Getting Compensation after a Disaster

It is natural for people to make investments, either by purchasing real estate properties or putting up a business – for greater financial stability in the future. Purchasing a property and/or starting a business, however, entail/s risks, due primarily to natural disasters, which can destroy houses and cause a firm to cease operations, sometimes for an indefinite time.

Disasters, anyway, are sure to occur and the greatest disadvantage one has is the he/she doesn’t know what kind of disaster it will be, how strong it is going to be an when it will occur. To safeguard one’s investments, an investor usually seeks shelter from insurance providers, which aims to provide those affected by disasters with the financial benefits and security needed to repair damaged homes or augment business losses.

Despite signed contracts prepared by the insurance providers themselves, the law firm Smith Kendall PLLC, knows that insurance firms employ various tactics to: delay the approval of claims filed by policy holders; delay the release of approved benefits which, more than often, is much smaller than what is indicated in the policy; or, deny the claim entirely. This is due to the fact that other than paying claims, another aim of insurance providers is to earn profit – which will never be possible if they would keep approving and paying benefits.

One of the worst disasters in the US was the BP oil spill that occurred on April 20, 2010, in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of Louisiana. The disaster left 4.9 million barrels (or 210,000,000 US gallons) of oil gushing continuously from the seabed, causing irreparable, destructive effects on marine life, the tourism industry and hundreds of residents and businesses.

British Petroleum, the oil giant that was operating the oil rig during the time of the explosion, immediately drafted a settlement agreement that would compensate all those affected by the oil spill.

The settlement agreement, however, gave BP the right to appeal certain claims, despite having been approved by the Deepwater Horizon Claims Center (DHCC), especially if the amount of the claim was too large.

This BP claim appeal means that if the claimant fails to fight for his/her rights in court, then he/she could lose the chance of receiving settlement payment from BP despite the real big losses he/she may have had due to the oil spill.

Due to the many difficulties and legal hurdles experienced by many claimants in the event of disasters, the only way, sometimes, to be assured of settlement payment is by seeking the help of a highly qualified lawyer whose ability and skills can effectively render the tactics employed by insurance firms or giant companies weak and unacceptable.

The Value Court Reporters in Legal Cases

One of the very important characters during a court hearing is a court reporter (also called a court stenographer), whose job is to: transcribe or record in perfect accuracy everything that transpires during a court hearing (this means all words said and gestures made) during the trial; and, in making an official written transcript, upon the request of the concerned individuals, of all that transpired. Prior to a court hearing but after a lawsuit has been filed, there is legal process, called “discovery,” wherein the parties involved in the lawsuit get the opportunity to obtain information (from one another) which can prove vital to their respective cases; a court reporter’s presence is necessary during this process.

According to the website of Stratos Legal, one type of discovery process is the deposition, an out-of-court, yet sworn testimony, given by a person, such as a defendant in a civil lawsuit due to personal injuries in a motorcycle accident. A deposition testimony may be used as evidence during the, especially for the purpose of impeaching or lowering the credibility of the defendant in the eyes of the judge or jury.

Rather than just preparing a written transcript of court proceedings, today’s court reporters have access to an array of the most modern media devices and equipment for faster and greater accuracy of records that can also be made available in real time or anytime and in any part of the globe. For lawyers and/or their apprentices, this means no more searching through transcripts and exhibits that can be hundreds or thousands of pages thick.

Deposition or court proceeding may also be videotaped by well trained and highly skillful videographers, who can ensure high quality videos synchronized to written transcripts. Other than the videographers, there are also the electronic reporter, a court reporter who makes use audio recording devices while simultaneously taking notes, and the voice writer, who speaks into voice recorder.

According to the website of the Mokaram Law Firm, it can be difficult for drivers to claim financial compensation from a reluctant insurance company in the event of an injury. The services of court reporters can help attorneys muster the evidence they need to make their cases.