Disability Insurance-Do I Really Need It?

No one likes to spend money on insurance. It is something that you pay for, but unlike a new shirt or a delicious meal, you never really see it or even enjoy it, for that matter. There is no instant gratification when you write a check each month for your insurance premium. As a result, I believe many people buy insurance only when they are required to do so. For example, in Florida, you have to have insurance on your car in order to renew your vehicle tags each year. And now, with “Obamacare,” you have to have health insurance or suffer a penalty. Continue reading “Disability Insurance-Do I Really Need It?”

Pain & Suffering – What’s it Worth?

Can you sue for pain and suffering in an accident or medical malpractice case in Florida? The short answer is yes. However, there are other factors that go into pain and suffering claims and the potential for monetary awards. These are things you need to take into consideration if you are thinking about bringing a pain and suffering lawsuit. Continue reading “Pain & Suffering – What’s it Worth?”

Homeowners’ Insurance Policies and Exclusions for Long-Term Leaks

Do insurers have a responsibility to pay for long term leaks in the house? The answer is usually no. Most homeowners’ insurance policies have an exclusion for long term leaks. The policies will pay for leaks that are discovered and attended to right away, and insurers do have a responsibility to pay for these leaks (after the deductible is met, of course). However, no insurer will pay for damage that could have been avoided by fixing the leak when it was first noticed.

Insurers will also contest paying for long term leaks that took a long time for a homeowner to notice. That is because there is a reasonable expectation that a homeowner would notice something that would indicate to them that a leak was going on and get it fixed before it became a larger problem.

If the homeowner only lives in the house part-time, or was away for several months for work or other reasons when the leak first occurred, there might be an argument that there was no way to avoid it turning into a long term leak, due to the absence of the homeowner. It will be an uphill battle to get a homeowners insurance policy to pay for leaks even in these circumstances, and the responsibility for them to pay for those leaks is questionable. However, if there is ever a chance to get a long term leak repaired by homeowners insurance, it is in this circumstance alone.

Since long term leaks are an exclusion to coverage, it is the responsibility of the insurance company to prove that the damage was not sudden and accidental, but occurred over a long period of time. A homeowner who makes a claim for leak damage and says the leak was recent can expect insurance adjusters to come to their home to gather evidence to prove their case. The leak and the damage it has caused will be closely examined, pictures will be taken, and statements from the homeowner may be taken, as well. The insurance company will use this evidence to try to prove the leak is a long term one instead of a recent problem.

If the insurance company cannot definitely prove the leak is a long term one and the homeowner cannot definitely prove it was a sudden leak, the case for the claim may go to court. There, it will be up to a jury to decide the true nature of the leak.

If the leak is determined to be a recent one, the insurance company will be ordered to pay the claim, and probably attorney’s fee and the court costs of the homeowner. If the leak is found by the jury to be a long term one, the insurance company will not have to pay for it, and the homeowner may responsible for the court costs of the insurance company.

Of course, most leak cases do not get to the point of going to court. Going before a jury is not the most desirable outcome for either the homeowner or the insurance company. If length of time over which the leak has occurred cannot be determined, both the homeowner and the insurance company’s interests may be best served by a compromised settlement.

In every case, the best outcome is for the homeowner to avoid long term leaks by taking care of leaks as soon as they occur. This way, there will never be any question of the nature of the leak, and the homeowners insurance company will pay the claim without argument.

Attorney Luckman’s practice areas include personal injury, insurance and disability claims, long term care claims and insurance law. There are no legal fees in contingency fee cases and no fees at all unless your case is successfully resolved through negotiation or court award. For a complimentary case review, call Attorney Eric Luckman at (561) 737-3133.

Bicycle Accidents Risks and Remedies

The State of Florida is a bicycle rider’s paradise. With virtually year around sunshine and warm weather as well as miles and miles of incredibly beautiful coastline, it should come as no surprise that bicycles are a common sight in Florida. Unfortunately, despite efforts by advocacy groups and governmental agencies to making biking safer, riders remain at serious risk of being involved in a collision with a motor vehicle. Moreover, bicyclists who are involved in a collision often suffer catastrophic, even fatal, injuries. If you have been injured in a bicycle crash and another party caused, or contributed to, the collision you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Continue reading “Bicycle Accidents Risks and Remedies”

Delray Beach Automobile Accident Attorney

If you were involved in a car accident, of course you want to recover the maximum amount of compensation possible for your losses, injuries and expenses, including medical bills, lost income, automobile and property damage and more. Florida’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance laws limit recovery to 80% of injuries and 60% of lost income, regardless of who was at fault. Continue reading “Delray Beach Automobile Accident Attorney”

Florida Bad Faith Insurance Claims

Some insureds parties do not understand the obligation of their insurance providers to act in good faith when they make a claim. These insureds expect that their insurance company will handle their claim honestly and fairly, but what can they do if the insurance company balks? Sometimes the insured will take the insurance company’s word that an event isn’t covered by their policy. However, Florida does have an “Insurance Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act” which, allow insured’s a remedy when their insurance company does not handle their claim in good faith. Continue reading “Florida Bad Faith Insurance Claims”

Motorcycle Accidents: What happens when insurance companies let you down?

According to information released by Florida’s Integrated Report Exchange System, during 2012 there were more than 9,000 accidents involving motorcycles on Florida roadways. In total, 457 drivers and passengers were killed and overall, there were more than 8,600 injuries. Continue reading “Motorcycle Accidents: What happens when insurance companies let you down?”

Understanding Florida Wrongful Death Claims

Wrongful death claims in the state of Florida are classified as those deaths which are directly related to someone’s negligence or a deliberate action that led up to the death. Wrongful death claims must be filed within two years in order to stay in compliance with the statutes of limitations. In all cases, wrongful death claims are considered civil litigation and have a different burden of proof than a criminal trial. Continue reading “Understanding Florida Wrongful Death Claims”

Motorcycle accident victims often suffer at the hands of insurers

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According to “Ride Smart Florida” there are more than 600,000 registered motorcycles across the state of Florida. Unfortunately, statistics also show that during 2012, there were more than 9,000 accidents involving motorcycles. When you combine the speed of a motorcycle with the lack of protection offered to drivers and passengers, it comes as little surprise when serious injuries or death occur after a motorcycle accident. Continue reading “Motorcycle accident victims often suffer at the hands of insurers”