Pages Menu

Posted by on Sep 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

4 Ways To Get Your Landlord’s Insurance Policy Information So You Can File An Injury Claim

Landlords are responsible for keeping the properties safe and habitable. In fact, they can be held liable when a tenant or a visitor gets injured due to the landlord’s negligence. The first step that someone has to take when injured is to try to file a claim on the landlord’s insurance policy. But unless that information is provided in the lease, the tenant or visitor may not know how to find the information. Here are 4 ways that you can locate the insurance company information when you need to file a claim against a landlord. 

Ask the Landlord 

You can ask the landlord for the name of the insurance company and the policy number. You shouldn’t have to tell him or her why you need the information at this point, but he or she will probably ask you why you need the information. Of course, if the reason for the injury was due to their negligence, they may not be cooperative in providing you with the information that you will need in order to move forward with filing a claim against their insurance policy. If the landlord does not cooperate, do not threaten at that time that you will file a lawsuit. You don’t want to put the landlord on the defensive in the first stages of the personal injury claim process. 

Look at Courthouse Records 

If your landlord has a mortgage on the house, and it’s likely that he or she does, you may be able to find the name of the insurance company on the mortgage documents for the property. Mortgage companies require insurance coverage at the time of closing. Fortunately, mortgage documents are matters of public record, which means you can read the mortgage documents at your county courthouse or online if the land records office provides that ability. Use this interactive tool to locate your county courthouse to determine whether or not these documents can be viewed online or a trip to the courthouse will be necessary.

It’s important to note that some counties require a fee in order to access records that are online. A clerk in the land records office can show you how to use the database to find the documents. Read through the documents carefully to find a clause that states the insurance requirements and it might list the insurance company’s name there or at the end of the document. 

Get a CLUE

If you still need help finding the name of the insurance company, get a CLUE. This is a report from the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange that lists various information including a history of the names of the insurance companies and the corresponding policy numbers that have ever been attached to the home. Call the most recently listed insurance company to see if the landlord’s policy is still active. 

One huge benefit of getting a CLUE report is that you will also see each claim that has ever been filed against insurance policies for that particular home. This means that you’ll be able to see if any previous tenants have also had the same or similar issues with personal injuries due to the landlord’s negligence. 

Get a Subpoena

If you’re still not having any luck, hire a personal injury attorney, like those at Spesia & Ayers Attorneys At Law, so he or she can get a subpoena. A subpoena can be issued to mandate that your landlord provide you with the information for the insurance policy through your lawyer. If he or she does not answer the subpoena, he or she can be held in contempt of court. 

If you do hire a lawyer, it will be a good idea to avoid corresponding with your landlord without your lawyer’s knowledge. That way, the lawyer can advise you on what and what not to say to your landlord, especially regarding the insurance claim and/or the potential personal injury lawsuit that you might file. 

Read More

Posted by on Jul 15, 2016 in Uncategorized |

When Your Credit Is Killed And It’s Not Your Fault: Can You Sue?

In today’s economy, almost every financial decision you make is based on your credit score. If your score is bad, landlords can refuse to rent to you, you often can’t buy a car or a house, and even small lending, like purchasing furniture on a payment plan, becomes difficult. It can takes years to recoup your score and get into good lending graces, so if your credit was destroyed by bad reporting, inaccurate collections, or identity theft, you might be looking for a way to take back what you have lost. Can you sue for damages to your credit? Here is what you need to know.

Know who to dispute the problem with.

The best way to explain who is actually responsible for your credit woes is through an example. If your internet company starts coming after you for unpaid bills, this affects your credit score. However, if your bills were actually paid in full and you are wrongfully sent to to collections for money owed, you might think the best plan of action is to go after the lender (in this case, your internet company) for their reporting mistake. However, under the law, you can’t actually sue a lender for messing up your credit score when they make a mistake. Instead, you need to dispute it with the credit reporting companies that create your score, even though they are only acting on what they have gathered from your apparent lending history. 

Generally, it won’t come to a full blown legal fight. You can hire a lawyer to help you send a letter showing the error in reporting and asking for your score to be amended properly. If they refuse to correct the score and pay you for financial advantages, you can then take the civil suit to court.

Know what damages you can collect.

So, what financial damages can you hope to collect from suing for bad credit? Here are some examples:

  • When you have poor credit, if you can secure a loan, those loans will come with higher interest rates because you are a high-risk borrower. Your lawyer can help you calculate how much money you would have saved had you been able to secure the loan with the proper credit score. This money from saved interest can be paid out as damages.
  • You cannot secure a loan because of bad credit. For example, if you want to buy a house, but are turned down due to a poor credit score, you are forced to rent instead. That rent money would have paid a mortgage, and is therefore lost equity on your part. 
  • You were unable to purchase home or rent in a better area because a landlord would not rent to someone with damaged credit. Your home might have been broken into and the resulting financial loss could be counted as damages. 
  • You suffered emotional damages because of the reported score. Often, a credit check is run for family law situations, such as when you want to get custody or adopt a child. Good credit indicates financial stability, and you can sometimes be turned down for custody of a child or for adoption if your credit report shows activity that is financially irresponsible. Not being able to move forward with a perfectly legitimate custody or adoption case is grounds for emotional distress damages in a lawsuit.
  • Punitive damages can be charged if the credit reporting company is shown to be negligent. Punitive damages are meant to prevent the mistake from happening again

If your credit has been wrongly destroyed, you should contact a personal injury lawyer from a firm like Trump & Trump to help you begin your dispute against the reporting agency. You don’t have to live with an unfair score, and you could be only a dispute letter away from collecting the money owed to you and living with the freedom that good credit allows. 

