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Personal Injury Tips: Notifying Your UM Insurance About the Proposed Settlement

Notifying Your UM Insurance About the Proposed Settlement

“Solomon’s Laws: 1. When the law doesn’t work…work the law.”
― Paul Levine, Solomon vs. Lord

In most cases, after you sign the Release with the party that caused your damages and get the check, your case is done. However, there are instances when you still have the ability to seek additional money. What I’m talking about is the scenario involving UM Insurance. UM Insurance stands for “Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance.”

When you obtain car insurance, one of the benefits you are able to obtain along with typical liability and property damage benefits, is UM Insurance. If you take out UM Insurance (and I strongly, strongly suggest you do), you have the ability to always ensure you are protected. Let’s say you are in a car accident and your damages are worth much more than the insurance limits of the party that caused your accident. For instance, let’s say you have damages of $100,000.00 but the car that hit you only has insurance with a limit of $10,000.00. If you have a UM policy, you will then be able to go after your own policy for the difference (if your limits are that high). I believe that having UM Insurance is one of the single most important things you can do to protect yourself.

There are some protocols which must be followed though. Before you sign the Release with the at-fault party and accept the check from them, we must ask your UM Insurance Adjustor for permission to settle. Sounds ridiculous, right? Well, the truth is that there is a very good reason for this. By asking your own insurance company for permission to settle, you are also asking them to waive their right of subrogation (the right to go after the at-fault party for reimbursement). After asking for permission to settle, your UM Insurance Adjustor then has 30 days (what’s considered a reasonable amount of time) to decide to allow you to settle or to cut the check themselves and send it to you in place of the at-fault party. If they do it this way, they then retain their right to go after the at-fault party for reimbursement of all the money they have and will have to pay out to you for your injuries.

It sounds confusing and in truth, it is. What’s most important is that if you have UM Insurance and you plan on seeking money from it, you ask your own insurance company for permission to settle before signing the release and cashing the check with the at-fault party. Got it? If you don’t follow this procedure, then your own insurance company can wiggle out of having to give you any money from your UM policy.

One other key point to remember – if you have UM Insurance and you plan on seeking money from it for your injuries, you must also send a Demand Package to your own insurance. This is very similar to the regular Demand Package you sent out, with just a few small, key differences.

Remember, the best thing you can do is to call the Ticktin Law Group at (954) 570-6757 as soon as possible. By speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer and going over all the facts of your particular claim, you will get a much better idea of what steps you should already be taking, what the best way is to proceed with your case and what compensation you may be entitled to.

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The Ticktin Minute April 24, 2017 – Foreclosure Process Pursuant to a HOA Lien for Non-Payment of Condominium Assessments

Condominium Associations run very similar to a business and have two distinctive functions. First, they collect monthly maintenance fees and special assessments and ensure that all unit owners are paying such fees assessed, which are necessary to keep the property in good condition. Second, the Condo Association must ensure that the unit owners and their guests are following the rules and regulations set forth by the Condominium. Such rights are typically listed in the Articles of Incorporation of the Condominium and/or in the Declaration of Condominium, which is recorded in the county where the property is located.

If a unit owner fails to pay any of the fees assessed by the Condominium Board, which may include monthly or quarterly maintenance and/or special assessments, then the Condominium will have a right to foreclose on the subject unit after a specified grace period has passed. Such grace period should be dictated in the Declaration of Condominium or other similar documents that should have been remitted to all new unit owners. The process for foreclosure pursuant to non-payment of Condominium fees is very similar to the process for foreclosure pursuant to a default in the mortgage. The Condominium first files a complaint (Lis Pendens) and summons with the court. They then continue with the typical foreclosure process until they receive a judgment. One easy way to have the Condominium withdraw the complaint is to agree to pay the fees, however, such fees will likely include additional court costs and attorney’s fees incurred by the Association. It’s always a great idea to contact a foreclosure attorney in order to assess the strength of your case and any potential defenses you may have as soon as reasonably possible.

Contact the attorneys of The Ticktin Law Group to assist you with foreclosure defense action and/or any other legal matter you, a friend or a loved one may have. The attorneys of The Ticktin Law Group offer complimentary legal consultations.

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Personal Injury Tips: The Personal Injury Claim Release

The Personal Injury Claim Release

I’m very thankful that I can make people happy just by signing my name.

Yoko Ono

In an ideal situation, our clients agree to settle their case after the Insurance Adjustor offers him or her an amount of money which is believed to be sufficient to walk away without going to court. Once that happens, they will send out a “Release” to sign. In essence, the Release is a document which says that in exchange for getting money, you agree that the case is completely done. You can’t come back to the party that caused your injuries in the future for more money no matter what happens. In other words, if you signed the Release and then down the road figure out that your injuries are much worse than you originally though, there is nothing you can do. The Release will also say that there is no admission of fault.

