ahca are past injuries pre existing conditions?

HOW DOES THE PROPOSED AHCA AFFECT ME IF I HAVE PAST INJURIES FROM AN ACCIDENT?

Note: The AHCA or Trump care was passed by the House on May 4th, 2017 which modifies the ACA (Affordable Care Act aka Obama Care)

Are past injuries counted as pre-existing conditions under the AHCA?

The political battle continues as Republicans attempt another fight to push their proposed healthcare bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), through Congress and then to the President’s  desk.   Millions of Americans who have  pre-existing conditions will be affected. This item of the healthcare bill was a major protection under Obama care and continues to be debated among healthcare lobbyists and politicians.  Personally, I do not understand the debate.  Healthcare coverage that does not cover all of your health needs is really not healthcare at all.  Sadly, not all politicians agree.  But if you, or a loved one, has been in a prior accident and have a pre-existing back, neck, or head injury or any other injury from an accident, this article contains import information for you.  If you disagree with anything in the proposed bill, I urge to voice your concerns to our state legislators.  They can be reached as follows:

Senator Dean Heller
Offices: Las Vegas / Reno / Washington D.C. (addresses)
Phone: 702-388-6605 / 775-686-5770 / 202-224-6244
Fax: 702-388-6501 / 775-686-5729 / 202-228-6753
Email: Online Contact Form

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto

Offices: Las Vegas / Reno / Washington D.C. (addresses)
Phone: 702-388-5020 / 775-686-5750 / 202-224-3542
Fax: 702-388-5030 / 775-686-5757 / 202-224-7327
Email: Online Contact Form

Congresswoman Dina Titus – 1st District of Nevada

Offices: Las Vegas / Washington D.C. (addresses)
Phone: 702-220-9823 / 202-225-5965
Email: Online Contact Form

Congressman Mark Amodei – 2nd District of Nevada
Offices: Elko /  Reno / Washington D.C. (addresses)
Phone: 775-777-7705 / 775-686-5760 / 202-225-6155
Fax: 775-753-9984 / 775-686-5711 / 202-225-5679
Email: Online Contact Form

Congresswoman Jacky Rosen – 3rd District of Nevada
OfficesWashington D.C.
Phone: 202-225-3252
Fax: 202-225-2185
Email: Online Contact Form

Congressman Ruben Kihuen  – 4th District of Nevada
Offices: North Las Vegas / Washington D.C. (addresses)
Phone: 202-225-9894
Fax: 202-225-9783
Email: Online Contact Form

https://www.aclunv.org/en/contact-your-elected-officials

Most civilized countries provide Healthcare for their people.  In fact, the US is one of the few that does not.  It seems obvious that study of the systems in other nations could be precedent for structuring our own system to provide healthcare to all Americans regardless of income.  Most of our allies and even our enemies provide healthcare for their citizens.  Many democratic nations have determined and implemented a system to provide Healthcare to all of their citizens.

Below is a table that lists all nations who provide healthcare to all their citizens regardless of the condition being treated:

Country Start Date of Universal Health Care System Type
Click links for more source material on each country’s health care system.
Norway 1912 Single Payer
New Zealand 1938 Two Tier
Japan 1938 Single Payer
Germany 1941 Insurance Mandate
Belgium 1945 Insurance Mandate
United Kingdom 1948 Single Payer
Kuwait 1950 Single Payer
Sweden 1955 Single Payer
Bahrain 1957 Single Payer
Brunei 1958 Single Payer
Canada 1966 Single Payer
Netherlands 1966 Two-Tier
Austria 1967 Insurance Mandate
United Arab Emirates 1971 Single Payer
Finland 1972 Single Payer
Slovenia 1972 Single Payer
Denmark 1973 Two-Tier
Luxembourg 1973 Insurance Mandate
France 1974 Two-Tier
Australia 1975 Two Tier
Ireland 1977 Two-Tier
Italy 1978 Single Payer
Portugal 1979 Single Payer
Cyprus 1980 Single Payer
Greece 1983 Insurance Mandate
Spain 1986 Single Payer
South Korea 1988 Insurance Mandate
Iceland 1990 Single Payer
Hong Kong 1993 Two-Tier
Singapore 1993 Two-Tier
Switzerland 1994 Insurance Mandate
Israel 1995 Two-Tier
United States Currently yes Insurance Mandated

https://truecostblog.com/2009/08/09/countries-with-universal-healthcare-by-date/

THE QUESTIONS MOST PEOPLE ARE ASKING UNDER THIS BILL ARE:

  • Will Trump care cover pre-existing conditions?
  • If you have a pre-existing condition, how will your health plan change under the proposed bill?