Read More

Posted by on Jun 1, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Car Accident Settlements: 4 Financial Impacts For Farmer’s Market Workers

Selling products at a farmer’s market is a great way to connect with the community, make some money, and showcase local foods. However, if you’re involved in a car accident before or after a farmer’s market event, then your role in the farmer’s market industry may be drastically changed. When someone else is at fault for the car accident, you can hire an attorney to hold the person liable and seek a settlement for damages. Along with compensation for costs directly related to your injury, there are four additional financial impacts associated with your job at a farmer’s market. By breaking down these different costs, you can help build a settlement case that is fair to your losses and the true financial impact you’re going through.

Lost Income

The severity of car accident injuries can often have a huge impact on your ability to earn money. Even if working at a farmer’s market was not your main source of income, you can still seek compensation for lost money earned. The amount that you make at a farmer’s market typically varies on your sales and will often be based on past results. When consulting with an attorney, you will often calculate different factors associated with the income from a farmer’s market. This includes how often the farmer’s market was held and your amount earned at each event.

For example, if you attended one farmer’s market each week and averaged $500 each time, then an attorney would seek $2,000 in damages for each month that you were forced to miss due to your injuries. This lost income can have a huge impact on your settlement case and help increase the final amount.

Lost Inventory

When traveling to and from a farmer’s market, you are likely transporting a lot of your goods with you. A car accident could cause fruits, vegetables, and other items to fly out of the vehicle and become spoiled as they are wrecked in the crash. All of these items are potential items that could have been sold at the farmer’s market. This loss in inventory can result in a huge financial impact and should be a part of your case. When someone else is liable for the car accident, a settlement case often involves compensation for the items that were damaged during the accident. Pictures and personal inventory documents can both be used to showcase how much food and product was actually lost during the car accident. Even if the items were not directly damaged, the car accident may cause them to spoil or have the inability to get sold due to your injuries and the emergency situation.

Assistant Workers

As you continue to heal through your injuries, you may rely on support to keep your farmer’s market going and continue to establish your presence at the events. One way to help with this is by hiring assistant workers to carry items, manage your products, and complete sales at the farmer’s market. If you were not injured in a car accident, these workers would likely not be needed. An attorney can include their costs as part of your settlement case and attempt to seek compensation for the expenses related to the additional help.

Adaptive Equipment

While preparing to return to your local farmer’s market, you may need to purchase special equipment to help you with setting up and moving product around. The injuries that you suffered may impact your ability to lift items, access the back of a truck, or complete simple tasks like opening and filling plastic bags. The purchase of adaptive equipment can make these tasks easier and cause less strain on your current injuries. By using receipts and cost estimates for pieces of equipment, an attorney can seek compensation for the items that you need. This will help you return to the farmer’s market with less out of pocket costs on your behalf.

Contact an attorney from a firm like Wolter, Beeman & Lynch to set up an initial meeting and get help with moving forward through a settlement case.

Read More

Posted by on Apr 22, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Smart Steps Toward Obtaining Your Social Security Disability Benefits

On the surface, applying for Social Security disability benefits looks like a simple process — you fill in an application and then wait for approval or rejection. Unfortunately, that process also includes a minefield of of potential sticking points, each of which can lead to a small but critical error barring from much-needed payments. Here are some smart tactics that can help you sidestep these mistakes and smooth the way for a successful Social Security disability application.

Lawyer Up

Unless you have an obviously devastating long-term or permanent disability or already have a detailed understanding of Social Security forms, your smartest first move will be to engage a Social Security lawyer, such as Todd East Attorney at Law. This type of professional can provide instant expertise so you don’t have to grope blindly through the complex process by yourself. An attorney will also know exactly what types of supporting data need to be gathered (and where to get them), how to decipher the sometimes-tricky terminology in the application forms and how to make the best possible case on your behalf. If you end up having to go to court to fight for your claim, you’ll be glad you already have this expert in your corner.

If you’re already in dire financial straits at the time of your disability application, you may wonder how in the world you’re supposed to pay for attorney on top of everything else. The good news is that a Social Security lawyer will work a disability case on contingency, getting paid only if you’re awarded your benefits. The lawyer then receives a percentage of the back pay awarded to you by the Administration (or a flat fee of $6,000, whichever method comes out to less money). The only caveat is that you may have to pay a small sum for the attorney’s out-of-pocket expenses, win or lose.

