Yes, we can be reached 24/7 in the event you have a property damage claim or insurance loss. We are available when you need us, should the worst happen. We can also help make arrangements and recommendations for emergency services such flood pump outs and emergency housing.
Yes. If your insurance claim has been denied, an attorney at Greenblatt Agulnick, will review the denial letter, the relevant portions of your policy, and the background of your claim to discuss the issues and your potential recourse. There is no obligation and no fee for this consultation. Long Island’s best insurance lawyer
The most common types of property insurance claims are fire, water, broken pipes, windstorm, business interuption, and theft. Some other types of claims include mechanical breakdowns, sewer backup, vandalism, and flood. It is very important to know which types of claims are covered by your insurance policy. Basic policies only cover a few types of losses and certain types of claims require a special insurance policy endorsement.
What are the most common reasons why an insurance company would deny a property damage insurance claim?
Insurance companies deny property damage insurance claims for a variety of reasons. Some policies only cover certain types of losses. These are called named peril policies. For example, basic named peril policies may not cover an unnamed peril such as water damage from a broken pipe. Policies also have exclusions for covered causes which would provide the basis for a denial. However, an exclusion denial will only hold up in court if the insurance company can prove the applicability of the exclusion. Claims can also denied for failure to cooperage, misrepresentation or concealment of some material aspect of the claim or during the investigation, or late notice to the insurance company. Many times, insurance companies make mistakes and many times they suffer from profit induced tunnel vision, seeing only what they wish to see. Regardless of the basis for denial, it is important to analyze the claim in a timely manner so that your rights can be protected.
An Examination Under Oath (“EUO”) is a proceeding where your insurance company or its attorneys question you under oath regarding the facts and circumstances surrounding an insurance loss. Those questions are not limited to the loss itself but can pertain to your personal finances, personal circumstances, your employment, and any other issue that is relevant to the investigation of the claim. Most people do find the EUO to be an intrusive process and question the relevance of many questions that are asked. However, caselaw has established that questions regarding personal finances and circumstances are relevant to an insurance claim investigation. EUOs are usually followed up by an additional demand for documentation as party.
Yes. If you have a claim and received a request to appear at an Examination Under Oath (“EUO”), failure to appear will result in your claim being denied. Insurance policies contain cooperation clauses and specifically require that you appear for an EUO as often as is reasonably necessary. Most often, only one appearance is required.
Generally, Greenblatt Agulnick can be retained on a contingency basis for property damage and insurace litigation cases. The terms and conditions of any fee arrangement will be outlined in a written Retainer Agreement signed by the law firm and client.
Can anything be done if an insurance claim was not denied but the insurance company paid less than the value of the claim?
Insurance companies quite often will obtain repair estimates fall lower than you obtained on your own. So long as the claim was not resolved with prejudice or agreed to by the insured and there is time left in the statute of limitations a bonifide suit could be brought. The appraisal process is also possible in many claims, which allow both the insurance company and the insured to resolve the issue by each designating an appraiser. If the two appraisers cannot agree on the value of the claim, the claim will be decided by an umpire designated by the parties or a judge.
Yes. Claims with coop and condominium units are handled slightly differently. The contractual and statutory rights and obligations of the unit owners and the coop or condominium determines which party is responsible for the rebuilding of the unit.
Before you even contact an attorney after a property damage claim or insurance claim, you should know several things. First, you have a duty to mitigate damages. In other words, you have to do what you can so that the condition does not get worse unnecessarily. The second thing is that you must preserve all of the evidence you will need for your property damage claim and do not throw anything away until told to do so by the carrier or your counsel. Ideally, your insurance company will inspect the loss immediately so this will not be an issue. If an immediate inspection is not feasible, store all damaged items until they are inspected. The third things to know is that you must save all receipts, invoices, estimates for everything associated with the claim. If you have to purchase a new toothbrush or batteries or deodorant, save the receipt! Fourth, take pictures! Do not make any repairs without taking pictures of all the damage and damages items. Believe it or not, insurance companies don’t always take your word for it and a well documented loss is easier to resolve.