In short, the AHCA does not eliminate coverage for pre-existing conditions. Like the Affordable Care Act, Trump care will require all health insurers to cover people who apply regardless of their medical history.  But there are some key differences in coverage  under Trump care vs. the current law.

Is there a requirement to maintain health insurance or pay a penalty tax?

Answer:  NO. The proposed bill eliminates the tax penalties that the Obama Care (ACA) imposes on nonexempt individuals for not having health insurance, as well as employers with 50 or more full-time workers who do not offer health insurance to their employees.

Do insurance companies have to offer coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions?

Answer: Yes, but it’s complicated!!!  There is a penalty for not having continuous coverage. Under both the ACA and the GOP bill, insurers are not allowed to deny coverage to any person due to health status. Under the proposed GOP bill, they can charge up to a 30% higher premium for one year, regardless of health status, to those potential  insureds who did not have continuous coverage, which is defined in the bill as a lapse of coverage of 63 days or more over the previous 12 months.  What???? That means that if you have a past injury, you’ll pay a lot more.

Will young adults under the age of 26 still be able to remain on their parents’ plans?

Yes. The bill does not affect this provision of the ACA.

Is there still going to be an expansion of Medicaid?

Answer: NO. It will be phased out.  The legislation ends the enhanced match rate for Medicaid expansion for new enrollees starting in 2020. Those insureds already in the program could stay as long as they remain continuously insured under the Medicaid program. States that have not already expanded Medicaid would not be allowed to do so, starting immediately.

States could also require able-bodied Medicaid recipients to work, participate in job training programs or do community service.  Before Obama Care (ACA), Medicaid was available to groups including qualified low-income families, pregnant women, children and the disabled.

Obama care expanded eligibility to all individuals under age 65 who earn up to 138% of the federal poverty level (about $16,643 a year for an individual), but only in states that opted for the expansion. Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have opted in to the expansion, which includes enhanced federal funding, so far. More than 11 million newly eligible adults had enrolled in Medicaid through March 2016, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation of data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Under the Republican health care plan, no new enrollment can occur under this Medicaid expansion after Dec. 31, 2019. States that have yet to opt in to the expansion by that date also will not be able to do so afterward.

Although the bill doesn’t eliminate the Medicaid expansion coverage for those who are enrolled prior to 2020,  if they have a break in coverage for more than one month after Dec. 31, 2019, they won’t be able to re-enroll (unless a state wanted to cover the cost itself).  This is a harsh rule given that if someone is injured and can’t work for a month, they could lose their benefits.  At Hunt Law Offices, we can help injured people from losing their benefits.

The Republican plan includes another significant change to Medicaid. It would cap the amount of federal funding that states can receive per Medicaid enrollee, with varying amounts for each category of enrollee, such as children, and the blind and disabled. Currently, the federal government guarantees matching funds to states for qualifying Medicaid expenses, regardless of cost.  This is an extraordinary change that could adversely affect many families of handicap children and adults by cutting desperately needed benefits.

Are insurers forced to cover certain conditions?

Yes. The bill keeps the essential health benefits requirement under the ACA. Insurance companies would still have to cover 10 health services, including maternity coverage, prescription drugs and mental health care. However, state Medicaid plans are not subject to this requirement after Dec. 31, 2019.

How does the bill affect abortion?

The bill puts a one-year freeze on funding to states for payments to a “prohibited entity,” defined as one that, among other criteria, provides abortions other than those due to rape, incest or danger to the life of the mother.  This directly impacts groups like Planned Parenthood.  It should be noted that additional funding for education, food, daycare, etc. is not mentioned anywhere for births of these children.  Planned Parenthood under Medicaid, currently receives government funding.   Also under the GOP plan, tax credits can’t be used to purchase insurance that covers abortion beyond those three exceptions.

Are there subsidies aka Tax Credits to help people buy insurance?

Answer: YES. There are two types of financial assistance under the ACA: premium tax credits (which would change under the new GOP plan) and cost-sharing to lower out-of-pocket costs (which would be eliminated under the GOP plan).

Under the GOP plan, Premium tax credits would be available to individuals who buy their own coverage on the individual, or nongroup, coverage. But instead of a sliding scale based on income, as under current ACA, the Republican plan’s tax credits are based on age, with older Americans getting more. However, the plan allows insurers to charge older Americans up to five times more than younger people, so this is really not a benefit as the GOP claims.

