Air Date: 1-18-2013| Episode: 270
The Los Angeles native and graduate of Loyola University School of Law at Los Angeles, began his legal career as a Deputy District Attorney in Bakersfield, where he founded a Consumer Protection Division, and, as he puts it, “When I had hair,” became an on-air, legal affairs reporter for local television stations...
The Los Angeles native and graduate of Loyola University School of Law at Los Angeles, began his legal career as a Deputy District Attorney in Bakersfield, where he founded a Consumer Protection Division, and, as he puts it, “When I had hair,” became an on-air, legal affairs reporter for local television stations. This led to gigs in talk radio, all the while he was in private practice. For over 26 years, he has written a weekly syndicated newspaper column called You and the Law, which provides consumer and legal advice to his readers. (Google Dennis Beaver You and the Law) He practice has a strong business concentration, and as listeners will note, Dennis tells it like it is. “I never won Mr. Popularity in high school,” Beaver will tell you with a chuckle! “There is a moral obligation of getting paid for the work you do, and it drivers me crazy to see good people in the Restoration Industry shoot themselves in the foot, losing a small fortune due to their own mistakes, oversights, and crooked customers, not to mention the wimp factor, where the owner is afraid of his own shadow, not realizing the power of the human voice, or, the value of getting a gutsy lawyer involved at the first sigh of trouble.” “So much can be done beforehand–and later–to reduce the chance of becoming a victim of someone who will take your time, your materials, what you pay your employees, and your check!”
Leave it to Beaver
Bakersfield, CA attorney Dennis Beaver and syndicated newspaper columnist was today’s guest on IAQradio. Dennis is both knowledgeable, entertaining, and has a terrific radio voice which simply makes you want to really pay attention to the valuable information he has for the listener. Fluent in English, French and Swedish; he practices law in 3 languages. Radio Joe and I, left it to the Beaver to provide tips and guidance to our show audience on navigating the sometimes complex challenges of handling property damage insurance claims.
Nuggets mined from today’s episode:
· “Our voice, when correctly used, is an incredible tool for, not just communication, but persuasion.”
· “Avoid the wimp factor, which is not only a fear of confrontation, but the fear of standing up for what is ethically, legally and morally right. The wimp factor is a demonstrable fear of confrontation. Policyholders and contractors must avoid the wimp factor by establishing and demonstrating that you know what you are talking about, establishing the boundary that you won’t be jerked around. “I’ll do my part and you must do your part.”
· “Address trouble or problems at the first sign by using these 4 words which evoke a reflexive, positive response: “I need your help.” You will almost always hear in response, “How can I help you?” This opens the door to you being listened to, and should promote steps towards resolution or at least, knowing where the other side really is.”
· Bad faith, are two words which when used in proper context can often get the attention of an adjuster and/or insurance company. Insurance companies are obligated to deal with policyholders fairly and have a duty to handle claims correctly.
· Conflict of interest is when a decision maker has a personal financial interest in the outcome of a situation.
· Your insurance carrier is not your friend, and shouldn’t be trusted, “be agnostic, neither believing nor disbelieving the insurance company will do the right thing”.
· Remediation contractors spend too much time, effort focusing on getting more work and often leave costly loose ends on projects that they are working on or are completed. Invest the necessary time in ensuring that the needed details (signatures, names, dates, places) are within your job files and records. Ensure that contract documents are properly filled out and signed.
· Tip on report writing. When hired to review and comment on the work of others, be careful to avoid being sued for defamation by being objective and accurate when pointing out deficiencies and shortcomings. “If you cannot document your assertion or lack proof, do not make statements of fact which could come back to haunt you in a suit for defamation. Statements of opinion are a somewhat different matter, and that’s why a consultation with an attorney should precede saying things which you may come to regret.”
· Insurance adjusters often have latitude, so a well reasoned and presented position can result in policyholder and/or contractor getting what they want.
· Deposition preparation; avoid the two worst outcomes 1) getting caught not knowing what you are talking about or 2) making up testimony on the fly. If you have never been deposed, get some deposition education via the internet or by seeking tips from an attorney. Prepare for the deposition by reviewing all related records and documents. Everyone has memory lapses. Proper dress and grooming are important.
· “Midnight Angel”, some insurance adjusters provide exceptional service, just like on TV.
Dennis is a great storyteller and someone that would be fun and educational to meet face-to-face and share a couple of martinis with. You can find his syndicated newspaper column by searching: Dennis Beaver You and the Law.
Today’s Music: Leave it to Beaver theme song.
Z-Man signing off