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Richardson Legal Blog

5 things you can do to protect yourself from summer accidents

Did you know that this month is recognized as National Safety Month in the U.S.? The National Safety Council announced this yearly reminder as we head into summer, which is when the highest number of certain accidents occur.

While the official recognition of safety efforts may only last one month, we urge all readers to be especially mindful of certain behaviors all summer long. Below are five easy ways to prioritize safety for yourself, your family and your community this season.

3 steps to take after your hailstorm damage claim is denied

If a hailstorm has severely damaged your home, you expect your insurance to compensate you. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. If you have a denied insurance claim, you are likely frustrated, confused and, frankly, angry. These are all normal emotions to feel, but do not give up hope.

Resist the urge to curse out your insurance agent. Keep reading for some simple steps you can take to get your insurer to pay up for your storm damage.

Tenant, grocer clash over closing of store

Commercial leases are in place to provide critical guidance to landlords and tenants. These agreements should be clear and enforceable, as any inconsistencies, vague terms or missing information can spark disputes later on.

For instance, Texas-based grocer Whole Foods is involved in a dispute regarding one of its stores in another state. The store and the landlord are battling over the closing of the store, which became necessary after owners learned that it was infested with pests, including rodents and insects.

Can my insurance company cancel my policy?

The short answer to the question posed in the headline is yes. Insurance companies can and do cancel policies for a number of reasons we examine below. 

Understand, though, that there are laws in place that specify when a policy can be cancelled and what insurance companies must do in order to properly cancel the policy. Any violations of these laws, including improper cancellation, can be grounds for a bad faith claim.

What’s the difference between negligence and recklessness?

If you get hurt in an accident, there is a very real chance that it was no accident at all. In fact, many so-called accidents can and should be prevented. Unfortunately, they happen when people make bad decisions that put others in danger, even if the wrongdoers don’t intend to hurt anyone.

Negligence or recklessness are two common levels of fault, and in either case, you could take legal action to collect compensation from the liable party. However, it can be helpful to know that there is a difference between negligence and recklessness, which we examine below.

Preparing for storm season in Texas

Spring is the time for homeowners to tackle some spring cleaning projects they may have been putting off during the winter. This is a particularly good time of year to do these chores, as it is also storm season.

Spring storms not only threaten the safety of people, they can also be incredibly damaging to our homes. With all this in mind, we urge readers across Texas to take some time in the coming weeks to prepare yourselves and your property for storm season. You can this in a few different ways.

Unsafe conditions spark security deposit dispute

There is a saying that you get what you pay for, and this is certainly true in the world of renting real estate. If you are paying tens of thousands of dollars to rent a luxury property, you expect that you will get a property that warrants that type of financial contribution.

Unfortunately, this doesn't always happen. For instance, an adult film company recently rented a mansion on the beach from NBA star Chris Bosh and his wife. The company evidently paid $138,000 in one month's rent and a security deposit to use the 10,755-square-foot property. What they got, however, was not what they paid for according to a recent lawsuit.

The eviction process in Texas

Large or small, luxurious or modest, your home should be a place where you feel safe and comfortable. It is where your family is, where your pets live and where you keep your most valuable possessions.

Considering all that people have under their roofs, it makes sense that they typically go to great lengths to ensure their home is protected. Threats of eviction can put all of this into jeopardy, so it is crucial that Texas renters understand the basics of the eviction process. Below are some important clarifications.

What are the elements of a negligence claim?

When people talk about car crashes and lawsuits seeking damages, the word "negligence" will almost inevitably come up. This is because most claims filed in the aftermath of a motor vehicle accident are against a driver or other party accused of being negligent.

From the context, you likely understand that negligence has something to do with dangerous behaviors. However, if you are going to file a lawsuit, specificity is crucial. With this in mind, readers should understand some of the finer points of negligence and how they relate to a legal claim. 

Tenants: Learn these signs of a problematic contract

Landlord-tenant agreements should always be in writing. That said, just because there is a contract does not mean that the contract is wrinkle-free.

Landlords sometimes are inexperienced. Sometimes they do not realize when a contract runs afoul of what is permissible. Other times, they outright are trying to exploit tenants, even if doing so may be legal. If you are renting a house or apartment, here are a few red flags to look out for in your contract.

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