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Charles Town West Virginia Legal Blog

Before you talk to the insurance company, read this

When you're injured and unable to work, hearing the voice of a (seemingly) friendly insurance adjustor on the other end of the phone can give you hope that your claim will be handled quickly and fairly. That's a welcome relief, naturally, when you're worried about your bills.

Hold on a moment. You need to remember that insurance adjusters -- no matter how kind they may be in their daily lives -- have a job to do. That job is primarily all about saving the insurance company some money. They don't do that by being overly generous with claims.

Opioid addiction treatment continues to fall short

Opioid abuse and addiction have caught the attention of the authorities from coast to coast -- and they're cracking down on everyone even remotely connected to opioid use. Whether you're involved with large-scale drug trafficking or you're merely an addict who sells a few pills to feed your own addiction, you could easily wind up serving time.

The big problem? All the tough penalties that were levied over the years toward drug crimes have failed to stop the drug crisis from growing. Decades of legal reforms have filled the prisons -- but they haven't stopped people from getting addicted and dying from drug overdoses.

New Year's Eve and domestic violence: How to stay safe

The relationship between domestic violence and alcohol is complicated -- and deadly. More than one research study has found that the majority of deadly domestic incidents are connected to the perpetrator's use of alcohol. In many cases, all it takes is a few drinks and access to a gun to start a domino-chain of events that will end in someone's death.

That's why we urge anyone who is living in an abusive or volatile situation to make safety plans during the New Year's holiday. Since alcohol is a part of many traditional celebrations and is likely to be everywhere, you need to be proactive. Here are some tips:

Attacked by a dog?

Many people in the Charles Town area love animals, particularly dogs. Dog owners typically take their pets out and about. Most of them are responsible people who do their best to keep their pets from harming anyone. Unfortunately, not all succeed, as you well know, because a dog recently attacked you or a loved one.

The losses associated with a dog attack can be significant. Aside from the physical and emotional scars such an event can leave behind, the financial damages can be too much for some people to shoulder alone. Thankfully, you may not have to. According to state laws, you may hold the dog owner accountable for your losses.

Steps to take after you escape domestic violence

Domestic violence can affect anyone, regardless of their age or socioeconomic status. For many people living in volatile situations, actually escaping the violence is just the first step. Staying safe in the immediate future also requires some extra work.

Here are some steps you can take to increase your safety:

West Virginia student charged with making terroristic threats

A West Virginia teenager has been arrested and charged with making terroristic threats against other students in his Cabell County high school. He's also been charged with stalking. According to authorities, the teen was keeping a "kill list" of people that he wanted to eliminate and had a letter threatening at least one individual on his phone.

The student maintains that he never intended to act on his list or his threats, but the authorities are treating the issue extremely seriously. This is the second incident of this type in the state within the last month. Another 18-year-old at a different school was charged with a similar crime.

What's the real value of a polygraph test?

Polygraph tests -- also called "lie detectors" -- have been around so long that they're a permanent part of the way American's picture law enforcement operations. In the movies and on television, the police can hook a suspect up to a polygraph machine and make a clean call about their guilt after just a few questions.

Well, it really doesn't work that way. Psychologists say that the machine is better described as a "fear detector," than any kind of lie detector. To detect a "lie," the polygraph machine measures such things as a suspect's:

  • Rises in blood pressure
  • Changes in breathing
  • A quickening heart rate
  • Increased sweating

Don't destroy your car accident claim

A car accident can leave you with a multitude of painful injuries and a pile of unpaid bills. As a result, you're perfectly justified in seeking compensation for your losses.

However, don't count on the insurance company to give up the money very easily. Insurance companies typically look for any way they can to devalue or deny a claim.

Orders of protection: The super-weapon of divorce

You think that your divorce is trudging along like most normal divorces and then, suddenly, you find yourself served with papers telling you that your spouse and children are under an order of protection -- from you.

What?

Contact

Bottner & Skillman Attorneys At Law
116 W. Washington St.
Suite 2A
Charles Town, WV 25414

Phone: 304-885-4265
Fax: 304-725-3988
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