Articles Tagged with insurance coverage

Screenshot-152-300x249As if rebuilding and recovering after a natural disaster is not difficult enough, individuals must also beware of scammers looking to capitalize off of Hurricane Ida. Unfortunately, opportunists are looking for any way to take advantage of vulnerable people devastated by the storm. The biggest types of scams to watch out for are disaster charity relief scams, insurance scams, and FEMA imposters.

Disaster Charity Relief Scams. Whenever Americans see devastation in the U.S., many people feel inspired to help in any way that they can. Often times this includes donating money or supplies to hurricane relief organizations. However, fraudsters are always ready to take advantage of those giving back.

hurricane ida damage nolaOn August 29, 2021, Hurricane Ida ripped through southeast Louisiana as a Category 4 storm causing mass destruction and leaving communities completely devastated. Ida’s powerful winds and heavy rain resulted in many Louisianians being left without power, water, and even homes.

After such a devastating storm like Hurricane Ida, Louisiana residents are eager to start rebuilding and resume normal life. Homeowners who carry private insurance should first file a claim with their insurance company for any disaster-caused damage.

LA Supreme CourtLast year, Louisiana legislators pushed for one of the State’s biggest tort reform packages since the 1990s in hopes of lowering automobile insurance rates and encouraging out of court settlements. The Civil Justice Reform Act of 2020 (CJRA) was signed into law on July 13, 2020 and became effective on January 1, 2021. These changes are not retroactive and will only apply to any cause of action arising on or after January 1, 2021. The most significant changes include:

Amount in Controversy for Jury Trials. For many decades, jury trials were only available in cases where the amount in controversy exceeded $50,000. In the district court, the threshold has been reduced to $10,000, exclusive of interest and costs. The party seeking a trial by jury is required to post a $5,000 jury bond within 60 days of filing a jury demand. If a party files a jury demand but fails to timely post the bond, then right to a jury is waived. Although the CJRA did not change the jurisdictional limits of city or parish courts, it allows a defendant to seek a transfer to the district court to obtain the right to a trial by jury when the amount in controversy is more than $10,000 and the transfer is made timely.

louisiana gavelIn Louisiana, uninsured/ underinsured motorist insurance (UM/ UIM) follows the person, not the vehicle. So, if you have UM/ UIM coverage and are involved in a motor vehicle accident where the at fault driver is not insured, you will be covered even if you are not in your own vehicle, or any vehicle at all! But, there may be an exclusion in your UM/ UIM policy which could limit your insurance company’s liability.

The “regular use” exclusion contained in many policies excludes an insurance company from liability when an insured driver uses another vehicle they do not own and is not named on their policy, but which they use regularly. The term “regular use” may apply to a vehicle provided to you by your employer for regular transportation to and from work and for everyday work duties.

balance billingThere are very few individuals who can afford their healthcare entirely out of pocket. This is why a majority of people utilize health insurance which pays for most of the care. If your medical provider is an in-network provider and accepts the insurance you carry, you are guaranteed to be paying much less than if you were not covered.

But what happens when you receive a bill in the mail for services that you believed were covered by your insurance? This typically occurs when you have a motor vehicle accident and go to your family doctor using your health insurance to pay for the visit. Your health insurance company pays for most of your care, but then the doctor sends you a bill for the uncovered portion. Is that legal?

fender benderMany people know the feeling of frustration when trying to obtain fair compensation for any bodily injury and property damage after getting into a car accident. Auto accidents happen every day to even the most cautious drivers, but are the victims of these accidents telling the truth? Or are they trying to finesse the insurance company?

Unfortunately, honest people often pay the price for those who are out to scam insurance companies. Liars, cheaters, and crooks have no business being plaintiffs in personal injury cases. Especially when there are individuals who are legitimately hurt and would like to pursue a genuine claim, not just get a quick check.

Cardonehotelcollapse-300x200On Saturday, October 12th, a devastating collapse occurred at the New Orleans’ Hard Rock Hotel, leaving three of the on-site construction workers dead.

In addition, 30 others were injured as the top floors of the building crumbled down in the midst of construction. Amid the chaos, two of the three deceased still remain unrecovered within the rubble of the disaster.

drive_permission-300x200If you found yourself involved in an auto accident where you’ve been rear-ended and suffered injuries, what would you do? Would you know the best way to go about pursuing your legal options and getting the fullest and fairest amount of compensation possible? Certainly, you might know that you have the option to pursue a case against the driver who rear-ended you and her auto insurer for damages. However, would you know that your options may not end there?

If the totality of your damages goes beyond the policy limit of the auto insurance policy that the rear-ending driver has with her insurer, you can take an additional step, which is to seek payment under a different insurance policy’s underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage — the coverage on the vehicle you were driving. As is the case in a lot of auto accident lawsuits that involve possible insurance coverage, the insurance company may be aggressive in seeking out avenues that will allow it to avoid paying. That’s one reason why, if you’ve been rear-ended and hurt, you need to be sure you have an experienced Louisiana injury attorney on your side every step of the way.

verdict-300x200In civil litigation, there are several processes that go on at the same time. One is the conducting of the adversarial process in accordance with the rules of court that exist in Louisiana. Civil litigation, of course, is not just a mere game; it is more than just a series of rules and a contest that determines a winner and a loser. It is also the pursuit of justice. To achieve that end, the law allows you certain latitude in the conduct of your case. Put another way, Louisiana law is clear that hyper-technical compliance with rules should never trump fundamental fairness and should not prevent a deserving person from obtaining justice through a civil judgment. To ensure you get the justice you deserve in the Louisiana courts, make sure you have a knowledgeable New Orleans injury attorney on your side.

To understand this importance of prioritizing justice over hyper-technical compliance, there’s the case of B.T. and G.B. from Monroe. The injury that spawned this lawsuit arose from an intersection collision. D.T. ran through a stop sign and hit the vehicle driven by B.T. The impact hurt both B.T. and her passenger, G.B. B.T. and G.B. sued D.T. and his insurer. In their lawsuit, the pair alleged that D.T., by failing to yield at the stop sign, was 100% to blame for the accident and for their injuries. While the lawsuit named both D.T. and the insurer as defendants, only the insurer was served initially.

Louisiana_map-300x210In a Louisiana personal injury legal case, you may hear many technical words and phrases tossed around. You might hear things like “venue,” “personal jurisdiction,” “subject matter jurisdiction” or “territorial jurisdiction.” These things can be extremely important to your case because if you sue in the wrong court where jurisdiction isn’t present your action may get dismissed. Even if you are allowed to re-file later, it will cost you valuable time and may cost you your case entirely if the statute of limitations has run out. That’s why it is so important to get it right the first time. To that end, you should be sure that you have legal representation from a knowledgeable New Orleans injury attorney, to avoid these legal traps that can potentially stymie otherwise deserving plaintiffs.

One injury case that included extensive arguments about jurisdiction was the auto accident case of C.T. C.T. was injured in New Orleans in the fall of 2011. One year minus one day later, she sued in parish court in Jefferson Parish to seek compensation for her injuries. The injured woman sued the other driver and his auto insurer. The defense tried to attack the lawsuit using a procedural approach. They argued that because the accident happened in Orleans Parish and the defendant driver lived in Orleans Parish, the court in Jefferson Parish didn’t have jurisdiction to try the case.

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