Without a doubt, insurance policies are hard to read. After all, who writes this way. Furthermore, they are even harder to understand without a law degree. As a result, oftentimes they are filled with ambiguous terms. Whether that ambiguity is held against the insurance company depends on a number of factors. Hence, an ambiguous policy can work for or against you. Consequently, lawyers tend to argue ambiguity to try and get justice for their clients. Bardsley v Government Employees Insurance Co. is a case where a party challenges a policy’s clarity.
Ambiguous Terms in SC Insurance Policies
Ludwig drove a Maserati owned by his company SDI. While going between 85 to 96 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone, Ludwig lost control. As a result, he crashed his car into the rear of the Bardsley’s home. In addition, he struck Frederic, killing him, and then continued through the home and onto the front yard. At the time of the accident, SDI and Ludwig had $3 million in liability coverage. Furthermore, the Bardsleys had a State Farm homeowner’s policy for $500k. And finally, the Bardsleys also had auto insurance through Government Employees Insurance Co. (GEICO) that provided $400k in underinsured motorists coverage. Although GEICO covered property damage, it would be excess over other valid insurance. Subsequently, State Farm paid to repair the home but then claimed that Bardsley should reimburse them. GEICO refused to pay anything for the property damage. No surprise here.
Ultimately, Bardsley settled with State Farm and reimbursed State Farm via a settlement with Ludwig. However, she later sued GEICO for her losses. After hearing arguments, the trial court found the other insurance provision to be ambiguous but offered no reasoning. Rather, the judge granted summary judgment in favor of Bardsley, and GEICO appealed. However, the SC Supreme Court reversed and found that the GEICO policy was, in fact, not ambiguous. Instead, a contract provision is only ambiguous if more than one meaning is possible or if the meaning is unclear. Here, the Court found nothing about the provision was unclear. In addition, the Court found no factual or legal basis in the circuit court’s Order. Consequently, the Order could not stand. It is ironic that the ambiguity in the Order was more important than the ambiguity in the policy. Go figure.
Lawyers and Contracts
So leave it up to lawyers to cluster up a written agreement. Then they cluster it up further on appeal. You just cannot make this stuff up. However, on a serious note, little phrases in contracts can make a big difference. Try not to worry. This is what we do, and we are here to help when you need us. After all, ambiguous terms are what lawyers live for. Call now for more information and options. You’ll sleep better after learning your rights and what to expect.
Because pothole motorcycle accident remains a serious risk for motorcyclists, we explore how to avoid them here. However, bikers cannot always see them until it’s too late. Unlike a car where only physical damage occurs, potholes can cause serious injury in motorcycle accidents.
Pothole Motorcycle Accident
While the best part of riding, bikers don’t ride at high speeds at all times. For one, the road a biker is riding on may have a high speed limit. In some cases, potholes exist on interstates and busy roads. A car or truck, for example, will run over a pothole with no problem. Regular cars can dip in and out of a pothole with little to no problem. In the worst case scenario, a car may end up with a flat tire. On the other hand, a pothole can cause the wheel of a motorcycle to get stuck. If this happens the motorcyclist can lose his or her balance or even fly off of the bike.
While many people believe motorcyclists drive recklessly, they only remember the “hot dogs” on the road. However, this is actually not the case as most motorcyclists drive quite defensively. Why? Because they know the risks of serious injury or death. As a result, bikers watch out for their safety and are hyper focused when riding. Nevertheless, motorcyclists cannot depend on other vehicles to treat them with common courtesy. In addition, the dangers of potholes remain a constant threat to biker safety.
Motorcyclists Have to be Safe or Die
If a biker suddenly cuts off another car to avoid a pothole, they are trying to avoid catastrophe. Hence, if a biker hits a pothole at high speeds, it can kill them. As a result, bikers must always keep a sharp eye for potholes. In addition, this is just one of the dangers bikers face every time they are on the road. Consequently, they are some of the most safety conscious drivers because their lives depend on it.
When you bring an accident case, you have the burden of proof and must follow personal injury evidence rules. Because the rules are complex, we explain here how presenting your case properly is so important. Hence winning your case means you must present the right evidence. However, sometimes the best evidence is not admissible. So we explain the recent case of Busillo v. City of North Charleston where the rules of personal injury evidence played a critical role.
