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How can the law permit fraud? Insurance companies get to hide.

Fraud is illegal and always should be.

Here’s the problem.

Insurance companies are powerful.They have a lot of influence over law makers.

So guess what?

When an injury victim gets screwed over by an insurance company, the only remedy is to file suit.

And, under the law, you can’t sue the insurance company. The lawyer must sue the person – even though hiding (and lurking) in the background is an insurance company.

Worse yet, the lawyer can’t tell the jury the defendant has insurance!!

Can’t say anything about it—even though the jurors must be wondering.

This law was put into place by the power people, big insurance companies to mislead jurors into thinking if they award a big verdict the defendant will have to pay.

False!

Deceptive!!

Wrong!!!

It’s actually criminal.

Insurance companies should not be allowed to hide, and hopefully one day the law will change to allow juries to get all the facts.

It’s simply a matter of trusting the jury with all the information.

It’s legal arrogance and very condescending and demeaning to the good, intelligent people who serve on our juries—who as a group are the smartest people in the court room—by far.

All injury victims can only hope that someone on the jury will figure it out.

Thanks for reading, and listening to me complain!

Charlie Donahue

Injury Lawyer

Insurance Bites but so Did the Dog

Pets and the law is a pretty controversial area. When in doubt, check with your lawyer about what is covered and what is not.

“Let me give you a quick example of something that could happen to anyone with a dog. Say you are out walking your Pit Bull and a jogger comes by, but trips over the dog’s leash and falls. Ghost, your dog, barks a couple of times because when the jogger fell, he yanked Ghost’s leash hard, causing him to choke,” explained Charlie Donahue, a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer located in Keene. Donahue handles injury cases in New Hampshire and across the United States.

“Ghost, the very soul of discretion and joviality, took the incident in good humor and wagged his tail happily. The jogger on the other hand later claimed he’d fallen because Ghost lunged at him. Are you covered by the liability portion of your renter’s, condo or homeowner’s insurance? Maybe,” said Donahue.

The first question that a lot of people ask is why aren’t they covered? “Usually the answer has to do with the insurance company holding the policy for your residence. Many companies are not willing to provide liability coverage for a dog if they feel it has a history of past transgressions or they don’t like the breed. In this instance, the Pit Bull has a bad rep and the insurance company wouldn’t want to take that risk,” remarked Donahue.

Research shows that many carriers won’t write a residential insurance policy if the person applying has a dog (any breed) with a history of biting. Others carriers will issue a policy, but with an exclusion; the exclusion being any injuries caused by dangerous breeds such as wolf hybrids, Pit Bulls, Dobermans, Akitas, Boxers and other dogs with an attitude. In other words, it’s darn hard to find an insurance company that will include dog bite liability coverage in a residential insurance policy.

“This isn’t to say that you can’t find it, it’s just hard to find. It’s definitely something you need to know about if you happen to own one of the breeds insurance companies aren’t very fond of for various reasons. If all else fails, you might find an independent that could help you out,” Donahue suggested.

There are a number of people who conveniently forget to answer questions about their dog’s history or breed when they apply for insurance or are dealing with a renewal form. For some reason they figure avoiding the issue and the truth won’t make any difference later. Unfortunately, things just don’t work that way and if the carrier gets wind of the fact that an insured withheld information that would have disqualified them in the beginning, they will cancel the policy.

“That isn’t the only thing that could happen if you choose not to tell the company you have a dog. If they find out later when they are defending a dog related claim, they would have clear grounds to refuse to hire an attorney to defend a court action or pay a claim or adverse judgment,” outlined Donahue.

“Think you could handle a lawsuit on your own? You might want to give that some serious thought first, because it’s a proven fact that dog bites comprised about one-third of all homeowner claims, costing insurers a cool $356 million in 2007 alone. Add to that the fact that your average dog bite claim may run to about $25,000, a figure that creeps up every year. And, over 4.7 million people get bitten every year with close to 1 million needing medical attention,” Donahue added.

