When It Comes To Buying Car Insurance, Shop Local, Says NY and PA Personal Injury Lawyer

Police Captain Speaks on Elmira Shooting- Neighbor Reaction_14723095_ver1.0_640_360

This column was originally published in The Odessa File.

It’s not easy to convince people to invest more money in their car insurance.

I often meet people, and represent clients, who are underinsured, and when I advise them to budget more money for car insurance, I am sure that some wonder, “Why does he want the insurance companies to make more money?”

I represent injured people; I’m not a salesman for insurance companies. I don’t want you to give an extra penny to the insurance companies that you don’t have to, but the reality is, most people are underinsured — and being underinsured can be financially devastating. You need to have enough insurance to adequately protect yourself and your family.

But how do you decide what is enough insurance coverage? That’s the tough question, and the answer depends upon your unique circumstances: your income, your assets, the number of dependents, your health insurance coverage, and so on.

R1-1_MOD__34542.1522940971Because there are so many factors at play, my best advice is to consult an experienced, LOCAL insurance agent. Do NOT buy your insurance online or on the phone. Take the time to sit down face-to-face with an agent who can ask you the relevant questions and who can answer your questions. There are many excellent insurance agents in our area, so ask around and see who your friends and neighbors recommend. You are looking for an agent who will take the time to get to know you and your needs.

I know that the last thing anyone wants to do is spend a lot of time shopping for insurance, and it’s very tempting to just buy the cheapest insurance you can find online but the reality is that, no matter what, you are going to be spending a lot of money insuring your vehicle and home, so it’s important that you spend your money wisely to make sure you get the coverage you need. Take the time to do this important job of buying insurance correctly.

And as an absolute baseline for all New Yorkers, I recommend that you have at least $250,000 in Liability and Supplemental Underinsured Motorist (SUM) coverage. When a single helicopter flight to the hospital can cost $38,000 (I kid you not!) and a single day in the ICU more than $20,000, anything less in coverage is simply not enough.

Although I appreciate that my $250,000 recommendation is more than the $25,000 New York minimum, I would point out that this minimum coverage has not been increased in over 30 years while medical costs have skyrocketed. I think it’s ridiculous and financially foolhardy that state legislators in Albany have not increased the minimum limits, but regardless, you have the power to do the smart thing by buying enough coverage to protect you and your family. Better safe than sorry.

So get out your current policy and review your SUM and Liability limits. If you have a question about your car insurance policy, email me at [email protected] I will provide a free evaluation.

Be well and drive safely,

Jim

James Reed
Managing Partner
Best Lawyers’ “2015 & 2017 Lawyer of the Year”
NY & PA Injury & Malpractice Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
            NYBikeAccidentBlog.com

Jim Reed Named Among Best Lawyers in U.S. for Sixth Year In A Row

Jim Reed is managing partner of the Ziff Law Firm.

Jim Reed is Managing Partner of the Ziff Law Firm.

Jim Reed, Managing Partner of the Ziff Law Firm in Elmira, has been selected by his peers as a “Best Lawyer in America” in a national directory of top-rated attorneys for the sixth year in a row.

Jim, selected as a Best Lawyer in Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice law, was named to the 2017 Best Lawyers in America guide following a survey of lawyers in his geographical region and areas of practice. Reed was first selected for the 2012 guide.

In September 2014, Jim was named the 2015 Plaintiffs’ Lawyer of the Year by the Best Lawyers in America guide among personal injury lawyers in the Southern New York Region, based on the recommendations of lawyers in Chemung, Steuben, Tompkins, Broome and Tioga, N.Y., counties.

JIm, who has been practicing law since 1986, has argued cases at every level in the New York State court system and has successfully handled many multi-million dollar cases. His practice handles serious personal injury, bicycle accident and medical malpractice cases in NY and PA.

Jim’s leadership, experience and hard work have helped to made this the best year ever at the Ziff Law Firm, with multi-million dollar recoveries on behalf of our injured clients.

His selection as a Best Lawyer shows that he has an excellent reputation in the Twin Tiers legal community, and a trial lawyer’s reputation means everything.

Every client should care about the reputation of their lawyer because it can influence the success or failure of their case. If you have a good reputation, as Jim does, opposing counsel and judges afford you courtesy and respect. They know that every case handled by a lawyer of Jim’s stature is a good case.

Jim is also the legal expert for WETM-TV in Elmira and appears in a segment called “Law Talk” at about 12:20 p.m. each Wednesday during WETM’s noon newscast to discuss legal issues in the news.

