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William Coats
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William Coats’s Answers

6 total

  • Is it illegal to "double dip"

    I was contacted by the Denver District Attourney regarding an accident where I was rear-ended. I was asked to fill out a victim's impact statement to make a claim for damages. I sent the letter back stating that I was still working with insurance....

    William’s Answer

    It is fair to ask for the difference between the blue book and what the insurance company pays you. You can also let your insurance company know that they can be listed as a "victim" of the case and seek reimbursment from the at-fault driver.

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  • Who is liable.

    I was rear ended in my pickup truck, by someone driving, someone elses vehicle, with no insurance. I have no insured motoriest on my policy but it only covers up to 25,000. we have exceded that in doctor visits, E.R. visits, mist wages, chiropra...

    William’s Answer

    The driver of the vechicle that rear ended you is responsible. The owner of the vehicle may also be responsible. This will depend on the circumstances. You should check to see if either one of those people (driver or owner ) has insurance. If not, it may be difficutl to recover compensation. When you renew your insurance, ask how much more it will cost to increas your underinsured motorist protection from $25,000 to $50,000 or $100,000. It often does not cost much more money to get 4x as much coverage.

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  • How do I go about getting the other person to pay for my rental expense and deductible?

    I was involved in a car accident and the other driver was at fault, by running the red light, she immeditely called her officer friend to do the police report of which she did not get a ticket and was uncooperative aboout giving her information. ...

    William’s Answer

    The most important thing for you to do is to make sure you have all contact information from the witness to the accident. If you were not injured and the only cliam you are making is for property damage and rental car expenses, you might want to ask the witness to write out a statement of what happened. You can then use the witness statement to convince the insurance company to pay the claim. If they don't pay, you can take the other driver to small claims court. If you were injured, you should contact a personal injury lawyer in your area. Best wishes.

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  • What is the standard for dividing a settlement check for a car accident?

    Is there a standard when deducting the lawyer fee of 33.3% and expenses? My lawyer took 33.3% of the total check then took out the expenses. But i spoke to another lawyer who said expenses must be taken off the top... what is the standard?

    William’s Answer

    The most common fee agreement is for the lawyer to take 1/3 of the fee off the top and then deduct for expenses. However, the issue should be covered in a written fee agreement between the lawyer and client. If it is not in the fee agreement, the lawyer should take out deductions before taking 1/3 for fees. I do not practice in New York and there may be a special rule in your state. You can check with the State Bar Association to see if there is a rule requiring the expenses be deducted first. Best wishes.

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  • What is the standard for dividing a settlement check for a car accident?

    Is there a standard when deducting the lawyer fee of 33.3% and expenses? My lawyer took 33.3% of the total check then took out the expenses. But i spoke to another lawyer who said expenses must be taken off the top... what is the standard?

    William’s Answer

    The most common fee agreement is for the lawyer to take 1/3 of the fee off the top and then deduct for expenses. However, the issue should be covered in a written fee agreement between the lawyer and client. If it is not in the fee agreement, the lawyer should take out deductions before taking 1/3 for fees. I do not practice in New York and there may be a special rule in your state. You can check with the State Bar Association to see if there is a rule requiring the expenses be deducted first. Best wishes.

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  • Who is responsible if I get into a car accident?

    I am 21 years old and I live in Huntington, New York. I live with my parents. I financed a new car in my name and the insurance is in my name. Who is responsible if I get into a car accident?

    William’s Answer

    If you are driving the car and you are careless and cause an accident, you will be responsible for any damage you cause. In some states, parents can also be responsible under the "family car doctrine" or the theory of "negligent entrustment". However, in your case it does not seem that those would apply because your parents are not providing you with a car. You simply live with them and this is not enought for them to be responsible for your negligence. I do not practice in New York, so if you or your parents want to be sure, check with a local attorney. You may also want to discuss the amount of insurance coverage you have with an insurance agent. Best wishes.

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