In a nutshell, there are other options for dog owners who have breeds that come with a questionable history, but the policy pricing tends to be fairly high. Foregoing insurance if the dog is known to have its moments isn’t a wise move. The choice is ultimately up to the owner, but having insurance is likely to be far less costly than a personal injury lawsuit settlement.

To learn more, visit http://site7v.charlesworkstesting.com.

insurance claims adjuster(s) hire Donahue

n the last blog I allowed myself to brag about the fact several police officers familiar with the legal system and all the players hired me to help with personal injury claims for them and their loved ones.

This is helpful information for those seeking an injury lawyer, as well as good advertising for me.

Go with the guy those in the know go to.

As I reflect over the last year, it needs to be pointed out that I have been asked by an insurance claims adjuster (someone not only familiar with the legal system in general, but, more particularly, injury law) to handle a case, and to make a claim involving an insurance company.

Again, this is not an isolated incident. I have been asked by other insurance professionals– those normally on the other side of my cases, to help them or loved ones when they needed a lawyer.

Think about it.

They actually deal with many injury lawyers. They know who the players are, and who to avoid. They know who’s effective and who gets the job done. They know who they don’t want as an adversary, and who they want in their corner.

It is always nice to get praise from one’s friends, but the ultimate praise is being hired or referred to by those who are normally on the other side of your cases.

Further, I’ve been asked by insurance claims professionals for a job with my injury law firm.

Not only are those good folks interested in leaving “the forces of darkness,” they are looking to join my team, and that speaks volumes.

Thanks for reading my blog.

I promise that not all my blogs will be advertising, which is, in reality, bragging. I’ve got at least one more coming, but after that, I’ll be on to more substantive topics.

Year end is a good time to reflect upon the past year, and to pass on information that might help anybody seeking an injury lawyer.

Keep your strength.

Charlie Donahue
injury lawyer
Keene, N.H.

Insurance friend responds…

I had a feeling it would happen after I wrote my blog on the insurance company screwing injury victims.

Sure enough a friend of mine who works for a big insurance company took offense.

I knew he would.

He’s used to me, however, and we’ve had these kind of discussions before. It has never been taken personally. In fact, we are able to give each other a hard time, but it is always in good nature.

And, over the years, we’ve been able to settle many injury cases together.

There is no doubt in my mind that he, personally, never intended or desired to take advantage of any injury victim. It’s not the kind of guy he is. But the fact remains that he didn’t call all the shots, and had to report to supervisors with more authority to settle cases. Even he found this to be hard to deal with.

Years ago, it was much different. Insurance companies gave their adjusters more authority and freedom to settle injury cases. These days there is too much micro-management of cases, often times by whipper-snappers who know far less about injury law than the men and women on the front lines who actually deal with injury victims, insureds, and personal injury lawyers.

I don’t know why insurance companies have changed their way of doing business, but my guess is that it will back-fire, and end up costing them more to do business. It will also take a toll on their personnel, who are basically being told the company does not trust them to make the right decisions, and that they need someone looking over their shoulder all day.

Nobody would like to work under those conditions.

The bottom line is that the insurance industry answers to its stock-holders, while a good personal injury lawyer answers to his client.

Keep your strength.
Charlie Donahue
injury lawyer
Keene, New Hampshire

So you don’t think the insurance company is out to screw ya?

Well, think again.

Let me tell you about a real close friend of mine who practices injury law.

He’s a defense lawyer, which means he represents the interests of the insurance company. He’s one of their go-to guys, at least for now.

He’s had enough of the forces of darkness.

This fellow is a very good injury lawyer, and won many trials, but he can no longer take it. In fact, he hates every minute of it.

He’ll be a great people-lawyer one day.

The trouble is that he was making a very good living. He didn’t go into injury law defense to screw regular folks. He was idealistic and thought it was about justice and fairness, only to find out the hard way that it was all about one thing and one thing only— winning & winning at just about any cost.

Not all the insurance companies that hired him were like that, because he still has many good insurance adjuster friends who really tried their best within the framework of their job, but even they had to report to somebody.

Usually that somebody had to report to somebody else, all the way up the food chain, until you ended up with a very impersonal, corporate policy that said corporate profit above all else.

