Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Monday, December 18, 2006

GETTING A PIECE OF THE ROCK

Fortunately this is an old picture. A 1981 photo taken the day after an auto accident caused by a young female driver. In wandering around town I told the people shocked by the sight of me, "You oughta see the other guy!"
But it wasn't funny. Our beautiful maroon Mercury was totaled. I had been in the emergency room at the hospital on a couple of earlier occasions with a gall bladder problem. When they wheeled me in the doctor in charge said, "Boy, they really got you this time, didn't they?"
Yes, they did. A light rain was falling and the woman coming the other direction in a large International Scout didn't know that rain made the road slippery. She crossed the center line and hit me head on.
She was insured by Prudential, a company my Uncle Joe had spent 20 years with while selling their insurance. I talked on the phone with a young woman at their office in Illinois. She said we would get $3,000, that was all, then told me a few other things before ending with, "And that's the law!"
"That's funny," I replied, "I've covered the courts for a newspaper for years and never heard of that law."
There was a lengthy pause, then in a subdued tone she said, "Well, it's not the law, it's the way we do it."
That wasn't the way we did it. We took it to court and got $12,000, four times what Prudential wanted to pay. So we got a bigger Piece of the Rock than Prudential wanted us to have. But that's not the point.
The point is, how many people not familiar with the courts heard that woman say, "And that's the law!" and just gave up? How many thought, "If that's the law, I guess I have no choice."
I'm not a big fan of TV commercials, especially those that include the words "you deserve." For the most part they make me angry because some idiot spends more than he makes, gets in over his head, and then is told he still can get the credit "he deserves." He deserves nothing.
But a couple of law firms, the types once described as ambulance chasers, advertise here and others probably do the same throughout the country. One commercial ends this way: "The insurance company has lawyers on its side, you deserve one on your side." Amen.
My advice to anyone would be to never trust a thing an insurance company says. Stand up for yourself. Fight them all the way because they'll sure fight you all the way.

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