Policy Holders can Legally Hold an Insurance Company Responsible for its Bad-Faith Actions

Policy Holders can Legally Hold an Insurance Company Responsible for its Bad-Faith Actions

Hurricanes are among the most destructive natural calamities in the U.S. These have five different categories, depending on its wind speed; the stronger the wind, the more severe the damage these can cause, and, though no one would want to see the fruits of his/her hard labor damaged or destroyed by anything, when a hurricane strikes, there is no telling what may be affected and how much the damage can be.

Repair or replacement of damaged properties is usually begun after those affected receive the cash benefits from property insurance provider. Insurance firms, on their part, would send independent adjusters to claimants’ homes to assess property damages, sometimes a day or two after the disaster – a time when even property owners will not be able to correctly asses their own losses. Many of these adjusters, however, are new to the job or untrained and already content in making their evaluation of the damages from where they stand on the ground. Thus, it is not surprising that the estimations they come up with are often incorrect: undervalued assessment of damages, which means low amount of financial benefit a property insurance provider will have to pay.

Unknown to policy holders, sending new or untrained adjusters is actually just one of the strategies employed by many insurance firms to save themselves from making big pay-outs. Other insurance providers would even deny claims outrightly, using technical error as the reason for denial of claims. The fact is, this so-called technical error is nothing more than a skipped box or a missed signature.

Insurance providers are legally obliged to provide policy holders genuine commitment or the duty of good faith and fair dealing, especially in paying claims. Under the common law this duty is spoken of as the “implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.” Unfortunately, many providers transact business with dishonesty or fraud at the back of their minds. They enter into an agreement with policy holders with no real intent of living up to the terms of the policy they sell, while others intentionally twist the meaning of what is contained in a policy sold. This fraudulent act is what legal experts call “bad faith,” and there are different tactics employed by insurance firms to commit this act in ways hard to detect, like: failure to investigate a claim promptly and thoroughly, unreasonable denial of claim benefits or delay in the payment of claims, and so forth.

According to Anderson Cooper, the primary anchor of the CNN news show Anderson Cooper 360°, tactics employed by insurance firms may be identified as the three “Ds”: delay, deny and defend. Delay the handling of a claim; deny that a claimant is hurt or show that damages are minor; and, defend their decision even in lengthy court battles.

In certain instances, a claims adjuster would offer as little as $50 dollars. This is based on Insurance firms’ training manual’s instruction to pressure claimants until they accept “smaller walk-away settlements.” The sad thing is, many poor people take the offer rather than get nothing at all. Insurance firms bet that victims will neither wait nor sue, but would rather take whatever they can get and walk-away, not realizing that they are walking away from billions of dollars firm are able to keep for themselves.

According to the law firm Smith Kendall, PLLC, “when an insurance company denies or delays payment of a policyholder’s home or commercial property insurance claim when it knew, or should have known, its liability on the claim was reasonably clear, the carrier may have acted in bad faith. State courts know that a special relationship exists between an insurance company and its clients, and the former’s duty of good faith and fair dealing towards all of its clients. In some states, a policyholder may have both common law (i.e., law created by cases) and statutory (i.e., law from statutes or regulations) bad faith claims.

An experienced and aggressive attorney may be able to help you navigate this challenging area of the law and make sure that the insurance company is held responsible for its bad-faith actions.”

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a Repetitive Motion Injury

If your occupation requires repetitive hand motions, awkward hand positions, strong gripping, vibration, or mechanical stress on the palm, you may be susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome. Common occupations associated with carpal tunnel include: mechanic, assembly-line worker, janitor, tailor and carpenter. According to Mayo Clinic, the carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway, located on the palm side of your wrist, which protects a main nerve to your hand and the nine tendons that bend your fingers. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by that nerve being pinched, which causes numbness and tingling in the hand and arm. While the condition can be caused by a variety of factors, such as the anatomy of your wrist and underlying health problems, it can also be a result of repetitive patterns of hand use, as in the occupations we described above. This is what makes carpal tunnel syndrome a repetitive motion injury.

