WILL THERE BE A SECOND STIMULUS CHECK PACKAGE THROUGH THE HEROS ACT

FIVE ISSUES OF DEBATE FOR THE HEROS ACT

  1. Second stimulus payments of $1,200 (seems to be agreed)
  2. Liability protection for Business’s for illness of customers (not agreed)
  3. Aid for State and  local governments (not agreed) 

As difficult as it is to accept, the pandemic continues in this country at full force. I think like many of us, I keep hoping to wake up and see that the cases are dropping dramatically. Although we are all praying that day will come, sadly it has not come yet. It has been over a week since the federal stimulus funding of $600.00 a week for federal unemployment benefits has officially expired on August 1, 2020 and several weeks since the last payments went out in 49 states. Unfortunately, our lawmakers have failed to reach an agreement on the next stimulus relief package, although our majority democratic house has passed a bill that has been on the table for many weeks.

As the raging partisan debate goes on, Americans continue to suffer.   Our kids are at a standstill in their education and this country continues its spiral downward.   Our schools are in chaos, our economy is in turmoil, and our morale is in mourning for all of the loss that has been suffered by so many families.  Life events continue to be missed and the sadness most of us are feeling during this dreadful time is plaguing all aspects of our existence.  Meanwhile, Congress sits on the hill refusing to relieve American panic and misery making little progress in reconciling the $3.4 trillion HEROS Act that was passed by the House of Representatives in May.   I won’t even go into the complete lack of leadership for nationally enforced safety protocols that should have been implemented from the beginning.

The Senate revealed their $1 trillion HEALS Act last week, almost 2 1/2 months after the House passed the HEROS Act. In the interim of the infighting, close to 30 million Americans are anxiously awaiting  new benefits as they are now formally cut off from enhanced unemployment benefits and unable to go back to work in the mist of our tragic economic state.   Without leader ship to put a formal plan into place for testing, regulation and protections of the American health, the entirety of the pandemic will likely be one of the most tragic political events of all of our lifetimes.  

While we can all debate the best practices to slow and ease the pandemic, the impact on the economy cannot be denied and the destruction it has caused continues to impact most Americans. So what exactly are the members of the House and the Senate arguing over? Although lawmakers are still far apart on some key issues, there is some agreement on certain elements of the bills.  Chief negotiators Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and  White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows have reportedly agreed to strike a deal and have a vote by the week of August 10.  Although they are committed to bringing the matter to a vote, the divide between the parties is still great. In fact, it is $2.4 trillion great.

What is Agreed Upon: 

At the writing of this blog it seems that both sides agree about:

  1.  Sending Americans a second stimulus check for approximately $1200 for single filers. 
  2. Shockingly, they also seem to be in agreement at keeping schools closed and childcare closed which leaves this country at the  standstill  it has been that at to this point. 

These seem to be the only issues that the sides agree on.

What is Not Agreed Upon: 

The parties remain at odds on many issues including: 

  1.  Whether to  include state and local governments in the federal relief package;
  2.  Whether to extend federal unemployment benefits. 
  3. Providing a liability shield for businesses against liability for patrons contracting the coronavirus.  This is a difficult matter and I have prepared a subsequent blog regarding a coronavirus release. It is likely that you will frequently see a liability release in the future and currently for everything from schools, to any businesses that start to open including gyms, entertainment facilities and even salons.

The federal provision to protect businesses is not something that I would disagree with as long as businesses are held to the highest standard and follow guidelines to protect their clients and employees. The problem with a blanket protection is that it must also come with blanket requirements of protection which we have not had to date. I believe that the biggest problem with regulation during the pandemic has been the failure of our leadership to immediately and swiftly put safety measures into place, everything from handwashing, to mask wearing, to social distancing as soon as the pandemic started in order to protect Americans and our economy. I guess hindsight is always 2020, but a federal provision to protect businesses is not something that I would disagree with as long as businesses are held to the highest standard and follow guidelines to protect their clients and employees. 

To protect Businesses from their own negligence in exposing guests to illness defies long-standing principles in the law.  However, I do believe that there can be protection if federal guidelines are in place that businesses strictly follow.  Thus, there can be liability for failure to follow the guidelines to protect their patrons.  Just like all aspects of negligence law, elements of negligent must be clearly outlined to allow for adherence.    If safety guidelines are clear and followed, business should receive some federal protection for their efforts to diligently protect their guests by following them and held liable for failing to follow the guidelines. 

Timeline

With the Senate set to recess on August 7, 2020 and extending the time for a vote,  members of Congress are starting to face the reality that heading home with struggling constituents is not an option. It appears they have agreed that the most important thing they need to do is to pass a relief bill for the American people before they leave Washington. For this reason it does appear that the stimulus may pass by August 7 or shortly thereafter. It will be approximately two weeks from the time the new stimulus bill is passed until most states are able to implement new benefits and resume payments. Therefore, if Congress is able to stick to its current timeline and pass the bill the week of August 7, 2020, Americans may not see money arrive until the end of August which could be more than a month since their last federal benefit payment. In addition,  in the state of Nevada our office has received many calls regarding the inefficient unemployment department and their inability to get through and the fact that benefits were not paid for months after their applications were submitted.  There is currently a class-action against the state of Nevada for their mishandling of claims during the pandemic. https://www.ktnv.com/13-investigates/class-action-lawsuit-seeks-to-force-nevadas-unemployment-office-to-do-its-job

At TheOneLawyer.com, we are here to serve our community and provide legal services in the Henderson and Las Vegas area. We are a boutique law firm providing experienced and personal representation to injured clients.  At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, TheOneLawyer.com we provide professional and personal service to each and every one of our clients on various legal matters and have over 15 years of experience in reviewing insurance policies and in Nevada insurance law.   If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury or paying your medical bills from an accident, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years.  Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers.  She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve.  Please call our office if you or a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence.  

At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities.  They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I have reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com, Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices.  TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032. 

WHAT IS A POWER OF ATTORNEY?

Power of Attorney Defined

You’ve probably heard the term power of attorney many times but I think there is a lot of confusion as to what exactly is a power of attorney. Basically, a “power of attorney” is your legal permission to allow another authorized adult to act on your behalf in very specific matters and that person will be called your “attorney in fact.”  You can grant your “attorney in fact” permission for an extremely specific and limited purposes and for a very limited period of time or you can make your permission much broader and for an extended period of time.  A power of attorney can relate to financial affairs, to your health care decisions, to educational decisions, or to any specific life decisions that you wish to dedicate to another adult for any reason.  Therefore. they must be drafted carefully and entered into with great caution.  You are basically giving your right to make certain decisions to someone else in certain situations.  

Types of Powers of Attorney/ Durable power of attorney

At this point you’re probably wondering what is the difference between a power of attorney and durable power of attorney. Most people are familiar with a durable power of attorney because you’re often asked by healthcare providers if you have one or requested to sign one before a major medical procedure. A durable power of attorney is specifically designed for use in case you become medically incapacitated and you are no longer able to make decisions on your own behalf. The standard durable power of attorney only becomes effective when it is signed and notarized and you become incapacitated.  If you are fortunate and never become incapacitated, a durable power of attorney never takes affect and the person that you appointed as your attorney in fact never has legal authority to make decisions over you or your assets. 

Both types of powers of attorney remain valid and in effect until you specifically revoke them, cancel the power of attorney, or indicate in the power of attorney itself the date they are no longer in force and affect.  Although durable powers of attorney are usually known as health care powers of attorney, a durable power of attorney can also be used to assign an attorney in fact to deal with financial and property matters and other legal matters on your behalf. You may appoint an attorney in fact in a durable power of attorney over specific assets such as possibly a specific mutual fund that you wish to pass in a certain way or a piece of property. 

It is important to note that a power of attorney is not a substitute for a will. You cannot appoint your attorney in fact to distribute assets in case of your passing in a manner that is contrary to any written will that you have previously executed.

Reasons for powers of attorney 

The reasons for power of attorney are as varied as life’s circumstances. However there are some common general circumstances that people tend to execute powers of attorney. For instant,  if you are planning on being on an extended vacation or out of the country and there are specific financial transactions that will need to go forward such as selling a house or closing on a mortgage or selling certain stock you made need a power of attorney.  Those may be situations where it is convenient or even necessary to appoint your attorney in fact to act on your behalf for those matters in your absence. 

This can also apply if you are being called away to military duty and there are transactions that will need to occur in your absence. Often times a power of attorney is needed if you will become incapacitated such as undergoing a surgery.  By preparing a power of attorney prior to undergoing the procedure this allows you to plan for who will be making decisions for you in the event that you are incapacitated for some period of time. 