If your property has been damaged or stolen and you do not have insurance, there are circumstances which would allow you to pursue a claim against any negligent party responsible for the loss. This is referred to as a “third-party claim”. Sometimes third-party claims can be resolved without the need for a lawsuit to be filed, but quite often a lawsuit is necessary to determine whether a party was negligent or not or liable based upon another legal theory.
Yes. An attorney can help at any stage of an insurance claim. Greenblatt Agulnick can also arrange for an independent Public Adjuster to represent you, submit your claim to your insurance company on your behalf and represent you until the claim is settled. Public Adjusters are licensed professionals who work on a contingency fee basis and only represent insureds. While it is always advisable to consult with an attorney if you have any questions, an experienced Public Adjuster can help you get the insurance proceeds to which you are entitled. Greenblatt Agulnick can discuss your representation options.
A Public Adjuster is a licensed professional who is retained by an insured person to represent them in their insurance claim. A good public adjuster has the knowledge and experience to help you navigate through the claims process. Public Adjusters work to submit your claim, obtain estimates, inventories, and work to maximize your recovery. Public Adjusters are not attorneys and can only represent you with regard to your first party insurance claim. They cannot represent you in court nor can they represent you if you have a claim against a third party. Public Adjusters work on a state regulated contingency basis (up to 12% in New York) and collect their fee out of your insurance proceeds. Most often, the knowledge and experience a good Public Adjuster brings to your claim will result in a better recovery than if you handled your claim on your own, more than paying for their fee.
Why is Greenblatt & Agulnick different from the other companies who have contacted me offering help?
There are an unfortunate number of predatory companies whose first priority is not saving your home. Unlike a reputable law firm, some of these companies may actually be interested in buying your home at a deep discount, operate out of a telephone bank in some other state, or make impossible promises just to take your money. You will be represented by a licensed attorney and not a telephone operator claiming to be a “specialist”.
A contingency fee arrangement is when a law firm will receive as compensation for its services a percentage of whatever funds are recovered for the benefit of the client, after the deduction of expenses and disbursements.
Real Estate Law
Title Insurance is an insurance policy that you purchase to unsure that you actually receive good title to the property that you are purchasing. It also covers you in certain situations, such as in claims of encroachment. Title Insurance is required by most lenders so if you are obtaining a mortgage, it will not be an option.
A mortgage contingency is a provision negotiated into a real estate contract which allows for the purchaser to cancel the contract if the agreed upon financing amount cannot be obtained during an agreed upon period of time. The typical mortgage contingency is between 30 and 45 days. Given the state of the economy and the sometimes unpredictable policy changes by commercial lenders, a mortgage contingency is usually recommended. Before agreeing to terms of a real estate deal without a mortgage contingency it is extremely important to speak to an attorney so that you completely understand its significance.
The fee for a residential real estate closing is generally a flat $1,500.00 legal fee, with half payable to the time the firm is retained, and half at closing. The legal fee includes everything from contract drafting and negotiation, ordering Title reports, to appearing at the closing itself. The legal fee is a small price to pay for peace of mind during your real estate transaction.
If you are buying real estate, you should call a lawyer just prior to making an offer. If you are not too familiar with the real estate process, speaking to an attorney prior to making the offer will better prepare you for the what is to come. Simply put, the accepted offer is often just the beginning of the negotiation process, which includes inspections, credits, potential repairs, escrows, closing dates, and contingency periods. At Greenblatt & Agulnick, an attorney will walk you through the process and with that knowledge you will be better prepared to successfully negotiate your deal.
If you are selling real estate, it is best to speak with an attorney upon listing the property for sale. Involving the attorney early in the process allows for the attorney to prepare for any issues that are expected to arise, rather than at a rushed pace upon acceptance of an offer. When an offer is accepted, the parties generally wish to get to contract as soon as possible. Being prepared ahead of time will help ensure seemless transaction.
