Category Archives: Uncategorized

PREVENTING CHRISTMAS TREE FIRES

TOP FIVE CHRISTMAS TREE SAFETY TIPS

  1. Do not allow the tree to dry out;
  2. Use only single extension cords;
  3. Turn off the lights when you go to bed;
  4. Use UL approved lights and cords;
  5. Make sure lights have  cracked lamps or frayed cords

Fires Due to Christmas Trees

In January of 2015, tragedy stuck a family near Washington DC.  It happened when a  15-foot Christmas tree became dried out and  powered a massive mansion fire that killed Maryland  grandparents and four of their young grandchildren. Although other family members advised authorities that the family had intended  to remove the tree from the house the day after the fire, it was too late. Instead, wiring that was underneath the dried-out Christmas tree powered a fire that spread so quickly the family couldn’t escape.

Reports show that between the years of 2013and 2017, U.S. fire departments responded to an average 160 home fires that started with Christmas trees per year. These fires caused an average of three deaths, 15 injuries, and $10 million in property damage yearly. On average, one of every 52 reported home fires that began with a Christmas tree resulted in a death, compared to an average of one death per 135 total reported home fires. Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 44% of home Christmas tree fires. In one-quarter (25%) of the Christmas tree fires, some type of heat source, such as a candle or equipment, was too close to the tree. One-fifth (21%) of Christmas tree fires were intentional.  Roughly three-quarters of Christmas tree fires occurred in December or January. Two of every five (39%) home Christmas tree fires started in the living room. It is a sad reality that the holidays bring hidden dangers that we need to be aware of and protect our families against.  https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Seasonal-fire-causes/Winter-holidays/Holiday-fires-by-the-numbers

Fortunately, through the use of due diligence and following the safety tips of the experts, many of these accidents can be avoided.  At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq., TheOneLawyer.com, we are committed to providing information and expert advice to help our readers keep their families safe all year round and avoid the perils of the Holiday season.  By reading this blog, you will gain valuable information and tips that many of us don’t even think about to keep you and your loved ones safe during the holiday season. As an accident injury attorney in Henderson and Las Vegas for the past 18 years, I have seen a lot of tragedies that could have been avoided.  Although we are available 24/7 to help injured victims, at TheOneLawyer.com, we are also committed to helping prevent tragedies and keep our clients and readers healthy to enjoy the Holiday season. As a direct result of so many Holiday accidents, the experts have provided the recommendations herein to keep people safe.

The NFPA and other fire departments recommend make the following safety recommendations to prevent Holiday tragedies: 

  • Make sure string lights have no loose connections, cracked lamps or frayed cords.
  • Use only a single extension cord that can reach your home’s outlet without being too long and being tangled.
  • Use UL-approved lights and cords.
  • Make sure lights are off when you go out and before you turn in for the night.
  • Make sure all outdoor light connectors are away from metal rain gutters and off the ground.
  • Never use candles to light or decorate a tree.
  • To lessen the chance of a fire hazard, purchase a freshly cut tree.
  • Make sure to keep your tree at least three feet away from any heat source.
  • Water the tree every day, and remove it from your home after Christmas or once it becomes dry. 
  • Don’t burn Christmas tree branches or wrapping paper in your fireplace.
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that could burn. 

              Christmas trees aren’t the only item you’ll need to be careful with. The D.C. police also reported that two out of every five home decoration fires are started by candles. The four most common days for candle fires are Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, police said. 

  The National Christmas Tree Association is the professional trade association representing farmers and sellers of Christmas Trees throughout North America. NFPA estimates that Christmas trees, both natural and artificial, were the item first ignited in an estimated average of two hundred and fifty reported home structure fires per year during 2003-2007. These fires caused an estimated fourteen civilian deaths, twenty six civilian injuries, and $13.8 million in direct property damage per year. These estimates are based on data from the U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFA’s) National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) and the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA’s) annual fire department experience survey.

During the same period, holiday lights and other decorative lighting with line voltage were involved in an estimated average of one hundred seventy  home structure fires per year. These fires caused seven civilian deaths, seventeen civilian injuries, and $7.9 million in direct property damage per year.  In order to keep you and your loved safe, our staff at TheOneLawyer.com urge you to follow the following safety measures which are listed by The National Safety Council:  

Christmas Trees

  • Try to select a fresh tree by looking for one that is green. The needles of pines and spruces should bend and not break and should be hard to pull off the branches. On fir species, a needle pulled from a fresh tree will snap when bent, much like a fresh carrot. Also, look for a trunk sticky with sap.
  • Cut off about two inches of the trunk and put the tree in a sturdy, water-holding stand. Keep the stand filled with water so the tree does not dry out quickly.
  • Stand your tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Make sure the tree does not block foot traffic or doorways.
  • If you use an artificial tree, choose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant. Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label.
  • An average of 210 home structure fires begin with Christmas trees and result in 24 fire deaths, 27 fire injuries and $13.3 million in property damage.

Tree lights

  • Only use indoor lights indoors (and outdoor lights only outdoors). Look for the UL label. Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Replace or repair any damaged light sets.
  • Also, use no more than three light sets on any one extension cord. Extension cords should be placed against the wall to avoid tripping hazards, but do not run cords under rugs.
  • Turn off all lights on trees and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house.

Tree ornaments

  • Always use the proper step stool or ladder to reach high places.
  • Read labels before you use materials that come in jars, cans and spray cans.
  • Never place lighted candles on a tree or near any flammable materials.
  • Avoid placing breakable tree ornaments or ones with small, detachable parts on lower branches where small children or pets can reach them.
  • Do not hang popcorn chains and candy canes on the tree when small children are present. They may think that other tree ornaments are also edible.

If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years.  Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers. She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve. Please call our office if you or if a loved one is injured. We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence.  

At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities. They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

          At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt, PC at TheOneLaweyer.com,  we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur. For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury Henderson offices.  TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032. 

