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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.

Want the Best Lawyers in San Antonio, Texas?

If you’ve been hurt in an automobile or trucking accident or suffered workplace injuries, you want the best lawyers in San Antonio, Texas, on your team to ensure you don’t suffer any more than you already have.

How do you go about finding not just a good lawyer, but the very best for your particular case? It’s not unlike shopping for any other vital addition to your life — make a checklist.

 

Chemistry Counts …

You never forget how someone makes you feel. When you step into the offices of the best lawyers in San Antonio, Texas, it doesn’t matter how many degrees hang on the wall or how many reviews you read online. Your gut will tell you if this is the right attorney for you. It’s not unlike looking for the right doctor: if you aren’t completely comfortable, keep looking.

 

… And So Does Experience

Having said the above, don’t check your logic at the door. The best lawyers in San Antonio, Texas, not only have years of experience, but their knowledge of applicable regulations and the latest technology is also deep and wide. They may even have received specialized training to handle a case like yours.

 

Their Ads Should Contain Information, Not Hyperbole

When you’re scanning the ads for an attorney, bigger and flashier isn’t always better. Look for no-nonsense verbiage that will tell you at a glance if this office has a qualified and experienced lawyer.

 

Ask for Referrals

Chances are, you know someone who’s been through a similar situation and can pass along the name of the attorney they worked with. This can be a good place to start, but the best lawyers in San Antonio, Texas, will be honest if they aren’t the right lawyer for your case, and will refer you to someone who is. And don’t forget about your local bar association as a source of information and referrals.

 

Looking for the best lawyers in San Antonio, Texas? Start right here.

Most Common Causes of Accidents at Work

You’re careful. Your driving record is spotless. Your nickname definitely isn’t “Crash” or “Klutz.” Why should you have to think about causes of accidents at work? You don’t check your normal caution at the office door, right?

 

Some of the most common causes of accidents at work could surprise you.

 

Overstraining

 

When your supervisor holds training sessions on how to properly lift and move heavy objects, don’t stare off into space, thinking about lunch. Improper technique is the number-one cause of accidents at work. You don’t have to work heavy labor to get the same kinds of injuries. If your office job requires lifting relatively light loads, like books, files, and paper, make sure you’re doing it properly to avoid injury. Even sitting the wrong way in your computer chair can cause a repetitive stress injury.

 

Falls

 

Factory workers certainly must be conscious of obstacles at floor level. But what about office workers? A bottom file cabinet drawer carelessly left open, spilled coffee, a wastebasket not returned to its proper place, or an exposed computer cord can cause just as serious an injury.

 

Everyday Distractions

 

Employees are expected to leave their off-time lives at the office door, but the reality is that day-to-day worries over family, money, and pressing schedules are among the leading causes of accidents at work. If you’re in a texting argument with your teenager, do it while you’re sitting down safely in a chair, not while walking around, glaring at your phone. You might trip over something or walk into a door. At worst, you might forget to follow some other safety procedure and thus endanger someone else.

 

We know you do your best to avoid the main causes of accidents at work. But if the worst happens, call us to ensure that you receive just and fair compensation.

How Does a Medical Claim Settlement Work?

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When you file a medical claim settlement, knowledge is power. If you familiarize yourself with the basic steps of this type of negotiation, you’ll be more likely to get what you deserve, and avoid having to resort to litigation.

 

Step 1: The First Letter

 

You will start the medical claim settlement process by sending a letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company, detailing how their actions (or inactions) caused and contributed to the severity of your injury and that you will be seeking compensation.

 

Step 2: The Insurance Company’s Response

 

In response to your notification letter, you’ll get a letter in response from the insurance company. They will agree to review your claim and state their intent to meet with you to discuss it, but it will not contain any admission of guilt on their client’s part.

 

Step 3: Your Demands

 

After your treatment and therapy is complete, you will send a letter to the insurance adjuster, listing the details of your claim, the damages, your medical bills and related expenses, and lost work pay. You will also ask for an additional amount for pain and suffering.

 

Step 4: The Counteroffer

 

The insurance adjuster will respond to your demand with a counteroffer that is basically testing you to see how well you understand the medical claim settlement process. In short, they hope that you don’t, so they can get away with paying out far less than you deserve.

 

Step 5: Bartering Begins

 

In your response to the counteroffer, you’ll make it clear that you won’t be intimidated out of taking the case to litigation if necessary. You will politely restate your claim and that you might be willing to reduce the amount demanded — a little.

Now, the key is to be patient. Never call an adjuster to see what is taking so long. They want you to make that mistake.

Know the rock-bottom figure you’re willing to accept, and stick to it, knowing you may have to resort to litigation to get it.

 

Step 6: Get Representation

 

If you wind up taking the medical claim settlement to court, make sure you are properly represented by legal counsel. Contact the Law Offices of Pat Maloney: we are ready to help you complete your recovery.

A Quick Guide on Avoiding Construction Accidents

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Accidents happen, even if you think you’ve taken every precaution. Avoiding construction accidents should be everyone’s top priority, from the boss right on down to the newest member of the crew. This should also be a goal for people who don’t work the concrete ribbons or the big steel, but encounter a construction site while going about their everyday business.

