Archive for the ‘Insurance’ Category

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Garland and Mesquite Above National Average for Likelihood of Having an Auto Accident

July 24, 2009

According to the Star Community Newspaper, drivers in Mesquite, Garland, and much of the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex are more likely to get into a car accident than the national average, according to a two year study compiled by a major insurance company.

Allstate compiled and analyzed the average vehicular crash rate and ranked the 200 largest cities in America according to the relative likelihood of being in a collision. Mesquite ranked No. 167, with drivers 36 percent more likely to be in a crash than the national average.

Twenty-one Texas cities were included in the 2009 Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report. Other Dallas-Fort Worth area cities are Fort Worth at No. 133, Plano at No. 162, Grand Prairie at No. 165, Carrollton at No. 166, Dallas at No. 173, Arlington at No. 177, Garland at No. 178 and Irving at No. 183.

Mesquite’s rank fell slightly on the Allstate list. In 2008, Plano ranked No. 150. Sioux Falls, S.D., took the top honor with drivers 26 percent less likely to be in a crash than the national average.

A common sense approach is that any time you put more cars on the same amount of roadway, you increase the probability of a crash.

Since 2005, Allstate ranked America’s 200 largest cities in terms of car collision frequency to identify which cities have the safest drivers. Every year, Allstate actuaries conduct an in-depth analysis of company claim data to determine the likelihood drivers in America’s 200 largest cities will experience a vehicle collision compared to the national average. Internal property damage reported claims were analyzed over a two-year period, from January 2006 to December 2007, to ensure findings would not be impacted by external influences, such as weather or road construction, according to the survey report.

Auto crashes in general have declined over the last few years, but crash fatalities still average about 40,000 every year despite technological advances according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Allstate offers the following safe driving tips drivers should consider:

  • Minimize distractions – Engaging in any other activity while driving – talking on your cell phone, text messaging, changing a radio station, putting on makeup – is a distraction.
  • Be aware of road conditions – Ice, snow, fog, rain – all of these weather conditions require extra caution and slower speeds.
  • Leave a safe distance between your car and others around you – Maintain at least one car length space between your car and the vehicle in front of you for every 10 miles per hour of speed.
  • Steer clear of road rage – Reduce stress on the road by allowing plenty of time for travel, planning your route in advance, and altering your schedule or route to avoid congested roads. Remember not to challenge aggressive drivers and stay as far away from them as possible.
  • Maintenance matters – Ultimately, safety also depends on the maintenance of one’s car. Ensure that car brakes, exhaust system, tires, lights, battery, and hoses are in good working order.

Please be safe as you venture out on our local Dallas Fort Worth roadways.

Attorney Scott Edgett is a civil trial attorney with the Humphreys & Peterson Law Firm in Garland, Texas. Mr. Edgett is licensed to practice law in Texas and Florida. Over the last decade, Mr. Edgett has emphasized on providing superior client representation in a professional and ethical manner, while experiencing high job satisfaction and trying to make the world a safer place for all. Mr. Edgett has been representing families and consumers whose lives have been devastated by reckless drivers, dangerous products, and other negligent tortfeasors. When a tragedy occurs because of the irresponsible behavior of a tortfeasor, an insurance company, or a corporation, Mr. Edgett and the firm of Humphreys & Peterson are advocates for the people and will help pursue justice for all. To speak directly to Attorney Scott Edgett, please feel free to contact him at (866) 259-0661, via email at Scott@TexasJusticeForAll.com, or visit our website at www.TexasJusticeForAll.com for further information regarding our law firm.

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An Attorney’s Outlook On How Insurance Companies Value Personal Injury Cases

March 23, 2009

All insurance companies have different methods for placing a value on your claim, but there are a few factors that are constants in every case. The insurance company will be looking at any property that was damaged, physical and or emotional damage to you, both long and short term, medical bills, and other damages.

To begin, medical bills, if applicable, are factored in separately. These are usually ranked in severity and long term, lasting effects. For example, trips to the ER would pay higher than regularly scheduled doctor visits. Likewise, an injury that took or will take a long time to heal is more “valuable” than an injury in which the victim recovers quickly.

It is very important that the doctors are told every detail about all injuries that may have been caused in the accident. The value of a case increases when the doctor assigns more than one injury code to a patient at the time of the first examination. These injury codes must be in the doctors chart notes. They will not get into the chart notes unless you, the injured party, tell the doctor what your physical complaints are.

There are two types of injuries. The first category comes from an injury that causes pain. Report all of your pain to your doctor. The second type of injury is one that causes functional loss. That means any condition after an accident that limits your normal functioning level in daily activities at home, at work and at play. For example, if you can’t turn your neck fully after an accident, then that is a limiting function that should be reported to your doctor.

