Insurance

Winer and Bennett, LLP blog for legal advice about insurance issues in New England.

Invisible Insurance

When you bring suit to recover for injuries caused by someone else, you sue the responsible party. You may not name the responsible party’s insurance company in the suit.  In fact, if reference is made in the presence of the jury to the fact that there was insurance, a mistrial would be declared. The judicial system routinely praises the wisdom …

“THE LEGAL COMMUNITY’S RESPONSE TO TERRORISM”

Reflection upon the biggest issues of our day lead to a short list that simmer on the edge of boiling; technology, race relations, immigration, and terrorism. Each one has a strong argument for being the most important. The one that is most directly attached to our everyday life in a visceral way is terrorism. While terrorism may not affect us …

What is my Personal Injury Case Worth?

A personal injury lawyer is often asked early on what the value of a case is. I sometimes respond by asking the client what a car in our parking lot is worth.  A client naturally asks how old the car is, what shape the body is in, what the make and model are, what the mileage is, whether there are …

Invisible Insurance

When you bring suit to recover for injuries caused by someone else, you sue the responsible party.  You may not name the responsible party’s insurance company in the suit.  In fact, if reference is made in the presence of the jury to the fact that there was insurance, a mistrial would be declared. The judicial system routinely praises the wisdom …

“TOM BRADY, POLITICAL PRISONER”

The office of Roger Goodell, the Commissioner of the National Football League, handed down a “sentence” for Tom Brady and the New England Patriots as a result of the Deflategate investigation. The sentence was for a four game suspension of Tom Brady, loss of a first round and fourth round draft pick, and a fine of $1 million to the …

Seasons Change, Feelings Change…How About the Rules?

Kudos if you caught the Expose song reference in the title. I’m actually not sure how it spilled out of my head. It is, however, appropriate for this writing. Over the years, I’ve seen that certain issues at associations claim popularity in a cyclical fashion. Recently, I had occasion to discuss “rules” several times. Taking a brief step back, one …

Conservation Measures: Assisting the Granite State with Going Green

As a condominium practitioner representing associations in both MA and NH, I often find it interesting to compare differences in the laws of the Commonwealth and the Granite State. While I believe that most would readily lean towards NH as the state with the edge on natural resources and beauty, in terms of their respective condominium statutes MA has a …

“RIOTING, RACIAL PROFILING, AND THE RULE OF LAW”

Case Zero seems to have been the Trayvon Martin killing by George Zimmerman in the State of Florida. Zimmerman was a self-appointed neighborhood watch type who carried a gun and used it during an altercation with an unarmed Trayvon Martin. The case touched off a nerve with the minority community that erupted when Zimmerman was found not guilty under the …

Saving Money on Insurance, Or Are You?

Insurance companies are constantly finding new ways to entice potential customers to shop for insurance.  One of the latest tactics is to permit shoppers to “pick their price.”  This marketing scheme is a trap for the unwary.  Here’s why: Nearly everyone wants to pay less for their insurance.  The less we pay them, the more we have in our own …

DIY’ers

Do it yourselfers. Ya gotta love’em. Self reliance is, after all, a fundamental American trait. Nevertheless, I have to shake my head when a proud but naïve soul brings in a mismanaged vestige of a once promising case, and wonders if we might offer a little advice. Usually, it’s like trying to revive a chronically under-watered and over-exposed house plant. …

Decriminalization of Adultery

As of January 1st of this year, New Hampshire repealed RSA:645:3. This was an antiquated and unenforced law which made adultery a class B misdemeanor. However, adultery remains a valid fault ground for divorce in New Hampshire. Now, an inquiry into such infidelity cannot be side-stepped by exercising the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, or “taking the 5th.” Therefore, in …

Legislative Update

A quick note for New Hampshire- by way of legislative update, is that HB 1115 has passed and been signed by the Governor. Effective January 1, 2015, this new law makes clear that a Homestead Declaration filed by a unit owner does not afford any protection against an association’s lien for unpaid condominium assessments. By: Gary Daddario **************************************************************************