There are income limits under the GOP bill.  People earning under $75,000, or $150,000 for a married couple, in modified adjusted gross income, get the same, fixed amounts for their age groups — starting at $2,000 a year for those under age 30, increasing in $500 increments per decade in age, up to $4,000 a year for those 60 and older. The tax credits are capped at $14,000 per family, using the five oldest family members to calculate the amount. This new structure would begin in 2020, with modifications in 2018 and 2019 to give more to younger people and less to older people.   Confused yet?  Just wait!!!

For those earning above those income thresholds, the tax credit is reduced by 10% of the amount earned above the threshold. For instance, an individual age 60 or older earning $100,000 a year would get a tax credit of $1,500 ($4,000 minus 10% of $25,000). The ACA tax credits also take into account the local cost of insurance, varying the amount of the credit in order to put a cap on the amount an individual or family would have to spend for their premiums. The Republican plan doesn’t do that. (See this explanation from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation for more on how the ACA tax credits are currently calculated.)

The cost-sharing subsidies available now under the ACA  will be eliminated in 2020 under the GOP plan.  Small-business tax credits would come to an end in 2020.

What does the bill do about  health savings accounts?

The GOP bill  increases the contribution limits for tax-exempt HSAs, from $3,400 for individuals and $6,750 for families to $6,550 and $13,100, respectively.  The GOP plan allows individuals to use HSA money for over-the-counter drugs, something the ACA had limited to only over-the-counter drugs for which individuals had obtained a prescription.

Who Does This Affect?

Both the current law and the Republican proposal primarily impacts the individual market, where 7% of the U.S. population buys its own health insurance. The GOP plan allows a wider span in pricing based on age by allowing Insurers can charge older individuals up to five times as much as younger people, and states can change that ratio. Under Obama Care (the ACA), the ratio was 3:1.

Older Americans do get higher tax credits than younger Americans under the Republican plan, but whether that amounts to more or less generous tax credits than under the ACA depends on other individual circumstances, including income and local insurance pricing. Those with low incomes could do worse under the GOP plan, while those who earned too much to qualify for tax credits under the ACA (an individual making more than $48,240) would get tax credits.

I  urge you to review the Kaiser Family Foundation’s interactive map to see how tax credits may change, depending on your individual circumstances. “Generally, people who are older, lower-income, or live in high-premium areas (like Alaska and Arizona) receive larger tax credits under the ACA than they would under the American Health Care Act replacement,” KFF says. “Conversely, some people who are younger, higher-income, or live in low-premium areas (like Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Washington) may receive larger assistance under the replacement plan.”

Which ACA taxes go away under the GOP plan?

Many of the ACA taxes would be eliminated.  The bill eliminates all fines on individuals for not having insurance and large employers for not offering insurance. Also, beginning in 2018, for high-income taxpayers, the bill eliminates the 3.8% tax on certain net investment income and the 0.9% additional Medicare tax on earnings above a threshold. That same year, the bill repeals the 2.3% tax on the sale price of certain medical devices and the 10% tax on indoor tanning services. It also eliminates the annual fees on entities, according to the IRS, “in the business of providing health insurance for United States health risks,” as well as fees on “each covered entity engaged in the business of manufacturing or importing branded prescription drugs.”

It reduces the tax on distributions from health savings accounts (HSAs) not used for qualified medical expenses from 20% to 10% and the tax on such distributions from Archer medical savings accounts (MSAs) from 20% to 15%. It lowers the threshold for receiving a tax deduction for medical expenses from 10% to 7.5% of adjusted gross income. And from 2020 through 2024, the bill suspends the so-called “Cadillac tax,” a 40% excise tax on high-cost insurance plans offered by employers.

I urge readers to follow this proposed law and voice your opinions.  It is an integral part of Democracy to be heard.  Being an attorney,  I love protecting people’s rights on a daily basis, including those of my own family and friends.  Following our political process and voicing objections is key to keeping to all of our freedoms alive.

