Insurance

Desperate Measures: Staged Car Accidents and How to Avoid Them

As the economy tries to recover, it’s likely that there will be a spike in criminal activity. After all, these are desperate times. Staged car accidents and pedestrian accidents are only some of the many scams that you could fall victim to, but what makes them particularly devious is that it’s difficult to tell them from actual car accidents.

There are more than six million car crashes in the U.S. every year, and this makes it difficult to weed out staged car accidents on a larger scale. It is, however, completely possible to protect yourself from these scams, but we first need to understand what staged car accidents are.

What Is a Staged Car Accident?

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A staged car accident is a fraud scheme wherein criminals intentionally cause a car accident in order to blame you for being negligent and fraudulently receive compensation. A typical example of a staged car accident is when one or more motorists cause an accident that appears to be the victim’s fault. There are three general types of staged car accidents:

  • The False Yield – In a false yield, another driver may motion for you to merge or to take a turn, only to speed up and veer into your direction at the last moment in order to cause a collision. The driver will then deny ever having motioned for you to merge or turn.

 

  • Staged Read-End Accidents – This is similar to brake checking, except that the criminals intend to cause a rear-end accident. This is one of the more common staged car accidents because the driver in the tailing car is almost always held liable for the accident. The criminal may also have the passengers as accomplices to watch you for any signs of distraction, at which point, the criminal slams on their brakes.

 

  • Sideswipes – Sideswipes occur at busy intersections wherein criminals will intentionally sideswipe your vehicle even when you’ve barely even entered his turn lane. Sometimes, criminals will even cross into your lane in order to sideswipe you and allege that it was you, instead, that crossed the lane.
Source:dolmanlaw.com

After an accident, criminals will almost always claim to have sustained injuries, property damage, and may even present fake witnesses as a means to increase the compensation they are owed. Fortunately, there are many ways to protect yourself from this type of fraud. Most of these things are the standard things that you should do after a car accident except that there are special details that you need to pay attention to. Here’s how you can protect yourself:

Document Everything

After a car accident, it’s important to call the police immediately. If you’re able to, make sure that you take photos and videos of the accident. Take note of the names and their corresponding contact information of everyone involved, especially eyewitnesses. When the police arrive, it’s very important that you report any suspicious activity to them.

It’s also during these times that dashcam footage is extremely valuable, as this is strong evidence that can help reveal what really happened in the events leading up to the accident. If you think that you’ve been a victim of a staged car accident, make sure to tell the police as well.

Even if it’s mere speculation at this point, it’s important to express your suspicions so that it gets included on the police report. The importance of this is so that this matter will later be raised during court proceedings.

Be Vigilant for Signs of a Staged Car Accident

Since car accidents happen so often, it’s very difficult to determine if an accident was authentic or if it was orchestrated by criminals. A good way to determine this is by looking out for some details of your accident.

Some things you need to be on the look out for are people who show up suddenly right after the accident who would recommend that you engage the services of a particular towing company, mechanic, or even doctor. It’s highly likely that this person, as well as the people being recommended are accomplices to the scheme.

Additionally, look out for fake witnesses who will try to contradict your recollection of the accident. These are also details that you need to share with police officers when they arrive.

Undergo a Medical Examination

A medical examination is the best piece of documentation to use if you need to secure compensation for your injuries. This is also the best way to detect any underlying injuries that might threaten your life or well-being later on. In almost every case, early detection is the key to treating many dangerous conditions and injuries.

Get In Touch With Your Insurance Company

If you suspect that you’ve been a victim of a staged car accident, you need to contact your insurance company and inform them. This information will help them determine the best way to address the situation. While this will put them on their guard, it’s far better to be safe than sorry. This will not only help keep you safe, but it will also help protect other policyholders from the same scam.

Hire a Lawyer

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Finally, it’s important to hire a lawyer to help you with your claim. Not only are lawyers trained and knowledgeable, but they also have tools and connections that they can leverage to help serve your case. Economic damage experts like the ones from The Knowles Group are particularly helpful during car accident lawsuits.

Insurance fraud is a crime and it can lead to jail time. However, this only occurs if the insurer decides to turn the criminals over to law enforcement. If you’ve been a victim of a staged car accident, it’s important that you pursue legal action against the perpetrators. The last thing we need during these difficult times are people who take advantage of others. Stay vigilant and stay informed, but most importantly, stay safe.

What Is a Title Commitment & Why Is Important To Your Closing

Yes, buying the first property is an exciting period in everyone’s life. However, at the same time, it can be nerve-racking simply because there is too much paperwork a person has to go over, and most importantly, they have to understand every single paragraph they read.

