This is why insurance matters!
Here’s our list of some of the most common types of personal injury lawsuit cases:
Automobile Accident Lawsuits
Automobile accidents are one of the most common personal injury cases. They can involve high medical bills that may make it difficult for you to pay living expenses, keep you from working temporarily or permanently, and often leads to stress both emotional and financial. The lawsuit process for auto accidents is often lengthy, and may take several years.
Injuries to Children
Injuries to children are perhaps one of the hardest types of injury cases in which to receive financial compensation, just because there is much to prove in regards to who was at fault.
While judges and juries have sympathy for children, they also consider that the adults may be pursuing the case only for the money. In addition, insurance companies sometimes contend that an injury to a child is a result of his/her own negligence.
For example, if a child got hit by a car, the insurance company might say the child ran into the street and call it a “pedestrian dart-out” case. On the other hand, personal injury lawyers will normally call this a “pedestrian knock-down” case.
In cases where children have been injured, it is important to take photos of the accident scene and talk to any witnesses. This will typically help strengthen your defense. The younger the child is, however, the weaker your case is for non-negligence in most instances.
Slip and Fall
Slip and fall cases are very common.
In a slip and call case, a common defense is to contend that “comparative negligence” was involved.
What is comparative negligence? It essentially means that the victim might have had an accident because they failed to avoid the hazard when in fact it could have been evaded. When this defense is used, juries will take into account whether the plaintiff’s negligence contributed to the accident.
Slip and fall cases our often complex. For example, a person may have tripped when entering a store. Here, it is important to prove that the store knew that the slippery floor was a hazard, and should have put a floor mat down or otherwise tried to fix it.
Customers are often referred to as “business invitees,” which means businesses are responsible for their safety. There is also “attractive negligence” as well. Even if someone is trespassing, the owner may be held responsible. As such, if a child wanders into an unfenced pool, the owner could be held liable.
Many states require that a dog’s owner keep it secured or adequately confined. If you are bitten, and the dog’s owner was in violation of the law, you will likely be able to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Some states, however, have a law called a “one free bite” rule where the owner is not responsible if the dog bites someone for the first time. You would need to prove the dog had previously also bitten other people in order to win a case. For a list of states with the one free bite rule, visit Dog Bite Law. Continue reading
1. Put your pay-down-debt plan on autopilot. That credit card balance isn’t going to magically go away on its own. The experts’ advice? Make a plan to pay it off, then do it automatically. Your credit card statement tells you how much you’d have to send in every month to be debt-free in three years. Want to be back in the black sooner? Use Nationwide.com’s Credit Card calculator to figure out how. Then, “set up an online bill payment so that amount is deducted every month from your checking account,” says Gerri Detweiler, personal finance expert at Credit.com.
2. Enjoy your two-percent bonus. Maybe you missed it, but payroll taxes are going down in 2011, meaning that you’ll see an extra two percent in your paycheck. For workers making $50,000, that’s an extra $1,000 this year. Put it to good use by bumping up your 401(k) contribution up by 1 to 2 percent, putting the extra greenery into an IRA, or paying down debt.
3. Make the most of your 401(k) match. Nearly 40 percent of employees enrolled in a 401(k) plan aren’t contributing enough to get their full company match, according to a survey by Financial Engines. If you’re lucky enough to work at a company that will match 50 percent of everything you put in, up to 6 percent of your salary, then you should contribute 6 percent of your salary. “That’s like getting a 50 percent return on your money right away,” says Tom Adams, a financial planner in Downers Grove, IL. “It’s just a no-brainer to do that.”
4. Actually, aim for 15 percent. That’s right. You should try to put 15 percent of your income into retirement savings. Most experts think that is the bare minimum you should be contributing. One shortcut: If your employer matches, it’s okay to count that as part of your cut. (So if your company throws in 3 percent, you can get away with 12 percent.) “If you have at least 15 percent of your earnings contributed to retirement and continue doing that for the long run, you’ll have a very good chance of being able to live a comfortable retirement without having to work until you’re too old to enjoy it,” Adams says.