Repetitive motion injuries, also called repetitive stress injuries, are temporary or permanent injuries to muscles, nerves, ligaments or tendons caused by doing to same motion over and over. Repetitive motion injuries are common in the workplace. Because they usually form over time, after many repetitions of a motion, it is hard to pinpoint exactly how and when the injury occurred. In spite of this, it is still important to treat these injuries just like any other workplace injury.

According to Clawson & Staubes, LLC: Injury Group, employees who are injured while working are typically required to notify their employers of their injury. Injured employees should also seek medical treatment for their injury, so they can get the treatment needed for a full recovery. The treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive motion injuries will usually involve some sort of rehabilitation. According to the website for Johns Hopkins Medicine, rehabilitation programs may include occupational therapy, exercise programs, heat or cold applications, the use of braces or splints and pain management techniques. If you suspect that you are suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, talk to your employer and seek medical attention.

Dangers and Accidents On Board a Cruise Ship

The Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), a global maritime safety treaty, issued the “Safe Return to Port” regulation on all types of ships to ensure the safety of cruise ship passengers and the safe return of all ship passengers back to port. Besides these, SOLA also requires that all new cruise ships be equipped with self-sufficient and international standard clinics and other emergency facilities.

For the safety and benefit of passengers, the SOLA mandates are much needed. The the main concern, however, is how these are being observed (if these are being observed at all) because with the frequency and severity of disasters, injury to (and sometimes death of) passengers, viral outbreak, unsanitary conditions, crimes committed on board while on cruise (such as assault and battery, and sexual assault from other passengers or crew members), and many other negative issues involving cruise ships, the mandates appear to be very far from being observed.

Pirates, icebergs, and coral reefs, sea storms and rogue waves – these are never just the usual causes of cruise ship accidents. Leading to much greater inconvenience and, sometimes, worse disasters are accidents resulting from the negligence of ship crew and personnel in maintaining the ship and their incompetence in reacting well during emergency situations.

Thus, concerning one particular ship, some travelers once asked just how many power failures, fires, or other untoward incidents a cruise ship averagely undergoes during its lifetime. This comment or query was made after one particular cruise ship underwent a series of unbelievable bad occurrences: it was stranded out at sea for five days due to fire, thus turning what was supposed to be a grand, exotic and exciting adventure into a nightmarish experience to more than 4,000 passengers; had one towline snapping as it was being tugged to port; crashed into another boat and ended with a 20-foot gash on its side after getting unmoored; and, while undergoing repairs, it had to be evacuated by repair workers after nearby fuel barges exploded.

While a cruise ship vacation can really be a perfectly exciting experience, the dangers passengers will face, in the event of an accident can also be truly fearful, especially considering the fact that once it sails, passengers will have limited space and corners to run to for safety. The law firm Ritter & Associates lists down some of the dangers passengers may experience in a cruise ship, like assault and battery, slip and fall accidents, food poisoning, swimming pool injuries, head injuries, sexual assault from other passengers, and falling off the ship. Thus, in the event of an accident, it may be necessary that the victim consult with a cruise ship accident lawyer immediately. This is because the preparations, the documents that need to be submitted and the procedures that need to be observed, regarding a legal act against a cruise ship, are so much complicated and can only be done at a specific court in a specific state.

Renovating? Here’s What to Consider When Contracting a Roofing Company

Getting your roof repaired, replaced, or overhauled will often need expert solutions to ensure that the job is perfectly done. There are many roofing companies available to choose from. Finding the experts to contract for your roofing needs can mean the difference between haphazard work and a quality job done right.

Starting a renovation project with a roofing company requires some research at the get-go. You can’t just hire the first company you encounter in an advertisement. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with different companies, learn about the services they offer, and decide whether they can work within your planned budget. You can easily get this information by browsing the company’s website.