Well, a title commitment is one of the most important documents that you will have to go over. It is crucial that you fully understand each section, which is why we will discuss them in this article in great detail.

What is title commitment?

Source:houseloanblog.net

A title commitment is a document that states that the property will have a title insurance policy upon closing the deal. According to another definition, it guarantees your title rights as a new owner, but this can greatly differ between the states. This document contains all the information that will be listed in the title insurance policy, but it isn’t ratified, meaning that it is not legally binding. This is the main difference, so make sure not to mistake one for another.

Is it required by law?

No, you are not required by law to have this document, but this still doesn’t mean that you should ignore it. First of all, when applying for a loan and going through the entire process of getting it, the lender will probably require you to provide them with this document before signing the final paperwork.

Furthermore, this document lists everything that is not covered by the title insurance policy. It is crucial to be familiar with this if you want to close the deal successfully. Plus, this list will enable you to be fully aware of the conditions, so you will have the opportunity to rethink whether you should make the purchase or not.

What does it include?

A title commitment is divided into multiple sections. The content of these can vary between the states, but the main information is the same.

Schedule A

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This section includes some basic data such as personal data of the buyer, the type of insurance policy that will be issued (Owner’s and/or Lender’s Title Policy), the description of the property, seller’s personal info, the price, and so on.

It is crucial that the representatives of both the buyer and seller closely inspect this section. For example, other people may be listed on the owner list, and if they didn’t sign the document, it is not legally binding. You would be surprised to learn how often this occurs in case of a divorce or death. If any of the data doesn’t match the information in the contract, everything has to be investigated one more time to resolve the issues.

Schedule B

This is the part of the document that you must focus on because it includes exceptions and requirements.

Firstly, here you will find a list of exceptions, that is, the list of things that are not covered by the title insurance policy. Most of these are standard exceptions, but there may be some that are specific to that property. It is vital that you as a buyer fully understand every single point. If you don’t agree with some, a title company may be able to remove them, insure over them, or discard them. Nevertheless, there are many factors that can affect the outcome, which is why you have to consult with professionals such as sunnysidetitle.com. Contact them and ask them to explain a certain point if you do not understand it. This is something that you have to do to prevent any potential issues in the future.

Furthermore, when it comes to the other part, here you will find all the requirements that must be met in order to get the title insurance. This list may include things such as recording the new deed and loan documents, the release of liens, tax payments, proof of identity, and so on. Once again, if you notice anything that shouldn’t be there or something you weren’t aware of, you have to notify your escrow so that they could investigate it.

Things to consider

Now that we have explained the sections of the title settlement, here are some things you have to consider before signing the document.

First things first, you have to know what is included in this document, that is, you have to know what you are looking for. We have already mentioned this, but here it is again. Look for personal info of both parties, then the details regarding the amount of insurance, and the details regarding the property that is being insured. Most importantly, look for the list of requirements that have to be met in order to get the insurance, as well as the list of things that are not covered by it. All of this information is listed in the above-discussed two sections. Naturally, Section B deserves all your attention since you have to be certain that you are purchasing the right property. When it comes to Section A, professionals will go over it and correct any mistakes. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do the same inspection.

Why does it matter?

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We assume that the answer to this question is pretty obvious by now. We understand that you may feel overwhelmed by the paperwork you have to go over and sign, but, as already stated, this document is, without a doubt, one of the most important that will cross your desk.

Buying a property is always a large investment, which is why it is crucial to be familiar with every single point in this document. It is the only way to rest assured you are making the right choice. You have to learn about the exceptions, that is, the things that are not covered by the insurance. If you don’t agree with it, consult your representative and see if they can be changed or discarded. If this is not the option, you should ask yourself whether you should proceed with the investment. The same thing goes for requirements and conditions that may be listed if you are buying a property in a subdivision.

What is a Debt Trap and how to Prevent it?

You will fall into debt if you do not pay your bills on time and you are charged additional reminder fees and default interest. The longer you postpone billing payments, the deeper you fall into debt. The most common reasons for over-indebtedness include:

  • 26% unemployment
  • 9% illness
  • 9% divorce
  • 11% consumer purchases
  • 9% failed self-employment

Debt trap with loans, credit card, car leasing

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Often people get caught in a spiral of debt due to unfavorable loans or credit card conditions. Many borrowers do not read the terms or do not take the time to understand them. In the event of an unexpected financial breakdown, it ultimately turns out that the loan agreement is not as flexible as expected. For this reason, it is always important to agree on the best loan agreement terms possible. If you fail to consider these two points when choosing a loan, sooner or later you will regret it.