What is the difference between CBD and Marijuana

FIVE POINTS ABOUT CBD

  1. CBD and Marijuana come from the same plant.
  2. CBD and Marijuana do not contain the same chemical compound.
  3. Marijuana has THC and is only legal in some states.
  4. CBD has less than .3% percent THC
  5. CBD products with less than .3% THC are legal in all states.

The 2018 Farm Bill greatly expanded the legalization of the Hemp industry.  It allows hemp cultivation broadly and explicitly allows the sale and distribution of hemp-derived products across state lines for commercial or personal uses. It also lifts any restrictions on the sale, transport, or possession of hemp-based products,  as long as these products meet the legal requirements. The Bill places certain restrictions on Hemp production including the following:

First, as referenced, CBD cannot contain more than 0.3 percent THC, per section 10113 of the Farm Bill. Any cannabis plant that contains more than 0.3 percent THC would be considered non-hemp cannabis—or marijuana—under federal law and would thus face no legal protection under this new legislation.

Second, there will be significant, shared state-federal regulatory power over hemp cultivation and production. Under section 10113 of the Farm Bill, state departments of agriculture must consult with the state’s governor and chief law enforcement officer to devise a plan that must be submitted to the Secretary of USDA. A state’s plan to license and regulate hemp can only commence once the Secretary of USDA approves that state’s plan. In states opting not to devise a hemp regulatory program, USDA will construct a regulatory program under which hemp cultivators in those states must apply for licenses and comply with a federally-run program.  This system of shared regulatory programming is similar to options states had in other policy areas such as health insurance marketplaces under ACA, or workplace safety plans under OSHA—both of which had federally-run systems for states opting not to set up their own systems.

Third, the law lists actions that are determined to be violations of federal hemp law (including such activities as cultivating without a license or producing cannabis with more than 0.3 percent THC). The law details fines and jail sentences for such violations, but also outlines pathways for violators to become compliant.  The law also lists which activities qualify as felonies under the law, such as repeated offenses.

Although the Farm Bill legalizes hemp, it doesn’t create a system in which people can grow it as freely as they can grow tomatoes or basil. However, many states haves systems in place.   Hemp will be a regulated crop in the United States for both personal and industrial production but if you are interested in growing it, consult your state department of agriculture. In most states where Marianna is legal, getting a hemp (non-THC) growing license is not that difficult.

So now that we’ve established these come from the same plant, what is CBD?

CBD is one of the many chemical compounds in a class called “cannabinoids” that naturally occur in cannabis plants. While THC has been the long known form of cannabinoids due to its ability to get us high, CBD is a rapidly rising star for its capacity to deliver mental and physical benefits without the munchies, paranoia, or legal consequences.

Although the FDA has not approved CBD for a specific use with the exception of an epilepsy drug recently approved,  users of CBD reported benefits including relief from anxiety, joint pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, menstrual cramps, insomnia, nausea, seizures, bowel inflammation, and plain old moodiness. Today, adults in more than half of US states (and 16 countries worldwide) have legal access to marijuana for medical purposes, and it’s been legalized for recreational use in nine states, plus Washington, DC. As marijuana continues making its’ way into the mainstream, CBD has emerged as an easy entryway for those who want to take advantage of the wellness benefits of plant, without the effects of THC.

CBD has come out in many forms in recent months.  It’s come out in lotions, oils, bath bombs, edibles, gels and almost any form you can think of for use. The methods of consuming CBD are unlimited.  CBD also comes in soft gel capsules, droppers, and sublingual sprays.  In more than 20 countries outside the US, one such spray is prescribed to multiple sclerosis patients who suffer from muscle spasms and stiffness.

How CBD works

“Yu-Fung Lin, an associate professor of physiology and membrane biology at the University of California-Davis School of Medicine, teaches a course on the physiology of cannabis. She says although CBD is not considered to be psychotropic—meaning it won’t alter our perception of reality or produce a feeling of euphoria—it’s still working on our brains. CBD doesn’t activate our brains’ cannabinoid receptors in the same manner as THC, but it does target a wide variety of proteins in the brain and nervous system that regulate cell activities all over the human body. By interacting with the brain’s signaling systems in various ways, it can provide relief from pain, anxiety, and nausea. Beyond our brains, says Lin, CBD may benefit our bones and immune systems and work broadly throughout the body as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, which may help protect cells from damages associated with neurodegenerative diseases.”               

With these sorts of benefits, there’s an increasing market for CBD—and readily willing suppliers promising miraculous results. “CBD can be used to relieve multiple symptoms,” says Lin. “But you need to know what you are getting.”

https://health.ucdavis.edu/physiology/faculty/lin.html

CBD vs. Marijuana

CBD products made from industrial hemp, which contains almost no THC (less than 0.3% in the US), are legal in all 50 US states. While many users report benefits of hemp-derived CBD—not the least of which is legality—some experts say a little THC helps CBD work in the body; that cannabis’ chemical compounds work better in tandem than in isolation.

This is often called the “entourage effect,” or as Lester Grinspoon, a psychiatrist and professor emeritus at Harvard Medical School calls it, the “ensemble effect.” “It’s a mixture of CBD, cannabidiol, THC, and the phytochemicals, the terpenoids,” Grinspoon tells High Times. “You need all three of them to get the best therapeutic effect.” For this reason, Grinspoon, Lin, and many others say that the best source for therapeutic CBD is a plant with all of its cannabinoids intact. https://www.safeaccessnow.org/cannabinopathic_medicine_lester_grinspoon_m_d_s_new_coinage

Hemp research remains important

 

One of the goals of the 2014 Farm Bill was to generate, promote  and protect research into hemp. The 2018 Farm Bill continues this effort. Section 7605 re-extends the protections for hemp research and the conditions under which such research can and should be conducted. Further, section 7501 of the Farm Bill extends hemp research by including hemp under the Critical Agricultural Materials Act. This provision recognizes the importance, diversity, and opportunity of the plant and the products that can be derived from it, but also recognizes an important point: there is a still a lot to learn about hemp and its products from commercial and market perspectives. Yes, farmers—legal and illegal—already know a lot about this plant, but more can and should be done to make sure that hemp as an agricultural commodity remains stable.

https://www.agriculture.senate.gov/2018-farm-bill

If you have a question about CBD, please don’t hesitate to call our office.  We work with clients that manufacture high quality CBD products. We can discuss the legalities of the product and advise where to purchase.