Persons to be Appointed Attorney in Fact

The question arises as to who you can appoint as your attorney in fact. The person that you appoint as your attorney in fact basically steps into your shoes and makes decisions that you would make on your own. Your attorney in fact must be an adult and have the legal ability to enter into a contract. Because the requirements are not very stringent, it is really a guttural choice on your part to choose a person that you trust implicitly to conduct your affairs. They do not have to be a relative or a spouse or even a professional. It should be a person of competence that you trust. This may go without saying, but after many years of practice we have seen this occur. It is extremely important that you have the person’s agreement to act on your behalf as your attorney in fact before you name them as this is a voluntary position and no one can force them to make decisions for you.

The individual that agrees to act as your attorney in fact will be responsible and will owe what is called a fiduciary responsibility to you. That means the attorney in fact is required and legally bound to act in your best interests while acting as your attorney in fact. Although you do not have to pay someone to be your attorney in fact, if the duties are complex and require a great deal of time, it would be wise to consider compensation for the individual that you choose to be your attorney in fact.

Nevada requirements for Durable Health-Care Power of Attorney

If you are looking for a form for your durable health-care power of attorney in Nevada, there are certain required elements in Nevada pursuant to Nevada Revised Statute 449.830.  The statute provides that the form must be written and notarized.  If it is not notarized it must be witnessed by two adults that you personally know.  However, the witnesses cannot be a healthcare provider, an employee of the healthcare provider, an operator of a healthcare facility, an employee of a healthcare facility, or your actual attorney in fact.  In addition, one of the witnesses must be a person who is not related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption. Finally, to the witness’s knowledge, they must not be eligible to take part of your estate upon your death.  

You can also revoke your power of attorney at any time. You can simply use a one page form that states you are revoking all prior powers of attorney.  This form should be signed by you and notarized.

How do I prepare a power of attorney?

At The One Lawyer.com we are happy to assist our clients in the preparation of powers of attorney for any reason at a very reasonable cost. You can also locate forms for a power of attorney at a public library, online, or at the Clark County Law Library. In addition, office supply stores often have form books available. However it is important to note that you need to be careful with pre-printed forms because they are often intended for a specific purpose and if your purpose is more complex or you seek to have your power of attorney more narrow, you may wish to consult counsel to make sure that you do not give away excessive decision making ability to your attorney in fact.  At TheOneLawyer.com we prepare power of attorney‘s on a flat fee basis. Please contact us to discuss your needs and we can provide you a low cost to prepare your legal documents

At TheOneLawyer.com, we are here to serve our community and provide legal services in the Henderson and Las Vegas area. We are a boutique law firm providing experienced and personal representation to injured clients.  At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, TheOneLawyer.com we provide professional and personal service to each and every one of our clients on various legal matters and have over 15 years of experience in reviewing insurance policies and in Nevada insurance law.   If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury or paying your medical bills from an accident, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years.  Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers.  She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve.  Please call our office if you or a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence.  

At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities.  They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I have reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com, Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices.  TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.

HOW TO LEGALLY CHANGE YOUR NAME

As life goes by and changes, people find themselves, for many reasons, be it marriage, divorce, or estrangement from a parent, or a myriad of other reasons, a desire to change their name. The reasons for name change are usually personal but really not relevant to the actual process, as long as they are not criminal. If you were wondering if the state of Nevada provides process for you to change your name, — they do!

Fortunately, residents in the state of Nevada can change their name under most situations. There is some paperwork that can be a bit confusing.  At TheOneLawyer.com, we are here to assist you. We can handle this matter for you. Hiring an attorney to take you through the process can be a cost effective way to start your new beginning.  It is a multi-step process to change your name in the state of Nevada and this blog will outline the process.

Filing a petition

Nevada revised statute 41.270 provides a process for Nevadans to change their name. To begin the process, you will need to file a legal document called a “Petition for Name Change” with the Eighth Judicial District Court and pay a filing fee. Your petition will need to include specific information including your prior name, your new name, and the reason that you are seeking to have your name changed. In addition to this information, the petition must also state whether you have any felony convictions. If you do have felony convictions the process does become more complicated. https://www.familylawselfhelpcenter.org/self-help/name-changes/name-changes-for-adults  You also need to attach the civil cover sheet with your filing which is a simply form that can be found on the courts website.

Publication requirement

After the Petition for Name Change is filed with the Eighth Judicial District Court, it is required that the petition be published. Practically speaking this means that you must publish the notice in at County newspaper for three consecutive weeks on a weekly basis.  If for any reason you feel this could pose a threat to your safety, such as possibly being in a domestic violence situation, you can ask the court to waive this requirement. However, it must pose a threat to your safety or your children’s safety.

Ten days following the final publication, you must determine if there has been any objection filed to your application. This means you must check with the court to determine if someone has filed a legal objection to your request for the name change. If there has not been an objection filed, you can submit what is called a request to the judge to “summarily grant your name change” petition.  However, if an objection has been filed, the court will request a hearing. If the court holds a hearing, the court will take evidence from witnesses to make a determination as to whether there’s a good reason to change your name. After listening to the evidence, the court will determine whether there is good cause for the name change and enter an order granting or denying the request.

At the Law Offices Of Laura Payne-Hunt, aka TheOneLawyer.com, we charge a reasonable flat fee of $1,200.00 if no objection is made and there are no felony convictions for name change petitions.  We are happy to assist you with this legal process. Please do not hesitate to contact our office for any questions or assistance with any name change petition.

Felony conviction

If you have had a felony conviction you will be required to submit fingerprints as part of the application. If the court does grant the name change petition, the court will then submit a copy of the order with the fingerprints attached to the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History. This is to prevent someone from simply changing their name and not being able to be located if they have committed crimes. If you falsely advise the court that you do not have a felony conviction, the court will immediately rescind aka revoke the order of name change when the conviction is brought to the courts attention.

Reasons for Denial

Generally speaking, if there is no objection to a name change request and there is no felony conviction, the court will grant the request for name change. The court will only deny the request for name change if they find that there is some illicit purpose for the request. Examples would be attempting to evade creditors or escape law enforcement. The court will not allow a name change request to defraud creditors. In cases of child custody, the courts are sometimes hesitant to change a child’s last name if the child’s parent with the same last name is active in the child’s life and substantially complies with court orders. As a practical matter it is much easier to have an adult name change approved than a child’s name change.  The court will frequently ask for a hearing for a child’s name change to assess custodial issues and objections.

Filing a Petition for a Child

One parent can file a petition on behalf of their minor child if the child is 14 years or older and consents to the filing of the petition for name change. There are additional steps required in that you must serve the other parent with the petition by a process server. That allows the other parent the opportunity to file an objection. Therefore, practically speaking, both parents must agree to the name change unless one parent has given up their legal rights to the child.  However, the court can grant the name change petition for the child that consents if the child is over 14 and the Court finds good cause has been shown.

Gender Identity Name Change

A common reason for name change petitions are persons who are changing their gender identity. The process is the same as for any other petition for name change. You are still required to publish notice and wait for objections. The court is inclined to grant the request, again, unless there is an illicit purpose or objections in which case a hearing will be held to establish is there is good cause.

Where to File a Petition in Clark County

In Clark County, a Petition for Name Change, whether for an adult or a child, is filed in the Eighth Judicial District Court.  There are three ways to file the petition, at least pre-coronavirus. At this time, the Court is not taking in person filings but that may resume in the coming months. You can file the petition in person, when they open, by taking your paperwork to the District Court Clerk’s Office Family Court and Services Division at 601 N. Pecos Road, Las Vegas, NV 89155, before 4:30 pm to be filed in person. You can also mail your paperwork to the Family Court District Clerk’s office with a return envelope for a file stamped copy to be returned to you in which case you would apply for publication and then return the publication proof and petition to the court along with an order to be executed by the court. Finally you can file a petition online through Nevada’s e-file system for an additional $3.50 filing fee.

Court Costs for Filing of Petition

In Nevada, the cost of filing a Petition for Name Change is a $270 filing fee. That can be paid with cash, money order, or a credit card. It cannot be paid with a personal check. You can apply for a fee waiver.

At TheOneLawyer.com, we are here to serve our community and provide legal services in the Henderson and Las Vegas area.  We are available to assist you with your name change needs at a reasonable cost.  We are a boutique law firm providing experienced and personal representation to injured clients.  At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, TheOneLawyer.com we provide professional and personal service to each and every one of our clients on various legal matters and have over 15 years of experience in reviewing insurance policies and in Nevada insurance law.   If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury or paying your medical bills from an accident, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years.  Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers.  She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve.  Please call our office if you or a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence.  

At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities.  They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I have reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com, Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices.  TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.