Consider cheaper options

If you pay too much for your loan, it is recommender to refinance. When choosing the right credit card, consider the type of credit card, interest rates, and fees. You can also fall into a debt trap with car financing. Above all, you should make sure that you do not choose long terms for the car loan. Terms of several years result in high interest payments even if you no longer use the car.

Debt trap – insurance

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We often take out an insurance policy once and then don’t touch it again. If an insured event occurs, we suddenly find out that our insurance does not cover the damage or that we have to pay a high deductible. This is not an uncommon scenario, so be well informed about the insurance conditions. Weigh up whether your insurance makes sense and under what conditions you can terminate it. If you want to optimize your expenses, insurance is definitely an area that you should look at separately. You may be able to negotiate better insurance conditions with another provider and thus lower the price.

Debt trap – house

Land tax, household expenses, and mortgages represent a significant amount of money. Gas, electricity, and water are expenses that are billed monthly or quarterly. It is important that you always have an overview of these costs. You should be aware about your consumption from energy suppliers and other costs in order to be able to plan any additional payments. This will protect you from unexpected expenses and give you time to save money for them.

Source:salliemae.com

Cell phone debt trap and entertainment

Young people in particular tend to spend too much money on cell phones and entertainment. You should definitely consider whether you actually need the latest mobile phone or the most powerful iPhone. Making calls can be just as expensive. The comparison of products and tariffs is crucial here. Check whether the expenses for entertaining the children can be reduced. Are subscriptions like Amazon Prime or Netflix really necessary?

How can the debt trap be avoided?

  • Make a budget. Even if this task involves a certain amount of effort, it will help you to keep a better overview of your income and expenses. It is important to update this budget regularly. Household book apps are particularly suitable for this. With the help of these applications, you can document your income and expenses on your mobile phone at any time. So you always have an overview of your finances.
  • Build up financial reserves. Nothing is more uncomfortable than when you have an unexpected expense and you have to overdraw your checking account. Overdraft facilities are one of the most expensive loans and should only be used at short notice in urgent cases. If you put some money aside each month and possibly even invest it, you can save the interest on your overdraft facility.
  • Increase your earnings. Take up a part-time job or increase the scope of your work with your current employer. If you do an excellent job, you can even request a raise, which will increase your earnings.
  • Pay your bills on time. You should always strive to pay all bills on time. If you do not do this, you may be charged additional reminder fees and default interest. This increases your overall costs. If you notice that you cannot pay the invoice on time, get in touch with the creditor, and extend the payment term or ask for a deferral. This is definitely a better strategy than constantly putting off the unpaid bill.
  • Never pay off your old loan by taking on new loan. Many people believe that when you replace an old liability with a new one, it improves their financial situation. Not correct. Debt rescheduling is only suitable if you can borrow the new capital on favorable terms. The total cost of rescheduling should be calculated separately.
  • Cancel subscriptions. Cancel subscriptions that you are not using. Often you get fitness or other memberships that you hardly use. Take a look at your bank statement and cancel subscriptions that do not bring you any added value.
  • Make a shopping list. Before you go to your preferred supermarket, you should always make a shopping list. The reason for this is that you are influenced by advertising in the supermarket and ultimately buy more than you intended. Spontaneous purchases can increase your bill by up to 20%. If you have a shopping list with you, you can orientate yourself on the products that you actually need.
  • Avoid expensive consumer goods. Of course, you should treat yourself to something from time to time. Regular shopping in luxury stores should be avoided if you want to optimize your budget. Buyers should endeavor not to borrow money to purchase consumer goods.

Admit debt and weigh options

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Sooner or later you will have to deal with your debts. This is important in order to evaluate the situation and to be able to take improvement measures. First of all, try to weight in payments and expenses. Talk to your credit company and ask them to postpone your payments. This can give you some time to save money without going into debt. If you have lost track of your debts, it is advisable to get in touch with the creditors to find out about your outstanding debts. Anyone who has financial problems and is in debt should seek debt advice in their area. This helps the debtors to take measures to avoid falling further into the debt trap. If you receive mail from debt collection companies, you should definitely have it checked by the debt counselor and not sign any documents. Always keep track of your finances, save money, invest your capital and plan ahead. To find out more, follow this site.

Should I Buy an Electric Vehicle?

Millions of people throughout the world now drive an electric vehicle (EV). That number is expected to rise in the coming years, as people ponder whether their technology, features, and benefits make them worth their while. Given that everyone’s needs are different, choosing a car to suit your lifestyle can require a bit of research. Could an electric vehicle be right for you? The following information may be worth factoring into your decision.

