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R. Stephen Ferrell

R. Ferrell’s Answers

21 total

  • How long should it take an insurance company to resolve a claim for a stolen car.

    A car got stolen and it has been almost 3 months and the insurance company has not resolved my claim. How long should it take. Should I tell the insurance company I will take legal action if they don't expedite my claim?

    R.’s Answer

    It depends on the facts and circumstances of the loss? Has the insurance company requested an examination under oath? Or have they asked for additional information about the car that was stolen? What did the last letter you received from the insurance company say? I would need to know the answers to these questions in order to fully answer your question. My office is in Houston, Texas. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. My number is (713) 800-0220.

    Respectfully,

    R. Stephen Ferrell
    Board Certified in Civil Trial Law

    The Ferrell Law Firm, P.C.
    2211 Norfolk Street, Suite 610
    Houston, Texas 77098
    (713) 800-0220
    Texas Board of Legal Specialization

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  • Forged Signature

    Our accountant, my business partner and me have to sign for authorizing any purchase/payment over $5K. My business partner recently forged our accountant’s and my signature and then took 400K from the business account. Should I sue our bank for n...

    R.’s Answer

    You should IMMEDIATELY report the forged signatures to your bank. I hope, for your sake, that the forgeries happened in the past 60 days, because your depository agreement with your bank probably has a clause in it that lets them off the hook if you wait more than 60 days to report the forgery. I have handled forgery cases before and some banks have 90 day deadline to report forgeries, but most have gone to a 60 day notice period. (If you happen to save the little fine print pamphlet that the bank sends you every year, then it's probably contained in that little fine print document). Otherwise, you can call your bank and get a copy of the depository agreement to find out what the specific reporting period is for your bank.
    Now lets assume that you are somehow beyond the 60 or 90 (as the case may be) reporting period. There might be another avenue of recovery if you have a business property insurance policy, you might have something called "Employee Dishonesty" Insurance contained in that policy. I have successfully helped a small business recover on such a claim in the past, but yours might be difficult because some policies have exclusions if it is one of the owners that does the stealing. You should also immediately report the forgery to the District Attorneys' Office. Did your partner have a Power of Attorney to sign on your behalf, and on the Accountant's behalf? If he did, then this could not only serve as a policy defense, it also might serve as a defense to the criminal forgery prosecution. Do you plan to report and prosecute your business partner for the forgery? These are all important questions to consider and they can actually impact the success or failure of your "Employee Dishonesty Insurance Claim" assuming that you have such coverage. ONCE AGAIN, YOU NEED TO ACT IMMEDIATELY BY REPORTING THIS TO: (1) YOUR BANK; (2) Your business property insurer; and (3) possibly the District attorney's office concerning the forgery. You probably need an attorney to help you make the claims with the bank and/or with your insurance company.

    One other question would be whether the (presumably ex) business partner has assets substantial enough to repay the amount taken in the forgery.

    Please let me know if I may be of further assistance. My telephone number is (713) 800-0220.

    Respectfully,

    R. Stephen Ferrell
    Board Certified in Civil Trial Law
    Texas Board of Legal Specialization

    The Ferrell Law Firm, P.C.
    2211 Norfolk Street, Suite 610
    Houston, Texas 77098

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  • Can insurance still total car/offer a settlement equal to the value of car if repair shop is unable to fix vehicle as promised?

    I have a Nissan Armada '08 that was involved in accident (not our fault), adjuster estimated damages at $16,000+ (not including rental and further followup repairs). I took it to the body shop recommended by my insurance. Once the car was returned...

    R.’s Answer

    Here's a link to an excellent article which explains what it means when an insurance company says that they are "totaling" a car. After reading this article, I would suggest that you first try to speak with the adjuster about the problem, then, if it can't be worked out, you should seek legal counsel. Here's the link to the article which I recommend that you read:

    http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2011/04/20/truth-totaled-cars/

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  • How does a wrongful lawsuit work?

    If 1 heir files a wrongful law suit does the person filing have to let it be known that there are other heirs out there? or do hey have to come foward themselves?

    R.’s Answer

    All jurisdictions allow the defendant who gets sued to discover the identity of any other wrongful death heirs or beneficiaries. So if you file a wrongful death lawsuit, you can expect to be asked under oath who all of the heirs or beneficiaries of the deceased person are, and you will be required to truthfully respond under oath by identifying all other living heirs of the deceased to whatever extent you have that information. See a local attorney for a more detailed explanation of the discovery rules in your state.

