Tag Archive for: Brookville Attorney

Top Three Reasons Real Estate Deals Fall Through

Once real estate is under contract, many buyers and sellers make the mistake of assuming that the hard part is over.  In reality, however, that’s when the work begins — and, unfortunately, real estate deals can fall through during the contract phase.  When this happens, it leaves all parties stunned, as they are forced to start over the entire buying or selling process. While having a real estate deal unravel is stressful, it is not all that uncommon. Thus, by being aware of the main reasons that real estate deals fall through, you can prepare accordingly to avoid your real estate deal from failing before settlement.

Real Estate Title Problems

An issue with the title to a property can quickly derail a purchase, which leaves all parties dissatisfied and upset. Often times, title defects are not found until a title abstract is completed — which usually occurs shortly before closing. When this happens, buyers and sellers alike have little time to react. Finding out that a property has a judgment or lien against it, in most cases, will lead the lender to deny the buyer a loan until the title issue is resolved. And, depending upon the situation, it could take months or longer for the title issue to get resolved.  In some instances, a lawsuit, known as a quiet title action, is required to “clear” a cloud on the title to property.  A quiet title action, while unavoidable in some cases, can take time and cost money that no one anticipated.

Loan Denial

After being “prequalified” for a loan, many buyers assume that they will experience nothing but clear sailing going forward. Unfortunately, a preapproval does not mean that the lender cannot change its mind. If the buyer’s credit score drops between the preapproval and closing, then the bank may refuse to finance the purchase entirely — or, in other cases, will not approve the entire amount needed to complete the sale. Occasionally the buyer may pay the difference with cash, but if he or she is unable or unwilling to do this, then the entire transaction may fail.

Real Estate Inspection Problems

A property that looks wonderful on the outside may have a multitude of problems on the inside.  Issues such as leaks, damaged roofs, moldy basements, and more, are usually revealed during a detailed home inspection completed by a professional.  While some problems are easy to resolve, expensive repairs may make the buyer have second thoughts about the entire purchase. If a buyer is getting cold feet about the transaction in general, then even a minor cosmetic or appliance issue could turn into a major point of contention. If a seller is unwilling to make repairs or offer a credit, then the entire sale may come to a halt.

Getting the Legal Advice You Deserve – Contact Zwick Law

If you or someone close to you has recently experienced problems with buying or selling a property, consulting a real estate attorney can help you determine how to proceed. The attorneys and Real Estate Settlement Division at Zwick Law understand how stressful real estate transactions can be, and we are able to guide you through each stage of the process while providing you with the legal advice you deserve. With offices conveniently located in DuBois and Brookville, Pennsylvania, we are available to provide you with a private consultation to discuss your situation and individual needs.[1]


[1] Disclaimer: The use of the Internet, Facebook and/or any other form of social media communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship.  Time-sensitive information should be directed immediately to the office of Zwick Law at (814) 371-6400.

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HOW TO PROPERLY HANDLE A PERSONAL INJURY CLAIM

The period immediately following an accident resulting in an injury is very stressful and often times overwhelming.  Lost wages, mounting medical debt, and the pain of an injury often combine, leaving a person desperate to find a resolution to an unfortunate situation.  While quickly settling an injury claim may seem like the easiest way to resolve problems caused by an accident, being overly eager to reach a quick settlement can leave an accident victim in an even worse predicament and with additional problems.  Being aware of the steps to properly and effectively handle an injury claim can increase your chances of avoiding crucial mistakes, while helping you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Should you automatically comply with all of the insurance claims adjuster’s requests?

The adjuster handling your claim usually presents himself as a friend or ally who is looking out for you and your best interests.  During the initial investigation of your claim, the claims adjuster will make various requests, such as asking you to sign authorizations for the release of confidential medical and employment information; asking you to provide recorded statements; and asking for other documentation related to your accident and injuries (e.g., videos, pictures, witness information, etc.).  Although adjusters will advise you that the requested information is always required to assess and/or to settle your claims, often times that is not completely true.

The claims adjuster will attempt to use the information that you provide to find ways to minimize or dismiss your claim.  In certain situations, you may need to provide some information and cooperate with the insurer’s investigation; however, this is not always required – selectively and strategically providing information does not mean that you will lose your claim.  Instead, taking a strategic and methodical approach usually increases your chances of walking away with all the compensation you deserve.

What happens if you miss medical appointments?

A person with no medical insurance or limited sick time from work may decide to stop going to follow-up doctor appointments before he is fully recovered and/or the treating physicians have officially released him from treatment.  Fear of lost wages and large medical bills can lead to a premature return to work, which can seriously impact your claim.  The medical appointments that you attend will further illustrate the extent of your injuries, and will establish a medical treatment pattern that shows the potential need for long-term care.  Missing scheduled and necessary medical appointments will likely lead to your claims adjuster dismissing or diminishing the severity of your injuries, which will significantly reduce the value and settlement of your case.