Source:technologyreview.com

Running Costs

Some EV owners have reported spending just a quarter per mile of what they would spend on a petrol-powered car. However, the cost savings can be higher or lower, depending on your electricity costs. For example, someone using solar energy to power their home and car could make even more savings than someone accessing power entirely from the grid. If your electricity company offers lower rates at certain times of the day, taking advantage of these rates may also put more money back in your wallet.

Overall Costs

Regarding running costs, electric vehicles are leading the way. As it turns out, they are also leading the way in Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). A report compiled by the International Council on Clean Transport (ICCT) compared the costs of a fully electric VW Golf to plug-in hybrid, petrol, and diesel versions in five European countries.

In the report, the costs associated with the vehicle purchase price, tax, and fuel were examined. Over four years, EVs were cheaper in all five countries included in the study – Norway, Netherlands, France, UK, and Germany. The price difference in Norway was the greatest, with EV ownership at 27% cheaper than petrol, diesel, and plug-in hybrid vehicles. The lower costs were associated with tax reductions, purchase price subsidies, and less expensive fuel costs.

EV Insurance

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Insurance is something that many people factor in the decision-making process when purchasing a new vehicle. Not everyone is aware of whether their insurance even covers an electric car. When requesting car insurance quotes from various companies, it pays to make it clear that you own an EV. You can visit this site for car insurance quotes. However, there shouldn’t be too many differences between an EV policy and a petrol or diesel-powered policy.

You can still expect options like collision insurance, medical payment coverage, liability coverage, comprehensive coverage, and personal injury protection. However, what’s also worth considering is your home insurance. If you have installed a vehicle charging station, it can be worth phoning your insurance agent to advise them as you may require additional liability coverage.

Maintenance Requirements

Mechanical bills for petrol-powered vehicles can be astronomical. The complicated makeup of internal combustion engines means any number of things can go wrong at any time. However, even the coolest electric cars don’t come with substantial maintenance costs. They tend to feature electric drive trains with very few moving parts. Tires, brakes, windscreens, wiper blades, and washer fluid are often the extent of your duties. The batteries may require repairs and replacement, but they can last several years before you need to invest in a new one.

Options

When the first EVs hit the market, there weren’t too many options for everyday consumers to choose from. Now, though, you can fit almost any vehicle with an electric power-train to turn it into an EV. From buses to bikes, trucks to trains, you should have no problems choosing an EV to suit your needs.

You can even purchase hybrid EVs that operate with a combination of an internal combustion engine and an electric engine. With a hybrid, you can enjoy superior fuel efficiency while also emitting less carbon dioxide into the environment.

Fun Driving Experience

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Electric cars are high-performance vehicles, and they are becoming more advanced by the day. With those advancements comes some outstanding benefits for drivers, like an incredibly quiet driving experience. Unlike a petrol or diesel-powered vehicle, the occupants of an EV can have a conversation without having to raise their voice over the sound of the engine. Electric engines are also smooth to run, responsive, and provide incredible torque.

Surprisingly, that fun driving experience is also enhanced through preferential treatment across many towns and cities. Given that some businesses offer EV charging stations, parking is often provided to EVs at store frontages. Some cities may even allow EVs to use high-occupancy and carpool lanes, as well as free public charging stations.

Financial Incentives

It might seem strange, but governments sometimes offer tax credits and other financial incentives for people to purchase electric vehicles. Essentially, you’re getting paid to buy a new car. Federal tax credits of up to $7,500 are available for many plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles purchased new from 2010 onward. The credit amount is based on the battery capacity, and some models are exempt.

If you’re not eligible for a federal income tax credit, you may qualify for state or local incentives. These vary throughout the country. In California, rebates up to $5,000 on purchased or leased EVs may be available. If you live in Delaware, you may be able to receive a refund on residential and commercial charging stations of between 50% to 75%. It’s always worth asking your local EV dealer about available tax credits when you start browsing their lot.

Advanced Technology

Electric vehicles are at the cutting edge of technology, given that they are so new to the market. While you get to benefit from a fuel-less approach to travel, many other advancements are also bound to capture your attention. Keyless ignition, touchscreens, Android and Apple connectivity, and incredible battery life are just some of the many new features you can expect. The more high-performance and advanced the EV, the more exciting features you can expect to see.

Choosing a new vehicle can be challenging at the best of times, but we’ve now got more options at our disposal than ever before. Given that EVs can save you money and the environment while being insured similarly to petrol-powered vehicles, they may be worth a closer look. You may be surprised at how they not only meet your expectations but exceed them.