Applying for Unemployment in the Pandemic

As most people are aware, the CARES ACT provided additional unemployment assistance for unemployed workers, including those in Nevada. Because the Pandemic has forced businesses to close and placed restrictions on other businesses, many Nevadans lost their jobs. The Unemployment Security Division of the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation has been charged with administering unemployment assistance in Nevada. From the numerous calls we have received from panicked people, they have not done a very efficient job of administering these benefits.  First, I will review the eligibility requirements for Unemployment.  This Blog will also outline the additional benefits extended to unemployed workers by the CARES ACT and how to apply for those benefits.  In this increasingly uncertain and changing time, TheOneLawyer.com is here to provide up to date information on current and relevant legal and community topics.  Although many use these new terms interchangeably, the Covid-19 aka Corona Virus Pandemic is the event that spurred government to use its emergency powers to shut down our economy to “protect human life.”  The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) is the response by Congress and signed by the President that is new law enacted to provide special benefits to our citizens impacted by the shutdown.  

Eligibility

The eligibility for unemployment assistance has not changed greatly. To be eligible for unemployment benefits in the state of Nevada, you must’ve been a person who was fully or partially employed and lost their job and become unemployed. You also must have earned enough wages to qualify and your status as unemployed cannot be a result of misconduct or fault on your part. This means you cannot be fired for cause and then be eligible for unemployment benefits.  Sadly, hundreds of thousands of Nevadans have lost their jobs as a result of the Pandemic through absolutely no fault of their own. When you make a claim for unemployment benefits you must file your claim each week, you must be able to work, you must be available for work and you must be considered to be looking for new employment.  The CARES ACT suspended the requirement to be looking for employment during the Pandemic.  Eligible recipients of unemployment receive payment of benefits which is supposed to take place seven days after the filing their first weekly claim. We have been told by many people that have called our office that is taking weeks and weeks for them to receive their benefits.   The CARES ACT also suspended the seven day wait time without benefits and pays benefits from the day workers lost their job.   Even though the processing is slow, you will receive benefits from the first day that you lost your job and the State will pay them retroactively when they are late. http://ui.nv.gov/PDFS/UI_Claimants_Handbook.pdf

In Nevada, the maximum benefit is set at $469 per week for 26 weeks unless extended by law but this has been extended by the Federal Government through the CARES ACT.  Under the CARES ACT, the federal government increased that amount by adding an additional $600 per week for unemployment to unemployed Nevadans. 

Response to COVID-19

In response to the Pandemic, Nevada has put into place a waiver for the work search requirement and the seven day wait.  This Means that people that have become unemployed as a result of the Pandemic are technically entitled to unemployment benefits more quickly. Although they are entitled to benefits more quickly, it does not appear that benefits are being paid more quickly. Other remedies provided by the CARES ACT for additional eligibility include the following:

1) You may be eligible for unemployment benefits if an employer that you previously worked for is forced to close due to the Pandemic restrictions and preventing their employees from coming to work.

2) You may also be eligible for unemployment benefits if you are quarantined and will be returning to your job when the quarantine is over

3) It may seem obvious, but if you are still working and receiving your pay you are not eligible for unemployment, even if your salary has been reduced.

4) The ACT also allows for some workers that have not traditionally been eligible for unemployment benefits such as self-employed workers, gig workers, independent contractors and other type of independent workers. Under the ACT, these workers are eligible for Pandemic unemployment assistance under public law 116-136 https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/hr748/BILLS-116hr748enr.pdf.   For additional information about the current state of unemployment benefits in the state of Nevada during the Pandemic please see the following link https://detr.nv.gov/Page/Pandemic_Unemployment_Assistance(PUA) and 

CARES ACT

The CARES ACT was signed into law by the United States Congress on March 27, 2020.  The ACT provided for many public benefits including the expansion of unemployment benefits.  The ACT also provides for an additional $600 per week per applicant and an also provides each applicant with an additional 13 weeks of eligibility for unemployment which will help many Nevada families during this Pandemic.  This allows for a total of 39 weeks of unemployment under the CARES ACT and other Nevada law. The ACT also expanded unemployment eligibility for workers who were not previously eligible including part-time employees and those who are self-employed. For more details regarding the additional benefits see the attached link

Applying for Unemployment Benefits During the Pandemic

Now this is where it can get a little bit difficult. During this Pandemic time there is no in person claim filing method available. All claims for unemployment must be filed online.   The unemployment office provides an outline for applicants and step-by-step videos on how to file claims. However the backlog and the inefficiency of the website has created much stress among filers. The telephone line is only available at certain times and in fact the division has asked that filers only file on certain days. The employment Division is asking filers to file by their last name on the following days.  

    A to K file on Sundays;

       L to R file on Mondays;

       S to Z file on Tuesdays; 

However, you can renew your claim regardless of your last name Wednesday through Saturday. On April 15, 2020 the ESD created a new call center to try to assist with the enormous influx of unemployment claims. Call centers number is 800-603-9671.  

Under the CARES ACT, Nevada workers are eligible for up to 39 weeks of benefits. However if you are applying for benefits after the 26 weeks you must file the claim through this portal. There’s also instructions for this portal at the following link.

At TheOneLawyer.com, we are here to serve our community and provide legal services in the Henderson and Las Vegas area. We are a boutique law firm providing experienced and personal representation to injured clients.  At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, TheOneLawyer.com we provide professional and personal service to each and every one of our clients on various legal matters and have over 15 years of experience in reviewing insurance policies and in Nevada insurance law.   If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury or paying your medical bills from an accident, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years.  Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers.  She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve.  Please call our office if you or a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence.  

At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities.  They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I have reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com, Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices.  TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032. 

EVICTION LAW OVERVIEW IN NEVADA AND PANDEMIC RELIEF FOR RENTERS

Help is available for anyone in Nevada facing eviction due to hardships created by the pandemic.  Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak issued a new directive on June 25, 2020 and lifted some of the prior pandemic ban on evictions.  Sadly, he continues to force people out of work, yet he lifts the protections previously in place.  Clark County Social Service is a government agency that operates financial assistance programs for the low income and unemployed families. They have emergency rental assistance programs to help with rent issues including eviction prevention help and low-income housing. The locations to call or apply at are below.

  • Pinto (Main Office) – 1600 Pinto Lane, Las Vegas, Nevada 89106, (702) 455-4270
  • Cambridge Office, 3885 South Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas, NV 89119, phone (702) 455-8639
  • Fertitta Building, 1504 N. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada 89101, (702) 455-1990
  • Community Resource Center, 2432 N. Martin Luther King Blvd., Bldg. D, North Las Vegas, NV 89032, (702) 455-7208
  • Henderson Office, 522 E. Lake Mead Pkwy., Ste. 4, Henderson, Nevada 89015, call (702) 455-7918

For a list of the many organizations in Nevada providing rental assistant, log onto https://www.needhelppayingbills.com/html/rental_assistance_las_vegas.html.

Is your landlord still trying to evict you or your business during the moratorium on evictions? Help is available at the Nevada Attorney General’s Office. File a complaint at ag.nv.gov For assistance with CARES ACT log into https://www.lasvegasnevada.gov/Residents/Housing-Assistance-Program.  The programs close in days but keep checking back for additional funding to become available.  City residents may qualify for Clark County’s CARES Housing Assistance Program (CHAP) which provides rent, mortgage, and utility assistance to residents who have suffered financial hardship due to COVID-19 and now lack sufficient income or resources to pay their housing costs. Visit  https://helphopehome.org/clark-county-cares-housing-assistance-program/ for more information. As for the Pandemic rules Currently in Place, they vary depending on the type of lease:

Commercial Tenants including Small Business

The recent directive issued most urgently impacts Landlords of commercial properties, including small business and allows them to begin charging fees for delinquent payments, begin lockouts, or proceed with evictions for non-payment of rent or to begin the foreclosure process starting on July 1, 2020.

Residential Evictions

The order states that residential evictions and foreclosures will begin to be allowed on September 1, 2020.   The order goes on to state that late fees or fines for non-payment of rent or mortgage cannot be charged retroactively. The directive issued on June 25, 2020 also reinstates residential summary evictions and unlawful detainer actions that were instituted prior to September 1, 2020.  These are actions for eviction for certain causes other than non-payment of rent  including  holdover tenants, unlawful business being conducted on the premises, nuisance allegations, violations of drug laws, and other violations of lease agreement. 

Transient Housing

The moratorium does not apply to tenants living in transient lodging such as hotels and eviction proceedings may start on June 25, 2020 for such transient lodging.  However, an important clarification is that long-term tenants at weekly motels (those who have resided there for more than 30 days) have the same rights as any other renter, and eviction proceedings cannot start until Sept. 1, 2020.  For Tenants without a lease or tenants who are “at will,” evictions can begin on August 1, 2020.   It is important to know your rights.  A landlord cannot change the terms of a lease for the failure to make payment. 