References:

https://www.oecd.org/els/health-systems/Universal-Health-Coverage-and-Health-Outcomes-OECD-G7-Health-Ministerial-2016.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_health_care

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/06/heres-a-map-of-the-countries-that-provide-universal-health-care-americas-still-not-on-it/259153/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3633404/

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/NV

http://www.bu.edu/law/files/2016/01/EllisPaper.pdf

 

WHAT’S A TORT??? AND IS IT COVERED BY A BUSINESS INSURANCE POLICY: COVERAGES UNDER PART A and PART B OF A CGL POLICY

Most business’ have insurance to protect against potential claims against them. Typical business coverage includes property and casualty, commercial general liability insurance (“CGL”), workers’ compensation, professional liability (“E&O”) and commercial automobile insurance. More specialized insurance available includes employment practices liability insurance (“EPLI”) and insurance against patent and trademark infringement. These policies are intended to apply to either basic, known business risks (such as loss of a commercial building or liability from a car accident) or are tailored to specific risks (such as EPLI). But what about business tort claims?  Most business’s have liability insurance. So what is covered?  Most are covered under the CGL portion.

Most Commercial General Liability policies have two types of coverage: Part A and Part B.

Part A provides insurance against two types of injuries: “bodily injury” and “property damage,” but only if arising from an “accident” or “occurrence.” CGL policies protect against claims arising from accidental or fortuitous events called “occurrences.”  The term “bodily injury,” as defined in an insurance policy, includes physical injury to the body.  Coverage does not always apply to non-physical emotional or mental harm caused by an employee of the insured.  A CGL policy covers physical damage caused to the property of third parties by the insured as well.

Coverage Part A only includes actions involving “accidents” or “occurrences,” business torts based on a negligence theory are potentially coverable.  However, business torts arising from intentional acts are typically not covered.   In these situation coverage may exist for negligent misrepresentation, negligently performed faulty workmanship, employment actions sounding in negligence (negligent hiring, negligent retention, negligent supervision) and other negligence causes of action (failure to warn, unsafe premises and negligent procedure).

Different from Coverage Part A, Coverage Part B does not depend on the existence of an “accident” or “occurrence,” so it may cover damages arising from intentional conduct not otherwise excluded. While the insuring clause of Coverage Part A is expressed in general terms, Coverage Part B covers only specific listed acts committed by the insured.  Some examples of such enumerated acts may include false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, wrongful eviction, defamation, invasion of the right to privacy and copyright and trademark infringement.

It is also possible that there may be Coverage under Part B for liability arising from the insured’s “advertising activity.”  “Advertising activity” has been found in cases of TV, radio, newspaper and magazine advertising.   But not all marketing activities constitute “advertising.” There must be a causal connection between the advertising activity and the injury.  The sale of an infringing product by itself is not sufficient to satisfy the causal connection requirement. The infringement must be committed in the advertisement on its face, and not just in the sale of a product, in order to be covered.

Every business owner should review their insurance coverage’s a broker and attorney to determine whether it has sufficient coverage not only for the typical risks that the company may face, but also for the unexpected, claims for business torts that sometimes happen.

WHAT DO THESE COVERAGES MEAN FOR DEFENDANTS?

Many attorneys and clients think of every tort claim as personal injury action.  But for purposes of insurance coverage, many tort actions arising from an automobile collision, a slip-and-fall, a product liability claim or a defective construction suit are matters of bodily injury and fall under Coverage A of the standard commercial general liability (CGL) policy purchased by most businesses.   Most of the litigation concerns Coverage for bodily injury.   Coverage under Part B usually pertains to personal and advertising injury liability and is often overlooked when seeking coverage under a business policy.

Although obtaining insurance under Coverage B requires more diligence by a policyholder or counsel for defendants seeking coverage, it can provide important protection, including a defense against a plaintiff’s claim.  If one claim in a complaint is possibly covered, the CGL insurer must defend the entire case.  It was this aspect of insurance law that enabled Los Angeles Lakers owner Dr. Jerry Buss to obtain an entire defense of what was largely a business/contract dispute (26 of the claims in the complaint); something ordinarily not covered under a standard form CGL policy. But a 27th claim for defamation implicated the personal injury provisions of the policy, and Buss received a complete defense to the suit (which eventually settled) that involved more than $1 million in counsel fees. The insurer sought reimbursement for the defense costs that did not involve the defamation claim. In Buss v. Superior Court, 939 P.2d 766 (Cal. 1997), the California Supreme Court stated that insurers had this right, provided they could adequately differentiate what was spent defending the respective claims, a position dividing the jurisdictions and rejected by the Supreme Courts of Illinois and Pennsylvania.1 Even if Nevada should eventually follow the Buss approach,2 a policyholder can benefit in this type of situation by at least obtaining an insurer-provided defense and delay its ultimate payment of some portion of counsel fees.

