You Deserve Schimmerling Injury Law Offices on Your Side
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.
From Battisti & Garzo, PC
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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.
What can I do to protect assets in case I need nursing home care?
Nursing home care is very expensive, with round-the-clock skilled care costing $5,000 to $10,000 a month. Medicare and private health care insurance do not pay for such “custodial” care, although brief nursing home stays for “rehabilitation” purposes could be covered. A person could buy “long-term care insurance”, which is a special insurance designed specifically to pay for nursing home care. This option always should be explored, but normally the insurance must be purchased well before the skilled care is needed. A large majority of people, however, do not have long-term care insurance, as the premiums can be fairly expensive. Most people, therefore, have to use their own assets to pay for their care, until they “spend down” to certain “resources” and “income” limits, at which point a government program named “Medicaid” could provide coverage. These Medicaid limits are very low, so most people will have to deplete almost all of their assets and income to qualify. In the case of a couple where one spouse needs nursing home care, Medicaid law does protect the home and a certain amount of investments for the other spouse. There are ways to protect assets from nursing home costs involving the gifting of assets to children and others, but most types of gifts must be completed well in advance (up to five years) before Medicaid is applied for. Some fairly common gifting options include transferring real estate with a “retained life use” or transferring investments to irrevocable “Medicaid Trusts”. Before undertaking any such planning, you should seek the advice of an attorney well- versed in elder law.
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.