In Clark County, the basis for evictions to take place is very straight forward.  The website outlines a lot of information. https://www.clarkcountynv.gov/constable/lasvegas/Pages/EvictionProcess.aspx  In addition to the County Website, the civil law self-help center has all the forms with a detailed explanation as to when to file which forms. https://www.civillawselfhelpcenter.org/self-help/evictions-housing/evictions/information-for-tenants/89-responding-to-an-eviction-notice

If you receive an eviction notice, there are several ways that you can respond. The following are a list of your options if you have been served with an eviction notice:

1. Pay any Back Rent or Fees Owed

If you received an eviction notice on the grounds that you didn’t pay rent, then pay the rent and late fees in full prior to any eviction action. Preferably, pay within a short period after receiving the eviction notice. If the landlord accepts the rent, then you have a defense against any court proceedings. Paying the rent is full is often sufficient to resolve the issue between you and the landlord after receipt of an eviction notice. However, if this is the one excuse the landlord has been waiting for to kick you off the property, then you may have a fight on your hands.

2. Keep Records

If you plan on challenging the reasons you are being evicted, it is important to document conversations and interactions with the landlord and problems with the premises rented.  In addition, take pictures or video of damages and repairs that you believe the landlord needs to make or that that they allege that you need to make.  Finally, keep all documents sent to you by the landlord and copies of any documents you sent to the landlord.  If you send correspondence to the landlord requesting repairs and they fail to respond, you should send it Certified Receipt Mail through the post office to show proof of receipt. 

3. Fix Alleged Violations 

When a landlord gives an eviction notice because you violated some part of the lease, many agreements will allow you to fix  the violation within a specific amount of time.  If you fix the violation and the landlord still takes you to court, you have the defense that you have cured the alleged problem.  However, you are likely best served to take the time to find a new place to live on a residential lease.  Of course, on a commercial lease, it is not that simple.  

It’s in your best interest to attempt to reach a resolution with your landlord due to legal costs and other fees a landlord could recover from the court proceedings.  It’s best to fix the problem and agree on a move out date, if possible.  That is because in Nevada, once the lease expires a landlord does not need a reason to evict you. 

Nevada Is  A No-Cause Eviction State

 Under Nevada law NRS 40.251, a landlord can serve a No Cause Eviction Notice after your lease has expired.  Unfortunately, this notice is not required  to provide you with any reason or explanation for the eviction. If you rent by the week, the landlord must serve a 7 day notice.

Landlord’s Must Use the Courts To Evict Tenants

Under Nevada Revised Statute 118A.390 it is  illegal for a landlord to use “self-help evictions” to remove a tenant in an eviction.  Therefore, a landlord cannot change a tenant’s locks without order of the Court, the Sheriff, or Constable.  In addition, a landlord cannot force the tenant off the property by creating “unbearable” living conditions.

At TheOneLawyer.com, we are here to serve our community and provide legal services in the Henderson and Las Vegas area. We are a boutique law firm providing experienced and personal representation to injured clients.  At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, TheOneLawyer.com we provide professional and personal service to each and every one of our clients on various legal matters and have over 15 years of experience in reviewing insurance policies and in Nevada insurance law.   If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury or paying your medical bills from an accident, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years.  Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers.  She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve.  Please call our office if you or a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence.  

At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities.  They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I have reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com, Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices.  TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.

Paper Paper Paper! What should I keep, What Can I toss? A Household Guide to Filing

Top Ten Papers You should Keep

1. All insurance policy Information including life, home, health and auto;

2. All Social Security Documentation;

3. All Voter Registration Information;

4. Receipts or Invoices for Large Purchases or Work Done in Your Home;

5. Property Records;

6. All Warranty Product Information and Receipts for the Products and Box Information;

7. All Vehicle Paper Work Including Title, Purchase  and Maintenance Records;

8. Records of Payments to Monthly Contractors;

9. Credit Card Statements for Two Years;

10. Kids Papers with a Story they Wrote,  a Handprint, Personal Information,  or a Photo;

So if you’re like most people you have piles of mail around the house and a filing cabinet that’s partially full.  This raises the question “what should I keep what should I throw away?”  I decided to write this blog for friends family and my loyal readers who are likely in the same boat. In fact, I find myself letting papers pile up sometimes and it is stressful and frustrating. So what should you keep and what should you throw away. 

I am writing this blog as a consumer guide to a home filing system to organize your papers and determine what important documents to keep that you may need for issues that may arise in the future. There are a lot of categories of documents that come into the house. There are utility bills, medical bills, insurance documentation both from your health, life, auto, and home insurance company and from your home, life,  and auto insurance company tax information, voting insurance companies, documentation from your kids schools, miscellaneous bills, and of course the piles of junk mail that come in. The junk usually gets tossed and if your house is like mine, the rest of the mail gets tossed into a pile. I’m going to attempt to categorize the most common types of paper we find laying around and what should be kept and what should be thrown away. Before I can give that advice it is very important that every person especially, a homeowner have a simple filing cabinet that you can pick up at anywhere from Walmart, Target, Staple, or Office Depot.  You can probably even order one off Amazon.  It is astounding how they can deliver large items so cheaply.

Utility Bills 

Utility bills can mount and take up a lot of space. Between gas bills, water bills, sewer bills, trash bills, electric bills, they can take up half your filing cabinet by the end of the year. There’s really no need to keep these in this day and age. They can be easily accessed online at any time if they are needed.   If you are a person who really likes to keep them, I would suggest just keeping the December bill which usually has a comparison ratio of all the months.

Medical Bills and Health Insurance EOB’s

These can also get voluminous and duplicitous.  If you’ve had a recent medical procedure I would recommend keeping a file for your bills until everything has been resolved and paid. Often there is dispute between the insurance company and what is billed. In fact you may often see different bills — one that indicates the matter is resolved and then you may receive another  bill a month later indicating that there is an outstanding balance. Along with the medical bills is also important to keep the insurance company EOB’s (explanation of benefits). This tells you what you would owe and  the insurance company discounts . Often time’s medical providers will bill you outside their contract rates even though they are not supposed to do this.   It is important that you keep those papers from the insurance company for easy reference. Although they can sometimes be pulled up online, sometimes it can be difficult navigating their websites with all of the HIPPA and privacy laws.

Kids Papers

As a mom and a busy attorney with a lot of paperwork it is always difficult to know what to keep and what to throw away. I believe a standard rule is to keep any of your kid’s paperwork that has a hand print, a photo,  or a story they wrote. Also keep test scores and report cards.   I like to scan those into a file on the computer. Status report progress reports can get thrown away as cam every day graded papers.

Insurance Papers 

Several times a year your insurance company will send you what is called your declarations page as well as often a copy of the policy or any amendments that have been made to the policy. In order to ease the filing of  claim if the time comes,  it is really to your benefit to keep all of that paperwork in an insurance file. You don’t know when you will need it but if you need it,  it will save you a lot of headaches to have easy access to that policy information.

Social Security Paperwork

Periodically no matter what your age you will receive documentation if you are working adult from the Social Security administration. These documents are sent out in frequently and they really should be kept. It is difficult to get anything from the Social Security department and very time-consuming.  Especially older readers and these documents are sometimes needed to obtain senior housing and other senior benefits.  

Voter Registration Documents

Like Social Security records, voter registration documents are not sent very often and they are difficult to obtain. When you receive your voter registration cards in the mail, you should definitely have a file and keep that paperwork for future issues regarding voting and sometimes even for identification.

Vehicle Paperwork

It is easy to toss the paperwork for your vehicle when you have the oil changed or a new battery installed. It is important to keep all of your documentation regarding your vehicle including maintenance documents,  records from the time of purchase, all documents involving title, and of course all warranty paperwork. You will want these maintenance records when you go to sell your vehicle to establish that your vehicle is well-maintained to any potential buyer.

Property Records

 Although property records are accessible on the assessors webpage they are generally not voluminous and only sent once or twice a year. You are wise to keep all property records regarding any real property that you own in a file for reference

Product Information

This is another piece of paper that tends to pile up our receipts of all kinds. Specifically receipts for purchases at retail outlets. If your purchase is tax-deductible you will want to keep that in a tax file for the end of the year. If your purchase has a warranty you will want to keep the receipt and I always advise to make a copy if you can because the receipt papers that you are provided at the stores tend to fade over time. You can also scan the receipt into your computer or take a picture with your phone.  Be sure to create a folder in your photos for receipts.  Also keep the paperwork with the warranty information from the product you purchased as well as the serial number from the packaging. I like to just cut off that little square of the packaging and keep it with the receipt.

