Insurance agents have a duty — both legally and morally — to provide you the insurance policies that cover the things and people that you hold dear while still fitting within your financial means. Even more, insurance agents have a legal obligation to provide coverage that covers the things that you expected it would, based on the policy acquisition process.
In short, if you bought a certain policy because an insurance agent led you to believe that the policy would cover something — but when needed, the policy was inadequate or did not actually cover those things, then you have legal standing to take action against the negligent agent. Litigation around insurance claims can often be confusing or intimidating since insurance companies have so much power and money at their disposal.
Some law firms, such as Grisham & Kendall, PLLC, like to fight for the underdog against those big groups. However, if you are just curious about the topic or exploring the idea of taking against a negligent agent, I have done some research and explain some of the most common topics associated with this important issue:
What is negligence?
Proving negligence is a beast in of itself that I will discuss, but before that, we must have a common understanding of what entails negligence for an insurance company agent as it relates to the inadequacy or dissatisfaction with your insurance policy. Negligence, in this case, would relate to the insurance agent purposely, or with an overt amount of carelessness, providing you with an insurance policy different than the one you discussed in the policy purchase/sign-up process. Misrepresenting the nature, price, or coverage of your insurance policy also counts as negligence.
Another instance of a potentially-criminal action that an insurance agent could commit that would leave room for negligence claims/litigation is if your insurance agent fails to transfer your premium payments to the insurer (for example, if the agent keeps your premium payments for themselves…), and your coverage lapses or is in some way affected.
Most professional companies have some sort of Errors and Omissions insurance policy in which if an employee is held liable for negligence or errors in the practice of their trade, the company will be able to pay back the damages and harms experienced by customers or vendors by their employees’ malpractice.
This Errors and Omissions insurance policy held by the insurance company will likely be the source of your settlement. But before you get to the payment stage of the litigation around a negligent insurance agent, you have to provide proof of not only the harms experienced by the negligence but also the existence of the negligence itself.
Working with an experienced lawyer, you must be able to prove that you indicated interest in a specific policy aspect or coverage area that was then misrepresented to you by the agent. Sometimes this can be difficult. The worst-case scenario is a disputed liability situation or “he said, she said.” The best-case scenario is one in which there is a physical record of the mistake or negligence. So don’t go deleting meeting notes or emails exchanged with your agent!
Did you know that getting into a crash with a commercial truck is significantly more dangerous than getting into an accident with another passenger vehicle? In 2016, 2,112 people lost their lives in accidents with a commercial vehicle. Of those 2,100, 97% were occupants in the passenger vehicle. Truck drivers accounted for only 3%. These numbers are clear on this. When you get into a wreck with a commercial truck, you’re almost certainly going to lose. Just under half of these wrecks occur during peak driving in the morning, between 6am and 3pm. Of these crashes, 60% of them occurred on major highways or interstates. This means that speed plays a huge role in the crashes. But there are other factors at play as well. Truck drivers face a lot of pressure to work long hours in order to meet deadlines. This causes fatigue and slowed reaction times. Many crashes are caused by tire problems as well. Maintaining an 18-wheeler is part of a driver’s job but it’s a ton of work. It’s complicated and involves far more work than just maintaining a standard passenger car. On the website for Russo, Russo & Slania, P.C., a team of Tucson drunk driving truck accident attorneys, I found out that alcohol can also play a role sometimes. The attorneys at this office work on personal injury cases involving a truck driver under the influence of alcohol. They make sure that victims in these accidents have their medical bills, rehabilitation, and lost wages taken care of by truck drivers that make the irresponsible decision to get behind the wheel when drunk.
Sometimes, trucks can weigh up to twenty times more than a passenger car. That means that impacts with a commercial truck can send your vehicle flying a far distance or have it crushed under the immense weight. A collision with one of these trucks is likely to result in severe injury, time away from work, and time in physical rehab. All of these things cost money, not to mention the undue heartache and stress involved. Luckily, most companies that finance these vehicles require that drivers have physical damage coverage that will cover the cost of damage done in a wreck. The minimums on these policies are much higher than the minimums you see on other passenger vehicles. Passenger vehicles can have insurance coverage as low as $25,000.