If you or a loved is involved in an accident with someone who is under the influence of Marijuana, call our office immediately.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve, and advise on how to preserve evidence. If you have been in any type of accident and have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our offices today.  At my office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to. Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities. They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.

         At the Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt we are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our offices. The Law Offices of Laura Payne Hunt is a boutique, family owned law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.

INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT? KEEP YOUR FOCUS AND TAKE PICTURES!

 

 

  • Document the damage to the cars by taking photos
  • Document how the accident occurred by taking photos of their location post-accident
  • Document the presence of witnesses by taking photographs of them and getting their names and info
  • Document your injuries by taking photos
  • Document the conditions by taking photos of the scene of the accident.
  • Document the identity of the over driver by taking pictures of them and their vehicle, license, ins. card

 

Laura Hunt Attorney

Of course you hope it never happens, but if you are involved in a car accident–do you know what to do? The immediate aftermath of an accident can be confusing, and our memories are notoriously faulty!
That’s why it’s so important that you keep your focus and protect yourself and your best interests during this chaotic time. Photographing the scene comprehensively in the moments after a wreck is a vital way to do just that.

Photos document damage and injuries in an irrefutable way–they can be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful insurance claim so make sure to take your time (and lots of images).

Knowing what to capture is important. Here are a few tips for you to follow!

Property damage: This is your best chance to capture internal and external damage to all vehicles, objects and buildings as well as damage to the roadways or signs. Once everyone leaves the scene, you won’t be able to prove how much (or little) damage was actually done. Take multiple pictures from many angles! When you think you’ve taken enough, take a few more. Make sure you also capture pictures of any skid marks or debris.

Injuries: Take these photos as soon as it is safe to do so, preferably right after the crash. It’s important to remember that some injuries, like bruises, will not be immediately apparent. Make sure you document them as the days go by.

Traffic signs: This is often overlooked and very important! It can be essential to determining how an accident happened. Is a road sign partially obscured by shrubbery or is it in disrepair or falling down? It might be fixed later, so it’s vital that you chronicle the conditions as they were at the time of the accident.

People at the scene: Make sure you get pictures of all witnesses, police officers, other drivers and passengers and their contact information. You won’t be thinking clearly at the time of the accident, so it’s important that you capture their information with your camera or phone. You or your attorney may need to contact them at a later time.

Beyond that, also get pictures of the make, model and license plate number of all other vehicles. Make sure you get images of the driver’s license, insurance and registration information of the other parties as well. Ask them for their business card and take an image of that too if possible.

Surroundings: Pictures of the damage are key, but context is equally important. Take photos of any businesses in the area. They may have video surveillance cameras that captured the accident and you or your attorney may want to review it.

Don’t forget to activate the time/date stamp on your camera! If you’re using your smartphone these are automatically stored in each photo’s metadata.

Accidents are stressful, and it’s hard to know exactly what you should or shouldn’t do. Use these simple photography guidelines to make sure you have covered all bases before you leave the scene of a crash.

By contacting a personal injury lawyer immediately, you can receive the most money for your damages. At my office, we are experienced to handle all types of automobile injury claims. Having worked for the insurance company as an attorney for nine years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I reviewed thousands of auto accident claims. With extensive experience in the insurance field, I can help you review your coverages to maximize the money you receive.

At the Law Offices of Laura Hunt we are here to help you and your family in the even that accidents and tragedies occur. For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our offices. The Law Offices of Laura Hunt is a family-owned boutique law firm in Henderson that specializes in helping injured people and the community with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, and all types of injury claims. Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868.

ahca are past injuries pre existing conditions?

HOW DOES THE PROPOSED AHCA AFFECT ME IF I HAVE PAST INJURIES FROM AN ACCIDENT?

Note: The AHCA or Trump care was passed by the House on May 4th, 2017 which modifies the ACA (Affordable Care Act aka Obama Care)

Are past injuries counted as pre-existing conditions under the AHCA?

The political battle continues as Republicans attempt another fight to push their proposed healthcare bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), through Congress and then to the President’s  desk.   Millions of Americans who have  pre-existing conditions will be affected. This item of the healthcare bill was a major protection under Obama care and continues to be debated among healthcare lobbyists and politicians.  Personally, I do not understand the debate.  Healthcare coverage that does not cover all of your health needs is really not healthcare at all.  Sadly, not all politicians agree.  But if you, or a loved one, has been in a prior accident and have a pre-existing back, neck, or head injury or any other injury from an accident, this article contains import information for you.  If you disagree with anything in the proposed bill, I urge to voice your concerns to our state legislators.  They can be reached as follows:

Senator Dean Heller
Offices: Las Vegas / Reno / Washington D.C. (addresses)
Phone: 702-388-6605 / 775-686-5770 / 202-224-6244
Fax: 702-388-6501 / 775-686-5729 / 202-228-6753
Email: Online Contact Form

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto

Offices: Las Vegas / Reno / Washington D.C. (addresses)
Phone: 702-388-5020 / 775-686-5750 / 202-224-3542
Fax: 702-388-5030 / 775-686-5757 / 202-224-7327
Email: Online Contact Form

Congresswoman Dina Titus – 1st District of Nevada

Offices: Las Vegas / Washington D.C. (addresses)
Phone: 702-220-9823 / 202-225-5965
Email: Online Contact Form