Wallet File

This is probably the most important piece of this blog and I probably should’ve put it first. Always keep a lost wallet file which has a copy of the front and back of all the most important items that you keep in your wallet on a daily basis. This includes your primary credit cards, your driver’s license, and any other forms of ID that are in your wallet.  Did you know that if you lost your driver’s license and you go on the DMV’s website you can simply order a new one if you know the date that your license was issued and your license number. If you do not have that information you need to go to the DMV in person. This alone is enough to urge you to keep a copy of these items. In addition, if you do lose your actual driver’s license you can keep a copy in your vehicle at least to tell the officer that you have ordered a new one in the event that you don’t have it. It took over three weeks to get the new license from the DMV in the mail. When you have credit card number and expirations you can cancel that much more quickly.  Especially  if you have the phone number and all of the information off the card which is not on your statements.  I highly recommend updating this file at least once a year.

If you were a loved one has any legal question or has been injured in any type of accident please call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com today. We are a boutique law firm providing experienced and personal representation to injured clients.  At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, TheOneLawyer.com we provide professional and personal service to each and every one of our clients on various legal matters and have over 15 years of experience in reviewing insurance policies and in Nevada insurance law.   If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury or paying your medical bills from an accident, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years.  Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers.  She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve.  Please call our office if you or a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence.  

At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities.  They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I have reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com, Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices.  TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032. 

SAFETY TIPS FOR A SAFE AND HAPPY 4TH OF JULY

 Do you know what fireworks are legal in Clark County, NV? With quarantine  

rules slowly lifting around the country, it’s time to celebrate with family.

Check out this week’s blog to for holiday rules and safety tips. 

At The One Lawyer.com we are wishing you and your family a safe and happy Fourth of July for 2020. With quarantines  slowly lifting around the country, I hope that everyone can once again enjoy time with family and celebrate. Besides maintaining hygiene requirements such as constant handwashing and social distancing,  the following are 10 important safety tips to remember to keep everyone injury free and healthy on the Fourth of July.

  1. Check with your local authorities to be sure that the fireworks you are using and purchasing during this holiday are legal in your area. Only fireworks that are labeled “Safe and Sane” are legal in Clark County.   In Henderson as well as throughout Clark County,  fireworks that fly through the air, explode, or rotate on the ground are illegal within the county. They have been deemed to be unsafe because the firework user is not able to control where they land potentially causing a fire. Although illegal fireworks are often sold outside Clark County and on the Indian reservation within Clark County, they are still not legal to be used in the County. If you purchase fireworks on the Indian Reservation,  they are expected to be used on  the reservation in a designated area. They are not expected to be removed from the reservation. It is important to note that if illegal fireworks are brought into Clark County , they can be confiscated and the person using them can be charged with a crime and  fined  up to $1000 and/or six months in jail.  That is a substantial penalty and important to keep in mind when purchasing fireworks. In addition “safe and sane“ fireworks are illegal in Clark County only from June 28 until  11:59 on July 4th.
  1. When lighting fireworks, it is extremely important to keep safety equipment on hand including a bucket of water and a fire extinguisher. Fire extinguishers generally cost in the neighborhood of $30-$50 and are well worth the investment to keep on hand during the holiday and all year round.  Also, place all used fireworks in the water bucket to prevent accidents.  If possible, light fireworks near a hose for quick water access in case of emergency.
  1. It is extremely important to supervise children closely when using fireworks and sparklers. Never allow children to play near the location that fireworks are being set off and make sure that someone is in charge of accounting for all children at the celebration throughout the evening. Accidents happen when adults lose track of the little ones and think someone else is watching them. Make sure someone is designated to watch the children during the celebration.   This is also important for pool safety as many Fourth of July celebrations take place around pools.  It is extremely important to make sure that little ones are well supervised at all times during the celebration.
  1. Make sure you are not wearing loose clothing when using fireworks and sparklers. It is easy for clothing to catch fire.  Things like lose shirt sleeves, fringe on clothing, wide shorts, blowing skirts, and drawstrings can blow into the spark and catch fire.  Choose your celebration entire with these tips in mind. 
  1. It is also important to keep all pets away from fireworks. In fact,  best practice is to keep pets indoors. They are often spooked by the loud noise and commotion and can runoff. They can also be injured by stray fireworks or by getting into the mix to close to the fireworks. Keep our firm friends safe inside away from fireworks during the celebration. This is probably equally important for their mental health.
  1. If you light a firework and it fails to function as it is supposed to, do not re-light the firework. This can be dangerous as the firework is clearly defective and can go off in an unintended way causing injury to people and property. If a firework is defective soak it in water and throw it away.  
  1. Be sure to always light fireworks in an open area.  Never light a firework in a container especially one that is glass. This can cause an explosion and fragments to fly into observers causing severe injury to your family and friends.  
  1. Never light fireworks in forest areas or near trees.  It is important to make sure that there is a clear and open perimeter when lighting fireworks to prevent a fire.  
  1. In addition to fireworks, most people are using outdoor grills during the holiday. Make sure that your grill is cleaned periodically and that there is no grease buildup .  A grease build up can be a potential fire hazard.
  1. Some makes and models of grills will drip grease underneath.  Be sure to keep pets and small children away from the grill during the celebration.  In addition to drips, be sure someone is attending to a hot grill at all times to prevent fire or injury to your young guests.  

By following these simple safety tips and being prepared for the unexpected during the Fourth of July celebration you can protect your family and friends from potential dangerous situations. Celebrating our independence should be a joyous and safe occasion for everyone.

IF SOMEONE IS INJURED BY A FIREWORK TAKE THE FOLLOWING STEPS

Fireworks injuries can be severe and life threatening.  Seek medical attention immediately.  If your or a  loved one is injured.  There are steps that you should take and an attorney should be contacted the next day.  If injury occurs, it is important to immediately take the following steps:

  1. Take as many photos as possible of the firework, the scene, the debris, and  the injury. 
  2. Gather the names, address and phone numbers of all persons who witnessed the accident. 
  3.  Most significantly, if possible, keep all remnants of the firework that caused the injury including the packaging and the receipt if available. If not, find out where the firework was purchased and when as soon as possible.

INJURIES FROM FIREWORKS

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2018 there were five fireworks related deaths. Those deaths were associated with reloadable aerial devices and all of those victims died from direct impact of the fireworks.  It is extremely critical that if a firework does not perform immediately as intended,  do not attempt to re-light the firework  and immediately douse the firework with water. Firework malfunction’s account for many serious injuries and even death.

In 2018 there were an estimated 9,100 injuries from fireworks that were treated in US emergency room departments. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission,  about 36% of those victims were children under the age of 15 years old. The report found  that children 10 to 14 years of age had the highest rate of injury that required  emergency treatment.  

In addition, although sparklers are generally considered to be a harmless fun suitable for the little ones, there were an estimated 500 in the emergency room treated injuries associated with sparklers in 2018. It is very important to supervise children closely when using any type of firework and always assume that any firework cannot cause injury. 

https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/Fireworks_Report_2018.pdf

If you were a loved one has been has been injured in any type of accident, please call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com today. We are a boutique law firm providing experienced and personal representation to injured clients.  At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, TheOneLawyer.com we provide professional and personal service to each and every one of our clients on various legal matters and have over 15 years of experience in reviewing insurance policies and in Nevada insurance law.   If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury or paying your medical bills from an accident, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years.  Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers.  She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve.  Please call our office if you or a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence.  

At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities.  They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I have reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com, Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices.  TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032. 

What you Should know About a Renters Insurance Policy

If you are renting a residential property to live in, you need to 

have renters insurance with liability coverage and property replacement coverage,

 not actual value coverage.  Check out this week’s blog to learn more.

Top Five Things to Know About Your Renters Insurance Policy

  1. Your Landlord Is Not Responsible To Cover Your Possessions

 In The Event Of Disaster;

  1. Renters Insurance Is Generally Very Reasonable to Buy;
  1. Renters Insurance Will Not Cover Your Home Business;
  1. Most Renters Insurance Policies Also Cover Temporary Accommodations In The Event That You Have To Move When Your Rental Property Is Damaged;
  1. Most Commercial Leases Require You To Have Renter’s Insurance.

It is extremely important to have renter’s insurance to cover your personal belongings in a home that you are living in and renting but do not own. Most people are surprised at the cost to replace all of their everyday household items in the event that disaster strikes. You accumulate many items overtime such as small appliances, pots and pans, clothing, small jewelry items, shoes, purses etc. If a fire were to strike the premises that you are renting, the landlord’s policy, with certain exceptions, would not likely cover your personal items. You could have to start over if you do not carry renter’s insurance.  

