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The
Conference
Room
February, 2011

Light Rail 

Phoenix Light Rail

Jerry L. Bauer, freelance photographer

www.jbauerphotography.com

IN THIS ISSUE 

Welcome

Auto Insurance

Client Spotlight

Lawpact

 

AUTO INSURANCE

. Introduction

. UM Coverage

. The UM Process

. Conclusion

. Portability of Coverage

. UIM Coverage

 

 
car accident
Protect Yourself with Auto Insurance

Client Spotlight

 

Almost everyone has a need for extra storage space since attics and basements in Arizona are practically extinct.  Whether you're freeing up space in your home or business storage areas -or looking for storage facility investment opportunities- Arizona Mini Storage Management Company has the right storage system for you.  An Arizona based corporation, it specializes in the management, development and acquisition of self-storage facilities throughout the southwestern United States.


Founded in 1977 and operating under the trade name Storage Solutions, the company is headed by Bill Bohannan, President, and Ray McRae, Vice President.  Bill Bohannan was in the banking industry for years and studied the performance of the self storage facilities he financed.  He built his first project in the early 80's and found it to be one of the best real estate investments he could make.  Ray McRae got his start in the business in 1983 with U-Haul International and joined forces with Bill in 1998.  Today the company manages over two million square feet of self storage space in three states California, Nevada and Arizona.


Storage Solutions has 28 valley-wide locations to serve both household and business storage needs.  Their managers can guide you through the process, offering useful hints to ensure you get the most possible use of the self storage unit you choose.   Their website offers detailed information on storage tips, as well as how to calculate how much storage space you need.


Over the years, through growth and experience, Storage Solutions has expanded its initial scope of operations to include the following services:


 Development Services,
  Market Analysis and Feasibility

 Third Party Property Management

 Joint Venture Opportunities

 On Site Employee Training

 Due Diligence

 Management Reporting and Financial
  Statements

 Payroll Services

 Property Tax Evaluation

 Audit Controls and Procedures

 Consulting Services

 Mystery (Secret Shopper) Services

 Licensed Real Estate Brokerage

 
 

The Storage Solutions team is made up of highly motivated individuals who have over 100 years of combined experience in the self storage industry. The mission of Storage Solutions is to develop, own and manage state-of-the-art self-service storage facilities within Arizona and the other Southwestern states, to generate sustained profitability and long-term equity growth while operating by the highest standards of integrity and business ethics.  Storage Solutions is a member of the Self Storage Association and is committed to delivering superior value and service to its customers.  They understand the importance of results-oriented management.  They are focused on the bottom line, not just facility occupancy, and their goal is to

generate strong returns for owners and investors through maximizing income at each property.

 

   

So whether you need self storage information or information about their property management services, Storage Solutions management services can be tailored to your specific needs. 

 

For more information about Storage Solutions, please call 480-844-3900 or visit the company website at

www.storage-solutions.org 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Air Bldg
One of Storage Solution's many locations
LAWPACT  

Our firm became a member of LawPact over two years ago.  This is a good time to explain a bit about LawPact and why we feel it is a benefit for our firm and our clients.

 

LawPact is an international association of independent business law firms, currently with 53 member firms throughout the world. 

 
Membership has proven valuable for us because it (a) enables us to engage in discussions with firms of similar size on various issues we face and contend with n a daily basis, (b) provides a resource for checking on a legal issues in other jurisdictions, and (c) serves as a client referral source among member firms where appropriate.
 

For clients who have legal matters in other states or abroad, we are able to utilize our membership in LawPact to secure those services through member firms or though firms they may recommend.  Another example is we receive alerts from these member law firms from time to time.  A brief update on Practical Tips on Doing Business in China by Richard Healy of Oldham, Li &  Nie, with offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai, is summarized on our business blog: Phoenix-ScottsdaleBusinessLawBlog.com.

