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6 Things You Didn’t Know About Third-Party Insurance Policies

Third-party insurance policies are something few people think about. It’s something you’ll be grateful to have — or wish you had — when something happens and you understand why they’re necessary.

 

Most of us are familiar with what is termed “first-party” insurance. It’s purchased by an individual or a business entity to protect against unforeseen calamity. Examples include:

 

  • Home or other property insurance.
  • Health insurance.
  • Life insurance.

 

Third-party insurance policies are purchased by an individual (first party) from an insurance company (second party) to protect against the legal actions filed against you by someone else (third party) (definitions courtesy of Business Dictionary). A more familiar term for “third-party insurance” is liability insurance.

 

Examples of third-party insurance include:

  • Workers compensation.
  • Malpractice insurance.
  • Employment practices insurance, which covers claims such as wrongful termination.

 

Homeowners and auto insurance policies generally contain elements of both first- and third-party policies.

 

What you know about third-party insurance policies can help you — and what you don’t know can definitely hurt you.

 

  • You (the first party) are financially responsible for your own damages, which means if someone slips and falls on your property and you hurt your back helping them up, you still have to pay for your own treatment as you normally would. And it won’t prevent the other person from filing a liability claim against you.
  • Even if you’re not at fault in a car accident, you can be held liable. In this case, the liability part of your insurance policy can be invaluable.
  • Bodily injury coverage, which is required in all 50 states, protects you from financial ruin if you’re found liable in an accident. This covers costs such as medical bills, loss of income, and legal costs.
  • In a car accident, third-party insurance also covers damage to property other than cars, such as trees, fences, or even buildings.
  • Do you rent your home or apartment? You still need a third-party insurance policy to cover the cost of your belongings if the dwelling is damaged or destroyed by events like fires or storms. It can also kick in if a visitor to your rented home is hurt while they’re there.
  • There’s usually a limit to how much a third-party insurance policy will pay, so it’s important to read and fully understand it. You’re on the hook for whatever the policy doesn’t pay out.

 

Don’t be caught unprepared and uninformed. We can ensure your third-party insurance company lives up to its obligations. Contact us today.

How to Find a Lawyer for Automobile Accidents

When you’ve been in a wreck, the first piece of advice you’ll likely be inundated with will be to hire a lawyer for automobile accidents. And that’s sound advice. But where do you start? And more importantly, how do you know you’ve found the right one?

 

  • Supply follows demand.
    This is why you’ll see pages upon pages of listings in the phone book and endless Google search results for accident lawyers. So, determine beforehand if you actually need a lawyer for the size of claim you’re filing. Was it a no-injury fender-bender, easily taken care of in small claims court? Or were significant medical bills accrued and work time lost, a situation that may require an attorney’s expertise?
  • Experience is essential.
    When searching for a lawyer for automobile accidents, concentrate on key words that apply to your case: personal injury, wrongful death, property destruction, accident liability, etc. The attorney’s physical location should also be a factor in your choice because office visits will be much more convenient, especially if you’re injured. During your free initial consultation, you can determine your candidate’s level of knowledge concerning state and national laws, how well they navigate the labyrinth of insurance company requirements, their level of education, years of experience, and their success rate.
  • Quality costs, but second-rate costs more.
    A qualified, successful lawyer for automobile accidents won’t generally cost you anything initially, not until you’ve won your case. Yes, the attorney’s fees (which should be clearly outlined from the start) will claim a portion of your court-awarded dollars. But before you’re tempted to save a few percentage points with a less-experienced lawyer, remember that if you lose your case, your lawyer may get nothing, but you’re still paying medical bills and car repairs.

 

 

Don’t settle for less than the best when you need a lawyer for automobile accidents. Contact us today

4 Key Benefits of Contacting a Truck Accident Lawyer in San Antonio

Any truck accident lawyer in San Antonio will tell you that the damage from truck accidents isn’t over when the debris is cleared away. The aftereffects can last for months, years, or even a lifetime. Though the facts of the accident may be clear to you, once you enter the claims process, things can quickly get complicated and confusing.