New Hampshire Benefits Through CAI New England Membership: Explaining the Expo

As many in the Granite State are aware, we have joined forces with and have membership in the broader chapter known as CAI New England. Among other benefits, New Hampshire members will now enjoy the programs and events of CAI New England. One of the liveliest, most informative and well-attended events is the Annual “Expo”. For the benefit of those …

Avoid Falling Behind…Look Ahead with Proper Planning

Proper planning is one of the most efficient methods of increasing the possibility of achieving our goals. So, how does an association board engage in proper planning? One of the more useful tools is a reserve study. At the high end, such studies are accomplished utilizing engineering as well as accounting services so that an association’s facilities may be accurately …

The Changing Legal Business Climate

There have been a number of articles in the local press over the past six months discussing various issues in the local business climate. This essay attempts to take several of those issues and analyze them to draw conclusions about the future of the legal business. The issues are the declining population in New Hampshire, the emergence of a solely …

Wrongful Death Cases

New Hampshire law, RSA 556:12 [http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/LVI/556/556-12.htm] entitles the estate of someone whose death was wrongfully caused by another to receive monetary compensation from the responsible party. If there is no family, the estate’s recovery is limited to a maximum of $50,000.00. If the deceased left family, there is no maximum recovery for the estate. The compensation to which an estate …

Cheapest Health Insurance Around?

When you buy liability insurance for your car in New Hampshire, your coverage will include “medical payments” insurance.  That coverage acts as a mini-health insurance policy.  It pays uncovered medical bills, regardless of who was at fault, for medical care required as a result of a crash in the insured car, a crash in someone else’s car, and for a …

Vehicle Damage

Someone crashed into your car. You need to have a working car. What are you going to do? The first call should be to your car insurance.  You are their customer.  You should find the most cooperative reception there. The other guy may be at fault, but that insurance company may take a while to decide that. The best way …

Subrogation

Subrogation is an unfamiliar word, but it is a concept which it is important to be aware of in a personal injury claim.  Simply put, it means that you have to reimburse your health insurance and Medicare for medical bills they pay, if you receive any money from a party legally responsible for your injury.  You might wonder why in …

Why getting rid of the Probable Cause hearing is a bad idea

It has recently been proposed in the New Hampshire State Legislature, at least in terms of discussion, that the ancient procedure of the Grand Jury and the Probable Cause Hearing should be phased out. This would mean that prosecutors would have the power to file cases directly with the Court rather than taking felony matters to the Grand Jury. This …

The Transition to E-Filing of Pleadings

It was announced that the slow march to changing the filing of court pleadings to being all electronics is inevitable. The court has not set a deadline for when pleadings will have to be filed by computer but it is anticipated it will be within the next 18 months. This is a major change in the way that cases are …

Technology is dragged into the legal system or vice versa?

One of the last bastions of doing things the old fashioned way has been our legal system.  The way that lawyers do things has remained virtually unchanged for many, many years.  That paradigm is about to shift with the recognition by electronic management of the judicial system.   It is time for technology to take its place in the way that …

Judges

Judges are frequently the objects of people’s frustrations. I for one am deeply disturbed whenever those black-robed civil servants fail to appreciate my persuasive exertion on behalf of my client. Sure, they serve a crucial role in our society by resolving otherwise irresolvable disputes. Sure, the fact that they aren’t elected is key to promoting the impartiality of their decisions. …

Confessions of a Personal Injury Lawyer: Insurance

As a practical matter, insurance coverage is essential to being able to obtain a recovery in a personal injury case. Without it, there is usually little to no ability to pay. Having to get a verdict and then chasing personal assets to get paid is almost always a losing proposition. Insurance is the business of agreeing to cover the cost …

Premises Injury

Legal Fault for Injury from Dangerous Conditions New Hampshire law requires that owners and occupiers of property use a reasonable amount of care in the way they construct, use, and maintain their property.  They are not responsible for an injury simply because it happened on their property.  Landowners can be legally at fault for an injury only if the injury …

Modernizing Minimum Insurance Coverage

We recently concluded a case for a vehicle crash client who had suffered a broken hip which required surgery to fix.  She had been injured in a crash while she was a passenger on a motorcycle.  Her medical bills alone totaled $75,000.00.  The evidence clearly established that the motorcyclist, after turning right on to a road from an intersecting street, …