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mediationIt has been nearly two months since Hurricane Ida swept through southeast Louisiana leaving homeowners and business owners devastated. By now, many individuals have filed a claim with their insurance company to begin to recover for any losses.

As previously mentioned, homeowners typically have 180 days to file an insurance claim after a hurricane, unless the deadline is extended. Once submitted, the insurance company will review your claim and either deny or approve your claim. However, you may want to contact an attorney to protect your rights in the event that a disagreement arises between you and the insurance company.  Disputes often arise between policy holders and the insurance company when a claim is denied, payments are being delayed, or the damages were undervalued and underpaid.

hurricane ida damageOnce a storm passes and the sky begins to settle, reality kicks in. Many people are left with destruction and just want to get their lives back on track again. This usually means that individuals must start reaching out to their insurance company and file a claim for damages. So, what are the time limits to be mindful of when dealing with hurricane damage claims?

Generally, if an individual is unable to come to an agreement with their insurance company to cover their losses after a catastrophic event like Hurricane Ida, he or she has the right to file a lawsuit. According to La. R.S. 22:868(B), the lawsuit must be initiated within 24 months after the date of loss . Even if the matter is still in dispute with the insurance company, the lawsuit must be filed within two years from the date of damage.

hurricane evacuation route signGetting back on your feet after a storm can be exhausting, especially when trying to deal with your insurance company. In early September, Louisiana Insurance Commissioner, Jim Donelon, urged insurance companies to pay evacuation expenses of policyholders affected by Hurricane Ida.

A majority of homeowners policies include coverage for additional living expenses (ALE). This coverage is intended to cover costs when individuals cannot access their homes due to an evacuation order, physical barriers, or hazardous road conditions blocking entry. It generally extends up to two weeks following a disaster if you were ordered to evacuate, but it will extend for a longer period if the home is deemed uninhabitable.

women driving carIn an instant, you or a loved one may find themselves in the unfortunate situation of being involved in an automobile accident. But, did you know that women are more likely to be injured or killed as a result of these accidents.

A new study done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that women are much more likely to suffer a serious injury in a car accident than men. While men are involved in more deadly crashes than women, women are 20-28 percent more likely to be killed on a per- crash basis. They are also 37-73 percent more likely to be seriously injured after speed and other considerations are factored in.

spinal cord injuryCar crashes and other types of accidents can and do cause injuries. However, the severity of those injuries can vary. A victim may suffer a minor, serious, or catastrophic injury. For example, a victim may walk away from an accident with some minor cuts and bruises, or may have a broken leg that the doctor expects will fully heal. Or, a victim may be in an accident that causes damages to the spinal cord and is so severe that it leads to quadriplegia.

So, what is considered a “catastrophic” injury?

lawyer meeting clientIf you have sustained any personal injuries or property damage after a car accident, it is best to seek the help of an experienced attorney. Meeting with your attorney after an accident may be nerve-wracking, but your initial consultation is an important step in bringing a personal injury claim. This meeting gives your attorney the insight needed on how to best advance your claim. You should never hold back any information because it is crucial that your attorney knows everything about the incident, as well as your personal history.

To best prepare for your meeting, you should bring any and all documentation you have regarding the accident. These materials may include:

attorney meeting with client
Have you ever found yourself frustrated that your attorney will not call you back?

According to the Rules of Professional Responsibility, an attorney has an obligation to keep their client informed and up to date with any new information regarding their case. Unfortunately, many clients complain about the lack of communication between them and their attorney. It can be extremely frustrating for clients who want to know what is going on with their case or just want to give their attorney some new information.

children riding ATVI am sure we have all seen someone carelessly riding an all-terrain vehicle down the road and thought to ourselves how dangerous those vehicles can be. This is especially true when we see children riding or operating these machines. ATVs have become vastly popular with almost 8 million of them in use today. But, with their growing popularity also comes record numbers of riders in the emergency room or dead.

Many children grow up riding ATVs and see no danger in them. Many parents even allow their children to operate these types of vehicles from an incredibly young age without ever obtaining a proper license or wearing protective gear. However, I highly doubt any parent would allow their minor child to get behind the wheel of their car before having a license or permit, so why do we see children driving ATVs and other off-road vehicles so frequently?

man shoplifting alcoholHave you ever been detained in a store by a security officer? Did that officer use excessive force? It is important to know your rights if you have been apprehended and accused of shoplifting, whether the allegations are true or not.

When an individual is suspected of shoplifting in a retail store, he or she is likely to be detained by security or the store owner. In Louisiana, this detention may not exceed sixty minutes. Although the store personnel may keep the shoplifter detained for a reasonable time until the police arrive or the situation is resolved, the detainee has the right to remain silent and does not have to sign an admission of guilt.

For hundreds of millions of people around the world, Coronavirus has us on lockdown, wearing masks, maintaining social distance and self- diagnosing every odd pain, sniffle and sneeze. Most of us want to bust out of this governmentally ordered self-quarantine faster than a politician’s promise that help is over the next horizon!

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