In practicality, it would be difficult to correctly separate attorneys fees spent on a covered claim versus one that is not covered.  Under the California approach, the insurer defending the claim is forced to pay for the entire defense. Thus, a defendant faced with a lawsuit that looks like a commercial dispute without bodily injury or tangible, physical property damage and therefore what looks like no CGL policy show look for an allegation such as trespassing, defamation or misleading advertising claims that could trigger Coverage B.  The policy states that the CGL insurer will pay “those sums that the insured becomes legally obligated to pay” as damages, because of “personal and advertising injury” to which the following applies:

 

  1. False arrest, detention or imprisonment;
  2. Malicious prosecution;
  3. The wrongful eviction from, wrongful entry into, or invasion of the right of private occupancy of a room, dwelling or premises that a person occupies, committed by or on behalf of its owner, landlord or lessor;
  4. Oral or written publication, in any manner, of materials that slanders or libels a person or organization or services;
  5. Oral or written publication, in any manner, of material copyright, trade dress or slogan in your advertisement. as a “notice that is broadcast or published to the general public or your goods, products or services for the purpose of attracting customers or supporters.”

It includes notices published on the internet “or on similar electronic means of communication,” but as regards websites, “only that part of a website” that purpose of attracting customers or supporters” is considered an

advertisement.  Unfortunately, the following are examples of the long list of exclusions stating that Coverage B “does not apply to:”

  1. Knowing Violation of the Rights of Another
  2. Material Published With Knowledge of Falsity
  3. Material Published Prior to the Policy Period
  4. Criminal Acts
  5. Contractual Liability
  6. Breach of Contract
  7. Quality Or Performance of Goods–Failure to Conform to Statements
  8. Wrong Description of Prices
  9. Infringement of Copyright, Patent, Trademark or Trade Secret
  10. Insured’s in Media and Internet Type Business
  11. Electronic Chartrooms or Bulletin Boards
  12. Unauthorized Use of Another’s Name Or Product
  13. Pollution
  14. Pollution-Related [Matters]
  15. War
  16. Distribution of Material in Violation of Statutes

These provisions are exclusions that remove otherwise applicable coverages, therefore, the exclusions are construed narrowly and strictly against the insurer.  The insurer will bear the burden of persuasion to show the particular exclusion applies.  When exclusion is unclear and cannot be clarified by the facts, it is resolved against the author/ drafter of the policy, which is generally the insurer.   Many of the listed exclusions have been found by courts to be sufficiently clear most of the time and thus make for a situation in which personal and advertising injury coverage has relatively limited scope and use for policyholders when compared to the more prevalent bodily injury coverage.

A fairly accurate summary is that Coverage B applies where a policyholder is accused of negligently or recklessly disparaging a claimant or defaming a plaintiff (defamation that it not within an exclusion) or misleading advertising (such as causing consumer confusion, or hurting a competitor) that does not involve copyright or patent infringement. The Nevada Supreme Court law on Coverage B is limited. I only know one insurance coverage case regarding “advertising injury,” and that is dicta.    A hand full of District of Nevada federal court opinions mention the term.   The substantive local precedent that exists has tended to support insurer efforts to limit coverage and is adverse to Plaintiffs.   Mention of personal injury in case law is much more extensive, but in these decisions, the court is almost always referring to bodily injury rather than the insurance policy concept of personal injury coverage. When instituting litigation, under a business policy, counsel should always review all the defendant’s liability insurance policies and consider coverage under the obscure concepts of personal injury to ascertain if there is a loss that will be covered for their client.

 

 

Resources:   https://www.amazon.com/General-Liability-Insurance-Coverage-Issues/dp/1506140203

 

https://www.irmi.com/articles/expert-commentary/no-harm-no-coverage-personal-and-advertising-  injury-liability-coverage-in-the-cgl-(part-1)

 

http://www.iii.org/article/commercial-general-liability-insurance

 

http://scholars.law.unlv.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1188&context=facpub

 

http://www.roughnotes.com/rnmagazine/search/commercial_lines/02_08p34.htm

 

http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1424&context=yjreg

 

 

Accident on Vacation- What to Do

DON’T LET A CAR ACCIDENT WRECK YOUR VACATION

Vacations are best for getting away from everything stressful. You can enjoy the sun and the beach or get away the snowy slopes and fireside hot chocolate, or anything that your family enjoys. Often on vacation, you may try new adventures like jet skiing, snorkeling, snowboarding, or any other type of vacation fun. Unfortunately, we don’t often consider that accidents can happen anywhere, even on vacation.  Armed with information and a few necessities like your family health insurance cards, your auto insurance card (whether you are driving your own car or renting a car) along with shorts and sun block, can reduce stress in the event of an accident.