 

Please contact Mike Margrave if you have any questions at

mmargrave@mclawfirm.com

 

LawPact Logo

OUR PRIVACY POLICY 

We recognize the importance of our clients' trust, and keeping our clients' information confidential is a high priority.  We do not disclose any personal information about our clients.  Lawyers have been and continue to be bound by professional standards of confidentiality. 

 

We will never share, sell or rent individual personal information with anyone.  Information submitted to us is only available to employees managing this information for purposes of contacting you or sending you emails based on your request for information, and to contracted service providers relating to our communications with you. 
 
 

You may unsubscribe if you no longer wish to receive our newsletter.

 

   

Click here to read news, articles and newsletters in our library archive:

 

 News Items Library  Archive

DISCLAIMER 

This newsletter is for informational purposes only.  Legal advice is provided only through a formal attorney/client relationship. 

Margrave Celmins, P.C.
8171 E. Indian Bend Rd., #101
Scottsdale, Arizona 85250
480-994-2000

This month we feature an article about the uninsured and underinsured motorists sharing our roads and how you might protect yourself.

Check out Storage Solutions, our client highlighted in this issue.  They serve both household and business storage needs in a variety of locations in the Phoenix metropolitan area and beyond. 

You will notice on our website that blogs were launched recently that discuss estate planning, personal injury, business law, litigation and real estate issues.  New articles are posted every couple of weeks.  So visit often.  See the links below in "About Our Law Firm" to take you directly to our revised website, as well as any of our blogs.

If you want to be alerted to one of our new blogs in any specific area, please sign up on the Twitter link below, and you will receive a notification that you may link to if the subject interests you.

As always, if you see something a friend or business associate might find useful, please feel free to forward this newsletter to them.  And if you have any thoughts to share, please contact our editor Patty Copeland at pcopeland@mclawfirm.com.


Michael Margrave
Margrave Celmins, P.C.

UNINSURED AND UNDERINSURED MOTORIST COVERAGE
 

IntroductionINTRODUCTION 

You are stopped at a red light in afternoon rush hour traffic.  Without any warning, you are hit from behind by another motorist.  The other motorist profusely apologizes for causing the accidnet but tells you all about his financial problems that caused him to let his automobile liability insurance lapse.  Your neck and back symptoms slowly develop.

      

In a somewhat different scenario, you are rear-ended by a vehicle while you wait for the light to change to green. The offending vehicle immediately backs away from your vehicle, then passes you on the left to flee from the scene. Nobody gets a license plate number and the driver of that vehicle is never identified. You are physically injured in this hit-and-run accident.

 

When most of us purchase auto insurance, we do so with the aim of protecting ourselves financially against a situation where our driving errors may injure another motorist's property or person. Some of us may simply tell our insurance agents that we only want enough insurance to make our vehicle "street legal." In this economy, however, many of the drivers on the road are operating with no coverage at all or just the minimum legal coverage. Because of this, we should purchase insurance to protect ourselves and our passengers against these uninsured and underinsured motorists. This protection comes with the purchase of Uninsured Motorist Coverage ("UM") and Underinsured Motorist Coverage ("UIM") (A.R.S. Section 20-259.01).

  

UMUM COVERAGE

In each case, you know your vehicle will be repaired under your own collision coverage (less the applicable deductible), but from what source will you be compensated for your medical bills, wage loss, pain and suffering and other consequential damages from the accident?

  

The answer is from your Uninsured Motorist Coverage. Your own insurance carrier essentially steps into the shoes of the negligent driver's carrier as if he had been insured. In Arizona, UM is no longer a mandatory coverage. If you do not want this coverage, you have to affirmatively decline it in writing. If you elect to purchase it, you can obtain coverage limits of up to the amount of your liability coverage. Thus, if your liability coverage is $100,000 per person/$300,000 per occurrence, you may purchase UM coverage with limits ranging from the statutory minimum of $15,000/$30,000 up to $100,000/$300,000. If the insurance company fails to have you decline this coverage in writing, it is presumed that you intended to purchase it at the same limits as your liability coverage.

