[VIDEO]: Let’s Talk About Liens with Fred Millard

Portland based Attorney Fred Millard has been practicing insurance, Construction and Business Law for over a decade. His unique background includes 17 years as the owner/operator of a successful Construction Company, as well as the owner/operator of an Insurance Adjusting Company.

Transcript

Let’s talk about liens. A construction lien is somebody’s right, whether it’s a material supplier whether it’s a contractor subcontractor – it could be somebody you never even met, you didn’t even know existed. But entity or person provided materials labor to your construction jobs. Even though you didn’t hire them as the owner, they may have been hired by a subcontractor, they may have been hired by a general contractor. You could and up being liened because that entity was not paid by whoever was supposed to pay them and even know you paid fully for the project you could end up paying again.

If you’re thinking about doing a construction project; whether it’s remodeling, whether it’s a new construction project, whether it’s an addition, whatever it is there are issues you need to consider before you sign on the dotted line. Many times issues that you should be considering before you enter a contract will raise their ugly head once construction is underway or even after construction is completed and if you don’t consider them be four you signed the contract before the construction project gets underway they could raise a very ugly head later on. So it would behoove you to see an attorney, come talk with me so we can discuss these issues before you sign a contract and make sure that you’re protected for later on. 

Millard & Bragg Attorneys at Law P.C. practicing law in both Oregon and Washington 503-352-1991.

[VIDEO]: Fred Millard – Portland Insurance, Construction and Business Attorney Licensed in Oregon and Washington

Fred Millard has been practicing insurance, Construction and Business Law for over a decade. His unique background includes 17 years as the owner/operator of a successful Construction Company, as well as the owner/operator of an Insurance Adjusting Company. This diverse professional background has enabled Attorney Fred Millard to help his clients reach successful resolutions for their Insurance and Construction claims and cases, as well as various business transactions, and has provided our firm with the ability to specialize in First Party Insurance Claims and various facets of Construction Litigation.   

Transcript

You know let me tell you how I became I lawyer. I started out as a building contractor
an insurance adjuster I did that for almost 20 years. I learned but culture.  Every industry has
a culture whether its computers, whether it’s auto body repair whether it’s legal profession, the medical profession, the construction industry, insurance claims handling.  Everyone has a unique culture. So before I went to law school I spent twenty years, almost, in the insurance and construction cultures. 
 
I learned my areas of practice from the inside out.  Oftentimes I can tell what an insurance company is going to do before they even do it. I can walk onto a construction site and, given a little bit of time,  I can tell you what the problems are with the construction project why it’s halted – because of financing or lack of financing,
whether contractors are not getting paid, whether the the the design professionals are not getting paid. I have an innate sense to tell you this because I spent so many years doing it.
 

Millard & Bragg Attorneys at Law P.C. practicing law in both Oregon and Washington 503-352-1991.

Five-story building collapses in massive fire at Portland construction site

The call for the five-alarm fire was placed at 4:14 a.m., and the fire spread to some neighboring homes. By the time the first crews arrived, the entire building was up in flames and it quickly collapsed.

Five alarms is the largest possible response by the Portland Fire Bureau.

No injuries were reported, and the entire block was evacuated.

Read more about this story here:

http://www.katu.com/news/local/Building-collapses-in-five-alarm-Portland-fire-218828041.html

Natural Disaster Preparedness in the Pacific Northwest

In the Pacific Northwest, natural geologic catastrophes may be placed into five categories: floods, fires, landslides, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. All five of these catastrophes have occurred in Oregon within the past century. Quite often the effect of two or more events occurring simultaneously greatly accentuates the destructiveness of the episode. Floods are more often than not, accompanied by landslides, mudflows are a significant part of volcanic activity, and a major quake following a flood results in a multitude of landslides. Earthquakes in coastal areas commonly precede tsunamis.

With all of the different natural occurrences that have happened in the last 15 years, you want to make sure that you are prepared in case of a natural disaster. A good first step is to research local groups such as CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) that can help you to be better prepared for a disaster.

What is CERT?

Never heard of CERT? Here is a basic explanation taken from their website “The CERT Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.”

Every few months they are doing practice distribution of food and other drills that can get you comfortable with what to expect if you are going to be hit with a disaster. You can either participate as a CERT volunteer or as a volunteer “victim”. Which if you are a victim, you not only assist the CERT participants in practicing for a real disaster, but you also have the opportunity to see what it would be like if something serious occurred so that you are ready.

Do you want to make sure you have everything you might need in a disaster? Click here for more details. 

Millard & Bragg Attorneys at Law P.C. practicing law in both Oregon and Washington

 

 

 

 

KOIN News: Oregon Insurers: Fraud Exempt or Accountable?

This is KOIN I-Team Investigation’s special report on UTPA/insurance exemption – highlighting Oregon consumers harmed by insurance misconduct. Attorney Fred Millard and a client from our firm went down to Salem to testify before the house committee earlier this year.

We support HB 3160-A because insurance companies should be accountable to reasonable standards of conduct like every other business in Oregon.

Unlawful Trade Act for Insurers Heads to House Floor

Key Republican Rep. Dennis Richardson backs the bill sponsored by Democratic Rep. Paul Holvey, saying current law does not do enough to protect consumers

By:  Christopher David Gray

March 27, 2013 — A measure that would remove the insurance industry’s special exemption from the Unlawful Trade Practices Act cleared the House Consumer Protection and Government Efficiency Committee with a 6-3 vote on Tuesday and heads to the House floor.

Rep. Dennis Richardson, R-Central Point, told The Lund Report that as an attorney he has seen average consumers unable to challenge inappropriate and unethical conduct on the part of insurers, particularly in the last 15 years.