 

 

What the Company Can Do

  • Provide effective training.
  • Provide adequate safety equipment and establish a no-exceptions rule to using it.
  • Perform regular inspections/reviews of the site, equipment, maintenance records, and employee procedures.
  • Equip all hazardous tools with appropriate safety guards.
  • Provide safe, dry, and secure areas for equipment storage and maintenance.
  • Adhere to local, state, and national safety regulations.

 

What the Crew Can Do

  • When pulled off a job to participate in a training exercise, don’t complain—give the new procedure or refresher your full attention.
  • Avoiding construction accidents means not using a piece of equipment on which you haven’t received training.
  • Crew members who are sick should stay home or perform only low-risk tasks if taking any medications that make them sleepy or dizzy.
  • If a work area needs guardrails, hand holds, non-slip surfaces to walk on, or barriers to reroute traffic, workers should inform supervisors of the situation.
  • Be aware of the hazards of working on or around dangerous areas such as raised scaffolding, open trenches, and machinery with exposed moving parts.
  • Watch not only your own back, but keep an eye out for your coworkers as well.

 

What the General Public Can Do

  • Speed limits are often lowered in road construction zones. Avoiding construction accidents means staying within the posted speed limit and keeping an eye out for workers who often must do their jobs a few feet or less from lanes of moving traffic.
  • Whether driving or walking, respect temporary barriers that have been set up to protect not only the construction workers, but you as well. Don’t be “that guy” who was too impatient to take an alternate route to your destination.

 

Avoiding construction accidents takes a combined effort. Call us if someone dropped the ball and you wound up hurt.

When to Reach Out to a Work-Related Injury Attorney

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Question: Do you need to hire a work-related injury attorney as soon as you’ve had a mishap on the job? Answer: It depends.

 

 

In cases like the following, you don’t need an attorney to navigate through the workers’ comp system:

  • It’s indisputable that the mishap occurred on company property (or on a job site) while you were performing work-related tasks.
  • The injury was minor—a bruise, sprain, or cut that needed a couple of stitches.
  • You didn’t need to take time off to recover.
  • No pre-existing illness contributed to the accident.

 

Even if you don’t wind up needing a work-related injury attorney, it won’t hurt to schedule a quick, often free consultation to ensure you’re not overlooking anything. Then, if you decide later you need representation, you already have a relationship established.

 

How do you know when you need to call in the troops? Here are a few red flags:

  • You’ve done everything you’re supposed to do (and hit all the deadlines), yet your claim is denied. Or your settlement is so slow to arrive, you wind up in collections due to unpaid medical bills.
  • Your claim successfully worked its way through the system, but the compensation doesn’t cover your bills or lost income.
  • You’re doing so poorly you can’t return to your previous work, and you’re also unable to work at any other job due to your injury.
  • You were fired because you got injured and filed a legitimate claim.
  • A third party contributed to the occurrence and/or severity of your injuries, such as faulty equipment or a worker from another company.
  • The government (through Social Security) grabs a big chunk of your settlement because it wasn’t worded properly.

 

When you’re hurt on the job, there’s no time to waste—call for a free consultation with a work-related injury attorney!

Avoid Getting Disappointed by a San Antonio Personal Injury Attorney

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When you hire a San Antonio personal injury attorney, you have high hopes for a legal decision in your favor. Too often, though, you wind up on the losing end—a result that could have been avoided if you’d asked a few more questions before settling for less than the best.

 

 

A good San Antonio personal injury attorney needs more than a wall of framed, official-looking certificates. This person should possess qualities that sometimes aren’t easily discerned.

 

Tells It Like It Is

When you arrive for what is often your free, initial consultation, a good attorney will look over your case with a critical eye and tell you upfront whether you’ve got a solid chance at winning or if it will be a hard row to hoe.

 

A good San Antonio personal injury attorney will also be honest about the fee structure so there aren’t any surprises when the bill comes due.

 

Answers All Your Questions

There’s no such thing as a stupid question, so ask away. A good attorney will answer them all, and maybe some you hadn’t thought to ask, such as:

  • Whether they will be working your case solo or using assistants.
  • Whether their firm is insured.
  • If they specialize in your type of personal injury case and their record of winning such cases.
  • How long they expect the process to take before the case is resolved.
  • If they have a list of referrals.

 

Appreciates That You’re Picky

How do you put a smile on a San Antonio personal injury attorney’s face? Walk into the initial consultation prepared:

  • Show that you’ve done some research into this attorney’s and the firm’s background.
  • Have all your relevant paperwork in order—police reports, doctor’s notes, medical records and receipts, photographs of the scene and your injuries, etc.

 

You want only the best San Antonio personal injury attorney. We want the best outcome for you! Give us a call today.

What to Do If Your Workplace Injury Claim is Denied

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From your point of view, the outcome of your workplace injury claim should be a no-brainer. You were at work. You were injured while performing your job duties. It sounds like an open-and-shut case.