Unfortunately, insurance companies are not always easy to deal with. Without a lawyer, they may try to get you to settle for less than what you really deserve. If there are other parties involved they may give you the runaround in order that you file with a different insurance provider. Sometimes they’ll even go as far as to hire a private investigator to try and collect evidence that undermines your injury claims. All of this can be mitigated by hiring a lawyer. When you get a lawyer, they’ll handle all communication with the insurance company so that you don’t have to. They help with negotiation and they also can give you a complete outline of everything you need to do so that an insurance company can’t find a reason to deny your claim.
Is there any object that better suggests wealth, power, and success than a yacht? If there is, it’s hard to think of one. Perhaps a private jet, but that isn’t as comfortable for those important business get-togethers.
A yacht really shows that you have class, and you have the ability to show off that class in the best ways. When you have a potential client or a new business partner and you really need to impress them in all the right ways, a yacht can go a long way to get the first impressions right.
Here’s the problem, though: most of us don’t have yachts. Most of us don’t even know someone who has a yacht. We can all recognize how nice it would be to have a major business party or corporate outing on a yacht, but we may not have access to one to make that happen.
There’s a solution for this, though, and that’s in yacht rental. Despite the success of this idea, it isn’t as well-known as it should be. That’s why I want to write about it here. It’s great, it’s affordable, and it provides that perfect yacht experience for your business needs.
Here in Chicago, we have Anita Dee, which has been highly praised for the success of the events it hosts. Imagine cruising around Lake Michigan and down the river through downtown Chicago in the best style. It’s an irresistible mental image. I know less about other cities and parts of the country, but there are sure to be yacht rentals wherever there’s a decent-sized dock.
One of the great things about this option isn’t just the immediate impression you give, but the flexibility a good yacht rental service offers you. Most yacht rentals will give you options about how you want the event catered. You can get the best drinks, high-quality catering, and more. At the same time, you have enough space to organize the party or get together to meet your specific needs. You can make the event as intimate as you want.
Sure, you could get these options by renting out a big room in a hotel or by just going out to a good restaurant, but you wouldn’t be able to provide the same effect. There’s something about yachts that make people want to take risks, to find that next level of success. You spend time on a yacht, and you start to wish that yacht was yours. That, in turn, makes you eager to make the deals to reach that kind of success.
I’ve seen it happen plenty of times. Yachts are magical that way. It’s why they’re popular for weddings as well. It just makes you believe in a better future when you’re looking at a beautiful city from out on the water.
When you’ve got a big meeting ahead and a client you have to land, don’t risk it by just doing the same old dinner and drinks. Get them on a yacht and let the water make the sale for you.
A woman in Halifax, Pennsylvania, has begun trying to raise awareness around birth injuries.
Her first effort, a “One Armed Cartwheel Challenge” is an event to do just that.
The woman, Ashley Krise, is so motivated because of her own tragic story, and that of her son Jaxon.
“My son, Jaxon, had a traumatic delivery,” she told her local ABC station, ABC27, “He was stuck, his shoulder had rotated completely. He had no brain activity, and at that point, the doctor is doing everything he can to get the child out to save them.”
Jaxon, according to the report, has made an incredible recovery since then. Now four years old, he has partial feeling in his arm (though it still remains partially paralyzed), and he is engaged in most of the activities kids his age usually are. For instance, he rides his bike.
Jaxon’s condition is called Brachial Plexus Palsy.
The one-armed cartwheel challenge is designed to allow others to experience activity how Jaxon does every day. Krise hopes that the event will bring in members of her community and help raise some viral awareness of her son’s condition in time for Brachial Plexus Palsy Awareness Week in October.
Birth injuries are an unfortunately common incident and result from problems during the birth process, as opposed to genetic issues, which are called birth defects.
Among the most common and well-known birth injuries are cerebral palsy, but other injuries can range from Shaken Baby Syndrome to Cephalohematoma, to brain and spinal injuries. Sometimes, it can also be infections.