 

Does that necessarily mean you need to hire a truck accident lawyer in San Antonio? Check out the benefits and decide for yourself:

 

  1. Chances are, the other side already has an attorney working for them. Imagine trying to navigate the complicated legal process while simultaneously healing from your injuries and dealing with the financial impact of taking time off work. The opposition’s attorney will undoubtedly take advantage of this imbalance of power and knowledge.
  2. A truck accident lawyer in San Antonio has a network of resources at their fingertips to bolster your case, including subject-matter expert witnesses, private investigators, and ways to track down people who witnessed the accident.
  3. Foregoing a lawyer can cost you more than to retain one. Yes, a truck accident lawyer in San Antonio will receive a portion of your award when you win your claim. But how much will it cost if you enter a court alone — only to lose? It isn’t as simple as showing up for a court date and stating your case. There are myriad deadlines to meet, documents to file, and records to organize and keep track of. Given your injuries, is this realistic for you?
  4. Initial consultations are free of charge. This makes it much easier to “interview” more than one truck accident lawyer in San Antonio to find the right fit for you and your particular case.

 

When you’re seriously injured, a truck accident lawyer in San Antonio can be a lifesaver. Contact us today.

 

6 Facts About Workers Compensation — Do You Need an Attorney?

You have pain that started while on the job. You’re certain — or at least strongly suspect — that you might be eligible for workers compensation. You mention it to a friend, and suddenly, you’re being regaled with all kinds of “me too” or “a friend of mine” stories and advice. While well intentioned, keep in mind that you may be hearing more myth than facts.

 

So, what’s the truth?

 

  1. Work-related injuries don’t always occur at the work site. A trip and fall on a construction site, a repetitive stress injury at an office workstation, or an accident on a factory floor are locations most people think of when it comes to workers compensation claims. However, a significant number of injuries occur in car crashes as employees travel for their jobs.
  2. Illnesses, not accidents, account for hundreds of deaths each year. An illness could afflict a worker in a healthcare setting, a factory worker in an industrial setting, or a construction worker exposed to the elements.
  3. Employees of medium-sized companies file more workers compensation claims than those who work for small or large companies. Why? Workers for small firms may assume (or are told) the company is too small to carry coverage; larger corporations tend to have the resources to invest in employee training to minimize accidents and injuries.
  4. Workers compensation laws vary by state. Therefore, it’s important to study and be aware of details like filing deadlines and statutes of limitations — and to take your out-of-state brother-in-law’s advice with a grain of salt.
  5. Workers compensation claims can cross state lines. If a company is based in one state but an employee is injured on a work-related task in another, the employee may be able to file claims in both states.
  6. Every workers compensation claim requires an attorney. Strictly speaking, this isn’t true, but a particularly complicated case (see above re: multi-state claims) or a severe injury that impacts a worker’s physical and/or cognitive capacity will certainly benefit with an attorney’s assistance.

 

Contact us today to find out if your workers compensation claim needs the expertise of a qualified attorney.

 

Don’t Pick the Wrong San Antonio Personal Injury Attorney

If there’s one thing worse than realizing how seriously an injury has impacted your life, it’s that sinking feeling you get when you realize you’ve picked the wrong San Antonio personal injury attorney.

How do you know if your attorney is a bad fit? It may be tough to put your finger on any one reason, so here are a few warning signs:

  • The ink isn’t dry on the framed bar association certificate on the wall.
    That doesn’t mean your San Antonio personal injury attorney isn’t good or doesn’t have good intentions. It just means they may not have the experience to represent you in the absolute best way for your unique case. Personal injury laws can be tricky, and one missed deadline can cost you everything.
  • They don’t return your calls.
    If you aren’t receiving regular updates in the form of emails or phone calls or if your own emails and voicemails go unanswered for days, it’s time to look for a different attorney.
  • You don’t trust them.
    It’s true that some attorneys simply have better people skills than others. You don’t have to necessarily like your San Antonio personal injury attorney in order to trust that they’ll handle your case well, but if your gut is telling you something isn’t right, don’t hesitate to look for a better fit elsewhere.
  • Fees are not clearly defined.
    If you’re getting substantial bills that aren’t itemized or contain items that weren’t previously agreed upon, it’s time to find a new attorney — especially if they refuse to discuss your concerns off the clock.
  • They aren’t a specialist.
    It takes a long time to accumulate the knowledge and expertise to become a competent San Antonio personal injury attorney. Choosing a general attorney might seem “good enough,” but you don’t want representation behind the curve when the other side’s attorneys are at the top of their game.

If you’re looking for a San Antonio personal injury attorney, look no further than our trained, experienced, and personable attorneys at Pat Maloney. Contact us today.

Get the Most Out of a Car Accident Settlement

A car accident settlement can be one of the toughest negotiations you’ll ever encounter. Don’t go into it without backup, in terms of evidence and representation.