5. Put money in a Roth IRA. If all of your retirement savings are in a 401(k) or traditional IRA and tax rates soar before you retire, you’ll end up with less money after taxes than you’d planned. Hedge your bets by saving in a Roth IRA as well. There you contribute post-tax money and withdraw the cash tax-free in retirement. This is especially smart if you’re in a lower tax bracket now than you think you will be when you retire. If you can, max out your 401(k) and then save another $5,000 in a Roth. If you’re spreading your 15 percent around, split it between your 401(k) and a Roth, making sure you’re putting enough into your 401(k) to get your company match. Continue reading
Do you remember what’s in your home? A severe fire or total loss to your house is one of the worst tragedies imaginable. Having to replace your possessions compounds the tragedy.
Do you have a jewelry box? Can you describe every item in it? What are the items worth? The task of remembering everything you own from your socks to your flat screen television and determining out how much it’s all worth is intimidating.
Replacing our homes after a loss is very important but replacing our contents is one the most important aspects of picking up the pieces and putting our lives back together. Be prepared. We suggest using an online website such as www.knowyourstuff.org to inventory all of your possessions. If you are a client of our agency we recommend you take digital photos and/or videos and upload them to a secure website such as www.box.net.
And we will be there when you need us. The process of building trust and peace of mind begins the first time you sit down with one of our agents. It’s not about selling you a policy it’s about you knowing what to do and who to turn to for advice and assistance in the event the unthinkable happens.
What does it mean to be On Your Side Certified?
- Our staff is highly trained to provide you with only the best service.
- We take the time to explain insurance – without the jargon.
- We carefully customize each and every policy to fit our client’s unique needs.
To be considered On Your Side Certified, our agency commits to stringent customer service training and standards and is open extended hours. As part of our customer service commitment, we provide annual On Your Side Reviews to our clients and any other consumers looking for insurance assistance.
These reviews involve looking at the client’s current situation, any recent or expected life changes, and their current insurance coverages to make sure they are properly protected and to identify whether there might be ways they can save.
Do you remember the movie Ground Hog Day? The one with the infamous Ned Ryerson character. Whether Ned makes you laugh or wince, or simply makes you want to run the other direction, he represents the stereotype of my chosen profession, the Insurance Agent. You have to love him a bit because he cares so much about selling insurance. But on the other hand he’s a consumer’s nightmare, the sales guy who won’t go away, the one who cares more about making the sale than he cares about the needs of his client.
In addition to the pushy sales person we also have the competition in the form of Flo, Cavemen, and Lizards. What we are at LaMora Insurance is real. We take pride in being honest and professional. And isn’t that what you want your insurance agent to be? We strive to work individually with each of our clients to be sure they have the right protection for their situation…and every situation is different!
We will be using this blog to educate you on insurance and things you should think about as you make insurance decisions. Insurance is an important part of our lives. Some of it is mandatory; e.g., auto and home insurance, but many others are not; e.g., life and health. And it’s those others that are as equally important as the mandatory.
When I was first entering the workforce after college and looking for auto insurance most of my friends and neighbors suggested a local Nationwide agent who they felt treated them very well. During the next several years I interacted with my Nationwide agent on many occasions and came to know him as a very caring and well-respected person. He was not just an insurance agent but was also very engaged in community affairs, especially sports related.
Later in life when it was time for me to make a career change I felt that I too would like to be able to help people with their insurance and financial programs. Today in my agency we work very hard to keep our insurance programs affordable and appropriate for our clients. As our clients’ needs and financial circumstances change we need to be able to adjust with them.
I am fortunate to work with the best trained and most fair team of insurance adjusters who regularly go beyond what is expected in order to keep our clients happy. It is at these times of claims and catastrophe that we can truly serve our clients, this is when they need us the most. I’m proud to say we work hard to continue to be our best when everything around us may be at its worst.
I reflect back often to my former agent and hope I am being as diligent, compassionate and sincere as he was. I try to promote these same ideals to my staff and the feedback I get is a reflection of that.