Remember, it is in the insurance company’s best interest to set a lower value on your claim than you will want, since they want to limit the amount they have to pay out. It will be up to you (or your personal injury attorney) to build the case for your claim to be a higher value.

They key to building your case will be careful documentation of everything involved in your case. Keep diligent records of every expense, every doctor’s visit, every loss you feel you have suffered due to the accident. The more organized and prepared you are, the less “wiggle” room an insurance company will have in negotiating your settlement. For example if your case is based on your memory alone, or just verbal statements of losses, you case may have much less value, than if you had organized receipts, photographs, witnesses’ statements, etc.

The negotiation process can be very stressful and confusing if you are not used to dealing with these types of situation. Remember, to, that the insurance companies have people on staff who’s job it is to be the best at lower the exposure (financial losses) to the insurance company – they are not in business to be sympathetic to you or your situation. It is strongly recommended that you hire an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases.

It is both an art and a skill in successfully negotiating a personal injury settlement with an insurance company. Unless you have the experience and knowledge of the laws of your state regarding your case, you will find that you may settle for a lot less than you deserve if you try to represent yourself.

Protect yourself after any accident! Before you speak with anyone concerning your case, find out what your rights are and what compensation you may be entitled to.

Attorney Scott Edgett is a civil trial attorney with the Humphreys & Peterson Law Firm in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Edgett is licensed to practice law in Texas and Florida. Over the last decade, Mr. Edgett has emphasized on providing superior client representation in a professional and ethical manner, while experiencing high job satisfaction and trying to make the world a safer place for all. Mr. Edgett has been representing families and consumers whose lives have been devastated by reckless drivers, dangerous products, and other negligent tortfeasors. When a tragedy occurs because of the irresponsible behavior of a tortfeasor, an insurance company, or a corporation, Mr. Edgett and the firm of Humphreys & Peterson are advocates for the people and will help pursue justice for all. To speak directly to Attorney Scott Edgett, please feel free to contact him at (866) 259-0661, via email at Scott@TexasJusticeForAll.com, or visit our website at www.TexasJusticeForAll.com for further information regarding our law firm.

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Jury Awards $20 Million Dollars To Homeowners On Hurricane Damage Claims

February 13, 2009

According to BizJournals.com, a Miami federal court jury on Friday, February 13, 2009, awarded Buckley Towers homeowners $20 million in their claim against global insurance giant QBE Insurance, one of the largest condo insurers in Florida.

At issue was damage caused by Hurricane Wilma to the 40-year-old twin towers in North Miami.

During the nearly two weeks of testimony, lawyers for the mostly elderly condo residents claimed the storm’s winds caused structural joints to come loose. But, attorneys for the insurance company argued that the building’s age and homeowners’ failure to maintain the building caused the damage. The county has been threatening to condemn the building. Lawyers for the insurance company also argued that Hurricane Wilma’s winds in the area never grew strong enough to cause the kind of damage that was being claimed.

Katzman Garfinkel Rosenbaum, the law firm representing the homeowners, hailed Friday’s verdict as a major precedent in hurricane insurance cases.

As a trial lawyer, the impact of this verdict will not only affect those in Southern Florida, but will hopefully begin to set a precedent that homeowners insurance companies all over Florida, Texas, and Louisiana (all of which have been hard hit by hurricanes over the past several years) can no longer fraudulently delay and deny claims as they have been doing. It is clear that some of these insurance companies are using tactics that are reprehensible and can no longer be tolerated.

There are many other pending lawsuits against homeowner’s insurance companies for the same or similar types of fraudulent insurance conduct. I hope the juries in these upcoming cases make the same statement as this Miami jury made today.

Attorney Scott Edgett is a civil trial attorney with the Humphreys & Peterson Law Firm in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Edgett is licensed to practice law in Texas and Florida. Over the last decade, Mr. Edgett has emphasized on providing superior client representation in a professional and ethical manner, while experiencing high job satisfaction and trying to make the world a safer place for all. Mr. Edgett has been representing families and consumers whose lives have been devastated by reckless drivers, dangerous products, and other negligent tortfeasors. When a tragedy occurs because of the irresponsible behavior of a tortfeasor, an insurance company, or a corporation, Mr. Edgett and the firm of Humphreys & Peterson are advocates for the people and will help pursue justice for all. To speak directly to Attorney Scott Edgett, please feel free to contact him at (866) 259-0661, via email at Scott@TexasJusticeForAll.com, or visit our website at www.TexasJusticeForAll.com for further information regarding our law firm.