    In some states there is a procedure that allows a defendant to join all wrongful death beneficiaries to the lawsuit so that all wrongful death claims can be resolved at one time in a single lawsuit.

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  • Is a Wrongful Death public information?

    If a wongful death suit was filed is it open for anyone to see and where can you see it?

    R.’s Answer

    Yes. In the United States we have an open court system. That means lawsuits are public information. Like any other type of lawsuit, once you file a wrongful death lawsuit, it is public information that any news reporter or any other curious individual member of the public can read. Many jurisdiction allow people to search and read people's lawsuits online, so if you file a wrongful death lawsuit, it would not be a secret.

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  • What kind of lawyer do I need to sue my bank for a major mistake made by a bank employee, costing us a huge neagative balance?

    About two months ago, we were in a dispute with a nationwide satalite cable company. That company constantly took money from our bank account via debit card we gave them when we first set up service with them. Because of that, we called our bank, ...

    R.’s Answer

    Any Texas Lawyer who handles civil disputes can write the bank a letter on your behalf and demand (on your behalf) that the $600 be immediately credited back to your account.

    Since it will take more than 45 days to prosecute a lawsuit against your bank, it might be worth it to wait the 45 days to see if the bank credits the money back to your account. My opinion is that once the bank receives a demand letter from an attorney, they will probably go ahead and credit the money back to your account.

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  • Can this girl be criminally charged and if so, what can I do to see that she is?

    my 14 year old son was killed may 09 in a car accident. The girl driving was 17, she had numerous beer bottles in the car, she was speeding, she ran a stop sign in broad daylight, on a straight stretch of road, which also had a warning sign that t...

    R.’s Answer

    First of all, Please accept my sincere sympathy and condolences at the loss of your son. I can't begin to imagine what you must be going through right now.

    Although the prosecutor typically has the final say on which cases he will or will not prosecute a criminal case, the fact that the prosecutor chooses not to criminally prosecute the wrongdoer does not mean that the matter is over and done with. YOU can hire a civil wrongful death attorney and bring a civil lawsuit against the wrongdoer for the wrongful death of your son. The conduct of the wrongdoer does not have to be a crime for you to recover from her. All you have to prove is that she was negligent and that her negligence caused your son's death. If a jury finds that, you can be awarded wrongful death damages from the girl whose negligence caused your son's death.

    You definitely need to consult with an experienced attorney. I have been handling wrongful death cases for over 24 years and I handle wrongful death cases all over the United States. I would be happy to speak with you about your potential case against the driver of the car your son was in at the time of his death. My direct phone number is (713) 800-0220 and my cell number is (713) 206-3009. My email address is SFerrell@Ferrell-LawFirm.com and my firm website is www.Ferrell-LawFirm.com. Let me know if I may be of assistance, and once again, please accept my condolences on the death of your son.

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  • Can I Attach Exhibits to my Small Claims Complaint?

    In a breach of contract action in small claims court in cook county, besides attaching a copy of the contract to the complaint as required by the rules, can I also attach other relevant invoices?

    R.’s Answer

    The best way to find the answer to this question is to call (or go by in person) and ask the clerk of that particular court. Most small claims courts are fairly liberal in allowing you to attach any exhibits necessary to explain your complaint.

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  • Can i file defamation of character. The newspaper put my picture in the paper instead of the man who committed the crime?

    Last week the local newspaper printed an article about a man who was charged with child pornography. We share the same name but they put my picture on the front page instead of his.

    R.’s Answer

    In most states you can sue for libel where the paper falsely associates you with a crime you did not commit, however, if you inform the newspaper of the error and they promptly print a correction or retraction correcting the mistake it can serve to mitigate the damages. The laws in Louisiana are unique from all other states in the Nation, so it would be wise to consult with a Louisiana attorney to discuss your remedies and options. But don't delay, Louisiana has some very short statutes of limitations, so if you wait too long, your claim against the paper could be barred. I suggest that you consult with a Louisiana attorney immediately.

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  • My girlfriend received a traffic violation for not presenting her insurance card when she was driving my car..can we contest?

    Hello. I live in Denton County Texas. My girlfriend received a traffic violation for not presenting her insurance card when she was driving my car. I had my insurance in my wallet at the time, and I was not in the car. Although she failed to prese...

    R.’s Answer

    Yes. Simply take your proof of insurance to traffic court and show it to the prosecutor and the traffic court judge. Most traffic court judges will dismiss the ticket for failure to show proof of insurance if you can prove that you did, in fact, have automobile liability insurance coverage at the time you were pulled over.

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