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Legalease
Legalease, Lawyer
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Experience:  15 years exp all aspects of general law
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I AM A HANDICAPPED SENIOR WHO SUFFERED A TOTAL LOSS BY FIRE

Customer Question

I AM A HANDICAPPED SENIOR WHO SUFFERED A TOTAL LOSS BY FIRE OF RESIDENCE AND INCOME PROPERTY. INSURANCE COMPANY'S FAILURE FROM THE VERY BEGINNING WAS TO TRY TO ENEDANGER MY HEALTH BY THEIR OUTRAGEOUS TREATMENT OF THE CLAIM BY INITIALY REFUSING TO SUPPLY ANY HOUSING. I HAD TO SLEEP IN THE FRONT OF MY HORSE TRAILER AFTER RETURNING FROM THE HOSPITAL. THE FIRE CAUSED ME TO SUFFER FROM SMOKE RELATED PROBLEMS. THE INSURANCE COMPANY SAID THAT THEY WOULD ONLY PAY FOR A OFFICE TRAILER WITH NO BATHING OR COOKING FACILITIES. THE ADJUSTER WROTE THAT I COULD BATH IN THE "BARN" IN THE HORSE'S WASH STALL. YES HE PUT THAT STATEMENT IN WRITING. I HAVE SPENT A LOT OF MONEY TRYING TO COMPLY WITH THEIR DEMANDS BY HIRING LAWYERS TO ASSIST ME AS MY HEALTH CONTINUES TO DETERIORATE. THEY PAID FOR ONLY A PARTIAL LOSS AND HAVE MADE DEMANDS FOR DOCUMENTS AND RECEIPTS THAT BURNED IN THE FIRE. HE HAD (THEIR LAWYER) A 3 PAGE LIST OF DOCUMENT DEMANDS, P&l STATEMENTS, TAX RETURNS ,MY FINANCIAL HISTORY INCLUDING SUPPLYING THEM WITH INFORMATION RE:ALL ASSETS. I AM READY TO GIVE UP. I KNOW THEY ARE HOPING I WILL DIE THEN THEY WILL NOT HAVE TO PAY. I NEED TO FIND A SOURCE THAT CAN HELP ME. I HAVE SPENT $75K PLUS ON LAWYERS WHO FAILED TO EVEN CONTACT THEIR LAWYER (INSURANCE COMPANY LAWYER) HE WANTS A SWORN STATEMENT WHICH IS THEIR RIGHT AND I KNOW THAT IS SIMPLY A NORMAL REQUEST. HOWEVER I CAN'T AFFORD TO CONTINUE TO PAY OUT MONEY TO LAWYERS WHO REQUIRE AT LEAST $2K AS A RETAINER MAKING CLAIMS THEY NEED TO READ THE TWO BOXES FROM THE" POOR CHOICE LAWYER". THE FIRST LAWYER TALKED A GOOD GAME BUT HIS SEVERE BACK INJURIES AND PAIN PREVENTED HIM FROM PERFORMING. THEN I RECEIVED A REFERRAL TO A LAWYER WHOSE BACKGROUND AND DATE OF GRADUATION SHOWED HIM TO BE 72 WHEN I CHECKED IT OUT BECAUSE HIS BEHAVIOR WAS NOT PROFESSIONAL. HE WAS NOT A DAY OVER 45. HE WANTED TO PREPARE NEAT FILES AND REQUIRED ME TO SPEND HOURS ON THE PHONE WITH HIM AND THEN MEETING IN PERSON ON 8 OCCASIONS FOR 7 HOUR MARATHONS OF JUST LISTENING TO HIM BLAH BLAH BLAH. HE DECIDED TO JUST QUIT AFTER I ASKED HIM ABOUT HIS AGE. NOT THAT BLUNTLY BUT CLOSE HE WAS ALSO PAID $25K PLUS MONEY FOR PROFESSIONALS ESTIMATING HOME VALUES. HE RECEIVED THE MONEY BUT THE SO CALLED PROFESSIONALS HE INTRODUCED ME TO WERE HIS NEIGHBORS WHO HAD CONTRACTORS LIC.# XXXXX NEVER PRODUCED ANY REPORTS. WHEN I QUESTIONED HIM HE FLEW INTO A SCREAMING TIRADE. I HAD A FRIEND ASSISTING ME AT THE TIME BUT HE HAD A NUMBER OF MAJOR HEART ATTACKS. I FEEL LIKE GIVING UP BUT I AM 66 YEARS OLD AND THIS PROPERTY WAS MY RETIREMENT PLAN. MY INCOME IS SMALL BECAUSE OF CONGENITAL HANDICAPS I ONLY GET A SMALL DISABILITY INCOME. ANY OTHER MONEY I HAVE CAME FROM INHERITED MONEY AND STOCK ETC. I CONTACTED A PUBLIC ADJUSTER WHO ON THE INTERNET SATES HE CHARGES 10 TO 15% BUT AFTER HE KNEW MORE ABOUT ME IT INCREASED TO 35%. PLEASE GIVE ME SOME ADVICE AS TO HOW I CAN GET A FAIR SETTLEMENT FOR MY LOSS. I HAVE HAD ONE INSURANCE CLAIM IN MY LIFE 35 YEARS AGO FOR A THEFT IT WAS $1500.00.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Hello there

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Can you answer the following questions for me --

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1. WHen did the fire happen and the losses occur?