Fill in the Blanks (Correctly)

Social Security disability forms distribute a dizzyingly long list of disability categories across a two–part Listing of Impairments. In many cases the terms are by no means self-explanatory, and it’s all too easy to classify yourself under the wrong disability. This is a critical reason to have a Social Security lawyer handle the documentation. You’ll also have to provide a large body of medical documentation going back as far as the earliest signs of your impairment. Your attorney can track down and obtain the exact records you need to present your case.

Simply submitting the wrong forms of forms can derail your Social Security application right from the beginning. This is an easier trap to fall into than you might think because there are different types of Social Security benefits, each of which requires its own specific application. For instance, if you’ve paying tax dollars into Social Security over a certain period of years, you may qualify for SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance), in which you need to fill out that application form. If you haven’t been able to make those payments, then you may need to apply for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) instead. Fill out the wrong form for your situation, and you can expect to have your application denied.

Update Your Data Before the Hearing

If your application for disability has been denied twice by Social Security, you still have the option to taking your case to court in a hearing. In certain circumstances, you may not even have to make an appearance in court yourself — your Social Security lawyer may be able to persuade the judge to issue an OTR (“on the record”) ruling ion your favor based on the evidence presented. 

Updating your information for the hearing can be a major factor in your success or failure. That’s because Social Security disability claims place a high value on the “recency” of your medical documentation, defining 90 days as “recent.” This means if that if you don’t add supportive medical data from the previous 90 days into your claim, you may lose your case on that basis.

Put these intelligent tactics to work for your Social Security claim, and you’ll have a better chance of receiving your disability benefits. Good luck!

Read More

Posted by on Mar 31, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Reasonable Suspicion And Pretext–Their Impact On DUI Stops

Police officers in today’s society have a tough job. They are required to enforce the law but must also respect the rights of every citizen while they do so. To put this issue in perspective, imagine that someone in your neighborhood is planning to rob your home. You’d like them stopped before the crime happens, but you don’t want police to accuse everyone on your block of plotting a crime. 

This means that police must have reasonable suspicion that a crime is happening before a person can be detained for any reason, even in the case of a DUI. That way, your rights are protected. However, the actual definition of reasonable suspicion is murky. Knowing a little bit about it–and how it governs police behavior before and during a traffic stop–can help you behave in a way that could help protect you from misconduct.

What Is Reasonable Suspicion In a DUI Stop?

Impaired motorists often make themselves obvious to everyone around them. They exhibit many signs of reduced functioning, including:

  • Swerving inside a lane
  • Driving too slow or too fast
  • Drifting across the center line
  • Inconsistent acceleration or braking

If you’re seen driving in a way that is consistent with an impaired driver, the officer certainly has the right to stop you and investigate further. Often, this stop will lead to a request for field sobriety tests and possibly a breathalyzer. Depending on the law in your state, your options for refusal or failure of these tests will vary.

However, motorists are often detained and questioned when they have not displayed any signs of impaired driving. Some people point out that this practice of finding any pretext by which to detain a motorist contributes to racial profiling, but the practice is also used frequently to investigate a suspected DUI incident.

What Is a Pretext Stop?

Essentially, a pretext stop is when an officer believes that a significant crime–such as a DUI–is happening. However, they cannot articulate the reason for their suspicion in a way consistent with the requirements of having reasonable suspicion. To execute the stop, the officer then finds any minor traffic violation to detain you and begin investigating.

Often, police officers are given quite a bit of latitude in establishing the pretext for a traffic stop. That said, their power in these situations is not absolute. For example, if you’ve been pulled over for speeding and the officer notices that your speech is slurred, they can begin investigating your level of impairment. However, if no signs of impairment exist, they technically should not press that issue.

What Can You Do?

Only a legal expert can tell you exactly what your rights are in any specific situation. Unfortunately, this analysis almost always comes after the fact. You’ve already been detained, investigated, and charged by the time you contact your lawyer. That’s why it is important to know how to best protect yourself in a general sense before you’re subjected to a traffic stop.

The first thing you should do is to politely ask the officer for the reason behind the traffic stop. You have a right to know why you’re being detained. In the event that the stop goes poorly, your representation will need to know what the reasonable suspicion or pretext was. Having the officer state it will reduce the chances that it changes later.

Second, limit your answers to short sentences. This isn’t to mask any slurring or anything like that. People are naturally nervous in a traffic stop. Stuttering or tripping over your words could give the impression to an officer that you’re impaired–even when you aren’t. Brief answers help eliminate this possibility.

Finally, do not show anger or defensiveness. Many people become angry when they’ve been drinking, for a variety of reasons. Any combativeness on your part could be construed as a sign of intoxication–leading to further investigation and the establishment of reasonable suspicion.

While you’ll certainly need the help of a legal expert if you’ve been unlawfully detained or charged, the best time to begin protecting yourself is during the stop itself. By understanding how reasonable suspicion and pretext impact your traffic stop, you can properly set the stage for your attorney to be an effective advocate for your rights.

Talk with a traffic law attorney or click here for more info.

Read More
Page 4 of 10« First...23456...10...Last »