Connect with us

Business

Case Barnett Law Offers Essential Advice to Keep You Safe — Before and After an Accident

mm

Published

on

When you are involved in an automobile accident, it can be difficult to know what to do – or where to turn for help. At Orange County-based Case Barnett Law, their legal team is committed to helping clients understand their rights and responsibilities, before and after an accident occurs.

Whether you have recently experienced a collision or want to ensure you are always protected, there are several essential strategies to keep yourself – and your finances – safe.

Before an Accident

Although no one expects to be in a car accident, everyone should be prepared. As Director of Operations Nicole Barnett explains, one of the best ways to protect yourself is with proper insurance coverage.

In California, motorists are legally required to carry a “15/30” insurance policy, which pays up to $15,000 of bodily liability damages per person and a maximum total payout of $30,000. Unfortunately, most auto accidents dramatically exceed those insurance payouts.

“If you have any type of accident, even a small accident, $15,000 is not going to be enough,” Barnett explains. “The damages are going to be so much higher than that.”

Unfortunately, with a 15/30 policy, insurance companies will pay the maximum of $15,000 per individual and then you are on your own. For someone involved in a major accident, especially an accident leading to physical injuries, this can be financially ruinous.

But with uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UIM), you remain protected even if the other driver is not fully insured.

“Their insurance company will pay 15,000, and then you would go to your insurance company, and they will hopefully provide the remaining amount,” Barnett says. “It is really cheap to add to your existing insurance policy, under $20 to add, and a lot of people don’t know about it.”

In addition to being covered for material damages, it is critical to carry the right amount of medical coverage. They recommend “Med Pay” or Medical Payments Coverage, which will protect you in the event of injuries or hospitalization.

“It is something important that people have in their insurance,” Case Barnett explains. “It is typically up to $5,000 regardless of who is at fault.”

Staying protected as a motorist is an important preventative measure, Barnett says. But what happens after an accident?

After an Accident

Being involved in an automobile accident can be disorienting, but it is essential to remember a few key steps, Barnett says.

The first step is to contact the police and talk with any witnesses. This will protect you especially if you are not at fault in the accident. Case Barnett recalls many situations in which information from a bystander helped determine liability.

“Unfortunately, people can be unscrupulous,” Barnett says. “We had a case where a driver ran a red light and lied about it. Luckily, there was someone else sitting in traffic who had a dashcam, and you could see the other driver run the red light.”

Calling the police further protects you because it provides you with an official report of what took place. When it comes time to file an insurance claim or sue for damages, formal evidence is everything.

In the event you have suffered injuries, you should seek medical treatment right away, Barnett says. This will not only help you recover physically but also will provide additional evidence for your insurance claim.

“You should go to urgent care first, and then start treatment with a chiropractor or physical therapist as soon as possible after that,” Barrnett says. “You want to have continuity of treatment – any gaps in treatment, the insurance company will say you weren’t hurt that badly or your injuries were from something else.”

Seeking Legal Help

Although many accidents can be resolved simply through your insurance company, there may be times when legal assistance is needed. Legal representation will give you the assurance and protection you need – and more than that, it will allow your voice to be heard.

“We look for three things, damages, liability, and collectability,” Barnett says. “With damages, we ask how bad is the person hurt, and what is the damage to the vehicle? Insurance companies will equate the amount of damage to the vehicle to the amount of force on the occupants of the vehicle. Liability is who is at fault. Collectability is the insurance issue – which is why having a police report and witnesses is so important.”

Case and Nicole Barnett understand how stressful and difficult it can be to recover from an automobile accident. You may have physical injuries, expensive repair costs for your car, and you may need to miss work. All of these factors can hurt you physically, emotionally, and financially.

But you don’t have to go through it alone.

They have prepared a free guide to protecting your wealth in an accident, available on the Case Barnett Law website. And if you still have questions, they are only a phone call away.

“If you have those three things in place, damages, liability, and collectability, you should absolutely call an attorney,” Nicole Barnett explains. “And even if one of those areas is weak, you can still call.”

Case Barnett Law is based in Laguna Beach, CA, and helps individuals and families who have suffered catastrophic accidents. For more information and to download their free legal report, visit www.casebarnettlaw.com.

 

 

Rosario is from New York and has worked with leading companies like Microsoft as a copy-writer in the past. Now he spends his time writing for readers of BigtimeDaily.com

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business

From Contracts to Counsel: Your Essential Guide to Hiring a Probate Attorney in Chicago

mm

Published

on

Like many people, you’ll come across the term probate after a loved one, such as a parent or spouse, passes away. So, what is probate, and why do you need an attorney for it? As defined in Forbes, probate is a legal process that occurs after death. It entails transferring the assets of the decedent (the person who passed) to beneficiaries named in their last will. 

