What to do if your insurance company is not being helpful

Disasters that damage commercial properties can prove to be too costly to the owners and their business. Most often, the only probable and fastest solution that can help property owners rise up from losses is through insurance claims, to which larger premiums have been paid for purposes of adequate protection during catastrophes.

Many calamities have occurred, though, and many commercial property claims have been filed, but the usual responses from insurance providers have either been total denial of the claim or payment that fall short of the full amount of premium specified.

Filing for claims is almost always without a disputed issue, a fact that points to the interests of the insurance firm and the insured frequently in opposition of each other. For the insured believes that after paying the stipulated premiums, the insurance provider will pay for all things claimed or the full amount of benefits specified in the contract. This, however, is almost always never the case as insurance firms oftentimes resort to means that will keep them from paying the full benefits. Not keeping to their end of the deal, insurance providers often get accused of acting in bad faith, that is, unjustly treating claims made, either through denial or under valuation of damages and losses for minimal payments.

To approve a claim, information related to the following are required by insurers:

  • What caused the loss
  • Whether the loss is actually covered by the policy
  • The extent of damage to the property
  • Which items need replacement or mere repairs
  • The actual cost required in the repair or replacement of the property
  • The actual amount the insurance firm ought to pay the claimant

The Texas Department of Insurance points out that cause of loss or damage to property is not limited to natural disasters, like earthquake or weather events, but also fire, flood, plumbing leaks or theft. A denial or any under valuation of claims can have a major effect on owners of properties.

According to Texas insurance claim attorneys of Williams Kherkher, commercial policy claims are seldom straightforward. Unfortunately for policyholders, commercial insurance policies are written so poorly that courts are frequently required to interrupt what benefits the business is actually entitled to when it suffers a catastrophic loss. A quick look at your commercial policy shows something like, “If X occurs we will pay the cost to repair your property, unless Y also occurs. If, however, Y causes Z then we will pay to repair the loss.

When your commercial property is damaged, bringing your business or organization back online can come with an enormous repair bill that may be impossible to fund without swift payment from your insurance company. Now, whether your insurance company is causing unreasonable delays in payment, pressuring you to accept a too-low offer, or has denied your claim in its entirety, seeking skilled legal representation can help you to resolve the conflict in a timely manner so that you can begin the recovery process. The sooner you file a claim, the better, so take action today.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from Car Accidents

Traffic accidents can be strong enough to inflict serious injury or death. For this reason, many survivors of devastating crashes experience emotional and psychological stress. This can be considered more tragic if the incident has been triggered by somebody else, like a drunk driver or a speeding vehicle.

According to the website of these Panama City car accident lawyers, victims have legal options to pursue, such as compensation. But at the end of the day, even compensations are not enough to offset the damages of post-traumatic stress.

How Post-Traumatic Stress is Diagnosed
To be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, a patient needs to pass certain criteria, such as the following:

  • The person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event that is capable of inflicting serious injury or death
  • The person’s reaction to the traumatic event involve fear and sense of helplessness
  • The traumatic event is re-experienced, in the form of flashbacks, hallucinations, nightmares, and other mental movements
  • Emotional and psychological problems arise when the person is exposed to symbols and cues that relate to the traumatic event

Other Signs of Post-Traumatic Stress
Aside from the general criteria above, victims may have other symptoms and reactions associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. These symptoms and reactions include the following:

  • The victim tries to avoid any stimulus associated with the traumatic event, such as conversations, places, and thoughts
  • Difficulty in concentrating and sleeping
  • Increased irritability
  • Social withdrawal and disinterest

Treatment
In order to treat post-traumatic stress disorder from car accident victims, it is important for the health professional to enlighten the victims regarding the disorder, its symptoms, and its possible effects to life. This gives the victims the impression that the disorder can be common on such traumatic events and their cases are not isolated. Once acceptance of the disorder has been established, it will be much easier to treat.

Below are some of the treatments that can reduce or cure post-traumatic stress disorder:

  • Exercise and other physical activities
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy
  • Medication
  • Relaxation therapy

Workers’ Compensation Benefits Plus the Possibility of a Third Party Claim

There are different forms of danger in any type of work environment, these dangers being dependent on the kinds of equipment, tools and substances workers or employees are regularly exposed to. Of the different types of workplaces, however, construction sites remain to be among the most dangerous due to all the tools and hazardous substances that can possibly cause injuries or illness; add to these the high places workers often need to reach in order to complete their assigned task. Some of the causes of worker injury include falls, especially among those working on roofs, ladders or scaffolds, falling objects that can severely injure (or even kill) workers, huge vehicles or equipment that can pin and crush unsuspecting workers, plus daily exposure to chemicals which can cause deadly, chronic illnesses.