Congressman Mark Amodei – 2nd District of Nevada
Offices: Elko /  Reno / Washington D.C. (addresses)
Phone: 775-777-7705 / 775-686-5760 / 202-225-6155
Fax: 775-753-9984 / 775-686-5711 / 202-225-5679
Email: Online Contact Form

Congresswoman Jacky Rosen – 3rd District of Nevada
OfficesWashington D.C.
Phone: 202-225-3252
Fax: 202-225-2185
Email: Online Contact Form

Congressman Ruben Kihuen  – 4th District of Nevada
Offices: North Las Vegas / Washington D.C. (addresses)
Phone: 202-225-9894
Fax: 202-225-9783
Email: Online Contact Form

https://www.aclunv.org/en/contact-your-elected-officials

Most civilized countries provide Healthcare for their people.  In fact, the US is one of the few that does not.  It seems obvious that study of the systems in other nations could be precedent for structuring our own system to provide healthcare to all Americans regardless of income.  Most of our allies and even our enemies provide healthcare for their citizens.  Many democratic nations have determined and implemented a system to provide Healthcare to all of their citizens.

Below is a table that lists all nations who provide healthcare to all their citizens regardless of the condition being treated:

Country Start Date of Universal Health Care System Type
Click links for more source material on each country’s health care system.
Norway 1912 Single Payer
New Zealand 1938 Two Tier
Japan 1938 Single Payer
Germany 1941 Insurance Mandate
Belgium 1945 Insurance Mandate
United Kingdom 1948 Single Payer
Kuwait 1950 Single Payer
Sweden 1955 Single Payer
Bahrain 1957 Single Payer
Brunei 1958 Single Payer
Canada 1966 Single Payer
Netherlands 1966 Two-Tier
Austria 1967 Insurance Mandate
United Arab Emirates 1971 Single Payer
Finland 1972 Single Payer
Slovenia 1972 Single Payer
Denmark 1973 Two-Tier
Luxembourg 1973 Insurance Mandate
France 1974 Two-Tier
Australia 1975 Two Tier
Ireland 1977 Two-Tier
Italy 1978 Single Payer
Portugal 1979 Single Payer
Cyprus 1980 Single Payer
Greece 1983 Insurance Mandate
Spain 1986 Single Payer
South Korea 1988 Insurance Mandate
Iceland 1990 Single Payer
Hong Kong 1993 Two-Tier
Singapore 1993 Two-Tier
Switzerland 1994 Insurance Mandate
Israel 1995 Two-Tier
United States Currently yes Insurance Mandated

https://truecostblog.com/2009/08/09/countries-with-universal-healthcare-by-date/

THE QUESTIONS MOST PEOPLE ARE ASKING UNDER THIS BILL ARE:

  • Will Trump care cover pre-existing conditions?
  • If you have a pre-existing condition, how will your health plan change under the proposed bill?

In short, the AHCA does not eliminate coverage for pre-existing conditions. Like the Affordable Care Act, Trump care will require all health insurers to cover people who apply regardless of their medical history.  But there are some key differences in coverage  under Trump care vs. the current law.

Is there a requirement to maintain health insurance or pay a penalty tax?

Answer:  NO. The proposed bill eliminates the tax penalties that the Obama Care (ACA) imposes on nonexempt individuals for not having health insurance, as well as employers with 50 or more full-time workers who do not offer health insurance to their employees.

Do insurance companies have to offer coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions?

Answer: Yes, but it’s complicated!!!  There is a penalty for not having continuous coverage. Under both the ACA and the GOP bill, insurers are not allowed to deny coverage to any person due to health status. Under the proposed GOP bill, they can charge up to a 30% higher premium for one year, regardless of health status, to those potential  insureds who did not have continuous coverage, which is defined in the bill as a lapse of coverage of 63 days or more over the previous 12 months.  What???? That means that if you have a past injury, you’ll pay a lot more.

Will young adults under the age of 26 still be able to remain on their parents’ plans?

Yes. The bill does not affect this provision of the ACA.

Is there still going to be an expansion of Medicaid?

Answer: NO. It will be phased out.  The legislation ends the enhanced match rate for Medicaid expansion for new enrollees starting in 2020. Those insureds already in the program could stay as long as they remain continuously insured under the Medicaid program. States that have not already expanded Medicaid would not be allowed to do so, starting immediately.

States could also require able-bodied Medicaid recipients to work, participate in job training programs or do community service.  Before Obama Care (ACA), Medicaid was available to groups including qualified low-income families, pregnant women, children and the disabled.

Obama care expanded eligibility to all individuals under age 65 who earn up to 138% of the federal poverty level (about $16,643 a year for an individual), but only in states that opted for the expansion. Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have opted in to the expansion, which includes enhanced federal funding, so far. More than 11 million newly eligible adults had enrolled in Medicaid through March 2016, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation of data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Under the Republican health care plan, no new enrollment can occur under this Medicaid expansion after Dec. 31, 2019. States that have yet to opt in to the expansion by that date also will not be able to do so afterward.

Although the bill doesn’t eliminate the Medicaid expansion coverage for those who are enrolled prior to 2020,  if they have a break in coverage for more than one month after Dec. 31, 2019, they won’t be able to re-enroll (unless a state wanted to cover the cost itself).  This is a harsh rule given that if someone is injured and can’t work for a month, they could lose their benefits.  At Hunt Law Offices, we can help injured people from losing their benefits.

The Republican plan includes another significant change to Medicaid. It would cap the amount of federal funding that states can receive per Medicaid enrollee, with varying amounts for each category of enrollee, such as children, and the blind and disabled. Currently, the federal government guarantees matching funds to states for qualifying Medicaid expenses, regardless of cost.  This is an extraordinary change that could adversely affect many families of handicap children and adults by cutting desperately needed benefits.