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2. Do you have a policy that states that you are to receive full replacement value of the house, outbuildings and contents of all buildings?

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3. How many lawyers have you had and have ANY of them filed a lawsuit against the insurance company to this date?

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4. What STATE are you located in?

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MARY

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

MY NAME ISXXXXX WAS FULLY INSURED WITH A COMMERCIAL AGRICULTURAL POLICY THROUGH GOLDEN EAGLE INSURANCE. I HAD FULL REPLACEMENT VALUE. MY AGENT IS AN UPSTANDING GENTLEMAN WHO I MET THROUGH MY EMPLOYMENT AS A MARKETING DIRECTOR FOR FEINSTEIN CONSTRUCTION IN 1986. I HAD MY BUSINESS INSURANCE THROUGH THIS AGENT AND OTHER PROPERTIES THROUGH THE YEARS. HE ASSISTED ME IN DETERMINING MY COVERAGES ON ALL THE POLICIES I HAD WITH HIM.


I HAD ONE LAWYER ORIGINALLY WHO HAD BEEN EXCELLENT BUT SUFFERED FROM SEVERE BACK PAIN FROM AN AUTO ACCIDENT. I WAS THEN REFERED TO A LAWYER WHO WAS SUPPOSED TO SIT IN AT THE STATEMENT PHASE. HOWEVER HE UPON MEETING ME AND BEING SUPPLIED WITH THE DOCUMENTS INSISTED ON CREATING A NEATER FILING SYSTEM AND SPENT MONTHS SETTING UP FILES AND CHARGING MONEY AND REQUIRING ME AND MY HELPER FRIEND TO SPEND HOURS ON THE PHONE WITH HIM AND .HOURS JUST SITTING IN HIS OFFICE. WHEN I BEGAN TO CHECK ON HIS BACKGROUND I FOUND OUT THAT HIS HISTORY AND EDUCATION BELONGED TO SOMEONE AT LEAST 20 YEARS OLDER. HE WROTE NO LETTERS TO THEIR LAWYER. HE HAND WROTE ONE NOTE TO HIM. QUOTING THE BIBLE AND INQUIRING WHY HE WASN'T A NICER MAN. IT TOOK A LONG TIME TO FINALLY GET THE TRUTH AND THE FILES FROM HIM. THE LOSSES OCCURRED IN APRIL-MAY OF 2010 BUT BECAUSE OF THE EXPENSIVE AND LENGTHY PROCESS CALIFORNIAS' PERMIT PROCESS TAKES AT LEAST A 1 1/2 YEAR TIME PERIOD


TO JUST GET THE PERMIT TO BEGIN THE RE-BUILDING PROCESS. ONE HOME IS REPLACED BUT IS STILL WAITING FOR THE FINAL PERMIT REQUIREMENTS. IN CALIFORNIA IT CAN TAKE UP TO 5 YEARS TO BUILD OR REBUILD. THIS TIME WAS SHORTENED BECAUSE OF MY PRIOR EXPERIENCE IN CONSTRUCTION SO THE MODULAR HOME


CO. WE PURCHASED THE SMALL UNIT FROM HAD A PROFESSIONAL PERMIT COMPANY THEY USED.I ALSO HAD SOME HEALTH PROBLEMS BECAUSE OF THE CONDITIONS I WAS FORCED TO LIVE WITH -I PURCHASED A FIFTH WHEEL FOR $24,000.00 AS AN IMPROVEMENT OVER THE "JOB /OFFICE TRAILER" THE INSURANCE COMPANY DEMANDED THAT I USE. THERE WERE MONTHS WHERE I WAS BEDRIDDEN FROM THE DAMP COLD AND JUST ROUGHING IT IN A UNIT MEANT TO BE ONLY VERY TEMPORARY. I HAVE FIBROMYALGIA, RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS, CHRONIC NEPHRITIS,TENDONITIS CHRONIC TYPE, AND A CONGENITALY DEFORMED PANCREAS WHICH CAUSES ME TO SUFFER FROM CHRONIC PANCREATITIS AND A PAIN LEVEL THAT ACCOMPANIES THIS CONDITION THAT MY DR. STATED WAS EQUAL TO BONE CANCER LEVEL. I WAS FORCED TO


APPLY FOR AND IMMMEDIETLY RECEIVE DISABILITY. SINCE THAT TIME I HAVE HAD TO BASICALLY START OVER FINANCIALLY(OVER 20 YEARS AGO) I INHERITED SOME MONEY AND RECEIVED SEVERAL CASH SETTLEMENTS SO I USED THAT MONEY WISELY BUT I SEE MY MONEY THAT I LITERALY SHED BLOOD TO IN SOME CASES TO GET IT BEING TAKEN FROM ME. I AM LOSING HOPE. MY PHONE NUMBER IF YOU NEED IT IS(NNN) NNN-NNNNAND MY E-MAIL ISXXX@XXXXXX.XXX HOPE & NOW JUST PRAY FOR MONETARY JUSTICE. MY AGE IS 66 AND I WILL BE 67 IN JAN OF 2014. MY PANCREAS IS SLOWLY DIGESTING ITSELF AND I AM HORRIFIED THAT INSURANCE COMPANIES AND OTHERS ARE ALLOWED TO PRACTICE THIS LEVEL OF ELDER & DISABLED ABUSE.


