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Auto Accidents – Fall Injuries – All Other Injuries

Personal Injury

Schimmerling Law Offices

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.

  • From Coughlin & Gerhart

    Before getting into their tax and nursing home planning considerations, are they are practical benefits to lifetime gifting?

    Definitely. My favorite one is that the person making the gift can see one recipient enjoy the use and benefit of the gift.

    For example, a grandparent can pay a portion of a grandchild’s college tuition and then can see the fruits of the grandchild’s college experience.

    Another example is giving to a charity for a specific project, such as toward the construction of a new wing to a hospital, and see with their own eyes all the patients benefiting from that expansion.

    It’s kind of like the feeling you have when you give gifts on a birthday and Christmas but on a much larger scale.

    These practical benefits, combined with the tax and Medicaid planning benefits, make lifetime gifting a very important part of many estate plans.

  • From Schimmerling Law Offices

    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

    How does the $14,000 annual exclusion work?

    Let’s say that a couple wants to annually gift some funds into a trust for the future education of their 2 children.

    Using the annual gift tax exclusion, each spouse can contribute up to $14,000 for each child. Therefore, up to $28,000 can be put into each child’s trust ($14,000 per each parent) for a total of $56,000 each year without any tax consequences. Of course, this is the maximum – smaller gifts are fine, as long as the total for the year, per person, does not exceed $14,000.

    A series of annual gifts using the annual gift tax exclusion can significantly reduce the size of the parent’s estate, thereby significantly reducing estate taxes or inheritance taxes that may be owed when they die.

  • From Schimmerling Law Offices

    After an Accident: When to Use a Lawyer

    If you've been in a car or other accident, one of the key questions you will have is: "Do I need a lawyer?" The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the seriousness of the accident and severity of your injuries.

    There are times when you may not need a lawyer's help after an accident. If you were in a minor fender bender and are sure you were not hurt, you may not need a lawyer's help.

    But for most other times after an accident, it is vital to have a lawyer's help. If there is a dispute over fault, it is important to speak to an attorney. If you suffered serious injuries from the accident, you should definitely consult a lawyer. Even if your injuries are small, you should still talk to a lawyer because some serious injuries take time to develop.

    One reason why it's vital to talk to a lawyer after an accident is because of the way insurance companies operate. An accident victim who deals directly with an insurance adjuster is taking on a huge risk. Insurance companies are in business to make money. One way they do this is to lower the amount they pay for claims, including your claim. They will try many tactics to do this, as they know you are inexperienced in handling accident claims. Having a lawyer help you deal with an adjuster gives you a much better chance to get a large settlement.

    There are other reasons why you should use a lawyer after an accident. Your lawyer can explain your rights and duties, and tell you how much money you are entitled to receive. In addition, some claims have special rules. Not following them can cause you to lose your claim.

    Maybe you are not only the victim, but are also accused of causing an accident. Your lawyer can help show if your "fault" was only small, to limit your liability. Your lawyer can also find out if you have insurance that will pay the claim or if someone else should share the responsibility.

    As the above shows, in most cases you should have a lawyer's help after an accident, especially if you were hurt. Having a lawyer's help will increase your chances of getting the best settlement and make sure you don't become another victim of insurance company misconduct.

  • From Coughlin & Gerhart

    How does gifting effect the estate tax or inheritance tax?

    Estate and inheritance taxes are based upon what a person owns on his or her date of death.

    Basically, the government takes a snapshot of the decedent’s assets on the date of death. Generally, all assets a decedent owns are taxable and must be valued at their current values, not what the decedent paid for them.

    If, however, a person has gifted assets in an appropriate manner prior to death, the value of that person’s estate could be significantly less. In essence, the more lifetime gifts, the lower the value of a person’s estate, thereby reducing the estate tax or inheritance taxes owed on the estate.