Underinsured Motorist Coverage – What You Need to Know

Buying car insurance is usually considered a no-brainer. You visit your insurance agent, give them information about your vehicle, and based on the type of car you have and how old it is, he recommends a policy that will cover your losses if you get into an accident. Easy, right?

Not so fast. Most of us never think much about what coverage we have. Our biggest concern is how much our policy will cost us every year, or every six months, or every month. As long as it is affordable, and our agent tells us we are protected, that is all we care about. But there is more to think about that your agent may never discuss with you.

Recently, a client was severely injured when he was hit by a car while a pedestrian. His auto policy had perfectly adequate coverage for damage he could cause in an accident, but this accident was not our client’s fault. And, unknown to him, his underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) was very low because he had lowered the coverage at the suggestion of his agent. What does that mean exactly?

Underinsured motorist coverage is protection for you when the responsible party in an accident has coverage limits that are too low to cover your expenses or to reimburse you for your pain and suffering. The driver in this case had a respectable amount of liability insurance, but our client’s injuries were so severe that the driver’s insurance limits were not nearly enough, particularly because his workers’ compensation carrier was entitled to reimbursement of its enormous lien. This is where underinsured motorist coverage comes in, or should come in. In this case, the UIM coverage was “stacked” at $50,000 per vehicle giving him a total of $150,000 in UIM. Doing some simple math shows you that, after paying off the lien, there was very little left for our client’s pain and suffering.

This was a wake-up call for me, prompting me to review my own policy. I had only $25,000 in UIM coverage per vehicle, because my agent had suggested it. I quickly increased it to $100,000. My premium did go up, yes, but by only $124 per year for two cars. This is a no-brainer. For a whopping $10 per month, I increased my protection dramatically. And so should you.

Pennsylvania law requires that drivers maintain only $15,000 in liability coverage. Most people don’t carry that little, but many do. And if they injure you, you need to be prepared to protect yourself financially.

As Technology Begins to Play a More Pertinent Role in the Legal Practice, Attorney Dan Siegel is Already Ahead of the Revolution.

Mobile technologies have recently become an essential aspect to the legal industry. With our society becoming more technologically advanced every day, individual law firms must do the same in order to keep up with their clientele. According to a 2015 Internet Trends report, average time spent by individuals on mobile devices jumped from 2.7 hours a day in 2008 to 5.6 hours a day in 2015. While mobile technologies provide the opportunity for flexible work schedules and immediate contact with clientele, such devices come with a handful of burdens as well. When working remotely, how does an employee ensure security for a firm’s data? When using a public network, how does one ensure that the confidentiality of a client will be maintained?

Attorney Daniel J. Siegel of the Havertown Law Offices of Daniel J. Siegel, LLC, is not only ahead of the game with the technological revolution, but also uses such resources in a manner that ensure the protection of data and client confidentiality. In addition to practicing law, he also runs a technology consulting firm for lawyers, Integrated Technology Services, LLC . Such diverse knowledge allows Dan Siegel to be a successful attorney by staying up to date on the latest technologies to efficiently earn the best possible outcomes for his clients, all while ensuring their security and confidentiality.

During the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, remote working and mobile technologies have played an increasing role in our everyday lives. If you need an attorney who is flexible and efficient in fighting for your desired outcome, yet also ensures your security and privacy, give us a call at (610) 446-3457 or click here to send an email and learn how we can help you.

Shopping Around for the Right Attorney Can Be a Draining Process; We Try to Make it Easy for Clients  

Finding the best attorney for your case can be a draining and tedious process. In a recent study, 44% of clients believed they needed to shop around for a lawyer, and 57% of those who shopped around reported that they reached out to more than one firm. What makes a firm stand out to a potential client? First impressions.