Are insurers forced to cover certain conditions?

Yes. The bill keeps the essential health benefits requirement under the ACA. Insurance companies would still have to cover 10 health services, including maternity coverage, prescription drugs and mental health care. However, state Medicaid plans are not subject to this requirement after Dec. 31, 2019.

How does the bill affect abortion?

The bill puts a one-year freeze on funding to states for payments to a “prohibited entity,” defined as one that, among other criteria, provides abortions other than those due to rape, incest or danger to the life of the mother.  This directly impacts groups like Planned Parenthood.  It should be noted that additional funding for education, food, daycare, etc. is not mentioned anywhere for births of these children.  Planned Parenthood under Medicaid, currently receives government funding.   Also under the GOP plan, tax credits can’t be used to purchase insurance that covers abortion beyond those three exceptions.

Are there subsidies aka Tax Credits to help people buy insurance?

Answer: YES. There are two types of financial assistance under the ACA: premium tax credits (which would change under the new GOP plan) and cost-sharing to lower out-of-pocket costs (which would be eliminated under the GOP plan).

Under the GOP plan, Premium tax credits would be available to individuals who buy their own coverage on the individual, or nongroup, coverage. But instead of a sliding scale based on income, as under current ACA, the Republican plan’s tax credits are based on age, with older Americans getting more. However, the plan allows insurers to charge older Americans up to five times more than younger people, so this is really not a benefit as the GOP claims.

There are income limits under the GOP bill.  People earning under $75,000, or $150,000 for a married couple, in modified adjusted gross income, get the same, fixed amounts for their age groups — starting at $2,000 a year for those under age 30, increasing in $500 increments per decade in age, up to $4,000 a year for those 60 and older. The tax credits are capped at $14,000 per family, using the five oldest family members to calculate the amount. This new structure would begin in 2020, with modifications in 2018 and 2019 to give more to younger people and less to older people.   Confused yet?  Just wait!!!

For those earning above those income thresholds, the tax credit is reduced by 10% of the amount earned above the threshold. For instance, an individual age 60 or older earning $100,000 a year would get a tax credit of $1,500 ($4,000 minus 10% of $25,000). The ACA tax credits also take into account the local cost of insurance, varying the amount of the credit in order to put a cap on the amount an individual or family would have to spend for their premiums. The Republican plan doesn’t do that. (See this explanation from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation for more on how the ACA tax credits are currently calculated.)

The cost-sharing subsidies available now under the ACA  will be eliminated in 2020 under the GOP plan.  Small-business tax credits would come to an end in 2020.

What does the bill do about  health savings accounts?

The GOP bill  increases the contribution limits for tax-exempt HSAs, from $3,400 for individuals and $6,750 for families to $6,550 and $13,100, respectively.  The GOP plan allows individuals to use HSA money for over-the-counter drugs, something the ACA had limited to only over-the-counter drugs for which individuals had obtained a prescription.

Who Does This Affect?

Both the current law and the Republican proposal primarily impacts the individual market, where 7% of the U.S. population buys its own health insurance. The GOP plan allows a wider span in pricing based on age by allowing Insurers can charge older individuals up to five times as much as younger people, and states can change that ratio. Under Obama Care (the ACA), the ratio was 3:1.

Older Americans do get higher tax credits than younger Americans under the Republican plan, but whether that amounts to more or less generous tax credits than under the ACA depends on other individual circumstances, including income and local insurance pricing. Those with low incomes could do worse under the GOP plan, while those who earned too much to qualify for tax credits under the ACA (an individual making more than $48,240) would get tax credits.

I  urge you to review the Kaiser Family Foundation’s interactive map to see how tax credits may change, depending on your individual circumstances. “Generally, people who are older, lower-income, or live in high-premium areas (like Alaska and Arizona) receive larger tax credits under the ACA than they would under the American Health Care Act replacement,” KFF says. “Conversely, some people who are younger, higher-income, or live in low-premium areas (like Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Washington) may receive larger assistance under the replacement plan.”

Which ACA taxes go away under the GOP plan?

Many of the ACA taxes would be eliminated.  The bill eliminates all fines on individuals for not having insurance and large employers for not offering insurance. Also, beginning in 2018, for high-income taxpayers, the bill eliminates the 3.8% tax on certain net investment income and the 0.9% additional Medicare tax on earnings above a threshold. That same year, the bill repeals the 2.3% tax on the sale price of certain medical devices and the 10% tax on indoor tanning services. It also eliminates the annual fees on entities, according to the IRS, “in the business of providing health insurance for United States health risks,” as well as fees on “each covered entity engaged in the business of manufacturing or importing branded prescription drugs.”

It reduces the tax on distributions from health savings accounts (HSAs) not used for qualified medical expenses from 20% to 10% and the tax on such distributions from Archer medical savings accounts (MSAs) from 20% to 15%. It lowers the threshold for receiving a tax deduction for medical expenses from 10% to 7.5% of adjusted gross income. And from 2020 through 2024, the bill suspends the so-called “Cadillac tax,” a 40% excise tax on high-cost insurance plans offered by employers.

I urge readers to follow this proposed law and voice your opinions.  It is an integral part of Democracy to be heard.  Being an attorney,  I love protecting people’s rights on a daily basis, including those of my own family and friends.  Following our political process and voicing objections is key to keeping to all of our freedoms alive.

References:

https://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/Universal-Health-Coverage-and-Health-Outcomes-OECD-G7-Health-Ministerial-2016.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_health_care

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/06/heres-a-map-of-the-countries-that-provide-universal-health-care-americas-still-not-on-it/259153/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3633404/

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/NV

http://www.bu.edu/law/files/2016/01/EllisPaper.pdf

 

Accident on Vacation- What to Do

DON’T LET A CAR ACCIDENT WRECK YOUR VACATION

Vacations are best for getting away from everything stressful. You can enjoy the sun and the beach or get away the snowy slopes and fireside hot chocolate, or anything that your family enjoys. Often on vacation, you may try new adventures like jet skiing, snorkeling, snowboarding, or any other type of vacation fun. Unfortunately, we don’t often consider that accidents can happen anywhere, even on vacation.  Armed with information and a few necessities like your family health insurance cards, your auto insurance card (whether you are driving your own car or renting a car) along with shorts and sun block, can reduce stress in the event of an accident.

