FAQ

- Personal Injury
- Insurance Law
- Corporate Law
- Commercial Litigation
- Estate Planning
- Probate and Guardianship
- Real Estate

 

Personal Injury

Should I provide a statement to an insurance company without a lawyer's help?

It is typically in your best interest to provide only your contact information to an insurance company until you consult with a lawyer. The more significant your injuries, the more imperative it becomes to seek legal counsel before providing any statement.

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Will I have to go to trial to recover damages?

About 95 percent of filed personal injury cases settle prior to trial.

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What is considered "pain and suffering?"

Pain and suffering includes harm caused by not only the physical injuries sustained, but also mental anguish experienced through having to avoid activities you engaged in prior to your accident.

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What determines the amount I might recover?

Every case basically addresses three issues:

  • Liability—establishing someone's negligence
  • Damages—the amount that will fairly and adequately compensate you for your injuries an make you whole
  • Source of collection—insurance or other assets from which damages can be recovered

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Is there a minimum or maximum amount that can be recovered in a personal injury settlement?

No

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What is a typical settlement amount?

An experienced personal injury lawyer reviews and interprets your case information to determine the appropriate value for your claim, including:

  • Past medical expenses incurred
  • Future medical and surgical expenses
  • Loss of past wages or income
  • Your age and life expectancy
  • Any permanent limitations caused by the injury
  • Impact on future earning capacity
  • Activities you can no longer do
  • Activities you can do but do not enjoy as much
  • Prognosis for future problems
  • Strength of lay witness testimony

Our goal for you is to seek fair and adequate compensation for your injuries. An experienced attorney will know what a reasonable jury would award.

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Insurance Law

Are there policy clauses that are likely to be grounds for claim denial?

Yes. A life insurance policy's incontestability clause allows insurers to contest policies that have been held for less than two years. Another cause of denial could be pre-existing or non-disclosed conditions. George Hunter, P.A. knows the ins-and-outs of insurance policies and works with claims adjusters and insurance experts to obtain coverage when owed to maximize recovery for its clients.

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What is insurance bad faith and how do I know if I have experienced it?

An insurance company acts in bad faith when it does not attempt in good faith to settle claims when, under all the circumstances, it could and should have done so had it acted fairly and honestly towards its insured and with due regard for his or her interests. Some examples of bad faith claim practices include:

  • Failing to adopt and implement standards for the proper investigation of claims
  • Misrepresenting pertinent facts or insurance policy provisions relating to coverages at issue
  • Failing to acknowledge and act promptly upon communications with respect to claims
  • Denying claims without conducting reasonable investigations based upon available information
  • Failing to promptly provide reasonable explanation in writing to the insured of the basis in the insurance policy, in relation to the facts or applicable law, for denial of a claim or for the offer of a compromise settlement
  • Failing to promptly notify the insured of any additional information necessary for the processing of a claim

When you buy a policy, you expect to be covered. If you have experienced any of the above actions of your insurance company, you may have cause for legal action.

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Corporate Law

How do I know which business structure is right for my business?

here are many choices a business's legal structure, varying in risk and complexity. An attorney familiar with each of the structures, ranging from a sole proprietorship to an S corporation or nonprofit, can help you decide which is right for you given the complexity and degree of risk you want to assume. If you find your initial structure is not appropriate for your changing business, you can change it, but an attorney can help you understand the legal and financial implications.

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What is the difference between an LLC and an LLP?

In a limited liability company (LLC), owners, known as members, are not personally liable for your company's debts and liabilities without a separate agreement. In a partnership, the partners of a business do not receive this kind of protection unless the agreement designates limited liability. Owners of an LLC and an LLP must file registration with the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations. A partnership does not require this level of paperwork or payment of fees before operations. Both forms of business structure report business income or losses on their personal tax returns.

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How do I name my new business?

The name depends on your business structure. For instance, if you are the sole owner of your business, the legal name of your business is your full name. If you have a partnership, the legal name is either the name designated in your partnership agreement or the last names of the partners. If your new business is either a corporation or an LLC, your legal name is the name you registered with the state of Florida. If the name is fictitious—one that is different from your personal name, the names of your partners or the officially registered name of your LLC or corporation—as your "doing business as" (DBA) name, you can search to see if the name you want to use is available in the Florida Department of State, Division of Corporations database.

Note that effective July 1, 2009, Florida mandates that you must advertise your intention to register a fictitious name at least once in a newspaper in the county in which the principal place of business will be located.

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What is a buy-sell agreement?

Co-owners need a kind of prenuptial agreement when forming a business. A buy-sell agreement provides a binding contract between the co-owners that stipulates when, to whom, and at what price they can sell their interest in the business. The agreement proves useful when one of the owners gets divorced, declares bankruptcy, becomes disabled, retires, or dies.

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Commercial Litigation

What is involved when litigating a business issue?

While each commercial litigation issue varies, in general, commercial litigation follows all the steps involved in a civil lawsuit—getting an attorney, filing motions, engaging in settlement negotiations, trial, and possibly appeal.

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What constitutes a contract?

A contract is defined as a promise enforceable by law. The promise must be exchanged for adequate consideration — a benefit or detriment that reasonably and fairly induces a party to make the promise. If you have questions about your specific situation, consult qualified business lawyer George Hunter.

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Estate Planning

Do I need a will?

A will protects your property and can especially be helpful if you want to distribute your property to people other than your relatives. Without a will, Florida law dictates the distribution of your property.

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Is it necessary for a lawyer to draft my will?

While it may seem straightforward for you to draft your will yourself, personally-drafted wills tend to be incomplete and are, therefore, invalid under state law. The Law Offices of George Hunter, P.A. can draft your last will and testament in accordance with Florida law.

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What happens if someone dies without a will?

If someone dies intestate, that is, without a will, the decedent's property is distributed to his or her immediate family in accordance with Florida statutes.

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What is a trust?

In a trust, you transfer ownership of your property to another party, the trustee. That trustee could be another individual whom you trust or an institution such as a bank. The trustee invests and manages your assets for the benefit of your beneficiaries. The Law Offices of George Hunter, P.A. can prepare the necessary documents to create your trust.

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Probate and Guardianship

What are the duties and obligations of an executor or personal representative?

The executor or personal representative follows Florida law to wrap up the decedent's affairs, including:

  • Giving the proper notices to interested parties
  • Collecting the decedent's property
  • Receiving claims against the estate
  • Paying valid claims and disputing others
  • Distributing estate property according to the will or state law

Selling estate property to cover debts or allow for proper distribution may also be necessary.

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I want to be appointed as my grandmother's guardian. How do I begin the process?

It is in your best interests to hire an attorney, because guardianship law is complex and constantly changing. In Florida, you have to file a petition to ask the probate court to determine your grandmother's incapacity and appoint a guardian.

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Real Estate

Is there a difference between a residential lease and a commercial lease?

Yes. State and local regulations apply in a residential lease between landlord and tenant to protect the tenant. In a commercial lease, fewer governmental rules apply and more terms are negotiable between the business lessor and the business lessee.

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