Personal Injury Evidence Rules
While on patrol for the City of North Charleston, Officer Terrell attempted a U-turn. Consequently, he hit Busillo’s car causing property damage and personal injury. Subsequently, Busillo filed a lawsuit for his property damage, and a panel found that the City liable. In addition, Busillo also filed a claim in circuit court for personal injury. However, in this case, Busillo submitted evidence of property damage to her car. While the evidence included a summary of expenses, an expert witness also testified about depreciation to Busillo’s car. Because the jury returned a verdict for Busillo, the City appealed.
First, the City claimed the court made a mistake in admitting the two pieces of evidence. However, the Court of Appeals did not agree and upheld the trial court. Regarding the expert witness, the court found that City did not preserve their argument. In order to appeal something, a party must first raise the issue at trial to preserve it. Although the City had three arguments, they did not properly raise the first. In addition, the City failed to raise the other two arguments as well. As a result, the City was not allowed to raise the issues on appeal. Rather, trial courts have a lot of room when it comes to admitting evidence. Looks like mistakes made the difference. Fortunately, the injured person won their case. Hooray for justice. But it doesn’t always work out this way. And you only get one shot.
Experience Counts in Court
Because personal injury evidence rules can make the difference, trial experience matters. While most cases settle, sometimes a trial is necessary. So when you get to court, make sure your lawyer knows the rules. Otherwise, you could lose. Better safe than sorry. Because it matters, choose your lawyer carefully. Don’t worry. We’ve got you. And we’ll be there until the end. That’s our pledge and promise to you.
So where do you go to search for the top workers compensation lawyers? While you have to decide who is best for you, we invite you to compare our credentials and experience.
Top Workers Compensation Lawyers
Since starting his workers compensation practice over 28 years ago, Robert Reeves has committed himself to excellence. Consequently, he recently accepted an invitation to join The Workers Compensation Trial Lawyers Top 25. While an important honor, making a difference in his clients’ lives is his best reward. Hence, he treats every client and every case as a new opportunity to help someone in need. And if you hire him, he promises his very best efforts on your behalf. So what does he offer in experience?
Since graduating from law school in 1989, Mr. Reeves started handling workers compensation cases. While he began his career as an insurance defense lawyer, he has represented injured workers for over 20 years. However, his experience as a defense attorney now helps him fight insurance companies. In addition, Mr. Reeves is also a former Registered Nurse (RN). Because he has personally treated serious injury, he understands what you are facing. As a result, he can explain your medical treatment and reassure you everything is going to work out. After all, we want to be more than just your lawyer. And after almost 30 years, we have handled literally thousands of cases and helped families just like yours.
So Why Hire Our Firm?
In addition to our credentials and extensive experience, here is what else we offer. While it is usually difficult to reach a lawyer, every client has our personal cell phone and direct email address. That’s right. You can actually call or email our lawyers when you need them. Since we know the anxiety you are feeling, we want you to call us when you need us. Because a few answers can help, we promise to be there even after hours. And that’s just what you should expect from the lawyer you hire.
Because of continued changes in technology, the latest craze is all about self-driving cars. Predictably, the experts say the end of driving by humans is near. And of course there will be no more accidents. But just how realistic are either of these most recent tales of the future?
So Will Self-Driving Cars End All Accidents
Not surprisingly, distracted driving remains the main cause of fatal car accidents. Because 90% of accidents result from human error, self-driving cars could potentially solve this problem. However, driving habits take time to change. In addition, young drivers want the freedom and thrill of actually driving. So do some of us older folks.
Here is the problem. As long as both self-driving and human-driven cars on the road, the problem will continue. Hence, the human factor is still there. Maybe there will be fewer crashes based on more self-driving cars. Only time will tell.
Other Safety Issues
While car driving may be safer, what if passengers feel safer and stop using their seat belts? In addition, pedestrians may rely on safety technology and take more chances. After all, they think the vehicle’s computers will stop the car and save them. Like I taught my children when they started driving, trust your own instincts. And always give yourself plenty of time and room in case something on the car fails. Hence the emphasis on mechanical failure. Regardless, this issue will be litigated and regulated because this generation is used to driving on their own. After all, people also did not like mandatory seat belt or child car seat laws. Yet now we know these changes have saved countless lives.
While the future may be bright, we are still on guard for now. So if a human behind the wheel causes you harm, call us for help. While we hope you never need our services, we will be there if you do. You have our word, and we have your back.