 

 

Get Your Ducks in a Row

 

There’s no reason to delay the start of the negotiation process with the insurance company after you’re healed (or healed enough to devote time and energy to the process). Make sure you have all your evidence in place and organized, such as:

 

  • Police reports.
  • Medical records.
  • Photographs.
  • Witness statements.

The more detailed these records, the better — you don’t want to leave any stone unturned in getting enough in the settlement to cover your losses.

 

 

Aim a Little Higher Than Necessary

The first rule of negotiating a car accident settlement is similar to bartering: figure out a fair price, and start negotiations a minimum of 25 percent above it. The insurance company will undoubtedly come back with a lowball offer. If after several rounds of negotiation, no agreement is reached, you may be headed for court. It’s up to you to decide if the insurance company’s final offer is truly too low or if it’s close enough to your goal to not draw out the process any longer than necessary.

 

 

Don’t Lose Your Temper

The insurance representatives will resort to several tactics to get your emotions riled up, including minimizing the severity of your injuries. Don’t fall for it. Remain calm and stick to the facts to maximize your car accident settlement.

 

 

Don’t Go on Record(ing)

If an insurance adjuster requests that you make a recorded audio or video statement, don’t. Remember “anything you say can and will be used against you,” and the nervousness you experience while being recorded could trigger the tendency to talk more than you normally would.

 

 

Don’t Wonder Why

The whole process of negotiating a car accident settlement can seem convoluted and at times, make no sense. That’s why it’s a good idea to have experienced representation to stay focused on the task at hand, maximizing your settlement to cover your expenses.

3 Terrible Reckless Driving Consequences

When you’re traveling for your daily commute, reckless driving consequences are usually the last things on your mind. It’s a known fact that releasing pent-up frustration can be healthy. Crank up the music, and sing at the top of your lungs. Scream into a pillow. Work it out at the gym. But one of the worst places to vent is behind the wheel of a two-ton missile, otherwise known as your car.

 

 

Temper, emotion, busyness, even the temptation to have a little fun can have horrendous repercussions if you’re not thinking about reckless driving consequences. In Texas, reckless driving is defined as willfully operating a vehicle without regard for the damage you could do to yourself, other people, or property.

 

 

  1. Speeding

Speeding can cover more than just driving above the posted speed limit. Driving too fast for road or weather conditions is easy to do, especially if you’re in a hurry. Just ask first responders who grimace every time flash flood warnings are issued — it means they’ll probably be rescuing someone who overestimated their driving skills and underestimated the power of less than a foot of moving water.

 

At best, reckless driving consequences could include a misdemeanor charge, a fine, or maybe jail time. At worst? Innocent lives could be affected.

 

 

  1. Eluding Police

In Texas, if you fail to immediately pull over if signaled or verbally ordered to do so by a uniformed officer in a marked car, you could face a charge of fleeing or attempting to elude. Police, who have seen too many innocent victims in the aftermath of police chases, take this very seriously. You could be looking at up to a year in jail and thousands of dollars in fines. Throw alcohol into the mix, and your license could be suspended for a very long time.

 

 

  1. Drag Racing

If you’re charged with drag racing, now you’re flirting with a felony. If someone is hurt or killed as a result, the reckless driving consequences could be a couple decades behind bars.

 

 

In any case — especially yours — don’t set foot in a courtroom without skilled representation by your side. Going it alone could be the most reckless act of all.

4 Reasons to Talk to a Work-Related Injury Attorney

When you suffer a work-related injury, attorney advice will undoubtedly include picking up the phone and calling a lawyer. Many workers, unwilling to be the squeaky wheel or to test their employer’s commitment to their workers, often go along with however the company wants to handle the incident, especially if the injury seems too insignificant at the time to bother “making a big deal” out of it.

 

 

When is the right time to talk to a work-related injury attorney?

 

 

  1. Before Too Much Time Has Passed

Depending on where you live, your window of opportunity to file for worker’s compensation is fairly narrow. By the time you realize that you’re getting the runaround, that your employer isn’t going to cover your expenses, or that your injury is more serious than you first thought, your chance to get what you deserve could be gone.

 

 

  1. When You Need an Advocate

Your employer’s insurance company generally isn’t interested in your welfare — it’s interested in paying out as little as possible. Sure, you may like your colleagues and your boss, but these are separate and distinct from the company’s lawyers and insurance policies. You need a work-related injury attorney who is looking out for your interests and who knows the intricacies of workers’ comp law inside and out. This way, you can concentrate on healing while we do the legwork.