It’s not something we want to think about when packing for a vacation. It’s likely last thing we want to think about.  However, a couple clicks of your phone and you will not have to think about it again unless it happens. It is important to know your rights and responsibilities while traveling any time, including on vacation.

BEFORE YOU GO, TAKE THE FOLLOWING PHOTOS WITH YOUR PHONE:

  1. Your Family health insurance cards
  2. Lists of any family allergies
  3. Your auto insurance card

Spring break is a great time to take a trip to more open, cooler, prettier places like the beach or the mountains, or a visit with family in old hometowns or living it up on the Las Vegas Strip. Road trips are exciting, and air travel can get us their much quicker, and renting a car can save time.

An accident is likely the last thing on your mind as you prepare for your trip, and not something you want to think about. However, a little bit of knowledge can make a stressful situation, easier and not end a great vacation.  I hope to answer the most important questions you will have if you find yourself in an accident while on vacation. Whether you are driving your own car or renting a vehicle for an out-of-town vacation, the following is a list items you will want to know to be prepared in the event of an accident:

  1. Make sure the police or on-site security is called to the scene immediately. This will likely be your only opportunity to gather critical information.
  2. Take pictures of everything including the people themselves involved, the weather, the cars, the road, driver’s licenses, insurance cards, license plates, witness’s and their vehicles, any traffic signals or signs in place, the location of the accident, any article like a ride that caused injury, the floor in a slip and fall, all signs in the area.
  3. If anyone is injured, get medical help at a hospital or quick care and if you have your own health insurance, use it. Provide the medical provider all of your information and make sure to obtain any records you can while you are there.
  4. Take photos immediately of any injuries sustained such as bruising and lacerations.

TYPES OF CASES HANDLED BY HUNT LAW OFFICES

  • Swimming pool and spa drowning accidents and slip and fall accidents.
  • Injuries due to violence caused by negligent security or inadequate security.
  • Acts of crime by employees leading to injuries including sexual assaults and assault and battery.
  • Vehicle accidents involving transportation companies or rental cars.
  • Accidents on busses and/or public transportation accidents.
  • Accidents resulting from the use of personal watercraft, jet-skis, and water ski accidents.
  • Accidents involving amusement parks, theme park rides and attractions, equipment failure or maintenance accidents at theme parks.
  • Accidents involving hotel escalators and/or elevator accidents and slip and fall accidents.
  • Scuba diving and parasailing accidents resulting from faulty equipment.

Business owners, hotel owners, rental companies, and theme parks owners who cater to vacationers have a responsibility to keep their premises safe for visitors and their attractions working properly. They must provide a safe premises, and protection from dangers. Rides and rental equipment must function as intended. Unfortunately, some vacation destinations and resorts do not pay attention to the safety measures that they are required to implement for the protection of their guests.  Due to this type of negligence, an attorney is often needed to protect your rights.  Laura Hunt, Esq. is dedicated to helping tourists and vacationers injured in accidents, find justice, while visiting Las Vegas and California.  To tell us about your case or concern, please email lhuntlaw@cox.net or call 702-600-0032 24 hours a day and on weekends.

ISSUES OF VACATION ACCIDENTS

Wherever your flight, drive or voyage may take you, an attorney can you help if you’re injured on your journey. The following is important to keep in mind:

  • State Law in Different States– An attorney can Laura Hunt, Esq. can answer questions regarding laws that vary by state including traffic laws, statutes of limitations, helmet laws, floatation device laws, etc.
  • How Does Insurance work Out of State– What happens if you’re in an auto accident in a different state – or country for that matter? What state’s insurance laws do you follow? The answer is usually yes on your own policies with certain exceptions. An experienced attorney can answer these important questions.
  • Rental Cars — With a rental, you will likely need to deal with additional paperwork. As soon as you can, you should contact the rental company and inform them of what happened. Most rental cars are equipped with a sticker in the glove box that has emergency information on it. You will usually be covered on your own auto policy and you also need to contact your own insurance company as soon as possible

WHAT ABOUT GETTING THE CAR FIXED?

