The myth of no-fault insuranceIt is apparent that the...

the Forum

November 30, 1990

The myth of no-fault insurance

It is apparent that the no-fault insurance bill, which will be introduced in the next legislative session, has been gaining momentum. Unfortunately the public, upon which no-fault insurance legislation will likely be foisted, will be the big losers, and once again the insurance companies will be the big winners.

Under the proposed legislation, the victim of an automobile accident will not be allowed to sue the responsible driver. Instead, the accident victim's own insurance will pay for his or her medical expenses and damage to the vehicle. This, the insurance companies allege, will result in reduced premiums.

It has not been made clear that the alleged reduced premium will not cover pain and suffering. Instead, insurance companies will charge additional premiums for such coverage. One can only imagine how astronomical they will be.

It is, therefore, foreseeable that automobile insurance premiums will be even higher than they are now, given the fact that a driver in Maryland is presently required to have liability insurance, which includes coverage for an accident victim's pain and suffering. Of course, a driver may forgo coverage for pain and suffering, but at what cost?

Imagine the innocent victims of drunk drivers who have suffered tremendous disabling injuries and who will not be able to recover from the responsible party but, instead, must look to their own insurance and pray that they had paid the outrageous premium for pain and suffering.

The strong insurance lobby will no doubt persuade a majority of the legislature to pass the no-fault bill. Once again, the unwitting and gullible public will be the victim of the insurance companies' greed and bad investments.

TC Robert W. Lazzaro


The writer is a lawyer.


Gulf futility

After reading Rosemarie E. Perry's Forum letter of Nov. 15, I am compelled to respond concerning her guess as to why the United States is going to war.

She is right regarding this government's not knowing how to say "no" when it is asked to bring destruction and suffering upon people. It's even worse when a country goes to war over something that is none of its business.

Bill Goodin


Speed counts

Robin J. Holt's conclusion (Other Voices, Nov. 15) that, "there is no connection between a student's understanding and the speed of his or her answer" reflects gross ignorance of the learning process.

Would the professor have us believe that a youngster who

deliberates the product of "six times eight" for several minutes understands multiplication as well as someone who instantly knows the answer? Does a student who fumbles over a simple French phrase understand the language as well as one who can converse fluently?

I fear Professor Holt is an anachronism from the 1960s, when thinking great thoughts while knowing nothing was, for some, a worthwhile educational goal. Unfortunately, your paper's providing so much space to this uninformed and disjointed assault on education portends the hostile environment educators seem to be facing the 1990s.

Roy G. Skiles


Down with lawyers!

A report that more than 800 people recently passed the state bar exam is a chilling portent. They are now qualified to be turned loose to scramble for business in our fair state alongside the thousands of experienced, highly professional scramblers who are already there.

There is a prevailing public conviction that there are more than enough lawyers by at least a dozen times over, and that these numbers make for a troubled and contentious community. This is because one of a lawyer's favorite ways to scramble for business is to devise ways to get people to pick fights with each other to convince the party of the first part that his toes are being stepped on by the party of the second part, and then to encourage the "victim" to sue for all the latter is worth.

Another favored strategy is to convince groups of people that they are being victimized by society or the establishment or another group, and then to prod them to battle for their collective rights in the courts via the lawyers, of course. Those in this category call themselves "activists," and that is an apt term because they literally do "act," as yeast acts in dough, agitating and fermenting. The fact that their motivation is personal gain rather than any dedication to the cause itself (one cause is as good as another) is assiduously avoided and, if questioned, vehemently denied.

Result: communities that are constantly wary, distrustful, worried, defensive and, above all, unsettled. Small wonder we nostalgically yearn for the "good old days."

J. Rizzo


The spoils of war

In reply to L. Schaffer's Nov. 24 letter: I knew a man who fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He said that as they "liberated" each town or village, they raped and robbed, pillaged and plundered. I was shocked and mentioned this to a high-ranking officer. He smiled and said, "Well, that's war." So, one wonders, who is the mad dog?

Gerry Rinker


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