My friend hated the way the insurance companies treated good folks who needed the benefits. They were used and abused to set an example for anyone else who ever thought of making a claim for injury benefits.

They might pay-out on this case, but it wasn’t going to be any day in the park.

Make it hard; make them wish they didn’t even bother was the plan of attack.

And, Mr Defense lawyer, you have the skill, training and experience to inflict the punishment, so go to it. Earn that paycheck.

He hated it & hated them.

They cared about him only to the extent they had a hired-gun.

Now, where does this place you Mr & Mrs injury victim?

You don’t think the company is out to screw ya?

You can not trust them.

You can not afford to take a chance that the “nice” person handling your case is for real.

In a best case scenario, they’ve been trained to look at the case from a different perspective, and it is not from the view of the injury victim. Even the ones who are real decent folks– and I’ve dealt with many– are looking ( subconsciously) to save the company money. Things are never as bad from their perspective as it is from yours.

Moreover, many insurance adjusters handling personal injury, wrongful death, and medical malpractice claims have limited authority. That means the have to report back to someone with more power in the company, and that person dictates and controls how much can be offered to settle the injury claim.

Reading between the lines, I can’t tell you how many times I just knew the decent adjuster wanted & tried to settle an injury claim for more money, but were told by the big-shots to limit the offer. The frustration is palpable.

Seldom, however, can they say it for risk of losing their jobs. In this economy, who can blame them?

You are a number to them, and a nuisance, headache or big problem– depending on the value of your case.

I find it very interesting, and something I’m proud of, that I’ve been asked by insurance adjusters to help them or loved ones when they needed an injury lawyer.

Thanks for reading this blog.

I realize it’s some plain speaking & some in-your-face straight shooting, but that’s the way I do things.

You’ll always know where I stand.

Keep your strength.
Charlie Donahue
injury lawyer
Keene,N.H.

The myth of “my insurance”

For some reason folks get attached to their insurance company.

I hear it all the time: ” I don’t want to make a claim under my insurance. Why should they pay.”

These are good questions and I understand why they are asked. Most injury victims are protective of their own insurance company. They feel connected to them. There is some sort of bond or friendship.

But here’s the problem.The bottom line is that the insurance company, through the powers to be, don’t give a rat’s you know what about injury victims.

Things are fine and dandy when you’re paying your premiums.

Then, as soon as you make a claim and actually need some of the benefits you’ve been paying for all these years, they head for the hills, and can’t wait to end your insurance coverage.

Sound harsh? Well it is.

I’m not talking about having a good working relationship with your insurance agent, or the claims adjuster who toils day after day for the corporate bigwigs.

That’s a good thing, and, in fact, I have a very good relationship with my insurance agency and have great respect for the professionals at others too.

Many are good people and very professional.

Although they can be very helpful, when push comes to shove, the insurance company will call the shots.

And by that I’m referring to the ones at the very top. They’ll step on everyone, including their own agents if they feel it makes economic sense to do so.

My point is that if you have paid for certain insurance benefits, then do not be afraid to use them.

Yes, the automobile accident might have been caused by someone else, and their company should be forced to pay your damages.But, there may be benefits under your own insurance policy, like Medical payment coverage or uninsured motorist protection that you should collect.

Remember it’s your money.

You paid for this protection.

By all means get what you are entitled to…

Have a good working relationship with your own insurance agency and/or company, but sleep with one eye open if you have a claim because that company is likely to treat you differently now.

While you might be worried about protecting “my insurance”, it will not share the same sympathies.

It’s amazing how fast the love turns to hate.

Keep your strength.

Charlie Donahue
injury lawyer
Keene, N.H.

Why you need plenty of insurance

As a personal injury lawyer solely and exclusively dedicated to the representation of injury victims, not only in New Hampshire, but across the country, I am no friend of the insurance industry.

I’m not talking about the good folks who work for these big companies because they are just doing their jobs.

I’m referring to those at the very top whose policy it is to short-change injury victims, and for that matter, their own people if it will save them a few bucks.

So when I recommend that you have plenty of insurance coverage, there’s a very good explanation.

