The construction industry is one of the most dangerous industries for workers, and construction accidents account for many of the catastrophic injuries workers face. Construction job sites often contain heavy machinery, hazardous jobs, and sharp tools. Construction workers are more likely to work at great heights, putting them at risk of falling and suffering catastrophic injuries. Catastrophic injuries in construction accidents range from being crushed by a heavy machine to touching a live wire and suffering electrocution. Read more
This is a question that I am often asked particularly after a car accident. Medical payments coverage which is often referred to as “medpay” is offered by your insurance company in different delineations typically $1,000.00, $5,000.00, $10,000.00, etc. Compared to other policy premiums, medpay is relatively inexpensive.
Why use Medpay?
Medpay’s purpose is to pay for your medical bills resulting from an accident. There are several reasons to purchase medpay.
- First, it is not expensive.
- Second, it acts either as an excellent supplement to ever increasing healthcare costs such that you can pay for your deductible, co-pay, etc. and receive reimbursement for same.
If you do not have health insurance, it can be used to pay for all of your medical bills up to the amount of the medical payments coverage.
Is there any downside to medpay?
Not that I see. Rarely, an insurance company will asked to be reimbursed from any settlement. However, an experienced lawyer can address that during the settlement of the case and it should be resolved without any reimbursement whatsoever. See O.C.G.A. § 34-24-56.1.
Medpay is an excellent product and an excellent supplement to any health insurance policy. If you do not have health insurance, it is even more important to have medpay. Talk with your agent, determine how much medpay coverage is reasonable to get and I always suggest that you have at least $5,000.00 but I have seen clients with up to $50,000.00 in medpay benefits. They have been greatly protected while allowing them to seek the healthcare they need.
Can my lease prevent me from filing a negligent security case?
Most apartments use standard leases which have provisions that they may use to try to prevent you from filing a lawsuit for landlord liability if your loved one has been sexually assaulted, shot, murdered, etc. These are often referred to as exculpatory clauses. Exculpatory evidence is favorable to the defendant in a criminal trial, which is why landlords prefer them, hoping it will except them from landlord liability claims or lawsuits.
Although the insurance carrier’s lawyer will often use these in an effort to defeat a claim, the Georgia Supreme Court has held that such clauses are unenforceable as they are against public policy.
Negligent Security vs. a Place to Live
We have all rented apartments and know the drill. Typically, there is an inexperienced leasing agent who simply asks you to “check here, check here” through multiple lease documents. It is rare that anyone reads the lease and even rarer that it is explained to you. In fact, most people will say that the leasing agent presses you to simply sign and move forward with the other documents that need to be signed.
So what happens if you have a claim or need a lawyer, but you signed the lease?
First, don’t panic. Any exculpatory clause is likely unenforceable against you, but nonetheless, the insurance carrier may tell you otherwise. Second, speak to an experienced negligent security lawyer who handles cases involving the negligence of an apartment, mall or other business with insufficient security. That lawyer will likely explain to you the likelihood that such clauses are unenforceable.
Do you still have to sign the lease??
That decision will always be yours and certainly whether or not the apartment will allow you to enter into a lease without that specific provision is doubtful. However, an apartment owner cannot abolish their own duty to keep the premises safe through a lease. The landlord has a duty under Georgia law to keep the premises safe for you, or suffer landlord liability. Certainly, we all understand all crime in all places cannot be prevented. However, an apartment and its management company should do everything reasonable to keep it safe for you. Simply putting in a provision in a lease cannot allow them to escape liability!