When is the best time to begin orthodontics?
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that all children see an orthodontist by age seven and sooner if something is obviously wrong before age seven. Fortunately, many young patients don’t need anything more than observation while the permanent teeth are growing into place, however, some young patients may have problems that will not, or should not wait. Most orthodontic problems are inherited and cannot be totally prevented however something can usually be done before these problems become more difficult and more expensive to manage. It is advisable to consult with an orthodontist prior to having your dentist remove any baby teeth or permanent teeth. To ensure the best overall dental and facial development all patients should have an orthodontic consultation sometime between the ages of three and seven. By age 7, the first permanent molars and incisors have usually come in and cross-bites, crowding and protrusions can be evaluated. The orthodontist can identify current or anticipated future dental problems and determine the best time for treatment. Any ongoing oral habits can also be evaluated at this time such as thumb sucking, mouth breathing, or finger sucking.
What are the benefits of early treatment?
If there are obvious problems which exist that could be intercepted or prevented from getting worse your orthodontist may advise you to have your child undergo a First stage-Orthopedic Treatment. Orthodontic treatment can be initiated on many types of bite problems before all of the permanent teeth are present. Orthopedic treatment is necessary in many cases when the child’s teeth, lips or jaws don’t look normal for their age. Some reasons from considering orthopedic treatment are to:
Minimize severe malocclusions
Improve facial appearance and self-esteem
Correct functional problems
Minimize the effects of abnormal growth patterns
Reduce protrusion so that front teeth are less susceptible to injury
Reduce the need for or minimize the number of permanent teeth extracted
Reduce a serious mismatch in the growth of the upper and lower jaws
Eliminate adverse habits such as thumb/finger sucking
Make the treatment with braces easier and shorter
Do You Have To Fight The Insurance After An Accident
We pay insurance premiums in order to have a safeguard if we are ever involved in a car accident. But, how many times do we hear of insurance companies trying to get away with not releasing benefits?
If you are involved in an Texas truck accident, it is important to know what benefits you are entitled to. It is important to have an experienced Atlanta injury attorney advocating for you against the big insurance conglomerates. Our attorneys understand what it needs to get you the benefits you have paid for.
Vann v. Mercury is a recent truck accident case out of New Jersey. The case arose where the plaintiff, Richard Vann (plaintiff), was driving a truck for a company named Vann Trucking which was owned and operated by his father. Plaintiff was on his way to pick up a trailer to hitch to the truck. While the plaintiff was parked on a service road near Philadelphia, a train struck the truck. The plaintiff suffered injuries to his lower back, shoulders, neck and head.
At the time of this accident, plaintiff had an insurance policy with Mercury Indemnity Company (defendant) for his two personal vehicles. As part of plaintiff’s insurance policy with the defendant, he had coverage in the form of personal injury protection (PIP) and med-pay benefits. As the defendant points out, there were exclusions to the benefit payout.
Vann Trucking had a commercial insurance policy with National Independent Truckers Insurance Company (National). This commercial policy was for the truck being driven by the plaintiff. The problem arose because the commercial policy did not provide PIP or med-pay benefits.
In an attempt to seek additional benefits for medical care, plaintiff entered a claim with his personal insurer for med-pay benefits. This claim was rejected and the defendant cited that the “regular use” exclusion in the policy was applicable to the claim.
Most regular use clauses stipulate that the insurance company will pay medical expense benefits to an insured who suffers a bodily injury caused by an accident arising from the use, maintenance or ownership of an insured’s automobile. Additionally, the policy in this case adds that they will provide coverage for medical benefits for the insured where the insured is using a vehicle not owned by him, and not normally used by the insured. Essentially, if the insured regularly uses the vehicle not owned or insured by him, and is involved in an accident, the med-pay coverage benefits are excluded and the insured cannot collect.