To help make things easier, here is are few issues you may be faced with dealing with:

  • Your insurance may advise you to fix your car locally. An insurance company will not want to pay to have your damaged car towed to your home town. If the car is drivable, take the vehicle home for repairs.
  • The body shop may not perform quality work, so double check the work before leaving the shop. If the body shop knows you are not local, they may not give your vehicle the treatment you would receive at your local repair shop. This is why you may want to wait for repairs until you get home. Don’t let a dent ruin a vacation.

 

  • You will be responsible for picking up from the shop when repairs are done. It is not likely that the insurance company will deliver your repaired vehicle back to your home town.

 

  • Obtain a police report. Find out from the officer where the records office is and request it as soon as you get home. It usually takes 10-14 days for them to have the report ready anyway.

 

  • If repairs are necessary, find a facility with a nationwide warranty plan. If you have to have your car repaired before you can drive it home, look for a body shop that has nationwide warranty coverage. By using a body that has nationwide locations, you can avoid a problem when you get home.

 

  • If anyone calls you to take a recorded statement besides your own insurance company, do not provide a recorded statement to them. Sometimes the at fault company will try to call you right away and ask slanted questions and get you to give information that you have not received yet. They will take advantage of your stressed state.

 

Being in an automobile accident is never headache free and being in one while away from home and on vacation is even worse. Hopefully with this information, you will be able to avoid some of the headache that people experience and continue enjoying your getaway.

An accident is frightening and more difficult when you are far from home. If injuries happen, it complicates your vacation and adds stress to the entire family. If you or one of your family members is seriously injured, an attorney can take care of paper work associated with medical bills as well as all the paperwork associated a repair the vehicle.

If you or a loved one have been injured any type of accident while on vacation, an accident that was caused by the negligence of someone else, you should contact an experienced attorney about your case in addition to your insurance or rental car company.  Operators of resorts and theme parks do not always put guest safety first.  Never assume they will act in your best interest if and accident occurs and e proactive.  Follow the steps above to protect you and your loved ones.

Free Initial Legal Consultation – and We Aren’t Paid unless there is a Recovery

Hunt Law Offices has handled hundreds of auto accident, slip and fall cases, catastrophic injury cases, personal injury cases, and have recovered millions of dollars for our injured clients. Laura Hunt’s consultation with potential vacation accident and resort accidents clients is free. If we take your case, we are only paid fees and costs of suit if we are successful in obtaining money for you. We advance the costs of your case, too, so there’s no cost to you of bringing your claim. To tell us about your case or concern, please email us at lhuntlaw@cox.net or call 702-600-0032 24 hours a day and on weekends.

 

 

The Weather Wrecked My Car

BAD WEATHER/ BAD DAY – WHAT IF A TREE FALLS ON MY CAR OR IN MY YARD OR BAD WEATHER CAUSES A CAR ACCIDENT

Bad weather can cause more than a bad hair day or a dirty car. Strong winds, heavy rains and blowing debris can cause trees to fall and roads to become unsafe causing accidents to happen. When conditions are less than ideal, accidents occur. The most common cause of vehicle related accidents due to weather is a loss of traction. When weather conditions become inclement and the roads become wet, muddy and sandy, vehicle traction is reduced and cars have a significantly increased chance of slipping and losing control. The best way to reduce your chance of losing traction on wet roads and in windy weather conditions is to drive slower and more smoothly. Try not to follow cars too closely and avoid jamming on the gas and brakes or making sudden and violent maneuvers with the steering wheel. The best way to think of this is if you had to cross a wet floor or a skating ring in your tennis shoes, you would tread in a slow and controlled manner and very carefully.  Use those principles when driving in windy and wet road conditions.

The best option is always to try and stay home in bad weather. Unfortunately, today’s reality just does not allow for that.  Work, school activities and responsibilities take us out on the roads in bad weather.  When you cannot avoid taking the risk, there is some important information that you should know if you are involved in an accident due to the loss of traction because of wet, muddy, snowy or icy roads in Henderson Nevada or if you are involved in an accident or cause property damage as a result of bad weather due to falling trees or debris as a result of bad weather in Henderson Nevada.

Rain And Accidents

I’ll take these topics in two sections.

First what if I lose control of my car due to bad weather

If you find your car starting to skid or lose traction or what we call “hydroplane” on wet roads, don’t panic.  Hydroplaning is when a layer of water prevents direct contact between your tires and the road. Take your foot off the gas and look in front of the vehicle.  Look where you want to go and gently and carefully steer the vehicle in that direction.  Apply very light brake pressure only if it is needed. Once the vehicle is traveling in the direction that you intend to go, you can lightly apply the gas as you regain control. This is a difficult driving situation and your skill will improve with experience.  If it is possible, it is best to learn these skills by practicing in a parking lot that is empty and the conditions are controlled.  I would recommend having an experienced driver teach you how to recover from a skid.  The most important thing to remember in these situations is not to panic and look in front of the vehicle and continue to steer the vehicle where you want to go.

