Johnson and Johnson's Depuy Orthopedics has recalled it's defective hip replacement systems due to a large number of patients requiring a second hip replacement. I had mentioned before that studies have shown that the metal-on-metal hip implants were problematic. (Concerns with metal-on-metal hip implants grow and Depuy ASR Hip Replacement Withdrawn).
August 2010 Archives
Instead of trying to just explain the math behind an accident settlement, I've included an actual Settlement Sheet. See:
This from a relatively minor car accident case I settled a few weeks ago. Obviously, I've taken out our client's name (I'll call her Client) and the defendant's name. The dates are also different than the actual case.
Here's a quick summary:
The property damage claim was settled shortly after the accident. Our firm didn't charge anything for the property damage settlement, so that check went directly to Client.
The personal injury claim settled for $12,500. All insurance companies require claimants to sign a settlement release before they'll write a check. The total settlement check was made out to Client, all the medical providers that had outstanding bills, and Medicare. Medicare had paid for some of Client's bills, so they wanted to be reimbursed ("right of subrogation").
As you can see, the attorney's contingency fee in this case was 25%. This amount is taken out of the total settlement. We spent $63.19 obtaining the medical records. This was what the various hospitals charged for them. Client have several outstanding medical bills that totaled $630 and Medicare wanted to be reimbursed $1,399.65. The payment to Client, after everything was paid off, was $7,282.16.
I met with a new client (let's call her Jane Smith) last week that mentioned the insurance adjuster on her claim told her that "she doesn't want to get an attorney involved because your claim will likely take longer and you'll have to pay the attorney out of your settlement." That just means the insurance adjuster didn't want Jane to hire an attorney. The insurance adjuster is looking to pay Jane as little as possible - settling early for cheap saves the insurance company money.
I've seen several personal attorney websites state something along the lines of: "a national study showed that injured people represented by an attorney received 300% more than persons who settle without a lawyer." None of the websites that have this actually provide a cite to the study. So, I posted the quote on a national trial lawyer discussion group to see if anyone has actually seen the study.
Hat-tip to Solomon Neuhardt, a Montana car accident attorney, for pointing out what appears to be the study. At the very least, it's a study discussing represented and unrepresented claimants. The "Allstate's 'customer service' charade" article was written by David Strickland and appeared in Trial Magazine in 1999.
The article mentions a study by the Insurance Research Council:
The study found that payments for unrepresentedThat's 366%! Assuming the attorney's fees in those claims were 33%, the clients still recovered $4737 more than what they would have recovered.
claimants with bodily injuries amounted to $3,262 on average. Payments
to represented claimants amounted to $11,939 on average.
Yesterday's NY Times posted some interesting statistics on Insurers Feeling Pain of Dog Bites. The average dog bite claim exceeds $24,000 and claims are up 4.8% nationwide.
Dog bite law in Oklahoma pretty straightforward. The owner of the dog is liable for any of the damages if:
- The attack was without provocation; and
- The victim had a lawful right to be there
Here's one I haven't heard in awhile:
I was in a car accident last week. The driver that hit me doesn't have insurance. However, the guy he recently bought the car from still has the car insured!The previous owner doesn't have an "insurable interest" in the car. Insurable insurance is usually mentioned if someone is trying to purchase life insurance on someone other than themself. You generally can't do it (there's exceptions of course). Back to the car accident: The previous owner isn't liable and his insurance company is correct. Luckily this person has Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage.
Can I sue the previous owner to help get my medical bills paid? His insurance company is denying my claim. Can they do this?
I have uninsured motorist coverage, should I just turn it in to my insurance company and be done with it?
Jim Calloway, the Director of the Oklahoma Bar
Association Management Assistance Program, has a nice article on "Why you
need to switch to digital client files now."
Jim states that "every single lawyer needs to commit to using digital files." He also mentions, and goes into detail, that:
· You cannot back up paper
· You are becoming increasingly less competitive
· You are wasting time looking through files and looking for lost files
· You are spending too much time and money converting digital documents into paper
· You are missing the opportunity to become more affordable
· You are blocked from having access to your files when you may need them
You project an image of being behind the times
We’re transitioning to a completely digital office for several reasons. The most important one: we’ll provide better (and faster!) service to our clients.