Month: September 2019

insurance lawyer

Your Insurance Lawyer Should Be Skilled in the Courtroom

Even without an insurance lawyer explaining it to you, chances are you understand how the basics of an insurance claim work, and are hoping to stay out of the courtroom. If you have been in a car accident, the police are called, a report is made, and you may have been taken to the hospital for injuries or were treated otherwise. Many of these types of incidents end up leaving you with a sigh of relief as they are fender benders resulting in little need for action, while another could be a full-blown car crash that results in multiple injuries due to the negligence of another party, and could escalate into a full-blown lawsuit against the other party’s insurance company.

If you have been injured or experienced serious property damage, you probably feel a sense of urgency to see the claim settled so you can get your finances and your life back in order—and understandably so. This can also be a very difficult time if you are trying to heal or adapt to what could be long-lasting or permanent damage physically – not to mention emotionally.

The best scenario in such a situation is always to hope that the insurance company is going to pay the claim as quickly as possible and everyone can go on their way; however, claim situations can get complicated at times. There is a difference though between complicated and an insurance company that is attempting to get out of paying your claim and practicing bad faith. Know the signs. Are they delaying the process of dealing with your claim? Has an investigation begun? Or, have you already been outright denied?

You may also be the victim of intimidation tactics from your insurance company. This could include requests for so much documentation you don’t even know where to start – along with asking for information that may seem completely irrelevant. The insurer could even go so far as to insinuate that your claim is fraudulent, delaying payment even further as they send out a fraud investigation team. They may try to intimidate witnesses with aggressive questioning—and you as well. In the end, you may receive a lowball offer that they want you to believe is all you will get, and that you should accept it quickly (which you should not!).

If you are being treated this way, do not try to go it alone! Consult with an attorney from the Bolender Law Firm as soon as possible if you suspect bad faith practices. There is the chance that your insurance attorney could contact the insurance company by phone or by written communication and resolve everything quickly for you. If not, however, it is vital to your case to have an attorney who is skilled in the courtroom, has experience in the courtroom, and will fight to protect you and your best interests.

Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. The Bolender Law Firm is here to help you!

common errors

Avoid the Courtroom: Understanding the Most Common Errors in Business

Owning a business may be one of the most exciting endeavors you ever undertake, and undoubtedly you will make some common errors. However, it is no secret that being an entrepreneur is also full of challenges. While you have the satisfaction of knowing that you are your own boss, you can set your own hours, and can make the rules for the most part, the responsibilities can be endless. The goal is usually to create a product and keep the customer happy, but you must also consider many other behind-the-scenes issues.

Finding yourself embroiled in a lawsuit may be inevitable if you are in business for a long period of time, but there are preventative measures you can take, to include:

  • Creating partnership agreements – your partners may be people you have known for nearly your whole life and trust more than anyone else, but it is important to be realistic and realize that things could go south later, or one or more of you could opt to leave the company. It is critical to have an outline for many different details, starting with the basics such as the hierarchy of the company, responsibilities and titles, profit distribution schedules, to agreeing on what will happen if one partner wants to leave the company or passes away.
  • Protect your intellectual property – this means treating all your branding mechanisms with care, to include your trademark, service mark, and any patents your company may have created, along with any copyrights which are generally defined as expressions of art.
  • Be sure to have employees classified correctly – this is especially important in California with independent contractors, where employees may be categorized incorrectly, and the company may find themselves penalized. Also, be sure independent contractors have a solid agreement signed before they begin working for you to include the span of the project, their duties, confidentiality, and how ownership of any innovations they create while at your company are to be handled later.
  • Employee pay – this is one of the biggest reasons that businesses fall into lawsuits, as overtime may be miscalculated, a paycheck may be late, or there could be errors in accounting. Always make sure that you or your accounting team are completely on top of paying for your employees; after all: that is why they are there!

Do you need legal assistance with a partnership or business dispute? If so, contact the Bolender Law Firm. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

claim

Why Insurance Companies Are So Reluctant to Pay that Claim

Buying insurance from a company you consider to be reputable is important, especially if you hope to have any claims in the future paid out expediently. And if you have filed a claim with your insurance company recently, chances are you are hoping to hear from them quickly as you must pay medical bills, take care of property that needs to be repaired, or resolve a serious situation where you are being sued or held negligent.

Nothing can be worse than finding out that the insurer you have paid thousands of dollars in premiums to is trying to give you the runaround. And although you may be gravely disappointed, try not to take it personally; after all, if they are being unreasonable with you, most likely that is just how they do business. That may be of little consolation, however, if you have been out of work due to a car or motorcycle crash that resulted in serious injuries and escalation of financial distress after you could not go back to work, or if your home suffered a fire and you have not been able to live there in the interim, or other devastating issues. In most cases where an insurance claim is filed, the policyholder’s finances are affected deeply. You may be extremely worried about your financial future if the insurance company does not come through as you would have expected.

If you suspect bad faith on the part of the insurer when you have filed what you are certain is a valid claim, most likely the insurer is reluctant to pay for one reason: they want to keep their money. And although in many cases, it is obvious they are not doing the right thing, profits, the bottom line, and greed take over. Many red flags may pop up to alert you that something is wrong, beginning with delays that seem to have no explanation. There may be other tactics, however, like investigations that never seem to get underway, or excessive requests for documentation—or even intimidation tactics such as suggesting you should take a lowball offer or you won’t receive anything at all.

If you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm. If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

commercial intellectual property

Is Someone Else Benefiting from Your Commercial Intellectual Property to Sell Merchandise?

