Next month:
August 2006

What's the last thing a "red neck" says before he dies?

Ok, I was driving in the mountains on the Fourth of July with my family.  We had just come from Brevard, on our way to Hendersonville where I also have an office space.

We look ahead and see this giant truck.  I start laughing after a few seconds.  Too funny!!!  Let's see if you get the joke....

Have you ever heard that joke. the one about the red neck?  Obviously this self proclaimed red neck has.

(click on the photo below to enlarge the license plate that contains the punchline)

Hey_yall Not much is funnier than real life, huh?

If you don't get it, say it out loud, beginning with the words, "Hey, y'all ___"

Chris Nichols

Nichols Law Firm 1.800.906.5984

State Emloyees Lien Statute REVISED!!!(ALMOST)

     Hurray!!!  The NC Teachers & State Employees Lien has moved one step closer to being revised to allow for attorney fees and to limit the scope of the lien.  There bill came out of the Senate technical corrections committee yesterday and can be found here.  Now we have to wait for the house to either give it a thumbs up, or a thumbs down.  That might happen on Monday.

     In the mean time, what will the new bill mean? 1)  The SEHP can never take more than 50% of the GROSS settlement.   2)  The SEHP must then reduce their recovery for "reasonable" attorney fees.  3)  SEHP must also pro-rate with unpaid medical providers and other lien holders.

     Why is this better?  Well before, the SEHP could have taken 100% of any settlement, but they were administratively limiting themselves to 50% of gross, but not reducing for attorney fees.   This mean that in a typical personal injury case, the client only received 15% of the settlement.  NOT FAIR.

     We've been waiting for this bill to pass for a very long time.  I'VE been working to get this bill passed since 2004 when it was enacted.  After a lot of work with NCATL we drafted, redrafted, negotiated, and redrafted, we finally got something passed.  Hurray! 1.800.906.5984

Statute: NC Health Choice

     NC Health Choice (NCHC)is a state funded health insurance program for children whose parents make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough money to afford traditional health insurance.  NCHC is administered by the same folks that run the NC Teachers' and Employees Health Plan, but NCHC does not get a lien under the State Employees Statute.

     No lien?  Yes, that's right, no lien.    Do medical providers have to accept NCHC as the only payment for medical care?  Yes.  And medical providers can not "balance bill" the patient.  Its all right here in the enacting statute.


Continue reading "Statute: NC Health Choice" » 1.800.906.5984

Statute: NC Teachers & Employees Health Plan Lien

     The North Carolina Teachers' and Employees Comprehensive Major Medical Health Plan was granted a stautory lien by the NC General Assembly in July of 2004.  In my writings about this lien, I've called it the "Super Lien" because the language in the statute gives the State Employee Health Plan (SEHP) a lien against 100% of the funds of a personal injury settlment.

     The Statute is being revised right now and the language of the existing and proposed bill is available for download here: Download sehp_lien_legislation.pdf


      I will explore how the lien works in other posts.

Chris Nichols

Nichols Law Firm 1.800.906.5984

On losing a trial.....

Dear Lawyer:
     We all know that you worked really hard on this case.  You stayed up late, you lost weekends, you "researched" your issues, your prepared your arguments and theories.  But you lost.
Trying to figure out why a jury "went wrong" is about the same as figuring out who shot Kennedy.  Everyone has a strong opinion, no one really knows, there are obvious answers and also viable theories.  In the end, what's done is done, there are some things we may never know.  You may never "know" why you lost, but I think that some things are always true in every win, or loss.

Continue reading "On losing a trial....." » 1.800.906.5984

General Comments

This is the area to make any general comments about the Blog.  You can comment below, make requests, complain, compliment, or whatever you would like.  At some point, we will enable the function to allow other authors to post on this blog.

Thanks for posting,

Chris Nichols 1.800.906.5984

Property Damage and Car Loans

I get a lot of phone calls from people that are "upside down" on their car loans after their vehicle gets destroyed or "totaled" in a wreck.  Being "upside down" means that the money owed on the car loan is more that what the car is worth (or at least what the insurance company is offering to pay for the car).

This can be a very frustrating and difficult situation for the consumer, who may be left with no car, an unpaid balance on their car loan, and no money for a new car down payment.

Below are a few suggestions to help.

Continue reading "Property Damage and Car Loans" » 1.800.906.5984

Teenagers, Cell Phones and the Law

Following a legal trend from around the nation, the North Carolina Senate has finalized legislation to ban teenagers from operating cars while talking on cell phones.

Starting December 1, 2006, teenagers may be fined $25 and get a six month extension of their "learner's permit" if they are caught driving and talking.

Continue reading "Teenagers, Cell Phones and the Law" » 1.800.906.5984

Medicaid Liens and Wrongful Death Cap

Under the North Carolina wrongful death statute, NCGS 28A-18, medical providers that have helped treat a person who then dies can only recover a maximum of $4,500 from a wrongful death settlement.  Unfortunately, that cap does not apply to Medicaid's lien if they have paid over $4,500 in medical bills.

Continue reading "Medicaid Liens and Wrongful Death Cap" » 1.800.906.5984