Read the rest here>>

What You Need to Know About Your Homeowners Insurance Policy

When you purchase a home it is standard procedure, and in some cases required by lenders that you take out a homeowner’s insurance policy to protect your home, its contents, and your assets should you experience a loss in the event of a fire, flood, theft, accident or natural disaster. 

Standard policies will protect against fires and accidents, but when it comes to floods, earthquakes and other natural disasters you may need more than the basic coverage offered and typically it will require an additional policy. You may also need to take out additional policies should you have any high-ticket items, collectables, or heirlooms you would like to protect for their full replacement value. There is a limit to how much you will be compensated for and each insurance company has their own way of calculating a replacement value. Some provide an actual cash value, while others provide a replacement cost. It is important you understand what you will receive should you suffer a loss in detail before signing the dotted line.

How much Homeowners Insurance coverage do you need?

Deciding how much coverage to take out should not be a shot in the dark. How much money would you need today to rebuild, furnish and supply your home if it was destroyed? Get appraisals, estimates, put a price tag on everything, and calculate it. You will probably need more than you have or are asking for.  Be sure to re-visit your policy yearly and adjust it as things change.

When do I file a claim?

If there is an accident, theft or major loss you want to file a claim immediately. If there is minor damage and is something you can fix yourself or hire someone to fix for less than your monthly mortgage payment, you probably will not want to file a claim. The insurance premiums go up the more often you file a claim. 

Questions about homeowner’s insurance claims? Please contact us.

Millard & Bragg Attorneys at Law P.C. practicing law in both Oregon and Washington.

 

 

 

     

Shields and Holvey Want Unlawful Trade Act to Cover Insurers

The powerful insurance industry is currently the only business in Oregon exempt from the act. Proposed legislation would remove that exemption and allow the Attorney General and injured parties to sue for fraud.

By: Christopher David Gray

March 18, 2013 — Sen. Chip Shields, D-Portland and Rep. Paul Holvey, D-Eugene, rolled out legislation last week that would open up the insurance industry to torts under the state’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act and allow the attorney general to sue insurers for fraud.

“Insurance is the only business that is exempt from this law,” Shields said. “It’s time for the Legislature to end the exemption that the insurance industry enjoys at the expense of all other businesses.”

Shields said the special exemption allows insurance companies to act with impunity and reduces their incentive to pay out claims as warranted. If they commit fraud, they cannot be sued by the attorney general under any tort or statute.

The Portland consumer advocacy group Economic Fairness Oregon is also behind the legislation, which executive director Angela Martin said is designed not to increase lawsuits but encourage insurers to settle honest claims more expeditiously and fairly so consumers can avoid the courts.

Read the rest here >>

 

Settling a Fire Damage and Property Loss Insurance Claim

Why You Need An Attorney to Help You Navigate

There are many times in your life where you may think to yourself, Do I need an Attorney? The answer should always be, maybe.

Going through the circumstances of the case, what it is you are trying to accomplish and what is at stake with an attorney is the only way you can really know for sure.

If you suffer a fire loss, or any loss, you should always consult an attorney. If you don’t, you could walk away with hundreds or thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of dollars less than what you are entitled to receive.

Insurance companies are in business to sell you insurance policies (fire, disaster, home, life, medical) to collect a premium, in hopes you will never use it. They are in the business of making money, not giving it away. If they collect more in premiums then they have to pay out, they are profitable. They may make you an offer, but it is more likely they will not make you their best offer.

During a loss, when someone has suffered such an unmeasurable tragedy such as losing their house or business to a fire, they are overwhelmed with emotion and may not properly handle their insurance claim. Dealing with insurance companies, adjusters, inspectors, repairmen, and others involved can be taxing, but are all an important part of the claims process. During this process questions will arise, some you can answer, some you cannot, and some can make or break your claim.

So, what do you do?

You must not go through your claims process alone. Someone should be there to guide you, representing your best interests. If you do not have a fire claims attorney represent you, it could be a decision that costs you time, money, and heartache down the road. It is worth the time to talk to us and see if we can help.

Attorneys Fred Millard & Doug Bragg Licensed in Oregon and Washington

A Policyholder’s Obligations

A Policyholder’s Obligations

What you need to know after suffering a loss

Often times, we are asked what obligations an insurance company has to its policyholders. What people seldom ask and should know, is what obligations they have as policyholders, to insure their claim is not denied.

When dealing with insurance claims, it is important to cooperate with the claims process and investigation. There should be constant communication between the insurer and policyholder. For the same reasons that it is important you be informed of the status of your claim, it is equally important to share the information necessary for the insurer to make an educated decision of whether a loss exists and what is covered in that loss event. The insurer needs information regarding the circumstances of the loss, what property was damaged, and if there were any injuries, in order to come up with a settlement offer. 

To speed up the process, there are a number of post-loss responsibilities you should know about:

  • Give prompt notice to your insurer. 
  • Notify the police in cases of loss by theft or suspected arson.
  • Protect the property from further damage. If repairs to the property are required you must, make reasonable and necessary repairs to the property and keep an accurate record of repair expenses with receipts. 
  • Cooperate with any investigation of the claim by the insurer or local law enforcement. 
  • Prepare an inventory of damaged personal property and goods showing quantity, description, and current cash value. Include any receipts, records, photographs, videos, or other related documents (if they were not destroyed in the loss) to justify your findings. 
  • Obtain a lawyer if you feel the settlement offered is unfair, or you need assistance with your claim.

Knowing what to expect, and how to deal with a loss during the claims process is valuable information. It is very important you comply with these obligations. Any failure to comply can result in a delay in settlement or a denial of your claim.

If you need assistance with a claim in Oregon or Washington please give us a call at 503.352.1991.