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Old January 20, 2010, 06:37 AM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: August 29, 2009
Location: Newport News, Virginia
Posts: 306
Depending upon your individual (home-owners) policy, you will have just met your insurers exceptions. Catch-22?
Exactly. But plainitff attorneys are smart enough to know their money comes from the insurer, not the defendant personally. So they will taylor a lawsuit to bring the insurer in.

As long as there is a count of "negligence" in the lawsuit, the insurer has a duty to defend. Insurance covers negligence, not intentional acts.

But the insurer is smart enough to know that even though there is a claim of negligence, a self defense shooting is intentional. So even though the criminal case has no bearing on the civil case (a la O.J. Simpson), they will still use the testimony of a defendant in the criminal case against him in the civil case. The defendant then faces the prospect of the insurer abandoning him if they win their declaratory judgement action.

While this is being hashed out, I've seen defendants rise to the level of desperation. Sometimes, they will strike a deal with the plaintiff attorney in that they will agree to "admit" to negligence in return for the plaintiff only taking payment from the insurer and not them personally. An admission of negligence may or may not defeat the insurer's declaratory judgement action, but in the cases I've seen it has. So, you essentially have a defendant who is blameless and did what he needed to do now admitting to wrong-doing solely to save himself financially.

It's a crazy game.
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