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January, 2019 - Issue #172
courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock

The Settlement: What to Expect
One of the most common questions injured parties ask is this: "What kind of settlement can I expect?" The answer varies case by case, but it's helpful to look at recent examples to get a sense of the kind of compensation you deserve for your pain, suffering and loss. Here's an actual car accident case that can illuminate both the process and the result.

A client was involved in a car accident when the other party pulled out of a driveway directly into her path, resulting in a moderate impact collision. As a result, our client's car was damaged and she suffered back and neck injuries requiring neck surgery. Even though the police report placed the other party at fault, the other party's insurance company disputed the claim based on liability/fault and injuries.

A settlement was demanded prior to filing a lawsuit and the other party's insurance company offered $15,000 to settle the case. A lawsuit was filed and aggressively litigated. After extensive litigation and discovery, the client's case was settled for its full value in the amount of $486,000. Mediation, arbitration and trial were not necessary. The client saved thousands of dollars in costs as well as the delay and uncertainty associated with trial.
The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus 296-2992

What Family Code Section 213 Is & Why it Could Matter to your Divorce Case
There are more specifics, of course, but in a nutshell - Family Code Section 213 is the reason you shouldn't panic if your ex declares that they're "taking you back to court" after your divorce or judgement has been finalized. This Code allows you, the non-filing party, to file for "alternative relief," which makes "going back to court" a risky venture for the filing party.

Here's why. Let's say that Mom wants to go back to court to modify a custody schedule, giving Dad less time with the kids. Dad's lawyer can then use Family Code Section 213 to request that parenting time actually be taken away from Mom. By stating all the reasons why this change is prudent in the application, there's a very, very good chance that the judge can side with Dad - even though he didn't file the initial papers - and that Mom not only doesn't get more time, she gets less than she had under the original judgement. Not only that, but Mom also risks fees being ordered against her for initally filing the court papers to make the change. Sounds dicey for the person threating to go back to court, right?

If you're thinking about a divorce, the take away is this: Make sure you have a lawyer who can get you the best judgement possible the first time around - and can utilize Codes like the FC 213 in a way that can put your mind at ease if you do get taken back to court.
Denise Placencio, Esq. is a Super Lawyer of the Year. 877-317-8080

WHAT WORKS FOR BUSINESS IN THE SCV:
A Reason to Smile, from One Entrepreneur to Another

"As a small-business owner, I know that entrepreneurship means long hours, weekends and a real appreciation for flexibility and innovation," says Marvin Tong, DDS. "That's why our new office in Valencia has Saturday appointments, the newest technology and an office staff that is committed to getting you in and out fast - with a smile!" The family dentist, who has served Santa Clarita patients for over 20 years, credits his manager, Becky Short, with streamlining appointment and insurance processes in order to provide quicker, more convenient service. "She's a busy mom, is running a dental practice... and still gets to her PTA and Girl Scout meetings on time! If anyone knows the value of expediency, it's her - which is why she meets our patients where they are at - whether that means taking an appointment over Facebook Messenger, promptly returning calls made after hours, calling patients and reminding them about how much coverage remains on their insurance plan... she has set a very patient-centered focus for our office, which everyone appreciates - but especially small-business owners. Adapting to patient needs with a big smile: That's what works for us!"
Marvin Tong, DDS 268-6284

Why You should have a Life Insurance Policy on your Children
Yes, it's hard to talk about. No one wants to think of life without their children - and, that's a big reason why securing some life insurance for them is such a good idea.

In the unlikely but not impossible event that you lose a child to illness, accident or violence, life insurance can cover the costs of outstanding medical and funeral bills. More importantly, though - this insurance can help you take time to grieve without having to return to work; assist you in securing therapy and other resources for surviving family members; and even setting up a foundation, scholarship or donation in memory of your beloved child. In the case of an older child, you may also want to consider getting life insurance if you are a co-signer on contracts like loans. Imagine losing a young adult child - then getting a bill for their student loan every month for a decade.

But life insurance isn't all about death! Certain types can serve as smart savings accounts for your child to use for college or other expenses and they can also lock in your child's ability to be covered by life insurance later, when they have their own families.

For thousands of families a year, the nightmare of losing a child is a reality. So - prepare, then be present! Insurance is there so we don't have to worry and can instead relax and enjoy the moment with the people we love the most. Unsure what type of life insurance might be right for your family? Check with a community-focused insurance expert.

Wednesday | January 9
Finance of America Mortgage Celebrates "New Year, New Office"

Ring in the New Year in Finance of America's new space! Starting at 5pm at 25350 Magic Mountain Parkway, Suite 190 in Valencia, enjoy complimentary gourmet appetizers, drinks, giveaways, raffle prizes and plenty of fun with your Finance of America friends old and new. RSVP by e-mail.
scv@financeofamerica.com
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