 

TheTHE UM PROCESS

You have now completed your medical treatment and your accident-related injuries have resolved. The first thing you must do is prove to your UM carrier that the negligent driver was uninsured. There are several ways to accomplish this although some carriers require their insureds to jump through more hoops than other carriers to establish this. Oftentimes, the investigating police officer will issue a citation to the other driver for not possessing proof of automobile insurance. Evidence of the traffic citation and the court disposition may satisfy your UM carrier. Also, an affidavit from the other driver attesting to the fact that he was uninsured on the date of the accident usually works as well.

 

In the case of a hit-and-run accident, you obviously cannot get an affidavit from a phantom motorist nor will there be any citations issued. The law, therefore, presumes that a phantom motorist is uninsured. You still have to prove that you were hit by a vehicle that fled the scene and must establish this with corroborating evidence such as a paint transfer on your car from the fleeing vehicle or an independent eyewitness account of the crash.This is to protect the insurance company from paying claims where a motorist simply backs into a brick wall and reports being rear-ended by a fleeing motorist.

 

In a liability claim with an insured motorist, the matter proceeds to litigation through the court process if settlement negotiations reach an impasse. In a UM case, the most likely process is that of a three-member panel of private arbitrators. The claimant's attorney selects an arbitrator and the insurance company picks one as well. Usually, these two arbitrators will select a neutral third arbitrator who is sometimes referred to as the umpire. The arbitration is usually held in a law firm's conference room where the arbitrators listen to and rule on the evidence. Their decision may or may not be binding on the parties, depending upon the language of the insurance contract.

 

More recently, however, many insurance companies have changed the language of their contracts where the decision is not binding, giving either party the right to appeal the decision by filing a lawsuit in Superior Court. This de novo appeal means that the case is completely tried from scratch without any regard to the earlier decision made by the arbitration panel.

 

PortabilityPORTABILITY OF COVERAGE

The protection offered to one with UM coverage is portable. It not only affords coverage to you while you are in your own car but also when in a non-owned car, while riding a bike or walking as a pedestrian, so long as your physical injury is caused by an uninsured motorist. As an extreme example of UM's portability, if you are sitting in your home watching television and an uninsured motorist crashes through your house and injures you, your UM coverage protects you.

 

UIMUIM COVERAGE 

Underinsured Motorist Coverage ("UIM") comes into play when the negligent driver's liability coverage is insufficient to fully compensate an injured party for his damages. Thus, after you exhaust the negligent driver's liability policy and prove to your UIM carrier that you have exhausted this coverage (and any other coverage the negligent driver may have under other policies), you then may move on to your own coverage to obtain the rest of your damages. Your UIM carrier will get a credit to the extent of the payment made to you by the negligent driver's liability coverage. As an example, assume your injury claim has a full value of $35,000.00 and you collect the policy limits from the negligent driver's carrier of $15,000.00. You then have an opportunity to collect the remaining $20,000.00 from your UIM coverage. As with UM, any dispute with your carrier will ultimately be decided by a panel of arbitrators or by the court.

    

ConclusionCONCLUSION

In summary, you must not only protect yourself financially from your own negligence but you must also protect yourself from the negligence of others. UM and UIM insurance, together with liability insurance, are essential to insuring that accidents with injuries caused by you or another do not financially devastate you.

 

  Richard K. DePonte   rdeponte@mclawfirm.com

 

  

About Our Law Firm 

Margrave Celmins is a member of LawPact, which is an association of independent, business-oriented law firms in the U.S. and overseas.  Currently there are 52 member firms.  This is a terrific resource for clients who have legal matters in other states and abroad.  There are 30 states and 22 countries represented by member firms throughout Europe and in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and India.

 

Margrave Celmins, P.C.

8171 E. Indian Bend Rd., #101

Scottsdale, Arizona   85250

480-9944-2000

 
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