The World’s Largest Airbag Recall — Are You Affected?

Takata, one of the world’s largest airbag suppliers, is settling for $1 billion after pleading guilty to distributing defective and fatal airbags.  Even with a minor fender-bender, these airbags can explode and fire bits of shrapnel into the cabin.  These airbags have been the cause of at least 17 known deaths worldwide.  These airbags are incredibly dangerous, and what’s worse, is that millions of cars have had their airbags recalled, but many people don’t know!

Please look through this list to see if your model has been affected, or look up your VIN to see the specific recalls here: https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/

 

 

 

Estate Planning – Protecting Your Assets

One of the issues that is often overlooked in the estate planning process is the protection of assets from third parties.  Most of the effort in estate planning is around making sure that the right heir gets the right asset at the right time.  What many of us do is forget to make sure that those assets are protected so that they are actually there when the time comes to pass them to the heirs. Let’s take a look at some of the basics around how to protect assets so that we actually have those assets to pass on.

How can Your Assets be Vulnerable?

One of the biggest ways that your assets could be vulnerable to a third party is through some sort of personal injury claim, as an estate planning attorney Leawood, KS trusts can explain.  These arise in two major circumstances for most employed persons:  First, someone comes onto your property and gets injured.  Let’s assume that you have a great Independence Day celebration planned.  Everyone is over and having a great time when someone falls off your deck and breaks their leg. Unfortunately, there are complications and the medical claims now exceed the limits from your homeowners’ policy.  Second, you are in a car accident where the other party is substantially injured.  Again, their injuries substantially exceed your automotive liability limits. They then look to you to make them whole for their injuries. This could include a lawsuit and them trying to attach any property that they can get their hands on.  

Trusts – Protective Clauses

One of the most common techniques to protect assets is a trust.  People have been using them for a long time to protect the assets of the grantor.  Of course, one of the biggest keys to having a trust that fully protects the assets is to have a trust that is irrevocable.  An irrevocable trust is one that cannot be changed by the Grantor after the trust is created.  What the Grantor does is to create the trust and then give (or sell) the assets into the trust.  Accordingly, the assets no longer belong to you (they belong to the trust) and would, therefore, not be available to satisfy any claim against you. You need to be sure that you do not keep any substantive control over the trust.

Trusts are also great vehicles to keep assets away from potential creditors of the beneficiaries of that same trust. If a beneficiary does not have access to the assets within the trust, and the language is property drafted, then the potential creditors cannot reach the assets that are within the trust.  These clauses, commonly called anti-alienation provisions, keep creditors away from the assets. So, trusts are typically drafted to have several protective measures so that the beneficiary does not have access, which will severely limit (if not eliminate) any creditor from going after those assets within the trust.  Some of the more common types of trusts that exist for asset protection purposes are support trusts, spendthrift trusts, blend trusts, and discretionary trusts.

Please note that there are claims that are able to pierce even the most bulletproof of trusts.  Those claims include such things as claims by a child for support payments, some federal or state claims, etc.

Conclusion

Estate planning is about more than setting up the basic documents. One thing to think about is protecting assets from creditors, or potential creditors. These creditors can include such things as claimants from a car accident or other personal injury claim.  There are certain trusts that can protect those assets from most of those claims.

This article was brought to you by The Eastman Law Firm.

Preexisting Conditions and Personal Injury Claims

An Overview on Pre-Existing Conditions and Personal Injury Claims

At any time on any given day, an accident can happen that could very well aggravate any pre-existing medical condition you may have. And when this happens, do you bring a personal injury lawsuit against whomever you believe is responsible? And, if so, what are your chances of a successful suit? Do you have a case at all if an accident aggravates your pre-existing medical condition?

Pre-existing Medical Conditions and Personal Injury Lawsuits

If a car accident or slip and fall incident aggravates a preexisting condition, you may be eligible to file a claim against the negligent party. However, keep in mind that your case can be complex when you’re going up against an insurance company. It’s best if you understand the personal injury claim process. It may also help to work with a personal injury attorney in order to improve your chances of a successful outcome.

Do You Have a Personal Injury Claim?

When you’re involved in an accident or some type of personal injury incident, you may experience injuries that can cause your pre-existing condition to flare up. You may also have a condition that has healed, but is re-injured due to a new accident. For both of these particular incidents, you may have the ability to file a personal injury claim. You certainly can’t receive compensation for injuries that existed before your accident, but you can receive compensation for injuries that have caused your other conditions to worsen.

What Happens After You File a Claim?

After you file for a personal injury claim following an accident, expect that the insurance company will fight your claim for compensation. You may be best served by consulting a lawyer like a personal injury lawyer Phoenix AZ trusts who will need to gain a comprehensive understanding of your pre-existing condition. Very likely you will need to provide him or her with a complete medical record that outlines your pre-existing conditions.

The insurance company may very likely refuse to pay you any compensation. Instead they may fight the claim saying that the accident did not have any impact on your pre-existing condition. They may also claim that your new injuries were caused by the pre-existing condition and not the incident itself.

How You Can Be Successful

There are a few things you can do to ensure a solid claim:

  1. Retain an experienced personal injury lawyer. They will know every tactic that the insurance company may use to fight your claim, so it’s best to anticipate their moves with the help of a personal injury attorney.
  2. Avoid signing any authorizations for the insurance company to access your medical records. The insurance company may ask for unrestricted access to your records. This may seem like a good idea in order for you to prove that you had the pre-existing condition, but the insurance company can also use that information to discredit your injury claim. Your attorney can guide your actions while protecting your best interests.
  3. Disclose your medical issues to your lawyer. It’s very important that you disclose all of your past and current medical issues to your lawyer. He or she may wish to enlist the expertise of a medical professional who can testify to your injuries and overall medical condition.

If you have concerns or questions about a personal injury claim, consider meeting with an attorney. Most personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation for your first visit.

Alex & Saavedra, P.C. Thanks to our friends and contributors from Alex & Saavedra, P.C. for their insight into personal injury practice.