Do you need an experienced Binghamton, New York personal injury lawyer to effectively help you recover damages for your car accident/personal injuries and allow you to recover without getting hassled by another insurance company? My firm routinely represents accident victims throughout Upstate New York, including Broome County, Tioga County, Chenango County, Delaware County, and surrounding areas.
Do You Have Enough Uninsured Motorist Insurance?
Auto accidents involving drivers with no insurance or too little insurance are common. Victims of these accidents are often shocked to learn that they will recover little, if any, money for their injuries and losses. Fortunately, there is an inexpensive way for most people to avoid this tragic situation by having enough uninsured and underinsured motorists insurance. Here is a brief explanation of each.
* Uninsured motorists insurance. This protects you in the event a person who causes an accident and injures you has no insurance or is a hit-and-run driver. It lets you collect money from your own insurance company for your injuries and losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, and money for pain and suffering.
To benefit from this valuable protection, you must have it as part of your auto insurance policy.
Uninsured motorists insurance can be one of the best auto coverages you buy, as it provides a great deal ofprotection and usually at a low cost.
* Underinsured motorists insurance. This protects you in the event a driver injures you and does not have enough insurance to pay for all your injuries and losses. For example, he or she may carry only the minimum amount of insurance required by law, but it may not be enough to cover all your injuries and losses. Your underinsured motorists insurance will protect you so that you will be fully compensated for your injuries and losses (up to the amount of your coverage).
Underinsured motorists insurance also must be part of your own auto insurance policy. It is also usually inexpensive. You should immediately review your auto insurance policies to make sure you have enough uninsured and underinsured motorists insurance. These types of insurance can make the difference between recovering money for all your injuries and losses in the event of a car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver. If you have any questions about these or other auto coverages, contact your lawyer.
From Coughlin & Gerhart
What are some of the tax benefits of lifetime gifting to family members or other possible heirs?
By making gifts prior to death, in the proper manner, a person can reduce the estate taxes and inheritance taxes payable when they die.
When a person dies, the decedent’s estate may owe both federal estate tax and a state level estate or inheritance tax.
If a person dies in New York, his or her estate could be subject to the NY estate tax and the federal estate tax. If a person dies in Pennsylvania, then Pennsylvania inheritance tax may be owed.
Using a Lawyer Means Better Insurance Settlements
There have been reports recently of insurance companies contacting accident victims immediately after an accident.The companies tell victims they want to help and ask them to quicky settle their claim. If you are in an accident and this happens to you, ask yourself who the insurance company is really trying to help?
In one case, insurance adjusters contacted a 70-year-old woman's family just hours after she was killed in a car accident. They tried to get a settlement before the family could even gather its thoughts. Fortunately, family members told the adjuster they had an attorney, and the adjuster quickly left. In another case, a Florida woman thought she could deal directly with the adjuster who called her right after her accident. But the adjuster is now accused of improperly obtaining information from the woman —information the insurance company is trying to use to lower the amount it pays.
Why are some insurance companies going to such lengths to persuade accident victims to not get a lawyer's help before settling a claim? Simply because they can settle claims for less money if the accident victim is not represented by a lawyer.
Lawyers help clients get all the money they are entitled to after an accident. Most accident victims don't know all their legal rights or all they are entitled to under the small print of an insurance policy. Because of this, getting a lawyer's advice before settling a claim is critical for an accident victim.
Insurance companies that try to disrupt this process sometimes suggest that using a lawyer won't help the accident victim get more money. But the insurance industry's own research proves the opposite is true. For car accidents, insurance industry research shows that the average accident victim receives more money for economic damages (like lost wages and medical expenses) when represented by a lawyer, even after deducting all costs. And when recoveries for pain and suffering are considered, the larger recoveries by accident victims use lawyers is significantly higher.
If you are in an accident, seek legal help immediately. A lawyer can advise you about all your rights as well as advise you about all insurance benefits you may be entitled to receive. Insurance industry research and common sense show that it is wise to consult a lawyer after an accident, and before settling an accident claim.
From Coughlin & Gerhart
Why is lifetime gifting such an important part of the estate planning process?
There are several benefits to lifetime gifting that we will be covering in detail over the next few segments.
There are estate tax benefits, income tax benefits, and Medicaid planning benefits that can be achieved by a person making gifts to their heirs while they are still alive rather than waiting until they die to make bequests.
The Value of Having a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you get in an accident and want to make a claim, one of the first things you have to decide is whether to use a lawyer, or whether to make a claim against the wrongdoer and his or her insurance company yourself. For many reasons, if you are hurt in an accident, you should get a lawyer's help rather than try to do it yourself. Here are some of the main reasons.
- You can get a free consultation to discuss and evaluate your case. An experienced personal injury lawyer can tell you how strong your case is. Also, because a lawyer knows the many different things that accident victims can recover money for, you can get a good idea about how much money you're legally entitled to recover.
- Your lawyer can help you on related matters. For example, your lawyer can recommend doctors who are specialists for treating your injuries and refer you to car repair facilities.
- You need someone on your side who's experienced in dealing with insurance companies. Insurance companies have many people working for them. Often, they'll try to avoid or delay paying valid claims, or offer unfairly low amounts to settle claims. Accident victims need someone to assert their rights to get what they are legally entitled to. An experienced personal injury lawyer, who knows how insurance companies work, is the best person to do this.
- You pay only if you win. A key benefit of using a lawyer for personal injury claims is the contingency fee. A contingency fee is a fee that's paid only if you win. It is typically paid out of the recovery. Contingency fees are great because they let anyone who has a good case get legal help. Because of contingency fees, accident victims who don't have much money can win claims against large insurance companies.
- You will likely get more money. For most accident victims, this is the main reason for using a lawyer. A study was done which shows that auto accident victims who use lawyers receive about 25% more money than those who do not use lawyers even after deducting all costs.