Why Personalized Service Makes a Difference at a Law Firm

Big firm or little firm? It’s a major question for law firms and for clients alike. Do you want to join a big firm or a little firm? Do you want to found a big firm or a little firm? Do you want to take your case to a big firm or a little firm? There’s plenty of advantages for both options, which is why both big and little firms thrive in the legal world. However, understanding what you lose when you go with a big firm is important and often neglected.

I say that because too many people automatically assume bigger is better. A big firm has lots of lawyers. They probably have very attractive claims about how much compensation they’ve brought their clients. They may be able to put their names out there more, getting more name recognition. It’s true that there is a lot to be said for big firms. However, in my opinion, there’s far more to be said for smaller firms, and that doesn’t get said as loudly.

A smaller firm would refer to those that have a relatively small number of lawyers. These can be family law firms like Adams Law Firm here in Houston, or they can be individual lawyers or partnerships or two or three lawyers. It’s easy to assume you get less when you work with fewer lawyers, but the truth is, you probably get more.

Bigger firms may have so many lawyers that they hardly know each other. They may not collaborate on cases at all. At the same time, they probably have a huge caseload that shuffles your case around and makes you a far lower priority. A smaller firm, on the other hand, is far more likely to make you a priority and to provide a personalized experience. What does that mean? It means that you meet your lawyer and spend time with your lawyer. When you call, your lawyer calls you back quickly, and they don’t check their watch every minute they spend on the phone. At a small firm, you are a person, and that means your case actually matters to your lawyer.

Big firms take on so many clients that you may only be the facts on a piece of paper to them. Those lawyers are more likely to be motivated by reaching a settlement as quickly as possible so they can move on to the next case, and that settlement might not be the best outcome for you. A smaller firm won’t rush your case. They won’t take shortcuts. They won’t take the first settlement offer that comes forward. When your lawyer sees you as the person you are, they’re going to try to get you the best possible deal.

Maybe you’re more comfortable going with a big firm with lots of cases and lots of lawyers. That’s fine, but for my money, I’d rather go to a smaller firm where my concerns would really be heard and my claim would really be fought for.

What Does Experience Mean?

What does experience mean in the modern world? It’s a question I’ve long pondered. In times before now, before the internet, iPhones, and the constant availability of knowledge, experience was truly important. You needed people who knew everything about something in order to run the world because it just took too long to learn new things.

That’s still true in some areas. We need want experienced doctors, for instance, and we still want experienced astronauts and scientists. Those fields are too complex to pick up quickly, but most others, it’s harder to say.

Take, for instance, accounting. Do you really need an experienced accountant anymore? Perhaps if you’re rich and you really want to avoid as many taxes as possible, but for the rest of us, it’s just a matter of using the right tax programs and doing a little research online.

How many fields will this be true for, in the future, I wonder? Will the state of knowledge reach a point where we don’t particularly need experts anymore?

It seems like this could possibly be true, in terms of available information, but that we’re going the opposite direction. Take a look at the job market. These days, an entry-level job requires two years of experience. How these two years are to be gained if entry-level positions aren’t available is not clear, but the requirement is there.

In fact, as machines and computers take over more manual and basic computation work every year, experience has become ever more prized, perhaps simply because we must prize some quality.

Or perhaps, we prize experience just because it’s in our nature to consider it an important quality, a respectable quality.

So, perhaps the question should be rephrased. Experience in the modern world means one of the few things people still respect and pay for. The question should instead be: though we respect experience, do we really need it anymore?

I would bet that 90% of the jobs out there could be done by novices with only the very slightest amount of training.

That training and the requisite brief period of researching answers that might also be required may slow down employees temporarily, but when they come at entry-level wages, surely many industries will think the slow down more than justified.

Which again makes me think the question should be rephrased. If we don’t need experience in most jobs, how long before businesses realize this and start making changes accordingly, even if their customers still prefer experience?

It’s a sobering thought, and it’s just another sign that the way we view the ideas of employment and income is sure to change in the coming decades.

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.

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

Post-traumatic stress disorder can be classified as a disability, according to long-term disability lawyers. It may be possible to seek disability benefits if your PTSD makes you unable to work.

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.

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.”

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