Impact of COVID-19 on Personal Injury Cases in 2021

When the first news appeared at the end of December last year about a new, mysterious virus from China, few people paid attention to it. Even in China, they did not consider it a serious threat. By the end of January, Wuhan was in complete isolation, but this was still considered a local concern of China, where epidemics occur more frequently than elsewhere in the world. How we were all wrong. By mid-March, the whole world had stopped.

Perhaps for the first time in human history, the entire planet was quarantined. The number of people infected with the coronavirus was so large that hospitals had no room for patients with other problems. The whole world economy has stopped. It was important to maintain a constant supply of food and medicine and it was mostly successful. But all other businesses have been partially or completely shut down, leading to a global financial crisis.

Source:weforum.org

There is no sector that has not been affected by coronavirus-related events. Person injury cases are no different. First of all, it slowed them down a lot because hospitals and courts handled only emergencies. But people are still getting hurt and now that life is slowly returning to normal, everyone is wondering how to proceed with person injury cases. We will do our best to give you the answers in this article.

Delay of medical examinations

We all know that in order to receive compensation for a personal injury, it is required to have all the necessary documents from the doctor. Only in this way will you be able to prove the degree of injury and how much it has affected your life and work. Without it, you will not receive any compensation or it will be a very small amount of money. But as we have already said in the introduction, during the coronavirus pandemic, many hospitals that were otherwise available to us became COVID-only. This created huge crowds at other hospitals that received patients who were not contagious. If your injuries were not life-threatening, you may have decided to go home and to see a doctor later.

This is a big mistake because it is necessary for him to examine you soon after the injuries occur in order to get maximum compensation. Also, many do not want to go to the hospital at all, for fear of becoming infected with the coronavirus. This is of course your right, but your personal injury claim will then not be successful. Our advice is to go to the doctor, and follow all the advice of the World Health Organization, such as wearing a mask and maintaining social distance.

Insurance companies are trying to reach a settlement as soon as possible

The financial crisis is also hitting insurance companies hard. Imagine how much money they had to pay to insured companies that suffered damage during a pandemic. Also, tourism has almost completely stopped, so the billions of people who pay for travel insurance every year have not done so now. And of course their shares on the stock market have lost significantly in value.

All this has brought insurance companies to the brink of bankruptcy. For this reason, they want to come to an agreement with you as soon as possible, in order to save money. They hope that you will jump to the first offer and that it will pay you significantly less than it is realistic. They also want to shorten the process as much as possible and not go to court at any cost. Don’t be naive and don’t fall for such attempts.

You need a lawyer more than ever

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If you want your personal injury claim to be successful, you need a lawyer. And that’s always the case, but now during a pandemic it’s more important than ever. For the very reasons we mentioned earlier, which are the attempts of insurance companies to reach a settlement as soon as possible, you need an experienced lawyer in this field, in order for the whole process to end in your favor. Due to the situation, your face-to-face meetings may be difficult, but this will not be a problem due to the possibility of video call and email for sending complete documentation.

Visit cunninghamandmears.com to see which personal injury services are offered by lawyers specializing in this area of ​​law. The lawyer has a lot of experience and will make sure to get the best amount possible for the settlement. And also the insurance company will know that since you have a lawyer, you are ready to go to court, which will deter them from trying to offer you an unrealistically low amount of money.

Mentally prepare for a long process

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It is a long process anyway, and now it will be even longer. The courts operate at reduced capacity and generally handle urgent matters, such as bail orders and the like. So if you get to court, expect a lot of shifting and postponing the hearing and everything else. Now the hearings have started via video conference, so the situation is improving. Still, know that there is a long and exhausting process ahead of you even without litigation. It is up to you to gather all the documentation, hire a lawyer and wait.

Employment problems

Due to the situation with COVID-19, there is a recession all over the world. For this reason, millions of people lose their jobs, and it is almost impossible to find a new job during this period. This will serve the opposing side to offer you less money, as it will challenge the claim that you could not work as a result of the injury. They will state that this is not the main reason, but problems with the labor market and that they would certainly not be able to find a job. However, insist that you have lost significant money due to inability to work as a result of the injury.

Conclusion:

The most important thing is to stay calm and follow the whole procedure. It is clear to you that we are currently living in something called the “new normality” and that is why everything is different than we are used to. But if you persevere, you will succeed.

6 Dumb Insurance Mistakes Even Smart People Make after a Crash

A car accident is never something for which you make a plan. Everyone is well aware that there is a good chance they will be involved in at least one accident at some point in their life. The hope is always that when that day comes, you only suffer minor damages. Some people may do some research, but nobody is ever really prepared. After an accident, you will likely be disoriented, which makes it quite easy to make one of these six common mistakes.

