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Avoid Talking to Insurance Companies Before Your Personal Injury AttorneyThe initial conversations you have with an insurance company after an injury can determine how much the company will cover your health expenses. The goal of an insurance adjuster is to get you to admit fault or downplay your injuries so that the company can save money. That is why the insurance company may contact you immediately after a vehicle accident or other injury when you are least prepared to talk to them. There are several reasons why you should not conduct a recorded interview with an insurance adjuster without consulting your personal injury attorney:

  1. Delayed Symptoms: If an insurance adjuster calls you the day of your accident, you may honestly answer that you do not feel injured. However, you may not notice some of your injuries until a couple of days after the incident. Once the adjuster has your statement on record, the insurance company can use it against you when determining your claim.
  2. Lack of Information: Even when you know you have been hurt after an accident, you will not know the full extent of your injuries until seeing a medical professional. You should not speculate about your injuries because your statement may contradict your official diagnosis.
  3. No Condition to Talk: Insurance adjusters contact you as soon as they can after an accident because they know you are vulnerable. You have just been through a traumatic experience that may prevent you from thinking clearly. You do not want to be held accountable for statements you made when you were upset or exhausted.
  4. Letting Your Guard Down: Many insurance adjusters come off as being personable and sympathetic during conversations. Friendliness is a tactic to get you to feel comfortable talking to them. With your guard down, you may inadvertently admit to fault in the accident or inaccurately portray your physical health.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

An insurance adjuster may try to pressure you into giving an immediate statement, saying that it is needed to start your claim. However, it is more important for your claim to accurately cover your medical needs than be expedient. The insurance adjuster cannot force you to say anything or record you without your permission. You can respond to immediate phone calls by saying that you need time to consult with your attorney before making any official statements that may affect your claim. A Barrington, Illinois, personal injury attorney at Joseph M. Lucas & Associates, LLC, can advise you on what you should tell an insurance company to make sure you receive the coverage you need. Schedule an appointment by calling 847-381-8700.

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Posted on in Divorce

Understanding Trends in Divorce RatesIt is too early to have complete statistics related to marriage and divorce in the U.S. for 2017. Researchers have had enough time to compile their 2016 data and get a snapshot of what the 2017 data may be. For decades, people in the U.S. have shown increasing social acceptance of divorce. That change would suggest that the number of divorces is increasing, especially among younger people who have grown up in a time when divorce is normal. However, divorce statistics have shown an opposite reaction:

  • The divorce rate in 2016 was a relatively low 3.2 per every 1,000 people, as opposed to a peak of around 5 in the early 1980s; and
  • Divorce among couples age 55 and older, known as gray divorce, is the only age demographic that has increased, having doubled since 1990.

The statistics may initially seem counterintuitive, but additional context can help explain it:

  1. Younger Couples Are Waiting Longer to Marry: Marriages that begin when people are in their late teens or early 20s face obstacles against sustainability. Young couples are less mature and more likely to experience financial hardships that put a strain on their marriages. By waiting until their late 20s or 30s to marry, couples have more stability in their lives and a better understanding of what they want in a relationship.
  2. Marriage Rates Are Down: Many couples are foregoing marriage in favor of cohabitation, even when they have children. These couples do still separate, which may require them to go to court to determine parental responsibilities and child support. However, they will not count towards divorce statistics.
  3. Gender Equality Is on the Rise: Women from previous generations were more likely to marry because they were seeking men to provide for them. Instead, many of them have had profitable careers. Now approaching the age of retirement, these women feel more confident in their ability to support themselves after leaving their marriages.
  4. Generations May View Divorce Differently: The spouses involved in gray divorce today were also part of the married demographic when divorce reached its peak levels in the 1980s. They were the first generation in which divorce became more socially acceptable. Younger generations, who experienced their parents’ divorces during peak years, may be making a greater effort to avoid divorce.

Trends in Divorce

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Watching for Child Injuries After Car AccidentsBeing involved in a car accident can become a nightmare if you have a child with you in the vehicle. Your immediate concern will be to check for any visible injuries on your child, followed by medical attention. As with adults, some injuries that children suffer in car accidents take longer to develop or notice. However, children are different from adults because they are not adept at explaining their problems. As a parent, you must carefully watch your children for symptoms of longer-lasting trauma or injuries resulting from the car accident.

Head Injuries

Concussions are serious injuries but harder to identify than scrapes or broken bones. Symptoms of an internal head injury may manifest in your child’s behavior, such as:

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Preventing Your Business from Ending with Your MarriageWhen owning a small business, your personal income and assets can easily overlap with those of your business. Thus, your business must be accounted for during the division of marital property, even if your spouse does not contribute to it. Divorce can have a negative effect on a small business if a reasonable settlement cannot be reached. Your spouse may have a right to a share of your business or to marital properties of equitable value. Any loss of assets or revenue can be the difference between a successful business and one that is no longer profitable. You need to make protecting your business a priority during your divorce.

Business Valuation

Once your divorce has started, the crucial first step is to assess the value of your business. Your spouse is likely to use his or her own assessor, so it is important that you bring in an assessor that can determine an accurate valuation of your business. An assessment will consider:

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Woman Awarded $4.5 Million in Premises Liability LawsuitAn Aurora, Ill., woman recently received a $4.5 million judgment as a result of a personal injury lawsuit filed against Wells Fargo. The injury took place in 2012, when the woman was walking into a Wells Fargo mortgage retail office in Aurora. A metal door closer unit detached and hit her in the head, causing immediate injury and long-term disability. The judgment included:

  • $1.25 million for her disability;
  • $1.25 million for her pain and suffering;
  • $1 million for emotional distress; and
  • More than $500,000 for medical expenses.

The judgment is reportedly the largest ever awarded for a personal injury lawsuit in DuPage County that was not a medical malpractice case. The jury needed only two hours to reach its decision in the case. Before the trial, Wells Fargo had attempted to settle with the plaintiff by offering $125,000.

Unsafe Building Conditions

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