Posts by Russ

My Property Is Ruined – What Should My Next Steps Be?

Posted by on Nov 28, 2017 in Insurance Appraiser | 0 comments

A large section of coastal America is learning a lot about property valuation this year. After so many big storms that destroyed so much property and infrastructure, there are a lot of people who never worried about these issues quite glad they took the safe route and bought property insurance.

Unfortunately, I’m one of the people who learned their lesson about what it means to live on the coast this year. Fortunately, I’m one of the people who thought far enough ahead to get homeowners insurance, and I also bought flood insurance.

A lot of people didn’t think about that second one, which means a lot of my neighbors are going to have a harder time collected on their damaged property. That’s a tough break after a tough year, and I hope they can come to some arrangement with the government or with their insurance companies. For now, though, I have to worry about my stuff.

So, what am I supposed to do now exactly? That’s the question I’m trying to work through. How exactly does my insurance work?

Let me slow down and explain my situation. My house is on a hill, so it actually didn’t get that much damage. However, my garage, which is lower to the ground, did get flooded, and my garage happened to be full of a lot of my stuff. I actually used it mostly as a lounging area, choosing to park my car in the driveway.

So, there wasn’t the need others had to rush out and figure out the insurance situation. Everything I need is okay, I just want to get my garage and everything in there replaced. Since that wasn’t a top priority, I decided not to burden my insurance company immediately after the storm and to wait a bit so those who needed assistance first got it.

Now, I think is a good time to go get that garage repaired, so I’m finally trying to figure out what to do.

As far as I can tell, what happens next after I finally file my claim is I need to get an appraiser. According to the research I’ve done, an insurance appraiser makes all the difference in what the insurance company is likely to pay out in compensation, but do I choose the appraiser? I suppose they’ll tell me that.

At this point, I suppose I just wait for them to do their calculations and hope for a big check.

As you can tell, this is a little hazy for me, so if anyone out there knows more specifics about this, I’d appreciate you contacting me. For instance, should I contact my insurance first or an appraiser? I don’t really know.

Let me know if any of you happen to be experts because I’d like to get these repairs done in early 2018. I miss having my garage space, and I think I’ve given it enough time for the insurance company to have the ability to take care of my needs now.

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Avoiding Target Fixation

Posted by on Nov 7, 2017 in Motorcycle Accidents | 0 comments

One of the great risks run by motorcyclists is not that other vehicles will hit them (although this is, of course, a great risk in and of itself) but that they will run into other vehicles simply by trying to avoid them.

That may sound counterintuitive, but it is the truth. By focusing on not hitting an object, motorcyclists can, at times, run directly into them.

The process is called target fixation, and it involves steering towards an object because you are so focused on it. An example can help clarify. A biker sees a big semi-truck ahead. The truck seems to want to switch lanes but can’t make up its mind. The biker gets nervous and keeps his eye fixed on the truck. Instead of driving straight, the biker ends up driving towards the truck because that’s where his gaze is pointing. When the truck does finally decide to move into another lane, the bike is right where it shouldn’t be and an accident takes place.

Now, the truck in that scenario is still ultimately at fault, but the biker has done nothing to help himself.

Target fixation is a real problem for bikers precisely because the vehicle they ride is so finely tuned to their every slight movement. When we stare intently at something, we often lean towards it, and that lean is all it takes to take a biker in a safe lane into a dangerous situation.

To avoid this issue, be sure to keep your eyes focused where they should be, not on objects ahead and not on the front tire but on the road straight ahead where you intend to drive.

If an object is suddenly in your path (whether it’s a pothole, an animal, a car, or that truck), don’t look at the object but look at the direction you need to maneuver in order to avoid the object.

In that same situation with the truck, the motorcyclist should not have stared at the truck but instead, at the lane, he would need to move into should the truck decide to change lanes ahead of him. If he had done that, the bike would have moved in the opposite direction, and no accident would have taken place.

A final point worth raising. This issue is far more likely to come up if the motorcyclist is tired. Being tired and operating any vehicle is always dangerous and always raises a number of risk factors, this is simply one more. If you are tired, don’t get on the bike. It’s that simple.

After all, there are enough risks for motorcyclists already. There’s no need to increase the list. By avoiding the risk of target fixation, that is one less thing to worry about on the road. Which means less danger and more time enjoying the ride.

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Offshore Dangers

Posted by on Sep 13, 2017 in Injuries | 0 comments

The ocean is a dangerous place. Even in the Disney movie, “Moana,” her dad warns her not to go out past the reef, because of the dangers that the ocean presents. Not far off from reality, where those who work out in the ocean experience everyday perils and treacherous situations that can lead to accidents and even fatalities.

Because of the dangers that lie in the ocean, Jack Gierhart, the CEO of US Sailing, decided to write a letter to the sailing community regarding ocean safety. Written on Sept. 5 of 2017, just after a summer out on the ocean for the sailing community, Gierhart thought it was necessary to address the many injuries and accidents that took place this past summer out on the water. Gierhart begins his message with a tone of condolence for all the lost lives they experienced this year and sending his apologies to the families who lost loved ones.

Even though the sailing community experienced its fair share of tragedies, it is still one of the safest sports around. When looking at total boating accidents, sailing only accounts for a small percentage of accidents and fatalities. Gierhart believes these statistics to be true because of the respect sailors have for the great seas.