When going up against an insurance company after an accident, you are at a disadvantage on many different levels. You are quite possibly injured and not in your best frame of mind. There is a good chance this is your first accident, while the insurance adjuster does their role every day. The insurance adjuster also has specific training in trying to trick you into making a mistake that devalues your claim.

Here we present you with six of the most common mistakes that people make when dealing with an insurance adjuster after an accident and how best to avoid them.

1.  Filing an Insurance Claim Too Quickly

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When involved in an accident, you are going to want to exchange insurance information with any other drivers involved in the crash. Learn more about the documents you should always have on you when driving, which are your driver’s license, car registration, and proof of vehicle insurance. After the crash, if the other driver was at fault for the accident, you are going to want to file a claim with their insurance.

A problem that many drivers face is that they file the claim too quickly. There is a statute of limitations on filing a claim, so you can’t wait forever. However, that time period is typically years, not days. When drivers file a claim too quickly, it often comes back to bite them. They later realize that the claim didn’t come anywhere near covering all of the costs that they accrued from the accident.

Many serious injuries are not immediately diagnosed after an accident. It can take a few weeks before all of the damage that has been done, is fully uncovered. Those who filed too quickly may find that they have missed the chance to get these other injuries covered.

Insurance adjusters are aware of all of these things. That is why, if they know their client is at fault, they may contact you on the day of the accident, before you get in touch with them.

2.  Accepting a Settlement Offer Too Soon

Source:insurcompanieslist.com

Often an insurance adjuster will offer you a settlement the first time they speak to you. Never accept that first offer and do not engage in discussions about counteroffers. The initial offer is typically far below what you can get if you aren’t overhasty. You have no way of knowing the full worth of your claim so early in the process.

In addition to medical expenses that have not presented themselves yet, there may be many secondary costs like lost wages or pain and suffering costs.

3.  Giving a Recorded Statement

An insurance agent is likely to push you for a recorded statement of the incident. They will claim that the purpose of this is to help in determining liability. However, the true intent of the statement is to trick you into saying something that you shouldn’t. They will ask leading questions and try to get you to say things that they can use against you to devalue your claim.

Don’t ever give an insurance adjuster a recorded statement. Politely decline and end the conversation. The less you talk to an insurance adjuster in general, the better your position.

4.  Posting on Social Media

Social media has become a huge part of the world in which we live. Many people post all about their lives on one platform or another, so, of course, they would post about a big car accident in which they were involved. However, a seemingly harmless post can have devastating effects on your insurance claim. Your words and photos can potentially be used to devalue your claim in a variety of ways.

After an accident, avoiding social media altogether is going to be your best course of action. At the very least, you should switch all of your privacy settings to the highest level. There have been cases where private accounts were opened to the court, but those are very rare. To be on the safe side, though, a social media blackout is the way to go.

5.  Giving Authorization for Releasing Medical Records

An insurance adjuster will often request access to your medical records so they can see the files for the damages you are claiming from the crash. This request may seem innocent enough, but it is far from it. They will use your authorization to comb through all of your medical records. Every single item in your medical history, going back to when you were born.

The purpose of this search is to find anything they can use against you. They will look for anything that might suggest a preexisting condition that contributed to your injuries and undervalue your claim in this way. Deny any requests for medical records.

6.  Not Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

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Choosing not to hire an attorney can be an incredibly costly mistake. Many people think that hiring a lawyer will cost too much money, and insurance adjusters will often try to nurture this idea. However, most personal injury lawyers will work on a contingency basis, which means that they don’t get paid unless you do.

Some people still think that the amount of their eventual fee will eat away far too much of the money gained in the settlement. In reality, people who hire an attorney often get several times the amount they would have gotten without one. So, even after their fee, the client has a much higher settlement amount.

Hiring a qualified personal injury attorney helps to level the playing field. It is no longer a professional insurance adjuster against an amateur victim. Instead, it’s two pros giving it their all. Hiring an attorney has the added benefit of giving you the peace of mind of knowing there is someone taking care of things with the insurance company and that you don’t have to. You can just sit back, relax, and focus on your recovery.

When Workers’ Comp Won’t Pay: 3 Steps to Take

A workplace injury is never ideal. The silver lining, though, is that in the United States, in every state except for Texas, employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ comp is an insurance that protects both an employer and an employee in the case of a workplace injury.

Source:rosenbaumnylaw.com

Workers rely on this safety net for protection, so when a claim gets denied, your safety net is cut, and you continue to fall towards the ground. Fortunately, you are not without options. There are several steps you can take to appeal your claim denial and have a trapezist swing in at the last moment and pluck you out of the air before crashing to the ground.