It’s not something we want to think about when packing for a vacation. It’s likely last thing we want to think about.  However, a couple clicks of your phone and you will not have to think about it again unless it happens. It is important to know your rights and responsibilities while traveling any time, including on vacation.

BEFORE YOU GO, TAKE THE FOLLOWING PHOTOS WITH YOUR PHONE:

  1. Your Family health insurance cards
  2. Lists of any family allergies
  3. Your auto insurance card

Spring break is a great time to take a trip to more open, cooler, prettier places like the beach or the mountains, or a visit with family in old hometowns or living it up on the Las Vegas Strip. Road trips are exciting, and air travel can get us their much quicker, and renting a car can save time.

An accident is likely the last thing on your mind as you prepare for your trip, and not something you want to think about. However, a little bit of knowledge can make a stressful situation, easier and not end a great vacation.  I hope to answer the most important questions you will have if you find yourself in an accident while on vacation. Whether you are driving your own car or renting a vehicle for an out-of-town vacation, the following is a list items you will want to know to be prepared in the event of an accident:

  1. Make sure the police or on-site security is called to the scene immediately. This will likely be your only opportunity to gather critical information.
  2. Take pictures of everything including the people themselves involved, the weather, the cars, the road, driver’s licenses, insurance cards, license plates, witness’s and their vehicles, any traffic signals or signs in place, the location of the accident, any article like a ride that caused injury, the floor in a slip and fall, all signs in the area.
  3. If anyone is injured, get medical help at a hospital or quick care and if you have your own health insurance, use it. Provide the medical provider all of your information and make sure to obtain any records you can while you are there.
  4. Take photos immediately of any injuries sustained such as bruising and lacerations.

TYPES OF CASES HANDLED BY HUNT LAW OFFICES

  • Swimming pool and spa drowning accidents and slip and fall accidents.
  • Injuries due to violence caused by negligent security or inadequate security.
  • Acts of crime by employees leading to injuries including sexual assaults and assault and battery.
  • Vehicle accidents involving transportation companies or rental cars.
  • Accidents on busses and/or public transportation accidents.
  • Accidents resulting from the use of personal watercraft, jet-skis, and water ski accidents.
  • Accidents involving amusement parks, theme park rides and attractions, equipment failure or maintenance accidents at theme parks.
  • Accidents involving hotel escalators and/or elevator accidents and slip and fall accidents.
  • Scuba diving and parasailing accidents resulting from faulty equipment.

Business owners, hotel owners, rental companies, and theme parks owners who cater to vacationers have a responsibility to keep their premises safe for visitors and their attractions working properly. They must provide a safe premises, and protection from dangers. Rides and rental equipment must function as intended. Unfortunately, some vacation destinations and resorts do not pay attention to the safety measures that they are required to implement for the protection of their guests.  Due to this type of negligence, an attorney is often needed to protect your rights.  Laura Hunt, Esq. is dedicated to helping tourists and vacationers injured in accidents, find justice, while visiting Las Vegas and California.  To tell us about your case or concern, please email lhuntlaw@cox.net or call 702-600-0032 24 hours a day and on weekends.

ISSUES OF VACATION ACCIDENTS

Wherever your flight, drive or voyage may take you, an attorney can you help if you’re injured on your journey. The following is important to keep in mind:

  • State Law in Different States– An attorney can Laura Hunt, Esq. can answer questions regarding laws that vary by state including traffic laws, statutes of limitations, helmet laws, floatation device laws, etc.
  • How Does Insurance work Out of State– What happens if you’re in an auto accident in a different state – or country for that matter? What state’s insurance laws do you follow? The answer is usually yes on your own policies with certain exceptions. An experienced attorney can answer these important questions.
  • Rental Cars — With a rental, you will likely need to deal with additional paperwork. As soon as you can, you should contact the rental company and inform them of what happened. Most rental cars are equipped with a sticker in the glove box that has emergency information on it. You will usually be covered on your own auto policy and you also need to contact your own insurance company as soon as possible

WHAT ABOUT GETTING THE CAR FIXED?

To help make things easier, here is are few issues you may be faced with dealing with:

  • Your insurance may advise you to fix your car locally. An insurance company will not want to pay to have your damaged car towed to your home town. If the car is drivable, take the vehicle home for repairs.
  • The body shop may not perform quality work, so double check the work before leaving the shop. If the body shop knows you are not local, they may not give your vehicle the treatment you would receive at your local repair shop. This is why you may want to wait for repairs until you get home. Don’t let a dent ruin a vacation.

 

  • You will be responsible for picking up from the shop when repairs are done. It is not likely that the insurance company will deliver your repaired vehicle back to your home town.

 

  • Obtain a police report. Find out from the officer where the records office is and request it as soon as you get home. It usually takes 10-14 days for them to have the report ready anyway.

 

  • If repairs are necessary, find a facility with a nationwide warranty plan. If you have to have your car repaired before you can drive it home, look for a body shop that has nationwide warranty coverage. By using a body that has nationwide locations, you can avoid a problem when you get home.

 

  • If anyone calls you to take a recorded statement besides your own insurance company, do not provide a recorded statement to them. Sometimes the at fault company will try to call you right away and ask slanted questions and get you to give information that you have not received yet. They will take advantage of your stressed state.

 

Being in an automobile accident is never headache free and being in one while away from home and on vacation is even worse. Hopefully with this information, you will be able to avoid some of the headache that people experience and continue enjoying your getaway.

