Mind your Own Business
October, 2015 - Issue #132
courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock
When it Comes to Settlements, don't Settle

by Gerald Marcus
Insurance companies have a vested interest in paying you the lowest sum possible when you're injured and need support the most. Here are just three examples from my practice that show just how much difference can be made in your recovery when you don't "settle" for the insurance company's original offer for settlement.

A 4-year-old girl was viciously attacked by a dog that bit off two of her fingers, which had to be surgically reattached. The insurance company denied responsibility. We litigated the case and the defense attorneys fought us all the way, arguing hyper-technical legal principles which didn't apply. We won every motion filed by the defense and even the appeal they filed in a ruling. Ultimately, we convinced the defense and insurance company to settle this little girl's claim for its policy limit of $500,000.

Our client tripped over a step that was unmarked and a building code violation in a local store, resulting in a knee injury requiring surgery. The insurance company denied liability and refused to make an offer to compensate our client. We filed a lawsuit and conducted extensive discovery, including depositions and hiring a building and safety expert engineer. Eventually the insurance company offered $75,000, which we rejected. We eventually settled the case for $300,000.

Our client went to the defendant's local restaurant. She was greeted and directed to a table. While attempting to pull out the chair for her to sit, she tripped and fell on a hidden curb/planter adjacent to her table. We immediately prepared a comprehensive and extensively-detailed demand for settlement letter and package of materials. The insurance carrier conveyed a low offer. We filed a lawsuit and aggressively litigated the case. Ultimately we successfully negotiated a settlement for $85,000, which represented the full value of our client's injuries and compensation.
The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus 296-2992

courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock
Doing Business Deliciously
An informal poll of local business owners will quickly tell you two things: that doing well in Santa Clarita and beyond means that you've cultivated the right relationships; and that a big part of relationship building in this town is "talking business" over drinks. You'll also quickly discover that when it comes to connecting with potential clients over cocktails, few spots in the SCV are as lauded as Vines in the Hyatt Regency Valencia. The combination of a convenient location, exceptional parking and a Happy Hour menu that can't be beat make Vines a top choice.

Find out for yourself at the Daily Happy Hour at the Lounge and Patio from 4pm to 7pm. $5 cocktails, Canvas Wines by Michael Mondavi, import and craft beers and $4 domestic beers, plus $6 Vines appetizers like Angus Beef Sliders, Sweet Chili Chicken Wings, Cheese and Charcuterie Board and more make this a "happy" place to do business.

Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center at College of the Canyons to hold October 2015 Open House
Have you been putting off getting the bachelor's or master's degree you need to advance in your career? Go to an Open House at the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center located on the College of the Canyons Valencia campus and find out just how doable getting your degree really is!
Held from 4pm to 7pm on Thursday, October 22, 2015, the Open House will provide prospective students with information about the more than 40 bachelor's and master's degree programs offered through the Center by partner institutions, including CSU Bakersfield, CSU Northridge, University of La Verne, Brandman University and National University.

Attendees can talk to university representatives, learn about financial aid programs, meet with counselors and submit admissions applications. In addition, more information will be available on new programs to be offered in the center.
Scheduled to debut at the University Center in future semesters are:

• BA in Accounting (University of La Verne)
• BS in Homeland Security and Emergency Management (National University)

"These degree programs are introduced in response to demands from students and the community's need for qualified professionals in the fields of accounting and homeland security," said Cathy Ritz, director of the University Center.
Since it opened in 2002, the University Center has enabled students to earn advanced degrees without leaving the Santa Clarita Valley. More than 2,400 students have graduated from the programs offered by the University Center's partners, Brandman University, CSU Bakersfield, CSU Northridge, National University and the University of La Verne.

The current 110,000-square-foot facility - which opened in 2009 - continues to offer bachelor's, master's and credential/certificate programs from various public and private universities, all of which have received approval and accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Cited as the college's solution to the lack of upper division, graduate school and continuing education programs in the area, the University Center was established with a goal to increase student access to advanced degrees by forging partnerships with surrounding four-year colleges and universities. Those institutions then make their academic programs available to students through courses offered at College of the Canyons.

The University Center is best accessed via University Center Drive, the southernmost campus entrance on Rockwell Canyon Road. Parking in the campus parking lots 13, 14 and 15 is free for this event.
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