Thank you for reading,

Adam
__________________________________________

Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Malpractice Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY  14901
Phone: (607)733-8866
Fax: (607)732-6062
Email: [email protected]

 

 


Corning Community College Student Killed In Three-Vehicle Crash Near Spencer Hill Campus

CCC Sign2An 18-year-old Painted Post man, a student at Corning Community College, was killed Monday morning in a three-car accident on Spencer Hill Road, the winding, at-times treacherous two-lane road that connects the college with the city of Corning.

According to news reports:

Police said Justin A. Lewis was driving away from the campus at about 11:50 a.m. when he lost control of his vehicle and struck two other cars on a long curve near the main entrance.

corning_community_college_employer_logo_fullLewis was pronounced dead at the scene by the Steuben County Coroner. The two other drivers, including another CCC student, were hospitalized following the crash. The injuries were not considered life-threatening by police.

Police said excessive speed may have been a factor in the accident. Lewis’ vehicle crossed the center line, struck the two other vehicles and a cement rock wall.

Traffic was rerouted for the rest of the day off Spencer Hill Road as police reconstructed the accident.

The college issued a statement after the tragedy: “Our thoughts and heartfelt prayers go out to those involved in this accident, and to those family members and friends of the student who lost his life in this tragedy.”

Vincent Spagnoletti, commissioner for the Steuben County Department of Public Works, said major safety improvements were made during the summer of 2009 to Spencer Hill Road, also known as County Route 40. The road experiences heavy student traffic and has been the site of many accidents over the years.

The section of road where Monday’s accident happened was widened, trees were taken down on the inside of the curve so drivers had better visibility and rumble strips were added along the road to warn drivers who swung wide on the curves into the oncoming lane, Spagnoletti said.

Our thoughts and prayers at the Ziff Law Firm also go out to Justin’s family and friends.

Spencer Hill Road is one of the most treacherous and well-traveled roads in the Twin Tiers because of the number of young drivers on the road most days. If you or someone you care about is a student at CCC, let this accident be a sad reminder of the dangers posed on that road every day.

The campus attracts students from all over the Twin Tiers, from Bath and Hornell east to Waverly, Sayre and Towanda. It also draws students from Schuyler County, including Watkins Glen, from Elmira, Horseheads and Big Flats in the Southern Tier, and into Wellsboro and Mansfield and other points south of the Pennsylvania border in the Northern Tier.

Today, if you’re one of the Twin Tiers residents driving on Spencer Hill Road, remember Justin and respect one of our most dangerous roads.

Read news stories about the accident and see photos and videos of the scene here and here and here and here.

Thanks for reading!

Adam

__________________________________________

Adam M. Gee, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Malpractice Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY  14901
Phone: (607)733-8866
Fax: (607)732-6062
Email: [email protected]


States Wisely Setting Tougher Limits On Teen Drivers, Says NY and PA Accident Lawyer

New curfews and practice requirements are among the changes facing teenage drivers in many states.

A recent New York Times article pointed out that more and more states are putting tough new limits on teenage drivers. The states are trying to cut down of the opportunities for teenagers to pile a bunch of their friends in a car and go for a ride that could end tragically.

Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers. Two-thirds of those deaths are in a car driven by another teenager, the Times reports.

Pennsylvania and New York State have been among the states setting tough limits on teen drivers, limiting teenage passengers and setting strict curfews for the young drivers. In Pennsylvania, there is a limit of one teenage passenger per teen driver and the state has the toughest requirement for practice driving in the nation, 65 hours, according to the Times. In New York, teenagers have to have 50 hours of supervised driving before they can take their road test, and 16-year-olds must wait a minimum of six months after they get their permit to take the road test. They can only have one non-family member under 21 as a passenger.

As the father of three kids (two in their twenties and a 17-year-old) and a lawyer who has handled countless car crash lawsuits, I am nervous every time one of my kids drives down the driveway. I know all too well the dangers of teen driving. To my kids, I have always preached safe driving and insisted on safe cars with airbags and good tires. 

One important thing I have learned from accident reconstruction experts in my cases is that one of the greatest factors influencing fatal teen crashes is the number of kids in the car. More kids in the car GREATLY enhances the likelihood of a fatal car crash. This makes sense — teens are pack animals and pack mentality encourages idiotic, risk-taking behavior. We all know the power of peer pressure, and peer pressure in a car is a recipe for disaster.

So, as a Dad and as a lawyer representing car crash victims, I am 100 percent in support of laws that limit the number of passengers accompanying teen drivers.

I hope all parents of teenagers in Elmira, Corning and the Twin Tiers are preaching safety to their young drivers! Parents, what are you doing to make your young driver safer? Please share your ideas in the comments section below.

Thanks, Jim

_________________________________
James B. Reed
NY & PA Injury & Malpractice Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: NYInjuryLawBlog.com and
            NYBikeAccidentBlog.com