An accident is frightening and more difficult when you are far from home. If injuries happen, it complicates your vacation and adds stress to the entire family. If you or one of your family members is seriously injured, an attorney can take care of paper work associated with medical bills as well as all the paperwork associated a repair the vehicle.

If you or a loved one have been injured any type of accident while on vacation, an accident that was caused by the negligence of someone else, you should contact an experienced attorney about your case in addition to your insurance or rental car company.  Operators of resorts and theme parks do not always put guest safety first.  Never assume they will act in your best interest if and accident occurs and e proactive.  Follow the steps above to protect you and your loved ones.

Free Initial Legal Consultation – and We Aren’t Paid unless there is a Recovery

Hunt Law Offices has handled hundreds of auto accident, slip and fall cases, catastrophic injury cases, personal injury cases, and have recovered millions of dollars for our injured clients. Laura Hunt’s consultation with potential vacation accident and resort accidents clients is free. If we take your case, we are only paid fees and costs of suit if we are successful in obtaining money for you. We advance the costs of your case, too, so there’s no cost to you of bringing your claim. To tell us about your case or concern, please email us at lhuntlaw@cox.net or call 702-600-0032 24 hours a day and on weekends.

 

 

Is Personal Injury Compensation Possible After an Accident?

shutterstock_146252969

Truck accidents can occur for many reasons. One driver, two drivers or several drivers can be at fault, and personal injury compensation may still be available.

What Happens When a Truck Hits a Car on the Road?

No victim ever expects that a truck will run into the vehicle in which he or she is riding. Nevertheless, more than 130,000 people suffer injuries because of trucks. The trucks that are involved in the incidents include big rigs, semi-trucks, tractor trailers and 18-wheeler vehicles. The accidents occur for a number of reasons. Victims do not always realize that they have the right to contact a truck accident attorney in Las Vegas and ask for assistance.

Whose Fault Is a Truck Accident?

Determining the fault in a trucking accident will require careful examination of the incidents leading up to the accident. A personal injury lawyer will look for obvious signs of neglect by the truck driver or the trucking company. Examples of neglect are drunk driving, distracted truck driving, disobedient driving, truck malfunctions, or an ignored need for vehicle repairs. A judge could find the truck driver or the entire company responsible for a trucking incident.

How Much Compensation Can Someone Get for a Truck Accident?

Because truck accidents affect so many people, the compensation could vary. Truck accidents are some of the most devastating personal injury accidents of them all. The judge will want to look at the victim’s financial losses first. The lawyer will need to present documentation for medical bills, vehicle repairs, lost work wages, physical therapy, psychological assistance and more. Compensatory damages will cover all those areas. Punitive damages are extra monies that a guilty party may have to pay if the judge finds that the accused party was extra negligent. An example of extreme negligence is a truck driver that has a high blood alcohol content.

How Can a Victim Get Help?

An accident victim can get help by calling a law office that has a high success rate. Such an office will usually charge a 25 percent contingency representation fee. The attorney may offer a free consultation, as well. The consultation will reveal some information about the case such as the amount of potential it has

7 Sure-Fire Reasons to Make You Road Rage

In a perfect world, we are the only ones driving on the road. Just yourself, the wheel, and the breeze blowing by your face. Unfortunately this isn’t a prefect world and we are surrounded by loads of people who seem to do everything except pay attention while they drive.

A lego man with an angry face sits behind the wheel of a toy car

Photo by SG

1: When someone forces you to listen to their music at a stop light

It doesn’t get much more irritating than when you’re quietly jamming to Bob Marley and a carload of teens creeps up with their One Dir-Bieber engulfing the sound waves.

2. The stoplight stare-down

There seems to be an unwritten commandment that everyone else follows: Thou shalt make direct eye contact with thy stoplight neighbor, regardless of consent from both parties. Ensuing awkwardness is inevitable.

3. People who insist that the speed limit is for speedsters

The speed limit exists for a reason. It helps keep traffic flowing at a rate that should at least meet those standards. Driving excessively under the speed limit (especially in the fast lane) can be just as dangerous as driving excessively fast. Obey the speed signs, please.

4. Drivers who cut to the front of the merge line

“Hey, I know how to drive in a big city, and the rest of these people are nice farm folk; they’ll let me in at the front.” No they aren’t, and no they won’t. Merge when you’re supposed to, and we’ll all have a good time together. Otherwise, everyone will collectively wish for your tires to fall apart.

5. The parking spot thief

You’ve stalked them as they walk to their car. You wait restlessly for their car to start and their reverse lights to shine. Blinker engaged, you make the move without hesitation. Out of nowhere, a Smart Car sneaks in front of you and poaches your parking spot. Emotionally paralyzed, you can do nothing but make the drive of shame to the end of the parking lot.

6. Blinker fail

Down is left. Up is right. The automobile blinker is a wondrous, simple-to-use tool that you’d actually have to try to avoid while turning the steering wheel. Not only is it a musical instrument (whose tempo always fails to match up to the blinker beat of the car ahead of you), it lets other drivers know where you’re going. It’s the alternative to driver-to-driver telepathy.

7. When it rains, it pours

It seems that rain, even in the warmest of weather, makes people believe they are driving on a sheet of ice. Please don’t brake 300 feet before an intersection, with anticipation that the light might someday turn red. Drive freely, little birdie; it’s only a little water.

It’s amazing (and rather alarming) that most of us are witness to at least one of these “crimes against the road” on a daily basis. Perhaps all it takes from us is to pay a little more attention to the road, and show a bit more courtesy to our fellow drivers. If one of these road-rage inducing incidents results in an accident, and you need an auto accident lawyer in Henderson, call Hunt Law Offices at (702) 450-4868.

