Structured Settlements: Worth it or Not?
Many people who are injured in an accident decide to receive their money in a structured settlement, which involves receiving payments over a period of several years.
There are several reasons why structured settlements may benefit an injured Plaintiff. First, by structuring payments over a period of time, the temptation to spend large sums of money is eliminated, thereby ensuring individuals have the necessary funds to take care of their future needs.
Second, a structured settlement may reduce the amount of taxes owed on the money that’s awarded; some settlements may also be tax free. Those who are receiving Medicaid benefits may be able to maintain their benefits since benefits are often contingent on the value of their assets.
While there may be benefits to structured settlements, it’s important for individuals to realize that the terms of an agreement are usually very rigid. This means that it is extremely difficult to modify a structured settlement once the terms have been agreed upon. A personal injury attorney can provide more information on structured settlements in order to help clients choose a plan that’s appropriate.
If you have a personal injury claim or lawsuit pending, you may want to think about what you are posting on any social networking profiles. Attorneys are turning to outlets such as Facebook and Twitter in ever-increasing numbers when it comes to finding incriminating evidence to use against opposing parties. What seems like an innocent blurb could end up costing you thousands of dollars-or even worse, the dismissal of your lawsuit altogether.
The purpose of any civil action is to make a plaintiff whole again. If you have been injured but post about participating in activities that require a great deal of physical stamina, this could cause a judge to question the severity of your impairments. Simply making a “tweet” about shooting a game of basketball or going waterskiing with friends could affect the value of your claim.
Posting about activities isn’t all that can get you into trouble. Making comments about what you’ll do with the windfall you receive from a settlement can also raise doubt and suspicion. Don’t think you’re safe just because your profile is private. Information posted on social media can be subpoenaed, and may be ruled admissible in a court of law. Your best course of action is to remember that the things you post online could be made public for anyone to see, so be careful what you say.
Remember if you have a personal injury case to call us before settling with or talking to an insurance company.
What to Do if Your Slip or Fall
Make Sure to Get Your Insurance Benefits!
Slips and falls can lead to a variety of injuries, making it important to take any instance of slipping and falling seriously. Whether you are the actual person who falls or whether you witness such an incident, it’s important to place first priority on the well being of the person who is hurt. It’s also important to take note of the setting in which the incident has occurred.
Make sure that the injured person receives appropriate medical attention right away. If you are injured in a fall, you may feel embarrassed over the incident. It’s not uncommon for such victims to shake off the incident and retreat quickly. Many will attribute a slip or fall to their own clumsiness. The reality is that many falls result from external circumstances and conditions that are difficult to see. An uneven walkway or a slippery substance on a floor can lead to disaster. It’s wise to stay in place until you can assess the conditions of the surrounding area.
With the availability of smartphones, it’s not uncommon for someone on the scene to have a camera easily accessible. Taking photos of the scene can provide documentation of the dangerous conditions.
This is especially important if an obvious obstacle is observed. If there are witnesses on hand, it’s wise to record names and phone numbers so that future contact can be made for the purpose of verifying details.
While a victim may not notice pain at the scene, a medical visit may be warranted to provide an assessment of any unseen injuries. If more serious injuries are sustained, immediate medical care may be necessary. More info on slip and falls can be found on our slip and fall page!
If you have suffered a fall as a result of another’s negligence, call our office for a free consultation to determine if you have legal recourse for financial consultation.
Auto Accidents and Insurance Coverage: Is Your Policy Adequate?
Auto accidents can be devastating. Most families rely on their automobiles for transportation to work, school and activities. A single event can turn the family schedule upside down. Worse, resulting injuries can lead to missed work or serious health problems. Protecting yourself through proper insurance is important.
In a stressed economy, many households choose to purchase the bare minimum in insurance. Comprehensive coverage may seem like a luxury because of the expense, but it’s worth reevaluating this area of interest when compared with the impact of losing a family vehicle. While some vehicles have low values, a more expensive vehicle will be difficult to replace if it is totaled.
If you can’t afford to replace your car, you need to give serious consideration to what you will do in the event of an accident. Full coverage isn’t a luxury but a necessity in such a case.
It’s also important to recognize that regardless of where the fault lies in an accident, there is the potential for medical problems as a result. The levels of insurance carried by the other parties in an accident may not be sufficient to accommodate your medical needs. Making sure that your insurance will address your medical needs allows for greater protection in the event of a wreck.
When you do experience an auto collision, it’s important to remain as calm as possible. Never leave the scene of the accident. Contact emergency personnel as quickly as possible in order to have the situation investigated right away. If someone is injured, proceed cautiously in helping. Providing information to a 911 operator can give you insight and direction on what steps you should or should not take to help an auto accident victim.