What if I just can no longer afford to make the payments for my home under any circumstance? Can you still help?
Yes. If selling your home is something that you are sure you want to do, we can often help to obtain the lender authorization for a short sale or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. A short sale is when the lender agrees to take less than the actual payoff amount of the mortgage.
Home foreclosure is a process by which a lender regains a property which they have financed. Typically, this is because the borrower or homeowner is behind on loan payments and can’t catch up. Unfortunately, this is often due to circumstances beyond a homeowner’s control. When the lender forecloses on the homeowner, the homeowner must move out of the house, therefore, losing all possession of the property and jeopardizing any possible equity that the homeowner may have in the home. There is a time frame of how long a foreclosure process can take, pursuant to the law of the stage where the property is located.
There is hope to stop the foreclosure up until the actual sale. If a date for the sale of your house has been scheduled, then you need to act right away. In some cases it is possible to stop a next day sale but this is not the norm and many banks or lenders will not do it. The best solution is to act now before the process progress too far.
Time is always of the essence when you are behind on house payments. Every day that passes makes it that much harder to negotiate an agreement with your lender that you can live with. The home foreclosure process can take anywhere from a few weeks to many months, depending on your state law and the method of foreclosure your lender chooses to use.
Our law firm specializes in resolutions of mortgage delinquencies or home foreclosure claims on behalf of you, the homeowner. We perform a legal analysis of your situation and work with you to determine your best strategy. We review your lender’s loss mitigation policies and to make sure that we give you the best service within the context of your situation. By working with you and your lender, we can tailor a resolution to meet your specific criteria and financial circumstance.
A misdemeanor charge is a criminal offense wherein the potential punishment is up to one year in prison. A Felony charge is a criminal offense wherein the potential punishment is more than one year in prison. Depending upon the severity of the felony crime, it is labeled an “A” through “E” felony, with “A” being the most serious. The sentencing range for each category of felony is published in the New York State Sentencing Guidelines.
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Yes, attorney Barry W. Agulnick personally handles all DWI/DUI and vehicular cases. Over the course of his career Barry has successfully defended countless defendants in DWI/DUI and vehicular cases, with charges ranging from driving while impaired to second degree murder. Recently, Barry was one of the few attorneys in New York to obtain a not guilty verdict on a homicide charge in DWI case in New York.
Get the arrest number from either the arresting officer or central booking in NYC. Call and retain an attorney. If the police are attempting to interrogate your loved one, you will want the attorney to intervene so as to prevent any incriminating statements from being made. The attorney will file a notice of appearance and track the arrest through the system and appear in court as soon as all the court documents are ready. A retained attorney will typically be able to have the case called much sooner than a court appointed lawyer, due to case loads and the courtesy extended by the court to private counsel appearing on one case.
The legal fee for a criminal matter depends upon several factors. Those factors include the severity of the crime, whether a felony or misdemeanor, the defendant’s criminal history, and whether the case will be resolved before, during, or after trial. Fee arrangments are often a flat fee for representation before trial and a trial fee if hearings or trial is necessary. Fee arrangments can also be on an hourly basis. In either case an upfront retainer is usually required. Fees for representation at an arrangment are usually waived if an attorney is retained prior to the arraignment. Otherwise a flat fee for tracking the arraignment and appearing in court applies. Contingency fees are not possible in a criminal case.
If you may be the target of a criminal investigation and are contacted by the authorities, do not say anything. Contact an attorney immediately. Your attorney will discuss the matter with you and advise you whether to make a statement or not. You have the right to remain silent. In some instances a detective will ask you to come to the station and answer some questions, even though an arrest is inevitable. If that is the case, answering any questions could actually help convict you. Your attorney will contact the detective on your behalf and determine his or her true intention.