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By: dforrister
Ostroff Injury Law
Case of the Week Facts: Our client was severely injured by a drunk driver. In the collision, his clavicle was crushed and required multiple surgeries. The intoxicated driver, who was at fault for this accident, had only $15,000 liability coverage. Liability coverage is the benefit we would pursue against a driver who was at fault for an accident. Fortunately for our client, the car he was driving had very substantial under-insured motorist benefits (UIM) totaling $500,000. This means that if the value of the case is worth in excess of the insurance on the vehicle at fault, he can go back to his company for coverage from being injured by someone with inadequate insurance. It was clear that the value of our client’s case was worth in excess of the $500,000 in insurance on his policy, but his company refused to offer the full amount.Once an insurance company is on notice of an UIM claim and a claimant’s attorney makes it clear that the case is worth the total amount of that insurance or more, the insurance company has a responsibility to pay those benefits within a reasonable period of time. If the company fails to do this and a verdict or arbitration award is received in excess of the available insurance, the claimant can actually receive the full amount of the award or verdict rather than the limited insurance.The Outcome: In this case, Pennsylvania attorney Jon Ostroff obtained an arbitration award on behalf of his client of $1.3 million dollars. Mr. Ostroff’s client immediately received the full $500,000 policy limit, but within the next six months, the claimant received most of the $800,000 that was awarded to him in excess of the $500,000 available under the applicable policy.Mr. Ostroff’s client was very tempted to accept a $350,000 offer from the insurance company made just a day or two before the arbitration commenced. Mr. Ostroff strongly urged his client to refrain from accepting that amount as he was confident that they could receive an arbitration award well in excess of the $500,000 policy limits and potentially receive more than that amount. Luckily, Mr. Ostroff’s client took his advice, and agreed to present the case at arbitration where they received an amount that was multiples of the amount offered prior to arbitration.
By: fred6450
Abom & Kutulakis L.L.P. - Attorneys at Law
Mr Abom was very prompt, courteous, attentive, understanding and professional at all times during this legal process. He allowed us all of the time that we needed to ask questions and provided detailed explanations to allow us to make the most educated decisions throughout this legal process that we were going through. Although this was not an easy time for us, Mr Abom was compassionate and understanding while delivering a tough message. We would recommend Mr Abom for anyone needing legal counseling. He was a pleasure to deal with in these tough circumstances.
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By: Pam M.
Walker & Associates PC
If you’re looking for an attorney who is knowledgeable, honest, and goes after what is right for you, call Ron Calhoon. Any issue that came about, Ron knew exactly what to do. Being on Workers' Comp was stressful, I thought I could handle myself ( I was wrong ). I was provided Ron's name, he is a great attorney who has a great staff behind him!Tom, Police Officer, Harrisburg, PA area
By: 2011lard
Carrucoli and Associates - Harrisburg Office
Truly makes legal issues easier to deal with. The quality of service in helping me is the reason I never go anywhere else. I've asked for help with many different issues I've had to deal with.
Tips & Advices
When it comes time to choose a lawyer, you should start by searching close to home. If you do have attorneys you are familiar with, ask who they believe would be best for you. After going through personal references - especially from individuals who had similar needs - you should broaden your search through public information resources. You can call your area's attorney referral service or check legal organizations like Martindale-Hubbell. There are other resources available online, such as yellowpages.com. You can check websites for client reviews and other third-party forms of approval.
If you sign documents and you come across a word you don't recognize, or you need help to navigate important employment or real estate paperwork. Also, during times when personal matters intersect with legal proceedings, you might need to have an advocate to prevent your emotions from getting in the way. If you've been accused of a crime or are in a terrible financial situation, you can find an attorney who will work with what you have available.
When you hire a lawyer, you're agreeing to work with someone over a certain period of time. The more forthcoming the lawyer appears to be with individual needs, the better.
  • You need to ask questions about how the attorney will communicate with you and what responsibilities you hold in the relationship.
  • The attorney should let you know the best channel for quick communication and you need to inform him or her when you want updates.
  • You should also ask questions to get to know the attorney as an individual in order to ensure this is a person you can trust. Ask about their legal philosophy and how he or she views the lawyer/client relationship. Ask as how to keep fees down or what daily disruptions you should expect from a long legal battle.
You need to ask about every possible fee that will come up when working with an attorney. You should request a list of all costs in advance so you won't be surprised by additional expenses like overhead. Also determine exactly when you will start being billed. You want to inspect paperwork carefully. If the attorney charges you for his or her experience, you need to make sure he or she will perform tasks personally and not hand it off to an assistant. Find out if the attorney has a flat fee or charges by the hour. Many civil lawyers work on contingency. Make inquiries about how the lawyer plans to provide service for your money and what you can do if you start to feel unsatisfied with his or her performance.
You can ask how many similar cases they have handled and if they have special skills or training that applies specifically to your needs. Lawyers can't mention clients by name, but you should ask for basic details about identical past cases. You should check their office for the appropriate certifications and diplomas. You can also ask how long he or she has practiced law and request information that demonstrates the practice's success. Look for precise details such as percentage of cases settled out of court.

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