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Book Your Event Today!

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If you need a training room or meeting space, our office can accommodate you for a variety of uses and group sizes up to 60 people. Tables and seating are provided and may be configured to suit your needs. The space is available day, nights, and weekends.

Amenities include:

  • Digital projector and screen
  • DVD player
  • Dry erase boards
  • High-speed WiFi

Call us at (407) 478.4878 or email devan@itsaboutjustice.law to book an event.

What To Do In An Auto Accident

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A car accident can be an unexpected, stressful and terrifying event. But, there are important steps to take when you are involved in an accident. Below are essential tips for handling an accident, and steps to take if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.

IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS TO HAVE WITH YOU

Accidents often happen out of nowhere. Not having the necessary information in your vehicle with you can worsen an already tough situation. Make sure to carry the following in your vehicle at all times:

  1. Your valid driver’s license
  2. Current insurance information
  3. Valid vehicle registration

You should also consider storing an emergency survival kit in your vehicle. This can include items such as a vehicle escape tool, first-aid kit, flashlight, jumper cables, portable cell phone battery, toolkit, and roadside visibility reflectors. Having important documents ready and a vehicle survival kit helps you be prepared and has many advantages for dealing with the aftermath of an accident.

KEEP YOUR COOL

If the accident was caused by another driver, chances are you will feel frustrated and angry. While these are natural emotions in this instance, it is extremely important to remain calm. Refrain from yelling at, accusing and confronting the other driver. Remember that accidents are a huge inconvenience for all involved. Blaming other drivers involved can make it difficult to deal with them when you need to obtain their contact and insurance information. Also, if you lose your cool in this situation, you may not have the awareness and clarity needed when you speak with the police and possibly emergency responders to ensure the accident aftermath is handled properly.

ENSURE THE SAFETY OF YOURSELF AND OTHERS

Immediately after an accident, safety should be your number one priority. First, check yourself for any injuries. You may be in shock or in a daze, so try to calm down and check your body very carefully. Check with passengers in your vehicle, and also those in the other vehicles involved. You should even ensure the safety and well-being of the person who caused the accident. They could have suffered a serious injury and need urgent medical attention. If someone is hurt, CALL 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY.

CONTACT THE POLICE

ALWAYS CALL THE POLICE. Even if it is a minor accident, ensure everyone is safe and then call the police. It is very important to make sure there is an official accident report. This will help later if you need to bring an injury claim. The police will request to see your vehicle registration, driver’s license, and up-to-date vehicle insurance information.

OBTAIN OTHER DRIVERS’ INFORMATION

While you wait for the police to arrive, start gathering information from the other drivers involved. The most critical information to get includes:

  1. Name
  2. Address
  3. Phone number
  4. Vehicle Make, Model and Year
  5. License Plate Number
  6. Insurance Company Name
  7. Insurance Policy Number
  8. The relationship of the driver to the owner of the car

TAKE PICTURES! Take pictures of the all vehicles involved, the intersection, and the other drivers if possible. Do not give out your social security number or sign anything unless asked by police.

DO NOT ADMIT GUILT OR APOLOGIZE

Avoid discussing fault with the other driver(s) involved. Even if you feel like you may have done something wrong, do not accept responsibility. Focus on gathering facts about the accident, and report it to the police. Collect the other party’s information and do not agree to anything. DO NOT agree to keep insurance companies from getting involved.

FOLLOW-UP WITH MEDICAL TREATMENT AS NEEDED

Sometimes, you will not feel pain immediately after an accident. You may be in shock, dazed, or confused. There will be a lot running through your mind and your worries may prevent you from immediately realizing whether you are hurt. Also, sometimes injuries from a car accident will not show symptoms immediately. It may take days or weeks after the accident to realize you were truly hurt. Even low impact collisions can result in very serious injuries. Injuries and symptoms can worsen if not properly treated.

Evaluate yourself from head to toe to determine if you are hurt. If you experience pain or recognize any symptoms, consider seeking medical treatment. Waiting until it’s too late to see a doctor or qualified medical professional may not only impact your health, but may adversely affect your rights to obtain insurance benefits for your injuries.

Let us help relieve the stress related to your accident.

Call Cohen Law Group at (407) 478-4878 today to speak to an attorney about your accident.