How Does Workers’ Comp Work?

Workers’ compensation is in theory, a hassle-free way for an injured worker to get compensation for their injury so that they can pay their medical bills, rest, recover, and hopefully get back to work. Workers’ comp protects employers from having to defend themselves in court cases every time that an employee gets injured at work.

For large companies in dangerous industries like construction, workers’ comp provides protection from countless hours of litigation every year. Without workers’ compensation insurance, between the money spent on defense and the eventual payouts to workers, many companies would not be able to survive the financial toll of employees getting injured.

Normally in a workers’ compensation case, immediately following an injury you would go to your supervisor to report the incident. Obviously, if the injury is severe enough, you would first go to the hospital and then notify your employer after you have been treated. Once informed, your employer should give you a claims form to fill out.

If you weren’t rushed to the hospital, you should receive a recommendation for an approved physician to treat your injuries. After you submit your claim, you will be contacted by a representative of your company’s insurance. After this, your claim should be approved, and you should be able to start receiving your workers’ comp benefits. These benefits should cover your medical costs and partial costs for lost wages.

Source:insuranceneighbor.com/

In cases of a severe injury, where you are unable to fully recover and cannot return to work afterward, you should receive a large settlement payment as well. This money can help cover the cost of future lost wages and other secondary expenses.

Unfortunately, things don’t always go as they should. Workers’ comp claims can be denied for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, claims get denied for legitimate reasons. Other times, the denials are completely bogus. Most of the time, they fall somewhere in-between.

Some possible reasons that your claim may be denied include if the insurance company believes you:

  • Were under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Were fighting
  • Were playing games rather than working
  • Suffered your injury away from work
  • Exaggerated your injury
  • Failed to inform your employer of your injury in time
  • Failed to file claim papers on time
  • Did not receive medical treatment
  • Were not treated by an approved medical provider
  • Missed doctor’s appointments
  • Failed to follow medical advice
  • Were injured as the result of a preexisting condition

How Can I Appeal My Claim Denial?

Source:lpwlawfirm.com

In a situation where your claim has been denied, you are most likely going to want to appeal the decision and to continue fighting to get the compensation that you deserve. There are five main steps you can take to continue fighting your claim denial.

Step One: Hire an Attorney

Filing an original workers’ compensation claim is something that most workers can manage on their own without a problem. However, when it comes to appealing a denied claim, bringing in an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help make sure your case is strong is always a good idea. With the guidance of a lawyer, it is possible to get a personal injury payout for serious work injuries. Learn more about hiring a workers’ compensation attorney.

Step Two: File an Appeal

When a workers’ comp claim is denied, you will receive a letter that will contain information about why your claim was denied. This letter should also contain information about when and how to appeal the decision, along with a notification of the deadline to appeal. Make sure to file your appeal before the deadline, as failure to do so potentially forfeits your claim.

Step Three: File a Workers’ Comp Complaint

If you have evidence that your claim was denied due to fraud, administrative error, or other irregularity, you can request a complaint form from your state’s workers’ compensation officials. A valid complaint can help your case and possibly improve your settlement amount.

Step Four: Request to Reopen a Workers’ Comp Claim

Source:sinklaw.com

Even if your appeal has been denied and your complaint is determined to be invalid, you are not necessarily out of options. It can still be possible to have a closed claim reopened, sometimes years after the claim has been finalized. In some instances, you may even reopen a claim that was not denied to receive further support beyond the initial ruling.

Some common reasons to reopen a claim include:

  • New evidence that proves the validity of your claim
  • New evidence that shows your original award amount was unfair
  • New evidence proving an administrative error that affected your claim
  • New evidence of fraud
  • A return or worsening of your injury

Step Five: Request an Administrative Hearing

When you don’t feel like you are going to get a fair decision from the insurance company, you can request an administrative hearing. An administrative hearing puts your fate at the mercy of the administrative judge rather than the insurance company. This is often a welcome path for those who file workers’ comp claims, as insurance companies are notorious for doing everything they can to pay out as little as possible.

Should you end up requesting an administrative hearing, if you haven’t already hired a workers’ comp attorney, now is the time. You can bet that an insurance company will be bringing their full legal might against you to try to defeat your case and hang on to their money. Attempting to take on these highly experienced professionals without one of your own is like bringing a knife to a gunfight.

Source:hoffmannworkcomp.com

A Denial Can Be Devastating

Having a workers’ comp claim denied can leave you feeling hopeless. When the injury you suffered on the job is severe, you are already left with so many question marks in your life and possibly face many life changes. Being told you will not receive financial compensation to help you deal with everything can be the straw breaking the camel’s back.

