Personal Injuries Chat Archive

Date: August 31, 2006
Host: Alan Garfinkel

View Transcript | Archive Index For All Legal Chats

It's hard enough getting hurt without have to worry about the paperwork behind a personal injury or medical malpractice issue. What's your first step legally? Who do you contact? What should you expect? We know how hard it is to try to sort these things out. Attorney Alan Garfinkel will be available to help you with your questions on August 31st, 8 p.m. Eastern. Mark it on your calendar - this is important information you won't want to miss.

ALAN GARFINKEL is one of the founders of Katzman Garfinkel & Berger, a statewide community association law firm in Florida. Mr. Garfinkel heads the Natural Disaster Law Department at KG & B which is responsible for securing multiple successful Federal Jury verdicts including the largest to date verdict against QBE Insurance Company. A graduate of Florida State University, Mr. Garfinkel is "AV-rated" by Martindale Hubbell (the highest possible rating) and is admitted to the United States Supreme Court, Florida Supreme Court and multiple Federal Courts. Lawyers in his firm are licensed to practice in multiple states including, Alabama, California, Georgia, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Mr. Garfinkel's credentials may be reviewed at

Live Chat Transcript

DeeC: "How is malpractice defined and if you have submitted a complaint to the Medical Board, even if they do not feel there are grounds (on their part) to suspend or take any forms of action, what rights do the patient have and what is the statue of limitations?"

Attorney Garfinkel: "Good evening everyone, I am Alan Garfinkel. Welcome to "Live Chat!!""

Attorney Garfinkel: "Wow. Neena, let's get this thing started. How can I help you?"

neenna66: "sorry about that it would not send my question"

Attorney Garfinkel: "Neena, we are here to help."

Attorney Garfinkel: "Sorry about the problem. What can I assist you with?"

neenna66: "I was injured a little over 1 year ago in a domestic violence assault. I have had initial testing done and dr determined a form of paralysis in my left hand due to this. Former insurance refuses to pay the dr bill (ex husbands insurance)"

Attorney Garfinkel: "It troubles me to hear of this unfortunate incident, Neena. What form of insurance?"

neenna66: "He also will not pay. I am in need of surgery (2 opinions to this effect) and am unable to proceed as I do not have insurance. Who if anyone can I sue for the neurosurgeon testing. Also can I sue my exhusband for the injury? We have a clause in our settlement agreement which states I can but I know how hard these type of cases are to prove"

neenna66: "Health insurance through my ex husbands employer"

Attorney Garfinkel: "Health Insurarance? what was the reason for the denial?"

neenna66: "and my ex husband is the assailant in this case"

Attorney Garfinkel: "Indeed. What was the reason for the denial?"

neenna66: "Because it was an assault and the insurance company told me they would not pay and for me to pursue action against the assailant."

Attorney Garfinkel: "Is it group health?"

neenna66: "yes"

neenna66: "and I am in florida if that helps at all"

neenna66: "I just want to be fixed like I was bfore he assaulted me I don't want extra"

Attorney Garfinkel: "You menation your settlement specifically states you may sue the man. Sometimes, these agreements release all claims, each agaisnt the other. But yours is different?"

neenna66: "yes it specifically mentions tort claims and that either of us may pursue any tort actions against the other"

Attorney Garfinkel: "OK."

neenna66: "my lawyer formt he divorce got that put in specifically because of this injury"

Attorney Garfinkel: "This was contemplated at the time of the dovorce then?"

neenna66: "yesa"

neenna66: "oops yes"

Attorney Garfinkel: "It certainly seems that you could pursue an action for battery i.e an intentional but unwelcome touching that causes injury."

neenna66: "I tried criminal charges but the state was unwilling to pursue it. Would this be a different type of action?"

Attorney Garfinkel: "Indeed. In civil court. You would seek money damages."

Attorney Garfinkel: "Something about the health insurance no paying does not seem right, though. Were you covered at the time of the assault?"

neenna66: "yes I was"

Attorney Garfinkel: "And they told you thre was an exclusion for medical care as the result of an intentional act or tort?"

neenna66: "assault occured Jan 2005, consultation with neurosurgeon was June 2005 and insurance ceased in Aug 2005"

neenna66: "no not until after the charge was submitted"

Attorney Garfinkel: "Do you have the policy?"

neenna66: "I might have it in my pw I was forced to leave a ton of stuff behind running from him"

Attorney Garfinkel: "I see. I'm sorry."

neenna66: "And a suit against him is a long shot correct?"

Attorney Garfinkel: "Why a "long shot". It certainly seems from what you have told me that you have a claim against him."

neenna66: "very few witnesses (most underage) he never did anything in front of any adults"

Attorney Garfinkel: "Is there a contention that you provoked the incident, or that he was acting in self-defense?"

neenna66: "I just dont have a lot of faith in the courts right now because of how things were handled with the criminal end of it"

neenna66: "yes there is"

Attorney Garfinkel: "It seems to me you have a claim. Is he possesses of assets from which you may recover on a judgment?"

neenna66: "But I have a 14 year old, a 12 year old witness to previous abuse incidents (just not this one)"

Attorney Garfinkel: "Excuse me. Does he possess assets?"

neenna66: "yes"

neenna66: "vehicles (several) a house with a large amount of equity"

Attorney Garfinkel: "Sorry for the butchery of our language there."

neenna66: "thats okay"

neenna66: "I only want to be fixed (surgery med bills whatever I need to be right again)"

Attorney Garfinkel: "It seems to me as though you have a claim, based on what we have discussed. Good luck to you."

neenna66: "thanks"

Attorney Garfinkel: "Cspleen: What can we do for you?"

neenna66: "I appreciate your help."

Attorney Garfinkel: "sorry: Cplleen"

Attorney Garfinkel: "You are up?"

Attorney Garfinkel: "Neena: one other thought, I think you mentioned the violent attack happened 'about' a year ago. You will want to act with all due haste, should you decide to act."

Attorney Garfinkel: "Please be patient, faithful audience, as I check our message board for pre-posted queries."

Attorney Garfinkel: "Ok, folks, thanks so much for your patience."

Attorney Garfinkel: "Here we go!!!"

Attorney Garfinkel: "DeeC: "How is malpractice defined and if you have submitted a complaint to the Medical Board, even if they do not feel there are grounds (on their part) to suspend or take any forms of action, what rights do the patient have and what is the statue of limitations?""

Attorney Garfinkel: "Good one, DC."

Attorney Garfinkel: "I think one could define malpractice in many ways, but, generally, I think the concept of "professional negligence" is accurate."

Attorney Garfinkel: "If a professional represents himself, or herself, as having certain skill, and acts in a manner inconsistent with one having that skill, by doing something a peer would not, or perhaps not doing something a peer would, then the individual injured by that action, or inaction, may have acaim."

Attorney Garfinkel: "DC. the statute on a medical malpractice calim is going to vary state to state, but it is generally shorter than other statutes. Additionally, you may have other prerequisites in terms of notice, prior to the filing of a lawsuit."

Attorney Garfinkel: "Jmrei!! sorry, please come back!!"

Attorney Garfinkel: "I'm Alan Garfinkel saying good night, wherever you are! Thanks for joining us in tonight's 'Live Chat'. Please tune in next time. So long everyone!"

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