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Hello again -

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While I appreciate the contact information, we are not permitted to work with customers in an offline capacity (I could lose my position here at Just Answer if I did that). Our function is to review your facts against the law and to give you some suggestions and directions on what you should do next under the circumstances.

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Can you tell me (A) What DATE did the property loss happen and (B) what town and county you are located in there in CA so that I can do some research to try to find you some real assistance in your immediate area. I really need this information and you did not answer it in your prior response.

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MARY

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I AM SORRY FOR NOT ANSWERING COMPLETELY. THE LOSSES OCCURRED IN APRIL AND MAY OF 2010. THE CLAIM REMAINS OPEN I HAVE VERIFIED THIS INFORMATION. I LIVE IN OAKLEY CA. WHICH IS IN EAST CONTRA COSTA COUNTY. THE CLOSEST LARGER COMMUNITIES ARE ANTIOCH, CA. AND BRENTWOOD(NORTHERN CA) THANK YOU I WISH YOU WERE CLOSER AND IN PRIVATE PRACTICE. THANK YOU FOR CARING ENOUGH TO FOLLOW UP.

Expert:  Legalease replied 1 year ago.

Hello again Martha -

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Because your losses happened in 2010, you still have some time to file a lawsuit against the insurance company for failing to settle the claim in a reasonable manner and putting you under a lot of stress in the process (your insurance contract is a written contract, and under CA law you have up to 6 years to file a lawsuit regarding a breach of contract claim for a written contractual agreement). It sounds like you have had some issues with the last attorney but unless you can handle filing a lawsuit yourself, you are going to have to find another attorney that will review and take over your case from the last attorney that did nothing for you. You may also be able to get some legal assistance through elderly services groups in your area (they can either direct you to a lawyer or even find one for you that will assist you for free or at a reduced rate until you recover some money from them to finish the repairs).

 

Regarding your last attorney -- if you have a copy of the letter written to the insurance company (which letter sounds like nonsense from an incompetent attorney) then you should file a complaint with the California attorney licensing authority and ask them to assist you in getting back some of the fee money that you paid to him. CA has one of the best licensing boards and fee arbitration boards in the US and they should take a complaint very seriously -- Here is a link to the State Bar of California complaint pages -- there is a telephone number and a complaint form and they will walk you through the process of filing a complaint and requesting a fee refund from the second attorney who looked at your case and did nothing - http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Attorneys/LawyerRegulation/FilingaComplaint.aspx

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Regarding finding a new attorney -- you want and attorney who specializes in real estate insurance settlement claims and who will be willing to file a lawsuit against the insurance company pretty quickly if the insurance company refuses to deal reasonably with him/her -- my suggestion with this is when you hire a new attorney if you have not heard anything regarding a settlement or the attorney has not filed a lawsuit within about 6 month after you hire them then you need to start asking the attorney why there has been no progress and if you are not getting a reasonable answer on the matter, then you try to seek out a new attorney. Most attorneys will have a pretty good handle on a case like yours within a few months and should decide whether to keep pushing settlement or to file a lawsuit pretty quickly after that -- and when an insurance company does not offer a reasonable settlement within about 90 days of a lawyer getting involved in a property matter like yours, then the lawyer should file a lawsuit against the insurer to get them moving. Here is a link to the attorney referral service of the bar association in your county -- you want to contact them and tell them what type of attorney that you need -- a real estate property insurance specialist -- and they should give you several names and you can speak to the attorneys and go from there if you want to hire any of them -- http://www.cccba.org/community/find-a-lawyer/index.php

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Regarding elder services in Contra Costa County -- they have a council on aging who handle nothing but issues faced by older residents of your county. They also have legal service referrals -- here is a link to their website and if you scroll down about halfway down the page on the website you will see the "Legal Services" paragraph which then links you to further telephone and contact information for legal help just for senior citizens: http://www.co.contra-costa.ca.us/index.aspx?NID=3440

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I do wish that I could assist you personally, but I cannot do that. You will have to do a bit of telephoning around, but you will be able to find another attorney and perhaps an advocate at the council on aging that can assist you with this entire process against the insurance company. You want to do this before too much more time passes and you start getting into statute of limitations issues against your insurance company (meaning that you could be barred from filing a lawsuit because of waiting too long from the actual dates of losses in 2010). Please let me know if you have further questions.

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MARY

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Please press the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face below so I will be paid for my time. I am paid NOTHING unless you press the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face below so I DO appreciate it. Pressing a positive rating below will NOT cost you any additional money -- it simply acts as a trigger to Just Answer to pay me for my time. THANK YOU

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