5 Things You Wish Your Car Could Do

Americans are getting lazier by the minute.  Good news, though: That means that our cars are getting cooler.  You can get a massage, surf the Internet and stock up a mini-fridge – all from the comfort of your driver’s seat.  Some things are still missing, though.  Here are five things we all wish our cars could do.

car the looks like it is from the 22nd century is admired by onlookers.

Photo by Sonja Stark

1. Cool Your Buns

We have seat warmers for the winter, and they feel absolutely delightful.  What about the scorching summer months when you sit down and the leather leaves third degree burns on your poor little legs?  It hurts for the next week, you do an excessive amount of complaining and nobody’s happy.  Every car needs seat coolers with three temperature settings: “I’m in the 7th Circle”, “I Have a Sweat Mustache” and “It’s Just a Little Stuffy in Here.”

On a similar note, a heating and cooling system for the steering wheel would also be nice.  Gripping with your sleeves works fine…until you actually need to start making driving maneuvers.

2. Talk to You

If you say you don’t talk to yourself while you’re driving, you’re lying.  The “conversation” can range from a quick burst of “I forgot those files!” to a full-on monologue concerning exactly how a thermos is able to keep things both hot AND cold.  (But seriously, how does it do it?)  Point is, it’d be nice if you had someone, or something, to answer you.

3. Go Invisible

We all have to go places where we don’t want to be seen.  Sometimes it’s the third trip through the Del Taco drive-thru on a lonely Friday night, sometimes it’s to slowly creep behind the bad guys because you are out fighting crime. Regardless of your reason, an invisible option on your car would be pretty cool.

4. Door Ding Deflectors

Your car starts to lose its value as soon as you drive it off the lot. Never mind the fact that you will probably park next to a horrible human being that has no concept of space (or physics) the day after you purchase your it. Enter: door ding.

I’ve named this hypothetical device “Door Ding Reflectors.”  Every time ANYONE gets close to opening his/her car door into your car door, a tiny person will run out and punch him/her in the shin.  Problem solved.

5. Sonar

Do you live in the northwest where it rains 25/7?  What if there existed a method for measuring the depth of water?  OH WAIT.

Unless your car magically turns into a submarine, you might be better off staying away from the roads.  Use your vehicle’s built-in sonar to determine whether or not you’re down for braving the commute to work.

Unfortunately, there are no plans for these features to be added to cars anytime in the near future. In the time being, if you’re in an accident in your normal, not quite as cool car and you need an auto accident attorney in Henderson, call Hunt Law Offices at (702) 450-4868.

What you Should NEVER do After a Car Accident in Las Vegas

two cars crashing“I want to go out and get into a car accident today.” These are not words anyone ever says or thinks about. After all, car accidents are scary and they are expensive. Between the medical bills and the repair bills, most people cannot afford to get into an automobile accident.

Due to the fact that an automobile accident is something no one ever wants to happen, most people do not bother thinking about how to prepare for an automobile accident either. More importantly than just hiring a car accident attorney in Las Vegas, you need to know what you shouldn’t do after a car accident as well.

Leave the Scene of the Accident

Easily the biggest mistake an individual can make after being in an accident is leaving the scene of an accident. Even if you are in an accident that does not seem like a big deal, the last thing you should do is drive away. You need to pull over, exchange information, and make sure the other driver is alright. If the other driver seems hostile, stay in your car and call 911.

Decide Not to Call 911

If you end up deciding later that you want to file an insurance claim to get the dent on your car fixed, you are going to regret deciding not to call 911. A police report stating what happened can only be filed if you call the police to the scene.

You make some sort of agreement with the other driver and then later you get a phone call from an insurance company telling a very different story than what actually happened. Calling the police is about protecting yourself.

Getting Emotional

The last thing you want to do is get angry or upset when you get in an accident, especially towards the other driver. Even if you are 100 percent certain the accident was their fault, chances are pretty good they feel bad about it. There is no reason to shout at them.

When you approach the other driver, you only really need to ask them one thing. Are they alright? Yelling at them or telling them it was all their fault is not going to change anything. It certainly is not going to make the accident go away.

You also do not want to fight with the other driver if they are hostile or losing their cool. Just sit in your car and wait for the cops.

A Helpful Guide to Handling your Insurance Company after a Las Vegas Auto Accident

las vegas car crashThe unthinkable has happened. You’ve been in an automobile accident. Now what happens? The first steps are fairly simple. Move your car out of the way (if possible), see if anyone has been injured, call 911, snap a few pictures, and exchange contact information with anyone who saw what happened. Eventually calling your insurance company makes that list.

The question is: what happens when your insurance company calls you?

How to Deal with the Insurance Company

Even if you have gone through the motion of hiring a Las Vegas auto accident attorney, you are still going to have to exchange words with the insurance company. At some point in time, you will need to give a formal statement about what happened. Giving the wrong kind of statement can end up hurting your chances of getting any financial compensation.

When you talk to the insurance company for the first time, they are going to collect personal information. They are going to ask you a few questions:

  • Where is your car right now?
  • Did your car get damaged?
  • How did the accident happen?
  • Did anyone get injured?

Each of these questions need to be answered to the best of your ability. You need to make sure you are supplying the insurance company with honest answers. Eventually, someone will find out if you lie about how the accident happened.

Your insurance company is going to want to know where your vehicle is because if it was damaged and it is at a tow yard, they are going to want to move it. They want to move it to one of their body shops. This will make the repair bill that they have to pay cheaper.

That is Not the Battle You Want to Fight

If the insurance company wants to more your car or tow your car to a certain auto shop, just let them do it. This means that chances are pretty good that they are going to foot the bill.

You have the right to tell them not to record your statements given on the phone. They are required to ask you if they can record. You do have the right to say no. It is a good idea to talk to the Las Vegas auto accident attorney that you have hired before you may any sort of agreements with or statements to your insurance company. Your attorney would be more than happy to speak to your insurance company for you.