While doing your research on roofing companies, you should also check for information on their license and insurance policies. You will want to make sure that the contractor that you end up hiring will be taken care of and compensated by the company should any accident occur. Top companies like Best Roofing will comply with state and federal standards, as well as provide comprehensive training programs for their employees. It’s important that the company you end up working with prioritizes the safety of their contractors to ensure that they are reliable and reputable. You can even check what former clients have to say by asking for references and checking reviews online.

All in all, the success of your repair or renovation project will depend on the type of service that a roofing contractor can provide. Aside from ensuring that the company you’re choosing to work with has a stellar reputation, it’s also important that they offer warranties on their products and services, guaranteeing that any problem you might encounter at the end of a project can still be addressed immediately.

There are Federal Laws that Protect Your Senior Loved Ones from Acts of Abuse and Neglect

With the intent of protecting residents of nursing home facilities and upholding their interests, the U.S. Congress passed the Nursing Home Reform Act into law in 1987; the Act mandates that nursing homes participating in Medicare and Medicaid (or receiving Medicare and Medicaid funds) should “provide services and activities to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident in accordance with a written plan of care.” (http://www.nursinghomealert.com/federal-nursing-home-regulations-and-state-laws)

Supporting this mandate is a Federal Nursing Home regulation, which says that “the resident has the right to be free from verbal, sexual, physical, and mental abuse, corporal punishment, and involuntary seclusion.” (http://www.nursinghomealert.com/signs-of-nursing-home-abuse)

More than 15,000 nursing home facilities are located all across U.S. Besides giving shelter to more than 1.5 million residents: elders, individuals who may be physically or mentally incapacitated, and those in need of rehabilitative therapy due to illness or accident, these facilities are expected to provide all residents the quality care expected and required by the law.

Sadly, though, it appears that no kind of law would stop acts of abuse and neglect from being committed against nursing home residents. Despite the thousands of abuses and neglect getting reported every year, it is obvious that so many more remain unreported, especially the more sensitive and humiliating cases, namely sexual abuses.

Acts of abuse and neglect do occur in nursing home facilities in the U.S. and the most common reasons why these acts happen include lack or qualified and/or properly trained staff, overworked personnel, very demanding needs of the residents, the defenselessness of the victims and, it may be logical to include, the major intent of staff members, which is to earn and not necessarily take care of their helpless and/or aging residents.

Abuse, as defined under federal nursing home regulations, is any form of act that deliberately inflicts injury, deprives care or service, or results to intimidation, unreasonable confinement, or punishment resulting to physical harm and/or mental anguish. Neglect, on the other hand, can refer to failure to provide a resident with the necessary care and service which will ensure freedom from pain or harm, or failure to assist a resident during potentially a dangerous situation that can result to harm or anxiety. Neglect can be an intentional or non-intentional act.

Abuse and neglect of nursing home residents are very disturbing crimes since these are directed against defenseless people whose care have been entrusted to those who promise to provide quality care and service. As clearly stated by the nursing home abuse lawyers from the Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A., law firm, once you entrust the care of your loved one to an assisted living facility or nursing home, you have every right to believe that that facility’s staff or personnel will treat him/her with care and dignity. When this trust gets violated, you have every right to pursue legal action against whoever committed the act of abuse or neglect – for the sake and safety of your love one and all others in the facility. It would be wise to fight this legal battle with a highly-competent nursing home abuse lawyer by your side.

Common Causes of Maritime Accidents

Working on ships, ferries, and other sea vessels can be a dangerous job. Accidents casn cause injuries, property damage, and even deaths. In 2008, the US Coast Guard responded to more than 27,000 offshore incidents that caused around 800 deaths and more than $121 million in property damage. In order to reduce the risk of maritime accidents, it is important to ensure that a shipping vessel is “seaworthy” through proper maintenance and equipment.

