Articles

19 Mar: WHAT IS A “CONTINGENCY FEE” ARRANGEMENT WITH A LAWYER AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

“No fee unless we recover for you” … “The no fee promise” … “No charge unless we win!” … TV and radio are full of lawyer advertisements who claim they will handle your case at “no cost” to you, the client.  If the case is won, the lawyer reimburses the firm for the costs paid out of the recovery, and then shares the result with the client, usually on a one-third/two-thirds bases although sometimes the lawyer will charge a larger percentage, such as forty percent. California Business & Professions Code section 6147 authorizes such financial arrangements between lawyers and clients.  It provides: (a) An attorney who contracts to represent a client on a contingency fee basis shall, at the time the contract is entered into, provide a duplicate copy of the contract, signed by both the attorney and the client, or the client’s guardian or representative, to the plaintiff, or to…

19 Mar: Who’s Who Top Attorneys of North America – Guy O. Kornblum

Recognizing Legal Excellence Guy O. Kornblum, Attorney with Guy O. Kornblum, A Professional Law Corporation was recognized as a Diamond Member into the Top Attorneys of North America 2020-2021 edition by The Who’s Who Directories. “I am committed to providing the best legal decisions for my clients.”  – Guy O. Kornblum For over 40 years, The Law Firm of Guy O. Kornblum, APLC have been San Francisco, California’s premier insurance, personal injury, and litigation law firm. If you experience denial of a claim by your insurance company, they are there to protect the rights of the victims of insurance negligence and bad faith. At the law firm of Guy O. Kornblum, APLC they are your Resolution Advocates. As your lawyers, they will work for you. They build strong bonds with clients and be there for you every step of the way. Read the Full Article

29 Oct: INSURANCE ‘BAD FAITH’ CASES ARE ALIVE AND WELL IN CALIFORNIA

By:  Guy O. Kornblum, Member of the California and Indiana Bars[1] Insurance companies in California customarily follow what are known in the industry as “good faith” claims practices.  The term “good faith” arises from a principle that, in handling insurance claims made by an insured, the insurance company must abide by a promise that the claim will be handled and administered in “good faith” and with “fair dealing” by the insurance company.  These customary claims practices arise from a series of statutes, regulations and cases that have fashioned a body of procedures for insurance companies to follow in order to meet their responsibilities to their insureds.  These practices are customarily followed by insurers who provide insurance coverage to their insureds in California.  It is my experience that insurers generally adopt principles of operation, guidelines, and claims manuals based on what the “good faith” claims practices customarily are. The basic “good…

24 Sep: Business Interruption Coverage After The Covid- 19 Pandemic: A Roadmap to your Client’s Claim

The recent pandemic has brought to the forefront business insurance coverage for the shutdowns – what is known as business interruption coverage. That is, many commercial insurance policies pay the insured for its “loss profits” and “extra expenses” resulting from the time they are unable to open their doors for some period of time — usually up to 12 months provided losses are documented — because of various events. In this case there has been a government order to close or “shutdown” businesses and cease operating. The reason:? There is a pandemic – a virus is in the “air” that threatens the human population. The question is: Is this a business interruption that is covered as a compensable loss under the insured’s commercial insurance policy? Read the Full Article Here (PDF 273K)

29 Nov: Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage is Most Important in Your Auto Policy

By: Guy O. Kornblum, Certified in Civil Trial and Pretrial Practice Advocacy, National Board of Trial Advocacy; Member, Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum A most important insurance protection for you, your family and passengers in your auto is that which covers you or them in the event you are hit by a wrongdoing uninsured or underinsured motorist.  Why? In California, it has been estimated that 1 in 4 motorists are driving on the highways uninsured or underinsured, that is without adequate liability insurance protection.  What this means is that they either have no insurance or not enough to cover any responsibility they have as a negligent driver who injures others. So, if this is the case, how do you protect yourself and passengers in your auto if anyone is injured in an accident with someone driving without adequate insurance protection?  There are really two ways. First, in your auto policy there…