Reports from US Coast guards show that the main focus should be improving safety regulations for racing, communication between sailors and race organizers, and training for the race officials. Training and safety programming can go a long way when dealing with such unpredictable accidents that can happen offshore. It is understood that there should be a healthy balance between regulation and education when it comes to sailing. When the sailors are educated in their emergency resources and made aware of the possible dangers, along with safety regulations set in place, the ocean can be a safer place.

In 2016 alone, the US Sailing program certified over 2,000 instructors, showing that the people who sail are looking for instruction and education. Because of this need for more education, awareness, and regulations, US Sailing created the “National Faculty,” made up of department members from all over the country to bounce ideas off each other and create the best possible success for safety. The National Faculty created a follow-up training program for the instructor process, called Small Boat Level 2, which provides more hands-on experience and life-like stimulations. This second level of training deals with accident recovery and how to properly recover a capsizing, and prevent entrapments. On top of this additional training, an online course has become available for all sailors, called “Safety at Sea.” This program also includes local conditions for each sailing environment.

While the waters are unsafe for sailors, the perils for workers on the ocean are tremendously worse. Williams Kherkher lists all the possible reasons an offshore accident can take place, and as they are plentiful, it is important to remember that there are lawyers out there to help handle the legality behind accidents that are not your fault.

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Long-Term Disability Appeals

Posted by on Aug 28, 2017 in Disability Insurance | 0 comments

Disabilities, injuries, and illnesses can affect your ability to work and provide for yourself and your family. Your disability can directly inhibit your ability to work a certain amount of hours, limit the tasks you can complete, and it may be the reason you cannot work at all. When your benefits are denied, your future can look bleak as your financial security is in jeopardy. Fortunately, there is a system in place to appeal this denial and thus give you another chance at receiving the benefits that will combat your inability to work due to disability. Appealing long-term disability denial is a lengthy, complex process, but it might be the only way to stay afloat financially.

Fields Law Firm states the four possible steps of your appealed denial to be, “reconsideration, hearing by an administrative law judge, review by the appeals council, and federal court review.” Before these steps can be taken, it is important to remember you should act quickly. There is typically a 180-day window in which you can appeal your denial. It is also important to be equipped and prepared. Obtaining a copy of your long-term disability policy, any relevant medical records, and testimonials of people in your workplace and personal life can benefit your case. It can also be beneficial to read carefully and fully comprehend your denial letter in order to be well informed on your case. Finally, it cannot hurt to be aware of similar appeal cases so you can use those decisions to your advantage when appealing a denial.

Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company has been accused, on several accounts, of using bad faith tactics when it comes to approving or denying long-term disability claims. Reliance Standard can give you long-term and short-term benefits when your injury, illness, or disability affects your ability to work. Reliance Standard has the ability to define “disability” in their own words and subjective opinions. To receive long-term benefits that go beyond their initial 24-month period, the claimant must be unable to perform “any occupation” that fits their qualifications. However, under this long-term disability benefit description, Reliant Standard states that you cannot receive benefits that go beyond two years if the disability is related to mental illness. With these arbitrary policies in place, Reliant Standard has come across some issues of malpractice. You can read some of the “bad faith” tactics of Reliant Standard Life Insurance Company here. However, most of the lawsuits Reliant Standard faces are due to their inability to provide coverage for disabilities that are directly stated in their policy.

When your request for disability benefits is denied, it is not the end of the road. Though the appeals process is lengthy and complex, it is a vital course of action for you to receive the benefits you deserve. Most law firms will recommend that you research the outcomes of sample cases to help your appeal, and the bad faith tactics used by Reliance Standard Life Insurance serve as an excellent example of case outcomes you can use when fighting for the compensation you justly and fairly deserve.

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Nursing Home Abuse: Physical Abuse

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in Injuries | 0 comments

A nursing home should be a place where the elderly can get the care they need, but sometimes, it becomes a place where they are abused and don’t get the medical attention they deserve. Nursing home abuse and negligence may come in many forms, but arguably the most alarming one is physical abuse.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse happens when the patient receives incidental force from another party, which is usually another patient or a nursing home staff. The only good thing about physical abuse is the fact that it is very easy to detect.
This is because physical abuse often translates into bodily injury. So, if your loved one has an unexplained injury, it is wise to consider the possibility that he or she is abused.


But why is it so important to look out for abuse yourself? Your loved one may be physically or mentally limited to explain to you what is going on, or he or she is afraid to speak up. As the fully functioning adult, you should be the one who is assertive enough when it comes to these things. Here are some of the most common signs you should look out for:

  • Deterioration of health, including the worsening of current medical conditions or rising of new ones
  • Signs of abuse in clothing, such as blood stains and tearing
  • Sudden change in behavior in the presence of a particular person
  • Unexplained wounds, especially on typically restrained body parts, like wrists


According to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, those who have been hurt in nursing homes or have loved ones who have been hurt in nursing homes may take legal action, such as trying to get compensation from the pain and suffering from nursing home abuse.
But avoiding nursing home abuse is the more attractive option. Before putting a loved one in a nursing home, you should observe first if the nursing home is competent, in terms of both staff and facilities.

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