Articles Tagged with Personal Injury

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.

fed ex delivery truckOnline shopping and the use of delivery services has become a common practice by millions of Americans. The ability to shop online is saving shoppers time, money, and the stress of dealing with crowded retail stores. The roads are filled with delivery trucks like UPS, FedEx, DHL and Amazon Prime. With this becoming the new norm, the number of commercial delivery trucks on the road has significantly increased.

Naturally, the more delivery trucks on the road, the higher the chance of one of them being involved an accident. Some of the leading causes of delivery truck accidents include:

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.

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.

new orleans potholeLouisiana road conditions are ranked among some of the worst in the United States. This is especially true in New Orleans, where potholes are nearly unavoidable. A ride through the city can be very bumpy, and it may ultimately put a dent in your wallet.

Flat tires, rim damage, punctured exhaust pipes, broken axles, alignment problems and other damage to the body of the vehicle are just a few ways in which hitting a pothole can damage your automobile. A study done by the American Automobile Association revealed that potholes cost American drivers roughly $3 billion in vehicle repairs annually.

mri scanBetween traveling to and from work, running errands, taking road trips, and shuffling the kids around, we spend more time in our vehicle than we may realize. Because of this, motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common causes of injuries in the United States.

If you are lucky, you may walk away from the accident with just some scrapes and bruises. But some symptoms may be delayed. For the first few days or weeks, you may not be in any pain at all. However, this does not mean you were not seriously injured. Once the adrenaline has worn off and time has passed, hidden injuries may become noticeable. Because delayed injuries can be dangerous, it is always important to see a physician as soon as possible after an accident.

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?

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