With that in mind, having a probate lawyer by your side is essential. The last thing you want to do is deal with the legal complexities of settling a loved one’s estate while grieving. A probate lawyer oversees the validation of the deceased’s will and the fair distribution of assets among family members. One challenge lies in finding a top-quality probate lawyer.

In this guide to hiring a probate attorney in Chicago, we’ll discuss the tips to identify the right legal professional for probate proceedings. 

Understand the Responsibilities of a Probate Lawyer

It’s difficult to hire a talented probate lawyer when you don’t know what they do: Start by understanding the roles they play. 

When you work with a Chicago probate lawyer, some tasks they might do include: 

  • Act as an estate executor or administrator 
  • Collect proceeds from the life insurance policies of the deceased
  • Identify and secure the decedent’s assets
  • Get an appraisal for the deceased’s estate
  • Pay debts and resolve estate tax issues
  • Prepare and file documents required in probate court
  • Transfer assets to rightful heirs
  • Represent you in litigation proceedings if someone challenges or contests the will

A probate lawyer could also help you and your family navigate state inheritance laws if a loved one dies without a valid will. That way, you can avoid unnecessary taxes or other ramifications of not creating a will, such as losing ownership rights of the deceased’s business or financial support.

Search for Lawyers Online and Offline

You’re probably thinking, where do I find the best lawyer to hire? You could seek referrals from friends or colleagues. Friends who worked with probate attorneys before might provide important details, such as how the lawyers communicate and handle the probate process. 

Alternatively, do a simple online search using the terms “probate lawyer near me” or “probate attorney in Chicago.” Go through various websites or online directories and write names of lawyers with positive ratings and customer testimonials. Then, contact the potential lawyers to set up free consultations. Note that not all legal professionals offer free consultations, so make sure to ask before setting a time in your calendar. 

Ask the Right Questions

A free consultation provides opportunities to ask questions to better understand if the lawyers in question have the qualifications to handle your probate case. 

Four questions you might ask attorneys during the initial meeting may include:

  1. Do You Have Experience in Probate Law? 

When evaluating lawyers, prioritize experience. An experienced probate lawyer is aware of common pitfalls that can result in the probate petition being postponed or dropped by a judge. To feel more comfortable about an attorney’s expertise, ask them if they’ve handled probate cases similar to yours before. 

For example, let’s say the deceased owned a substantial estate or had complicated assets like royalties and mineral stocks. Working with an attorney with a track record of successfully handling cases like that could save you time and money in the long run.

  1. What Do Other Clients Say About You?

Experience alone doesn’t make a probate lawyer perfect for your case. Look for someone with an outstanding reputation. These reviews likely live on Google next to their business profile or are featured on their website. If you can’t find any endorsements, ask for testimonials written by past clients. 

One point to focus on is what reviewers say about the lawyer’s efficiency and speed. Beyond that, does the lawyer offer expert guidance, conflict mitigation, and proper asset management during probate? 

A probate attorney in Chicago, IL, should be an efficient expert in asset preservation. This can be crucial to helping avoid hefty taxes and excessive debt claims. Additionally, if the lawyer receives positive feedback on conflict mitigation, it suggests they have experience in resolving or mitigating family conflicts that tend to stall the probate process. 

  1. How Long Does Probate Last? 

One way to test a probate lawyer’s knowledge is by asking them, “How long does probate last?” While the numbers vary, probate can last for a few months to over a year in many states, including Chicago. When highlighting factors that affect the duration of probate, your counsel might mention things like estate size, family disputes, debt and taxes, absence of a will, and state laws.

A knowledgeable lawyer can explain clearly why your probate case could last a few months or even years. A lawyer that makes too brazen or hard-set of promises might not be the most honest. 

  1. How Do You Want Us To Communicate? 

There’s no hard rule on how you and your probate attorney communicate. You can talk via text messages, email, video calls, or phone calls. More importantly, check that the attorney communicates in simple language to help you understand your case. 

In fact, one essential of a lawyer’s dos and don’ts to gaining clients’ trust is to avoid making clients feel clueless. If a potential lawyer uses complex legal terms or avoids communicating directly, search for probate services elsewhere.

Conclusion: Finding a Probate Attorney in Chicago

Reviewing the will of a loved one after their death and ensuring fair distribution of their assets often involves complex legal issues. For this reason, consider hiring an attorney who specializes in probate law. 

To maximize your chances of finding the right probate lawyer, familiarize yourself with their responsibilities. Next, search online for lawyers within your state or ask for recommendations from people you trust. Then, interview prospects to help ensure they possess experience, a remarkable reputation, communication skills, and knowledge of probate law.

Settling the affairs of a loved one who has passed on can be an overwhelming time. A probate attorney can help lift some of the pressure off your shoulders as you focus on grieving and healing. 

Continue Reading

Trending