reported for misconduct include a lack of communication with the client, a failure to appear in court for a hearing, missing case-related deadlines, and/or failing to pay the client his/her portion of the case proceeds If you are in Texas and you have questions about the grievance process, call the Grievance Information Helpline at (800) 932-1900.

  • How Much Do I Pay In Attorneys Fees?

Since you are hiring a property insurance lawyer to help you recover financial damages, it is important to ask how much of your recovery the lawyer will be taking as a fee. There are many different options for legal fee structuring. While under the law, insurance companies are obligated to pay all attorney’s fees and costs if your lawyer wins the case, regardless, you will not have to pay us any attorney’s fees or costs unless and until we recovery money for you. Our firm handles cases on what is called a “contingency fee” basis. In a contingent fee arrangement, the lawyer agrees to accept a fixed percentage of the client’s recovery. If the client wins the case, the lawyer’s fee comes out of the money awarded to the client. If the client loses the case, neither the client nor the lawyer will get any money, but the client will not be required to pay the attorney for the work done on the case.

  • How Do I Know When During The Claims Process I Should Hire A Property Insurance Lawyer?

You should look at hiring an insurance lawyer as early as possible in the claims process; however, a good marker of time to go by is when and if your claim is denied. When an insurance company denies your claim for property damage, it means that the company does not agree with what you have alleged in your claim. Try to get as detailed of a response as possible as to why your claim was denied so that you can take this information in with you to meet with lawyers. After the initial denial, insurance companies often have administrative hearings and appeals internally that must take place before a lawsuit can be filed.

Public Adjuster

What is the Difference Between an Independent Adjuster and a Public Adjuster?

 

If you have suffered significant damage to your home or business, the first step in the insurance claims process may be to identify who can help you. If you are looking for an adjuster to help you with your insurance claim, the difference between an independent adjuster and a public adjuster can be very confusing. The professional roles these two play in the claims process are quite opposite.

Independent Adjusters

An independent adjuster sounds like exactly what it’s not. This type of adjuster is not in fact independent in any way, and works under contract for an insurance company. Their job is to represent their employer, only looking out for the rights of the insurance carrier. An independent adjuster does not and cannot work on behalf of an individual insurance policyholder. The stated goal of independent adjusters is to promote the general welfare of the insurance industry.

Independent adjusters are paid by insurance companies to adjust the claim on their behalf. They maintain a license that only allows them to work for an insurer and not for an insured. Insurance companies keep staff adjusters in-house and/or contract with independent adjusters to handle certain claims.

Public Adjusters

Public adjusters hold public insurance licenses to work for policyholders only. Currently, 44 states and the District of Columbia have a statutory and/or regulatory setup to license public adjusters. Public adjusters work exclusively for policyholders and do not work for insurance companies or have any ties to insurance companies.

Claimants hire public adjusters to help document, expedite, file their claim, and to assist them through the entire claims process. A public adjuster can help ensure that the appraisal of residential or commercial property is appropriate for the damage sustained. So why doesn’t every insurance claimant hire a public adjuster? The cost of hiring outside experts like public adjusters is an added financial burden borne entirely by an already financially strapped policyholder. Most public adjusters charge a fee equal to 10% of the value of the claim, and a good one can easily make up that difference.

Raizner Slania Has Relationships With Adjusters Across The Country

Our attorneys have years of experience examining insurance policies to determine the intricacies of various forms of coverage to determine what our clients may be owed. Insurance companies can be resistant to their policyholders’ claims. If you are facing an insurance company who is denying your claim or not giving you the full compensation you are owed under your policy, contact Raizner Slania today.

Houston Hailstorm

Houston Hailstorm 2016

The first severe weather watch of 2016 was issued on Friday, January 8 for parts of Texas and Louisiana. Numerous severe thunderstorms produced large hail in southeastern Texas late Friday afternoon and into Friday night. Strong storms blew through Houston, bringing with them unexpected hail. Much of the hail was unusually large, some as large as tennis balls, and property damage has been reported across the city and in surrounding areas. Local news outlets shared photos and videos of the hail sent in by viewers across the greater Houston area, and as far away as League City and Huntsville. Harris County and several other Texas counties remained under a thunderstorm watch until late that night.

A few of the hailstorms reached southwestern and central Louisiana with hail up to the size of Ping-Pong balls late Friday evening. Strong thunderstorm winds downed trees in the Bossier and Bienville parishes of northern Louisiana.

All insurance claims are subject to crucial filing deadlines and critical steps you must take early in the claims process to protect your legal rights and ensure your claim has the best chance of receiving the greatest amount of money.

Raizner Slania, Houston Hailstorm Lawyers

Hailstorms have destroyed property across America. Were you a victim of the recent Houston hailstorm? If so, let us fight aggressively on your behalf to get you all the money you deserve.

Insurance companies know many of their customers lack the knowledge and experience to fight back when their property damage claims are denied. Many of our lawyers have represented insurance companies in the past, and this experience gives us valuable insight into how your insurer conducts its business. Insurance litigation is what Raizner Slania does. We have helped homeowners and business owners across the country when their property has been destroyed or severely damaged by events completely beyond their control.

If an insurance carrier acts in bad faith, we will help you take legal action. If your property damage claims have been delayed, underpaid, or denied, contact Raizner Slania, Houston hailstorm insurance lawyers, today. We are litigation professionals who know the insurance business and how to protect your rights.

GuideOne

Mount Pleasant Business Insurance Claim Denial Lawsuit

Our client, a Mt. Pleasant hotel owner and operator, has filed an insurance claim denial suit against GuideOne National Insurance Claims and Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London, in The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Texarkana Division. The lawsuit stems from claims the local business filed against its insurance companies for damages sustained in a hail storm, which were not properly paid according to Texas law.

A March 28, 2014 hail storm caused serious damage to the commercial property, including the roof, windows, exterior, interior, ceilings, furnishings, and more. A subsequent October 12, 2014 windstorm further damaged the property. Immediately following each weather event, our client filed its claims pursuant to its GuideOne insurance policy and its Underwriters policy.

GuideOne, a foreign company, assigned James Stafford to handle its insurance adjustment. Underwriters, a foreign company, assigned Adam Brenner to handle its insurance adjustment. The insured contends that no competent consultants or adjusters were assigned to objectively evaluate the damage. The only adjusters assigned to evaluate the insurance claims prepared damages estimates and the insurers agreed to cover the losses. This assertion, however, later turned out to be a misrepresentation.

The complaint alleges that GuideOne, Underwriters, and the individual adjusters wrongfully denied and underpaid our client’s’ claims for building repairs under the policy and that the adjusters wrongly misrepresented that some damages and losses were not covered under the policies when they were. The adjusters and insurers delayed the claims process and the insurance providers refused to issue further payments under the policy, which our client claims has caused them serious financial harm.

Insurance Claim Denial Lawyers Seek Damages For Bad Faith

Our local business owner client cites numerous violations of the Texas Insurance Code, mostly involving the failure to act in a timely manner to initiate an investigation and to reasonably settlement their claims. The allegations also include that the other parties acted in bad faith by misrepresenting the insurance policy and by making misleading statements about several aspects of the claim. They also allege breach of contract, breach of duty of bad faith and fair dealing, as well as the Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act (DTPA).