These events can at times be simply the tragic result of a difficult birth, as in Jaxon’s case, but they can also at times be the result of medical error.
No matter the origin of the issue, parents like Krise feel the problem is not well known or understood, and the children who suffer from such conditions require more funding to help them succeed in life like Jaxon.
Participants of the One-Armed Cartwheel Challenge are encouraged to donate to Shriners Hospital for Children, which Krise credits for rehabilitating her son.
“They are the ones who gave us hope,” Krise said.
The hope of Krise, and other parents like her countrywide, is that there are more stories like Jaxon to be celebrated and publicized. And, with more generous donations, ever more stories to tell as hospitals like Shriners get the funding they need to turn the tragedy of a difficult birth into the triumph of one-armed cartwheeling children everywhere.
Readers of this article are encouraged to visit the One-Armed Cartwheel Challenge event if they are in the area. Otherwise, they are encouraged to donate to their local children’s hospitals, or to national organizations that help children with birth injuries. If nothing else, readers are encouraged to share Jaxon’s story with others.
There are numerous accidents that can happen in construction sites – electrocution, falling, getting hit by a falling object, getting caught up in a malfunctioning machine, among others. But this does not mean that workers can just accept their fate. In fact, it can be said that they deserve to feel safe, even if construction sites are meant to be hazardous.
This is not just a moral issue. According to the website of the Goings Law Firm, LLC, those who have been injured in construction site accidents, whether they are workers or passersby, may recover compensation.
But preventing accidents will always be the better option, even if taking the case to court means that you can get money. Nothing can compensate the pain and suffering of sustaining an injury, especially if another party, particularly a negligent or reckless one, has been involved.
Cleaning the premises
Employers and employees should coordinate in construction site safety, and one of the easiest things they can do is to clean the site. This will minimize dust exposure, which can be particularly dangerous to the eyes, skin, throat, and lungs.
Organizing the premises
Another basic thing they can do is to organize the premises, in a way that will prevent unnecessary accidents that may arise from disorganization, such as slipping because of an unattended construction tool on the floor and getting hit on the head by a falling construction tool because it has been misplaced.
Installing instructions and warning signs
Some construction site hazards are more obvious than others, but no matter the obviousness, instructions and warning signs should always be present. You will never know, because construction workers may be too involved in the job that they forget how to use common sense. Even a minor mental lapse can result into a disaster, particular when equipment and heavy machines are involved.
Even if the construction site is well-organized, an accident can still occur if the construction tools, equipment, and heavy machines are not properly maintained, because this may lead into defects and malfunctions that may ultimately result into accidents and injuries. Regular maintenance and inspection of these things should be done.
Avoid Driving While Drunk
The worst car accidents happen because of the negligence and recklessness of drivers. One of the most negligent and reckless thing you can do on the road is to drive while under the influence of alcohol. This is because alcohol has significant effects on your body that can limit your capabilities. This puts you at risk of car accidents. In fact, it is not just you who is at risk, because the others around you may even be involved in the accidents that you may cause
Those who have been victims of drunk driving accidents may get compensation from the responsible party – you. Not only that, drunk driving is also illegal, so you may face consequences such as substantial fines, license suspensions, and jail times.
The law is so strict against drunk driving because, as mentioned earlier, it is a threat in our roads. Here are some of the effects of alcohol on your body that can compromise your driving:
- Emotional tendencies, and these emotions may serve as mental distractions
- Feelings of drowsiness, making you close your eyes or lose focus on the road
- Poor comprehension, making you prone to misunderstand and misjudge road signs and traffic events
- Poor control of the body, especially the parts that are important for driving – head, eyes, arms, hands, legs, and feet
- Reckless tendencies, as drunk drivers are more likely to speed and weave through traffic
Both the jurisdiction and the driver should stop drunk driving. For jurisdictions, they can make stricter DUI laws and increase the possibility of arrest, such as setting up check points on strategic locations and encouraging authorities to really arrest drunk drivers.