Basically, insurance companies want to protect themselves from having to pay out benefits to the insured where the insured is regularly using a vehicle that is not under the policy. The purpose of this is to encourage people to insure each vehicle they have regular access to. Under this policy with the exclusion provision, the insurance company will only extend benefits where the insured is injured in a vehicle on the policy or where the accident occurred in a vehicle that the insured is infrequently driving.
The court agreed with the insurance company because case precedent on this issue has found that exclusionary clauses like the one at issue here, apply to cases where the insured is using another vehicle for work.
Thus the plaintiff in this case could not collect med-pay benefits. Summary judgment was entered on behalf of the insurance company.
Car Accident Lawyers are in the Know
Auto accident attorneys in Texas know there’s something special about car accidents. Article 51 of the Insurance Law says car crash victims have to show they have a serious injury before they can get any money for pain and suffering. What does this all mean?
It means very little when it comes to medical bills, lost wages, and some other relatively minor items. New York No-Fault law guarantees that the injured person will be compensated in these areas. The insurance company for the car you were in should pay for your medical expenses and lost wages. In nearly all cases you will not need a lawyer. While we are starting to see insurance companies unreasonably refuse to pay in some instances, this is still rare. Also, for most of these denials, the amount of money involved is not enough to justify the legal expense. We advise our clients when it comes to any No-Fault denials, and in cases where the problem is substantial, we do represent them. Usually we fight the denial in an arbitration.
The auto accident serious injury threshold is a compromise, in theory at least. Since routine expenses were covered by the personal injury protection line of insurance under No-Fault, liability expenses were supposed to be reduced on the bodily injury liability line. There could be a vigorous debate about whether this compromise was wise or fair, but someone else can write that article.
The standard for what is a serious injury is fairly complicated. There are several categories of serious injury. The most common that we see involve fractures, other injuries that cause a significant limitation, or a substantial amount of time out of work.
You would think the fracture category would be pretty straightforward. In most auto accident cases it is. But there are a few kinds of fractures where it’s not so clear. Court decisions suggest that a fracture of a bone meets the criteria. Fractured cartilage normally will not qualify, and the same is true of a fractured organ. We had one case with a “liver fracture.” Sounds odd, but that’s what the doctors called it. The case settled so we never tested that in Court. The other issue is when is a fracture a fracture? A hairline fracture counts, but a “greenstick” fracture does not.
The significant limitation category has led to hundreds of cases discussing when a limitation is significant, and what the injured person has to prove to show it. The defendant’s attorney will often move for summary judgment to dismiss the case. After having the injured person looked at by their own doctor in an independent medical examination (also known as an IME, and many of us dispute the use of the word “independent”), the defense attorney submits the expert’s report which generally indicates the injured person is fully recovered. Then the plaintiff’s auto accident attorney responds, usually with a report from the treating physician, describing the details of the injury and why it is, or was, significant. If the plaintiff’s response is insufficient, the case often gets dismissed. To avoid this, the evidence must show that the injury was more than mild, minor or slight, and that this is connected to objective findings (like an abnormality on an X-ray or MRI, or in many cases a finding of spasm.
The category about being out of work is known among attorneys as the 90/180 category. This refers to the law which requires that the person be impaired from substantially all of their daily activities for 90 or more days out of the 180 days following the accident. Most of the time this means three months out of work in the six months after the accident happened. Responding to a motion, the plaintiff attorney must show, through medical evidence, that the person had to stay out of work for the three months, and that this was connected to objective medical findings.
For both of the latter two categories, we often win the motion by pointing out a key flaw in the IME. In most cases the IME doctor does not discuss much about the past problems and treatment. We argue that this means the defense did not meet their burden on their motion. They didn’t show the Court that the limitation was not significant, or that the time out-of-work was inappropriate, because the IME doctor doesn’t discuss those issues. In our experience, most judges understand this and keep the case alive.
There are other categories and a number of other complex issues that can come up in car accident cases involving the serious injury threshold, but that’s a good start.