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.