Why You Need Renter’s Insurance

As mentioned above, most of us accumulate many personal items overtime, some that are special, some that are utilitarian, and many that are necessary in our everyday lives. Rental insurance covers personal property of yours that is damaged, lost, or stolen from your rented home. It  can also cover injuries to other people that occur when they are at your rented premises. For example, let’s say that you have a party and someone is injured while there and it is determined to be your fault, whether from possibly mopping the floor or having a trip hazard on the premises. If that person sues you or brings a claim of injury against you,  your renter’s insurance policy could cover such a claim. If you do not have renters insurance, you could be personally liable to someone who is injured on your premises for something that you negligently did.

Renter’s insurance also provides reimbursement for loss and damage to possessions of yours as a result of fire or vandalism. Often times renters think that the landlord‘s insurance would cover all of their property if a fire were to occur or some other disaster. This is simply not the case.  In fact,  most leases that you will sign will specifically exclude coverage for your personal possessions. That is why renters insurance is very important when you are renting your living space. Renters insurance will help pay your costs if you suffer such a loss by reimbursing you for your lost or damaged valuables.  

However, just like homeowner’s insurance, you can buy an actual cash value policy, which we do not recommend.  Actual cash value means that if you purchased a pair of shoes for $50 and they are destroyed in a fire, you are only entitled to the actual value of those shoes which is likely what you’ve could’ve sold them for which may be as little as a dollar.  However if you purchase a policy that is called “replacement cost coverage”  for your personal possessions, you’ll be entitled to payment for whatever the cost would be to purchase those shoes at today’s value which could be higher than $50. Therefore at TheOneLawyer.com we urge you to look at your rental policy and make sure that you have replacement value. 

Sadly, an actual cash value policy has very little value if you are renting your premises and many insurance companies will pray upon renters in selling these policies knowing that the payout will be very small in the event of a significant disaster. Protect yourself and understand the language of these policies. If you are renting your premises, make sure that you have replacement value coverage.  

Do You Have to Have Renters Insurance?

Although you are not required to carry renters insurance by law like car insurance, most commercial leases require you to obtain renters insurance and provide proof of such insurance to the landlord. Even if the landlord does not require you to purchase renter’s insurance, I urge you to buy a renter’s insurance policy to protect your personal possessions. It is surprising how much we accumulate and the cost associated with replacing all of your daily utilitarian items if you had to buy everything new at one time. 

Rental policies can provide great relief in the event of a disaster.  In addition to replacing your personal items and protecting you from personal liability, most renter’s insurance policies also cover temporary accommodations in the event that you have to move when your rental property is damaged due to fire, water, or smoke and becomes uninhabitable. This can also be life-saving at times if you and your family are living in a rented premises and the premises are somehow destroyed. Your landlord would not be required to pay for you to live somewhere else while the premises were being repaired.  The cost of temporary accommodations, whether it be another rental property or a hotel, could be extremely costly as it could be a lengthy period of time before your rental is re-inhabitable. Some policies may even cover moving expenses to move any remaining property to a new rental. Discuss these issues with your agent when you are purchasing your policy

The Cost of Renters Insurance

In discussing all of these coverage options, you are probably wondering how much is all of this going to cost me?  Of course, it depends on the level of goods that you are insuring and the cost of your valuables.  However, most rental policies are in the neighborhood of $100-$250 per year on average depending on the community you live in and the amount of insurance you are covering. The national average for renters insurance is $15-$30 per month. This small investment could save you tens of thousands of dollars in the event that disaster strikes and you are forced out of your rental property and lose all of your possessions.  

Like most recommendations for purchasing insurance by TheOneLawyer.com, I highly recommend that you go with insurance company that you are familiar with. Although it may sound cliché, I usually recommend clients to go with a carrier they’ve seen commercials for on TV.   Your larger carriers are more competitive in their rates and in their policies. However, with every purchase it is imperative that you know the exclusions and the coverages that you are buying. That is why it is best to purchase from an agent where you can discuss these issues at the time of purchase instead of trying to navigate an online check the box type system.

Renter’s Insurance is not Usually Tax Deductible 

I answer this question because I have had it asked several times over the years. The short answer is no, generally speaking renter’s insurance is not tax-deductible, unless you use part of the rented space regularly and exclusively to operate a small business.  If that is the case, you may deduct a portion of your renter’s insurance on your taxes as a business expense for the limited square footage that you operate your business in on your rented premises. This would be the same on a homeowner’s policy where you can deduct part of the space as office space. Talk to your tax professional because this deduction is very limited to the percentage of square footage that you use for your business.

How Much Renters Insurance Should You Have?

Like all insurance, the amount of renter’s insurance that you should carry is contingent upon the level of value of your personal property and the area in which you live. In some areas, the cost of temporary housing can be extraordinary if you live in a high income area such as San Francisco. That is a big reason to have renter’s insurance by itself.  Also, make sure your policy is a replacement value policy and that it is high enough to cover all of your personal goods including luxury items. Many renter’s policies provide very low limits so it is important that you look at the limits of coverage that you are being offered and raise them according to the value of your personal items. 

Like a homeowner’s policy, they will assume that you have goods of everyday value and it will not cover high dollar works of art, jewelry, musical equipment, coin collections or any items or collections of high value.  Just like on a homeowner’s policy, you will need to obtain a rider on your renter’s policy to cover any high dollar goods that you have. I also highly recommend that you photograph all of your high dollar items and keep those photographs or digital records off the premises so that in the event of disaster, you have proof of loss for the insurance company.

What Does Renter’s Insurance Cover?

Renter’s insurance generally covers the same losses as a homeowner’s policy such as damage from fire and smoke. Remember that your coverage is limited to the amount you purchase and you are subject to the deductibles that you purchased. Renter’s insurance also covers you from theft whether your items are stolen from your home when it is burglarized or stolen from your car while traveling. 

Another question that arises is whether or not items in a storage unit are covered under your renter’s insurance policy. Generally speaking,  if they are stored off property they would not be covered under your renter’s policy. However, some policies may cover personal items stored offsite or you can buy additional coverage through the storage facility for those items. If you are a person who maintains a storage unit to store your personal items of any value,  you definitely need to talk to the agent when you are purchasing your renter’s insurance about whether you need a separate policy, which you likely do, for the storage unit. Many storage facilities also offer supplemental insurance for your unit and you may want to check with them as well.

Does Renter’s Insurance Cover My Car?

Although a renter’s policy will often cover belongings that are personal that are stolen from your car, it does not cover your vehicle itself. Most people understand that they need vehicle insurance to cover damage to the car.   Sometimes there is confusion is this area because items that are stolen out of the car can be covered on a renter’s policy, but damage to the car itself would be covered under the vehicle policy.

Does Renter’s Insurance Cover Me If My Dog Bites Someone?

We have often been faced with a situation where a client contacts our office and they have been bitten by a dog that is owned by someone who is renting a property.   Many renter’s insurance policies cover some breeds but do exclude certain breeds. Some will not provide any coverage for high-risk breeds. If you are renting a property you need to make sure that the coverage you are buying will cover any bites that may be inflicted by any pet  that you have. If you have a pet that is excluded by certain carriers, you will need to shop around to make sure the coverage you are purchasing covers you, your pets, and all of your valuables. You do not want to find out what type of coverage you have at the time you need to make a claim. It is also important to note that in Nevada,  the landlord is generally not liable for any injuries inflicted by your pets on another person

Does Renters Insurance Cover Me If My Home Is Flooded?

Just like homeowner’s policies, most rental insurance policies do not cover flood damage. If you live in an area that is prone to floods you need to discuss flood insurance with your agent at the time you are purchasing your rental policy. If a leak within the property causes damage to your personal items you will likely be covered. However, if floodwaters come from an outside source you will not likely be covered for your personal items if you do not purchase flood coverage separately. Many carriers offer this coverage with your renter’s policy. If you live in a flood prone area be sure to talk to the agent about adding flood damage coverage to your renter’s policy.

Where Can I Buy Renters Insurance?

Renter’s policy coverage is extremely common and  most major carriers offer rental policies. You usually can get a discount on your renter’s policy, just like a  homeowners, if you purchase your auto and renter’s policy from the same carrier. It is important to know all of your insurance needs when you go to talk to an agent. Many people buy coverage online and don’t understand all the exclusions and limitations on most standard insurance policies. At TheOneLawyer.com, I  urge you to buy your insurance from a licensed, reputable agent and discuss your needs with them to make sure you are getting the coverages that you need.

If you were a loved one has any question about insurance or has been injured in any type of accident please call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com today. We are a boutique law firm providing experienced and personal representation to injured clients.  At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, TheOneLawyer.com we provide professional and personal service to each and every one of our clients on various legal matters and have over 15 years of experience in reviewing insurance policies and in Nevada insurance law.   If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury or paying your medical bills from an accident, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years.  Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers.  She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve.  Please call our office if you or a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence.  