Typically, a Release has a whole lot of legalese in it. However, in essence it boils down to a few key points. The Release will list the parties to the accident, when the accident happened, how much money you as the client will be getting, the fact that you will be responsible for the payment of all outstanding bills and liens, and a statement that you agree that the case is completely done. Most of the time the Release will have a spot for a witness (or two) to sign as well. In some rare occasions, a Release will also have a place for a notary to sign. Once the Release is signed and sent back to the Insurance Adjustor, they will then have the check issued to the law firm. This takes just a couple of days. A typical Release will look something like this:

RELEASE OF ALL CLAIMS     

Remember, the best thing you can do is to call the Ticktin Law Group at (954) 570-6757 as soon as possible. By speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer and going over all the facts of your particular claim, you will get a much better idea of what steps you should already be taking, what the best way is to proceed with your case and what compensation you may be entitled to.

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Personal Injury Tips: How Your Actions (or Lack thereof) Can Affect Your Award

How Your Actions (or Lack thereof) Can Affect Your Award

In law, nothing is certain but the expense.

Samuel Butler

There is more to the story of what your particular injury is worth in the world of personal injury… namely, how your actions, or inactions, affect the total value. The two key points I want you to pay attention to are the “percentage of fault” and whether there was the need to “mitigate” any damages. Yah, yah, yah – more legal mumbo jumbo.

We’re going to start with percentage of fault. We know you’re hurt and the value of your injuries reflect a certain number. However, it is quite possible that you were partially to blame for the accident. This is what is known as “comparative negligence.” Let’s give an example. You were walking down the street and not paying attention to where you were walking. There was a huge pothole in the street, you fell into it and became injured. Clearly the pothole was not your fault, right? Well, that’s true. However, the truth of the matter is that a normal person (or what the law calls a reasonably prudent person) would be paying attention to where they were walking. The adjustor can say in this situation that you were partially at fault for the accident because you weren’t paying attention. What the adjustor will do is assign a percentage of fault to you. Perhaps they will say that you were 25% at fault for the accident. The adjustor will then decrease the settlement offers by 25%.

Another key point to think about is failing to mitigate damages after an accident. This is a much rarer concept than percentage of fault. Failure to mitigate typically only comes into play when you fail to take certain actions after an accident, and those inactions made the entire situation worse. For instance, maybe you were hurt after an accident and then for some unknown reason, wouldn’t go to a doctor for your injuries. After waiting a long period of time, you do finally go to the doctor and he or she tells you that because you waited so long, your injuries are significantly worse. Like I said, this rare, but it has happened. The adjustor will say that it wasn’t their fault that you failed to go to the doctor right away and therefore, they shouldn’t be responsible for the increased damages you have suffered. You’ll argue that it makes no difference because they are responsible for the injuries in the first place. Regardless, you don’t want to get into this argument because it could potentially lower your settlement.

Remember, the best thing you can do is to call the Ticktin Law Group at (954) 570-6757 as soon as possible. By speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer and going over all the facts of your particular claim, you will get a much better idea of what steps you should already be taking, and what compensation you may be entitled to.

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Personal Injury Tips: Medical Records and Your Personal Injury Claim

Medical Records and Your Personal Injury Claim

“Are you planning to follow a career in Magical Law, Miss Granger?” asked Scrimgeour. “No, I’m not,” retorted Hermione. “I’m hoping to do some good in the world!”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Once you are done treating with doctors for your injuries, the next step will be putting together the Demand Package. What’s important to know is that copies will be needed of all of your medical records from every appointment. This includes the hospital records (if you went), and anyone else you went to. This could include chiropractic records, orthopedist records, dental records and even records from your primary care physician.

Don’t worry about the records until you are done treating. Once that happens, a Request for Medical Records and a Request for Billing Statement will be sent to each provider along with a HIPAA Authorization. This allows the medical provider to release the records and billings statements which are used to prove the damages in the case.

Some doctors will provide the copies free of cost and will even email it or fax it if you ask them. Others will have a copy company provide the records and charge you up to a $1.00 a page. Regardless, the records are needed and so the charges must be paid if there happens to be one.

Many times, it becomes necessary to assemble medical records from every doctor you ever visited for a period of 5 years before the accident even happened. I know it sounds crazy, but many times the insurance adjustor will demand to see those records to prove (or so you can disprove) that the current injuries existed before the accident. This is what is known as a pre-existing condition.

Regardless of the types or amounts of medical records you may have, the best thing you can do is to call the Ticktin Law Group at (954) 570-6757 as soon as possible. By speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer and going over all the facts of your particular claim, you will get a much better idea of what steps you should already be taking, what kind of insurance you have and what compensation you may be entitled to.

 

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