Potential clients value a wide range of aspects in selecting the best attorney for their case. An overwhelming 82% of clients surveyed in a recent study stated that timeliness was their top priority in searching for a lawyer. If a client leaves you a voicemail, chances are that if you wait three days to get back to them, they have already moved on to a new firm. The next most important qualities to potential clients were likeability and clarity of a lawyer’s tone. A legal case can be complicated enough on its own, and clients prioritize an attorney who will clearly explain a plan of action for the duration of the case.

Law firms whose priorities do not align with those of potential clients will often lose consumer interest. Attorney Daniel J. Siegel of the Havertown Law Offices of Daniel J. Siegel, LLC puts the priorities of his clients and the top of his firm’s work. When a client has a passion for a desired outcome, Dan will match it in every step of the case. Clients want to work with Dan not only because of his past success, but also because of his values of timeliness, clarity, and care for outcomes. Clients are often so pleased with their experience at our office, that if they experience future legal troubles, they immediately come back to us.

If you are interested in an attorney who values achieving what is best for his clients, give us a call at (610) 446-3457 or click here to send an email and learn how we can help you. You won’t need to search any further than us for an attorney to fight for your desired outcome of a case.

Yes, You Can Pay A Fact Witness – Sometimes

Whether, and when, and how much, you can pay a fact witness who is testifying is an ethical dilemma for lawyers. Fortunately, there is guidance for attorneys to help them figure out when they can, and when they can’t pay a fact witness. Attorney Daniel J. Siegel, Chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Legal Ethics Committee explains the ins and outs of the situation in his column in the Summer 2020 issue of The Philadelphia Lawyer, the quarterly magazine of the Philadelphia Bar Association.

Siegel’s article focuses on Pennsylvania Rule of Professional Conduct (RPC) 3.4, which seems to prohibit paying fact witnesses. However, there are circumstances where it is allowed. According to the Pennsylvania Bar Association Legal Ethics Committee Formal Opinion 2019-100, lawyers can pay a fact witness for two reasons. First, for expenses reasonably incurred in attending and testifying. Second, reasonable compensation for loss of time in attending and testifying.

What is considered reasonable will vary on a case-by-case basis, but payment of fact witnesses will always be subject to RPC 3.4(b)’s explicit disallowance of compensation that is “contingent upon the content of the witness’ testimony or the outcome of the case.” Since payment arrangements may be disclosed during discovery or cross-examination, these arrangements must be transparent.

Click here to read Dan Siegel’s column. Dan’s and his firm, the Law Offices of Daniel J. Siegel, LLC, provide ethical, and techno-ethical guidance and disciplinary representation for attorneys. Give them a call at (610) 446-3457 or click here to send an email.

Insurance Companies Take Our Actions Seriously – Here’s One Example of How an Insurance Company Folded Less Than One Hour After We Filed a Claim

Insurance companies know that when our office represents an injured worker or injured accident victim we will fight for the clients – including taking cases to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, where Dan Siegel has never lost a case.

Here’s one example. We represented a ballet dancer who was injured at work and settled her claim. The settlement specified that she would receive six months of future medical care. Within days of the settlement, our client found herself quarantined and her doctor’s office closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For nearly three months, she was homebound and it was impossible for her to receive the care she was entitled to.

When the quarantine ended, we asked the insurance company to extend her medical care for the period during which it was impossible for her to get care. The insurance company’s answer was “No.”

So, we advised the insurance company that we thought the Pennsylvania courts might not agree with their refusal to extend the period for our client to receive medical care. We also filed a Court Petition to begin that process.

In less than one hour the insurance company “reconsidered” and agreed to provide the care our client had bargained for. Case over.

Insurance companies know that we fight for our clients. Our office’s cases have protected or extended the benefits for more injured workers and accident victims over the past decade than any firm’s in Pennsylvania. We get results.

No billboards, no TV ads, just results.

We fight for our clients – whether or not it is during a pandemic – because it is the right thing to do. If you believe an insurance company is taking advantage of you, just give us a call at (610) 446-3457 or click here to send an e-mail.

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