At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities.  They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I have reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com, Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices.  TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032. 

What you Should know about Landlord Policies for Rentals

If you are renting out a residential property as a landlord, you need to 

have enough liability coverage and property replacement coverage,

 not actual value coverage.  Check out this week’s blog to learn more.

Top Five Things to Know About Landlord Policies for Rental Properties

1. Always purchase “replacement value coverage” and not “actual value” coverage.

2.  Know the Exclusions in the Policy like Flood and Earthquake;

3. Be sure to Purchase Enough Liability Insurance;

4. You need to Have a Landlord Policy If you do Live on the Property;

5. You need Coverage for Liability for Accidents on your Rented Property.

You may ask yourself what is the difference between homeowners insurance and landlord insurance. There are a lot of significant differences between the two policies that have important coverage effects and legal ramifications. Similar to a homeowner’s policy,  a landlord policy covers the building itself and any other structures on the property such as a pool house or detached garage. Generally speaking, to purchase homeowner’s insurance coverage you must live in the home. The name is misleading because just because you own the home doesn’t mean you should have a homeowner’s policy. If you are living in the home and renting out a room or part of the home you will want to discuss this situation with your agent. However, if you are planning to rent the entire property you really need to purchase landlord insurance.

 You may be asking at this point what is landlord insurance? Landlord insurance is coverage for a property owner who is renting out a property as a residential home. As the landlord, it is important for you to protect yourself from financial loss that tenants or renters may inflict on the property such as fire or other damage. You can also obtain insurance on the property to cover loss of income in the event that your rental property becomes uninhabitable for a given period of time.

Landlord Insurance Covered Items

As discussed,  landlord insurance covers damage to the actual building and some personal property for covered events such as storms, theft, or damage caused by the tenants residing in the property. Landlord insurance will cover the replacement costs (if you purchased a replacement policy and not an “actual value” policy”) of items in your rental property in the event of a total loss.   Landlord policies  also generally include liability insurance. This is coverage that will protect you against claims and lawsuits that arise from the property. This can occur if a tenant or visitor is injured on the rental premises and you find yourself being sued as a result. This can be extraordinarily important especially if the rental property has a pool and someone is injured in the pool. Your liability insurance will help cover the costs associated with injury claims that arise from accidents on property that you own.

Aside from personal injury claims, liability insurance will also cover you if a problem with the properties such as a leaking pipe or mold damage destroys a tenant’s personal property and they file a claim against you for damage to their property.  It is extremely important to have liability insurance on your rental property.  As noted earlier, liability coverage will also cover and compensate you for lost income in the event that the rental property becomes uninhabitable due to damage that is deemed to be a covered loss such as a storm or fire.  Your loss of income coverage is also often referred to as “rental reimbursement coverage” and will prevent you from losing the income you would’ve had if you were collecting rent while the property is being repaired.

Like all other policies, you can also purchase “optional coverages“ as a landlord such as natural disaster insurance, rent guarantee insurance, and landlord contents insurance to cover your personal property such as furnishings or carpet you may have left in the rental property. Talk to your agent about what specifically you would like to cover on your rental property as the landlord.

Why Is Landlord Insurance Different From  Homeowner’s Policy

“Landlord policies“ protect you from property damage to the premises as well as liability claims against you. Rental damage is damage that occurs when disaster or unexpected events caused substantial damage to the property. This coverage will cover damage by a tenant.  It covers the cost of rebuilding or repairing the property. Like a homeowner’s policy, this coverage will have limits that you should be aware of, including deductibles and limitations on covered items.   You will need to make sure you are covered at replacement and rebuild coverage. I  usually recommend making sure your policy has up to 150% coverage which is generally referred to as replacement coverage.

You may be asking yourself if you have to have landlord insurance. Unlike car insurance, landlord insurance is not required by law but you would be extraordinarily unwise to leave your valuable property vulnerable by not carrying landlord insurance on rental properties. The same hazards can occur to your rental properties from fire, vandalism, and other disasters that can cause extensive property damage to your residence.  If your property is damaged over $100,000 from a fire or storm and you do not carry this coverage,  you will simply have to pay the damage out-of-pocket or accept the loss. 

It is important to understand that rental insurance purchased by tenants does not cover the structure of your property. You need to purchase landlord insurance when you are not the resident of premises that you are leasing to someone else. Sometimes a landlord will leave a homeowners policy in place when they move out and simply continue to pay the policy when renters move in. This is an unwise decision. This could cause the carrier to deny coverage because they were not advised of the risk they are writing for and the policy could be deemed to have been fraudulently obtained. It is extremely important to be accurate and honest when applying for insurance because they can take the position that you did not advise them of the true facts and therefore were fraudulent in obtaining your policy. if you rent a premises, whether you once lived in it or not,  at the offices of TheOneLawyer.com  we would urge you to obtain a rental policy on that property.

Cost Associated With Landlord Insurance

Clearly this is difficult to answer in a vacuum because insurance rates vary considerably based on many underwriting factors. Rates can be as low as $500 per year for a small rental property or several thousand dollars a year for a large property with a swimming pool.  Often times people assume that landlord insurance will be much less than homeowners insurance because of the fact that the carrier is covering less property because personal property contents are not usually covered.  However the liability associated with rental properties is generally much higher and what you’re not paying for on personal contents you will be paying for the risks involved with renting property to persons who do not have the same respect for the premises that an owner would.  Costs vary greatly depending upon your geographic location, the size of the property, how many overall rental units you have, the age and condition of the properties you are renting, whether your properties are up to current building codes, whether you have burglar alarms, whether  the community that your property is located in is gated, whether the property has fire sprinklers installed in the units, the type and amount of coverage you are purchasing, whether the premises or complex has a swimming pool, and whether you allow people to smoke in the premises.  

One thing that is for certain, rates can vary widely from carrier to carrier so you are well advised to spend the time to compare rates for landlord insurance policies in your area. A good agent can explain the coverage options available to you and look for discounts that you may qualify for to make the coverages more affordable.  If you or a loved one has been injured on a rental property, please call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com today to discuss your injury. If you are a landlord and have questions about your policy, please feel free to call us for a free consultation with any questions you may have about coverages that may be available to you

Exclusions

This is perhaps the most important section that you should look at when you receive your Landlord policy, just like a Homeowner’s policy.  It is a good idea to discuss the exclusions with  your purchasing agent when buying your policy. All policies have different exclusions but many have standard exclusions.  You do not want to learn of the exclusions at the time you need to make a claim. For example, flood insurance is almost never covered in a standard landlord policy if the flood water comes from somewhere off of your property. If this is the case, and the property is in a flood region, you will need to look into flood insurance. In addition, most policies do not cover things like earthquakes, landslides, mold, wear and tear, bug infestations, wind or hurricane damage or construction needed to bring the property up to code.

 It is important that your review the exclusions in the policy you are leasing. If you live in an area of a country where the property may be prone to a landslide or an earthquake or a flood or any other damaging incident that is specifically excluded in the policy you will need to look into other coverage or determine if they provide that type of insurance for a different expense. 

If you were a loved one has any question about insurance or has been injured in any type of accident please call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com today. We are a boutique law firm providing experienced and personal representation to injured clients.  At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, TheOneLawyer.com we provide professional and personal service to each and every one of our clients on various legal matters and have over 15 years of experience in reviewing insurance policies and in Nevada insurance law.   If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury or paying your medical bills from an accident, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years.  Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers.  She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve.  Please call our office if you or a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence.  

At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities.  They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I have reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com, Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices.  TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032. 

What you Should know about Exclusions in your Home Owners Insurance Policy

It is important to know what is not covered in standard homeowners 

 insurance policy a when you are buying your home insurance . For example most 

don’t cover floods or earthquakes.  Check out this week’s blog to learn more.

TOP FIVE MOST COMMON THINGS NOT COVERED BY YOUR HOMEOWNERS POLICY

1. Flood Damage;                         

2. Earthquake Damage;

3. Luxury Items Lost; 

4.  Home Business Items; 

5. Aggressive Dog Breeds.

Buying a home is usually one of the biggest investments of most consumer’s lives. One of the first things people generally do before they finalize the sale is to obtain homeowners insurance on the property. Many people think that having homeowner’s insurance in and of itself will protect them in all circumstances. It’s often too late when homeowner’s find out that things they thought they were covered for they are not. It is extraordinarily important to protect your family and your life’s investment of your home by knowing the exclusions that are in the policy before you need to make any claims. There are common exclusions that are generally found in most standard homeowners policies. This is perhaps the most important section that you should look at when you receive your homeowner’s policy or ask the purchasing agent about when buying your policy. All policies have different exclusions but many have standard exclusions.  You do not want to learn of the exclusions at the time you need to make a claim. For example, flood insurance is almost never covered in a standard homeowners policy if the flood water comes from somewhere off of your property. If this is the case, and you live in a flood region, you will need to look into flood insurance. In addition, most policies do not cover things like earthquakes, landslides, mold, wear and tear, bug infestations, wind or hurricane damage or construction needed to bring your home up to code. It is important that your review the exclusions in the policy you are purchasing. If you live in an area of a country where your home may be prone to a landslide or an earthquake or a flood or any other damaging incident that is specifically excluded in the policy, you will need to look into other coverage or determine if they provide that type of insurance for a different expense.   The following is a list of the ten most common exclusions in your standard homeowner’s policy.

