CARPET                                                                                                                                              Sunday, February 14, 2010   capital news C5

  ▼ LAW

  Don’t be taken advntage of in the rst few days after a crash
       s an insurance                                         lieve what they’re told,   agree that the prediction may not turn      months results in a smaller amount        parent.
       company repre-                        ACHIEVING        that $1 to $6,500 is       out to be reality.                          of loss compared to a one that never          In my view, the very act of mak-
       sentative lying or                      JUSTICE        the range of available          So why wait?                           heals, leaving the injured person with    ing a settlement offer that soon after a
  just being misleading?                                      compensation.                   If fair compensation maxes out at      neck pain and headaches that never        crash is a clear attempt to take advan-
       Car crash victims                                           Faced with that       $6,500, what difference does it make        go away.                                  tage of the general population’s ignor-
  are regularly told insur-                                   range, an offer of         if the pain takes a little longer to go          Both injuries have the “soft tis-    ance about their rights.
  ance companies pay-                                         $5,000 looks fair and      away?                                       sue” label. Fair compensation for the         Confronted with a “building trust
  compensation ranging                              Paul reasonable.                          Aside from misleading people           one injury may well be $5,000. Fair       and driving con dence” image, and a
  from $1 to $6,500 for                                            It doesn’t
                                              Hergott sense to hire amake                about the range of compensation, an-        compensation for another may be           misleading compensation range, the
  injuries that they dis-                                                     lawyer,    other tactic that can result in gross un-   over $1 million, depending on how         general public is an easy mark.
  missively refer to as                                       at a cost of one-third     fairness is encouraging early settle-       that neck pain and those headaches            Don’t allow yourself or someone
  “soft tissue” injuries.                    of the claim in legal fees, in the hopes    ments.                                      impact on the ability to earn income.     you know to be that easy mark.
       I suppose if you count only those     of squeezing the extra $1,500 out of             The truth is, the range of compen-          An insurance adjuster will regu-
  who negotiate directly with an insur-      an insurance company.                       sation does not max out at $6,500. It       larly make a settlement offer within a
  ance adjuster, and not those who are            It also doesn’t make sense to wait     doesn’t even max out at $65,000 or          week of a crash and in some cases as
  assisted by an experienced person-         out the very optimistic prediction that     $100,000 for that matter.                   early as a couple days after a crash.         This column is intended to pro-
  al injury lawyer, that statement may       is made by the medical system, that              The truth is that fair compensa-            At that point, there is no way of    vide general information about injury
  be true.                                   the sore neck and headaches will re-        tion is not measured by injury labels,      knowing how long the symptoms             claims. It is not a substitute for retain-
       But in my view, failing to add that   solve themselves within a very short        like “soft tissue”. Rather, it is meas-     will last and, as such, there is no way   ing a lawyer to provide legal advice
  clari cation is appallingly dishonest.     period of time.                             ured by the amount of loss suffered as      of knowing what compensation will         speci cally pertaining to your case.
       Faced with a public logos such             Yes, the prediction is often an ac-    a result of the injury.                     be fair.                                  Paul Hergott is a lawyer at Hergott
  as “building trust, driving con -          curate one, and it helps to have a posi-         A “soft tissue” injury that heals           In fact, at day two, there may be    Law in West Kelowna.
  dence,” uninformed crash victims be-       tive outlook, but every doctor will         completely within two to three              injuries that have not yet become ap-         

  ▼ CORD

  Construction slowdown re ected in numbers
                                                                                                                                                                                        Now you can use the
                                                                                                                                                                                        Internet to add your own
                                                                                                                                                                                        events to the Capital
                                 al District show that con-     524 in 2008.                   greater slowdown, where             Across the region,                                   News Calendar.
       Statistics con rm talk    struction got underway on          The value of all con-      housing starts totaled 887      2,674 building permits                                   Simply go to
  that the sputtering econ-      234 houses in the District     struction in West Kelow-       in 2009 compared to 2,024       with a construction value
  omy caused building ac-        of West Kelowna in 2009        na was $51.4 million last      in 2008, in Kelowna, West       of $636.8 million were                         ,
  tivity to slow in West Ke-     compared to 275 in 2008.       year compared to $91.5         Kelowna, Lake Country,          issued in 2009 compared                                  look for the calendar, log
  lowna last year.                   In 2009, 410 building      million in 2008.               Peachland and the Central       to 3,179 with a construc-
       Figures from the Cen-     permits were issued in the         Central Okanagan-          Okanagan rural electoral        tion value of $710 million                               on and click Add Event.
  tral Okanagan Region-          municipality compared to       wide stats show an even        areas combined.                 the year before.

  Dire prediction for town centre                                                                                                                                                 Specials
                                                                                                                                                                                        10% OFF All Bread
  B                 C4           $50 ne to get them back             The      municipality     ments to his building and
                                 after West Kelowna bylaw       could also offer a big-        considering the munici-
                                                                                                                                                                                     Soup & ½ Sandwich $4.99
  could do more to make it       of cers removed them.          ger break on commercial        pality has made no signi -
  attractive for him to stick         Since the signs were      taxes, he added.               cant service upgrades or                                                                   WEDNESDAY
  around.                        forced off the highway              This year’s proposed      municipal beauti cation                                                                 Coffee & Pastry $2.75
       The rst would be          business is down 20 per        3.75 per cent tax increase     in the area.
                                                                                                                                     MAT T
  for West Kelowna to ease       cent, Kovacs stated.           is a double whammy to               He said he would be
                                                                                                                                                                                      Cinnamon Buns 6/$5.99
  up on sign bylaws, which            “The sign was a re-       his business, Kovacs men-      appealing his assessment.
  Kovacs said prevent him        minder to get people in        tioned. That’s because his          Stabb and Schmidt                                                                        FRIDAY
                                 the store (because) we’re      property assessment on         also agreed that the mu-                         T    R                                   Bundt Cakes $4.99
  from posting a sign just
  over one block from his        a block and a half off the     his building on Hoskins        nicipality needed to care-
  business to draw people in     highway. We’re already         Road already increased         fully consider the impact             European Baking                            3640 Gosset Road, Westbank
  from Highway 97.
       By contrast, Stabb
                                 seeing a severe business
                                 drain. Let us be success-
                                                                17 per cent, or $88,000,
                                                                up to $503,600. It’s an in-
                                                                                               tax hikes have on down-
                                                                                               town businesses, consid-                   at it’s Finest!                        250-768-3302
  and Schmidt have busi-         ful. Let us do our own         crease he is puzzled by        ering the fragile economy
  nesses on Highway 97.          marketing. We’re not hurt-     given the exit of business-    and increasing competi-
       Kovacs said he spent      ing anybody, we’re only        es from downtown West-         tion from stores on band                         Use the Capital News new online job search:
  $300 on directional signs      trying to provide service      bank, the fact he hasn’t       land.
  and then he had to pay a       to the public.”                done any recent improve-

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