Should you question or challenge an adjuster’s valuation of your claim?

Claims adjusters working directly with an injured party may arbitrarily deny a claim without reviewing or receiving relevant claim-related documentation.  If, and when, this happens, too many people simply give up on the claim and do not pursue the compensation they deserve.  A person with little or no experience handling a personal injury, workers’ compensation, or medical malpractice claim will not know what steps to take to challenge or appeal the decision.  Insurance companies are experienced and manipulative, and they expect that accident victims will walk away from valid (and valuable) claims—saving the insurance company hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Do not stand alone – Zwick Law is here for you.

Even the most straightforward injury claim can quickly devolve into a nightmare, if not properly handled from the very early stages.  Remember, claims adjusters have years of experience negotiating claims, while the average person only deals with one or two injury claims in a lifetime.  The experienced personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys at Zwick Law understand how vital quality representation is to your claim.  We are prepared to review your situation and take over the time-consuming and stressful task of negotiating with the insurance company.

For questions relating to an injury claim, contact Matthew R Zwick, partner of Zwick Law, at (814) 371-6400 or mrz@zwick-law.com, to schedule a legal consultation and free case analysis.  At Zwick Law, we’re always here for you.[1]

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[1] Disclaimer: The use of the Internet, Facebook and/or any other form of social media communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship.  Time-sensitive information should be directed immediately to the office of Zwick Law at (814) 371-6400.

 

TOP THREE ESTATE PLANNING MISTAKES

Last Will and Testament

Protecting your loved ones by creating an estate plan is very important — it gives those closest to you clear instructions on how to carry out your final wishes. Unfortunately, even a small estate planning mistake can cause months or years of probate-related confusion. To avoid difficult and expensive problems, not only should you consult with any attorney to create or edit your estate plan, but you also should discuss your wishes with those closest to you. Being aware of these three common estate planning errors can help you better protect your beneficiaries and secure the legacy you have left to your heirs.

No Records

The records you leave behind are a vital part of administering your estate. Without proper documentation, it becomes difficult for your executor and heirs to locate property, recover assets, and verify the estate’s outstanding debts. In some well-known cases, the family was not even able to locate the will that was created, causing numerous problems for everyone involved. When working on your estate plan, be sure to include detailed information and records that explain the location of your bank accounts, life insurance policies, tax information, etc.  It also is vital that your family knows where your will and important documents are stored.

Choosing the Wrong Executor

An executor is someone who should be trustworthy and reliable — after all, your executor is responsible for distributing your assets and adhering to your final wishes as outlined in your estate plan. However, no matter how thorough you feel your estate plan is, being an executer is still hard work and extremely time consuming. You must choose an executor who has the ability to dedicate him or herself to the long process of managing your affairs. Your executor will need to work alongside your attorney; remain in contact with your beneficiaries; care for your assets; file your final tax return; and more. If you choose someone who does not have time to communicate with your beneficiaries; has a conflict of interest; or otherwise cannot perform the duties, then the probate process could turn into a disaster for your heirs.

Establishing a Trust Incorrectly

Establishing a trust is one way to pass assets on to your heirs without incurring large tax penalties or jeopardizing any government benefits that your heirs receive. However, if a trust is established incorrectly, then it could cause the same financial harm that it was intended to avoid. Even if the trust itself seems to be established with no problems, other issues such as appointing the wrong trustee; not designating your beneficiaries correctly; and not updating the trust on a regular basis, can cause problems for those you were planning to help.

Contacting Zwick Law to Review Your Estate Plan

Regardless of the size of your estate, contacting an estate planning and estate administration attorney is highly recommended. At Zwick Law, we are able to make suggestions based on your unique situation, to help you create the best estate plan for your circumstances. Our team is dedicated to providing clients with the assistance that they need. We understand that estate planning is a sensitive topic for most families — but it is necessary to protect your family and future.  Contact us at one of our conveniently located offices in DuBois and Brookville, Pennsylvania, to schedule a legal consultation. At Zwick Law, we’re always here for you.[1]


[1] Disclaimer: The use of the Internet, Facebook and/or any other form of social media communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Time-sensitive information should be directed immediately to the office of Zwick Law at (814) 371-6400.