It’s important to know all of your options when faced with a situation like this so that you have all of the tools you need to fight this decision and get the compensation that you need and deserve.

Why your HOA’s Disaster Strategy MUST Include Insurance

Having your own home, no matter if it’s a house or an apartment, comes with a lot of challenges, risks, and responsibilities. As a homeowner, you need to always be careful about what’s happening inside, is there any risk of gas leaking, floods, fires, and how to prevent them. But, at the same time, we all know that we can’t stop some things or fight against them, especially when it comes to natural disasters. But, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to be cautious and try to think about some important things in advance, even though they may never happen. According to farmersbrown.com, you can let the agency create a plan and strategy for your insurance coverage, and get the best service possible when it comes to coping with disasters and what’s left behind them.

Source:hopb.co

Call of Duty

In the aftermath of a disaster, your Homeowners Association (HOA) is duty-bound to deal with all immediate hazards within its jurisdiction. And, in the long term, to restore all damaged common areas to their pre-disaster state. This may place considerable strain on your HOA’s finances. An insurance policy may provide the much-needed funds to implement your disaster response strategy, finance clean-up operations, and pay for the restoration of affected common areas. So, having this type of insurance is only a prevention step, especially if you live in a risky area, and you are sure you want to avoid all the unpleasant things that come in the catastrophe aftermath.

HOAs managing neighborhoods face different risks than those managing condominiums. Though the types of insurance may differ, both will be left vulnerable without coverage.

Immediate Aftermath

Your HOA is responsible for disaster management during and after an incident within your jurisdiction. Usually, this will involve coordinating rapid responses to threats and dangers, including relocating the people to safer places, making sure professionals are around so they can control the situation, and so on. But, you will also need to pay attention to other considerations, including:

  1. The rapid availability of emergency funds.
  2. The extent of responsibility to affected owners.

How do these expenditures relate to insurance? Insurance policies may take some time to payout, so you will need a short-term bridging solution. In case of an emergency, you can’t expect the agency to complete everything for you. They are there only to ease the expenses, and to make the whole process easier for those who suffer. But, you should have those services included in your policy, and that comes with some fees, and that’s why most of the people are taking the basic plan, and they are surprised to hear that it doesn’t cover every disaster result. That’s one of the reasons you should be asking a lot of questions to the agents, and make sure you are getting a complete service, not just some parts of it.

Emergency Expenditure

Consider the types of emergency expenditures following a flood? Several access roads are covered in debris, trees have fallen over and a damaged substation has left 15 homes without power. Contractors are in high demand and the only backhoe available is two counties away.

Daily transactions funded out of your operating account could soon bleed the account dry, and the next thing you know, you are running on reserve funds.

In a situation like this, the future payment of an insurance policy can be used to take out a short term loan.

We can use the same example with any disaster possible, no matter what its nature is. Every day of our lives is a risk, and the current pandemic showed us that no one can stand above nature and try to over smart it. In the world, there are a lot of examples of forest damages, or changing the river’s routes, so there can be build houses and apartments – but sadly, most of the time, nature brings back all the things to normal, damaging those buildings and houses. That’s one of the reasons why we face a lot of risks of catastrophes because someone in the past tried to go against nature. Of course, you are not guilty of that, but when you choose your new home’s location, it’s always better to check the natural conditions in the area, even for decades ago.

Source:valleycapitalrealty.com

Affected Owners

Some HOAs are charged with providing emergency assistance to affected members. This could range from simple acts like helping them find accommodation for the night, all the way to longer-term assistance.

If your HOA is managing condos, you will need to pay special attention to this provision, as it could amount to considerable sums of money, depending on the extent and nature of the damage.

Contractors

Once the immediate hazards have been dealt with, you will need to start rebuilding damaged common areas, including in some cases damaged condos.

Some contractors will be willing to start work while your HOA is waiting for the insurance payment. This can alleviate a lot of potential pressure and avoid strained relations between you and your members.

Without insurance money to back you up, you may find your HOA forced to either increase monthly service charges or postpone much-needed reparations.

Building Code

Source:probuilder.com

Your state’s regulations may prohibit you from simply returning structures to their original state, and require that you rebuild them to conform to the latest building codes and regulations.

This is an important consideration when taking out your policy. Be sure to value buildings in order to meet this requirement in the case of a disaster. New codes and regulations can exceed current value by an order of magnitude.

Without Insurance

Without adequate insurance backing up their disaster strategy, your HOA may well find itself facing a new disaster, albeit one of its own makings. So, be responsible and build up that strategy for you, your family, and of course, for the community and people around you.

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