 

 

  1. When Your Expenses Are Mounting

When you’re hurt, everything can become a blur. Weeks go by before you know it, the medical bills start coming in, and you’re unsure who’s supposed to pay them. Worse, you may discover that your regular doctor doesn’t handle work-related injuries and the doctors who do are swamped. One small mistake in a test or billing can send you back to square one. Meanwhile, you aren’t getting a paycheck. A work-related injury attorney can help you make sense of the confusion.

 

 

  1. When Your Employer Says It’s Your Fault

Ideally, you want a work-related injury attorney on your side as soon as possible after an incident occurs. They will advise you on what to do in the event your employer tries to pin liability on you and therefore, refuses to pay.

 

 

Don’t wait for the chips to fall where they may. Call one of our work-related injury attorneys now — sooner rather than later.

Little-Known Resources Your San Antonio Personal Injury Attorney Can Use to Win Your Case

Any good San Antonio personal injury attorney will tell you this: it’s never safe to assume your case won’t go to trial. Always proceed with an eye toward the possibility a settlement won’t be reached and you’ll wind up in court. If that’s the case, it’s best to cover all bases, even the ones that (at the time) don’t seem important.

 

If push comes to full-court shove, here are a few things you’ll be grateful to have in your back pocket.

 

Your Own Written Record or Diary

As soon as you can after your injury, start writing down everything you remember and everything you’re experiencing in regard to your injury every day. For example:

  • Photographs of wounds.
  • Pain level from 1-10
  • Treatments and therapies performed.
  • How the injuries are affecting your job and personal relationships.

 

Police Reports and Photographs

Request copies of all documents generated by law enforcement and other first responders, including photographs. If no pictures exist, go back to the scene of the accident (if you can safely do so) and take your own, to keep your memory of the accident intact.

 

Medical Records

Obtain copies of all your medical records related to the injury. If you can cross-reference those documents with your personal diary, all the better.

 

List Your Witnesses

If there were witnesses to the event that caused your injury and they’re willing to testify, that’s great. However, if your San Antonio personal injury attorney seems reluctant to use some of them, there’s a good reason: witnesses who’ve had past run-ins with the law are not as credible and could damage your case.

 

Income and Expenses

Of course, your San Antonio personal injury attorney will advise you to keep records of all your injury-related and medical expenses since the accident. But what could tip the balance in your favor is hard evidence that the injury has negatively impacted your income. That includes producing documents that prove what you were earning both before and after the incident. In other words, don’t just haphazardly stuff pay stubs into drawers. File them in order of date or electronically store them in an easily accessible computer folder (preferably offline).

 

 

When you need a San Antonio personal injury attorney, call us: we have some of the best.

Take Action When You Have Back Pain After a Car Accident

The worst thing about back pain after a car accident is that you may not notice it right away. By the time that dull ache morphs into take-your-breath-away agony, you might be outside the vital window to report it as a result of the wreck.

The time to take action to address back pain after a car accident is before liability is determined and the insurance companies have settled. Otherwise, you could be paying tens of thousands of dollars out of your own pocket for treatment and recovery expenses.

 

Be Aware of Symptoms

 

In the adrenaline rush, you might miss subtle symptoms that later manifest as severe back pain after a car accident.

  • Numbness and tingling in your hands, feet, arms, leg, or face.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Shooting or “zinging” sensations down your legs.

 

Pain Can Travel

 

With three distinct regions (cervical, thoracic, and lumbar) and a complicated structure of vertebrae, discs, muscles, tendons, and nerves, the site of the injury may be hard to pin down, particularly if pains are shooting to other areas of your body. Some common injuries that cause back pain after a car accident include:

  • Damaged discs between the vertebrae, which can press on sensitive nerves.
  • Soft tissue damage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
  • Fractured vertebrae that may not always cause paralysis but will cause pain.
  • Torsion injuries to bones and soft tissues due to the twisting forces of an impact.

 

What Should You Do?

 

Don’t wait out minor symptoms, hoping they’ll go away. See your doctor for diagnostic tests such as:

  • CT (CAT) scan.
  • MRI.
  • X-rays.

 

The quicker you begin treatment for back pain after a car accident, the better. Hopefully, rest and anti-inflammatory medications will do the job, but if you need more intense treatment and end up missing work, the evidence you’ve gathered since day one can help an experienced attorney get the compensation you deserve to cover your expenses.