According to the website of Williams Kherker, most maritime accidents are caused by negligence on the part of management or ship owner. Seafarers are protected by the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 otherwise known as the Jones Act, which allows them to collect damages if they can prove negligence on the part of their employers. In addition, the Jones Act entitles families of deceased maritime employees to collect death benefits for the death of their loved ones who were killed in a maritime accident.

Most maritime accidents were caused by human error which could have been prevented. Some of the errors that they make were due to being overworked, lack of sleep, or lack of proper training. A slight mistake by the crew can lead to serious injuries for the other workers. Human errors account for roughly 7 out of 10 maritime accidents. With a simple mistake, the boat could capsize, collide with another vessel, explode from a fire, or sink due to overboarding.

Maritime accidents can be preventable with proper care and maintenance. Likewise, keeping equipment up-to-date can also prevent accidents due to equipment failure. Aside from that, cargo must be properly loaded as it could result to head injuries, crush accidents, to name just a few. These are negligent acts which could make the person-in-charge liable under the Jones Act.

When reporting an injury or death, it should be accompanied by an accident report which contains the following:

  • the date and the location of the accident
  • The extent of damage
  • An expert evaluation of the most likely causes of the accident

Medical Wrong Diagnosis

The 225,000 yearly deaths due to medical negligence that are documented by the Journal of the American Medical Association can potentially but there are many more incidences of death-creating mistakes, in accordance with the same source, are never divulged to regulators, using the victims’ families, furthermore, never filing law suits against the liable party.

Medical malpractice is a reality that is blunt and it’s currently held as among the leading causes of death in the USA. It’s usually the consequence of acts of negligence and/or recklessness (and sometimes the selfish desire of getting larger earnings, consequently misjudging patients’ health disorders), leading to over-worked doctors and medical personnel, poor communication between physicians and nurses, and, the most ordinary origin of a chain of several other mistakes – erroneous analysis, that might mean skipped, delayed or over analysis.

According to the website of Williams Kherkher Law, a wrong identification may result in an individual being made to experience unnecessary lab tests, offered a wrong medical prescription, or subjected to a surgery or other kinds of therapy that aren’t desired. Meanwhile, the true illness may possibly aggravate (as it is not provided the correct therapy). The progression may be even caused by the unnecessary health care bills in the patient of a health condition that is severe that is new.

While physicians, unquestionably, would wish to give you individuals with the best treatment, they frequently fall into the error of limiting consultation period to a quarter hour in order to possess as many patients as you can. During this moment-constrained doctor-patient interaction span, several physicians still apply what many medical practitioners call as the “18-second rule.” This practice is distinguished by means of a doctor instantly distinguishing the patient’s complaints as a specific sort of sickness simply due to the symptoms’ likenesses with such sickness that was named.

There is a threat of acute injury or illness caused by wrong diagnosis (and other sorts of medical malpractice). To protect individuals and uphold their privileges whenever they fall casualty to medical suppliers’ negligent actions, medical malpractice regulations are passed to hold responsible the party/parties patient that were causing harm not unaccountable. Providing those who have fallen victim to it’s a pleasant step in the direction that is best, although how significantly these regulations have reduced the prevalence of medical negligence might be controversial.

Are Amusement Parks Really Dangerous?

There is something about the thrills of an amusement park that entices both excitement and fear.

From the taste of metal in your mouth while you can’t help but scream as the rollercoaster you’re on speeds on and loops and rises only all too slowly and only for all of it to drop faster than Greece’s GDP to the mixed calm and adrenaline from being so high up in a ferris wheel but how soothing the gentle mechanical movement of it all is. From the lights and music that inspires something sweet and nostalgic from the carousels to the unending amusement that bumper cars have to offer. In a place designed for fun, happy memories, and excitement – it is hard to think that anything bad can happen in a place like this.

Unfortunately, thanks to the negligence of some people, incidents like this are more than just possible. They have happened before, even.