10 Myths & Facts Of An Assignment Of Benefits

Truths and Myths

10 MYTHS & FACTS OF AN ASSIGNMENT OF BENEFITS

MYTH 1: Assignments of property insurance benefits are a recent phenomenon
FACT: Assignments of post-loss benefit payments have been recognized by Florida law for over 100 Years

MYTH 2: Assignment Of Benefits give contractors special rights the policyholder would not have
FACT: Assignment of Benefits does not give contractor’s additional rights

MYTH 3: Assignment of benefits allow contractors to inflate prices
FACT: Assignment of benefits have no impact on a contractors ability to inflate pricing

MYTH 4: Assignment of Benefits allow contractors to file lawsuits within days of claim being filed
FACT: Assignment of Benefits does not override insurance policy provisions allowing certain time periods for coverage determinations

MYTH 5: Assignment of Benefits are not fair because they violate “Non-Assignment” clauses in insurance contracts
FACT: Assignment of Benefits only assign the right to receive payment for services performed, not the insurance policy itself

MYTH 6: Assignment of Benefits let contractors circumvent policy obligations
FACT: Even with an assignment, all policy obligations remain with the homeowner and will be enforced by Florida courts

MYTH 7: Contractors who take Assignment of Benefits are claiming ownership of the entire claim, not just payment for services they performed!
FACT: Assignment of Benefits only transfers the right to receive payment for contracted services, not an entire claim.

MYTH 8: Contractors who receive Assignment of Benefits violate Florida’s “Public Adjusting” Statue
FACT: An Assignment of Benefits is legally distinct from Public Adjusting

MYTH 9: An Assignment of Benefits violates Florida Statue 627.405 because contractors don’t have an “insurable interest” in the property
FACT: Florida Statue 627.405 only requires that the policyholder have an insurable interest at the time of the loss

MYTH 10: An Assignment of Benefits violates Florida’s “Lien Laws” pursuant to Florida Statue 713.32
FACT: Florida Statue 713.32 only deals with applications to place a lien on the property; an Assignment of Benefits is not lien or an application for a lien.

What I Learned From Identity Theft

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By Patrick J. Brandt, Esq. | Cohen Law Group

Like more than 9 million other Americans this year, I have joined the panicked fraternity of phone hack identity theft victims. I was lucky, my bank was able to isolate the unauthorized activity rather quickly and send me a shocking 1:00 AM text message asking if I really bought $208.35 worth of Whoppers at the Burger King in Miami.

It seems that earlier that evening while enjoying a sidewalk café, a passerby was able to access my phone through my wifi connection and download everything. Think about what that means. What’s stored in your phone? Your Amazon password, your bank information, your ITunes account, and at least for me… every credit card I own. Is your mother’s maiden name in there somewhere? What about your social security number? These criminals can create an entire identity around you in minutes without you finding out until the unpaid bills start coming in.

In my case, they were able to program a physical credit card with their real name on the front, but my information on the strip. If it wasn’t for an eagle-eyed server at a popular bar in Miami noticing that the name on the receipt and the name on the card didn’t match, my situation would have been a whole lot worse.

Banks are very good at catching credit card fraud. Suppose your “chip card” is used in Orlando, and twenty minutes later a swipe is made at a gas station in Miami. That’s going to send up a digital red flag at the bank probably triggering an automatic text, voicemail, or email to check if things are okay.

Rule number one: call them back right away, but remember to be hyper-vigilant. Unless you, for some reason, recognize your bank’s fraud protection phone number don’t just start answering their questions about your mother’s maiden name or your social security number. Criminals will try to get the last pieces of your security puzzle from you directly. Banks will never ask for your social security number over the phone (except maybe the last 4 digits.) Give them only what they need to know to open your account and then let them tell you about your last purchases. If they know the frauds and the legitimate ones, you know you are talking to the real deal.

The next thing is to contact a credit bureau - Experian, Trans Union, Equifax - and put an alert on your identity. Any one of them will do the job for all three as they are required by law to report to each other about such alerts. This will tell the bureaus to contact you directly if any new credit is attempted using your identity for 90 days or up to a year if you choose.

You can also freeze your credit altogether which makes it impossible to open any new credit. You can cancel the freeze at any time, but even you can’t get a new card without doing so. Freezing requires you to contact each credit bureau individually. I recommend subscribing to a credit monitoring service for at least a few months, but stick to the names you know. Credit Karma, CreditReport.com, or consult your personal bank. These websites also maintain the most up-to-date privacy strategies so be sure to check out the latest thing while you’re there.

Finally, a few tips on not getting hacked in the first place.

  1. Turn your phone’s wi-fi and Bluetooth off unless you know you’re in a safe location and you know the source.
  2. Keep your phone out of site. Don’t let it sit on your table while you’re eating or having drinks. I know we all like to see when that text gets answered, but that’s the risk you take.
  3. Have your phone lock as soon as practical. It’s annoying to have to type your code a thousand times a day, but there is a reason it’s there.
  4. Get a credit monitoring service. There are dozens on the web, but stick with a name you know.
  5. Turn off autocomplete so your mailing address or password don’t automatically give away the store.
  6. Regularly clear your browsing history especially cookies and caches… yeah… just do it.
  7. Never access your bank, Amazon, Itunes, or any sensitive site on public wifi. In fact, just assume you are being watched every time you use public wifi.

Every new technology is going to create a new criminal to exploit it. Create a few good habits in yourself, teach them to your kids, and maybe we can make it just a little harder to exploit us.

 

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