Donahoe Kearney - February 2020

Our Secret Weapon That Benefits YOU

Q. Why do some businesses have a communications policy?

A . That is a great question. For us, our communications policy is really like a secret weapon, one we only use for good, of course ... but we do use it against insurance companies. Our communications policy allows us to do really important, high-level work for you. You see, many law firms are chaotic, and their lawyers go from one crisis to another based on a random order of phone calls and emails. They can’t do the real, important work on cases to help people, and they don’t get good results. We are different. So, that’s why we are very strict with this policy. We want to update you and inform you on your case — that’s why we schedule calls ahead of time and only read and respond to emails during scheduled times. And when we are working on your case, there are no other interruptions. We want to talk to you and take care of you and your family. That’s our responsibility, and we love it.

PART I OF III:

HOW TO LOSE YOUR LONG-TERM DISABILITY APPEAL

Meet Mark, a 53-year-old male who recently had his long-term disability case denied after a pretty serious accident that left him unable to return to work. Mark worked as a private contractor in the construction business for more than 30 years. He went to work every day enjoying what he did and was proud to provide for his family. Mark was never one to look for the “easy way out” either; he knew the right way was generally the hard way, and Mark did the right thing all his life. Unfortunately, life is always throwing us curveballs, and Mark had one of the worst curveballs thrown at him early in the spring one year when his brother suddenly passed away. Mark was close to his brother, and the two enjoyed their friendship more and more as they got older. As tragic as the death of his brother was, Mark had no way of knowing he would soon be facing even more trials. After his brother’s funeral, Mark was returning to his truck with his wife, their two adult children, and their three grandchildren walking beside him. The parking lot where his truck was parked is up a significantly steep incline. There was a cement staircase built into the hill, but the more elderly attendees were taking their time ascending the steps, so Mark decided to walk up the hill in the grass. Although the lawn was well maintained, a patch of overgrown grass disguised a very shallow hole along the path he was climbing. Without warning, Mark’s foot fell into the hole causing him to lose his balance and fall sideways onto his right shoulder. The jolt of the fall was so sudden and strong that Mark was unable to stabilize himself on the ground and he

began sliding and rolling down the hill. Faster and faster he fell, hitting what felt like every bone and joint in his body full force against the ground below him. He eventually came to a stop when he collided with a tree at the base of the hill bordering the cemetery where he’d just buried his dear brother. With Mark unable to move, his wife yelled out to anyone who could to come to his aid. Thankfully, there were more than enough people to help, but Mark had no control over his left leg or right arm and was in excruciating pain. He would need to be carried if he was to get anywhere. The paramedics were soon on the scene, and they loaded Mark onto a stretcher and into an ambulance where he was taken to the emergency room. The doctors took X-rays and it was discovered that Mark had a broken leg, a dislocated shoulder, a broken forearm, and a shattered wrist. The prognosis was grim, and the doctors told him it would be a long time and a tough road ahead with many physical therapy sessions required before Mark was able to return to any sense of normalcy. We created Mark as a composite fictional character — we wanted him to tell his story to help people understand the realities about long-term disability and the ways it can go wrong. Mark thought he was fortunate to have a long-term disability policy through his job. Mark, like many people, thought it would be easy.

STAY TUNED FOR PART II: What Happens to Mark Next.

4 • DONAHOEKEARNEY.COM

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