Amusement parks are held to a certain standard of care due to the potential threat that their rides and attractions can cause if not properly maintained or manned. It is not, after all, your responsibility to ensure that the premises that you enter is safe for you. The park’s management and administration should be held accountable for any injuries caused by malfunctions or negligence while you are on the grounds of the park. The branch of the law that covers your case in this, according to definitions stated by the website of the people with Williams and Kherkher, is the one of personal injury.

Technically speaking, “personal injury” is defined as any injury (physical, emotional, and/or mental) that is caused to a person due to the negligence of another party. The intent is irrelevant as the party that caused the injury will still be held accountable no matter the variables of intention.

Wrongful Death in Kentucky

When someone dies because of another person’s action, it can be murder (with intent to kill) or wrongful death (accidental). It may seem like splitting hairs; it still means that someone is dead. However, there is a big difference in terms of the punishment. When there was intent to kill that person, it is a criminal act, and that person will go to jail. On the other hand, if there was no intent to kill and the death came about by accident or a s a result of an assault, it is not a crime. However, the person or entity responsible for the death will still be civilly liable if there was negligence involved. Louisville KY personal injury lawyers call this wrongful death.

All states have laws regarding wrongful death. In Kentucky, wrongful death is “the death of a person (that) results from an injury inflicted by the negligence or wrongful act of another.” (Kentucky Statutes § 411.130) The act may have been intentional, such as beating up a person with a bat, but it does not necessarily mean that the desired end was the death of the victim. A good example is road rage. It is easy for two people to act recklessly in the heat of the moment, and if one of them dies as a result, that would be wrongful death, not murder.

A clearer example would be product liability. If a drug company sells a product they know could have serious side effects on some patients, but intentionally withholds this information from the public, they become civilly liable for anyone who dies from taking the drug. While the drug company did not assault or even know the victim, the fact that they violated their duty of care towards their customers by withholding vital information means they are directly responsible for that death.

As the victim is dead, other people may file a wrongful death suit. Kentucky law only allows the personal representative of the deceased’s estate to file. The probate court names the personal representative. Any awards from the lawsuit will accrue to the estate and be distributed to the legal beneficiaries of the estate, if any, once all administrative expenses, including funeral and burial expenses, are deducted.

The spouse and children are the primary beneficiaries, but in the absence of both, the parents of the deceased will receive the award. If there are no surviving parents, the estate is distributed as dictated by the deceased’s will, or in the absence of a will, any other legal heirs. A wrongful death lawsuit can be filed even as a criminal case is ongoing; Kentucky law only allows one year from the victim’s death for a wrongful death lawsuit to be filed.

What to Put in Storage

The website of Ben White Mini Storage says that choosing the right storage unit is an important part of your move. With this comes choosing what to put in a storage unit and what to put in your new home. Although this varies with how much extra space you have in your new home, here are some common items one should keep in storage.

Childhood memorabilia is great to look at when you are feeling nostalgic, but it is not typically often people are inspired to relive their younger years. These items will most likely take up space that needs to be filled by objects of the present, so keeping them away from your living space without actually throwing them out is your best bet. The nostalgic feeling will only increase after having it away in storage for so long.

If you still want to keep all of your old furniture but are downsizing, do not stress about being able to fit all of it in your new living space. It’s tough to be happy when you feel crowded in. However, you never know when you may need the furniture again, whether it is to give to a friend, sell for extra cash, or need for future homes. Your best bet is to keep your excess furniture in storage.

Keeping accessory vehicles such as four-wheelers, boats, or extra cars at your home takes up space you can use for things you will need at momentary notice. They also hinder your ability to entertain your friends at home due to the mass amounts of space taken up in your garage or on your sidewalk or street. These vehicles are usually used for planned excursions anyway, so keeping them in a relatively close storage space will not be an inconvenience.

Storage space may cost you a little extra money, but the pros of it easily outweigh the cons, especially if you have too many things and not enough room.