Following a serious accident, or an accident that has residual effects, a consultation with a professional is often necessary. The Law Office of Edward M Bernstein and Associates is one of the most experienced firms in dealing with auto accidents and can help you and your family get the compensation you deserve.
Give us a call at (702) 240-0000 for a free consultation!
I’m proud to announce that the $104 million verdict won by Edward M Bernstein and Associates was one of the top 10 verdicts in the United States for 2011 according to Lawyers USA.
As you may recall, jurors awarded our client Michael Washington $104 million against drug companies Teva Parenteral Medicines Inc. and Baxter Healthcare Corp for their negligence and defective design of their vials. Mr. Washington is one of the patients who contracted Hepatitis C from the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada.
This is an alert I think all drivers need to know about: the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) says some insurance companies intentionally underpay car accident injury claims. According to the alert, many insurance companies use computerized systems to generate “low ball” offers for car accident injury claims. My law firm has been fighting this for our clients for years!
The CFA says that consumers should be extremely careful when dealing with insurance companies in regards to these claims. The systems that they use – the most common one being “Colossus” – evaluate only general damages for many injury claims. These general damages include things like pain and suffering. But they don’t include “special” damages like past or future wage loss. So the settlement offers the systems produce don’t include a complete assessment of the actual costs.
The article says, “Credible concerns about computerized claims’ systems have been raised in litigation against many of the largest insurers in the country, stating that these systems have been calibrated to systematically underpay claims. Large settlements regarding these concerns have been reached with a number of insurance companies. In at least one case, a jury granted a very large award against Farmers Insurance…. [and] on July 18, 2007 CFA released a study regarding problems with Allstate’s use of Colossus…”
What I think you should do after a car accident: don’t sign anything and call my office for a free case evaluation. It’s in your best interest to contact my office… insurance companies want to pay you as little as possible! Aside from dealing with the insurance companies, we make sure your medical bills get paid and ensure you get the compensation you deserve!
-Edward M Bernstein and Associates
Here is the press release from the Consumer Federation of America:
SOME AUTO INSURERS MAY BE UNDERPAYING BODILY INJURY CLAIMS; CONSUMERS SHOULD CHALLENGE UNFAVORABLE OFFERS GENERATED BY COMPUTER CLAIMS SYSTEMS
Consumers who have suffered injury in automobile accidents should be aware that some insurers are using computerized systems to help determine the amount of the claim they will offer. These automated claims’ systems could result in unfairly low claims’ payments.
Find article at: Consumer Federation of America
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says in 2008 teens ages 16 to 19 years old accounted for 35% of all motor vehicles deaths— compared to just 4% of adults ages 30 to 59 years old. It’s a statistic we hear all the time, but car crashes are the #1 killer of teens— more than drugs, gangs, or any other type of violence.
But research shows parents play such a crucial role in teen driving education and one way parents are discussing rules and safety precautions with their teens is by using contracts.
The contracts have proven to be so effective that some insurance companies are offering discounts to parents who sign contracts with their teen. The USA Today article below says, “Gary Albert, a State Farm agent in Charlottesville, Va., says about 80% of his eligible customers now have them. Data on the number of contracts nationwide are not available.”
My office is committed to educating teen drivers and helping parents keep their kids safe on the road:
For a contract from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), click here.
To get a copy of our Driver’s ED test, click here.
-Edward M Bernstein and Associates
Are parent-teen contracts the key in driver’s ed?
By Larry Copeland, USA TODAY
Parents aware that car crashes are the leading cause of teen deaths increasingly are embracing a decidedly low-tech way to protect their beginner drivers: parent-teen contracts.
Find article at: USA Today
Wow! This is interesting… a new study out of the UK says 38% percent of drivers admit to lying to get cheaper car insurance rates! As car insurance costs continue to go up, the study says people lie to insurance companies about “annual mileage, where the car is kept, the value of the car and including named drivers on the car that are unlikely ever to drive the car.”
This can have some serious consequences because by lying you are risking your coverage all together if you do actually need to make a claim. There are ways to save on car insurance without lying; for example, shop around for the lowest rates or drive a different car to save.
And, if you are injured in a car accident, and need someone to help you fight the insurance companies involved, call my office at 702-240-0000, text us at 24-0000, or go to www.edbernstein.com.
-Edward M Bernstein and Associates
Do You Lie To Get Cheaper Car Insurance?
5 August 2010
By MoneyHighStreet Staff
As costs continue to rise, many resort to lying to help get cheaper car insurance, do you? If so this could have serious ramifications.
Find this article at: http://www.moneyhighstreet.com/car-insurance-news/do-you-lie-to-get-cheaper-car-insurance/