Drivers sometimes have a natural inclination to look at objects they don’t want to hit and steer towards them and end up hitting the objects instead of maintaining their path. If you are able to continue looking where you want to go when you’ve lost control of a moving vehicle, you will be better able to regain control.  It is possible to regain control of the vehicle. However, if an accident occurs as a result of bad weather conditions in Henderson Nevada, the most important thing in any accident that occurs for any reason is to make sure that everyone in your vehicle is OK.  You should immediately call 911 to reach police and emergency medical personnel after any accident. Regardless of whether or not anyone appears severely injured, emergency personnel should be summoned to the scene.  Head injuries or internal injuries often cannot be observed immediately, and medical personnel are trained to detect these life-threatening injuries.  It is important not to panic, but to be calm and controlled and assist others.  Speak clearly when contacting emergency personnel to give them your location and the information that they need.

People often ask who pays for my damages if I am the only one involved in the accident

If you are the only car involved in the accident, you should call your insurance company as soon as you have arrived at safety and the parties in your vehicle have been treated and are safe. Use your cell phone to take pictures of your vehicle, the roadway and the surrounding areas. You will have to make a claim for the damage to your vehicle on your collision insurance. Unfortunately, you will be responsible for your deductible even though bad weather conditions caused you to lose control of your car.  An experienced attorney can help you fully recover your vehicle damage, and often there is coverage available for your injuries.  With 8 years experience working for insurance companies, and the past 8 years spent helping victims of accidents recover their property damage and money for their injuries, I can help you if you have an accident as a result of bad weather conditions.

If a Tree Falls on My House or Car, Am I Covered?

Sometimes it takes just one good storm to topple what was once a sturdy tree in your yard or at a business. Once the storm is over, a lawyer can assist you to determine which insurance will help pay for the cost of removing the branches and repairing damage if the tree fell on your home or car.

Whether your homeowners insurance policy includes coverage for fallen trees typically depends on a number of factors, such as what caused the tree to fall and what kind of damage resulted. Which coverage will cover your car will depend on whose tree fell on your vehicle and why.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about trees and insurance.

If the tree was otherwise healthy and toppled due to wind, a typical homeowners insurance policy will likely pay to repair damage to your home or other structure on your property, the Insurance Information Institute (III) says.  Be aware of deductibles.

Q: If a tree falls on my own property, will my own homeowner’s policy pay the damages?

A: This question depends on the facts.  A homeowner’s insurance policy generally protects your home against stated causes of loss, defined as perils. “Covered perils” are generally inclusive of wind damage.  Therefore, the reason that the tree to fell is important. If the tree was in good condition at the time of the storm and fell due to wind, a standard homeowner’s insurance policy will likely cover the damages to your home or other structure on your property, the Insurance Information Institute (III) says.

If the tree was rotting before the accident, the homeowners insurance usually won’t cover the damage because they will claim it is a maintenance issue. If you have sustained a large loss and the insurance company claims it is a maintenance issue, you should call a lawyer before the tree is removed and take a large number of photos of the downed tree including roots.

Q: What if my tree fell on my neighbor’s car?

A: Generally, the owner of the fallen tree is not responsible for the damage unless he negligently maintained the tree.  If your tree falls on your neighbor’s vehicle, your neighbor’s vehicle auto insurance should pay the claim if your neighbor carries comprehensive coverage. If your neighbor’s tree falls on your car, your comprehensive coverage applies.

Q: What happens if the tree was on someone else’s property?

A: If you have damage because of someone else’s tree, the Insurance Information Institute (III) states your homeowners insurance will likely cover the damage to covered property.

 

Q: Am I responsible if my tree falls on my neighbor’s property?

A: You are only responsible if the tree was negligently maintained usually meaning rotting and not previously removed.  That would make you a contributing factor to the tree falling down and negligent.  Otherwise, your neighbor will have to file a claim through their own insurance.

Q: Does homeowners’ insurance cover removing tree after it has fallen?

  1. Usually, only if the tree damaged property. If the tree fell without causing damage to a structure on your property, insurance won’t likely cover the cost of removing the debris. Insurance Information Institute (III) says.
Rain And Accidents

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