Skip to main content
J. Brantley Durrett III

J. Durrett’s Answers

37 total

  • Do I need a real estate or an insurance lawyer???

    The City of Lago Vista was doing some underground sewage work and they screwed up and the sewage ended up in the house and garage. destroyed A LOT of personal belongings and furniture. They say they will give us a depreciated value of our items, w...

    J.’s Answer

    Your question is actually more complex because the defendant is a governmental entitiy and there are special rules that apply to claims against governmental entities. However, until proven otherwise - (by statute or ordinance), you should be able to recover the fair market value of your personal belongings and furniture. If there is no market value, then you can claim the intrinsic value of the belongings and furniture to you - which is usually replacement cost. There may be other elements of damage you can claim such as cleaning, alternate living expenses, etc.

    See question 
  • TX auto accident insurance laws, dispute with insurance company regarding car value

    I HIT A PARKED CAR AND THINKING NOTHING OF IT, I LEFT. LATER TO FIND OUT I HAD NO INSURANCE. SO WHEN THEY FOUND OUT THEY DECIDED NOT TO FILE CHARGES BUT WHEN THEY GOT THE ESTIMATES IT WAS $2700 BUT THE VAULE OF THE CAR IS ONLY AROUND $500. I DONT ...

    J.’s Answer

    Based on the facts described, you face both civil and criminal liability. Your civil liability equals the total amount of reasonable and necessary repairs limited to the fair market value of the car, plus any other consequential damages. Criminal liability may exist for failure to have insurance, for fialing to report an accident and for leaving the scene of an accident. I wouild advise you to seek a civil settlement with the carrier for an amount capped at $500 - the total value of the car, plus any consequential loss. Cross your fingers with regard to any possible criminal liability, but locate a criminal attorney in case the need arises.

    See question 
  • I was involved in a low speed car accident while leaving a parking spot, can I face criminal or civil liability for leaving

    I was parked against a curb with a car infront of me so i was backing up to pull out of a party and kissed a car that was parked half way in the driveway and halfway in the street. I didnt think it did damage so i left . what should i do

    J.’s Answer

    You face both civil and criminal liability. You should report the loss to your carrier immediately and try to locate the car's owner and ask them if they suffered any property damage.

    See question 
  • Car Accident Liability

    i have liability only insurance on a second car my son was driving. he has a truck that is insured by his father. he was driving this second car and "tapped" a driver. this driver is requesting insurance. does he give the insurance from me or ...

    J.’s Answer

    When dealing with insurance companies, it always best to put all possible carriers on notice of a potential claim as soon as possible. The carriers will determine whether one or both are responsible for the indemnity. However, failure to timely notify the carrier could result in a denial of the claim.

    See question 
  • Car crash with cop: Sue or not?

    I got involved in a car accident with a police officer in Texas. I got a police report and it says he failed to yield row from a private drive. The thing is I need a car fast. I am a full-time college student and need to get around. It has been a ...

    J.’s Answer

    For quickest results, submit your claim for payment under your own collision coverage. If you do not have collision coverage, check with an attorney to determine the applicable period of limitations against the city. Some periods of limitation in Texas run rather quickly, i.e. 90 days, 6 months, 1 year. Continue to actively monitor your cliam wiht the city.

    See question 
  • Business (partnership) bank accounts

    what documents do i need to start a business account with bank besides a tax i.d. number?

    J.’s Answer

    Depends on the bank and the type of business entity. Large national banks generally require more documentation than small banks. Furthermore, most bank have stock forms they insist companies complete regarding the passising of resolutions authorizing the opening of a banking account for corporations, limited liability compnaies and limited partnerships and the authorized individuals allowed to sign on the account.

    See question 
  • Didn't want to go through insurance

    on thanksgiving night my truck was backed into. the guy gave me his name and number and DID NOT want to go through his insurance. he asked me to give him a quote so i did. i want the money in hand before i get my truck fixed but he wants me to ge...

    J.’s Answer

    In Texas, the law requires people involved in an accident to file a police report within 10 days of the accident with the Department of Public Safety. First, I would file a police report regarding the accident. Second, I would insist that the person pay the body shop, in full, prior to repairs. If he will not, then I would file a claim with his insurance carrier and your own insurance carrier - provided, you have uninsured motorist coverage. The body shop has really nothing to lose. In most states, they have a mechanics lien on any work they perform and can sell your car if your do not pay. I would also take many pictures of the car prior to any repairs. Lastly, I would file a suit against him in small claims court if you can not get your carrier or his carrier to pay for the repairs.

    See question 
  • Does the beneficiary of a life insurance policy have to share with other siblings

    Does the beneficiary of a life insurance policy have to share the remainder with his siblings after the funeral was paid for?

    J.’s Answer

    In Texas, life insurance proceeds are non probate assets and pass outside of the estate of the deceased. Thus, in Texas, if you were named the sole beneficiary of a life insurance policy, then you would not have to pay for funeral expenses or share any of the proceeds with siblings. You should check with a Kentucky probate lawyer for an answer to your question in accordance with Kentucky law.

    See question 
  • Insurance LAW

    if a dental office submits a claim after the limitations are up am i still liable to pay the bill

    J.’s Answer

    No. In most states, limitations is an affirmative defense. So if you are sued on the claim, you must plead and raise the defense, but if you do, you will not be found liable for the claim. Of course, this answer assumes that there are no arguments that would delay or toll the start of the limitations period, i.e. discovery.

    See question 
  • Life Insurance Disability Waiver of Premium discontinued....leaving no coverage

    My mother has been disabled since age 54. Every year her life insurance premium has been waived as long as she received and returned a form to the insurance company that she is unable to work. This past year she has moved from her home, to a retir...

    J.’s Answer

    Your question is rather complex. If the policy was issued as an employee benefit, then it falls under a federal law known as ERISA - the Employee Retirement Income Security Act - and preempts state law. From your question, it sounds like the life insurance policy was issued as an employee benefit. Under ERISA, if misrepresentations were made to your mother that reasonably caused her to forego obtaining life insurance coverage, the measure of damages would be the difference between the price for coverage at the time of the misrepresentation and the current price for an identical life insurance policy, plus attorneys fees and costs.

    In a litigation context, to confirm that the policy received is identical to the policy in force at the time, you would simply have the insurer or employer swear that it is. Outside of a litigation context, there is really nothing you can do to confirm that it is the same other than ask that the insurer represent that it is to you in writing. Another option might be to try to discover some old policies from that time period from other employees,

    See question