Although you may not even realize it at the time, when you create a business, you also begin creating an ongoing reputation within your community and industry, which also leads to a brand and commercial intellectual property—no matter how formal or informal it may be–and you certainly do not want anyone else benefiting from the hard work you put in. Along with your brand usually comes slogans, logos, information about your services, and perhaps even innovative products that make you known worldwide and must be patented.

Protecting your intellectual property is about more than just attaining status through registration and having a piece of paper to go with your work. Going through the application process and receiving the proper registration and licensing (which can sometimes be complex) can be critical to your business, and in many ways protecting intellectual property is just like protecting the inventory at your company or warehouse.

Just as you lock the door on your property at night onsite or at your warehouse, intellectual property protection allows you to secure rights to avoid theft by others. You can then move on and give your attention to exploring new innovations and expanding research and development within your company. There may be no further complications unless someone tries to threaten your IP license.

If you do realize there may be a threat to your intellectual property—known as infringement in most cases—consult with the Bolender Law Firm as soon as possible to protect your valuable work, which may currently be part of or eventually lead to substantial income for your company. Many intellectual property ‘thieves’ just assume no one will come after them for stealing a copyright, trademark, or even perhaps a complex patent to be reproduced and sold for a tidy profit. Others may simply not believe in or may not agree with the idea of intellectual property altogether, justifying theft in that manner. Be aware also, that many infringers are international.

Each type of intellectual property has its own protections, and if you are trying to deal with an infringement issue, this is certainly not an area of law to try and go it alone. The Bolender Law Firm can assist you in all intellectual property matters. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

 

Why You Should Speak to Your Attorney About Non Compete Contracts

Most business owners are aware that their companies are only as good as their employees, but paperwork like non compete contracts are often necessary. You can have the best business model in the world and the greatest product to sell, but without an excellent team of employees to keep all the cogs in the machine spinning, there is nothing. Whether you are a new business assembling a team, or a well-established company maintaining a group of great employees and hiring intermittently, you may need to farm work out to independent contractors at times or bring them in as specialists.

Independent contractors may only be part of minor projects at times, but in other scenarios, they could be responsible for the bulk of the work in an important project, and they could also be the ones behind creating a significant intellectual property like patents. And while such creative results could be an incredible boost to your business, even opening new doors to innovation and establishing your position within an industry, it is critical to protect not only information and data surrounding your business but also whatever products are created there in exchange for payment to full-time employees or contractors.

Questions regarding how to handle hiring independent contractors are very common, and especially in California where it is vital to make sure that they are classified properly, along with following all IRS guidelines. Along with that, you should speak with an experienced business attorney from an office like the Bolender Law Firm about creating a comprehensive independent contractor’s agreement. Your attorney may create specific contracts each time depending on who you hire and the importance of the work, or they may be able to help you develop a template that you can repeatedly follow throughout the years in hiring.

The contract/agreement should outline how long they will work for you and in what capacity, pay information and any benefits offered to contractors, confidentiality regarding the company itself and any projects they are working on, details on ownership rights and a clear description of repercussions should those be violated, along with any other details regarding their time of temporary employment (although feasibly this could be years). Your attorney may also want to create a nondisclosure agreement or make amendments later.

Do you need legal assistance with a business or contract issue? If so, contact the Bolender Law Firm.  Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

denial

Understanding Your Options When a Denial Needs to Be Challenged

No matter what type of insurance claim you may have filed, chances are you are hoping to have it settled quickly, and fairly, without any worrying about a denial. And while many cases are open and shut, black and white, and present no trouble at all, all too often, trying to get your settlement paid can be a massive headache. Consumers in the US should not have to live in fear of large corporations like insurance companies when something has gone wrong and their finances are deeply at risk, but sadly, insurers do hold much of the power due to their massive financial resources, with billions of profits pouring into their businesses each year.

For many policyholders, anxiety and panic set in quickly as bills start piling up due to an issue like a car accident due to the negligence of others that may have resulted in serious injuries; or, if you have experienced a huge homeowners claim, you may have nowhere to live during the interim. Insurance companies are aware of their power, however, and they use it to their advantage. And while they do not have your best interest in mind, a skilled bad faith insurance attorney from the Bolender Law Firm will.

You may have been worried from the beginning, after filing a claim and then not getting much response. Most adjusters are very quick to begin calling and asking questions (all of which should be referred to your attorney) so it can be discouraging when a claim is not being followed up on, and there does not seem to be any initial investigation. While delays are concerning, if you have received an outright denial that seems completely unreasonable, you may want to take legal action, but it is critical to understand your options first.

Having all the evidence in hand will be very important to your case, so save all documents and communications with the insurer to pass on to your attorney. Often, the best option is to start by having your insurance lawyer call the insurance company. You may be amazed at how quickly matters are resolved; however, if that does not work, letters may need to be written, reviews may need to be requested—and all the while you may be dealing with repair bills, medical bills, and you could even be healing from an accident while waiting. Do not attempt to go it alone against the insurer, especially if the only recourse is serious legal action requiring you to take the insurer to court for bad faith processes and an unfair denial.

If you need help reviewing your insurance policy, or if you suspect your insurance company may be denying your claim in bad faith, contact the attorneys at the Bolender Law Firm.  If a dispute over a claim cannot be easily resolved through a call or written communication, our attorneys will advocate on behalf of policyholders through litigation, arbitration, or non-binding mediation. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate level. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!