As one of the most dangerous career fields in the country, construction work leads all other occupational categories in causing fatalities and serious injuries among workers. In 2013 and 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) reported 4,585 and 4,679, respectively, fatal work-related accidents. Before 1971, the year the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established, the number of work-related deaths in construction sites was about 38 a day; from 1971 to 2014, the yearly average of fatal accidents was significantly reduced to about 13 a day.

According to OSHA, the number one cause of death for construction workers in the U.S. is falls from great heights, such as falling off from roofs, ladders or scaffoldings; about 2.3 million construction workers work on these surfaces everyday. In 2014, there were 899 fatal accidents in construction sites; about 359 of these were due to falls.

Workplace accidents can result not only to physical injuries, but to financial difficulties too, particularly if the injury is serious as this would mean costly medical treatment and medication, and days or weeks off from work, which means no salary to expect. If not for the cash benefits provided by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance program, there wouldn’t be any financial safety net that will cushion injured workers from the unexpected loss of regular income (the cash benefit paid by Workers’ Comp, however, is just about two/thirds of the injured worker’s average wage). This Workers’ Comp program, by the way, is a state-administered insurance program that is designed to provide immediate cash benefits to workers whose injury, disability or illness is work-related (regardless of whose fault the harm is). The only factors that will disqualify a worker from eligibility to receive the cash benefits are the injury being self-inflicted, the injured worker was intoxicated at the time when he/she was injured, or if the injury was sustained as a result of actions that violate a law or a company policy on workplace safety.

An article in the website of the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm mentions how important it is for a worker to “evaluate whether he/she has any other potential claims as a result of being injured on the job in addition to his/her Workers’ Compensation benefits. In New Jersey, for instance, there is the possibility of a third party lawsuit in addition to bringing a Workers’ Compensation claim. However, workers cannot sue their employer unless they are able to prove the injuries were caused by willful actions.

However you may be able to bring a third party claim for your injuries. For example, if you were injured by a defective product or piece of machinery, if you were operating a vehicle while in the course of employment, were injured while making a delivery such as slipping and falling on ice, or tripping in a pothole, or if you were exposed to a toxic substance you may have a third party claim.”

Common Defenses In A Product Liability Case

When a product is sent and sold to the market, there is always an assumption that it has been tested and hence safe for use by customers. However, while majority of the products are free from any risk, some defective products still find their way into the market. According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, when this happens, customers can sustain serious injuries or even get killed.

While customers have the right to sue the manufacturer for selling a dangerous product, the manufacturer will not just give in and give the customer a tough legal battle. The defense will map out several defensive strategies, the following are the most common defenses they will use:

1. Assumption of Risk

If the plaintiff is aware that the way they will use the product could result to injury or malfunction, the defendant could leave the lawsuit unscathed based on the defense of “assumption of risk.” In contrast to contributory or comparative negligence where the customer is not aware of the possible results of their negligence, there lies the difference with assumption of risk.

2. The Statute of Limitations Has Expired

Another common defense of the defendant has to do with the statutes of limitations. They can prove in court that the plaintiff filed the case after the expiration of the statute of limitations.

3. Misuse and Alteration

A manufacturer may be freed from liability if the use of the product was contrary to express and adequate instructions or warnings that come with the products. In addition, the manufacturer can also defend themselves from liability when the product has already been altered after leaving its hands.

4. Breach of Warranty

The defendant may not be held liable if the plaintiff was unable to provide them with proper notice or if the warranty was disclaimed. So if the plaintiff agreed with the defendant at the time of purchase that the warranty was not applicable, the defendant is acquitted of liability.

When You Survive a Car Accident

They say that victims have graves and that survivors have scars. When you survive something horrible, it is considered a gift or a blessing to be able to live after it—but it can also be quite the burden to have to carry the burden of that horrible memory for the rest of your life, especially when you did nothing to warrant the incident in the first place.

Many people know this pain as, according to the website of the lawyers with Williams Kherkher, there are over two million car accidents that happen every single year. Because of these accidents, there are then hundreds of thousands of people who are then injured when they survive. If they don’t, their surviving kin then has all the grief and mess to deal with—and for every lost life due to a car accident, there are then widowed wives or grieving parents and siblings or benefactors left in a state of destitution.

So, what happens when you survive a car accident?

A car accident, when you think about it, can be something as inconsequential as a scratched paint job or even a dented bumper when these are incidents that may be inconvenient but are overall harmless. The kind of car accident that involves personal injury, however, can be far more damaging than what first meets the eye. When personal injury comes into play, things can get a bit more than just complicated.

For example, if a person was injured or wrongfully killed due to a car accident, then legal action can be taken in order to demand for recompense for the damages done, otherwise known as the injuries. This can be a trying process as there’s more than just the basic medical expenses that need to be covered, and insurance coverage can be tricky.

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