 

Not so fast. Insurers are going to be looking for any tiny loophole they can find to find a reason to deny your workplace injury claim. Here are a few common mistakes that can trip you up:

 

  • You waited too long to notify your supervisor
    Depending on what state you’re in, you might have as little as four days to tell your supervisor in writing about what happened.
  • You waited too long to file a claim
    Again, depending on what state in which you’re employed, you could have only 30 days or up to 90 days to file a formal workplace injury claim.
  • The company you work for refutes your claim
    Your boss may argue that you’re trying to push the expense of an off-hours injury onto the company, or claim that you must not have been following procedure correctly.
  • You didn’t go to the doctor
    Maybe at the time, the injury didn’t seem severe enough to need a doctor’s attention, but it later became an issue that affected your ability to do your job.

 

What to Do Now

Once you’ve received a letter denying your workplace injury claim, the best thing to do is not panic. Read the letter several times, to make sure you have all the information you need – particularly if there is a deadline to file an appeal.

 

Second, make an appointment with your employer or its insurance representative to make sure the denial isn’t due to some simple clerical error or misunderstanding.

 

Third, take your case to a qualified attorney, who will be familiar with the many processes your workplace injury claim appeal will have to navigate in order to get the outcome and compensation you deserve.

 

Need advice about your workplace injury claim? Call us for an evaluation.

Work Related Injury Attorney Lists Most Common Injuries

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Any experienced work injury lawyer can easily rattle off the most common types. A work-related injury can happen in any kind of job – not just those involving hard physical labor – but it’s no surprise that some professions carry more risk of bodily harm than others.

Do you need a work injury lawyer? Call Pat Maloney today!

A few examples of injuries that a work injury lawyer see most often include:

 

  • Falls
    One of the most common types of workplace injuries, a fall can happen on flat level ground that’s slippery, or from a height such as those encountered by construction workers.
  • Slipping/Tripping
    Even when a slip or a trip doesn’t result in a fall, the gyrations a body goes through to avoid hitting the ground can itself cause injury to joints, muscles, neck and spine, or cuts and bruises.
  • Physical stress and strain
    Heavy and prolonged pulling, pushing, throwing, lifting, and carrying are considered by many researchers to be the number one cause of workplace injury.
  • Machinery accidents
    Workplace injury lawyers often see workers who have had accidents with all kinds of machinery – construction machines and tools, manufacturing lines in a factory, or vehicles.
  • Workplace violence
    Unfortunately, anyone from an office worker to an oil rigger can encounter workplace violence. Conflicts can arise anywhere, anytime, and can abruptly escalate into physical violence—a disagreement over parking space, jealousy over a co-worker’s promotion, or frustration when a worker consistently misplaces others’ tools.

 

Training = Prevention

Time after time, workplace injury lawyers discover that if a company had properly trained its workers, injuries could have been prevented. For example, on-the-job violence can be averted by teaching conflict resolution and keeping lines of communication open. Ergonomic techniques and tools can prevent repetitive stress and strain. Enforcing a policy that requires workers to keep their work areas clean and tidy can prevent all kinds of falls, collisions, and falling object injuries.

 

Need a work injury lawyer? We have the training and experience to handle your case. Contact us today!

What Happens When You Hire a Texas Construction Accident Attorney?

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Construction accidents happen in the blink of an eye, but then, without a Texas construction accident attorney on your side, time seems to slow to a crawl as everyone from your employer’s insurance company to worker’s comp to even the medical establishment seem to drag their feet.

Meanwhile, you and your family are going without a paycheck.

Here’s what happens when you hire a Texas construction accident attorney:

  • The sooner after an accident you hire a lawyer, the more likely it is you’ll navigate the system more quickly and without mistakes that can cost time and money.
  • A lawyer can help you cut through mountains of paperwork and act as your advocate with your insurance company, your employer, and the worker’s comp system to get you the compensation you need as fast as possible.
  • An attorney will know all the ways you can receive compensation for expenses incurred from your injuries, including medical expenses, lost income, and the estimated cost of future treatment, therapy, and negative impact on your future earning potential.

When should you contact a Texas construction accident attorney?

Ideally, no more than one or two weeks after the accident occurred.

What happens after you make the initial phone call?

You will schedule an initial consultation, which is usually free. Remember to bring a few things with you to streamline the process and help the attorney determine the validity of your claims, such as:

  • A copy of the contract you signed when you were hired.
  • Pictures of the scene of the accident. Provide the exact address.
  • Pictures of your injuries, even if they aren’t immediately visible. Photograph where it hurts, and take more pictures hours and even days later, as some bruises and swelling may take time to appear.
  • Copies of medical records, doctor’s notes, names and contact information of all the doctors who examined you, x-rays and their associated reports.
  • A calendar marking the days you’ve missed from work since the accident.
  • Names and addresses of witnesses

Need to schedule a consultation with a Texas construction accident attorney? Call us and set up an appointment. We’ll give you a complete list of items to bring with you to our initial meeting.