For drivers, the key to avoid drunk driving is to pass the burden of driving to someone else. Here are some of the things they can do:
- Leave their vehicles at home
- Take public transportation instead
- Get a designated driver who will not take any impairment products
- If they already have their vehicles with them, give their keys to someone else to prevent access
Stay in until they become sober
The separation of a limb through surgical practice is known as amputation. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, amputation is surgery to remove all or part of an arm or leg and may be done to treat injury, disease, or infection. The amputation of a limb can be a highly emotional experience with consequences that range beyond the physical cost of the amputation Once the amputation surgery is complete, there are still many steps that an amputee must take on the road to recovery.
The first action that must be taken once someone is made aware of his or her need for amputation surgery is careful planning. Both the financial and emotional burden must be accounted for ahead of time. The costs associated with the loss of a limb can extend far beyond the basic cost of surgery. According to the Spiros Law Firm, the costs that should be considered include the full range of medical care as well as the cost of any medical or prosthetic devices that will be required post-surgery.
Once the procedure is complete, the amputee will be taken to a recovery room in the hospital. Recovery time varies from patient to patient. Once the patient’s vial signs, including breathing, blood pressure, and pulse are stable then the patient is taken to a hospital room to begin physical therapy. This therapy reflects the patient’s individual needs and can include stretching and exercises designed to promote strength, stability, and coordination. The ultimate goal of this therapy is to ready the patient for prosthesis.
While in the hospital, prosthetic specialists will visit the patient in order to determine the best design and fit for the prosthesis. Then the specialist will make the prosthesis. Once the prosthesis is made and fitted to the patient, then the specialist instructs the patient how to move with the limb. The patient will be allowed to go home from the hospital once doctors are sure that the healing process is going well and the patient can look after his or herself with assistance. Once home, the patient should continue to observe the protocol outlined by the doctors and specialists in the hospital. He or she should also expect to continue attending physical therapy. Additionally, pain medication and other types of medicine might still be required once a patient is sent home and should be accounted for as additional costs.
An impaired or drunk-driving offense is referred to (in some states) as either driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI). However, in states where both acronyms are used, DWI means intoxication due to alcohol, while DUI means being under the influence either or alcohol or prohibited drugs.
In all U.S. states, driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher is a crime. First offenders are usually charged with a misdemeanor, granted that no one was injured or killed while driving under the influence. In such case (killing or injuring someone), plus if the BAC level is higher than 0.08% or if the offense is the third or fourth violation, the charge would be raised to something more serious: DWI felony or DUI felony.
In alcohol-impaired driving cases, drivers suspected of driving while intoxicated are pulled over by police officers and asked to take a breath-screening test, also known as the Alco-Sensor test – the purpose of which is to simply determine the possible presence of alcohol in the driver’s breath. A positive result can lead to an arrest and once the driver has been taken to the precinct, he/she will be required to undergo a second test, which is a chemical test of the saliva, urine, blood and/or breath (using an instrument like the AlcoTest, Intoxilyzer, DataMaster or Breathalyzer) to determine his/her BAC level. Refusal or failure to submit to this second test can result to revocation or suspension of his/her license – this is based on administrative license suspension laws from the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). (Submitting oneself to a chemical test, if suspected of driving while intoxicated, is one of the conditions of licensure as stipulated by the DMV. Thus, a license implies that a driver has implicitly consented to the chemical test required by DMV). Administrative license suspension laws are observed in the District of Columbia and in 41 other U.S. states.
If convicted of DWI or DUI, a driver may also be required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in his/her vehicle. The IID is wired to a vehicle’s ignition; it will require the driver’s breath sample and will only allow the engine to start if no alcohol is detected in the driver’s breath. The device also requires periodic breath tests (while the vehicle is being driven) to make sure that the driver is continuously free from the influence of alcohol.
Furthermore, the court may require DUI or DWI offenders to fill out an SR-22 or Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR) form (also known as FR-44 in some states) to enable them to enjoy their driving privileges again. This requirement usually lasts for three years and one effect of this is higher vehicle liability insurance premiums.
Any person charged with DWI will need strong legal representation that will help him/her avoid unwanted penalties and which will save him/her from the harsh effects of a criminal conviction.