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Insurance Bad Faith and Bankruptcy

Posted by on Jul 27, 2017

According to the Williams Kherkher law firm, when a catastrophic storm strikes, insurance companies will have thousands to tens of thousands of claims to process, often within a few days following the storm. Typically, insurance companies will hire independent adjusting companies to inspect damaged property and prepare an estimate for repairs for each claim. It sounds simple enough. However, multiple adjusters, delays in processing and payment, unfair denials, misrepresentations, and offers to settle claims for far below the actual cost of repairing the damage are all strategies that insurance companies typically employ to avoid paying fair value, as insurance companies can, and do, save millions of dollars by settling claims at less than their fair value.

Filing a benefits claim with their insurance provider is most natural for families and individuals to enable them to meet the resulting expenses, such as medical treatment after an accident, or repair/replacement of damaged property after a natural disaster, as well as to keep their heads above water. Such are some of the reasons why insurance policies are purchased in the first place – to serve as a financial buffer during times of real need.

Insurance providers owe policy holders genuine commitment or the duty of good faith and fair dealing, especially in paying claims. Under the common law this duty is spoken of as the “implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing,” which ought to be contained in every insurance contract. However, many of these providers transact business with dishonesty or fraud at the back of their minds. They enter into an agreement with policy holders with no real intent of living up to the terms of the policy they sell or they intentionally twist the meaning of something contained in the policy sold. This fraudulent act is what legal experts call “bad faith,” and there are different ways through which this can be committed, like: failure to investigate a claim promptly and thoroughly, unreasonable denial of claim benefits or delay in the payment of claims, and so forth.

The unfair dealing of many insurance providers can result not only to substantial losses of policy holders, but to the collapse of a policy holder’s financial stability, especially after a disaster. Unable to make the amount of claim necessary to keep him or her above water, a policy holder can end up not only incapable of making the necessary repairs to his or her damaged home, but also in settling financial obligations, such as home mortgage, car loan, credit card bills – to which his or her insurance claim would have been the solution. Like an added insult to his or her already injured state, he or she may come to a point where he or she will have to file bankruptcy.

As explained by the Greenway Law, LLC, debt problems can affect anyone.  Hardworking people who have encountered medical issues, unexpected job losses, divorce or losses after a natural disaster, may suddenly find themselves facing large amounts of debt.  But, although there are thousands of people who file for bankruptcy protection every year, each person has a unique situation and needs a unique solution.

Bankruptcy is the legal declaration of the incapability to pay debts, personal or business loans. Filing for bankruptcy will stop creditors from attempting  payment collections or filing lawsuits to have control over your properties, have your salary garnished or levy your bank account. This also means end of calls and notices from law firms, which are intended to harass you until you decide to pay.

There are different chapters of the bankruptcy law, each designed according to a debtor’s financial situation. These include:

  • Chapter 7 – this law involves asset liquidation to enable payment of debts;
  • Chapter 11 – also known as business reorganization;
  • Chapter 13 – involves debt repayment based on a three-year or five-year repayment proposal; and,
  • Chapter 12 – which is specifically designed for families of farmers and fisherman (who own the whole or more than 50% of the farming/ fishing business) with a regular annual income



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Common Office Accidents and Injuries

Posted by on Jun 6, 2017

Common Office Accidents and Injuries

Workplace accidents are never good news. They may injure you enough to prevent you from going to work, resulting into financial damages in the form of medical bills and lost wages. But contrary to popular belief, workplace accidents can also happen in typical office spaces. They don’t just occur on hazardous work areas like construction sites and factories.

According to the website of The Benton Law Firm, those who have been hurt in workplace accidents may get compensation, especially if the accidents have been triggered by the negligence of the employers. But this does not mean that employees should not be careful on their own. They should know the most common office accidents and injuries so they can make their own safety measures to prevent them.

Appliances and Equipment Accidents

Office appliances like coffeemakers only require one mistake for an accident to occur. Burn injuries come to mind. Office equipment, such as overheating desktops and laptops, also pose the same threats. There may also be instances where the appliances and equipment are the ones at fault, especially if they are defective.

Ergonomics Issues

Not all workplace injuries come from violent accidents, as some are often sustained quietly, such as when an employee stays in an uncomfortable position for too long and damages his neck, back, and wrists. These injuries are often associated with the poor design of the workplace.

Lifting Accidents

Office workers typically don’t get involved with construction equipment and other potentially heavy materials, but they are still vulnerable to lifting injuries, particularly in the back and arms. These can be sustained by improperly handling piled up documents, cabinets, and shelves.

Slipping, Tripping, and Falling

Employees may be too busy at work that they come to the point where they become inattentive to their surroundings. They may slip and fall because of slippery substances like spilled drinks and air conditioner leaks. They may also trip because of obstructions such as opened cabinets and loose cables, and defective furnishings like worn carpets and rugs. These accidents can be strong enough to cause head, neck, back, and hip problems, and worse, they may even cause fractures, especially in the arm or leg area.

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The Possible Consequences When Drivers Fail to Notice Motorcyclists

Posted by on Jan 27, 2017

The Possible Consequences When Drivers Fail to Notice Motorcyclists

For motorcycle riders, the odds of sustaining severe injuries or getting killed in an accident are always high due to their lack of protective gears other than the helmet. This lack of protection, in fact, makes motorcycle riders 20 times more likely to die in a crash compared to drivers of cars and other motor vehicles.

Accidents involving motorcycles are either single-bike crashes or multiple-vehicle accidents. A single-bike accident, which is more the common type of accident, involves no other person or vehicle other than the rider and his/her bike. It includes accidents, such as a rider crashing his/her bike to any type of road fixture, such as a concrete barrier or a lamp post, or a rider crashing on asphalt after running on a patch of gravel, sand or leaves on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) points to alcohol use and speeding as the two major causes of single-bike accidents; both factors greatly reduce a riders’ capability to react to emergency road situations on time, as well as make a rider lose control of his/her bike easily.

A multiple-vehicle accident, which may be less common, but deadlier than single-bike accidents, involves another vehicle, like a car, an SUV or a truck. This type of motorcycle accident is usually due to driver distraction, impairment due to alcohol or illegal drug, a driver failing to notice an approaching motorcycle or a driver’s simple refusal to acknowledge and respect a motorcyclist’s right of way.

Head-on collision, rear-end collision and side impact are the deadliest types of multiple-vehicle motorcycle accidents as these can severely injure, disable or kill a rider. Based on NHTSA records, an average of about 4,500 motorcycle riders die every year, while another 90,000 suffer injuries.

As explained by the Mokaram Law Firm, “When a driver fails to exercise reasonable caution in regard to motorcyclists and the additional challenges they face on the road, the result can be calamitous.
Involvement in a motorcycle accident is a serious, life-threatening, and frightening experience. These injuries often involve spinal cord injuries, neck and head trauma, and bone fractures, among other severe damages.”

In an accident, however, it may be very hard for riders to prove that they are simply victims and that it was a motor vehicle driver’s negligence or recklessness that caused the accident that resulted to their injuries. A highly-skilled personal injury lawyer, who is well familiar with conducting investigations that can lead to proofs supporting a prosecutor’s claim, may just be able to render the necessary and needed legal assistance that will enable injured riders to receive compensation (from the liable party) for the damages they were unjustly made to suffer. Thus, it may be a good decision to contact a personal injury lawyer immediately after an accident occurs.

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