29 Oct: “SETTLEMENT” AIN’T A BAD WORD!

My experience with clients today is that they want (and perhaps even expect) their case to settle. They want to avoid the stress and delay of a trial, and also the risk of an unacceptable result (to them). So the first question after “What is my case worth?” is: “Can you settle my case.” So educating the client about process and prospects of a resolution short of trial should and usually begins at the first client meeting.  And its discussion early on is important to successfully settling clients’ cases because obviously they hold the authority to settle. So it is important to have a dialogue with clients about the negotiating process and begin educating clients about how this all works and what their expectations should be for a settlement instead of a trial. Here are some thoughts on how to educate and prepare clients on settling their cases: Prepare for the…

16 Oct: MAKING AN INSURANCE CLAIM FOR PROPERTY DAMAGE AFTER A LOSS: SOME BASICS

Those who suffered property losses in the Northern California wildfires are no doubt struggling with insurance claims and the “process” of getting payment for losses they suffered under their property insurance coverage – a Homeowner’s Policy or Commercial General Liability Policy (for businesses).  It can be a difficult and confusing process.  No matter what the claim, there are some basics that you need to be aware of in making a claim for property damage when you are seeking to collect from your insurance company  in order to have the funds to restore the property to its pre-loss condition. Frankly, most of us never look at our insurance policies until we have a loss and claim.  So there may be some surprises as to what you have or do not have.  Here are some thoughts: Notify the Insurance Company:Call the Agent (company representative) or Broker (your representative) or claims contact (toll…

05 Jul: HEALTH INSURERS THINK THEY HAVE THE UPPER HAND WHEN A CLAIM IS MADE: DO THEY?

Health insurers provide insurance protection for consumers of medical service for their care – who does not fit that description? So, the question is: what kind of insurance protection do we get when we incur medical bills and claim is submitted to our health insurer? To answer that question we need to look at how health insurance works. There are three types of health insurance programs (not including Medicare which is a somewhat different):  individual plans, association group plans (through a common association), and employer sponsored “group” plans.  Each has its own benefits and rules. The premium charged for health insurance is based on the level of risk the insurer will assume. It must put limits on that coverage, and subject to federal and state laws, it has every right to do so.  So, it is never going to agree to pay what is billed. It claims it needs to…

26 May: Dog Bite Cases Involving Children and Young Adults: The Owner is Strictly Liable for Dog Bites and for the Injuries Caused to the Victim

It is well known that dog bites can cause significant injuries leading to death or long-lasting disability.  In children and young adults being threatened by a dog can have a devastating physical and emotional consequence to them. The experience of being attacked by an animal is sometimes life altering. The typical dog bite on a child hits them at or above their shoulders. These attacks equate to that of a bear attack on an adult, in terms of the shock, overwhelming fear and residual stress. The emotional impact on the child is huge.. The child will not talk about it and greatly needs to. This is because the child sees the sad faces of his parents anytime the topic comes up. They remain silent to save their parents from additional grief. So the child keeps this emotion load locked up in his mind.  This explains why therapy is needed.  http://www.acepnow.com/article/pstd-children-dog-bites/.  Dog bites threaten disease to the…

14 May: Presenting Expert Testimony Where there are not pictures

Keeping a Jury’s Interest in What the Expert has to say! [1] My Views of What We Do. There is nothing more satisfying than watching a skilled trial lawyer do his work, laying foundations, examining with precision, maintaining control of the forum, carefully laying out his case consistent with his representations in opening statement, earning the respect of the court and jury, and arguing the case persuasively for a positive result for the client.  It is particularly satisfying if the lawyer achieving all of this is YOU! Trial work is a grand game of “Mother, May I.”   Done properly, the skilled trial lawyer does his work under the trial judge as conductor and knows the rules and when to ask permission to move about the courtroom so that the evidence, both testimonial and documentary, is developed in a logical, understandable fashion. “Ladies and Gentlement,  a trial is a “theater of…