As you know, Middle Tennessee was recently hit by what can only be described as the flood of the century. While people in surrounding states may have dealt with this kind of flood in the recent past, this was something we simply were not prepared for. That being said, a big round of applause needs to go out to our local area governmental bodies for responding as they did. More applause needs to go out to the citizens of this great state for standing up and reaching out a helping hand to our neighbors.
Now, the water has all but dried up and we are recovering from the flood. However, a black cloud is appearing on the herizon; a new type of storm is brewing. That rumbling noise is not the sound of distant thunder, its the sound of a thousand motivated footsteps from the lawyers that are about to descend upon us. WHY? When there is a disaster, there is litigation. Some of the litigation will be based upon flood damage and whether or not homes were insured as well as many other issues. Businesses will likely see a rise in litigation in the coming months as many are not able to fill orders, complete projects or fullfill contractual obligations. Some of the things may be covered in your existing contracts. Others, like the flood itself, were not expected and therefore not adequetly prepared for.
What to do? Well, with everything, preperation is the best offense and defense. Following the flood, many people are reviewing their insurance policies just to make sure they are adequetly covered for future events. This is one of the good effects of an event like this. Businesses need to take a look over their existing contracts and make a plan for emergency preparedness in the future. If you dont have a good lawyer, find one and find one quick. Nothing ruins the flow of your business like a lawsuit. Even if you know good and well you can win, it takes time away from your business and costs money that you may not have at that moment. So, my words of advice to you are this: find a experienced lawyer you trust, develop a relationship and take care of what needs to be taken care of. Your business is your life and its important to have a plan.
If you have been or think that you are about to go down the road toward a lawsuit, be it against you or you against someone else, it pays to have someone help you navigate through the process. Contact a competent legal professional to assist you.
During the aftermath of the Nashville Flood, there are some things that you may forget to do that could have serious negative reprecusions on you later. So, the following is a non-exclusive list of a few things that you should do to make sure that you are protected.
If you recieve child support checks, social security checks or any other type of payment or government benefit on a regular basis and you have been displaced by the storm and/or the flood, you need to contact the agency and let them know where you have relocated, even if it is just a temporary move. Unfortunatly, these bad times breed some bad people and you do not want to lose your money to someone that just happens to find a mail box filled with mail becuase you are absent from your house.
Make sure you file an insurance claim even if you do not think that you are covered. Many federal programs require you to do this before you can qualify for aid.
Find your important legal documents. If they are lost or damaged beyond recovery, contact the appropriate businesses or agencies to get copies sent to you. While an important document is often defined by the person who has it, there are some documents that are essential for you to find or replace.
The title to your car
The Deed to your home
Your drivers license
Your Social Security Card
Your Birth Certificate
Shot and/or immunization records
Stock and Bond Certificates
Original Wills and/or powers of attorney or other legal documents (if these have been lost or destroyed they will need to be re-drafted and executed by a competent legal professional)
Military discharge records
Federal Employment Records
This is certainly not an all intensive list but is intended to be a starting point. If you need legal assistance through this trying time do not hesitate to call upon us at the Gordon Law Group. We are ready and able to assist you with getting past this disaster. While no one ever wants to go through a disaster like the one that took place in Nashville, take this time to make sure that all of your affiars are in order.
Today I was interviewed on several nashville radio stations, specifically, 92Q, 97.1 and 99.7 regarding numerous legal issues related to the Nashville Flood. I was impressed by the number of questions that I recieved both on air and by the hosts. Based upon this, I wanted to make a few resources available to people.
What should you do if your home or property was affected by the storm and/or flood?
1. First locate your insurance policy, if you cannot find it, call your insurance company and get a copy as quickly as possible.
2. File a claim even if you dont think it will be covered. Many of the federal grant and relief programs require that you file a claim with your insurance company.
Of course, if you have questions about the numerous forms and documents that need to be completed contact a trusted legal professional to help you through the process. To help find a legal professional to assist you with the process you can go to www.gordonlawgroup.com or to the Nashville Legal Line.
What you need to Know about Tennessee Workers Compensation Law – Tennessee Workers Compensation Lawyer John Jay Clark, Sr.
Over the years I have handled a lot of workers compensation cases. While workers compensation information is supposed to be made readily available by Tennessee Employers, I am consitently amazed at how little my prospective clients know about the process. Why is the process so complicated?
The simple answer to this is that Workers Compensation Law in Tennessee is a creature of statute. What does that mean? Well, our legislature, in their infinite wisdom, created Workers Compensation Law and therefore every single rule and regulation is contained in the the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Law.