I’ve been seeing more than a few cases these days where my client sustained very serious injuries only to find out that the responsible person(s) did not carry enough insurance to fully compensate the injury victim.

Nothing makes an injury victim more angry.

But there is a way to prevent that terrible situation from ever happening. All you need to do is buy enough UNINSURED/UNDER-INSURED MOTORIST coverage on your own auto policy.

And, don’t forget about purchasing an UMBRELLA policy, as well.

That way, if, God forbid, you ever get injured by someone without sufficient insurance coverage, then your own insurance policy will kick in to provide you maximum compensation.

I’m not saying it will be easy, and that your own insurance company will be waiting for you with an open check book and a big hug. No. They actually step into the shoes of the wrongdoer and your own insurance company becomes, in a very real sense, the enemy/ the adversary.

But not to worry.

It’s the way it works and, with the right help, things can work out just fine.

If your own insurance company wrongly tries to jack up your premium after you collect under your policy, then I have a good idea: take your business somewhere else.

That’s right. The insurance world is very competitive these days, and you can bet another company would love your business.

Meet with your insurance agent to make sure you have the very best coverage you can afford.

I can walk you through all this if you need help, and would be honored to do so.

Keep your strength.

Charlie Donahue
Personal injury and auto accident attorney
Keene, New Hampshire

another brick in the wall…

I hear it all the time, especially these days.

It’s the story of the worker who gets canned after years of faithful service to a company. It’s not so much that it happens because, quite frankly, business (or lack of business) might mean a company can’t justify keeping a position.

It’s the cold-hearted way it’s done.

A friend told me he was canned after 22 years of service to a large corporation. It was done at a 15 minute meeting, and he was escorted off the premises & treated like a criminal.

His sin? Nothing, nothing at all.

My point? Insurance is one of these huge businesses that, in reality, don’t care very much for its own people. Why on earth do you think they’ll care about an injury victim?

Keep your strength.
Charlie Donahue
Injury lawyer
Keene, N.H.

Does The insurance Company Care about You, Mr/Mrs injury victim?

The answer is ” NO”.

In truth it doesn’t care about its own employees. Why do you think they’ll care for you?

Ask anyone who works for a big insurance company if they truly believe the company (and by that I mean the company big-shots) really cares about them — the hard-working folks doing their best to make a good, decent living in a tough business.

You see it every day. Lay-offs, terminations, and pay-freezes. These good folks are used and abused— like you’ll be. And, unlike you, they are on the same team as those who’ll take advantage of you.

Even the decent claims adjusters have been micro-managed to death. The company does not trust them any more, so it forces them to jump through a million and one hoops just to get authority to settle cases. It saddles them with more claims they can possibly handle; each one is doing the work 2 used to do.

These people, who used to love coming to work, and earning a fair wage no longer can stand the insurance companies and count the days, weeks and hours they’ll have to show up for work. They are prisoners within the confines of some insurance edifice where saving the dollar is all that matters, so that the few at the very top can enjoy the spoils.

And don’t you think for a minute the big shots aren’t taking millions in bonuses at year end.

If they don’t care about their very own people, why on earth do you think they’ll care about you or your family?

You’re ok with them when they want your business, and are paying your insurance premiums every year, but once you need to make an injury claim they head for the hills.

This is a theme– a reality– I talk about from time to time on my personal injury website and blog because it gets to the heart of the matter.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m a free-enterprise capitalist. But some businesses by their very nature pit corporate America verses the average citizen, and insurance is one of them. It has the right to collect premiums; injury victims have the right to purse personal injury claims– and need to.

Injury victims are considered adversaries by insurance companies, and mere numbers. The goal is to deny your injury claim; and if they can’t do that, they’ll delay your injury claim; and if they can’t do that, they’ll try to diminish your injury claim.

In the meantime they hold the money and invest it for themselves ( possession is 9/10ths of the law).

The deck is stacked against regular folks in this business, so if you or someone you care about has suffered a personal injury, make sure you hire a lawyer who can level the playing field & someone who cares.

I’d be honored to help you or your family.

Charlie Donahue
NH injury lawyer
Keene,NH

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Atticus Finch was right:
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

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