  1. Water Damage

Water damage sustained by your home is often not covered by your standard policy of homeowners insurance. This generally includes flood damage or damage related to sewer system issues.  This is likely the trickiest area in homeowners insurance. It is standard that floodwaters that come from an outside source such as a raging river, typhoon, or excess rain water that creeps into the house are not covered by standard homeowner’s policy. If you live in a flood prone area, near large bodies of water or just in a state where flooding is common, it is extremely important that you purchase flood insurance on your property. A standard homeowner’s policy generally does not cover flood damage for water that comes from an outside source. 

Sometimes damage to your home from water can be covered if it occurs from a “sudden and unexpected occurrence.” This is extremely important to note. This means that if you have a toilet overflow while you were out of the house that causes extreme damage or a burst pipe, that damage may be covered under your homeowner’s policy because it is “sudden and unexpected.” However, if you have water damage from a long time leaking pipe that is a maintenance issue that will not likely be covered under your homeowner’s policy. In addition, if you have water back up and sump discharge or overflow, coverage is usually available for these type of issues as an add on. Sump pumps are usually found in homes with basements and if you have a basement you may want to talk to your agent about getting coverage for damage that may be caused by a sump pump overflow.

  1. Earthquake

Many people are shocked to learn that most homeowner’s insurance policies usually exclude “earth movement“ for example earthquakes, sinkholes, and mudflows. While you’re basic homeowners insurance may not cover these type of damages, you can easily add that type of coverage. Earthquake and earth movement such as a sinkhole or landslide coverage is typically not even available as a separate policy but rather  it is generally an “add on“ to your current insurance coverage. Therefore, if you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes, you should add that coverage to your policy

  1. Intentional acts exclusion

This exclusion means that any damage that is intentionally caused by you or someone in your home is not covered under your homeowner’s policy. Meaning if you have a situation where you or resident causes extensive damage to the home, on purpose, it will not be covered under the policy.  In some policies this can also apply to damage that they deem could be “preventable. This can apply to a long-term maintenance issue that causes extensive damage that was not fixed by the homeowner. If you have a question on a homeowner’s claim that is not clear on its face, you would be well served to contact an attorney to discuss the claim prior to contacting your insurance company. It is important to remember that insurance companies are often trying to find a way not to pay for your claim. Therefore, if something unusual occurs that cause’s extensive damage to your home, call TheOneLawyer.com before you contact your insurance company to discuss your claim and your policy.

  1. City Or County Code Violations

If there comes a time when your property is deemed out of code and no longer up to the standard building code regulations in your area, you cannot make a claim on your homeowners policy to cover the cost of upgrading your property to meet the new building codes. However, you can obtain an endorsement that is generally called “rebuilding ordinance or law coverage endorsement” to your policy. In Nevada, this may not come up with any regularity but if you are purchasing a home that is extremely old you may want to discuss this type of coverage with your agent.

  1. High-value Items

Most homeowner’s policies have a limit that they will pay out for expensive items such as coin collections, jewelry, instruments etc. The list of high price tag items is endless and if you are in possession of specific items of any large value you must get a rider on your policy to cover those specific items. Sometimes, you may have seen the Antiques Roadshow that  the appraisers will always give the participants an “insurance value“ meaning that you need to insure specific high dollar items independently on your homeowner’s policy. When you go to purchase your homeowners policy you would be well served to bring a list of expensive items that you own to discuss with the agent and make sure your policy will cover those items. In addition, I would send a letter to my agent after your meeting listing the items that are being insured and advise that you have been told by your agent that your policy will cover said items. Finally, you also want to photograph those items and keep them somewhere off property in the event that your home is damaged , vandalized or robbed in the future to show proof of ownership.  Again,  it is important to note that insurance companies will not always  be on your side when they are negotiating your claim.

  1. Identity Theft

Most people know that this is not a covered item on a homeowner’s policy. However many main stream carriers are now offering this policy in conjunction with bundling other policies like auto and home. This is a very important coverage to have in this day and age. This can be more costly to your overall well-being then a fire in your home. Be sure to ask your agent or your company if they offer this type of policy.  At TheOneLawyer.com we highly recommend that you obtain this coverage independently if it is not available through your carrier

  1. Aggressive Dogs In Certain Breeds Of Dogs

It is becoming more and more common for homeowners insurance companies to specifically exclude certain breeds of dogs. This would affect you if your dog falls into one of those categories and bites someone. Having worked for insurance company for many years, I often saw certain breeds of dogs engaged in more aggressive behavior than other breeds. I am a diehard dog lover so I tend to love animals and want to protect them.   However, it is important that you protect your family in the event that your dog is spooked or for some reason becomes aggressive and bites a visitor. Even the sweetest dogs are capable inflicting harm if they become scared for some reason. If you own one of the breeds that are often excluded by certain carriers, you need to shop different carriers because not all companies exclude certain breeds of dogs.

If you obtain a pet after you buy your homeowner’s policy, be sure to call them and advise that you now have a pet. If you advised your company that you did not have a pet when you purchased the policy, but you later have a pet, you need to contact them and make sure that your pet is  covered on your policy.

  1. Pools and Trampolines. 

I do not believe this is a common exclusion but I have seen policies over the years that exclude pools and trampolines from coverage when accidents are subject to lawsuit. It is important to ask your agent if your policy has such an exclusion if you have a pool or trampoline. Again, this is not a common exclusion but I have seen it and if someone is injured in your pool or on a trampoline at your property and sues you, you want to be covered by your homeowner’s policy. Be sure to check for this exclusion before purchasing your coverage if this applies to you. 

This brings me to another valuable point,  and where this situation is most likely to arise.  If you add a pool to your property or trampoline after you purchase the property, you absolutely need to contact your homeowners company and advise them to add this to your policy.   If you purchased a policy and you wrote on the application that you had neither a pool nor a trampoline and an accident occurs arising from either one, you may be personally liable for the damages and your company may not cover you because this was not part of the policy you purchased. 

  1. Defamation Claims

This may seem kind of crazy at first but in 15 years of practicing law, I have seen much crazier. Let’s say your neighbor sues you for defamation of character because you said something while you were running for the board of directors and they believe that you defamed them in the process. Homeowners insurance does offer personal liability coverage when you are responsible for an injury to someone else arising out of the ownership of your home. It will depend greatly on how the policy is worded whether or not you would be covered for this type of event. I have seen it go both ways over the years and  I believe that most policies are written somewhat vaguely when it comes to personal liability. Therefore, this may be covered under some policies. 

  1. Business Claims

More and more people are working at home in the age of the internet and certainly in the age of COVID-19. If you are doing business from your home it is important to tell your agent and discuss business insurance with them. Most homeowner’s policies exclude home run businesses. Therefore, any of your equipment that you use, which could be extensive in some cases, would not be covered under a standard homeowner’s policy. Just because your business is from your home does not make it covered on the homeowner’s policy. If you are operating a business out of your home and you have extensive equipment or inventory, you really need to have a business policy. You can generally obtain one through your same company. It is my experience that they are not very expensive and are usually in the neighborhood of $400 to $800 per year depending on the level of equipment and inventory that you maintain.

These are the most common exclusions that are found in most homeowner’s policies and I hope reading this blog has reminded you to contact your agent or make an appointment and sit down and determine exactly what’s covered under your policy and determine if you need to put any riders on your policy.   Whether it be for a home business, additional pets, modifications to your home, or the purchase of high dollar items, you need to make sure you are covered. At TheOneLawyer.com we urge our clients to review their policies every few years to make sure they are covered. Please feel free to contact us for a free insurance review to discuss your coverages. 

If you were a loved one has any question about insurance or has been injured in any type of accident please call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com today. We are a boutique law firm providing experienced and personal representation to injured clients.  At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, TheOneLawyer.com we provide professional and personal service to each and every one of our clients on various legal matters and have over 15 years of experience in reviewing insurance policies and in Nevada insurance law.   If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury or paying your medical bills from an accident, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years.  Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers.  She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve.  Please call our office if you or a loved one is injured.  We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence.  

At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities.  They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I have reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com, Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices.  TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.