Workers Compensation was originally designed to help employees above all. Whether that is still the case is a subject for a much longer blog and perhaps a personal diatribe. But nonetheless, Workers compensation law differs from any other injury type law in that the employee does not have to show that the employer did anything negligent, only that the employee was working for the employer at the time of the accident. The magic words that you will see are, the injury took place during the course and scope of the employees employment with the employer.
Well, knowing that, what happens if you are injured? You have the resonsibility to report the injury to your employer. Your employer is required to prepare what is called a First Report of Injury and submit that to the Tennessee Department of Labor. If your injury requires medical treatment, your employer is responsible for that as well. There are a number of pitfalls that you can be a victim of if you do not know your rights! It is extremly importnat to contact an experienced Tennessee Workers Compensation Lawyer to discuss what your rights and remedies are.
What happens if you are taken off of work becuase of your injury? Well, your employer should compensate you during the time that you are off. WATCH OUT! you are not entitled to 100% of your income. The statue says that you are entitled to 66 2/3rd % of your average weekly wage. Your average weekly wage is calculated using your last 52 weeks of employment. The calculation of your average weekly wage is very importnat and can have a serious effect upon your recovery if it is not done correctly. Therefore, it is again importnat to seek out the counsel of an experienced Tennessee Workers Compensation Lawyer to assist you through the process.
Okay, you have gone to the doctor and your employer has paid your bills, you have recieved your pay (or at least a portion of it since you have been off) and now your doctor says you are good to go back to work; what now? This is where workers compensation cases get really interesting and at times confusing. In many cases my clients say, I still hurt” but the doctor says I can work. Unfortunatly, this happens a lot, in many cases, the physician you have been seeing is a workers compensation doctor that has been paid by the employer. So, it makes since to suggest that the doctor, who knows who is paying his bill, is going to get you back to work as quickly as possible. The Physician may or may not return you to work with restrictions. If you have restrictions, the employer is legally required to abide by those restrictions. What if they dont? My suggestion, contact an Experienced Tennessee Workers Compensation Lawyer that you are comfortable with. There are certain rights and remedies that you have available through the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development and having a Tennessee Workers Comepensation Lawyer that is experienced with those rights and remedies can be the difference between being taken care of and being left in the dark.
Car Accidents and the Insurance Company – Continued – John Jay Clark, Sr. Nashville Tennessee Accident Attorney
Almost immediatly after posting my last blog on car accidents and insurance companies, I recieved a call from an individual that went something like this
“I was in an accident a couple of months ago, the inusrance company called me and is offering me money to settle my claim. I dont have a lawyer, but I could really use the money right now. Should I go ahead and settle?”
The general answer to this is NO! Why not? Well, you have to ask the question; do you think they are offering you what your case is worth? In most cases the answer to that is NO as well. Insurance companies are businesses just like your local mechanic or dry cleaner. They exist becuase they make or save money. SO, if they are offering you something you can pretty much guarantee it is not what your case is really worth.
My advice to the caller and my advice to anyone approached with this situation is tell the insurance company you will think about it and then contact an experienced Tennessee Personal Injury Attorney to assist you with the process. The time it takes for you to make a few extra phone calls could save you from making a very expensive mistake.
Car Accidents and the Insurance Company – Nashville, Tennessee Personal Injury Lawyer John Jay Clark, Sr.
If you drive a vehicle long enough, sooner or later, you will likely be involved in a car accident. If you live in or around the Nashville area, your chances are probably higher. Blame it on our casual southern temperment or the fact that we southerners seem to have an affliction everytime it rains or, god forbid, snow! Nontheless, accidents happen. Just becuase you have been the victim of a car accident does not mean that you are entitled to a huge verdict. However, if you have been injured becuase of the negligence of another driver, it is important to know your legal rights. Understand that in Tennessee drivers are supposed to have insurance, but this is not always the case.
If you have been injured as a result of another drivers negligence and that other driver had insurance, chances are you will be contacted by an insurance company representative soon after the accident. Understand that what the adjuster or representative is trying to get from you is information. Most normal people aren’t whiners. Most people when asked the question…”how are you doing”…will respond with “good” or “pretty good” or some like phrase. Again, blame it on our southern sensibilities or our raising not to complain. When that question is asked by an insurance adjuster, be aware, they will use your casual response against you at a later date.
Unfortunatly, injuries that arise from accidents dont always appear at the moment the accident happens. In fact, sometimes it takes days and weeks for the extent of you injury to make it self clear. That which feels like a simple back ache may turn out to be something far more severe.
The sum and substance of this is be wary of making any comments to an insurance company representative or adjuster without first seeking the guidance and counsel of an experienced Tennessee Personal Injury Lawyer. That which seems like casusal conversation may very well keep you from obtaining the damages you are rightfully entitled to.