FULL TORT v. LIMITED TORT INSURANCE COVERAGES

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, the difference between full tort and limited tort insurance coverage is a big one.  Tort coverage is one of the first topics that we discuss with clients and prospective clients when they come into our DuBois or Brookville office for a free and confidential consultation to discuss a personal injury claim resulting from an automobile accident.  In most instances, we find that many injured people either (1) do not know the difference between full tort and limited tort coverages, or (2) do not know which tort coverage they selected when purchasing their automobile insurance policy.  The difference, in most cases, is very significant.

full tort limited tort

In Pennsylvania, insurance companies offer their customers several options when selecting automobile insurance coverages.  One major option is: do you want full tort coverage or limited tort coverage.  It is very important to know the difference between the two options when making your decision.  If you are involved in an auto accident, and you select full tort coverage, then you are permitted to pursue and recover money for all of your injuries, which includes non-economic injuries and damages – i.e., pain and suffering, mental and psychological anguish, inconveniences, loss of enjoyment of daily life activities, etc.  However, if you select limited tort coverage, you forfeit and lose the ability to pursue and receive compensation for these non-economic damages.  This is a significant limitation.

Typically, insurance companies offer small and insignificant discounts on monthly insurance premiums for your selection of limited tort coverage.  While the selection of limited tort coverage can seem appealing at first, because it could immediately save you a few dollars on your monthly premium payment, choosing limited tort coverage may cost you significantly, both financially and legally, should you or a covered family member ever be involved in an automobile accident.

The Pitfalls of Limited Tort Coverage

Limited tort coverage permits a person injured in an automobile accident to only recover for out of pocket medical bills, wage loss, automobile repair costs, and other actual monetary or economic losses.  In other words, if you select limited tort coverage, you are giving up your right to pursue damages in a future personal injury case for pain and suffering and other similar damages before an accident ever occurs.

There is a limited exception to this general rule, which permits a person with limited tort coverage to pursue a claim for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages that are sustained in an automobile accident, if the person sustained bodily injuries that are deemed “serious.”  Serious injuries, however, are not always clearly defined or easily established.  Under Pennsylvania law, the term “serious injury” is generally described as “a personal injury resulting in death, serious impairment of body function or permanent serious disfigurement.”  In the majority of cases, however, difficulty arises in differentiating between a serious injury and a non-serious injury – which is anything but clear under the law.

The Benefits of Full Tort Coverage

At Zwick Law, we highly encourage and recommend that all Pennsylvania residents and drivers maintain full tort coverage on their automobile insurance policies.  The small amount of money that you could save on your monthly insurance premiums with limited tort coverage is slight compared to the costs that you could incur if you are involved in a vehicle accident.

In many cases, injuries that result from an automobile accident are not completely known until weeks, months, or even years after an accident.  Health and medical complications often arise  well after the accident and – without full tort coverage – you could be left responsible for treating injuries that resulted from a motor vehicle accident that were not your fault.  Full tort insurance coverage is one of the best forms of protection for your future and the future of cherished family members.  If you are involved in a serious automobile accident, it is very likely that you will lose more than you may have saved in reduced monthly premium payments.

So, when the time comes to purchase a new automobile insurance policy, or when you have an opportunity to review and change the terms of your existing policy with your insurance agent, discuss your tort coverage selection with your agent.  The bottom line is, if you want to ensure that you have preserved your right to pursue the full extent of your injuries and damages in a personal injury claim after a vehicle accident, you should make sure that you have full tort coverage on all of your automobile insurance policies.

For questions relating to full tort and limited tort options, please contact Matthew R Zwick, partner of Zwick Law, at (814) 371-6400 or mrz@zwick-law.com, to schedule a legal consultation.  At Zwick Law, we’re always here for you.[1]

 

[1] Disclaimer: The use of the Internet, Facebook and/or any other form of social media communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Time-sensitive information should be directed immediately to the office of Zwick Law at (814) 371-6400.

 

Zwick Law client, JCDC, helps create jobs in Jefferson County

Zwick Law is excited to share news that its client, Jefferson County Development Council, Inc. (“JCDC”), has closed on the sale of the former Days Inn property in Brookville, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania.  The property will serve as the new home of Legacy Truck Centers’ (“Legacy”) newest heavy-duty truck dealership.

The former Days Inn property, which is located just off Exit 78 of Interstate 80 in Brookville, has been a blighted, hazardous property in Jefferson County for quite some time.  Zwick Law has worked closely with JCDC and its executive director, Brad Lashinsky, over the past several months to remove the blighted property and public health hazard from our community.  The sale of the former Days Inn property to Legacy has accomplished that goal.

Legacy’s purchase of the property is beneficial to Jefferson County, not only because it will eliminate a public health risk, but also because Legacy plans to create quality jobs right here in Jefferson County.  According to reports, Legacy intends to swiftly demolish the building and construct a state-of-the-art facility in its place. Legacy’s new heavy-duty truck facility will create a significant number of quality jobs in the area.

To hear more about this exciting news, check out WJAC’s story here.

Zwick Law is a full-service law firm with offices in DuBois and Brookville, Pennsylvania, that assists businesses and individuals in Western Pennsylvania.  Click here to learn more about the professional, trusted services that Zwick Law offers to clients each and every day.